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

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

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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Curso de ServSafe y Examen de Certificacion Para Gerentes en ESPAÑOL // SPANISH CRA ServSafe Food Manager Certification Course and Test

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Drink Red Wear Red 2024

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CRA & CRF Annual Events

Networking, fundraising, and celebrating our community

Blue Ribbon Legislative Reception // January 10, 2024

The Blue Ribbon Legislative Reception (BRR) is a CRA MEMBER-ONLY event and is 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. Find details and purchase tickets here.

Colorado ProStart® Student Invitational // March 13 & 14, 2024

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. Contact us if you are an industry professional interested in judging at the Invitational or mentoring a team.

Colorado Restaurant & Bar (CRB) Show // April 2-3, 2024

The CRB Show is the premier and largest Rocky Mountain-region foodservice show. The show brings together industry leaders and suppliers to present absolute excellence in many restaurant and hospitality categories, including food, services, equipment, and technology. 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.

When: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., April 2-3, 2024
Where: Colorado Convention Center, 700 14th St, Denver

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 // May 30, 2024 at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science

Drink Red Wear Red is a fabulous party celebrating 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 both provide emergency grants to industry workers in need.

Drink Red Wear Red 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!

Denver Food + Wine Festival (DF+WF) // Wednesday, September 4 - Saturday, September 7, 2024

The Denver Food + Wine Festival, the signature event of the Colorado Restaurant Foundation, is a multi-day extravaganza of culinary and wine education and tastings. Affiliated events include the Shake + Brake Showdown, a cocktail-and-food-truck party with a competitive edge, and Riedel wine glass tasting seminars. The main event, the 2,500-person Grand Tasting, combines 50+ restaurants and more than 700 wines and spirits, for an all-out party that no Denverite wants to miss. Tickets will go on sale in late spring 2024.

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 // 2024 Date TBD

Celebrating the depth and breadth of Colorado’s restaurant industry, the Industry Spotlight Awards program recognizes the top professionals at all levels of foodservice and hospitality who have pushed our industry to the dynamic level that it is today through their mentorship, community leadership, and outstanding performance. Date, location, and ticket pricing will be announced in 2024.

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.

Don’t miss Denver’s kickoff to summer party season, DRINK RED WEAR RED - and don’t miss out on deals and insider info on Denver Food + Wine Festival, too!

Subscribe to the Colorado Restaurant Foundation (CRF) Party List to get the inside scoop on all CRF events, including access to discounted tickets, event details, and more!

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