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 unite Denver’s collection of independent restaurants and provide a forum where members can offer support and wisdom to benefit one another in all aspects of running a business. You will connect with veteran restaurateurs and learn from their experience – they have faced the same or similar challenges! From staffing to maintenance, marketing to legal issues, running a restaurant means juggling many different balls. Couldn’t we all use a little support?
EatDenver has also created proprietary events and marketing initiatives with the sole purpose of promoting the incredible independent dining scene our city has to offer.
Membership Gets Me What?
- Connection to a community of like-minded restaurant owners, chefs and managers committed to the success of your restaurant(s). Most members would say that this is KEY and alone is worth the price of membership.
- Access to a dialogue with restaurateurs that often have the same questions and concerns that you have. We provide the platform to ask questions, pose concerns and/or throw out ideas.
- Regular meetings where you and your team can connect with other restaurateurs to mingle, learn and grow. Meetings generally take place in a member restaurant and the vibe is relaxed, supportive and fun. Have a topic you’d like to see addressed – simply let us know.
- Participation in EatDenver’s signature foodie events, from which you will have the opportunity for media coverage and the chance to gain exposure to our local food-loving community alongside your indie restaurant peers.
- Public relations opportunities and guidance.
- Exposure for your restaurant through our website, newsletter, social media and whatever other opportunities we (or you) can drum up!
Past meetings have included these topics:
- John Hickenlooper speaking about the importance of independent restaurants and the economic and cultural impact they provide our city.
- Marketing panel with food writers from The Denver Post, 5280 Magazine, Westword and national blogs.
- Design and construction panel with prominent restaurant architects and contractors.
- Affordable care act panel with local health insurance experts.
- Social media panel with Yelp! and information on how others deal with good and bad reviews, etc.
- Additional social gatherings that keep you connected to Denver’s restaurant community.
Restaurants wishing to become part of EatDenver are warmly welcomed, providing they meet our indie criteria.
- Your establishment must be locally owned and operated, with no more than five locations of the same brand (by the same name).
- Your establishment must meet two of the following criteria: have food sales over 60%, hold a liquor license, be a full-service restaurant.
- Not have any franchise locations.
- Be committed to the organization’s sole purpose, which is to support the independent food scene that contributes greatly to the economy, lifestyle and culture of our great city.
- Participate in a minimum of one of the following EatDenver events or program: The Big Eat, Harvest Week, The Dining Deck
- Have a representative from your establishment(s) regularly attend meetings or actively participate in an EatDenver sub-committee.
The annual cost for membership is $300 for your first restaurant and $200 for each additional restaurant under the same ownership.
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 ~ EatDenver’s crowd-pleasing summer foodie event that has sold out since it’s inception in 2012. This third year, we are taking it to new heights, courting sponsors and a new location that will elevate the scene. This year’s members-only committee includes veterans and newbies – a great combination of wisdom and energy. The bottom line is that The Big Eat lives up to its mission as a vehicle to promote indie restaurants as the place to lift your fork.
Harvest Week ~ Our annual celebration of Colorado’s bounty of local produce, fish, poultry, meats, booze and beer. Over six days, we showcase indie restaurants and their talented chefs with whimsical themes like the “Praise the Lard Barn Dance Brunch” and “The Rocky Mountain Showdown: Grapes vs. Grains”. Our partners at GrowHaus, Denver’s only indoor farm, offer the perfect atmosphere for these rustic, communal dinners, each of which features five EatDenver chefs creating dishes based on the theme. The five course meals are paired with two Colorado wines, a local beer and a signature cocktail made with local spirits. It’s truly an extraordinary event, and the proceeds benefit both the GrowHaus and EatDenver.
The Dining Deck ~ Just before the holidays each year, we create a custom deck of cards; each with the restaurant’s compelling description and an offer amounting to $10 off of food with purchases of $25 or more. 52 restaurants participate and the cards are promoted by EatDenver in the media and are sold online and at The Tattered Cover Bookstores. The $50 decks hold $520 worth of dining deals from Denver’s indie restaurants.
The Dining Deck has proven to be the biggest marketing tool for our member restaurants and the biggest fund-raising effort for EatDenver so far.