The CRA celebrates and supports the Colorado restaurant industry through its events and educational programming, in partnership with the Colorado Restaurant Foundation (CRF).

CRA/F events connect our members, increase public awareness of our work, and raise funds for hospitality employees and the advocacy we do on restaurants’ behalf.

Our training and educational programming – from operational webinars and ServSafe® classes to Colorado ProStart® and apprenticeship – help transform knowledge into action, keeping Colorado restaurants compliant and staffed with the best in the industry.

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CRA & CRF Annual Events

Networking, fundraising, and celebrating our community

Blue Ribbon Legislative Reception

The Blue Ribbon Reception (BRR) is a CRA MEMBER-ONLY event and typically the most popular reception of the season among Colorado legislators; it always draws a large and lively crowd. Kicking off the State Legislative Session, BRR is your chance to forge meaningful relationships with Colorado legislators and personally communicate the needs of our industry.

Restaurant Advocacy Fund (RAF) Golf Tournament

Enjoy a day on a gorgeous Colorado golf course and an opportunity to build connections with your industry peers while raising money for the Restaurant Advocacy Fund. The advocacy work we do on behalf of Colorado restaurants would not be possible without the support this event brings!

Drink Red Wear Red

Drink Red Wear Red (DRWR) is a fabulous party that celebrates the hospitality industry while raising funds to support Colorado’s hard-working restaurant employees. Proceeds benefit the Colorado Restaurant Association Mile High Chapter Hardship Fund and the Colorado Restaurant Foundation, which provide emergency grants to industry workers in need.

DRWR is open to the restaurant industry and the public; all are welcome! Enjoy signature wines and spirits from Republic National Distributing Company, ample bites from prominent local restaurants, great entertainment, a silent auction, private access to the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, and, for VIP attendees, one of the most striking views in Denver from the museum’s fourth-floor rooftop patio!

Colorado ProStart® Student Invitational

This exciting annual event showcases more than 250 Colorado ProStart® students from 30 local high schools, who demonstrate a mastery of culinary and academic skills as they compete in the Annual ProStart® Student Invitational & Sysco Denver Hospitality Cup Competition. Teams compete for more than $750,000 in scholarships through a Culinary Competition and Hospitality Management Competition. The school that accumulates the most points at the end of the contest takes home the “Sysco Denver Hospitality Cup.” The winning teams represent Colorado at the National ProStart® Invitational event, with the opportunity to win even more scholarships.

Colorado Restaurant Foundation (CRF) Scholarship Awards

At this festive annual event, scholarship award recipients from post-secondary and Colorado ProStart® high school hospitality education programs are recognized for their outstanding achievement in academics and their commitment to careers in the foodservice and hospitality industry. The event includes presentation of the Colorado ProStart® Student, Teacher, and Industry Mentor of the Year awards, as well as secondary and post-secondary scholarships. Since its inception in 1987, the CRF has awarded more than $750,000 in scholarships funds to students who plan to enter the hospitality industry.

Lifetime Achievement Awards

This prestigious awards program celebrates individuals who are devoted to the mission of hospitality and practice it in their daily lives. They are recognized throughout the industry for the significant contributions they have made through their leadership, service, and dedication to the foodservice industry and community. Awards presented include the Colorado Food Hall of Fame Awards, The Noel & Tammy Cunningham Humanitarian Award, and the Richard P. Ayers Award for Distinguished Service.

Industry Spotlight Awards

Celebrating the depth and breadth of Colorado’s restaurant industry, this awards program recognizes the hospitality employees who are outstanding mentors, who have contributed to their community, and pushed our industry to the dynamic level that it is today.

Colorado Restaurant & Bar (CRB) Show

The CRB Show is the premier and largest Rocky Mountain region foodservice show. It is about bringing together industry leaders and suppliers and presenting absolute excellence. The CRB Show offers the opportunity to learn about the newest trends, products, and best practices in the business so your restaurant or bar can grow and thrive.

Denver Food + Wine Festival (DF+WF)

DF+WF, the signature event of the Colorado Restaurant Foundation, is a multi-day extravaganza of food and wine education, promotion, and tastings. Affiliated events include Dinner Under the Stars, an intimate wine-pairing dinner; Bar Bash, a cocktail event with a competitive edge; a Riedel wine glass tasting seminar; and an industry-appreciation party. The main DF+WF event, the 2,500-person Grand Tasting, combines 40+ restaurants and more than 700 wines and spirits, for an all-out party that no Denverite wants to miss.

Chapter Events & Meetings

The CRA has eight chapters across the state, through which members can network, share ideas, focus on local issues, host events and educational programming, and foster a strong community of industry leaders. Chapters work to support important local political initiatives, local schools, charities, and other worthwhile organizations.