Restaurant Owners Questions

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Restaurant Owners Questions


1.

What is the purpose of the Restaurant Meals Program?

The CalFresh Restaurant Meals Program is a voluntary component of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). It enables the homeless, elderly (age 60 or over), and disabled CalFresh individuals to purchase prepared meals at participating restaurants. Its goal is to provide a variety of nutritious meal choices to eligible CalFresh individuals.

2.

Are there any fees that I must pay to participate in the Restaurant Meals Program or to be part of the “Restaurant Meals Program (RMP) Waiting List”? 

There are no fees that a restaurant owner must pay to County of Los Angeles-Department of Public Social Services (LAC-DPSS) for RMP participation or to be part of the “Restaurant Meals Program (RMP) Waiting List.”

3.

I have more than one restaurant. Can I apply for all my restaurants to participate in the Restaurant Meals Program?

Yes, you can apply for all your restaurants to participate in the Restaurant Meals Program.

4.

How long does it take to become an authorized restaurant?

The entire process takes approximately 120 days, which consists of 45 to 60 days to execute the contract (i.e. Memorandum of Understanding) with a restaurant and 60 days from the contract execution for restaurant to complete the certification process with the United States Department of Agriculture-Food and Nutrition Service (USDA-FNS).

5.

How long does it take to be reimbursed for the Golden State Advantage (EBT) card meal purchases?

EBT meals purchases are usually reimbursed within forty-eight hours.

6.

How do I know if a customer who provides a Golden State Advantage (EBT) card is eligible for the Restaurant Meals Program?

The state issued Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) equipment or your EBT integrated Point-of-Sale (POS) devise has an Automated Eligibility Identifier that enables to automatically identify if an EBT card can be processed for the CalFresh Restaurant Meals Program. EBT cards work similar to ATM and credit cards.

7.

How can I handle a customer whose Golden State Advantage (EBT) card was denied when processed on the EBT/POS device?

You may inform the customer to contact his/her CalFresh Eligibility Worker at the Department of Public Social Services (DPSS) local office or to call the EBT Customer Service Center at (877-328-9677 or the TYY at 800-735-2929).

8.

What happens if a participating restaurant closes for business?

The restaurant owner must notify the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Social Services (LAC-DPSS) and the United States Department of Agriculture-Food and Nutrition Service (USDA-FNS) when a restaurant closes. This ensures that the authorization is cancelled immediately since the previous owner's authorization is NOT TRANSFERABLE.

Send LAC-DPSS a request letter with following information:

  • Date of Request

  • Date of restaurant closed;

  • Restaurant Name;

  • Restaurant Address;

  • Restaurant Telephone Number;

  • Owner Name and Title’

  • Signature of Owner(s);

  • Owner’s Contact Telephone Number; and

  • Owner’s Email Address (if available).

The restaurant owner may email the request letter to  restaurantmealsprogram@dpss.lacounty.gov or mail it to:

CalFresh Nutrition Program Section

Restaurant Meals Program

12820 Crossroads Parkway South

City of Industry, CA 91746

Attention: Oanh Ngo, Human Services Administrator I

United States Department of Agriculture-Food and Nutrition Service (USDA-FNS) can be contacted at (877) 823-4963.

9.

What happens if a participating restaurant closes for business?

The restaurant owner must notify the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Social Services (LAC-DPSS) and the United States Department of Agriculture-Food and Nutrition Service (USDA-FNS) when a restaurant closes. This ensures that the authorization is cancelled immediately since the previous owner's authorization is NOT TRANSFERABLE.

Send LAC-DPSS a request letter with following information:

  • Date of Request

  • Date of restaurant closed;

  • Restaurant Name;

  • Restaurant Address;

  • Restaurant Telephone Number;

  • Owner Name and Title’

  • Signature of Owner(s);

  • Owner’s Contact Telephone Number; and

  • Owner’s Email Address (if available).

The restaurant owner may email the request letter to  restaurantmealsprogram@dpss.lacounty.gov or mail it to:

CalFresh Nutrition Program Section

Restaurant Meals Program

12820 Crossroads Parkway South

City of Industry, CA 91746

Attention: Oanh Ngo, Human Services Administrator I

United States Department of Agriculture-Food and Nutrition Service (USDA-FNS) can be contacted at (877) 823-4963.

10.

Can I process an EBT cash transaction when an EBT cardholder, not eligible to participate in the CalFresh Restaurant Meals Program, wants to use the EBT cash as payment for meals?

Yes, an EBT cardholder not eligible for the program, but does have EBT cash portion on its card may use it at any sites with EBT equipment, even at the Restaurant Meals Program sites.

11.

How do I enroll having EBT at a restaurant?

EBT Restaurant Meals Program CalFresh/Cash

Restaurants have two options for having Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) at their business. The first option is to participate in the Restaurant Meals Program (RMP) and the second option is to participate in the State EBT/Cash Assistance service.  Restaurants will select EBT vendor of their choice to obtain a Point-of-Service (POS) device to process EBT transactions.   The 2014 Farm Bill requires restaurants participating in the RMP to pay POS fee if the restaurants select the State and County EBT vendor- Xerox and State Local Solutions, Incorporation. 

Option 1 – Restaurant Meals Program

To participate in the RMP, restaurants must first enter into a non-financial Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Social Services (LAC-DPSS).  The restaurants then must be certified by the United States Department of Agriculture-Food and Nutrition Services (USDA-FNS) to participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for Communal Dining Facilities.  The restaurants must provide a Health Permit, Seller's Permit and Business License, and corporation paper work, if applicable.

Only restaurants participating in the RMP can process both EBT/CalFresh and EBT/Cash.  LAC-DPSS does not charge restaurant owner fees to participate in the RMP.

Initially the program was open to all qualifying restaurants, but due to the large increase in number of interested restaurants and DPSS' concerns regarding its workload, it decided to implement a cap on the number of participating restaurants in October 2010 .  The RMP is capped at 1,200 participating restaurants.  Interested restaurants are placed on the “Restaurant Meals Program (RMP) Waiting List” and will be contacted if reachable.

Option 2 – EBT/Cash Assistance with State

Restaurants can process EBT/Cash by having a contract with the State.  This option allows only EBT/Cash to be processed and it does not require the restaurants to be certified by USDA-FNS or to be in contract with LAC-DPSS.   Restaurants interested in the State EBT/Cash Assistance service can contact Xerox Local and Solutions, Incorporation by calling (866) 328-4212.

12.

Is RMP-MOU is transferable because of “Change in Ownership” or “Restaurant Moves to a Nearby Location”?  What does the process involve?

Yes.  The RMP-MOU is transferrable for both the “Change of Ownership” and the “Restaurant Moves to a Nearby Location.”

As a part of standard policy, a restaurant’s acceptance of Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) or participation in the Restaurant Meals Program (RMP) is terminated whenever there is a change in ownership or the restaurant moves to a nearby location.  However, DPSS will sign a new RMP-MOU with a new restaurant owner for the Change of Ownership or with the current restaurant owner for the “Restaurant Moves to a Nearby Location.” 

13.

For “Change of Ownership”, what does the process involve if new restaurant owner wants to participate in the Restaurant Meals Program (RMP)?

New restaurant owner must provide the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Social Services (LAC-DPSS) with the following information:

  • Date of Change of Ownership

  • Name of New Restaurant

  • Restaurant Address

  • Restaurant Telephone Number

  • Owner’s Name

  • Owner’s Contact Telephone Number

  • Owner’s Email Address

For Change of Ownership, restaurant owner may email requested information to restaurantmealsprogram@dpss.lacounty.gov or mail it to:

CalFresh Nutrition Program Section

Restaurant Meals Program

12820 Crossroads Parkway South

City of Industry, CA 91746

Attention: Oanh Ngo, Human Services Administrator I

LAC-DPSS will contact the new restaurant owner by mail.  LAC-DPSS does not charge restaurant owner fees to participate in the RMP.

14.

If a restaurant wants to be the “Restaurant Meals Program (RMP) Waiting List,” what do I need to do?

Restaurant owner must provide the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Social Services (LAC-DPSS) with the following information:

  • Restaurant Address

  • Restaurant Telephone Number

  • Owner’s Name

  • Owner’s Contact Telephone Number

  • Owner’s Email Address

Restaurant owner may email the requested information to restaurantmealsprogram@dpss.lacounty.gov or mail it to:

CalFresh Nutrition Program Section

Restaurant Meals Program

12820 Crossroads Parkway South

City of Industry, CA 91746

Attention: Oanh Ngo, Human Services Administrator I

 

Name of Restaurant

15.

Contact information of other agencies?

  • Seller’s Permit – Contact California Board of Equalizations at (800) 400-7115.

  • Business License – Contact Los Angeles County Treasure and Tax Collector at (213) 974-2011.

  • State of Information – Contact California Secretary of State at (916) 657-5448.

  • Health Permit – Contact Los Angeles County Department of Public Health at (626) 430-5350.

  • Retailers (e.g. markets, convenience stores, USDA-FNS) – Contact United States Department of Agriculture-Food and Nutrition Service (USDA-FNS) at (877) 823-4369.

  • EBT related issues – Contact Xerox State & Local Solution Inc. at (866) 328-4212.

16.

How long does it take to be reimbursed for the Golden State Advantage (EBT) card meal purchases?

EBT meals purchases are usually reimbursed within forty-eight hours.

17.

How can I handle a customer whose Golden State Advantage (EBT) card was denied when processed on the EBT/POS device?

You may inform the customer to contact his/her CalFresh Eligibility Worker at the Department of Public Social Services (DPSS) local office or to call the EBT Customer Service Center at (877-328-9677 or the TYY at 800-735-2929).

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