I've got friends in the industry, and from what I've heard restaurants are some of the hardest small businesses to run successfully. That said, it's still pretty sad that the United States Senate couldn't even keep their cafeteria in the black. There really is no such thing as a free lunch, but through privatization the Senate might at least get cheap, high-quality food.

Year after year, decade upon decade, the U.S. Senate's network of restaurants has lost staggering amounts of money -- more than $18 million since 1993, according to one report, and an estimated $2 million this year alone, according to another.

The financial condition of the world's most exclusive dining hall and its affiliated Capitol Hill restaurants, cafeterias and coffee shops has become so dire that, without a $250,000 subsidy from taxpayers, the Senate won't make payroll next month.

The embarrassment of the Senate food service struggling like some neighborhood pizza joint has quietly sparked change previously unthinkable for Democrats. Last week, in a late-night voice vote, the Senate agreed to privatize the operation of its food service, a decision that would, for the first time, put it under the control of a contractor and all but guarantee lower wages and benefits for the outfit's new hires. ...

"It's so bad that the Senate hasn't yet figured out that House 'Taco Salad Wednesday' trumps any type of entree they have to offer," said Ron Bonjean, a former press secretary to both the House speaker and the Senate Republican leader.

But don't worry! The government will do a great job running our socialized health care system.

(HT: The Pirate.)

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