LEAD NEWS: Update on Governor's Actions
This afternoon the Governor indicated that he has revised his executive order pertaining to restaurants and other public places to no longer allow any dining in service; however, they will continue to allow carryout, delivery, drive-thru, and curbside pick-up.

All lodging accommodations, such as hotels and campgrounds, may continue to operate. The hotels with restaurants will need to switch to pick-up or room service.

They are also planning on shutting all entertainment businesses effective immediately and those that are non-essential. We have reached out to the Governor’s office to get additional insight for guidance as to which businesses are essential and non-essential.

ABC Information - Wine & Beer Buyback

The Virginia ABC has temporarily approved allowing wholesalers to buy back wine and beer from retailers. The Virginia ABC has also confirmed that they will accept returns of unopened products and will waive the restocking fee. 
VRLTA Policy & Economic Relief Request to General Assembly

As you may recall from last week’s alert, VRLTA has been in contact with the Governor’s office regarding several major bills from this past session and the impact they will have for our industry and for several economic relief measures to help aid hospitality and tourism related businesses in Virginia.

Today, VRLTA sent a letter to the leadership of the Virginia General Assembly (House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn, House Minority Leader Todd Gilbert, Senate Majority Leader Dick Saslaw, and Senate Minority Leader Tommy Norment) that outlines the same requests made to the Governor. 
The Great American Takeout
A coalition of restaurants is asking U.S. consumers to participate in “The Great American Takeout” on Tuesday, March 24, as the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic continues.
The coalition's regional and national brands are encouraging U.S. consumers to order at least one delivery or pick-up meal on Tuesday to show support for the restaurant community, which is  struggling after state and city closures of dining rooms  to stem the spread of the COVID-19 infection.

“This is no longer about the survival of individual restaurants,” said Russ Bendel, Habit Restaurants CEO, in a statement. “It’s about the future of our industry. And time has run out. Together, we must act to support each other and our communities in unprecedented ways.” The campaign is also aimed at increasing awareness about the challenges restaurants face. “It will hopefully also raise awareness for how vulnerable restaurant businesses and their employees are during this difficult time,” said Mike Mirkil, a restaurant consultant and former marketing executive who founded Strategy for Sale.

A spokesperson said interested restaurants could reach the coalition team on social media, including @TheGATakeout on Twitter and @thegreatamericantakeout on Instagram, or "they can simply participate by promoting this initiative to their social media community using #TheGreatAmericanTakeout." To participate in The Great American Takeout, the coalition is asking consumers to:

  • Post on social media in advance of the event, encouraging friends and followers to take part with the Hashtag #TheGreatAmericanTakeout.
  • Engage friends, family and colleagues to support their local restaurants by ordering takeout meals.
  • Order delivery or pick-up for at least one meal on Tuesday, sharing photos on social media and tagging them with #TheGreatAmericanTakeout.

“After The Great American Takeout, Americans are encouraged to continue supporting local restaurants and industry employees by ordering takeout regularly throughout the weeks and months ahead,” the coalition said in a statement.
Continue to visit https://www.virginiaisforrestaurantlovers.com for more information about the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact on the tourism and hospitality industries. We are working to add additional resources, links, and news articles as they become available.