COVID Tools Available for Restaurant Owners and Operators

Here are some tools available to help restaurant owners and operators understand and utilize federal relief and recovery programs. The documents address implementation of paid and sick leave regulations under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and information on the loan, grant, and tax credit programs contained in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act).

Paid and Sick Leave Regulations Under the FFCRA

The FFCRA, signed into law on March 18, created two temporary leave programs (Emergency Paid Sick Leave, EPSL; and Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion, EFMLE) that require private sector employers with less than 500 employees to provide leave to employees impacted by COVID-19. Under the law, covered employers qualify for 100 percent (full costs of both leave programs) reimbursement through refundable tax credits.

The U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division is responsible for implementing and enforcing new leave mandates enacted as part of the Phase II COVID-19 response bill.  

Click here for an overview of the paid and sick leave regulations in the FFCRA.


The CARES Act created a $349 billion fund to help businesses retain employees during the virus emergency and includes a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) of federally-guaranteed loans to eligible companies. 

The CARES Act also established the Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) targeting small businesses with both a low interest loan and the possibility of a short-term cash advance that is forgivable under certain rules. The law established a new Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) of up to 50 percent of as much as $10,000 in employee wages paid by businesses that are closed, partially closed, or experiencing a major reduction in revenue due to the crisis.

More about PPP

More about EIDL

More about ERTC

  • Restaurant Employee Relief Fund – The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation set up the Restaurant Employee Relief Fund to help restaurant industry employees experiencing hardship in the wake of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak.
  • Bar Magic Relief – A hospitality relief dashboard made specifically to assist those in the culinary, foodservice, and hospitality industries during this time of crisis.
  • Southern Smoke Foundation – A crisis relief organization for people in the food and beverage industry.
  • USBG Foundation – Bartender emergency assistance program

via National Restaurant Association