The restaurant industry has been tested more than ever before in these last few weeks. More than half of the jobs lost in the US due to the COVID-19 outbreak came from restaurants and bars. In order to survive the turmoil, Denver restaurants have banded together to help each other out. EatDenver — an association of locally owned, independent restaurants — has served as a platform for trusted information and collaboration during this time despite more than 70% of its member restaurants closing and more than 83% of member restaurant employees being furloughed.
The organization acts as a liaison between restaurants and City, State, and Federal representatives and provides members with critical alerts and insights on changing regulations and financing programs. It also incubates marketing initiatives like ToGoDenver.com and sits on the leadership council of the Independent Restaurant Coalition — a national group of restaurateurs that was formed to save local restaurants affected by COVID-19.
Since the organization is funded by membership dues and proceeds from its signature events and Dining Deck – a coupon book with deals for many of the organization’s restaurants — it also faces peril. These challenging times call for business owners to get creative with offerings and Stephanie Bonin — one of the original co-founders of EatDenver and co-owner of Duo Restaurant — created an initiative to help her peers: Double Down For Denver Restaurants.
Starting on April 20, for every gift card purchased from a member restaurant, a matching donation – up to $43,000 – will be allocated to EatDenver from a sponsor-contributed fund. The fund includes donations from Campari America, Restaurant Solutions Inc, Ecolab, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Messner Reeves LLP, New Belgium Brewing, ToMarket, Curtis Corrado Farmers Agency, Moody Insurance, Seattle Fish Company and What Chefs Want.
By purchasing a gift card you allow EatDenver to continue to be a resource for those in the industry and are able to support a local restaurant in need. A full list of member restaurants can be found here and purchases can be made from any of the restaurant links here.