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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.

Reopening, Short Term Wins & Longer Term Relief

May 26, 2020
Dear Operator, Heading into this week I know you all have your heads in reopening as most of the Metro Area moves into phase/stage one at the end of the week or early next week. That transition is equal parts a welcome relief and a new and difficult challenge for those who are choosing to utilize available outdoor space. On Friday, we tackled many of your issues on DC’s reopening and shared resources and tools ( see here ) as you plan for these upcoming transitions. Today, Mayor Bowser gave a situational update and indicated that reopening in Stage 1 is still slated for this Friday May...

Additional Guidance, Resources, and Checklists for ReOpening

May 22, 2020
Dear Operator, We all know that there was no handbook for Coronavirus, no roadmap for dealing with the wreckage it has caused, and we have all been reinventing the wheel every week for 10 weeks now to innovate, create, manage, and provide support for one another. Reopening is and will be just as challenging as closing or modifying was in March. I know many of you are concerned about areas of the restaurant portion of DC’s reopening plan, as was expected. It’s important to stress here that the guidance that was shared by Mayor Bowser on Thursday is merely that, guidance as DC tries...

DC Reopening Updates, PPP and more 5/21

May 21, 2020
Dear Operator, On Thursday 5/21 in DC, Mayor Bowser shared the official reopening recommendations from the ReOpen DC Committee that outlines what the stages/phases of reopening will look like, and stated that barring any spikes DC could begin a phased reopening on Friday, May 29th. We continue to meet outlined markers and are 11-days into a 14-day decline that is required before entering Stage One. Stage One will look similar to how you are currently operating with outdoor on-premise dining permitted with physical distancing and safeguards. Safeguards are defined as: physical distancing of at...

Quick Updates on PPP, DC Legislative Session

May 18, 2020
Good Afternoon Operator, We have received some additional PPP guidance from the SBA which released its first public version of the PPP Loan Forgiveness Application. Click here for the application and instructions. REMINDER: Today is the deadline for you to return PPP funds, if you decided PPP is not right for you. The application provides us with much clearer guidance on what supporting documents to gather as well as draft calculation forms to show the forgiveness calculations. The PPP Loan Forgiveness Application was not expected to codify major changes to the PPP forgiveness calculations or...

DC Legislation Clarifications

May 18, 2020
Dear DC Operator, As we head into the weekend, I wanted to remind you of specific relief that was passed and signed into law by Mayor Bowser earlier this week. This is relief that your restaurant or operation can take advantage of RIGHT NOW. Below is a breakdown of what is in effect with applicable amendments made by ABRA. Cap on Third-Party Delivery Fees: Commissions payable to third-party delivery companies are limited to 15% during Mayor’s Public Health Emergency, which is currently set to expire on June 8th. We are working to extend this beyond the Public Health Emergency to allow...

Northern VA and MD Reopening, DC Microgrant Updates 5/12

May 12, 2020
Dear Operator, Today, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam issued Executive Order Sixty-Two, ordering specific localities in Northern Virginia to delay entering Phase One of reopening until May 28th. Executive Order Sixty-Two requires the counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William; the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Manassas, and Manassas Park; and the towns of Dumfries, Herndon, Leesburg, and Vienna (Northern Virginia Region) to remain in Phase Zero, as requested by officials in those localities, which mean businesses must continue with current status of operations...

FDA Best Practices for Re-Opening Retail Food Establishments During the COVID-19 Pandemic

May 12, 2020
FDA is providing a food safety re-opening checklist for previously closed retail food establishments or those that have been open with limited service related to the COVID-19 pandemic. This checklist addresses key food safety practices for retail food establishments to consider when re-opening and restarting operations. This is not a comprehensive list. We encourage retail food establishments to partner with local regulatory/health authorities to discuss the specific requirements for their retail food establishment prior to re-opening. Facility Operations Are signs posted on how to stop the...

Regional Reopening Updates 5/11

May 11, 2020
Dear Operator, I hope you had a nice Mother’s Day weekend and were able to take time to pause and recognize the important people in your life. Reopening discussions are going strong across the region, and today we have more clarity about what is happening in Northern Virginia and updates for DC. In Virginia , Governor Northam said in a press conference today that while reopening plans are moving forward for most of the state to enter Phase 1 this Friday, May 15th, Northern Virginia will likely delay reopening. This is based on conversations the Governor had directly with Mayors and...

DC DOH, Virginia, and Industry Marketing Plans 5/8

May 11, 2020
Dear Operator, I hope you made it through the week feeling positive as progress on reopening is on the horizon and we gain more clarity each day on next steps. Many of you have asked for more information on protocol regarding employee and customer exposure to COVID-19. We are in touch daily with the DC Department of Health and are awaiting and expecting industry-specific guidance that they are developing this weekend to provide operators with critical information as we enter reopening in the future. We are hoping to send the step-by-step guidance no later than close of business on Monday. In...

Local Updates: DC, MD & VA 5/7

May 7, 2020
We want to touch base and share some quick updates and clarifications with you based on regional news and questions we have received from you.