The Colorado Restaurant Association’s most recent newsletter is stuffed to the gills with municipal, state and federal legislative updates, as well as legal guidance regarding your website (the Americans with Disabilities Act doesn’t just apply to ramps and bathrooms), and info on where your employees can get tested cheaply and quickly. Keep reading for the highlights.
The following information comes from the CRA’s Wednesday, October 7 newsletter. Sign up to receive the full version here.
New Executive Order Allows Takeout Alcohol Sales to Continue Until Last Call Time
On Tuesday, October 6, Governor Jared Polis signed a new Executive Order changing the time at which restaurant must cease takeout alcohol sales. Previously, all restaurants needed to end takeout alcohol at 11 p.m. regardless of the restaurant’s last call time. With the new Executive Order, restaurants are allowed to do takeout sales of alcohol until the last call time for the restaurants’ county. As a reminder, here are the last call times, based off the new COVID-19 dial:
- Protect Our Neighbors: County can set a last call time no later than 2 a.m.
- Safer Level 1: Sales of alcohol (in-person dining and takeout) must cease at midnight.
- Safer Level 2: Sales of alcohol (in-person dining and takeout) must cease at 11 p.m.
- Safer Level 3: Sales of alcohol (in-person dining and takeout) must cease at 10 p.m.
Restaurants that are delivering alcohol can continue to do so until 2 a.m. (Note that third party delivery of alcohol is still prohibited.)You can read that new Executive Order here. You can see where your county is in the reopening process here.
Legal Guidance: ADA Lawsuits Filed Against Restaurants With Non-Compliant Websites
You may have heard that a vision-impaired Douglas County resident recently filed a number of American Disabilities Act (ADA) lawsuits against local businesses, including restaurants, that have non-compliant websites. Websites that are inaccessible to users who are vision- or hearing-impaired violate Title III of the ADA. Your best bet for avoiding a lawsuit is to make sure your website is in compliance. Our Legal Resource Center partner Fisher & Phillips put together guidance specific to Colorado restaurants, which you can access here.
Federal Advocacy Update: Stimulus Negotiations Halted
On Tuesday, October 6, President Trump told his administration representatives to stop negotiating on a stimulus bill until after the election. At face value, this action closes negotiations for a comprehensive recovery bill before November, but the President is also saying that he would support a piecemeal approach targeting funds for airlines, a second round of PPP loans, and $1,600 stimulus checks. Unfortunately, each day that passes without resolution makes it more and more unlikely that Congress will be able to reach a deal, even on these smaller relief efforts.
Sean Kennedy, Executive Vice President of Public Affairs for the National Restaurant Association, made the following statement on this development: “The twists and turns of these negotiations make for great theater here in Washington, but every week of further inaction means that hundreds of additional restaurants will shut their doors in communities nationwide. If the White House and Congress are going to stop work on a comprehensive plan, it will be a failure if they cannot at least reach agreement on the basics that will allow restaurants to survive the winter – a second round of PPP and expansion of the Employee Retention Tax Credit. Restaurants are fighting to keep their doors open – lawmakers need to keep their doors open as well and hammer out a deal.”
Third-Party Delivery Fee Cap Update: Denver and Aurora
Following the final vote of approval from the Denver City Council Monday night (October 5), the ordinance that temporarily caps delivery fees at 15 percent of the purchase price and prevents third-party delivery companies from disclosing information without restaurant consent will go into effect on Friday, October 9. Denver has started the process of outlining compliance considerations. Please stay tuned for more information regarding how the program will be implemented, how a restaurateur can submit a complaint against a third-party delivery company, and other considerations under this new ordinance.
The City of Aurora is considering a proposal very similar to the Denver ordinance that received its first thumbs up this afternoon. Councilmember Gardner presented his proposal to temporarily cap third-party delivery fees at 15 percent and prevent these companies from disclosing information without restaurant consent before the Aurora Business Advisory Board. The Board approved a motion to support the proposal, which is tentatively scheduled to be heard before the Aurora Management and Finance Committee on October 27.
CRA Partnering With COVIDCheck to Provide Quick, Affordable Testing for Restaurants
Colorado Restaurant Association is pleased to announce that we are partnering with COVIDCheck Colorado (CCC) for COVID-19 testing. CCC is a social benefit enterprise under the Gary Community Investment Company. They are a philanthropic organization striving to help Coloradans navigate the pandemic while keeping our economy and our communities open and thriving. CCC has opened testing sites throughout the state that offer fast, accurate, and affordable COVID-19 testing. While other facilities charge upwards of $100 or more per test and aren’t able to return test results for 2 weeks or longer, CCC sites charge $12 per test and return the results in 72 hours or less.
CCC works in accordance with guidelines from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment as well as an advisory board of public health leaders and HIPAA-compliant partners. Several school districts, colleges, and universities throughout the state have used CCC to open safely.
Employers can partner with COVIDCheck Colorado to give employees access to:
- Scheduling a COVID-19 test online.
- Convenient drive-through testing sites across the Denver Metro area.
- Non-invasive swab test in less than 5 minutes.
- Regular testing for all staff.
- $12 per test.
- Clear and accurate results in 72 hours or less.
- Those who test negative will receive an email.
- Those who test positive will receive a phone call from a telehealth provider who will explain the results plus offer support and guidance on next steps
- As required by law, positive test results will be reported to the Colorado Department of Public Health Environment.
If you are interested in offering COVID-19 testing for your employees through CCC, please reach out to Courtney Steele at email@example.com.
Talk to DiningOut! Email your experiences (and thoughts, opinions, and questions—anything, really) to firstname.lastname@example.org.