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.
What's the Latest?
U.S. Travel Association Launches New Campaign

The U.S. Travel Association has just launched the Let's Go There campaign, to remind Americans that amazing destinations await! The campaign includes logos, campaign videos (see one below), social media graphics and copy, sample outreach materials, and more.

Download the Let's Go There Toolkit here. Or, if your destination isn't quite ready for visitors, check out the Let's Go There, Soon Toolkit here.
VRLTA Restaurant & Hospitality Relief Fund Has Raised Over $47,000 to Support Organizations Around Virginia

As of September 9, the VRLTA Relief Fund has raised over $47,000, and much of this has already been distributed to organizations around the Commonwealth which are supporting workers displaced by COVID-related restaurant and hospitality shutdowns as well as businesses affected. We've been lucky to have the support of businesses such as Aleworks Brewing Co., Highland Brewing, and Diageo, which are giving part of their proceeds to the fund (learn more about the Highland and Diageo efforts below). Virginia Tourism is also supporting the fund with the sale of Virginia is for Restaurant Lovers merchandise. See all the options here; a portion of proceeds goes to the Fund.

To date, funds have gone to the following organizations:

  • The Holli Fund, Richmond area
  • Loudoun Tourism & Hospitality Relief Fund, Loudoun County
  • Pale Fire Helps, Harrisonburg
  • Black Restaurant Experience, Richmond
  • Food for Frontline, Roanoke
  • Real Food for Kids: Chefs Feeding Families, Northern Virginia
  • Frontline Foods, Richmond/Charlottesville
  • Feed the Fight, Alexandria/Fairfax County
  • UGK Community First, Richmond

To learn more about the VRLTA Relief Fund, visit this page. To make a donation, visit this page. We continue to seek out organizations helping those in our industry; please reach out to Jim Wilson at jim@vrlta.org if you have ideas.
September is National Food Safety Month

This year's theme is Managing Risk: 30 Years of Food Safety. The ServSafe program is 30 years old, and the National Restaurant Association has put together resources for each week focused on various aspects of food safety. Learn more at www.foodsafetyfocus.com.
What Can You Do on the NEW VRLTA Website?

VRLTA recently launched our new website, at www.vrlta.org, and there is a ton of information that is useful to you! On the new site, you can

Government Affairs

Please complete by close of business Friday, September 11

Early next week the Virginia General Assembly is going to be hosting Travis Hill from the Virginia ABC to discuss the impacts of the loosening of ABC restrictions on businesses related to COVID-19. One of the items that will be discussed is Alcohol To-Go. To help us build support for making it permanent, VRLTA wants to provide ABC with some data to bolster our position of making it a permanent fixture. 
Governor's Office Asking for Feedback on Paid Family & Medical Leave - Take the Survey

Under the Appropriations Act, the Governor's Secretary of Commerce and Trade and Chief Workforce Development Advisor are conducting a study on paid family and medical leave. Paid family and medical leave usually takes the form of an insurance program that is paid into by workers and/or employers and which provide paid leave to care for an employee’s own serious medical condition, the need to care for a family member’s medical condition, or parental leave when one has a new child. 

Please provide feedback on your related experiences here. The deadline to complete the survey is Friday, September 18.
Upcoming Events
Join Us for the Virginia Sporting Clay Shoot, October 27

This annual event benefits the restaurant industry through the Restaurant PAC and Restaurant Advocacy Fund. Join the fun on October 27 at the Old Forge Sporting Clay in Providence Forge. Registration begins at 9:30 a.m., and you can join as an individual shooter or at various sponsor levels. Don't miss it!
Ordinary Awards - Date Change and We're Going Virtual!
Thanks to everyone who submitted a nomination for the 2020 Ordinary Awards! We had a near-record number of submissions and our independent judges are now faced with the important task of selecting the winners! We also wanted to update you that the Awards Ceremony has been moved to a VIRTUAL event, which will now take place on September 30 at 2 p.m. More details will follow soon!
VA1 Tourism Summit - November 16 in Richmond!

The 2020 VA1 Tourism Summit is still on, although in a modified format. We'll gather for a one-day event in Richmond, but it will be jam-packed with amazing speakers and content focused on travel in the time of COVID-19; "back to business" strategies; diversity, equity, and inclusion; and more relevant and timely topics.

The event will follow all guidelines for safety and distancing, and adhere to current federal, state, and locally-mandated protocols. Visit this page to learn more about how we are keeping VA1 healthy and safe! We continue to monitor the situation and will adjust plans as necessary. Learn more at www.va1tourismsummit.org. We are working to finalize the schedule and speakers now.
Education & Training
AHLA Offering New Enhanced Version of COVID-19 Precautions for Hotels

AHLA is proud to announce a new enhanced version of COVID-19 Precautions for Hotels, a hotel-specific online training course designed specifically for cleaning and safety during the pandemic. This valuable training tool was developed in partnership with the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI) and now includes a brand new module focused on de-escalation training for employees. The new de-escalation module offers all hotel employees guidance on how to reduce tensions and promote a safe environment while maintaining the spirit of hospitality throughout all interactions. The course is available for $5 for individual purchase, and can also be purchased at an enterprise level.
ServSafe: Classes Are Up and Running

VRLTA's preferred ServSafe training partners are offering ServSafe training around the state - we currently are listing more than 20 classes in 10 different localities, so there is bound to be a class near you. We've added a new preferred training partner in Northern Virginia, ORS Interactive; they are offering some classes in Spanish. ORS and RVA Food Safety are also offering test proctoring. Click here to learn more and see the entire upcoming schedule. Partners' classes are filling quickly, so register today!
More News You Can Use
Diageo Will Donate $1 per Tweet or Instagram Post to the VRLTA Relief Fund!

You Post. Diageo Donates. Feel The Love. ❤ Post on Twitter or Instagram using #BackToMyBarVA & Diageo will donate $1 to Virginia service industry professionals.

Between 12:01 a.m. ET on 9/1/2020 and 11:59:59 p.m. (ET) on 9/30/2020, for each social media post that uses the hashtag #BackToMyBarVA, Diageo will donate $1 to the Virginia Restaurant, Lodging & Travel Association. Maximum donation of $5,000. Must be 21 or older.

Highland Brewing is Supporting the Virginia Restaurant and Hospitality Relief Fund

We are pleased to announce that Highland Brewing is contributing a portion of sales of their Gaelic Ale to the VRLTA Restaurant and Hospitality Relief Fund!

Highland distributes in areas of the state such as Roanoke, Bristol, Martinsville, Salem, and Radford. Look for their products on the shelves and in restaurants starting in September and through the end of the year!

The Relief Fund has already distributed thousands of dollars to organizations around the state. To learn more about the recipient organizations, visit this page.

Thank you, Highland Brewing, for your support of restaurant and hospitality employees in Virginia!