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Operations and Washington DC

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....
The Accrued Sick and Safe Leave Act (ASSLA) became effective November 13, 2008. The act requires all employers to provide paid sick leave to eligible employees working in the District for absences related to physical or mental illness, preventive medical care or family care, and for absences associated with domestic violence or sexual abuse.Employers must provide the following sick days to their full-time employees: 7 days of paid leave a year from an employer with 100 or more employees 5 days of paid leave a year from an employer with 25 to 99 employees 3 days of paid leave a year from an...
 We are pleased to inform you that District of Columbia Enterprise Zone (DCEZ) Tax Incentives are available once again to private for-profit businesses located in, or doing business within, the DCEZ. Last week, President Bush signed into law legislation that, among other things, extends the DCEZ designation through December 31, 2009.  The narrowing of opportunities within the capital and debt markets today make these incentives more important than ever before.  For example:If your pending or planned capital project is situated within the zone, you seriously should consider...

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