7/16/20
The Slice gives you all the news you can use. Each issue will include any COVID-19 updates, reopening information, legislative news, and other relevant items for our readers. Please let us know if you'd like to see anything in particular or have other feedback - just email marketing@vrlta.org .
LEAD NEWS - National Restaurant Association Releases Blueprint for Restaurant Revival - Your Help is Needed!

Later this month, Congress will consider their final coronavirus response bill for 2020. From the beginning of this pandemic, the National Restaurant Association has  led the charge  in Washington for a comprehensive solution to our industry. VRLTA has been instrumental on the state level in advocating for, and impacting, legislation that helps the restaurant industry. We have made steady progress, but Congress needs to do much more for the nation’s second-largest private-sector employer.
 
Restaurants have lost more revenue and jobs than any other industry, but there are a lot of competing interests before Congress. We are shouting here in Washington (and in Richmond), but federal policymakers need to hear your voice directly.
 
Tell Congress to support restaurants and employees. 
Tell Congress to pass the Blueprint for Restaurant Revival.
 
We have given Congress a roadmap for action – that calls for either enacting our Restaurant Recovery Fund or implement a targeted second-round of PPP – as well as other asks that will allow us to keep our doors open for the long haul, and serve the communities we call home. We need your support to bring this effort over the finish line.
 
Please take action to  lend your voice  to this campaign. 
Ordinary Awards Nominations NOW OPEN!

The Ordinary Awards may look different this year - currently, the plan is to host an in-person luncheon instead of a dinner and reception, and we'll be taking all of the necessary safety precautions - but we don't want to miss out on recognizing the amazing people and businesses that make up the hospitality and tourism industries!

The event will take place Tuesday, September 29, again at the Hilton Richmond Hotel & Spa | Short Pump. Tickets will be on sale soon. If you're interested in being a sponsor, reach out to your Membership Director, Kristen Karrfalt or Brittany Blythe .

In the meantime, please take the time to NOMINATE an outstanding person or organization. This year, we have 20 categories, including - NEW! - Hospitality Hero categories for individuals and organizations.
Mark Your Calendar...

  • Norfolk Chapter Virtual Chapter Meeting - July 28, at 9 a.m. - Register here
  • Charlottesville Chapter Virtual Chapter Meeting - July 30, at 10 a.m. - Register here
  • Shenandoah Valley Chapter Virtual Chapter Meeting - August 4, at 9 a.m. - Register here
  • Richmond Chapter Virtual Chapter Meeting - August 6, at 10 a.m. - Register here
  • VRLTA Government Affairs Call - August 7, at 2 p.m. - Dial in information: 202.602.1295, conference ID 789-103-256#
  • Ordinary Awards - September 29 - Current plans include an in-person luncheon and awards ceremony
  • VA1 Tourism Summit - November 16 - Join us for a one-day, currently in-person event, in Richmond, at the Omni. More information coming soon!
Governor's Update

On Tuesday, Governor Ralph Northam held a press conference to discuss the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in Virginia. Much of his concern was with the growing number of cases in the Hampton Roads region. To address this issue, the Governor indicated that the state will increasing enforcement of social distancing requirements, mask mandates, and other health guidelines. He is planning on having the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS), and Virginia Alcohol Beverage Control Authority (VABC) increase these administration efforts. These agencies will focused on enforcing the prohibition of service at bars, rules requiring social distancing, and enforcing capacity limits.

The Governor also urged businesses to enforce these requirements with their guests, and stated that the new motto should be “no shirt, no shoes, no mask, no service.” He is urging businesses to turn away guests who do not comply, and went so far as to state the business should contact law enforcement if the guest refuses to leave.

In the next several days, it’s also likely that the Governor will be announcing an earlier cut-off time for alcohol sales at food service establishments.

The Governor indicated businesses that are not following the guidelines and have employees not wearing masks will face the likelihood of revocation of business-related licenses. Individuals in the public face the prospect of misdemeanor charges for noncompliance. 
ServSafe Dining Commitment

The ServSafe Dining Commitment is a part of a multi-faceted multi-million dollar program designed to showcase the restaurants who have demonstrated their ongoing commitment to the health and safety of their employees and guests by signing the ServSafe Dining Commitment. 

The program will be supported by a national advertising campaign inviting diners back into your restaurants and to your tables. The campaign will take place across broadcast, print, and digital platforms and will feature the ServSafe Dining Commitment logo and urging diners to learn more about the steps restaurants are taking to keep them safe. When diners observe the Commitment logo decal on a restaurant window, returning diners know your restaurant is following the Association’s reopening guidance, local guidelines, and have ServSafe certified employees.   Learn more here.
ServSafe: Classes Are Up and Running!

Speaking of ServSafe, most of VRLTA's preferred ServSafe training partners are again offering in-person classes. Click here to see the entire upcoming schedule . Many partners' classes are filling quickly, so register now if you have employees that need training.
VRLTA Partner United Healthgroup Offering Let'sGetChecked COVID-19 Home Testing Solution - Special Pricing for Hospitality Industry

Let'sGetChecked is a comprehensive solution that integrates FDA AUTHORIZED at-home sample collection, lab testing, result delivery, and patient support.

Why choose LetsGetChecked?
  • The only FDA Authorized solution that owns all aspects of the testing process.
  • Gentle & non-invasive lower nasal swab sample.
  • Gold-standard RT-PCR lab testing in our certified labs.
  • Online results within 24-48 hours after reaching the lab.
  • Symptom-tracker functionality. Patient support from our team of medical experts.
  • Real-time tracking of tests.
  • Delivery of test shipments within 24 hours.
  • Laboratory capacity of over 500,000 PCR tests per week.
  • Exclusive negotiated price for hospitality organizations/employers with promo code -VRLTA Members - to get a code for a price of $107 per test (includes expedited shipping), reach out to your Membership Director

AHLA Safe Stay Course for Hotel Staff

To further expand the hotel industry's Safe Stay initiative, the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) today announced  COVID-19 Precautions for Hotels , an online course developed in partnership with the  American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute  (AHLEI) and created to help hotels train their staffs on the enhanced safety and cleanliness guidelines.
The new training course represents a united industry approach around the Safe Stay guidelines endorsed by all major U.S. hotel brands, hospitality associations in 50 states and Canada, and thousands of hotel properties across the country committed to ensuring the health and safety of guests and employees while continuing to provide outstanding service.
 
The 15-minute course is available in English or Spanish. Employees who successfully complete the course and brief assessment receive a certificate. COVID-19 Precautions for Hotels can be hosted on an organization’s LMS or purchased individually. In addition to the training component, AHLA’s Safe Stay initiative has developed a ‘checklist’ for members to utilize as they work to implement the Safe Stay Guidelines, as well as Safe Stay signage and collateral for use on property to inform both employees and guests of the industry commitment to safety and cleanliness. These resources are available on the  AHLA’s Safe Stay website .  
Webinars We Recommend...

  • Protect Your Business From Pandemic-Related Employment Litigation - presented by the Restaurant Law Center and Epstein Becker Green. July 23, 3-4 p.m.
  • More information & Register
  • National Restaurant Association on-demand webinars on a variety of topics can be found here.
  • AHLA also has many on-demand webinars for members. Find them here.
Economic Development News

Support These VRLTA Members - Vote for them for Best Destination Resort in America!

Primland, in Meadows of Dan, and Salamander Resort & Spa, in Middleburg, have been nominated for USA Today's 10Best Readers' Choice Award for the Best Destination Resort in America. Voting is open until July 27; you can vote once per day.
 
 
Alewerks in Williamsburg Supporting VRLTA Relief Fund
 
Alewerks Brewing Company has released a new, limited-edition brew called Absolute Uncertainty, and proceeds will benefit VRLTA's Restaurant & Hospitality Relief Fund. Learn more about it here !

One place teaming up with Alewerks to sell the beer is the Lost Dog Cafe McLean - eat there and drink an Absolute Uncertainty, and you'll be helping out the Lost Dog Rescue Foundation AND VRLTA's Relief Fund!

Thank you, Alewerks, for supporting VRLTA's work in supporting restaurant and hospitality employees and businesses.
There is Still Time to Support the VRLTA Restaurant & Hospitality Relief Fund

VRLTA's industry relief fund is aiding workers displaced by the recent restaurant and hospitality industry shutdowns and also helping affected businesses. Over $45,000 has been raised to date!

The fund is still open, and the need is still there. Please consider a donation today.

Donations can be made through VRLTA's website at    https://www.vrlta.org/donations/donate.asp?id=19606   .
Virginia is for Restaurant Lovers Merchandise Supports the VRLTA Relief Fund - Make a purchase to show your support today!

VRLTA has also partnered with the Virginia Tourism Corporation to create a Virginia is for Restaurant Lovers t-shirt, and other merchandise, with a portion of the proceeds going to the Fund.