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URGENT UPDATES on Restaurant Operations

March 16, 2020

A Note from the Desk of RAMW's President & CEO, Kathy E. Hollinger

Dear RAMW Members,

I am beyond proud of the resilience of our industry. As you are all very aware, everything has been turned upside down, and this is a quickly evolving situation. This does not take away from the fact that we are a community of small businesses that through the years have successfully adapted to changing times. We are impressed with your agility during this current situation, as you put in place rapid changes that are necessary in order to put the public health of your staff, diners, friends and family first.

Although we are still only under advisory across the region, we want you to be prepared for what has already happened in MD, and will likely come our way in DC, in the form of mandates later today. We want you to be in the best position to adapt very quickly.

Later today, DC may consider a mandate that restaurants can no longer seat guests and must change to a take-out/to-go and delivery service only. We do not have an effective time as of yet, but you should be planning right now for how you will handle this change.

Effective 5pm today, Governor Hogan enacted an Executive Order that shuts down all bars, restaurants, movie theaters and gyms in Maryland. Take-out, delivery and carry out are still available.

Based on what is happening in the region, it is likely Virginia will follow suit regarding restrictions on dine in service although it is unknown at this time.

With the General Assembly out of session, the Governor has some discretionary authority to make changes to state spending, and can make amendments to the budget at the reconvene session, or separate stand alone legislation, which could be considered at a stand alone session. We will keep you posted as relief conversations take place.

As you alter your operations to halt on-premise dining service entirely, or to keep delivery, curbside pick-up, or take-out, we are collecting those updates. Please click here to tell us what you are doing. The full information about what our industry is doing is critical for regional officials and it will be part of a bigger effort region-wide to market  “grab & go options from the region’s best restaurants” to the media and our consumer dining list.

CLICK HERE to tell us if you will continue with take-out/delivery or if you are closed or closing operations all together.

As an association we are focused on protecting restaurant operators during this incredible time for you as a business owner, and we have also heard from so many of you about your concerns rooted in your employees. There are some local grassroots efforts to help workers, as you may have seen.

We are collaborating with Hook Hall Helps who are helping to ensure that workers have access to to-go meals and supplies. We started a Worker Relief Fund as well that has raised $14,000+ in 48 hours. First and foremost, we needed to just act on something quickly. This will be used first to ensure that people get supplies and meals in their hands. They are now looking for restaurants who will pack to-go meals for industry in need or donate perishables if you are going to close operations. Click here for details and sign up to help.

To receive real time text message updates from RAMW, text “RAMW” to the phone number 52886 now.  If you have already signed up for this service, but have not received a confirmation text, we recommend registering by texting “RAMW” to the phone number 52886.

More to come.
And please be safe.



Kathy Hollinger | President and CEO

Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington

Webinar and Additional Resources
Missed National Restaurant Association's webinar covering ServSafe-focused information on handling coronavirus? Watch the on-demand video recording on your own time.

Coronavirus Update: Consumer Messaging, Social Media, and More
Handwashing 101
Cleaning vs. Sanitizing
DC Department of Health
Maryland Department of Health
Virginia Department of Health
Ecolab: Understanding Coronavirus