What You Missed (July 1 Member Meeting)
Our July 1 Seattle Restaurant Alliance (SRA) member meeting was held virtually over Zoom, with members turning out to hear John Lane and Julia Gorton from our government affairs team brief folks on Phases 2 and 3 and answer frequent questions to help members determine which phase is best for them. Logan Dozier of the Business Development Team gave an overview of business development programs to lower costs for members.
Seattle King County is currently in Phase 2.
John gave an overview of King County’s status as of July 1. The state Department of Health (DOH) approved King County to move into Phase 2 on June 19, based on a number of King county data points including case number per 100,000 population, current hospital capacity, inflection replication rate (R-factor), county’s ability to conduct timely contract tracing and more.
John spoke to the uptick in cases in King county, especially among residents aged 20-30 years old. Seattle King County Health has expressed concerns over the rise in cases and especially customers in retail businesses and some bars not following the guidelines. King County is making a concerted push on this and asking restaurants to encourage customers to comply with mask use and social distancing for safety of employees as well as guests through social media and signs before entering. Staff are trying to do the best they can under challenging circumstances and emphasized the importance of encouraging mask use to help all businesses stay open.
Julia Gorton walked us through Phase 2, which limits dining to parties of five or less. Maximum capacity is 50% indoor and outdoor capacity, and tables and chairs must maintain a six-foot social distancing layout. No bar seating is allowed. Julia noted that while some restrictions are loosened in subsequent phases, the six-foot distancing remains in all phases.
A few questions arose:
Q. For indoor dining restriction to a party of five--what about a family of six as they clearly all live together? A. The state has set limits on group size, rather than group makeup. If restaurants have parties of five or more, that party must be split into different tables with a distance of six feet or more.
Q. What is an ‘outdoor capacity?’ A. That means identifying any outdoor structure such as a deck, balcony or anything attached to the building with a fire code occupancy limit.
Q. What would prompt us to revert to modified Phase 1.5 or lower? A. The governor has outlined metrics of 25 cases per 100,000 as well as other data points mentioned above. If there is a county that surpasses those metrics, that would be discussed.
Q. What about live entertainment?
A. Live entertainment is currently not allowed in Phase 2 or 3, and guidance for limited live entertainment is under consideration but pending as officials carefully monitor the coronavirus case count across the state.
Phase 3 increases indoor and outdoor dining to 75% capacity, and party size is increased to ten people or less. Bar seating, as per the Governor’s announcement Thursday, has been suspended. Julia explained that Phase 4 starts when we have a vaccine or there no longer is a major public health threat. While a number of counties have applied to enter Phase 4 having met the three week timeline between phases, Governor Inslee put a ‘pause’ on any counties phase advancement as we continue to see rising cases in counties across the state.
Sidewalk Café and ‘Streetarie’ Temporary Permits Will be Free in Seattle
John shared the local government affairs team worked with the mayor’s office to allow temporary street use permits for businesses to operate on sidewalks and streets—paving the way for temporary expanded outdoor dining in Phase 2. Also, the permits will be free. Businesses still need a liquor permit though the Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB), but the work of our state team to support cocktails to go helped pave the way for this decision by LCB and the city of Seattle. For more details and a link to the permits, click here.
Business Development programs to help lower costs
Logan Dozier of the Washington Hospitality Association Business Development team shared some key programs that have been proven effective in lowering costs.
Business Insurance – a proven history saving members on average of 20% ($5,830 in average $$ savings per member) off their premiums. https://myhospitalityinsurance.com/
Payment Processing – a 5-year proven history of annual saving for members of $3,400 per location in payment processing. https://wahospitality.org/wise-buy/credit_card_processing/
Group Purchasing- a new program offer cash back rebate on everyday food and beverage you already order. You don’t get cash back now and its free to sign up so why not? Contact Alister Marcille firstname.lastname@example.org
Office Supplies – Average member is saving 25-30% off current office supplies and having it delivered free,,, every penny counts - https://wahospitality.org/wise-buy/office-supplies-furniture-print-services-promotional-products-more/
Healthcare Solution – with all the saving invest a few dollars back in your employees with the popular choice of Telemedicine or $2.33 per month. Yep that it, retaining your employee will save you money https://www.healthcarewashington.org/Products/Telemedicine