Restaurant Recovery Survey, ABCC Advisories & Licensing Renewals

October 17, 2020
Massachusetts Restaurant Association

Quick Industry Poll
There has been much attention surrounding certain business practices of 3rd Party Delivery Companies, specifically the so called "ghosting" of websites. "Ghosting" is when a 3rd party delivery replicates your menu, website or likeness without your permission. Customers generally are not aware of this bait and switch and think that they are patronizing the operator's website. 

Has this happened to your operation?

ABCC issues formal advisories on bar seating and indoor events. These advisories can be found here and here.
All Licensees providing indoor table and bar service must comply with the following: 
A.) Patrons must wear a mask/face covering at all times when standing or walking inside a licensed premise; 
B.) Licensee employees must wear masks/face coverings at all times while working on a licensed premise. Exception- Where an individual is unable to wear a mask due to a medical condition or disability that individual is not required to wear a mask/face covering. 
A.) Tables must be positioned at least 6 feet from other tables; 
B.) The size of a party seated at a table cannot exceed 10 people, however a municipality may set a stricter limit; 
C.) Recreational amenities such as pool tables/arcade games may be used provided patrons are not eating or drinking while playing and are wearing masks/face coverings. Licensees may not provide food or drink service in these playing/gaming areas; 
D.) In general, Licensees must ensure a separation of 6 feet or more between all individuals (patrons and employees). 
E.) All customer-facing employees (servers, bus staff, etc.) must minimize time spent within 6 feet of patrons. 
F.) The opening of dance floors is prohibited in any licensed premises until the commencement of Phase IV. 
A.) Licensees may allow bar seating provided that either there are no active work areas or working staff behind the bar are at least 6 feet away or there is a physical barrier (e.g. Plexiglas) separating customers from the bar space that is at least 30 inches high. A gap/opening at the bottom of the barrier is allowed for food and drink service as long as the gap/opening is no more than 8 inches high; 
B.) Parties seated at the bar must be spaced at least 6 feet from other parties. 
C.) Patrons being served at the bar must remain seated; 
D.) Service to standing patrons is prohibited. 
As always, all Licensees must ensure that they comply with the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and that sales of alcoholic beverages take place only as authorized by federal, state, and local law. All questions concerning entertainment should be directed to your local licensing authority. Any questions pertaining to public health should be directed to your local health department or the Massachusetts Department of Labor Standards (DLS). 
All covid-19 related advisories have been uploaded to the ABCC website:
License Renewal
Legislation introduced to ease liquor liability insurance requirements for annual license renewal for operations that are not currently open
Legislation has been filed at the state house that would allow municipalities to issue renewals without liquor liability insurance premiums being paid in full. Upon reopen, license holders would have to show proof of liability insurance to the local licensing authority. This bill can be found here
Municipalities have begun to consider waiving renewal fees 
This is not an issue that can be addressed by state-wide legislation, but one that must be considered by each city and town. A number of cities and towns have recently announced a reduction or elimination in license renewal costs, if your city has not, it is worth a conversation with your local officials.