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Operating a restaurant involves a lot of moving parts – most controlled by you, but many controlled by laws, regulations, licenses and permits. Alcoholic beverages, food safety, labor practices and the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (the healthcare mandate) are significant – and then there is everything else.

Get to know the regulatory agencies that govern such things as sidewalk cafes, signage, noise, fire safety and more. And, get to know about the efforts being made by RAMW on your behalf to improve the regulatory environment.

What To Do if an Employee Tests Positive, and Reopening Updates

May 28, 2020
As you consider reopening and are making plans to get your restaurant ready, it is important to ensure you know the proper protocol if an employee tests positive for COVID-19. Our local Mayor and Governors have all warned that as the region begins to reopen, cases will rise, so you need to know the immediate steps to take. Steps to Take if an Employee Tests Positive: Step One : Call your local Department of Health and report the case. They can also provide specific guidance for your restaurant on how to handle operations and disinfecting. DC DOH , VDH , MDH . Step Two: Determine if your...

Regional Reopening Dos and Don’ts, and Updates

May 27, 2020
As Friday’s planned reopening in Northern Virginia and the District is upon us, we are sharing quick updates, reminders, and resources as you make your plans. DC - Stage 1 Reopening - Friday May 29 Today, Mayor Bowser released the official order permitting reopening of the District under Stage 1 guidelines on Friday, May 29th. Click here for the Order. Click here for the NEW Stage 1 Restaurant Guidance . As we expected, the Stage 1 Order includes that taverns, nightclubs and mixed-use facilities that serve food, and that are already approved to provide such outdoor service by ABRA, may...

VA Executive Order 63: Requirement to Wear Face Covering While Inside Buildings

May 26, 2020
Executive Order Number 63 (2020) Order of Public Health Emergency Five: Requirement to Wear Face Covering While Inside Buildings Importance of the Issue The Commonwealth of Virginia continues to respond to the novel coronavirus (COVID19) pandemic. Measures undertaken over the last ten weeks have slowed the spread of the virus; however, its transmission continues to threaten our communities. We must remain vigilant. In fact, as we reopen Virginia, it is critical that we become even more vigilant. Studies of the virus show that a substantial number of individuals with coronavirus are...

Reopening, Short Term Wins & Longer Term Relief

May 26, 2020
Dear Operator, Heading into this week I know you all have your heads in reopening as most of the Metro Area moves into phase/stage one at the end of the week or early next week. That transition is equal parts a welcome relief and a new and difficult challenge for those who are choosing to utilize available outdoor space. On Friday, we tackled many of your issues on DC’s reopening and shared resources and tools ( see here ) as you plan for these upcoming transitions. Today, Mayor Bowser gave a situational update and indicated that reopening in Stage 1 is still slated for this Friday May...

Additional Guidance, Resources, and Checklists for ReOpening

May 22, 2020
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, guidance as DC tries...

DC Reopening Updates, PPP and more 5/21

May 21, 2020
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 distancing of at...

Quick Updates on PPP, DC Legislative Session

May 18, 2020
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 forgiveness calculations or...

DC Legislation Clarifications

May 18, 2020
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 Public Health Emergency to allow...

Northern VA and MD Reopening, DC Microgrant Updates 5/12

May 12, 2020
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 operations...

FDA Best Practices for Re-Opening Retail Food Establishments During the COVID-19 Pandemic

May 12, 2020
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 the...