COVID-19 UPDATE: Restaurants EXEMPT from Statewide Stay at Home Order March 26,2020

On March 25, Governor Polis issued a statewide Stay at Home Order, effective March 26 at 6 a.m. through April 11. On April 6, he extended the Statewide Stay at Home Order through April 26. Restaurants providing to-go and delivery services are considered critical businesses under this order, and their employees are exempt from this order. Here are the details, plus ways to increase your sales beyond your usual takeout menu.

Restaurants EXEMPT From Statewide Stay at Home Order, Can Continue to Operate

On March 25, Governor Polis announced a statewide Stay at Home Order, effective March 26 at 6 a.m. through April 11. Restaurants and bars providing to-go, delivery, and drive-thru service are defined as critical businesses and are therefore excluded from the order, as are businesses that supply restaurants and bars. See the full order here.

The order requires Coloradans to stay at home unless they are conducting essential services or activities. 

Sample Letter for Identifying Employees of Essential Businesses

Although we do not expect this to be required, we've received a number of requests from restaurants for a letter they can provide to their staff to identify them as employees of an essential business. 

See an editable version of a sample letter here, and a PDF version here.

Provide a Public Service: Restaurants Can Sell Toilet Paper, Paper Towels, Raw Ingredients, and Much More 

Remember, you can sell more than just your traditional offerings. You may want to think about providing a public service as well as increasing sales. The Colorado Department of Health and Environment issued rules to allow restaurants to sell whole foods and products in bulk (including raw meat, raw produce, toilet paper, paper towels and other provisions!). See the full guidance here.

Per CDPHE: To provide service to communities and afford restaurateurs alternative financial and employment viability during this public health crisis, restrictions on the resale of bulk foods are being lifted and new temporary permissions instituted. Restaurants can provide certain goods to consumers for purchase or donation. Allowed products include household goods, such as toilet paper, paper towels, general cleaning supplies (sanitizing tablets, cleaning supplies, etc…), and food items such as non-perishable goods and unopened containers of milk and dairy products, packaged cheeses, raw meats and poultry.

Please keep in mind:
  • Products requiring refrigeration must remain under temperature control (≤41°F) until ready for pick up or delivery.
  • Establish a phone or an online order capability, have orders ready to avoid crowds of five or more during pick up.
  • Bulk items of dry goods must be sold in their original containers. 
  • Sale and delivery of alcohol must be done according to requirements of the Executive Order D2020 011 and Colorado Liquor Enforcement Division. Read about that order, which allow restaurants to sell alcohol to-go and for delivery, here.
If you have questions, please contact us at

It's Not Just To-Go Cocktails: Expand What You Sell With Alcohol To-Go and Delivery

Alcohol sales guidelines have been expanded significantly to allow flexibility for restaurants including selling full bottles of sealed alcohol (and multiple bottles), drinks in to go cups with lids and more. Governor Polis signed an executive order that allows liquor licensees licensed for on premises consumption to sell alcohol for carry out, and delivery. This order is in effect now and will stay in effect until April 18th. You can read the full order here. Here is what you need to know:
  • Operators must have one of the following licenses: Beer and Wine, Brew Pubs, Club Licenses, Distillery Pubs, Hotel & Restaurant, Lodging and Entertainment, Tavern, or Vintners Restaurant
  • The order applies to all types of beer, wine, and spirits (cocktails and mixed drinks included).
  • Beverages must be in a sealed container – according to LED, sealed containers include plastic cups with plastic lids, even if there is a straw hole, as long as there isn’t a straw in it. Restaurants can also refill growlers.
  • Sale of food must be on the same receipt or transaction.
  • As always, sales to someone under 21 or someone who is visibly intoxicated are prohibited.
  • For delivery orders, individuals placing the order must be  21 years of age or over, and must provide their name, date of birth, and delivery address. This information must be verified upon delivery.
  • Establishments licensed as a distillery pub or a brewery may only sell what’s made on site. (We believe this was supposed to say “distillery” and are seeking a change.)
  • Deliveries may only be made to the address provided at the time of the order. 
  • Persons making the delivery must be 21 years old or older and an employee of the licensee.  (We are working with LED and the Governor’s office to allow third parties to deliver as most restaurants aren’t set up for delivery.)
  • Licensee must retain all records regarding the delivery of alcohol beverages. 
We have already been in contact with the Colorado Department of Revenue and they have informed us that they are interpreting this order very broadly, but asking licensees to be reasonable. If you have questions, please contact us at

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