Restaurant Re-Opening Resources

As Oakland restaurants are allowed by County Order to re-open in stages, here are some resources to adapt to this new business environment.

Date Posted: May 14th, 2020 @ 4:46 PM
Last Updated: April 2nd, 2021 @ 6:40 PM

Vaccine Planning

The current COVID-19 vaccine supply is limited, and Alameda County is following the State’s vaccine prioritization guidance. As vaccine supplies increase, you will be able to get a vaccine through a County-administered point of dispensing (POD) or your health care provider.

For current eligibility for vaccination, please visit Alameda County Public Health's website. Vaccine registration step-by-step video tutorial

To receive a notification of when the vaccine might be available for you, please fill out one of these forms:

Please note, this is NOT a registration to receive the vaccine. The information you provide is kept confidential and will help Alameda County in its planning. The County will contact you with further details about where the vaccine will be available when it is your turn.

In the meantime, please protect yourself from COVID-19 by wearing a mask, keeping your distance from others, avoiding crowds, and washing your hands frequently.

To learn more about vaccine planning in Alameda County, please visit their website.

Restaurant Revitalization Fund Grant

Independent food service or drinking establishments -- including caterers, brewpubs, taprooms, and tasting rooms -- that are eligible should prepare now to apply for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund Grant program. The grant application window is expecting to open shortly.

Planning Resources

April 2: Updated State guidance for gatherings, receptions, conferences, and indoor live events and performances takes effect April 15

Effective March 31, Alameda County will move into the Orange Tier, which allows:

  • Restaurants to operate indoors at 50 percent maximum capacity or 200 people, whichever is fewer
  • Bars may open outdoors with modifications, no meals required to be served - Need to use the sidewalk, parking lane or traffic lane for outdoor seating? Learn about Flex Streets.
  • Breweries, Distilleries, and Wineries may operate indoors at 25 percent maximum capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer; No meals required to be served

All businesses permitted to operate indoors must follow the CDPH interim guidance for ventilation, filtration, and air quality. This guidance includes practical steps your business can take to promote better ventilation, filtration, and air quality indoors to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

March 9: Alameda County is now in the Red Tier of the State's Blueprint for a Safer Economy, allowing restaurants to open indoors with modifications – Max 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer, on March 10.

General Business Ventilation Guidance During the COVID-19 Pandemic - Source: Alameda County Public Health

January 25: The State lifted Stay Home Order allowing counties to return to the rules and framework of the Blueprint for a Safer Economy. Alameda County provided additional guidance. Outdoor dining is allowed to resume.

December 10: ABC provides industry guidance on cocktails to-go and sale of sealed containers; Alameda County will align and follow this guidance.

November 17; Alameda County updated their Restaurant Operating Procedures including more detailed guidance related to canopies and covered sides based on additional information received from the State: (English) (Spanish) (Chinese)

State of California industry guidelines to help businesses reduce risk and establish a safe, clean environment for workers and customers. Read the guidelines, find industry-specific checklists and learn more at: https://covid19.ca.gov/industry-guidance/

COVID-19 Employer Playbook for a Safe Reopening - Source: California Department of Public Health

COVID-19 Industry Guidance: Dine-In Restaurants - Source: State of California

COVID-19 Industry Guidance: Restaurants, Bars, and Wineries - Source: California Department of Public Health

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's industry decision trees for Restaurants & Bars

Reopening Resources by Industry - Source: International Economic Development Council

Mask Required For Entry Poster: Arabic | Amharic | Burmese | Chinese (Simplified) | Chinese (Traditional) | English | Khmer | Korean | Spanish | Swahili | Tagalog | Tigrinya | Vietnamese

Face Covering Sign for Businesses by Alameda County (PDF): ENGLISH | SPANISH | CHINESE (Simplified) | CHINESE (Traditional) | KOREAN | ARABIC | TAGALOG | VIETNAMESE | CAMBODIAN

Mask On Sign for Businesses by Alameda County (PDF) in English, Chinese and Spanish

ReOpening Guide signs by the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce (PDF), in partnership with Oaklandish and the Economic Recovery Advisory Council, 11" x 17" signs for download. Pick up hard copies from any Oakland Chamber, Business Improvement District or CIty Council office. ENGLISH | CHINESE | SPANISH | VIETNAMESE

What to do if any Employee Tests Positive

Employers report positive cases among employees.

Report within 48 hours and Alameda County Public Health Department will provide guidance on next steps. Use this online form.

Review Alameda County Public Health Department's step-by-step instructions.

Have a question? Email COVIDWorkplace@acgov.org.

On January 1, 2021, AB 685 went into effect. The law requires businesses to notify employees of potential COVID-19 exposure at the workplace within one business day of exposure. The law remains in effect until January 1, 2023.

Adapt Your Business to Takeout and/or Delivery

Dine-in restaurants should consider adapting to a takeout and/or delivery model.

At its meeting on July 28, 2020, Oakland City Council unanimously approved an Ordinance that caps service charges at 15% on third-party food delivery.

An important consideration is engaging apps to support online ordering and/or delivery. Many of the food delivery services have waived sign-up fees for new, locally owned restaurants, reduced commissions charged to restaurants, and/or will work with businesses individually to up their web/mobile presence. Below is a sampling of various apps as a resource; these listings do not constitute endorsements.

  1. DoorDash/Caviar (ordering and delivery): No fee to sign up and use DoorDash for first 30 days. 15% commission fees for locally owned restaurants during SIP. Same day payments to restaurants. DoorDash/Caviar will connect struggling restaurants without an existing bank relationship to its partner bank, BlueVine, to provide access to an SBA-approved lender for PPP loans. COVID-19 merchant assistance.
  2. GrubHub (ordering and delivery): No sign-up costs now or ever. Provides translation services.
  3. Ordrslip (ordering): One-on-one support to get POS system installed and operating, and to build restaurant’s own website. During SIP, waiving $1000 setup fee and $100 monthly subscription to restaurants.
  4. Pick Up Fixe (ordering): One-on-one support to get POS system installed and operating, and to build restaurant’s own website. No fees or contracts to restaurants during SIP or ever. Pays restaurant next day.
  5. Postmates (ordering and delivery): No signup costs. Waiving commission fees for small businesses. Oakland restaurants are eligible for same day payments.
  6. Uber Eats (ordering and delivery): No commission fee for customer pickups; lower commission fee if restaurant handles deliveries. No signup fees during SIP. Payments are sent same day.

Another delivery option is to redeploy your own employees as delivery people. Revel Mopeds: Engage with Revel to use free mopeds for locally owned restaurant delivery. During the shelter-in-place order, there is no cost for restaurants’ use of shared mopeds. For more information, please contact danny.marquez@gorevel.com.

How the City is Supporting Curbside Pickup

To specifically support businesses with curbside or storefront pickup, and/or delivery, the City is taking the following steps:

Expediting White Curb Requests
In order to facilitate customer pick-up and delivery from Oakland businesses during the COVID-19 period, business owners can request a temporary white curb in front of their business. To request a temporary white curb, please contact Oak311 by dialing 311 or online at https://www.oaklandca.gov/serv...

Streamlining Sidewalk and Roadway Permitting
In anticipation of further updates to Alameda County’s Shelter in Place Order, City departments are working to revise the permitting process for sidewalk and roadway encroachments to make it easier for retailers and restaurants to use larger portions of the sidewalk and roadway to support their businesses. The City is working to streamline permits for parklets, café seating and other uses to help businesses better meet physical distancing requirements, and anticipates issuing updated guidelines by the end of May. City departments want to hear from local businesses about how it can streamline permitting for creative ways to use larger portions of the sidewalk, adjacent parking spaces, and the broader street space to support businesses.

Learn about the Flex Streets Initiative.

Changes to Alcoholic Beverage Sales

For those restaurants with an existing alcohol license, the State’s Alcoholic Beverage Control eased alcohol delivery restrictions for restaurants, but only with food orders, all of which must be sold from the same establishment.

ABC also lifted its ban on alcohol sold at drive-through windows, and noted that no deliveries are allowed from 2 a.m. until 6 a.m.

Promote Your Business

Now, more than ever, having an online presence for your business is essential.

Need help building or bolstering your online and social media presence? The following local resources are available.

Create and maintain your Yelp listing.

Get your business on lists of “open” businesses. Here are a few to consider:

List your business on gift card marketplaces

“Spend. Stay. Love. Oakland.” marketing campaign
From August, Visit Oakland will be hosting a “Spend. Stay. Love. Oakland” digital marketing and social media campaign, encouraging locals to spend their time and money in The Town.

Visit Oakland is creating a new landing page that will link to all of their business directories – from restaurants and retail to outdoors and events – that are pivoting during COVID-19.

The campaign will also focus social media and public relations efforts in support of upcoming events like:

If you have an upcoming event or outdoor dining special that you would like promoted through the “Spend. Stay. Love. Oakland.” campaign, please log into the Visit Oakland Partner Portal to update your listing.

If you need further assistance, email partnerships@visitoakland.com and a Visit Oakland team member will be in touch.

Help Feed Oakland’s Hungry

The City is partnering with World Central Kitchen and others to provide meals to Oakland’s hungry. We are looking for restaurants that can provide up to 300 meals per day potentially starting as soon as next week.

World Central Kitchen’s goal is to engage 200+ restaurants to serve 2 million meals in Oakland through the end of July. Additionally, the state’s new Great Plates Delivered program will need restaurants to supply meals for seniors. Please note, you are not eligible for this new program if you are already participating in another state or federal meal service program.

Participating restaurants will need to be able to meet senior and/or general meal requirements:

1) Senior meals:

  • Breakfast must be low in sodium, no sugary drinks (<24 grams/8 oz., 100% fruit juice).
  • Lunch and dinner: a piece of fresh fruit or vegetable on each dish, and low in sodium, no sugary drinks (<24 grams/8 oz., 100% fruit juice).

2) General meals: Lunch/Dinner type meals must contain 14-16 oz. of food, composed of 4 oz. protein, 6 oz. starch/grain, 6 oz. vegetable, and be free of peanuts, tree nuts and shellfish.

Priority will be given to restaurants that are able to meet the stated volume and nutritional standards; source local produce/meats (if able); meet cultural needs; prioritize local jobs, worker retention, and worker health and safety; and meet standards of equity and fairness in employment practices, wages, hiring, and promotion.

The meal service program – not the restaurants – will arrange for delivery of meals. Restaurants are paid by the food operator for the meals in bulk purchases.

Workplace Safety

Essential Business Support Fund and Returning California to Work COVID-19 Safety Protocol Fund is offering grants of up to $10,000 to State Fund policyholders to help defray the cost of safety expenses related to COVID-19 such as the purchase of googles, masks, gloves, cleaning supplies and services, and worksite modifications. Costs must be primarily related to employee safety. See their FAQ’s for more information. Grants are available until September 30.

California COVID-19 Employer Playbook: when and how an employer must report a COVID-19 positive employee; what is defined as an outbreak; and guidance for employers who may be considering whether to suspend operations due to COVID-19 spread in the workplace.

Criteria for Release from Home Isolation and/or Quarantine and Return to Work

When do I Self-Release from Isolation for COVID-19?

Screening Guidance for Employers - Source: Alameda County Public Health
English | Arabic | Chinese (Simplified) | Chinese (Traditional) | Farsi | Khmer | Korean | Spanish | Tagalog | Vietnamese

Self-Assessment Guidance for Workers - Source: Alameda County Public Health
English | Arabic | Chinese (Simplified) | Chinese (Traditional) |Farsi | Khmer | Karen | Korean | Spanish | Tagalog | Vietnamese

Workplace Outbreak Guidance for Employers - Source: California Department of Public Health

Restaurant Support

Juno Thomas, Business Development Coordinator
Economic & Workforce Development Department, City of Oakland
jthomas@oaklandca.gov