EatDenver is an association of locally-owned, independent restaurants committed to supporting and promoting the value of independent dining within our community. Our primary goal is to create a community of restaurants and a forum where members can support and help each other in all aspects of running a business, from staffing to maintenance and marketing. In addition, we have developed several initiatives to promote independent dining to the Denver community, gain brand recognition for the organization and exposure and increased revenue for our members.
With every paid annual membership, you receive the following benefits:
- Access to a community of like-minded restaurant owners, chefs, and managers committed to the success of Denver’s independent restaurants.
- Immediate on-line access to all members for any questions, concerns or needs you have in running your business. Find qualified and recommended staff members, plumbers, electricians etc.
- Monthly meetings, where you and your staff have the opportunity to mingle with other independent restaurateurs.
- Quarterly social gatherings for our entire restaurant community.
- Promotional opportunities for your restaurant through our website, in our monthly newsletter and through social media.
- Promotion through Eat Denver’s exclusive magazine: EatDenver: A Guide to Independent Dining.
- Participation in EatDenver’s signature food events, where you receive additional press and the chance to gain exposure to our local food-loving community. Recognition of your restaurant as a member of EatDenver.
Restaurants wishing to become part of EatDenver are warmly welcomed, providing they meet our simple criteria.
- Must be locally owned and operated, have no franchise locations, be committed to EatDenver’s beliefs and participate in a minimum of one of the following events: Dining Deck, Harvest Week, or The Big Eat
- Must meet 2 of the following criteria
- Food Sales over 60%
- Must have a liquor license
- Must be a full-service restaurant
- Be committed to the organization’s beliefs
The annual cost for membership is $300 for the first restaurant and $200 for each additional restaurant under the same ownership. Membership runs from January to December, with fees pro-rated semi-annually.
Annual EatDenver Events and Programs
EatDenver Dining Deck
Every year just before the holidays, we create a custom-crafted deck of cards with a promotion to eat out at participating restaurants. Each card in the deck offers $10 off any $25 food purchase. With 52 participating restaurants, we offer our customers a deck with $520 of dining deals for only $50. This has proven to our biggest fund-raising effort and an excellent marketing tool for restaurants. Sponsored by 5280 and Westword, it provides great marketing potential for participating restaurants.
The Big Eat
Each year, to welcome in the summer, EatDenver puts together a fun-filled outdoor event at Union Station. The event features 36 EatDenver restaurants in a circus themed environment complete with a beer garden, circus entertainers, live music, a dunk-tank and so much more. Local beers, wines and spirits are generously poured and guests enjoy circus-themed bites from each restaurant. Completely sold out in 2011 and touted as the food event of the year, this event is an amazing opportunity for participating restaurants.
This is our annual celebration of Colorado’s bounty of exceptional local products. We have partnered with the GrowHaus – Denver’s only indoor farm – to create a week of pop-up dining experiences. These rustic, communal dinners feature 5 EatDenver chefs each night creating dishes from a single theme. The 5 courses are paired with two local Colorado wines, a local beer and a signature cocktail made with local spirits. It’s a truly extraordinary event and the proceeds benefit both the GrowHaus and EatDenver.
EatDenver Dining Guide
EatDenver produces a semi-annual guide to independent dining, which lists all member restaurants and is distributed through restaurants, Visit Denver, real estate agencies and hotels. It is a one stop shop for customers to find a listing of local, independent dining establishments.
On-going EatDenver Community Outreach
A subgroup working to further sustainability practices within individual restaurants as well as the Denver community. A voluntary group to join, each participating restaurant works on a month to month basis focusing on areas ranging from food sourcing, transportation, energy and more. Since its beginning in 2008, EGD has teamed up with the EPA, Greenprint Denver, Alliance for Sustainable Colorado and many more to create this program. In 2010 EGD will serve as the pilot restaurants in establishing a city wide Green Restaurant Certification, one of the first of its kind in the country.
EatDenver Serves Schools (EDSS)
One of the newest programs to EatDenver, EDSS seeks to help bridge the gap in current school food and nutrition knowledge. The group works towards specific partnerships with Denver Public Schools to identify school gardening projects, partnering restaurants with DPS schools for mentoring and education, and teaching opportunities for students, parents and faculty. EDSS represents the philanthropic partnership established and endorsed by EatDenver.