“231,800 Employees”Colorado restaurants employ 7% of the state’s labor force; it employed 10% pre-pandemic.
“69% Independent”The majority of Colorado restaurants are independently owned and operated.
“$323 Million”Colorado restaurants generate millions in state sales tax each year, plus any taxes collected locally in more than 600 jurisdictions.
“12,400+ Locations”Colorado ranks 18 nationally in the number of restaurants per capita.
“$14+ Billion”Colorado restaurants are a revenue engine for the state’s economy – and are just beginning to recover from the pandemic.
An Industry of Opportunity…
“Minorities & Women”Restaurants employ more minority managers and have more women in management and ownership positions than any other industry.
“80% Entry to Owner”Eight in ten restaurant owners say their first restaurant job was an entry-level position.
“30% First-Time Workers”One in three adults found their first job in the restaurant industry.
…But Not Without Its Challenges
“Industry Margins Are Tight”About 3¢ is all that remains from each dollar spent at a restaurant after operators pay for labor, overhead, and food.
“Operational Costs Are Skyrocketing”Food prices increased more than 9% in 2021, the highest increase in more than four decades.
“The Labor Crisis Continues”8 out of 10 local restaurants are struggling to hire enough staff, even as industry wages in Colorado have risen an average of 20%.
CRA Industry Impact Data
The CRA conducts regular impact surveys to gather data on the issues facing Colorado restaurants. We receive feedback from hundreds of operators across the state, painting a clear picture of the state of the restaurant industry at a moment in time.
CRA October 2020 Impact Survey
CRA May 2020 Alcohol for Takeout and Delivery Survey
Colorado Restaurant Data Dashboard
A look into the economic and demographic data behind Colorado’s restaurant industry, created in partnership with CU Boulder Leeds School of Business