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By in Latest News Comments Off on Operation Recovery

Operation Recovery

Rebuilding The Tavern Industry After COVID-19 By Rebuilding Consumer Safety Confidence

Even as COVID-19 restrictions are eased throughout the country, a Gallop poll conducted in April shows a problem taverns and licensed restaurants face next – confidence in personal safety.

In a nutshell, the poll suggests that Americans are hesitant about resuming their normal daily activities amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

For those interested in statistics, the majority of Americans (71 percent) say they will wait and see what happens with the spread of the virus once restrictions are lifted before they return to their normal activities. Ten percent say they would wait indefinitely. These statistics are similar between ages, urban vs. rural, and even political affiliation.

That means only 19 to 20 percent are comfortable returning to their normal activities once restrictions are lifted.

It also means the industry will need to work hard to rebuild business.

Part of that rebuilding will be proving to customers that the industry will keep them safe.

So, what can you do to show your customers you’re keeping them safe as restrictions are lifted? We recommend being proactive and offer the following suggestions:

  • Clean, clean, clean – Make your establishment smell clean from the moment someone walks in! Demonstrate to your patrons by having your staff visibly cleaning the dining area. Tables will need to be wiped thoroughly after each patron. And, don’t forget to sanitize the chairs and other nearby items that they might touch. If your business uses an outside cleaner for fogging, let your customers know that.
  • Mask up – How often have you heard Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Rachel Levine MD say “Remember, my mask protects you, and your mask protects me.” … probably almost daily, right? Constant repetition and fear of COVID-19 has created a new mask-wearing culture. And, that has built an expectation within the public. You’ll help yourself rebuild your business by making sure your staff wear masks.
  • Visible Hand Sanitizers – Clean hands are part of infection control. Put hand sanitizers in locations that are visible and can be easily used by customers and staff. Have a sign near the entrance of your establishment asking customers to use the hand sanitizers.
  • Remove the salt and pepper shakers – Ever wonder who touched that salt shaker last? Trust us when we say, that’s going to be on the minds of many more now than ever before. You probably don’t want to leave shakers, ketchup bottles and other related table items out. Ask your customers if they need condiments, and then bring those requested items to the table.
  • Outside the box menus – If customers are wondering who touched the salt shaker last, they’re also asking the same question about the menu. With COVID-19 still lingering, traditional menus will not be helpful in rebuilding customer safety confidence. Having a rotating pre-fixed menu that can be easily recited by servers might be a consideration. For establishments with larger menus, consider putting options online and then encourage patrons to use their smart phones to review. If that’s not an option, one-time use menus might work. Or, use a plastic covered menu that is sanitized as it is delivered to the customer.
  • Get rid of the buffet – Everyone loves a good buffet. But will they still show the love? Our guess is that many will be avoiding buffets for some time.

The CDC has made available an online document titled “Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Facility.” The document can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/disinfecting-building-facility.html. We recommend tavern and licensed restaurant owners and managers read this document.

This story has been republished from the June 2020 edition of Pennsylvania Beverage Media, the official monthly magazine of the Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association. To read the full magazine, join today and get a year-round subscription to the print edition.

By in Latest News Comments Off on Money Saver Benefit: Hand-Sanitizer Special Offer For PLBTA Members

Money Saver Benefit: Hand-Sanitizer Special Offer For PLBTA Members

Tavern Package for PLBTA Members through Faber Distilling.

New guidelines for taverns and restaurants place greater emphasis on cleaning hands. One of the quickest and easiest ways to be in compliance with this guideline is to provide hand sanitizer for your staff and guests.

Thanks to Faber Distilling Company, a Pennsylvania-based company, a special tavern package has been developed just for Members of the Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association.

For every 5-case purchase, Faber will include 6 free dispenser tops. Each case includes 12 bottles of sanitizer.

Total cost for 5 cases of hand sanitizer (60 bottles total) along with 6 free dispenser tops is only $275.

That’s $4.58 per 16.9 ounce bottle.

Each bottle uses the same formula as recommended by the World Health Organization. Liquid hand sanitizer is considered better because it dries faster and can be used to wipe down and disinfect other surface areas.

Faber Distilling is producing 800k units daily of hand sanitizer and has millions in stock ready to supply customer needs.

To take advantage of this special offer, email Ian Kobos at Ian@theoandopp.com or call (717) 804-9192. Use code “PaTaverns” to identify yourself as a Member. Purchases are tax free (tax exempt) and free delivery is included. Credit card payments only.

Code = PaTaverns

Larger purchase volumes are available. For larger orders and pallet pricing or information on additional sku’s or wall dispenser pricing please contact Ian.

*Photo shows a bottle with a dispenser cap. The bottles do not come with dispenser tops, however with this special tavern package offer 6 will be included.

By in Latest News Comments Off on Statement: Small Business Taverns, Licensed Restaurants On Outdoor Seating Opportunities In Yellow Phase

Statement: Small Business Taverns, Licensed Restaurants On Outdoor Seating Opportunities In Yellow Phase

Chuck Moran, Executive Director

For Immediate Release: May 27, 2020
Contact: Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association, (717) 232-8671

 

The following is a statement from Chuck Moran, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association, concerning today’s announcement from the Governor’s Office to permit outdoor seating for counties in the Yellow Phase starting June 5. In addition, the Governor’s Office released more guidance for indoor service for establishments as their counties go Green.

 

Earlier this month, small business taverns and licensed restaurants urged Governor Wolf to permit responsible outdoor seating opportunities for patrons dining in counties designated in the Yellow Phase of state’s recovery plan.

Today, we are pleased that our Member establishments will have that opportunity as outdoor seating can commence in counties designated Yellow on June 5. Establishments in counties entering the Green phase can begin indoor as well as provide outdoor seating.

It has been a struggle for your neighborhood taverns and licensed restaurants. Even though they have been permitted to offer take-out meals and beverages, many were barely keeping their heads above water. Some opted not to open at all. Simply put, running a restaurant on take-out alone was not enough to sustain the business.

The guidelines will be tough for the industry. They will challenge each establishment. But, each establishment will do its best to keep patrons as safe as possible.

 

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About the Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association

The Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association is a statewide association based in Harrisburg, representing small business taverns and licensed restaurants in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The Association formed in 1941, reorganized in 2019, and today advocates for best practices and rights within the industry as well as best experiences for patrons.

 

By in Latest News Comments Off on Statement: Cheers To Mixed Spirits Drinks To Go! Thank You Governor, Senate, and House

Statement: Cheers To Mixed Spirits Drinks To Go! Thank You Governor, Senate, and House

For Immediate Release: May 21, 2020, upon Gov. Wolf signature on HB 327
Contact: Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association, (717) 232-8671

Cheers To Mixed Spirits Drinks To Go!
PLBTA Thanks Governor, Senate and House For Hearing Our Voices
 

Chuck Moran, Executive Director

The following is a statement from Chuck Moran, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association, concerning the Governor’s signing of HB 327, a bill to allow mixed spirits drinks to go using specific guidance that address safety issues.

Small business taverns and licensed restaurants put their establishments on the line to help flatten the COVID-19 curve and save lives. They were the tip of the spear in this battle, and one of the first businesses to either close or limit services to protect their communities. For more than two months, they have been deprived of full business operations, causing significant financial concern. Many industry employees lost jobs.

Working together through the Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association, small business taverns and licensed restaurants had their voices heard today, finding political success with the signing of HB 327 by Governor Wolf.

Since the beginning of this crisis, the Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association has worked closely with our Members, elected leaders, and partners at other organizations to find safe and responsible ways to help small business taverns and licensed restaurants.

Through organized taverns, much has been achieved to provide business saving opportunities.

HB 327 is one example. This bill provides an additional revenue stream to help our Member establishments keep their heads above water a little longer. This new law allows mixed spirits drinks to go during the current emergency provided specific guidance is followed to address safety issues.

We thank the Governor for signing this bill, and also praise both the Pennsylvania Senate and House of Representatives for recognizing the need to throw this lifeline.

We ask patrons to support our small business taverns and licensed restaurants this Memorial Day Weekend by purchasing a mixed spirit drinks to go, and by responsibly enjoying it in the comfort of their homes or apartments. With nicer weather approaching, maybe even enjoy one on their decks, porches, or patios.

In thinking of next steps to help the industry survive, we encourage the Governor to consider allowing outdoor seating for establishments in yellow counties. This can be done in a responsible manner to protect the health of patrons and employees. Responsible outdoor seating would allow more employees to return to work, while offering small business taverns and licensed restaurants another opportunity to generate revenue that is urgently needed.

As the association that represents organized small business taverns and licensed restaurants, I’m proud of the courage our Members have had during this crisis. And, I’m proud of the smart and responsible lobbying efforts from our Government Affairs Department and partners at other associations.

# # #

About the Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association
The Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association is a statewide association based in Harrisburg, representing small business taverns and licensed restaurants in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The Association formed in 1941, reorganized in 2019, and today advocates for best practices and rights within the industry as well as best experiences for patrons.

By in Latest News Comments Off on Small Business Pennsylvania Taverns and Licensed Restaurants Applaud State Senate For Passing HB 327; Encourage Governor To Sign

Small Business Pennsylvania Taverns and Licensed Restaurants Applaud State Senate For Passing HB 327; Encourage Governor To Sign

Chuck Moran, Executive Director

The following is a statement from Chuck Moran, Executive Director, Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association, in response to the Pennsylvania Senate passing HB 327, a bill that would allow R and H liquor licenses (taverns and licensed restaurants) to sell mixed spirit drinks to go with certain size, container, and time of day limitations.

 

With every day that passes, Pennsylvania’s small business taverns and licensed restaurants move closer to financial ruin. These establishments were among the first businesses to either close or limit services as part of Governor Wolf’s Business Closure Order to fight the spread of COVID-19, and have been told they will not be allowed to resume operations until their counties enter the green phase. Business owners have been deprived of their operations and income, and are facing permanent closure, while many employees have lost their jobs.

Today, the Pennsylvania Senate joined the House of Representatives in almost unanimously throwing a lifeline to help keep taverns and restaurants from sinking faster. HB 327 would allow taverns and licensed restaurants to sell mixed spirit drinks to go with a few limitations for quantity, container, and time of day. This gives establishments one more small revenue stream to help them survive.

Every little bit counts. HB 327 in combination with other business saving opportunities can make a difference.

The Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association thanks Senators Joe Scarnati, Jake Corman, Jay Costa, Pat Stefano, and Jim Brewster and the rest of the Senate for their quick bi-partisan response, and support of Pennsylvania’s neighborhood taverns and licensed restaurants.

We urge Governor Wolf to sign this bill as quickly as possible so that our Members can soon offer mixed liquor and spirits drinks to go.

 

#     #     #

 

About the Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association

The Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association is a statewide association based in Harrisburg, representing small business taverns and licensed restaurants in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The Association formed after Prohibition in 1941, reorganized in 2019, and today advocates for best practices and rights within the industry as well as best experiences for patrons.

By in Latest News Comments Off on Small Business Taverns, Licensed Restaurants Urge Governor To Allow Increased Services In Yellow Regions As They Move Closer To Green

Small Business Taverns, Licensed Restaurants Urge Governor To Allow Increased Services In Yellow Regions As They Move Closer To Green

(May 8, 2020) With 24 Pennsylvania counties moving into Governor Wolf’s Yellow COVID-19 Recovery Phase, struggling family-owned, small business taverns and licensed restaurants today presented Governor Wolf’s office with a recommendation to gradually allow more services at establishments in counties that are now Yellow as they move closer to Green.

Under Governor Wolf’s current plan, Pennsylvania taverns and licensed restaurants may only provide take-out meals and certain beverages throughout the Yellow Phase as they have been doing in the Red Phase.

“It’s been a difficult road,” wrote Chuck Moran, executive director of the Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association. “They were the first Pennsylvania businesses ordered to cease operations, and have been deprived of most sources of income for almost eight-week now.”

Moran continued, “All are under enormous economic pressure, and we are concerned that this will cause permanent closures for many.”

The proposed plan encourages Governor Wolf to allow two late Yellow phases, one to take advantage of limited outdoor seating followed later by limited indoor seating. In addition, a number of social distancing and safety requirements would be put in place ranging from table distances, hand sanitizers/hand washing requirements, and table cleaning procedures.

“For my members, particularly those in counties that are now in the Yellow phase, questions are rising about what’s next?,” Moran wrote. “We realize that there’s no timeline except what’s set by the virus, as no one can accurately predict the path of COVID-19. And, we know that both you and Dr. Levine have repeatedly said that reopening Pennsylvania won’t be like flipping a switch and everything returning to normal.”

Moran says financial anxiety for small business, family-owned establishments is at an all-time high based upon phone calls and emails coming into the Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association.

Furthermore, with Ohio allowing limited outdoor seating on May 15, followed by limited indoor seating on May 22, Moran says taverns and licensed restaurants in Western Pennsylvania will be at a financial disadvantage.

According to a March 2020 study by the National Restaurant Association, Pennsylvania’s restaurant and foodservice industry would lose more than $1.8 billion in sales in April. That same study indicated 96 percent of Pennsylvania restaurant operators had laid off or furloughed employees since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak.

“We’re all walking a tightrope trying to balance health safety and financial issues,” says Moran. “We need to find reasonable ways to help these small businesses while not causing the COVID-19 curve to head in the wrong direction. Our recommendations provide a way for the state to test health safety concerns within the Yellow Phase while helping small businesses increase financial opportunities.”

Moran says the Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association offered this proposal after reviewing recommendations and activities in other states, as well as having discussions with members of the association.

The Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association represents small business taverns and licensed restaurants in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The Association formed after Prohibition in 1941, reorganized in 2019, and today advocates for best practices and rights within the industry as well as best experiences for patrons.

 

The following was sent to the Governor’s Office on May 8, 2020.

 

May 8, 2020

 

SUBJECT:  Phased-in Tavern and Restaurant Recovery Recommendations
TO:  The Honorable Tom Wolf, Governor

 

Today, 24 Pennsylvania counties moved from being in the Red phase to Yellow, and hopefully more will transition in the near future.  Ultimately, we will get to green.  For residents in those counties, the move is a sign of hope and progress in the fight against COVID-19. It also provides people in other counties further encouragement that it can be accomplished.

Congratulations in leading the Commonwealth to this achievement.

The Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association is the industry representative for small business taverns, pubs, bars, and licensed restaurants. Our Members are primarily family-owned establishments. They are an asset to their communities.  They need to survive this pandemic.

It’s going to be a difficult road.  They were the first Pennsylvania businesses ordered to cease operations, and have been deprived of most sources of income for almost eight weeks now.  All are under enormous economic pressure, and we are concerned that this will cause permanent closures for many.

The National Restaurant Association estimated that the Pennsylvania restaurant and foodservice industry would lose more than $1.8 billion in sales in April. The same study indicated 96 percent of Pennsylvania restaurant operators had laid off or furloughed employees since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak to early April.  (Our members have an average of 17 employees each.)

For my members, particularly those in counties that are now in the Yellow phase, questions are rising about what’s next? We realize that there’s no timeline except what’s set by the virus, as no one can accurately predict the path of COVID-19. And, we know that both you and Dr. Levine have repeatedly said that reopening Pennsylvania won’t be like flipping a switch and everything returning to normal.

With that said, in conversations with my Members, many would like to be prepared for the day when they are allowed to go beyond take-out meals and beverages. Many have offered creative ideas to increase business in a safe and responsible manner that protects both patrons and staff.

We are sharing these ideas with you today, in hopes that you will approve measured interim steps as counties in the Yellow phase move closer to Green.

We fully understand the need for social distancing.  Protection of our families, employees, friends and community are our top priority.  However, we believe the following ideas would accomplish this while giving economic help and hope to our members in Yellow regions:

Step One – Outdoor Seating – Late Yellow 1 Phase

With warmer weather approaching, establishments with decks, patios, and courtyards could open those outdoor areas as a first step. In addition to the general recommendations below, Step One would permit up to 50% outdoor maximum seating capacity in compliance with the general table distancing rule.

Reordering of food or drinks would require wearing a mask by the patron.

During this step, sidewalk areas that may have regular foot traffic would not be opened to patrons to dine.

For those establishments with parking lots but no previously used outdoor space, allow those establishments to design limited seating in a designated part of the parking lot, following the same rules as decks, patios, and courtyards, and “roped” off with a single entry point.

In order to begin hiring back entertainment and thus providing jobs to struggling singers and musicians, all licensed establishments would be allowed to have live entertainment, with no more than 75 decibels of sound at their property lines (in locations that do not have local noise ordinances). This is consistent with current noise regulations for wineries.

Step Two – Limited Indoor Seating – Late Yellow 2 Phase

With continued improvements in COVID-19 statistics, in addition to outdoor seating under the rules below, allow establishments to begin seating a limited number of patrons inside, following the same rules as outdoors, up to a maximum 50 percent premise occupancy with each table at least 6 feet apart.

Step Three – Green

This step includes a return to full seating capacity; however, staff would still be required to wear masks and schedule regular handwashing until further notice. Similarly, hand sanitizers would be located at entry points and used by all patrons.

When this step is achieved, any non-licensed area permitted in parking lots as part of Step One would be eliminated unless the licensed establishment follows procedures to license those areas.

As a general rule, the following would be observed in Steps 1 and 2:

  • All employees would be required to wear masks
  • All employees must practice social distancing of 6 feet
  • All employees must have regularly scheduled handwashing times, not to exceed hourly
  • All table seatings must be at least 6 feet apart regardless of seating capacity limitations
  • All tables must be thoroughly disinfected between customers
  • No tables would seat more than 6 people; all must reside in the same household
  • No salad bars or self-serve buffets would be permitted
  • Patrons would get one-time paper menus, or use online menus through personal technology, or have plastic covered menus that are sanitized after each use.
  • No table condiments
  • No pre-set tables
  • Patrons would be seated by reservation only to avoid waiting lines
  • Patrons must wear masks when not eating or drinking
  • Hand sanitizer must be located near entries, and all patrons required to clean hands for entry and departure

Pennsylvania’s bars, taverns and restaurants have supported Pennsylvania’s efforts to contain and manage community spread of the COVID-19 virus, some at the risk of losing everything they have worked decades to build.  These gradual, measured steps would offer our members an opportunity to continue that effort while helping reopen the state’s economy, and giving hope to these businesses and their employees.

We would be happy to discuss this proposal with your staff and the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, and to serve as a resource to better inform your decision making.  Thank you for your consideration of these proposals.

Sincerely,
Chuck Moran
Executive Director

 

 

 

 

By in Latest News Comments Off on Western Pennsylvania Beer Wholesaler Gives Back in a Big Way Through Taverns

Western Pennsylvania Beer Wholesaler Gives Back in a Big Way Through Taverns

Pennsylvania beer wholesaler, Frank B. Fuhrer Wholesale Co. is generously donating $40,000 to local retail accounts through two assistance programs.

The first program, HARP (Hospitality Assistance Response Program), is set up through the Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Association (PRLA). This program gives individual grant money to employees of retail accounts who are on the frontlines on a first come, first serve basis.

“When most of us think back to special moments, they were celebrated at our favorite restaurants or hotels. It is our mission to promote, protect and improve the hospitality industry in our state. We are doing everything we can from sharing information and resources to raising funds to serve those who have helped all of us celebrate our moments big and small,” says John Longstreet, President & CEO of PRLA. “We are grateful for the support of Frank B. Fuhrer Wholesale of the HARP fund so we can continue helping our industry’s employees facing hardships due to the coronavirus pandemic.”

The second program, Be Calm. Be Safe. Be Fed., is through the Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage & Tavern Association (PLBTA). This program pays for meals prepared by PLBTA Members within the ten qualified counties. Those meals will then be donated to local hospitals, homeless shelters, and other locations through participating restaurants and taverns with cooperation of Frank B. Fuhrer Wholesale staff members.

Members of the PLBTA residing in the designated counties may download a grant application and instructions by clicking here.

“We’re thankful for the generous donation made by Frank B. Fuhrer Wholesale,” said Chuck Moran, executive director of the PLBTA. “As part of National Tavern Month, this donation will be used to help feed the heroes and the hungry of the COVID-19 crisis by purchasing meals from small business taverns and licensed restaurants through our “Be Calm. Be Safe. Be Fed.” program. It will help those on the front lines of this deadly battle and those needing food assistance, while providing much needed business to establishments that are struggling to keep their doors open so that all of their employees have jobs to come back to later.”

The donation amount will be split between the two programs and will benefit retail accounts within Fuhrer’s ten county servicing area. Frank B. Fuhrer Wholesale Co. services Allegheny, Beaver, Washington, Greene, Fayette, Westmoreland, Armstrong, Butler, Lawrence, Indiana, and the southern portion of Jefferson county.

Frank B. Fuhrer Wholesale Co. is one of the largest beer wholesalers in Pennsylvania. They are a member of the Pennsylvania Beer Alliance and the Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage & Tavern Association. Fuhrer Wholesale Co. is very active within their local community and gives back to numerous charities throughout the year. This pandemic has been no exception to their continued efforts to positivity impact those around them in need. Fuhrer has observed that taverns and restaurants are struggling since they are limited to providing only take-out service in order to combat COVID-19, per Governor Wolf’s order.

“PBA is extremely proud to represent Frank B. Fuhrer Wholesale Co. and all of our Pennsylvania Beer Alliance members who have generously donated resources to help those on the frontline during this crisis”, said Jay Wiederhold, President of the Pennsylvania Beer Alliance. “We are thankful for not only our members and their employee’s hard work but all the healthcare workers and essential employees who put their safety on the line for others every day.”

About Pennsylvania Beer Alliance
PBA is an incorporated, non-profit, trade association made up of franchised beer wholesalers licensed by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board to purchase and sell malt or brewed beverages as importing distributors.

About Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Association
The PRLA strives to promote, protect, and improve the hospitality and tourism industries in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. PRLA conveys the unified voice of these industries to the Commonwealth’s citizenry and elected officials.

About Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association
The Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association represents small business taverns and licensed restaurants in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The Association formed after Prohibition in 1941, reorganized in 2019, and today advocates for best practices and rights within the industry as well as best experiences for patrons.

By in Latest News Comments Off on Make The Comeback Greater Than The Setback: Lessons Learned From COVID-19

Make The Comeback Greater Than The Setback: Lessons Learned From COVID-19

In the evening hours of March 15, 2020, Governor Tom Wolf made an announcement that will be etched into the minds of Pennsylvania restaurant or tavern owners forever. That announcement officially ordered restaurants and taverns in certain SEPA counties to close their dine-in facilities at 12:01 a.m. March 16 to fight the spread of COVID-19.

The very next day during an afternoon presser, the governor expanded the order to include restaurants and taverns in all counties.

Despite the panic and fear it caused within the industry, overwhelmingly Pennsylvania’s restaurants and taverns followed the order with many redefining business models to provide take-out food and beverage service only.

None-the-less, COVID-19 is a setback for every establishment and every industry employee. Revenue has been lost, and income-producing jobs have been put on hold.

So, we must ask ourselves a question … what has our industry learned from all of this?

Upfront, we learned the importance of having a business continuity plan.

Equally important, particularly as any crisis eases, is having a recovery plan. Here are four things to consider when working on your recovery plan.

Customer Communications

Those who were able to conduct some business during the COVID-19 crisis learned the value of keeping in touch with past customers. Many establishments saw value in using email lists and social media.

If you haven’t built a customer email list, now is the time to get started. Find a way to collect email addresses every time a customer places an order. Not only can you use an email list during a crisis, but you can also tap its power for normal business operations. Tools like MailChimp make it easy and affordable to maintain email lists and create promotional emails.

As we learned in a social distancing world, social media plays a huge role in connecting with friends and family. Many restaurants offering take-out service as part of their COVID-19 business continuity plan relied partly on Twitter and Facebook to get the word out. If you’re not already using these two tools, it’s time to get started.

Ordering and Delivery

The role of online ordering and delivery services increased as the COVID-19 crisis grew. Establishments that had Websites ready to take orders had an advantage. Similarly, those already connected with delivery services like Uber Eats and DoorDash were a step ahead of their competition.

Since these tools are growing in popularity, and maybe now part of the customer culture as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, your establishment needs to take them seriously. Talk to your Web designer to see what you can do to improve your online ordering capabilities. Maybe you even need an app for use on cell phones. Also, reach out to a delivery service and connect.

Insurance Review

How many owners really knew what was and wasn’t covered in their business insurance package before the COVID-19 crisis? For sure, many found out during the crisis what wasn’t covered.

As the Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association has said in the past, shopping around and doing a yearly review of your insurance needs should be a part of your annual business plan (see March 2020 edition of this magazine). If not, now is the time to work it into your recovery plan. Talk to your broker or directly to an insurance company for help.

If you don’t have a broker, the we suggest contacting Independent Food & Beverage Insurance Brokers, Inc. (IFB), which is an Associate Member of our Association and ready to help Members with their needs. To reach IFB, call Michael Sabino at (201) 460-8465 or 1 (800) 336-6121. Or send an email to info@ifbinsure.com.

Also, Integrated Specialty Coverages (ISC) is another Associate Member of the PLBTA. You can purchase ISC insurance through a broker or through Gaslamp Insurance Services at 1-888-681-1230. For more information on ISC, call (619) 550-8786.

Membership

You don’t want to be left in the dark during a crisis. And it helps to be in-the-know during times of normalcy. Being a part of organized taverns should be in your yearly plan.

During the first three weeks of the COVID-19 crisis, the Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association sent 25 alerts to Members. Each alert contained valuable information ranging from financial matters to safety issues to breaking news.

Based upon the open rate and click-thru rate of each alert we sent, it was very evident that each alert was being read and then circulated. Having access to this type of information can save a business.

We also know that non-members suffered by not being a part of organized taverns as they scrambled to get important news and help. Members certainly had an advantage.

Maintaining your membership in the PLBTA is important at all times. Renewing or joining is as easy as going to www.pataverns.com and using your credit card. Those who are not Members can easily begin the Membership process using the same Web address.

 

This story was republished from the May 2020 edition of the Pennsylvania Beverage Media, which is the official monthly magazine of the Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association.

By in Latest News Comments Off on Statement: Rep. Masser’s Lifeline Amendment Vital For Tavern, Restaurant Survival

Statement: Rep. Masser’s Lifeline Amendment Vital For Tavern, Restaurant Survival

The following is a statement from Chuck Moran, executive director of the Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association. The PLBTA represents small business taverns and licensed restaurants across the state.

 

For Pennsylvania’s small business taverns and licensed restaurants, it’s about survival.

Along with school districts, our industry has been the tip of the spear in this fight to flatten the coronavirus curve, buying time for our health care professionals to prepare. They’ve sacrificed a lot.

Unlike other types of liquor licenses that can operate their base businesses, our Members have not been allowed to do the same. While others are seeing expanded sales and profits, Pennsylvania restaurants and taverns have suffered lost markets and income.

But, today, Rep. Kurt Masser (R-107), who represents parts of Columbia, Montour and Northumberland counties, and 192 other members of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed an amendment to HB 327 that will make it a little easier for local taverns to survive. That amendment allows the sale of mixed spirit drinks to go, something that is currently not allowed by state law.

The final vote on A05282 was 193-9, showing overwhelming support from both Republicans and Democrats.

A study by the National Restaurant Association estimates that the Pennsylvania restaurant and food service industry will lose more than $1.8 billion in sales in April. The same study indicates 96 percent of Pennsylvania restaurant operators have laid off or furloughed employees since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak in March.  (Our members have an average of 17 employees each.)

The study also suggests future restaurant closures should be anticipated.

The Governor’s reopening plan suggests it could be many more months until all Pennsylvania counties reach a “Green phase,” which is why finding additional revenue streams for small business taverns and licensed restaurants is so important for their survival.

HB 327 now moves onto third consideration.

On behalf of all Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association Members, we thank Rep. Masser for spearheading this amendment. We also thank both Republican and Democrat members of the House who voted today to help small business taverns and licensed restaurants.

By in Latest News Comments Off on PaTaverns COVID-19 Information and Guidance

PaTaverns COVID-19 Information and Guidance

Since the start of the coronavirus crisis, the Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association has kept its Members up-to-date with daily reports and links to important information to help them navigate these troubled waters. This page is a collection of important links in one location.

Last updated June 26, 2020, 2:45 p.m.

 

Orders and Legal Matters

 

 

 

 

Financial Matters
  • Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act
      • Economic Disaster Injury Loan via Small Business Administration – A quick infusion of a smaller amount of cash to cover you right now
      • Small Business Debt Relief Program – provide immediate relief to small businesses with non-disaster SBA loans

 

 

  • Pennsylvania’s COVID-19 Working Capital Access Program (CWCA)
    • Access point for this program:  Certified Economic Development Organization (CEDO) for county where business is located (Find it here)
    • Eligible Businesses: Any for-profit businesses located in PA and with 100 or fewer employees worldwide may qualify for disaster relief loans. Your application must be processed through the CEDO designated for the county where your business is physically located.
    • Loan Amount: The lesser of 3 months of working capital not to exceed a loan amount of $100,000
    • Interest Rate: 0% for all business types except Agriculture Producers
    • Amortization: 12 years
    • Term: 3 years
    • Repayment: No payment in first 12 months, amortized payments monthly for the following 24 months, one balloon payment for the remaining balance in the 37th month
    • Collateral: Blanket lien on all current business assets and any acquired in the future in first available lien position
    • Guarantors: All owners (individual or other business entities) owning 20% or more of applicant business must guarantee the loan. Some credit criteria for approval (as evaluated by PIDA) may include: at least breakeven performance in the prior year, acceptable personal credit history of the guarantors, and historical cash flow adequate to pay obligations
      • For the Guarantors (any owner, individual or business entity, with 20% or more interest in Borrower):
        • Signed Certification Sheet (Individuals) (Business Entities)
        • For individuals: A signed and dated Personal Financial Statement (Click Here for blank form) or provide what you have already prepared dated within last 12 months
        • For business entities: Most recent year of financial statements

 

  • Rapid Response Assistance – for businesses that have had to close either temporarily, consider layoffs, or is financially at-risk for permanent closure. This program from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development is available to assist you with a variety of services and resources to help you and your employees.

 

 

  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance
    This applies for those who typically do not qualify for unemployment compensation. We anticipate Pennsylvania having this program up-and-running towards the end of April.

 

 

Mental Health Assistance
  • Disaster Distress Helpline – Call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – Call 800-273-8255 or Chat with Lifeline
  • Crisis Textline – Text TALK to 741741

 

Health Safety

 

General Business Advice

 

Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association Membership

 

Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association Letters To Members

 

Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association In The News