Here’s clarification from the Colorado Restaurant Association about last call in Level Red counties (you don’t have to kick your guests out, but you can’t serve them after that time); whether you can allow guests inside your dining room to pick up takeout (yes, with caveats); and whether you can have indoor lunch service Friday (yes, but you do have to boot diners before 5 p.m.) Plus, Aurora and Commerce City can breathe a (temporary) sigh of relief as delivery app fees are capped, and there’s good news for all when it comes to paid sick leave for high-school employees.
The following information comes from the CRA’s November 18 newsletter. Sign up to receive the full version here.
Clarification on Level Red 8 p.m. Last Call
We received questions from many of you today asking about the 8 p.m. last call for counties in the new Level Red on the state dial. This last call does not limit food sales and service, and you do not have to close at 8 p.m. You may continue serving food past 8 p.m. as long as you are in compliance with any applicable local curfews that you may be subject to. This means you must stop all sales of alcohol for on premise consumption by 8 p.m. each night; however, as long as a guest has ordered their beverage by 8 p.m., they can remain on-site to consume it. Takeout sales of alcohol may continue to 10 p.m. and delivery sales of alcohol may continue until 2 a.m. The State Liquor Enforcement Division has asked that all liquor licensees be diligent about record-keeping for last call times, meaning that you must implement procedures that clearly demonstrate your compliance. You may want to consider closing out all alcohol tabs at 8 p.m. each night. Or, if your POS system has time stamps associated with orders, you will want to ensure that all alcohol beverages are rung in and accounted for before 8 p.m. each night.
You can see where your county is on the state dial here.
Takeout Clarification for Level Red
Many of you also reached out today asking for clarification on takeout allowances for counties in Level Red. Guests are still allowed to come inside your restaurant to pick up or place takeout food orders; however, sales of takeout alcohol must cease at 10 p.m. each night. That being said, you must implement procedures to ensure that social distancing is being followed by guests arriving for their takeout orders. You can facilitate compliance by placing markers six feet apart on the floor, posting signs, encouraging guests to wait in their cars, and ensuring that guests are spacing themselves appropriately and avoiding all congregation. There should be no more than 10 guests waiting for their orders indoors at any given time.
How to Handle Friday Lunch Service on November 20 if Your County is Moving to Level Red
Many restaurateurs in counties transitioning to Level Red have asked whether they can offer indoor lunch service this Friday before the Level Red restrictions take effect at 5 p.m. We received confirmation from the State Department of Public Health and Environment that lunch service can be held indoors as long as all guests have left your indoor dining areas by 5 p.m., when the new restrictions go into effect. If there are any guests dining in your restaurant at 5 p.m., you will be in violation of the new Level Red guidelines and could be subject to enforcement actions.
Please note that local governments have the ability to enforce these orders earlier on Friday than 5 p.m. As of today we are not aware of any local governments that will be enforcing these restrictions before 5 p.m. on Friday, and will keep restaurants in the loop if we learn more.