Hospitality Leaders Announce New Initiative Aimed to Protect Patrons and Employees

June 23, 2020 - In collaboration with South Carolina’s hospitality leaders, Governor Henry McMaster announced the South Carolina Palmetto Priority during a press conference. The Palmetto Priority is a restaurant commitment aimed at instilling confidence with restaurant-goers as they choose dine-in service at restaurants across the state.

The formal commitment, which will be overseen by the South Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association, demonstrates the precautions a restaurant is taking to prevent the spread of COVID-19 with the pledge of a clean and safe operation for both customers and employees. Restaurants choosing to take part in the Palmetto Priority will:

• Complete a checklist of operational assurances as outlined in the Restaurant Reopening Guidelines
• Participate in required free online education, and
• Participate in a DHEC limited scope food safety inspection

Restaurants who successfully complete the checklist will sign a commitment and earn the program’s endorsement—a seal to be posted in the restaurant’s front window.

“I am proud that the industry seeks to restore confidence in consumers by embracing high standards for safety and cleanliness, and by demonstrating their commitment with seals of approval,” said Duane Parrish, Director of the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism. “It’s also impressive that the industry will be asking consumers to participate in these safety protocols, welcoming their feedback on their dining experiences.”

Guests may visit to review commitment standards, view a list of participating restaurants, and provide feedback through short online survey. Guests may file an online report if they experience a participating restaurant not honoring the commitment.

About the South Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association
In its 75th year, the SCRLA represents more than 2,200 member companies and 210,000 employees across the state. Our mission is to promote, protect and educate the foodservice and lodging industries of our state and to ensure positive business growth for our members. The SCRLA strives to represent the best interests of its members on small business issues, hospitality and tourism concerns and towards the protection of South Carolina’s quality of life. Please visit for more information.

About the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism
The South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism is a cabinet agency assigned to operate and manage South Carolina's 47 state parks, brand-market the state as a preferred vacation destination and provide assistance to communities to develop recreation assets. More can be found at


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