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1. Is it true that restaurants are now allowed to have dogs in their sidewalk cafes?
New York State passed a law amending the NYC Department of Health’s (“DOH”) law prohibiting restaurants from having non-service dogs in their outdoor dining areas. After the state passed the law, it was up to the city to make rules for restaurants that want to welcome dogs. We received mixed feedback from restaurateurs about whether they liked this law or not. So we provided feedback to the DOH with our members different opinions in-mind. DOH was responsive to our feedback. Their final rules allow restaurants to welcome or prohibit dogs and set restrictions, such as size limitations. Workers are no longer responsible for confirming that dogs have been properly vaccinated, which was a provision that was removed because the law already requires dogs to be vaccinated and it would pose unnecessary burdens on workers and businesses. For those restaurants that choose to allow dogs, we encourage them to think through how it may impact their operations and guests’ experiences. They should also speak with their insurance brokers about any new risk that may arise. You can get a quick run-down of the law by visiting The Alliance’s website https://www.thenycalliance.org/press-release-detail.php?id=201
2. What’s this we hear about the first NYC Hospitality Alliance Awards on May 10th?
Working with restaurant and nightlife operators gives us a unique perspective into how special this industry is. Its vibrancy is so important to the economic and social fabric of our city. And because of all the amazing businesses and incredible people running them, we decided to celebrate them and recognize their achievements. So on Tuesday, May 10th we’re taking over Marquee New York to celebrate our industry’s awesome contributions to hospitality and the city with NYC themed fare, crafted cocktails and an award ceremony. We have an incredible lineup of award nominees. For example the Hearts of Hospitality award will recognize a human resource professional in hospitality for their excellence, the Determination Award will be given to someone who has risen through the ranks, exemplifying the opportunities that are available through hard work and dedication. Awards will also be given to restaurants in each borough as recommended by other restaurateurs, and many more. We want our members to embrace this awards event as “by the industry, for the industry”; a true representation of why it is that NYC is known as the Hospitality Capital of the World. Both individual and group tickets are available at www.theNYCalliance.org. Proceeds will benefit NYC Hospitality Alliance.
3. First it was calories, then salt, and now maybe sugar postings, seriously where should a restaurateur begin with posting signs?
I always say that restaurateurs should build an extra wall in their restaurants so they have enough space to hang all of the posters! Many of the postings you mentioned target larger chain restaurants with standardized menus and those that serve meals that contain a certain amount of sodium. There was, however, the infamous ‘soda ban’ that was struck down by the court, which would have impacted many more restaurants. At this point, these types of regulations surprise restaurateurs less, even if they don‘t like them. What’s more striking than the number of food related postings is the amount of permit and employment notices that restaurants must provide to customers and workers. To help our members keep track of all of them, we worked with the Mayor’s Office and created the Required Permit and Sign Checklist. It’s a handy and easy to use list of the posting requirements that must be posted conspicuously in front of house, back of house and worker areas. We received incredible feedback from our members about how helpful the checklist was, so we worked with our team at Fox Rothschild LLP and developed the NYC Checklist for Required Employment Documentation and Posters for Restaurants and Bars. Members of the NYC Hospitality Alliance can contact us for their complimentary copy at info@theNYCalliance.org.
Andrew Rigie is the Executive Director of the New York City Hospitality Alliance, a trade association formed in 2012 to foster the growth and vitality of the industry that has made New York City the Hospitality Capital of the World.