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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,...
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...
Dear Operator,  Today was a good day for restaurants in DC. The Council passed legislation that clarified the timeline, mechanism and relief tied to the Tenant Payment Plan (TPP) which requires landlords to provide payment plans for rent due during the health emergency. This will allow the payment of missed or late rent due during the health emergency to be paid within one year. This applies to all retailers plus all commercial property under 6,500 sqft. This will go into effect when the Mayor signs the legislation, and we will keep you posted on when that occurs and what you should be...
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...
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...
Good Morning Operators, We are shifting gears a bit today to discuss the first step of a multi-part consumer facing marketing campaign. As we continue to gain new insight from leaders across the region on the WHEN of reopening, we are beginning our own gradual efforts of HOW industry messaging and marketing tied to all the phases of recovery will unfold.   We’ve been mentioning this multi phase campaign to you rooted in 1) Gratitude, 2) Public Trust & Best Practices, and lastly 3) Recovery & Dining Out.  We will be kicking off Part 1 of this campaign...
Dear Operator,  As we await major changes to PPP with Congress considering the HEROES Act and a potential vote on it tomorrow as Speaker Pelosi brings the bill to the floor, there is a quick PPP update that is relevant for businesses that were approved for PPP. The Treasury Department extended the deadline for decisions to return PPP funds through Monday 5/18, from the previous deadline which was today, 5/14.  For anyone who has received a PPP loan and is still deciding if PPP is right for you, you now have several more days to review your situation and make a choice. Click here...
OPENTABLE OPERATOR INSIGHTS As restaurant doors reopen, chefs will be at the stove, people will fill tables (even if they are a few more feet apart), and community will matter more than ever. Whether you’ve been closed for weeks or offering only takeout and delivery, OpenTable is here to help you welcome back guests and rebuild your business. Set up to reopen For a successful reopening, you’ll want to make sure your books are open, your staff is ready, and guests know about your offerings and the measures you’re taking to ensure a safe dining environment. Find the...
The restaurant industry is being hit hard by COVID-19 with millions of hospitality workers out of work. OpenTable is committed to supporting the restaurant community and we recognize the road to recovery will be long and difficult. That’s why we’re excited to announce two new initiatives to help restaurants successfully reopen their businesses. First, an enhanced restaurant management platform OpenTable’s software has always enabled restaurants to connect with diners to manage reservations, prepare for shifts, and maximize table availability. During the crisis, we have...
Dear Operator,  Wednesday was a busy day in terms of reopening updates throughout the region. Leaders across Metropolitan Washington are taking a similar approach to reopening that is rooted in metrics to ensure there is not an unnecessary surge in cases once reopening phases begin.  In DC, Mayor Muriel Bowser extended the Stay at Home Order until Monday, June 8th. The Stay at Home Order was originally set to expire on Friday 5/15. This means restaurants are still only permitted to offer take out and delivery, and residents should only leave their house for essential tasks. As a...
ServSafe is committed to helping you help your members address information and training needs related to the coronavirus pandemic. Now that states are moving cautiously toward reopening businesses like restaurants and foodservice operations, we have prepared a free training video outlining the steps restaurant line level employees are encouraged to utilize in returning to full-service operations.   ServSafe Reopening Guidance: COVID-19 Precautions aligns with the content provided in the COVID-19 Reopening Guidance document created by the National Restaurant Association, ServSafe,...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
Dear Operator,  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.  Follow up on DC Emergency Legislation  As you know, the Council passed Emergency Legislation on Tuesday to provide additional protections for the small business community. The legislation has not yet been signed into law, however we expect it will be signed very soon. Once the law is signed it goes into effect with the expectation that third party delivery companies are complying with the mandated cap.  Once it...
Dear Operator,  On May 5th, the DC Council passed emergency legislation that provides additional relief for our industry. We have been working closely with the Council to help ensure the continued support of the unique needs of our industry happen. Yesterday, I shared a breakdown of what we thought would be included in the bill, and below is a breakdown of what passed today.  What was passed is similar to what we previously shared with a big exception on Business Interruption Insurance. Unfortunately, the Council did not include extending Business Interruption Insurance to cover...
Hello Virginia Restaurants,  Today, Governor Northam announced during his press conference that Virginia will likely enter Phase One of reopening on Friday, May 15th.  Phase One will include reopening of restaurants for on premise dining in some form next Friday and state authorities will issue additional guidance for the restaurant industry, which we expect by mid week. Northam indicated during the press conference that restaurants will use less of their seating to spread people out more, however, it is not clear if restaurants will be subject to the ten or less guidance. He also...
Dear Operator,  I hope you found a few moments of sunshine this weekend as we are entering yet another busy week, as Governor Northam is likely to address Virginia’s reopening plan as early as today.  We are hard at work on DC’s Reopening plan, and hosted an industry specific call yesterday where we were joined by more than 100 DC operators. We hope to submit a draft plan to Mayor Bowser on May 11th that will be based on recommendations from you, our local industry, regional leaders, and health and safety experts.  Today, I am pleased to start the day off with...
First virtual RAMMYS Nominations Announcement celebrated resilient industry and awards finalists. Washington, DC (May 4, 2020)—Industry professionals and their fans tuned in online this afternoon as Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington (RAMW) announced finalists for the 2020 RAMMY Awards, the winners of which will be announced later this year. The new format was created to provide a welcome moment of celebration and positivity for its irrepressibly strong and community-minded industry. Any RAMW member who met all category requirements was eligible for...
We have heard from many of you who are seeking suppliers for PPE items such as masks and gloves, as well as cleaning supplies like disinfectant and hand sanitizer.  In response, we collected information from local purveyors in our community to provide you with information and contacts to assist you in purchasing these items.  Acme Paper and Supply Co.: Face Masks: Stocking face masks, both 3 ply FDA approved facemasks and FDA approved KN95 masks. They encourage restaurants within close proximity to consider splitting a case, if possible, to lower cost. RAMW can assist in this...
Dear Operator,  I hope you are all staying steady as we round the next corners of this rollercoaster.   As you continue to try to put your arms around PPP, our friends at CPA Eats are working through planning scenarios that may be helpful for all of you as you try to make insightful decisions. Matt Hetrick will be hosting daily Zoom meetings next week on how to best protect your business, whether or not you’ve secured a PPP Loan, as well as thoughts on how to spend the money more efficiently.  These sessions will happen all of next week, beginning Monday, May 4....
Dear Restaurant Operators, During this COVID-19 pandemic, we are diligently working to share helpful resources and opportunities that are available to you as you navigate through this crisis. RAMW was recently contacted by WHUR Radio about a special promotion they are offering to local restaurants. WHUR recognizes this is a time to give back to our small businesses and communities that we serve. As a result, they have created the "Open for Business" on-air promo that will highlight local restaurant businesses.  The purpose of this program is to help elevate and...
As we all work to stop the spread of COVID-19, OpenTable has teamed up with participating grocery stores and markets to help limit the number of people who enter at a time and reduce crowds and wait times for shoppers. Just as people can make a restaurant reservation or join a waitlist, they will now be able to reserve shopping times or join a virtual line in the OpenTable app. It works in two ways: Reserved shopping times: Just like reserving a table at a restaurant, you can reserve a time to enter a store. Online waitlists: If you haven’t pre-reserved,...

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