They may all be independent restaurants, but the members of the Denver Independent Network of Restaurants know how to work together. Close to fifty of them have joined to create DINR decks, which could be just the thing to stuff a food-lover's stocking this Christmas. Every deck holds 52 cards, each offering $10 off a food order of $25 or more at a local restaurant - with a couple of jokers thrown in that explain DINR and this new program.
"Since the inception of DINR, we've been trying to figure out a gift-card program," explains David Zahradnik, the founding president of DINR who's also the GM of Steuben's, one of its members. But since the member restaurants were independent, it wasn't easy - few of them use the same accounting system, and some don't even use computers. The solution was the DINR deck, "a great stepping stone to a full-on gift card."
A great deal, too.The deck, which should be available within the week at all three Tattered Cover stores, as well as at www.eatdenver.com, the DINR website, sells for just $50 - but could save diners up to $520 if they use all of the cards, which are good from January 1 through December 31, 2010.
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"You basically are getting the opportunity to go around and try out forty-plus of our restaurants," say Zahradnik. And what restaurants: There are cards for $10 off at Duo, Rioja, Elway's in Cherry Creek, Solera, Root Down and Parallel 17, among dozens of others. And for the most part, there are no stipulations on when you can use the cards -- beyond lock-outs on such big dining days as Valentine's, and a complete black-out during the two weeks of Denver Restaurant Week, since DINR members are very involved with that.
A few of the members are featured on more than one card, since total DINR membership is just over fifty, and not every member participated this round. But Zahradnik is confident that will change. "Next year we'll create a new deck," he explains. "We hope it will keep growing as DINR grows."
And in the meantime, the DINR cards will be doing a lot of good, because $1 from the sale of each deck will be going to Food Bank of the Rockies.