Andelman shares thoughts with Corridor Nine members
By Bonnie Adams, Government Editor
Westborough – Dave Andelman is probably best known as the popular host of the television restaurant review show, the Phantom Gourmet. He is also now a radio talk show host on 96.9 FM. Andelman is not shy about sharing his opinions on anything including the state of the commonwealth’s economy, its legislative leaders, and what should be done to improve the state’s business culture. At the Aug. 16 Corridor Nine Area Chamber of Commerce breakfast, he shared some of his thoughts with the approximately 160 members in attendance.
For the past 20 years, Andelman has been the CEO of the Phantom Gourmet, Inc., which not only reviews restaurants but also produces a number of food festivals and events each year. He also has an M.B.A. and J.D., which he earned at the same time while attending Northeastern University.
As a successful business leader, he has also been instrumental in establishing the Restaurant and Business Alliance (RABA), which lobbies local government to change laws that the group feels unfairly impacts restaurants and businesses. One change RABA is credited with, Andelman said, is legislature that now allows restaurants to serve alcohol starting at 10 a.m. on Sundays instead of at noon. The group also got legislation repealed that banned educational dinners for doctors with pharmaceutical companies.
Promoting small businesses is a cause he is passionate about, Andelman said.
“People who operate businesses are my heroes,” he added. “And small business is the key to America’s success. Every decision [government makes] should be about job creation. “
Until there is a concerted effort to focus on creating at least 500,000 jobs a month nation-wide, the economy will continue to be weak, he said. He also implored the banking officials in the room to “start lending again.”
Andelman also had scathing words about online restaurant review sites, particularly Yelp and Chowhound. Many times, he said, those who post on those sites have not even been into an establishment but rather just take the opportunity to unfairly bash it instead.
He is not a big fan of food trucks because as he noted, the food is often cooked in other cities and then the trucks come to Boston, undercutting the local restaurants.
He also noted that although he is not against casinos, he feels the state’s officials did not handle the process correctly.
“I think there should only be one and that Suffolk Downs is the most logical property,” he said. “Having more than that is going to have a negative impact on local restaurants.”
In spite of his strong opinions, he is not at all interested, he said, in running for office anytime soon.
“It’s flattering,” he said of the suggestion that he consider doing so, “but I don’t enjoy being at the State House!”
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