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Operations and Washington DC

Rossman Hurt Hoffman, Inc. Insurance
Do You Have All The Coverage You Need? Your restaurant insurance policy includes hundreds of pages of coverages, exclusions and endorsements. Unless you’re an insurance expert, it can be tough to know which ones are most important for your business. With the Restaurant Insurance Package, everyone is aware of their required property, general liability, crime and spoilage coverage. Here are some additional coverages that restaurateurs often overlook: What Other Types of Insurance Do I Need? General Liability and Property Insurance typically only cover the basics, but most restaurants...
Foodem
Baltimore, MD -  April 30, 2014 - Foodem, an innovative B2B online food procurement marketplace and business intelligence solution for the $650 billion U.S. wholesale food distribution industry, and the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington (RAMW), are pleased to announce the establishment of their new strategic partnership. Launched in late 2013, Foodem facilitates relationships, automates foodservice procurement processes and connects wholesale food buyers with small to mid-sized food distributors, local farms and specialty food manufacturers. The new partnership with RAMW...
Updates on the Green Dot Money Pack/Pepco Scam RAMW has been in touch with Pepco and they are aware of the Green Dot Scam.  If you receive a call from a person claiming to be from Pepco or any other service provider it is important that you: take precautions to verify the person is affiliated with the company, especially if that person is requesting an immediate credit card or cash payment.  Pepco will never ask a customer to provide a specific form of payment and always offers customers multiple payment options. ask for official photo identification from any person who shows...
Cohn Reznick
In the restaurant industry, success depends on a strong brand concept that is successfully executed, tightly managed for profitability, and delivers a consistent customer experience. The challenge facing the leaders of food and beverage operations is how to successfully align leadership, management, and staff in accomplishing these objectives. In our experience, the most successful organizations have maintained competitive advantage and realized profitable revenue growth by establishing core values that help everyone make decisions that best support the brand.   Core values are the...
Restaurants consume five to seven times more energy than other businesses. From long operating hours to energy-intensive food preparation, it’s easy to see why restaurants use such a high amount of energy. Unfortunately, this means that restaurants also waste more energy than a typical business. In fact, according to Pacific Gas and Electric, the food service industry wastes around $8 billion in energy every year. In the District, the DC Sustainable Energy Utility (DCSEU) offers rebates on everything from energy-efficient stoves and fryers to refrigeration and HVAC upgrades that can...
By Mike Conneen, WJLA7 The DC government is partnering with the local hospitality and restaurant industries to help unemployed Washingtonians get specialized job training and find work. At DC Central Kitchen, the new grant money will help expand a culinary arts program. Read More.
By Julian Hattem, The Hill The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is backing down from a fight over a contentious regulation that would have required most businesses to display posters about union rights.   Two federal appeals courts struck down the rules in separate cases last year, ruling that they amounted to an overreach from the labor rights agency. The NLRB’s last recourse to save the rules was to appeal to the Supreme Court. On Monday, it declined to take that step, effectively killing the regulations for good. Read More.    
To accommodate the new street cars, DDOT has created new loading zones in the H Street NE Corridor, effective on December 16th. The new loading zones are located on side streets along the corridor between 4th and 14th Streets NE. Commercial loading and unloading will be allowed between 7:00 am and 6:30 pm Monday through Saturday.  New signage has been posted to identify the new loading zone locations and all carriers are encouraged to begin using the new loading spaces immediately. DDOT along with DPW will be monitoring these spaces daily to ensure the loading zones are as open as...
Are your GAS and ELECTRICITY costs hurting your bottom line?  Let's see if we can help you reduce your costs, increase profits and potentially earn FREE ENERGY. As Independent Consultants with Ambit Energy, we offer you the opportunity to reduce your cost with competitive rates and potentially FREE ENERGY.  There is NO COST to taking advantage of the savings we offer.  Our goal is to help you save money and earn FREE ENERGY! For a free evaluation of how much you can save, e-mail Clayton or Alva Bourges at usave12@gmail.com.  You may also call us at 703-863-4086 or...
Today the Council of the District of Columbia passed bills increasing the minimum wage and broadening the coverage of the District’s mandatory paid sick leave law to include tipped workers. How does this affect you? The minimum wage will increase to $9.50 on July 1, 2014, $10.50 on July 1, 2015 and 11.50, July 1, 2016. On the paid sick leave revision, tipped workers who take mandatory paid leave must be paid for the missed shift at the overall minimum wage rate. Another change in the law allows all workers to access mandatory paid leave within 90 days of hiring, rather than the...
Reminder: DC restaurant operators still able to submit written statements on minimum wage, tipped minimum wage and paid sick leave exemption.   If you were unable to testify at Monday's hearing on the District's minimum wage, tipped minimum wage and paid sick leave policies, we encourage you to submit a written statement that will be made a part of the official record. The official record will remain open until close of business November 11, 2013. Copies of written statements should be submitted to the Committee on Business, Consumer, and Regulatory...
Michael Neibauer, Washington Business Journal Mayor Vincent Gray has proposed banning foam food containers in the District, citing their harmful effect on the Anacostia River. The measure is part of a package of bills Gray recently submitted to the D.C. Council as part of his effort to “make the District of Columbia the healthiest, greenest, and most livable city in the United States,” the mayor wrote in a letter to D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson. The legislation bans “expanded polystyrene” in food containers, plates, clamshells, hot and cold beverage...
Business owners can reduce operating costs by evaluating energy expenses. A new report, Best Practices: Electricity Procurement, discusses the major impact that electricity costs have on middle-market operating budgets. View the report for information and best practices regarding how to select the right electricity supplier, what to consider before signing a contract, and which hidden items impact your final electricity bill. You can also benchmark your energy usage and costs, and become better equipped to make smart energy-related decisions. View the report. 
Jason Dangle, Fishbowl SM3 Team It happens to every restaurant at some point. A bad day has led to a displeased guest. In the old days, you might have to deal with negative word of mouth. But, with the rise of websites like Yelp, a bad review can have a boomerang effect, impacting the bottom line of a restaurant substantially over time. Fishbowl’s SM3 team works with restaurants every day to alleviate the damage a bad review can create. Over time, they’ve developed a system of best practices to give you the confidence to deal with harsh criticism. We sat down with SM3...
Tony Ventre, Heartland Restaurant Solutions Insights For restaurateurs, mobile payment acceptance solutions are giving new meaning to the saying “think outside the box.”  By transforming smartphones and tablets into mobile point-of-sale systems and providing the freedom to accept credit/debit/gift card payments from anywhere at any time, mobile payments enable you to take your business beyond your four walls. With the use of mobile payments, many restaurateurs are taking advantage of untapped sales opportunities. Consider utilizing mobile technology to facilitate...
Julie Jargon, Wall Street Journal Gratuities Added for Larger Groups Will Be Taxed as Service Charges   An updated tax rule is causing restaurants to rethink the practice of adding automatic tips to the tabs of large parties. Starting in January, the Internal Revenue Service will begin classifying those automatic gratuities as service charges—which it treats as regular wages, subject to payroll tax withholding—instead of tips, which restaurants leave up to the employees to report as income. The change would mean more paperwork and added costs for the restaurants—...
August 28, 2013 (Washington, DC) - In a press release distributed this morning, the District's Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA) unveiled a new alcoholic beverage warning sign that will be posted in approximately 1,800 ABC licensed establishments in the District. Licensees are required to post the new sign in a conspicuous place on the licensed premises by Wednesday, Nov. 27. The new sign allows ABRA to address several warnings and requirements for consuming alcoholic beverages in one posted notice and will also reduce the number of notices an ABC establishment is...
When Is a Tip Just a Tip?                                                                                    Tipping in the hospitality industry is considered the normal course of business.  However, the IRS considers tipping, in certain situations, to be taxed differently through payroll.  Employers in this industry now need to be diligent in their recordkeeping.  ...
By J.D. Harrison , Washington Post, Capital BusinessSeptember 17, 2012Washington’s food truck owners will soon operate under an improved tax system, but they are still waiting for the city to approve additional changes to long-standing regulations they say were meant for old-fashioned ice cream trucks and make life unnecessarily complicated for today’s mobile vendors.Starting next month, food trucks will charge and file the same 10 percent sales tax as their brick-and-mortar counterparts, a popular alternative to the current system, by which licensed vendors on every truck pay a...
Comment period onvending regulations ends: Businesses, including restaurants, raise serious andsubstantive concerns about proposed regulations WASHINGTON, DC (March 1,2012) – Today marked the end of a nearly 6 week period during which theDepartment of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) accepted commentsconcerning proposed regulations to govern vending, including food trucks, inthe District of Columbia. Over 70 restaurant operators employing over 6,500area residents expressed concerns about the proposed regulations, principallyabout a provision that allows food trucks to operate...
Food Trucks In Other CitiesFebruary 8, 2012 Below are interesting pieces from other cities. Thearticle from Austin is particularly interesting in that, even with restrictionsagainst trucks in CBDs and elsewhere, they were looking to have over 1,600trucks by the end of 2011. Austin is a little bigger than DC but not by much,so the continued and growing popularity of the trucks says a lot about sensiblepublic space management not hampering their business. CURRENT FOOD TRUCK VENDING REGULATIONS Baltimore1.)  No food truckvending is allowed within the "downtown area,...
2011 DC Sales Tax law change notices effective October 1, 2011 Please click links below for important tax law changes: Security Services • Cigarettes • Parking • Alcoholic Beverages    
New Disorderly Conduct Law Includes Noise Violation The new disorderly conduct law passed by the DC Council in December became effective citywide at midnight on February 1, 2011.  This includes the new "Noise at Night" violation that has been mentioned in the media.  While MPD will continue to work with individuals and communities to appropriately balance the rights of each, the new law makes it clear that a person who makes an unreasonably loud noise between 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. that is likely to annoy or disturb one or more other persons in their residences is...
 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 File
 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....

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