Auditors: Senate Restaurants hemorrhaging money

It’s official: Congress can’t even run a restaurant.

According to an independent audit released last week, the Senate Restaurants Revolving Fund, which includes the exclusive Senate Dining Room, operated at a loss during fiscal years 2005 and 2006, and to cover the losses, Congress just threw in some of your money.

The audit, conducted by Clifton Gunderson LLP on behalf of the Government Accountability Office, found that Congress appropriated $850,000 each of those two years to cover total operating losses of $1.7 million.

In addition, the Architect of the Capitol and the Government Printing Office provided the Senate Restaurants with equipment worth over $320,000, and “other support services, such as space and utilities, the value of which cannot be readily determined,” according to the GAO report (PDF).

The Senate Dining Room is billed as Washington’s most exclusive restaurant, where the food, “exact to a fault” as one review has it, takes a back seat to overhearing what Washington’s top power brokers are up to, according to another restaurant reviewer. The prices charged, however, were “dirt cheap by local restaurant standards,” the unnamed reviewer wrote, while the five-star executive chef trained at some of the fancier restaurants in the world before coming to the Senate Dining Room, talks about his standards for “quality and service.”

And even though your tax dollars are covering the persistent losses of this operation, you can’t dine there without a letter from your senator.

In addition to the Senate Dining Room, the Senate Restaurants Revolving Fund also includes five dining areas open to the public, as well as catering services.

One thought on “Auditors: Senate Restaurants hemorrhaging money

  • October 14, 2007 at 7:28 am

    Hey Michael Hampton F U–. what’s your point? Anyone can regurgitate public domain information. And you other posters don’t have a clue what you are talking about. First and foremost the Senate Restaurant is the only operation on the hill that is required to run a Profit and Loss statement. Do you think for a second that the gift shops and the stationary stores run by the Secretary of the Senate which are all over Capitol Hill are profitable? Hell NO, they just don’t have to make their reports public. The revolving fund or the correct name – Appropriated Funds that everyone who knows nothing here talks about is no different than what the Senator’s, Congressmen and support offices also use to staff their offices. Those numbers are also public info, why are you not “up in arms” about those numbers which would dwarf any losses posted by the Restaurants. The Senate Restaurant losses are peanuts, miniscule if compared to what is wasted in other areas of the government!!! Yes the Senate Restaurant IS a service but trying very hard to be a business. There are may things that the common “Restaurant Owner Wanna Be” can and does criticize the Senate Restaurants for but they don’t know the inner working (politics) of how the restaurants are managed. There are many very competent people at the helm doing the day to day “due diligence” but have many challenges that free standing, non government operations don’t have. So until you have ALL OF THE FACTS stop posting this bullshit because believe me when I tell you this you don’t have a clue——. and neither do you other idiots who posted their opinions——

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