Denver program preserves $287 million in restaurant sales this summer

Published on November 10, 2020

Almost six months after Denver announced the temporary outdoor dining program to help restaurants and bars safely expand serving capacity, remain open, and keep their staff employed during the pandemic, there is new data showing the economic impact. According to data from the Department of Finance, the program has likely contributed to the preservation of around $287 million in estimated revenue for Denver restaurants, resulting in a projected $24 million in retained tax revenue for the City and County of Denver, which would otherwise been lost had local restaurants not been able to quickly and safely reopen for business. The estimate is for 101 days of operations, 342 participating businesses and 12 chairs on average in a typical expanded service area.

“The creativity and resourcefulness of our restaurant and bar industry has shined bright during these uncertain times with creative and safe outdoor dining expansions,” Mayor Michael B. Hancock said. “Combined with the hard work of many city agencies to launch this successful program, these public health steps have provided hope to these businesses as we continue to focus on keeping our community healthy and supporting the safe re-opening of our economy.”

According to the Denver Department of Finance, food services and drinking places are the single largest contributor to Denver’s sales and use tax revenue. Denver agencies that have partnered to implement this successful program include the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure, Excise and Licenses, Community Planning and Development and Denver Economic Development and Opportunity. The initiative was developed in collaboration with the Mayor’s Economic Relief and Recovery Council, an advisory group established to support the relief and relief efforts of Denver’s economy.

The city recently announced an extension of the temporary allowance for restaurants and bars to expand outdoors through October 2021. Businesses interested in participating in the program can submit an application to participate in the program and get additional information on this website.