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Reopening Protocol and Information Needed

April 20, 2020

Dear Operator,

I hope you took a little time over the weekend to breathe in Spring.  We are all grateful for you as you continue to work hard, lead your teams, and bring needed joy and sustenance to those ordering your delicious meals and goods for takeout and delivery.

As you might imagine, we are being pulled into countless conversations with leaders around the country about what the reopening of restaurants, retail and business in general may look like.  There are a lot of conversations with other states as they coordinate in state clusters with state governors as to what a phased-in re-opening would consist of.  

And yes, while it is valuable to be a part of the conversations nationally, our priority and efforts are focused on what will work here in our region, understanding that coordination with our neighboring states will be imperative.  Therefore, in talking with officials in DC, MD and VA, we are looking to all of you as we seek industry specific insight about the business impact of possible phased-in requirements and practices.   

Ultimately it will be our national, regional and local health authorities dictating the when, what, and how of phased-in protocol requirements, however, they are also looking to industries like ours to best understand what considerations should be included as businesses enter restrictive, graduated and eased-in operating models in taking steps towards normal operating practices.  

While we as industry representatives give insight, we have to remember the distinction between what a restaurant may think is a functional operational model versus what the public health phase-in may actually look like.   It’s possible that while certain non-negotiable protocols may be required due to public health safety, they may be inconsistent with what you as an operator may need to be able to fully open your doors any further than what is mandated currently, at least at first. 

Our goal here is to capture as much of your input and data as possible as we come to the table to help develop guidelines with leaders, and to ensure industry input is considered.


  1. First, we need your input via this very important survey, regarding reopening. 
  2. With your insight, we will develop a blueprint for consideration by regional leaders. 
  3. We will share this blueprint with you once all insights are collected to ensure concerns are addressed.  

Additionally, we are having larger conversations on a local, regional and national level to create and plan for recovery marketing programs that we know will be needed as we move into next phases, outside of business protocol needed for recovery. These programs and campaigns will be free and available to all operators to plug into and will be rooted in three parts.

A “Thank You to Our Loyal Diners campaign” designed to THANK diners for their support during a very difficult time.

A “Safety Practices and Protocols Campaign” designed to help our industry build public trust and to share operational practices rooted in safety and health protocol. 

A “Recovery and Dine Out” campaign designed to push butts-in-seats programming at the appropriate time.  

All of the efforts mentioned here will be key areas needed in recovery.  We will be in touch with further details on the reopening blueprint as well as information on the recovery marketing programming when we have more to share.  Please take the survey, which is critical to our next steps as an industry. 

Thank you.