These are 'often asked' questions we receive from our members. We will periodically update and add new topics of interest, so check back often.

Colorado Restaurant Association
430 E 7th Ave
Denver, CO 80203
P: (303) 830-2972
TF: (800) 522-2972
F: (303) 830-2973

Colorado has very specific requirements under which football pools are legal, and it’s important for CRA members to consider the rules before their pools get out of bounds. The Colorado Liquor Enforcement Division governs gambling in liquor-licensed establishments. The Division allows football pools and other types of gambling only if the participants in the activity are involved in a “bona fide social relationship.” This means those who take part in the must know each other. If a person who does not know everyone else is allowed entry to the activity, or if the establishment retains a portion of the pool money or winnings, the activity is considered illegal. Manufacturers and wholesalers may lawfully furnish pool cards or other materials to licensed establishments, but it is important to use those materials legally in order to fulfill the requirements of your liquor license.

Yes, if they are redeemable for cash
No, if they are not redeemable for cash

The exact language from Colorado statutes reads as follows: “The provisions of this section shall apply to any gift certificate issued by a business that is redeemable in cash and not to any gift certificate issued for food, products, goods, or services.” If you do not want your gift cards and gift certificates to be subject to Colorado’s Unclaimed Property Act, make sure they are not redeemable for cash.

Yes, Colorado Revised Statutes 25-4-1609.5 allows for a retail food establishment, who feels that a county or district health department has taken regulatory action outside the scope of it authority, to initiate a grievance process.

If you would like more information about how to initiate the grievance process, please email us at or call 303.830.2972.

As an employer, your obligation is to allow them to appear for jury duty.

The employee’s failure to appear for jury duty may subject them to penalties imposed by the court. Employers may not terminate employees, deprive them of benefits, or harass, threaten or coerce them because they receive a juror summons or serve as jurors. Employers may not make demands upon employees that will substantially interfere with the effective performance of juror service (C.R.S. §§ 13-71-134 and 18-8-614). In addition, Colorado Revised Statutes require employers to pay regularly employed workers regular wages of up to $50 per day for the first 3 days of juror service or any part thereof, unless a mutual agreement provides otherwise (C.R.S. § 13-71-126). “Regular wages” is the amount that the employer normally pays, not including tips paid by customers. This amount is calculated by taking an average of the employee’s hours worked per day during the preceding three months of employment times their hourly rate of pay. The state pays jurors for the 4th day of service and thereafter, at the rate of $50 per day (C.R.S. § 13-71-129). Payment must be made within 30 days of receiving the juror service certificate from the employee (C.R.S. § 13-71-133). Payment is not required unless the employer is tendered a juror service certificate (C.R.S. § 13-71-132). If payment of compensation would cause financial hardship, the employer may be excused from the requirement by the court (C.R.S. § 13-71-127).

Employers often ask the CRA if it is possible for management to run a tip pool. The answer is a qualified "yes," but employers should pay close attention to requirements when considering sharing tips with “non-regularly tipped positions”. 

First, you must pay all employees at least the full Colorado minimum wage and not the tipped minimum wage. Second, you must not include managers, supervisors, or owners in the tip pool.

Please see the latest CRA legal update on Tip Pooling.

Yes, legally they can, BUT it would probably be a mistake to do so. 

Here’s why: Deduction of credit card processing fees from tipped employees is legal under both state and federal law. However, Colorado law mandates that such a deduction nullifies the $3.02 per hour allowable tip credit. In other words, if a deduction of credit card processing fees is made, tipped employees would need to be paid the full minimum wage of: 

  • 2019 - $11.10 per hour, instead of $8.08 per hour.
  • 2020 - $12.00 per hour, instead of $8.98 per hour.

In Denver, the food code does allow for dogs to be on patios with specific requirements. Learn about those requirements here.

Outside of the City of Denver, the food code doesn’t allow for dogs to be on patios where service is happening...unless they request a variance. 

+ Please note – Service animals must be allowed anywhere that a customer is allowed to go.

How can a restaurant determine if a dog is a service animal? The animal must be a dog or a miniature horse. No other animal qualifies as a service animal under the American’s with Disabilities Act (ADA). If it is not easy to identify that the animal is a service animal, the business is allowed to ask only two questions per the ADA. Learn more about that here.

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