The Colorado Restaurant Association is dedicated to the enhancement and success of Colorado's foodservice industry.

During a recent Strategic Planning session, we identified 5 goals to help us achieve our mission.

  1. Advocacy and Government Affairs - Protect and advance the foodservice industry in Colorado
  2. Awareness and Promotion - Convey the positive impact of the industry throughout Colorado
  3. Member Value - Establish CRA as THE best resource to deliver industry benefits, services, and solutions
  4. Education and Expertise - Serve as the preferred knowledge resource for members
  5. Association Excellence - Position the Colorado Restaurant Association as the leading trade association in Colorado
Click here to download a copy of our Strategic Plan PDF.

CRA History

The Colorado Restaurant Association: A History in Short Order


Albert McVittie and six other restaurateurs founded the CRA on September 27, 1933. Prohibition is repealed.


CRA polices black market food activities, regulates price controls and maintains government policy in World War II.


CRA holds its first convention and tradeshow in Denver.


Health codes become increasingly rigid and the CRA continues its work with the Colorado Health Department to enact and enforce more stringent sanitation regulations. CRA establishes the Distinguished Service Award to recognize members who have made special contributions to the industry.


CWRA helps collect tons of scrap metal to help the Korean War effort.


CWRA begins a wide variety of cooperative buying projects, including the first comprehensive medical insurance plan in the industry


CWRA works with state and local governments on the Plentiful Food Program; adds a group fire and casualty plan to its membership insurance services; continues advising and upgrading food training programs in schools and universities. Along with the Colorado State Patrol, CWRA devises and promotes holiday coffee stops during peak holiday driving times.


CWRA secures the Utilities Tax Credit (UTC) for food processing utility expenses.


CWRA establishes the Foodservice Hall of Fame to recognize industry leaders.


CWRA helps Colorado Department of Health design a code and information booklet on foodservice sanitation.


CWRA introduces its Alcohol Awareness server training program.


CWRA achieves a major victory by attaining a cap on liquor liability insurance claims


FICA tax-on-tips repeal efforts initiated at CWRA Larimer County Chapter meeting. CWRA founds the Donald Quinn Educational Fund.


CWRA splits from Wyoming to become the Colorado Restaurant Association (CRA) again.


CRA sponsors a campaign to bring Major League Baseball to Colorado and to promote voter approval of the 1% stadium tax to fund a new baseball stadium for the state. Governor Romer signs CRA-sponsored bills prohibiting the use of "breathalyzer" tests in restaurants and bars without a court order; and allowing liquor sales on Election Day and some liquor licensees to remain open until 2:00 a.m. on Sundays. CRA hosts labor forum in Vail with lawmakers and immigration officials to ask for seasonal work visas for foreign workers in ski areas.


CRA hosts first Blue Ribbon Reception for state legislators.


CRA renames the Donald Quinn Educational Fund the Colorado Restaurant Association Education Fund and hires a full-time development director. CRA successfully lobbies to exempt small businesses from having to file state withholding taxes electronically.


CRA forms the Colorado Restaurant Service Agency, a wholly owned for-profit subsidiary, to manage and develop member benefits and services.

CRA lobbying efforts help defeat a proposal to certify food handlers in Jefferson County and impose a tax on prepared foods in aurora.

CRA also establishes an exemption for gift certificates from state unclaimed property rules.

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Network with fellow business owners, stay up to date on legislative issues important to our industry, connect with your peers, take advantage of significant savings opportunities and stay informed. Join the Colorado Restaurant Association!

Restaurant Owners – The CRA is a full-service solution for every type and size of restaurant. We are powerful advocates for the industry, an information hub and a catalyst for networking. And we’re committed to offering meaningful benefits and resources you need to run a profitable business.

Service Providers - Companies that serve restaurants have a strong ally in the CRA. Our restaurant members look to the CRA members first when seeking products and services, they also make the real connections with service providers at local and state events.

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