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Reminders, Updates, and Free PPE Kits

August 20, 2020

We know how hard you are all working to welcome and service guests and maintain safety protocols for diners and staff.  We continue to hear that mask compliance is an ongoing issue for many operators. We are here to support as you encourage your team members to always put safety first over the wants of an individual customer who may not want to follow the rules.  We also know that you want to avoid any operational consequences of having mask violators in your establishment, as a few local jurisdictions in our region impose hefty fines, license suspensions, and even shut downs for non-compliance depending on the jurisdiction. 

Safety is the most important factor here -- both in terms of health safety and physical safety for all. In all jurisdictions, if a situation arises where ANYONE in your establishment receives an aggressive and/or potentially dangerous response and requires assistance regarding a refusal to wear a mask, you should call 911 immediately. In other more general cases, here are resources you can utilize:  

  • In DC: If you are having trouble with patrons refusing to abide by the mask and social distancing rules, you can reach out to either ABRA or DOH for assistance. If you have a liquor license you can email ABRA at or call them at 202-329-6347. If you do not have a liquor license, you can contact DOH at
  • In VA: Operators can contact the VA Department of Health at 1-877-ASK-VDH3 to request assistance in the case of general mask enforcement issues. The Secretary of Commerce and Trade stated that if you ask someone to leave your property for refusal to wear a mask and they do not leave, they are then trespassing and you should involve law enforcement.
  • In MD: Governor Hogan put law enforcement in charge of any issues regarding mask enforcement. Again, call 911 if you have an escalated issue where a guest will not leave your property when asked to follow mandated guidelines.  Businesses in Montgomery County and Prince George County can also call the police non-emergency numbers. Representatives in both counties indicated to us that if a police officer is in the vicinity and not busy on another call, they will assist. Montgomery County: 301-279-8000; Prince Georges County 301-352-1200. 

In other regional news, in the District the Council is in its last week of recess before resuming for the fall, and Mayor Bowser is moving from regular press conferences to more limited announcements as may be needed and as the City continues in Phase 2 of reopening for the current period. In these somewhat quieter days, RAMW continues to shape our legislative agenda with lawmakers in DC and VA as we head into the fall with clear priorities based on your voices and ongoing needs. Just recently, we sent a letter and plea to legislators both in DC and VA where we provided a detailed update on where we are as an industry, what we have suffered, what we have lost, how we have had to minimize staffing, and what is needed from them going forward. This was a purposeful action to ask them as regional leaders to pause and be mindful as they go forward, to push relief efforts, and to minimize burdens on our industry.  As our fall agenda is finalized we will share with all of our operators across the region.  

In Virginia, the General Assembly is in a Special Session considering a limited number of legislative items introduced and assessing changes to the budget due to effects of COVID-19. Of note to our industry: 

  • Paid Sick Leave legislation failed to advance yesterday after significant concerns from the business community were raised regarding the impact of the legislation on small businesses struggling to recover. 
  • Senate Bill 5036, which removes the limitation on the number of special events a restaurant or special event licensee can hold in a year during the course of the public health emergency, was favorably received and will be on final passage tomorrow in the Senate. 
  • There has not been action yet on House Bill 5006 which we mentioned in Tuesday’s email would waive tax penalties and interest for individuals and businesses due to the Pandemic. 

A reminder for your operations and teams that instructions on What to Do If an Employee Tests Positive live on our website, as well as details on testing sites in the region and rapid testing resources. There are also links available on our resources page to assist you as you continue to need to purchase PPE items, contract cleaning services, and more resources.

Finally, our friends at Saval Foodservice have a limited number of FREE Reopening Kits still available for any restaurants interested. The first 100 restaurants to respond will receive a free gift including: 3 social distancing floor decals; 1 box of 50 masks; Reopening guide book; 1 gallon of hand sanitizer; To-go container guide book; Guidance from Saval sales reps, and consulting from Saval’s corporate chef, if requested.  Click here to enter your request form. 

Wishing you a weekend of good spirits, cooperative weather, friendly and steady patrons and Restaurant Week diners participating in the promotion on premise or to-go!  

Be safe. Be kind. Wear a Mask.