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Operations and Washington DC

With the start of each new week, we can hardly believe what we all have persevered through, and what has been accomplished on so many fronts to get to the next week, month, and stage of these unexpected times. We are 146 days into this, which no one could have imagined would be the case, and your steadfastness and creativity are what keep this industry going.  Numbers across the region are staying steady, and while that is good news, it is important that you continue to remain vigilant, aware, mask up, sanitize, and keep these focused efforts going in your operations, with your teams,...
We know you all treaded lightly this week and assessed service options waiting for any updates on operational allowances, and we are relieved that officials across the region were all on the same page in terms of not dialing back in this region at this time. As of now, DC and MD have not dialed back at all and VA only saw a dial back for the specific region of Hampton Roads, as we shared earlier in the week. This is positive news as leaders are watching cases very closely, and do not feel that current status, though continuously focused on health and safety, warrants any changes at this time...
In Virginia, Governor Northam announced that he is issuing a new Executive Order that only impacts the Hampton Roads area that places additional restrictions on their operating abilities. This dialing back was expected as cases have increased significantly and caused concern in that region. This EO requires all restaurants in that area only to stop selling alcohol at 10pm and close at midnight, reduces indoor dining to 50% capacity and limits public and private gathering to 50 people. The Governor did state that if cases rise throughout the state or in other jurisdictions he will take steps...
Leaders from across the region have been keeping a close eye on the public health data. If numbers don’t come down in the next several days, we may need to take appropriate dial back steps to manage the spread of the virus.  It pains me to think about what each of you have had to do to prepare for any stage of reopening. However, it is important that you consider the same steps in the event that we hear later this week that we may in fact need to dial back.   We know it is rare to ever have the luxury of time to plan for much in our industry, however I do encourage you...
Today marks the long awaited opening day for our World Series Champs, The Nationals, where they will kick off their season at Nationals Park against the NY Yankees. While it just won’t be the same, it will hopefully be a tiny moment of joy in your day and will encourage folks to dine outside, indoors, or grab takeout to bring home and watch the game to root on the Nats. We are hopeful this day can serve as a sign for good days ahead as we move through these layered challenging times.   In DC, to encourage public health and safety and ensure we keep moving forward, Mayor...
As you are well aware, we are in the middle of a heat wave with temperatures above 95, and there have been heat advisories across the region. As many of you continue to rely on outdoor dining, we understand that these extreme temperatures have been difficult for your restaurant.  We will continue to keep you updated on safe practices as these heat advisories are in effect. In Maryland, top health officials in jurisdictions across the state, including Montgomery County and Prince George's County, have asked the Governor to consider reimposing limits to combat rising cases, such as:...
Each week, the RAMW team aims to provide you with relevant and timely updates as you navigate the current business climate. Today, we are sharing new training options for you, as well as sharing important updates from Virginia and DC.  You are all operating daily in what is an ever evolving situation, and what is clear is that staying up to date on health and safety measures is a critical step in protecting your employees and customers. ServSafe has been at the forefront of preparing restaurant and foodservice workers to deliver safe dining experiences for their guests during the COVID-...
I hope you found some brief moments of downtime during the holiday weekend. As we make our way through a new week, we are sharing updates from around the region. First, while most diners are more than willing to comply with safety requirements, I wanted to bring to your attention that there are fraudulent cards circulating that claim that people are exempt from wearing a face mask. The cards — featuring a red, white and blue eagle logo and approximately the size of a business card — say the bearer is exempt from ordinances requiring them to wear masks in public. The card...
We knew that recovery would take time, hard as that may be, and that this road would be a long one, but as we head into what is traditionally a busy weekend in our region I want to commend you on your patience, tenacity and positivity during these challenging times. Our regional leaders overall have taken a slower phased reopening compared to other cities and states across the country, and while that has felt frustrating at times, it is encouraging to know that this is proving to be the correct approach.  Our region’s thoughtful, gradual and mindful approach is allowing us to...
As you know Virginia will move into Phase Three tomorrow, July 1st. Phase Three lifts capacity limits for restaurants but still requires 6 feet between seated parties. Click here for Phase Three Guidelines. Below is a quick recap of the guidance, but we encourage you to read the guidance in full as it provides important information.  Buffets may be open for self-service, with continuous monitoring by trained staff required at food lines, and serving utensils must be changed hourly during peak meal times.  All parties, whether seated together or across multiple...
This has already been a big week in our region as many of you are easing into indoor dining, bringing some staff back on board and planning for the next phases. We are sharing many updates, reminders, and information from across the region today.  While we move to a 2-3 per week messaging cycle, we will continue to share information in a timely manner, and will increase it if necessary.   In PPP updates,  the SBA released additional guidance this week that expanded on information we already knew and shared. One important piece of guidance of note relates to loan...
It’s a new week and now our entire region is in Phase 2, which means restaurants have the ability to operate with indoor dining at 50% capacity. For those of you who navigated reopening indoors over the past few days, or past week depending on location, we hope you are easing into this gradual return to service. We are here to support you during this time as we know completely reconfiguring your operations is very challenging. In Virginia, Governor Northam announced Virginia will move into Phase Three on Wednesday, July 1st. At this time, the Governor indicated that all of...
If you have not gotten the chance yet, check out the DC Business Toolkit. The DC Business Toolkit is an interactive online portal that centralizes the vast number of business assistance resources that are available citywide through DSLBD, sister agencies and service providers. This allows District businesses and residents exploring entrepreneurship to quickly find and use these tools to open, operate and grow their business in the District of Columbia. Additionally, the DC Business Toolkit helps businesses promote themselves to prospective customers and make unique B2B connections with local...
In DC, Mayor Bowser issued the official Order, which allows DC to enter Stage Two on Monday, June 22nd at 12:01am. Stage Two allows for indoor dining at 50% capacity. The Department of Health released important guidance documents and the following measures should be implemented to help reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission amongst employees, patrons, and the community. Please read the guidance document in full as it shares important information for employees, customers and operations. The Mayor’s Order outlines the below requirements, but also includes further recommendations. ...
Following the Mayor’s announcement earlier today on Phase Two, please find The Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA) rulemaking regarding Phase Two of Reopening which permits indoor dining at 50% capacity.  If you have not already reviewed the Mayor’s Order for Phase Two and additional guidance provided by DOH, I recommend you do so. Click here for the Mayor’s Order. Click here for the DC DOH Guidance document.  ABRA’s Emergency Rulemaking  Below is a brief summary of what was included in ABRA’s rulemaking which provides additional...
We have heard from a number of you that restaurants and small businesses have been contacted by ROC-DC to participate in the Strike for Black Lives taking place tomorrow in observance of Juneteenth.  To be clear, this is not an effort organized by ROC, but rather by various organizations locally and nationally calling for businesses to show solidarity and shut down businesses from 9am-7pm while still paying employees.   As always it is up to each of you, as business owners, to decide how you choose to participate or not in this form of activism, understanding that observance...
In DC, Mayor Bowser announced it is likely the city will enter Phase 2 on Monday, June 22nd, and she will make the determination this Friday, and release the official Order.  Phase 2 will allow for indoor dining at 50% capacity.  The Department of Health has created important guidance documents and the following measures should be implemented to help reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission amongst employees, patrons, and the community. Outlined below, are parts of the guidance, however the document is four pages, so we encourage you to read it in full as it touches on staff,...
I hope you were able to get outside and enjoy the beautiful weather this weekend. We have a few local and national updates to start off this week, and want to start with new guidance on the Payroll Protection Flexibility Act (the bill that “fixed” PPP issues). The SBA released guidance that is consistent with what we have already shared with you previously, which is that there is no 60% “cliff” that could invalidate loan forgiveness, and if borrowers received the loan before June 5th they can work with their lender to choose an 8-week forgiveness...
As we head into what is likely to be another busy weekend in the region with Virginia entering Stage Two and DC, Montgomery County and Prince Georges County solidly in Stage One, we want to share important updates with you that could impact your operations. In DC, large scale demonstrations are expected heading into the weekend as people continue to practice their first amendment rights in support of ending systemic racism and inequality in our country. Some events will be static, while others will include marches, and while the exact routes are still to be determined, it is expected that...
As the region moves further into reopening this week in Northern Virginia, and with Suburban Maryland Counties close behind, we are sharing with you some quick regional updates and resources.   Nearly a month ago in DC, the City Council passed legislation that caps the fee third party delivery companies can charge at 15%. This legislation was signed into law on May 13th, and on that date third party delivery companies should have been in compliance. We have heard from a number of you that some companies have not been adhering to the cap requirement. DCRA is charged with...
In Virginia, Governor Northam announced today that Northern Virginia will enter Phase Two on Friday. The two notable changes in Phase 2 are: INDOOR DINING IS ALLOWED at 50% capacity while still maintaining a minimum of six feet of physical distancing between all individuals, and no bar seating or congregating.  All dining parties, whether seated together or across multiple tables, must be limited to 50 patrons or less.  Social Gatherings: Limit the occupancy of spaces to ensure that six feet of physical distance can be maintained between all organizers, staff, volunteers,...
Over the weekend in DC, and regionwide, so many made their voices heard and came out to fill the streets with peaceful and powerful messages and demonstrations to demand change to end systemic racism and inequity in our country, our cities, and our neighborhoods. True to form, so many of you who are always so involved in your community, showed up and were standing and marching in solidarity with fellow protestors, or found your own ways to support, feed, hydrate, and provide needed shelter at times to demonstrators. We are listening and learning, and we are committed to looking inward and to...
As you may have likely seen, Mayor Bowser took bold steps today and commissioned a mural on 16th Street that says “Black Lives Matter” and named the promenade in front of the White House at 16th and H St, “Black Lives Matter Plaza”. Mayor Bowser acknowledged our responsibility as the nation’s capital to send a very clear message to our country that is rooted in the humanity of local DC and needed humanity as black lives matter. We stand behind meaningful steps that are taken to end systemic racism and social injustice in this country and in our city.  This...
We are all watching and many are participating as protests continue in DC, across our country, and in cities worldwide over the tragic death of George Floyd and systemic racism and inequity in this country. As some protests continue to result in destruction of property, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser announced that tonight (6/3) curfew will begin at 11pm and remain in place through 6am tomorrow morning (6/4). The Mayor noted that the curfew will be revisited daily as needed with consideration for public safety, so be mindful this may impact weekend operations. The city urges everyone to close down...
March 25, 2020 - The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has had an immediate impact on businesses and more repercussions are to come, particularly for restaurants, hotels, food distributors, retailers, and other vendors that service the hospitality industry. Below are some potential solutions that can assist hospitality owners with cashflow in the coming months. Defer Tax Payments Both the federal and state governments have issued guidance regarding extended due dates for paying certain taxes, which could help business owners temporarily preserve some of their cashflow. Below is summary of the...

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