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Bonanno-owned restaurants want 100% vaccination rate for staff and customers by Sept. 30

Posted at 6:43 PM, Aug 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-10 20:43:28-04

DENVER — The owners of a popular Denver-based restaurant group will soon ask customers to sign a health declaration stating they have received the COVID-19 vaccine before being allowed to dine in.

Bonanno Concepts just announced a new policy that will require 100% of staff and customers to be vaccinated by Sept. 30. The group owns nine restaurants and the Milk Market food hall.

"We think it’s the right thing to do for our staff and for our guests," said Jessica Kinney, director of people for Bonanno Concepts.

Kinney said the owners had been weighing a vaccine policy for a while but decided to move forward as cases of the delta variant continue to rise. She said although the restaurant group will not require patrons to show their vaccination cards, that doesn't mean the policy won't change in the future.

"As technology evolves, as more and more places jump in on this, we’re able to do things like vaccine passports or it becomes easier that’s, hopefully, something we can adopt. But right now, we don’t want to put our 18-year-old host on the line to be that police person," Kinney said.

Customers who are not vaccinated will be asked to order takeout or dine somewhere else, but Kinney hopes the policy will make customers who have been reluctant to go to a restaurant more comfortable. She also said the overall response from staff has been positive, with 20% of non-vaccinated employees signing up for appointments after the announcement.

"That has been a real reassurance to us that we’re on the right track," said Kinney.