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Operations

Operating a restaurant involves a lot of moving parts – most controlled by you, but many controlled by laws, regulations, licenses and permits. Alcoholic beverages, food safety, labor practices and the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (the healthcare mandate) are significant – and then there is everything else.

Get to know the regulatory agencies that govern such things as sidewalk cafes, signage, noise, fire safety and more. And, get to know about the efforts being made by RAMW on your behalf to improve the regulatory environment.


PCI DSS - Compliance is the Key

September 28, 2010
RAMW provided to its members a special communication summary of PCI DSS. The document explains the key technology involved in payment card security, and highlights the serious risks that data breaches and PCI DSS poses for restaurants. While restaurants account for approximately 10% of Visa and MasterCard transactions, they account for the vast majority of alleged data breaches. Since 2005, the payment card industry has required all merchants - including restaurants - to comply with a technology standard to protect payment card transactions from computer hackers and electronic identity-...Read more

Credit/Debit Card Reform

August 30, 2010
Credit/Debit Card Reform On July 21, 2010, President Obama signed the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (H.R. 4173) into law. A section of the bill authorizes the Federal Reserve to issue regulations that ensure interchange fees imposed on debit card transactions are "reasonable and proportional." It will allow merchants to set minimum amounts (not to exceed $10 per transaction) for credit card usage and offer customers discounts for use of cash, checks and debit cards, directly passing on the savings to consumers. Click here for Q&A on credit/debit card reform...Read more

IRS Aims to Get More Restaurants to File Tip Form

August 2, 2010
The Internal Revenue Service has announced a new compliance initiative to increase IRS Form 8027 filings in the restaurant industry. The IRS believes many tableservice restaurants don’t file IRS Form 8027 as required. The Employer’s Annual Information Return of Tip Income and Allocated Tips must be filed with the IRS every February by employers who operate large food and beverage establishments. If you have tipped employees, take a look at Form 8027 to determine whether you must file the form. Generally, Form 8027 must be filed by food and beverage establishments that meet three...Read more

IRS Employer Tip Reporting Compliance Program

May 13, 2010
The Internal Revenue Service is starting a new compliance program to assess the employer's share of Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) taxes on tips reported on Form 4137. Employees who receive cash and charge tips of more than $20 per calendar month and do not report them have to report them on Form 4137, Social Security and Medicare Tax on Unreported Tip Income. The service will notify employers via notice and demand letter with the amount owed. The agency will ask employers to include the taxed on their next Form 91 and will not subject employers to interest or penalties if they...Read more

(HIRE) Act Employee Affidavit Released

May 13, 2010
The Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment (HIRE) Act Employee Affidavit, Form W-11 , was released April 7 by the Internal Revenue Service. The new form will help employers claim the special payroll tax exemption that applies to many newly hired workers during 2010, IRS said. The form will be used to confirm that the new hire is a qualified employee under the HIRE Act. Employers cannot claim HIRE Act benefits, including a payroll tax exemption or a new-hire retention credit, unless the employee completes and signs the affidavit or similar statement President Obama signed the HIRE Act (Pub. L...Read more

Food Prices & Credit Card Fees (Before U.S. House of Representatives)

October 15, 2009
RAMW Board Member Geoff Tracy testifies in front of the U.S. House Committee on Small Business about the impact of rising food prices on restaurants, and how Congress can help. Date: June 2008. PDF File RAMW Board Member Oren Molovinsky joins with Representative Peter Welch (D-VT) to introduce a bill that clarifies credit card interchange fees and provides retailers greater flexibility in accepting different types of cards. Date: June 2008. PDF FileRead more

Street Vendor Regulation (DC)

October 15, 2009
RAMW General Counsel Andrew Kline testifies in front of the DC Committee on Public Service and Consumer Affairs, supporting the Vending Regulation Act of 2009 but voicing concerns over certain components. Date: June 2009. Issue Status : The Act was approved by the DC City Council in July 2009. PDF FileRead more

Smoking Ban (DC)

October 15, 2009
RAMW President Lynne Breaux testifies in front of the DC Committee on Health about the positives and negatives of smoking bans, and how the restaurant market is already solving the problem through certain restaurants voluntarily going smoke-free. Date: Sep 2005. Issue Status : Effective January 2007, smoking is banned in all bars/restaurants places in DC (excepting outdoor areas). PDF File Former RAMW Chair Ron Hallagan testifies about the over-regulation of restaurants that smoking bans add to, and how such bans consistently hurt small businesses. Date: June 2005. Issue Status : See above...Read more

Recent Virginia Legislation

September 9, 2009
Below are some of the recent legislative issues in Virginia that RAMW has worked on, all of which have important implications for Northern Virginia restaurants. As always, we strive to recognize all RAMW members' concerns regarding public policy, and strongly advocate for our members' interests to public employees and elected officials. VA Smoking Ban In February 2009, the Virginia General Assembly passed a statewide ban on smoking in all restaurants and bars in Virginia ( HB 1703 ). Smoking will still be allowed on certain outdoor patios and in separate ventilated rooms. The bill went into...Read more

Minimum Wage Set to Rise

July 23, 2009
By:Jim O'Brien , O'Brien & van Stiphout LLC As Friday, July 24, 2009 the federal minimum wage will rise to $7.25 per hour. That means that DC’s minimum wage will also rise on that day to $8.25 per hour, because the DC minimum wage law requires the payment of $7 per hour, or the federal minimum wage plus $1, whichever is higher. The minimum wage in both Virginia and Maryland will rise to the federal rate, $7.25 per hour. The federal tip credit rate (also applicable in Virginia) will remain the same, $2.13 per hour. And while the tip credit rate in DC is not directly tied to the...Read more

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