Georgia Restaurant Association welcomes incoming president and CEO

Stephanie Fischer has spent her entire career in the hospitality industry, beginning at KFC during high school and culminating in her most recent role as the vice president of corporate operations of Paradies Lagardère Travel Retail Dining Division. (Courtesy Brandon Amato)

The Georgia Restaurant Association represents an industry compromising almost 22,000 food service and drinking establishments with total sales of more than $24.9 billion in the state of Georgia.

Stephanie Fischer is set to take over the association in January following a two-month transition period. Fischer brings more than 25 years of hospitality experience to her new role, and she said she’s excited to get out and visit restaurants all over the state to find out how to serve them best. Fischer will succeed longtime president and CEO Karen Bremer, who recently announced her retirement after 14 years with the organization and 50 years in the hospitality industry.

“My big thing is getting out and meeting our members, meeting different restaurants throughout the state, meeting our local governments throughout the state, to find out what’s going on,” said Fischer.

Bremer and Fischer said the food service industry is currently facing a number of threats, including inflation, staffing shortages and more, but it is also innovating to meet these challenges.

They both joined WABE’s “All Things Considered” to talk about what the last few years have meant for restaurants in Georgia, and what’s next for the industry.

Christopher Alston contributed to this report.