Employees were instructed to follow a “Standard Operating Procedure” handbook, which Washingtonian obtained, whenever Trump was dining at BLT Prime.
Even before the coronavirus pandemic, the first step involved a waiter “discreetly” offering a small bottle of Purell hand sanitizer for the former president, a self-described germaphobe.
The waiter then greeted Trump and asked if he preferred his Diet Coke with or without ice.
The third step involved the waiter presenting a polished tray with chilled bottles and glasses to be used for either of Trump’s preferences.
The waiter would then open the bottle of Diet Coke within sight of Trump.
Next, the waiter would hold a bottle opener “by the lower third” and the Diet Coke in the same position while popping the bottle open.
Once poured, the drink was then placed to the right of Trump on the dining table.
The final step? The waiter had to repeat the process until the former president left the restaurant.
While dining, Trump reportedly ate the same meal with his Diet Coke, which included popovers, shrimp cocktail, and a well-done steak. Favored dessert options, which Trump didn’t always indulge in, included an apple pie or chocolate cake.
In the Oval Office, Trump reportedly consumed a dozen Diet Cokes a day, using a red button on the Resolute desk to request the sodas.
While the BLT Prime restaurant at the Trump International Hotel in Washington DC was marketed for its upscale sensibilities, it often received spoiled produce, the steakhouse’s former executive chef told Washingtonian magazine.
With former President Donald Trump out of office and living at his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida, several employees spoke out about their experiences at the hotel.
After Bill Williamson, the executive chef of BLT Prime at the Trump International Hotel from February 2018 to March 2020, joined the restaurant, food suppliers whom he had successfully worked with in the past “were suddenly sending him rotten produce and subpar cuts of meat and fish,” according to Washingtonian.
“I guarantee someone in that warehouse picking this product saw where it was going and was like, ‘Oh, f— it, give ’em this stuff,'” Williamson said.
Former executive chef Shawn Matijevich, who worked at BLT for part of 2017 and 2018, said that a green supplier whom he used in the past stopped working with him, saying their “conscience” precluded them from servicing the hotel restaurant.
Williamson also noted that Rudy Giuliani was a frequent presence at BLT Prime and had a regular table, despite performing more work duties than perusing the restaurant menu.
“It was pretty much his office,” he told Washingtonian. “He was doing more paperwork there than eating. Some days, he’d be there all day.”
QAnon’s most dedicated followers still believe that former President Donald Trump, who lost the 2020 presidential election, is yet to be sworn in.
March 4, 2021 is a day they have marked in their diaries, insisting that is the date when Trump will be inaugurated in Washington, DC, and, ultimately, return to power.
Coincidentally, Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC is hiking up the prices of suites around that period. The hotel, just blocks away from the White House, has almost tripled the rates for some rooms on the nights of March 3 and 4, according to Forbes.
Consequently, they view every president inaugurated since as illegitimate. Members of the sovereign citizen movement believe that former President Ulysses S. Grant was the last legitimate president.
Grant, like other presidents in the 19th century, was inaugurated on March 4. The sovereign citizen movement believes that the republic will be restored and Trump will become the US’s 19th president on March 4, 2021.
This fantasy has gained traction with the hardcore of QAnon adherents attempting to make sense of President Joe Biden’s recent inauguration, according to Vice.
March 4 appears to have become a marketing opportunity for Trump’s DC hotel.
The normal rate for a deluxe king in March would usually run between $476 and $596, according to Forbes. This year, the same type of room is priced has almost tripled. On March 3 and 4, the magazine reported that the room is going for $1,331 per night.
Other luxury hotels in the White House’s vicinity appear to have standard rates for the nights of March 3 and 4, Everson said.
Trump International Hotel did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment for this story.
This would not be the first time that a Trump hotel had raised its rates to coincide with a political event.
On January 5 and 6, Trump International raised its rates significantly. The cheapest room available was $8,000 on the night of the deadly insurrection, according to Forbes’ reporter Suzanne Rowan Kelleher.
It’s not only his political career that has been hit by former president Donald Trump’s plummeting reputation. His businesses will suffer, too.
This is the view of PR expert Eric Schiffer, who told Insider that by becoming the enemy of the people, Trump will destroy any revenue potential his brand could have had. He called it a “modern-day brand suicide.”
“There will be blood against his economic possibilities,” he added.
Trump’s businesses were already struggling
Trump boasts a business empire of roughly 500 ventures, which he controls through the Trump Organization. It includes 10 hotels and 19 golf courses alongside residential buildings, resorts, and restaurants across North America, Asia, and Europe. He has also had a career on TV, earning almost $200 million for his starring role in “The Apprentice.”
But even before the tumultuous events of 2021, in which the House of Representatives impeached him over accusations that he incited a resurrection, his businesses’ revenues were already tumbling.
The Trump branding was likely detracting people from visiting the attractions, Mark Levine, former chair of the city’s parks and recreation committee, told Insider. He called the Trump Organization’s connections with the four businesses “a stain on the city.”
“I can’t tell you how many people have told me that they just can’t bear to go to Wollman Ice Rink or the Central Park Carousel because of [Trump’s] association with it,” Levine explained.
The Professional Golfer’s Association (PGA) of America canceled an event due to be held at a Trump-owned golf clubs in 2015 after the then-presidential candidate referred to Mexicans as “rapists” and people who are “bringing crime and bringing drugs.”
Then his reputation fell further
According to Schiffer, Trump already had a low reputation because of his COVID-19 mismanagement, racist comments, and baseless claims of voter fraud, thanks in part to his miscalculation that “chaos could lead to continued power.”
In the days after the Capitol siege, Trump’s reputation fell even further.
But political donations aren’t the only way companies give money to politicians. When politicians double up as businesspeople, like Trump, companies can essentially be funding them by spending money at their enterprises.
In response, companies have been cutting their business ties with Trump, too.
Trump still has a small group of dedicated supporters – but they won’t be enough to keep his businesses going. His loyalists “were not in many ways his core buyers,” Schiffer told Insider, noting that “many are not of high income.”
Members are even quitting Mar-a-Lago because it has become a sad and dispirited place since Trump moved in, according to the author of a book on the luxury Florida resort Trump bought in 1985.
Trump may be able to monetize from his MAGA crowd in other ways, Schiffer said, such as creating a blog or newsletter or holding ticketed events, but these won’t make up for the revenues lost through his hotels, restaurants, and golf clubs.
“Trump will exit the presidency with a brutal set of targets surrounding the heart of his brand, which will be a danger to his survival economically and that of his children, and likely will lead to excruciating pain of the type he has really never faced,” he added.
His political supporters will struggle, too
It’s not just Trump who will suffer economically following his COVID-19 mismanagement, election fraud misinformation, and actions in the run-up to the Capitol siege, Schiffer believes.
It’s likely his supporters from his time in office will feel the financial implications, too.
“Those individuals are going to be in crisis,” Schiffer told Insider. “There is a movement to ensure that those that were tied to Trump are suffocated economically and do not get any opportunities.”
Schiffer said: “Many mainstream employers will look at anyone who worked with Trump at the White House like they are hiring the Black death.” These employers wouldn’t allow Trump’s supporters to receive a paycheck with their brand name on, he added.
“Cutting funding hits these politicians where it hurts,” Donald Hambrick, a professor of management at Smeal College of Business, Pennsylvania State University, said. “I think senators are gonna be squirming.”