Mass Restaurant Assc. COVID-19 Update March 29, 2020

March 29, 2020
Massachusetts Restaurant Association
Baker Administration Launches On-Line portal where individuals and companies can easily donate or sell personal protective equipment (PPE )
The Commonwealth’s COVID-19 PPE Procurement and Donation Program creates an easy portal allowing companies and organizations to sell or donate protective equipment that is in short supply given the global demands for such items.
By visiting the COVID-19 PPE Procurement and Donation website , businesses and organizations can offer for purchase or donation critically needed personal protective equipment, including:
  • N95/N99 masks (respirators)
  • Surgical/procedure masks
  • Facemasks with integrated shields
  • Powered Air-Purifying Respirators (PAPR)
  • Goggles
  • Gloves
  • Protective suits/gowns
  • Booties/shoe covers
  • Headcovers
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Sanitizing wipes
Recommendations on what to focus on this week:
Work with your accountant and business banking partner to prepare for CARES Act Relief
This past week the US Government passed the CARES Relief Act. Operators should be educating themselves about the different options and there should be immediate conversations with your accountant and business banker to determine the best course of action for your business. Below, you will find links to the summary of the law signed on Friday and an in-depth webinar recorded Friday afternoon.
While more information will be developed in the next few days. Many operators have been asking the same question. If the loan forgiveness is based on bringing employees back on the payroll, and the restaurant is prohibited from opening, am I not just paying employees to stay home?
The answer, right now to this question is yes. The Federal Government is concerned about state UI systems across the country going bankrupt. Their solution is to incentivize you the employer to keep employees on payroll, thus protecting the solvency of the state UI systems. We expect more information to become available as regulations get drafted to implement the law.
Educate yourself and team on best food handling practices
As the industry faces ongoing challenges with COVID-19, ServeSafe remains dedicated to helping everyone stay safe. Food safety training and education are more critical now than ever before.
With this in mind, ServSafe has released two new training videos, free to you, your employees, and the industry, to reinforce safe food handling with a focus on practices to keep food and employees safe during coronavirus outbreak. Attached you will find an overview of these new courses.
In addition, to support restaurant workers on the front line, ServSafe is making its standard, ANSI accredited, online ServSafe Food Handler training program available free of charge through April 30, 2020.
Keep Key Employees Connected
Operators should have a database of contact information for any displaced key employees. In times of uncertainty, you should make it a practice of doing a weekly update through a group email and or personal outreaches. Everyone has worked hard to develop great teams, ensuring they understand important milestones with your business will keep them in the know and engaged.
Drive Off Premise Sales
If you are open for take out and delivery you should be registered on . If you haven’t it only takes about 5 minutes and you can register right on the site. You should be pushing this and any information about menu, hours of operation and options of off premise on all your social media channels. Your vendor partners have a vested interest in your sales success. Reach out and ask that they assist with linking your information on their social media.
Rescuing Leftover Cuisine is a 501(c)3 organization that provides a platform for volunteers to recover excess fresh and prepared food from businesses and transport it to local human service agencies. 
RLCMA volunteers pick up the food and directly transport it to Human Service Agency partners who distribute it within their communities. There is no minimum requirement for this free service, as food access assistance is more important than ever during this crisis. 
To donate unused food whenever possible click here:
Take a moment to thank Congress
Take a moment to thank your members of Congress for taking swift action to support the industry! This alert will also remind Congress that while the CARES Act is a vital step toward assisting with economic recovery, more will be needed and our industry stands ready to work with them again toward our shared goals.