Bon Appétit editor-in-chief says immigrants "make restaurants go"

Bon Appétit on immigrants

Hundreds of restaurants across the country are reopening Friday after shutting down for a “Day Without Immigrants.”

On Thursday, establishments ranging from food trucks to the most coveted high-end restaurants closed their doors for a day to protest President Trump’s immigration policies. The shutdown will undoubtedly impact their bottom line – for some, that could mean anywhere from $10,000 to $15,000 in lost revenue, according to Bon Appétit editor-in-chief Adam Rapoport.

Businesses across U.S. close for Day Without Immigrants

“If you’re going to make a statement, you have to make a sacrifice,” Rapoport told “CBS This Morning” Friday. 

Among those joining the protest was celebrity chef José Andrés, who was sued by Donald Trump during the campaign for backing out of a deal to open a restaurant in Trump’s Washington D.C. hotel, shortly after Trump referred to Mexican immigrants “rapists.” 

“That is a big statement from someone like José, who owns multiple restaurants, to shut them down,” Rapoport said. Andrés closed down all but one, “for those workers who felt like they need to work a shift or for some of his loyal customers,” Rapoport said.

But the economic costs of this one-day shutdown would not be anything close to that of President Trump’s potential immigration policies, which could impact the more than two million foreign workers – including 45 percent of chefs – in the U.S. 

“Immigrants, as you know, they are basically the backbone of the restaurant industry,” Rapoport said. “They are who are cooking your food, they’re who are clearing your table, they are who make restaurants go and without them, restaurants don’t go.”

Bon Appétit magazine is also taking a stand of its own with its March issue, which celebrates the contributions children of immigrants make to the food industry. Without them, Rapoport said, the U.S. wouldn’t be able to boast its culinary diversity.

“It’s the fabric of our food scene in America,” Rapoport said. “We have the most diverse and amazing food scene in the world… And the reason we have that diversity of food is that we have a diversity of people cooking that food. And it’s something that we, as food lovers, should celebrate”