You are here


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.

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

Accrued Sick and Safe Leave Act in Effect

November 14, 2008
The Accrued Sick and Safe Leave Act (ASSLA) became effective November 13, 2008. The act requires all employers to provide paid sick leave to eligible employees working in the District for absences related to physical or mental illness, preventive medical care or family care, and for absences associated with domestic violence or sexual abuse. Employers must provide the following sick days to their full-time employees: 7 days of paid leave a year from an employer with 100 or more employees 5 days of paid leave a year from an employer with 25 to 99 employees 3 days of paid leave a year from an...Read more

Loudoun County Says NO to Meals Tax

November 5, 2008
Meals tax cooked, school bonds pass By Elizabeth Coe Source: Loudoun Times-Mirror TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 4 2008 Voters in Loudoun County overwhelmingly turned down the proposed meals tax Nov. 4, which would have added asmall tax to food and beverages in restaurants and prepared, ready-to-serve foods in grocery stores. Only about 29 percent of voters in the county voted "yes" to the tax. Several groups had come out against the tax, proposed by the Board of Supervisors to help fund new school construction. If passed, the meals tax could have raised $13 million annually. Such a tax already...Read more

DCEZ Tax Incentives Available

October 2, 2008
We are pleased to inform you that District of Columbia Enterprise Zone (DCEZ) Tax Incentives are available once again to private for-profit businesses located in, or doing business within, the DCEZ. Last week, President Bush signed into law legislation that, among other things, extends the DCEZ designation through December 31, 2009. The narrowing of opportunities within the capital and debt markets today make these incentives more important than ever before. For example: If your pending or planned capital project is situated within the zone, you seriously should consider lowering your...Read more

Stop Loudoun County HospiTAXity

September 15, 2008
Stop Loudoun County HospiTAXity Vote NO November 4th on this Unfair Grab at Your Food and Beverage Dollars Through Restaurants and Prepared Food Outlets Did you know that upwards of 27% of your restaurant tab goes to government coffers? (And you thought you were just paying for a burger and fries.) Think a tax like this doesn’t really affect the restaurant – hey, it’s just a pipeline from your pocket to the county’s pocket. Think again. Whether it’s the price of the burger or another new tax, your dinner is going to cost more as it’s taking a bigger bite...Read more


May 28, 2008
PCI Compliance What is PCI? In 2004 from the efforts of Visa and Mastercard ® to create common industry security requirements, the industry standard known as PCI (Payment Card Industry) was instituted to help protect cardholder data from getting into the wrong hands . Who regulates the standards? The five major credit card brands (Visa International, MasterCard Worldwine, American Express, Discover Financial Services and JCB) collaborated to form the PCI Standards Council as an independent body to oversee the development of the PCI data secutiry standard. What is the PCI Data Security...Read more

Hopes for Public Smoking Ban Are Snuffed Out

February 14, 2008
Hopes for Public Smoking Ban Are Snuffed Out By Anita Kumar Washington Post Staff Writer Friday, February 15, 2008; B05 RICHMOND, Feb. 14 -- The Virginia House of Delegates defeated several proposals Thursday to prohibit smoking in restaurants, stores, offices and other public places, effectively killing all anti-smoking legislation for this year's General Assembly session. For the fourth year in a row, the Republican-controlled House killed a smoking ban in the state, where tobacco farming and cigarette manufacturing have been integral to the economy. The District and more than 20 states...Read more