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Operations and Virginia

Focus on cleanliness, good hygiene practices to prep your restaurant for an A+ By Kristin Dempsey Heading up a restaurant means there is an endless list of things you need to get ready for each and every day. In the hustle and bustle of the daily lunch rush or the late-night crowd, it’s easy to push one of the most important items farther and farther down the “to do” list: Get ready for the next health inspection. You don’t want to be left scrambling to make sure everything is up to code right before an expected visit – which you can’t predict anyway....
WATCH: Nizam Ali of Ben's Chili Bowl talks about healthcare solutions for restaurants and small businesses. "It's not a business decision, it's just the right decision."  Video Link: Nizam, Ben's Chili Bowl
Restaurant professionals agree: Hard work and a smile can carry a restaurateur from hand towels and busing to handshakes and board rooms. Find out how eight industry leaders from Washington, D.C., turned their first jobs into their life’s work.  Read more
Pub crawls, the wildly popular events that encourage people to travel from bar to bar for drink specials, will not be banned in Arlington County’s retail corridors as a result of a vote by the County Board to scrutinize them more carefully. But those who sponsor the events soon will have to start picking up the tab for police and cleanup crews, which some bar owners and promoters say could kill the crawls nonetheless. County Board members, while loath to discourage the free-spending young adult demographic, voted unanimously Saturday to make organizers of pub crawls pay costs...
The 2014 RAMMY Awards
Washington, DC (May 12, 2014)—On May 8, Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington (RAMW) brought together over 80 leaders from the region’s foodservice and business communities for a conversation about the state of the industry in the nation’s capital. The discussion, moderated by Bret Thorn, Senior Food Editor of Nation’s Restaurant News, offered insights into operator success in an ever more competitive market.  Panelists included 2014 RAMMY Awards nominees for Service Program of the Year including Adam Sanders (General Manager, BLT Steak), Joseph Cerione...
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...
Ballston Restaurant Challenge
The Ballston Business Improvement District (BID) has launched the next level of its campaign to showcase Ballston as the ideal place to start up and grow a business. With Top Chef Mike Isabella, a DC chef and restaurateur, at the helm of this new campaign, the Ballston BID is thrilled to begin the search for Ballston’s next big restaurateur. What you when you win: a lease with first year free, below market rates after and a $245,000 interest free loan. Brookfield Office Properties, which owns building space Ballston, has offered to donate a year of free restaurant space and a fully...
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.    
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...
What would you do if someone who had been drinking excessively picked up their car keys and headed for the door? If you are a good bystander, you would intervene to help the person get home safely without risking injury to self or others. Cities and states, colleges and branches of the military are using that same bystander approach to prevent sexual assault: teaching professionals and friends how to offer assistance and intervene to prevent alcohol-facilitated sexual assault. In Arlington County, police are seeing an increase in reports of alcohol-facilitated sexual assaults of young...
Every restaurant could use a break. Cook one up for your restaurant in the form of a Washington Gas rebate. The Washington Gas Energy Efficiency Program is offering restaurants in Virginia substantial rebates on select natural gas products. Products include ovens, steam cookers, water heaters, programmable thermostats, infrared heaters and more. These rebates are only available for a limited time. Product installations must be performed by a licensed contractor before April 30, 2014.  A full list of eligible products, corresponding rebates and more details are available at ...
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—...
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.  ...
The Washington Post Arlington County Board dives into work for 2012By Patricia Sullivan, Published: January 2While most of the Washington area did whatever it does on a day when nearly everything is closed, the Arlington County Board claimed bragging rights Monday as the first local government to get to work in 2012.It’s a tradition fulfilled by appointments, calendar-setting and speeches. In the hour-long meeting at the noticeably empty county building, all four board members took advantage, touting the virtues of the urban-suburban county, from affordable housing to free mulch...
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....
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...
Stop Loudoun County HospiTAXityVote NO November 4th on thisUnfair Grab at Your Food and Beverage DollarsThrough Restaurants and Prepared Food OutletsDid 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...
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...

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