Latest Update: April 27, 2021
The Texas Restaurant Association is committed to providing our members with resources and opportunities to help manage elements within our control. We are your voice and stand together with you in these challenging times. We have created this page to serve as your comprehensive guide to stay up to date on the latest coronavirus information and find resources to protect your business. This page will continue to be updated as more information is made available by the CDC, other health organizations, and our lawmakers.
Twice a week we send out a recap email outlining the work done that day, new resources, answers to common questions, and action alerts for advocacy. Not receiving that email? Sign up in the sidebar on the right.
The Texas Restaurant Pandemic Directory page has been launched to provide Texas restaurants access to discounted products and services for restaurant businesses during this crisis. For a limited time, the TRA is offering access to any company wanting to advertise its specials for restaurants and industry employees.
Also, TRA has a mobile app for use by TRA members and allied members. This is another way to make sure you’re getting the most timely information and updates.
Reopening | Vaccines for Restaurant Employees | Restaurant Revitalization Fund | Relief & Aid | Purchase Supplies and PPE | HR & Employment | Regulatory Guidance from the State | Advocacy Updates | Sanitation Guides | Off-Premise Resources | Resources for Employees | Health and Testing Information | Operations, Legal Contracts & Insurance | Spanish
On April 27, 2020, Governor Abbott issued an Executive Order that allowed restaurants to reopen their dining spaces with limited capacity beginning on May 1, 2020. He also issued statewide protocols that reopening restaurants must follow. These statewide protocols are encompassed by the “Texas Restaurant Promise”—the product of weeks of collaboration between the Texas Restaurant Association, restaurants of all sizes, and health officials across the nation to develop guidelines that would enable restaurants to safely reopen their dining spaces during the COVID-19 recovery.
- Texas.gov: Open Texas Checklist for Restaurants (Updated 09/17)
- Texas.gov: Open Texas Checklist for Restaurant Customers (Updated 07/03)
- Texas.gov: Bars and Bar Patrons: Map showing where bars can reopen, Opening Checklist for Bars, Open Checklist for Bar Patrons
- EPA: Improving air ventilation and HVAC systems: Venitlation & COVID-19, Air Cleaners & HVAC Filters
- FDA: Best Practices for Reopening Retail Food Establishments
- Texas Mutual: Restaurant Risk Insights, COVID-19 Reopening Considerations
- Think Food Group's Reopening Playbook
- TABC Parklet/Street Patio Guide
- Revised Enforcement Guidance for Recording Cases of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
- Updated Interim Enforcement Response Plan for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
ECOLAB Reopening Resources:
The Texas Restaurant Promise
Built as a social contract between restaurant owners, their staff, and guests, the Texas Restaurant Promise was origianlly created in April 2020 based on feedback and guidance from industry leaders, health experts, and researchers. Recently updated on March 4, 2021, the new Promise reflects the changes made by Governor Abbott regarding re-opening goals for March 10, 2021. Learn more by clicking the button below.
Vaccines for Restaurant Workers
The Texas Restaurant Association is working with private partners to help culinary and hospitality industry workers find access to COVID-19 vaccinations. We have been working with Good Work Austin, the Texas Food & Wine Alliance, and other partners to make this mission a reality.
Click below for important information for restaurant workers and employers related to vaccine access, potential side effects, and FFCRA subsidies available for employers who pay their employees to go get vaccinated.
Restaurant Revitalization Fund
Very soon, applications will go live for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF), the $28.6 billion grant program for the restaurant industry. We believe the RRF application portal could open as early as Friday, April 30. The SBA has confirmed that even those who are not included in one of the priority groups can still submit their application as soon as the portal opens to get in line. Therefore, for everyone who plans to apply, please make sure you are preparing now, so you’re ready to submit your application and backup documentation as soon as the portal opens.
Here are a few things for you to do right now:
- Walk through the sample application, making sure you have all of the information and backup documents you need.
- If you have questions, review the resources National and the SBA have put together. You can also reach out to the SBA with specific questions by calling 1-844-279-8898. And of course we’re here to help too!
- Stay connected to the National Restaurant Association and Texas Restaurant Association social feeds. We WILL GET A HEADS UP when the application will open and we will push out through our social channels and the mobile app. If you haven’t already, now would be an excellent time to download the TRA App.
- Decide how you will apply once the portal opens. TWO POS providers have been approved by the SBA so their customers may apply for the RRF through the POS platform. The SBA will also allow restaurants to submit their application online from the SBA’s website. Make sure you read below to learn more about POS providers working with the SBA.
- Download a Sample RRF Application
Frequently Asked Questions
The National Restaurant Association has created a helpful FAQ that includes answers to the questions we’re asked most by operators, including:
- Who is an “eligible entity” for Restaurant Revitalization Fund Grants (RRFG)?
- What disqualifies an entity from RRFG eligibility?
- Is an entity that applied for and received a 1st draw and a 2nd draw Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan eligible to apply for an RRFG?
- Are franchisees considered eligible entities?
- Read more
POS Vendor Portals
Several POS vendors are working with the SBA. Some vendors are providing a unique, custom portal for their customers to submit applications, which can automate the collection of transaction history to expedite the application process. Applicants submitting via a full-service vendor do NOT need to submit an application via the SBA Portal.
Note: being a customer of a vendor listed below does NOT automatically grant eligibility.
Please reach out to your POS vendor to find more details on their submission process.
Full-Service Vendors providing application submission and automation for current customers:
Participating Vendors providing supporting documentation and knowledge support for current customers:
- RRF Fact Sheet
- SBA's slide deck on RRF
- SBA RRF landing page
- SBA Program Guide
- NRA & SBA's Joint Webinar on Restaurant Revitalization Fund
HR & Employment
- What to do if one of your employees tests positive for COVID-19 - A step-by-step checklist with detailed information from the CDC and state.
- Texas Mutual: Coronavirus FAQ for employers - Guidance on Workers Compensation claims associated with COVID-19.
- Texas Mutual: Protecting Workers from Coronavirus - Guidance on how you can help protect your workers from COVID-19.
- JacksonLewis: Families First Coronavirus Response Act - A Disability, Leave & Health Management blog offering practical legal guidance to employers.
- Coronavirus' Impact on Texas Restaurant Employers (recorded webinar) - A TRA recorded webinar where JacksonLewis attorneys discuss what their restaurant clients are most frequently asking about how to operate their establishments while still meeting their legal obligations.
- Texas Workforce Commission: Mass Claims Procedures and Unemployment Benefits
- IRS: COVID-19-Related Tax Credits: Basic FAQs
- Department of Labor: Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Questions and Answers
- Department of Labor: Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Employee Paid Leave Rights
Relief & Aid
- Apply for a PPP Loan with TRA partner TransPecos Banks - January 11, 2021
- PPP Round 2 Restaurant Summary Guide - Read about the details pertinent to the industry included in the $900 billion relief package passed by Congress on December 20, 2020.
- Donate to the TX Restaurant Relief Fund - Learn more about the TRA’s newly established relief fund helping independently owned restaurants
- Comfort Food Care Package Program - Consumers purchase a Comfort Food Care Package from a restaurant to be donated as meals for at-risk youth and families in communities across Texas as the state responds to COVID-19
- Main Street Lending Program - Updated to better target support to smaller businesses
- SBA Disaster Recovery Assistance (recorded webinar) - TRA and SBA recorded webinar on disaster recovery assistance
- SBA to Provide Disaster Assistance Loans for Small Businesses Impacted - Federal Disaster Loans for Businesses, Private Nonprofits, Homeowners, and Renters
- Southern Smoke’s Hospitality Emergency Relief - Provides funding to individuals in the food and beverage industry who are in crisis
- CORE – Children of Restaurant Employees - Provides support to food and beverage service employees, with children, who have been medically diagnosed with COVID-19. You may also be eligible if a family member is diagnosed.
- James Beard Relief Fund - Currently raising money to provide micro-grants to independent food and beverage businesses in need.
- Talk to Your Landlord About COVID-19 - Guidance on how to start a conversation about what you can and can’t do for your lease.
- Greater Houston Recovery Fund - This will help the most vulnerable of Houston neighbors meet their basic needs and will help impactful nonprofits in our area serve our community through the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic aftermath.
Purchase Supplies and PPE
This list of suppliers have been vetted and approved by TRA. View all of them on our Texas Restaurant Pandemic Directory page.
Regulatory Guidance from the State
- TABC's Latest Guidance
- TABC & Serving Mixed Beverages to Go - The TRA clarifies some of the confusion surrounding selling alcoholic beverages to guests while dining rooms are shut down.
- Texas Restaurants Becoming Retail Suppliers - TRA works with State officials so that restaurants can now sell retail products direct to consumers.
- DSHS Website: Counties where restaurants must operate at 50%
- The Texas Restaurant Survival Plan - Our eight point plan directed at the State that combines aid from the CARES Act with the policy reforms we need to save Texas restaurants, bars, and other foodservice businesses. #SaveTXRestaurants
- Paycheck Protection is Killing Restaurants, Source: Wall Street Journal
- How much of my PPP loan will be forgiven? Calculator
- Restaurants and CARES Act with Senator Cornyn (Recorded webinar, 4/1/2020)
- Texas Workforce Commission Takes Restaurant Owners' Questions (Recorded webinar, 3/26/2020)
- SBA Disaster Recovery Assistance (Recorded webinar, 3/25/2020)
- ECOLAB EPA Approved Cleaning Products
- Center for Biocide Chemistries: Novel Coronavirus-Fighting Products
- ECOLAB: Disinfecting Hard, Non-porous Surfaces
- ECOLAB: Peroxide Multi Surface Disinfectant
- Curbside and Delivery for Full Service Restaurants (recorded webinar)
- Vinder Launches Restaurant-Fueled Farmers Market
- Kitchen United: Takeout & Delivery Best Practices (Marketing)
- Kitchen United: Takeout and Delivery Best Practices for Getting Started and Setting Up
- Ordering.app, Part of Google, Waiving Service Fees Until July 1
Resources for Employees
- Texas Workforce Commission: Shared Work Unemployment Benefits Plan
- Restaurant Workers' Community Foundation
- United States Bartenders' Guild
- Another Round, Another Rally: Emergency Relief
- James Beard Foundation Relief Fund
- The Lee Initiative: Restaurant Workers Relief Program
- Department of Labor: Employee Rights Under Families First Coronavirus Response Act
- Austin-Area Restaurants Offering Free Meals and Discounts to Industry Employees - Industry employees who have recently lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 crisis can use this resource to feed themselves and their families.
- Texas Health & Human Services: COVID-19 Testing Information
- Texas DPS Map of Test Collection Sites
- Texas Department of State Health Services: Texas Case Counts
Operations, Legal Contracts and Insurance
- June 19 - Memo to TRA from Monty & Ramirez LLP
- Monty & Ramirez COVID-19 Return to Work Guidance
- COVID-19 Restaurant Temporary Closing Guide (PDF) - A summarized list of considerations for a temporary restaurant close down by A la Carte Foodservice Consulting Group.
- Restaurant Closing Audit Checklist (XLS) - A comprehensive closing checklist created by RK iNNOVATION.
- Skadden: Implications of Coronavirus - A legal article on COVID-19 and its implications for commercial and financial contracts.
- GreenbergTraurig: Coronavirus and Force Majeure Contract Clauses - Legal advice on issues relating to the coronavirus and its effects, such as the invocation and enforceability of force majeure clauses in contracts.
- JacksonLewis Resource - Jackson Lewis provides a comprehensive list of links and important resources to help answer some of the most common questions around COVID-19.
- Temporary Menu Labeling Policy During COVID-19 - This consists of how your menu should be labeled through the COVID-19 crisis.
- SBA Certification Regarding Lobbying Form
- EnergyBot: Energy Resource Guide
Originally Published: February 28, 2020.