It has been a long couple of weeks and a particularly tumultuous period of adjustment for restaurateurs, service industry workers and the dining public since Governor Polis mandated that restaurants be closed to in-house dining last Monday. Many restaurants were fast to shift their entire operation towards takeout and delivery. The updated allowance for takeout booze has helped to bolster shaky sales, along with this week’s Stay-at-Home Order thankfully including restaurants in its list of essential businesses that may remain open.
Even so, EatDenver’s Katie Lazor has reported — from a survey that includes approximately 177 Denver-area restaurants — that 68.9 percent of restaurants had closed altogether with 82.9% of employees being laid off or otherwise put out of work. “Our staff has worked so hard, it was so hard laying everyone off. It was probably the most painful, saddest day in my career,” said Old Major’s Justin Brunson.
Fortunately, as quickly as the devastation arrived the restaurant community has sprung into action. Business owners have been working at breakneck speed to get programs in place to help their employees survive — initiating makeshift grocery stores, healthcare assistance, daily meals and fundraisers. While groups and individuals have been tackling the problem differently, the outpouring of support has been remarkably robust.
Read more about relief efforts during COVID-19, here.