Join Us

The Mission of Dine Originals Columbus is to celebrate, support and promote locally owned and operated independent restaurants by providing unique dining experiences for its patrons and collaborative cost savings and marketing services for its members.

You know the restaurant business is tough. It is a competitive battle for patrons, for recognition, and for purchasing power. No one knows this better than our owner/operated independent restaurants and no one appreciates and relishes the rewards more than we do. We are vested in every way and our daily commitment is to create a rewarding and personal dining experience for every guest every time.

Instead of competing with each other, we collaborate for ventures we could not afford to do alone. We participate in grass roots and main stream advertising, joint charitable and community events, and group purchasing. We provide discounted gift certificates as an illustration of appreciation to our guests. We provide joint benefits for our staffs. 

The Dine Originals Columbus organization started with a very small group in the Spring of 2003. Convincing colleagues that the organization had value required persuasion, and we grew slowly to 17 members by 2006. In the last five years our membership numbers have increased to 50, and the pace of applications being submitted grows more brisk each quarter.

Our vision is to nurture the vibrant local independent dining community through collaboration, stewardship, innovation, diversity and quality.

We thank you for your interest in Dine Original Columbus and would be pleased to consider your application for membership.

Our Membership Committee and Board consider applications throughout the year, but we officially update the roster twice a year ~ in January and July (this helps us keep our printed materials accurate and up to date). 

Please submit completed applications to Executive Director Shelley Mann at or 65 Jefferson Ave., Columbus, OH 43215.

Click to download the application

Click to download the application

Organizational Goals

  • Maintain Vibrant Membership Roster
  • Increase Collaborative Marketing & Advertising Opportunities
  • Website Enrichment, Social media subscriber growth
  • Increase Involvement of member restaurants
  • Create “Buying Power” – products, services, etc.

Current Activities

  • The sale of quarterly gift certificates is how members pay their membership dues. These funds help cover the marketing and operations expenses of the organization.
  • Annual Taste of Dine Originals event in collaboration with The Buckeye Ranch
  • Twice a year (March and September) Dine Originals Week
  • Dine Originals Deck of cards

Membership Requirements

  • Locally owned and operated
  • 6 restaurants or less in the Columbus area
  • Quality Driven with a reputation that will compliment the Dine Originals brand
  • Voted by Board of Trustees for acceptance into DOC
  • Agree to sell gift certificates online through the DOC website and accept said gift certificates at restaurant
  • Provide DOC with necessary information for the DOC website and update this information as requested
  • Promotion of DOC in-house through display of official DOC posters, cards, etc., and use of the DOC logo on menus, website, and other appropriate materials
  • Participate in various community and chapter activities including fundraisers, chapter meetings, service activities, etc.

Participate in grass roots marketing efforts with festivals, etc.

  • Host a chapter meeting or executive meeting at your restaurant
  • Participate in chapter decision making process through attendance of meeting and/or email correspondence
  • Allow Board of Trustees power to execute decisions and actions with the well being of the entire organization in mind
  • Participate in staff discount program

Dues Payment

Each quarter Dine Originals Columbus posts $750 worth of gift certificates (or $375 worth for first-year members) from each member restaurant at a 30% discount for sale on the DOC Website. The funds raised through the sales are retained by the organization for marketing and operations. Our members honor the gift certificates issued for their restaurant when they are redeemed.

It is the member’s obligation to help market the gift certificate sales. Social media, website notices, newsletter promotions, check enclosures etc may be utilized. While DOC makes every attempt to sell and/or distribute each restaurant's gift certificates each quarter, should your restaurant’s inventory of gift certificates not sell in full, you may be invoiced for the balance due. The dues are calculated on the cash value of the certificates (at the 30% off face value). To renew annual memberships, any balance for membership dues must be paid in full.

As you can see on the majority of our members sell all gift certificates within a week (in some cases, day) of release. The key to success is promoting the sale to your customer base.