COVID-19 UPDATE: Rules and Recommendations for Takeout, Delivery, and Drive-Thru March 18,2020

Update: Restaurants are now allowed to sell alcohol to-go and for delivery. See the rules and recommendations here

On March 16, Governor Polis gave executive orders mandating the closure of all restaurant dine-in services until April 30. Mayor Hancock has given the same orders for the City of Denver, ending on May 11. In light of this, we know many of you are ramping up your take-out, delivery, walk-up service, drive-up service, and drive-through service, which are still allowed. We are compiling resources on how best to execute this, whether you need to make some changes to current policies or you’re starting from scratch. 


National Restaurant Consultants (NRC) and the Colorado Restaurant Association are providing as a service to the foodservice and hospitality industry additional information for restaurants implementing delivery service utilizing their own staff members due to the dining closures of restaurants in Colorado. This resource contains guidelines for managers, an official policy template, and templates for forms you may need to implement delivery using your own staff. Find the document here.

National Restaurant Consultants is a leading national restaurant consulting firm based in Denver, Colorado.

To limit person-to-person interaction, delivery drivers are encouraged to drop-off food deliveries at a customer’s front door, or in the lobby of their building. The goal is to maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from one another during the delivery transaction. 

Businesses should also review their current insurance coverage to ensure that they are covered for “hired non-owned auto policies” if they are going to be conducting their deliveries with their staff as opposed to using a third party delivery service. 

Insurance Considerations for Delivery Drivers
If you are considering transitioning your restaurant employees to delivery drivers, there are some insurance requirements that you must consider first. We collaborated with our partners at CREST Restaurant Insurance to bring you this information. 

Unless you are already performing in-house restaurant delivery services with a hired non-owned auto (HNOA) policy, you will need to speak with your Agent/Broker to see if this coverage can be added to your current policy. Depending on your current insurance provider, they may offer the addition of this coverage under your existing policy. If your insurance does not provide this additional coverage, you will need to apply for a stand-alone HNOA policy designed for delivery services by your employees using their personal vehicles.

The process to receive a quote can take up to seven business days to complete, but it can go faster if you have these materials prepared and ready to go:

  • The employee’s driver’s license;
  • The employee’s proof of car insurance;
  • A signed disclosure form to perform MVR checks for driver approval; and
  • A completed insurance application for HNOA
Each insurance carrier has different requirements related to this coverage, so we recommend you speak with your insurance agent to learn more on what it would take to get you covered to provide employee delivery services for your restaurant.

Update: The Colorado Division of Insurance (DOI) took action to protect Colorado insurance consumers and reduce insurance delays for restaurants and workers during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Our partners at Crest Restaurant Insurance explain: The State changed 2 pertinent coverage exclusions for Delivery Drivers:
  • The regulation removes the “commercial use” exclusion in a personal automobile policy. This essentially requires that personal automobile polices cannot exclude claims arising from commercial use of the vehicle.
  • The regulation removes the “unnamed driver” exclusion in a commercial automobile policy. This essentially makes any driver covered on a Hired/Non-owned policy.
This regulation expands coverage for individuals and restaurants who are adequately insured and acting in the course of employment/business operations.  
  • Please note these expanded conditions ONLY apply for employees whose job description did not include food delivery prior to March 17, 2020.
  • The commercial use (PL) and excluded driver (CL) exclusions would still be applicable if a driver was employed as a driver prior to March 17, 2020.
  • Restaurants still need Hired/Non-owned liability coverage if they are directly (or through a third-party) delivering food. Consider the State minimum for auto liability for licensed drivers is $25,000/$50,000. We still believe that business operators would be named in a bodily injury/property damage occurrence. Their H/NO policy is where they would be afforded defense coverage.
See the full order here.

See more safety guidelines for delivery drivers from our partners at Pinnacol: click here.


Takeout from inside the restaurant is allowed, but restaurants must follow the new public health notice that prohibits more than five members of the public in a place of business at any given time. Restaurants should be encouraging ordering ahead either online or over the phone. If you have customers waiting in line for takeout, they need to be spaced six feet apart. 

We are working on emergency rule changes to allow restaurants and bars to sell carry-out alcohol, but this has not yet gone through. For now, adhere to liquor law, which for most establishments doesn’t allow for alcohol to leave the licensed premises except for one 750ml bottle of wine that has been opened and partially consumed. Brew pubs, distillery pubs, and vintner’s restaurants may continue to sell for off-premises consumption the alcohol that they produce. 

Alcohol service for take-out customers is prohibited. Restaurants cannot allow guests to consume their takeout orders on patios. Patrons must pick up their food and leave.

Curbside Pickup and Drive-Thru

In order to limit the person-to-person contact, employees should be encouraged to keep these interactions brief and maintain a distance of 6 feet to the best of their ability when transferring the food to customers. 

Additional COVID-19 recommendations on these services from the State
Packaging recommendations for delivery and takeout from Western Paper Distributors
  • Material: With more restaurants doing the same thing, delivery is going to take longer. The entree container needs to be able to maintain the integrity of the food (hot, crisp, cold, etc), for longer than normal. 
  • Clear lids: Being able to see the food after it’s packed keeps employees from opening to verify what is packed and helps keep orders straight. This also reduces deterioration and contamination risk. Using sticker systems can help identify orders without reopening packages as well.
  • Bags: Bags need to be sealed in some way. There are bags that have stick seals for safe delivery, or use the old faithful and staple the bag shut. This helps ensure the driver cannot tamper with the food. 
Contact Western Paper Distributors here.

Third party delivery providers and contact info


Sites listing takeout and delivery options

Consider listing your information across these platforms, which are amassing lists of restaurants offering carry-out and delivery: click here.

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