Temporary Restaurant Recovery Program
The Malibu City Council introduced a Temporary Restaurant Recovery Program to help local businesses that have been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, stay-at-home orders and economic downturn, and to offer community members the opportunity to enjoy the simple pleasures of outdoor dining at beloved local restaurants. The program was approved during the City Council meeting on June 8, 2020.
“Local restaurants are a vital part of any community, creating business revenue, local jobs, and offering people the pleasure of enjoying dining out with friends and loved ones,” said Mayor Karen Farrer. “This will not be a free-for-all, and we will closely monitor the program to make sure the activity is safe and responsible. During these extremely difficult times, we need to be able to look forward to the freedoms and pleasures of normal life while continuing to follow safety precautions to fight COVID-19.”
As in most communities, Malibu’s local restaurants have been devastated by the loss of business as customers have had to stay home to slow the spread of coronavirus and protect their health and safety, food businesses have had to restrict activities to delivery and pick-up only, and customers have lost disposable income due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Restrictions are carefully and gradually being eased in accordance with the County’s roadmap to economic recovery, including allowing restaurants to re-open for in-person dining as of May 29 with specific, mandatory COVID-19 physical distancing and sanitation measures to protect the health and safety of diners and employees.
Due to the ongoing risks of COVID-19, restaurant indoor capacity will be reduced as a condition of reopening, which may severely impact businesses’ ability to generate sufficient revenue. It is crucial for the well-being of the community to maintain a thriving local economy with local small businesses able to survive and create jobs, and for community members to be able to enjoy the simple pleasures of daily life in the community, which includes dining out.
In order to help businesses and local economies recover, regulatory agencies are easing or modifying some restrictions. Recently, the California Department of Alcohol and Beverage Control (ABC) temporarily allowed restaurants and bars to begin serving alcohol on property adjacent to their businesses, such as streets and sidewalks, as long as meal service is provided, and their counties have approved dine-in restaurant service.
Malibu has examined similar moves by other cities in California, including Thousand Oaks, Agoura Hills, San Jose, and Long Beach.
Under Malibu’s proposed ordinance, some limitations on outdoor dining would be temporarily eased to allow restaurants to increase their outdoor dining areas, as long as they meet the County requirements for physical distancing and other safety protocols. They must also apply for and receive a free Temporary Restaurant Recovery Permit from the City.
The City will conduct outreach to local businesses about the Restaurant Recovery Program and City Planning Department staff is ready to assist any local businesses through the application process. To make an appointment for assistance, call 310-456-2489, ext. 485 or email MPlanning@malibucity.org.
For more information about the program, including the permit application form, visit the Restaurant Recovery Program webpage.