2019 NMRA Year in Review


2019 was a busy year for NMRA. We started off with a 60-day legislative session that had us playing defense the entire time. Since then NMRA has worked on plastic bans and sick leave ordinances in Albuquerque, Bernalillo County, Las Cruces, Carlsbad and Los Alamos. without a break. The board of directors completed a strategic plan for the association to support the industry. We had a very successful awards dinner and open house for member engagement. Did I mention, we love what we do!


Minimum Wage Proposals

The first proposed legislation was for a $15 wage and no tip credit. NMRA managed to negotiate this proposal to $12 and keep the tip credit. Here is what we did..


  • Total emails and contacts made to legislators and governor by servers and restaurant supporters: 18,000+
  • Total number of advocates: 2,600+
  • Total “Save My Tips” t-shirts worn by servers and restaurant supporters: 250
  • Total “Save My Tips” pins worn by server and restaurant supporters: 300
  • Average number of servers testified during legislative hearings: 30
  • Number of Saturdays at Roundhouse during legislative session: 3
  • Average number of hours spent per day in Roundhouse during legislative session: 9
  • Latest hour left the Roundhouse during the session 12:30 am

Statewide Economic Impact of Minimum Wage Fight

Economic Impact:

Savings for entire tableservice segment:

  • 2019: $131 million
  • 2020: $104 million
  • 2021: $100 million
  • 2022: $92 million
  • 2023: $84 million

 Average savings per tableservice restaurant:

  • 2019: $93,000
  • 2020: $74,000
  • 2021: $71,000
  • 2022: $66,000
  • 2023: $59,000

Total New Mexico Industry Savings

Enchilada Plates


Plastic Ban

  • Total emails and contacts made to ABQ City Councilors and ABQ Mayor: 1,623
  • Total number of advocates: 158
  • Total number of ABQ City Councilor 1:1 visits: 7

Outcome: Albuquerque City carved restaurants out of the ban completely. Bernalillo County passed the ban on restaurants in the unincorporated areas of Bernalillo County.

Las Cruces

Plastic Ban

  • Met with all 6 Las Cruces City Council members and the City of Las Cruces Sustainability Committee to exempt restaurants from a plastic ban to exempt restaurants.
  • Total number of Las Cruces City Councilor meetings: 7

Outcome: Ordinance has not been scheduled at LC City Council

Bernalillo County

Sick Leave Ordinance

  • Total number of contacts made to Bernalillo County Commissioners: 628
  • Total number of advocates: 230

Outcome: Ordinance passed to be implemented in unincorporated areas only to begin January of 2020.



  • Total number meetings to date: 4
  • We met with Congressional members Lujan, Halaand, and Torres-Small .
  • Total number of restaurants visiting with public officials for these meetings: 9
  • We met with U.S. Senator Heinrich in early October.
  • Total number of restaurants visited with Senator Heinrich: 3



  • We met with Mayor Keller at a member restaurant with 6 restaurant owners for lunch to discuss local issues and to discuss possible solutions.
  • We met with all 9 members of the Albuquerque City Council with 2 restaurant owners and a restaurant purveyor at each meeting.
  • Hosted a Town Hall meeting with City of Albuquerque CAO, Sarita Nair, with over 16 restaurant owners and operators to discuss crime issues plaguing Albuquerque. 


NMRA 5 Year Strategic Plan

Setting the Table for our Member’s Success