DENVER — Customers will see signs hanging on the doors of every Bonanno Concepts restaurant proudly declaring the establishment is "vaxxed" and asking customers to show proof of their COVID-19 vaccine.
The popular Denver restaurant group that owns the Milk Market, Mizuna, Osteria Marco and Lou's Food Bar, among others, is requiring all customers and employees to have their COVID-19 vaccine. The policy was announced in the beginning of August and went into effect on Sept. 30.
"We’re hoping that they know before they come. We’re doing a lot of outreach to make sure that this isn’t a surprise to people when they decide to dine with us," said Jessica Kinney, director of people for Bonanno Concepts.
Customers will be required to show their COVID-19 vaccination card at the door. Digital cards through the myColorado app will also be accepted. Additional information about COVID-19 policies for Bonanno Concepts can be found here.
"This is just a way to keep the community and our staff as safe as possible," Kinney said.
Kinney said when the policy was first announced they weren't sure what the impact would be on workers, especially with the whole industry facing staffing challenges. She believes the decision to require COVID-19 vaccines has actually worked in their favor when it comes to attracting talent because people feel safer.
"We’ve actually gotten a lot of people who have applied here because they know this is now our policy and they’re excited about that, and they want to work for a place where they can feel as safe as possible," Kinney said.
Out of nearly 400 employees, Kinney said 35 were not vaccinated at the time the policy was announced and seven employees ultimately decided not to comply. She said they have since left the company.
“Relief being able to come into work every day knowing that we’re going to be safe from not only each other but with the public as well," said Lee Wilson, Wine Director at Mizuna and Luca. "I really was, just a load off of my shoulders."