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Tucson’s voice at the table. Let’s thrive together.

The restaurant industry is big business that contributes $1 trillion to our country’s economy. The Chamber's  Restaurant Advisory Council directs the Chamber team on identifying and sharing best practices, policy issues hindering the hospitality and restaurant industry and ways to solve these issues.

This Council meets regularly and develops proactive agendas to solve these issues.
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TUCSON METRO CHAMBER MAKES IMPACT ON RESTAURANT POLICIES

The Pima County Board of Supervisors voted to approve a proclamation placing COVID-19 measures on restaurants, resort pools, gyms, attractions and other non-essential businesses that were allowed to open under Governor Ducey’s Executive Order. The Tucson Metro Chamber’s Restaurant Advisory Council (RAC) was instrumental in advocating for the changes necessary to promote public safety while removing or amending many measures that would have either have been too burdensome or costly to restaurants, bars and other businesses. In a May 15 Memorandum, County Administrator Huckelberry acknowledged that “based on discussions with Representatives of the Tucson Metro Chamber, I have made certain modifications to the proclamation that now reflect concerns that we heard from the regulated community.”

When razor-thin profit margins are turning into deficits, the overall goal should be to assist and promote businesses, not increase the number of regulations on an industry that already is highly regulated by the Health Department. Of the 17 additional requirements triggered by the Board of Supervisors two weeks ago, due to the Chamber’s advocacy, two were eliminated and the other 15 modified so to still achieve the goal of public health and safety but allowing restaurants to open their dining rooms.

We are also pleased to announce that one of the concepts approved by the Board was a partnership with the RAC to acknowledge and promote restaurants abiding by the measures set forth. The RAC will be working with Pima County to develop this program which will encourage health and safety amongst operators but also positively promote the restaurant and bar industry. We appreciate Supervisors Valadez, Bronson and Villegas for their willingness to support this program as well as the changes and modifications they approved.

We would also like to acknowledge Supervisors Christy and Miller’s dissenting vote. Their dissent was not due to lack of support for these changes, but rather a desire to simply allow restaurants to operate under the guidelines outlined in Governor Ducey’s Executive Order. The County is awaiting a decision by the Attorney General regarding the challenge to their authority to implement these types of restrictions. The Chamber and the RAC will continue to actively work with the County on issues concerning the restaurant industry like access to PPE, third party delivery drivers and additional regulatory barriers.


Restaurant and Bar COVID-19 Measures

The Chamber’s Restaurant Advisory Council has been hard at work to ensure regulations during this time promote public safety while at the same time don’t place undue burdens on our local businesses. During these discussions, there have been a number of proclamations and executive orders approved by various entities so we wanted to make sure you knew what you can and cannot do.

  1. You need to take the temperatures of your employees before they enter the establishment. Taking the temperature of delivery drivers, contractors and vendors is encouraged but it is not required.


  2. Cloth masks and gloves and/or frequent hand-washing is required for all servers and restaurant personnel.


  3. You need to post a sign that says, "STOP Please do not enter if you have COVID-19 symptoms" at the entrance of the facility.


  4. Tables must be spaced a minimum of 6 feet apart from one another. Bar top or counter seating is not allowed, unless each party is spaced approximately 6 feet apart.


  5. You need to clearly mark 6-foot spacing marks and/or signage along entrances, hallways, restrooms and any other location within a restaurant where queues may form or patrons may congregate.


  6. You cannot seat more than 10 people at a table.


  7. Be creative with your menus and payment systems, like online versions, that reduce the potential of spread through physical menus and other points of contact.


  8. You cannot have salad bars and buffets at this time.


  9. Hand sanitizers or soap and water stations should be available at or adjacent to entrances to the facility, restrooms and in employee work areas.


  10. Like you already do, please carefully wipe down tables, tablecloths, chairs/booth seats, table-top condiments and condiment holders.


  11. You can expand your seating area outside and it does not have to be immediately adjacent to the existing restaurant footprint. You still need to obtain a permit but the jurisdictions have simplified the process for these temporary extension of premises.


  12. Liquor cannot be served to an extended area that is not contiguous to the restaurant.


  13. Restaurants and bars can deliver alcohol either through a delivery service or themselves. A Department of Liquor form is required to be filled out for each delivery.

CITY OF TUCSON ADOPTS TEMPORARY EXTENSION OF PREMISES MEASURES

The Tucson City Council voted unanimously on May 27 to adopt temporary extension of premises measures for restaurants. The Tucson Metro Chamber and members of the Restaurant Advisory Council (RAC) have worked with Planning and Development Services (PDSD) staff over the past two weeks on reviewing and amending the language that went to the City Council. PDSD staff has been very collaborative in finding ways to streamline and make more efficient the services they provide to the development community.
Some of the measures include:

  • Seating allowed in a parking lot or private property
  • Seating in walkways or common areas on private property
  • Permits for banners and A-Frame signs are not required through the end of the year
  • Temporary tents and similar shade coverings may be used when properly located, secured, and approved
  • New seating does not have to be contiguous to the existing restaurant footprint (but state liquor laws must still be followed)
The RAC will continue to discuss other creative ways restaurants can expand their service areas as well as innovative measures to comply with CDC, state and local health and safety measures.

Restaurant Advisory Council.

Ray Flores, Flores Concepts | Chair


Jerry Moore, AJ’s Famous Hollywood Hot Dogs

Mark Miller, Arizona Food Marketing Alliance

Jaime Dickman, Barrio Brewing Company

Carrie DeMallie, Black Bear Diner

Jeannette Ornelas, Canchola Family McDonald’s

Ande Motzkin, Caruso’s

Wendy Gauthier, Chef Chic

Dave Carrell, Chick-fil-A

Joao Zanrosso, Churrasco De Brasil

Tyson Torres, CS Design Studios

Kelley Bolender, Culinary Dropout

Timm Timbrook, Culinary Dropout

Ed Norton, Culver’s

Shawn McCarthy, Dave & Busters

Rebecca Wicker, Dedicated Gluten Free

Paul Dias, Dias Management

Grace Fricke, Fleming’s Steakhouse

Ray Flores, Flores Concepts

Sonya Sotinski, FORS Architecture

Lisa Lovejoy, Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers

Stephen Ochoa, Frost

Nick Eggman, High Wire

Jerry Fischer, HSL Properties

April Ramirez, Illegal Pete’s

Jackie Chapman, Illegal Pete’s

Paul Cizek, Johnny Gibson’s Downtown Market

Jeff Azersky, Kingfisher

Terry Kyte, Kyte Enterprises

Martha Davila, Los Betos

Josh Jacobson, Lucky Wishbone

Jane McCollum, Marshall Foundation/Main Gate Square

Jimmy Lopez, Mi Nidito

John Baxla, Peter Piper Pizza

Ramiro Scavo, Cushman & Wakefield/PICOR

Rick Reynolds, Pizza Hut

Branden Epstein, Raising Cane’s

Matt Russell, Russell Public Communications

Taylor Carter, Sentinel Peak Brewing Company

Ken Botkin, Shamrock Foods

Bill Stafford, Shamrock Foods

Sean Hoffman, Southern Arizona Ice & Water

Kristin Leone, Standard Restaurant Supply

Candace Carrillo, Stillwell House

Zachariah Brash, The Funky Monk

John Hudak, Tucson Lifestyle

Grant Krueger, Union Hospitality Group

Felipe Garcia, Visit Tucson

GUEST SPEAKERS

Richard Bratt, Beach Fleischman

Hans Rhey, Cox Media

Tim Medcoff, Farhang & Medcoff

Ellen Kirton, Pima Community College Small Business Development Center

Steve Ponzo, WaFD Bank

RAC Partners in Strength

 Restaurant Advisory Council Partners in Strength are not only supporters of our local restaurant industry but Southern Arizona's entire business community. 
Become a Partner In Strength