An expected 500 restaurateurs from across the country will convene in Washington, D.C., April 17-18 for the National Restaurant Association's 27th annual Public Affairs Conference.

The 2013 public affairs conference theme, "Carry the Message — America Works Here," is part of the NRA's ongoing campaign to tell the industry's story as a leading job creator to opinion leaders. The restaurant industry is the nation's second-largest private sector employer of more than 13 million individuals.

During Capitol Hill meetings, conference attendees will provide members of Congress and staff with firsthand experiences, articulating the need for pro-growth policies, including tax and immigration reforms, as well as reforms to the 2010 health care law.

The conference agenda also includes the Gala Restaurant Industry Awards Program honoring the winners of the 2013 Faces of Diversity and Restaurant Neighbor awards.

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