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Industry Statistics

Colorado Restaurant Industry

  • There are approximately 12,000 eating and drinking locations in Colorado.
  • Total restaurant sales in Colorado were approximately $14 billion in 2019.
  • Colorado restaurants generated approximately $386 million in state sales taxes in 2019 (excluding local jurisdictional taxes).
  • Collectively, Colorado restaurants lost $3 billion in 2020. 
  • The Colorado foodservice industry employed 193,000 workers in 2020, which is about 44,000 fewer workers than in 2019.
  • Colorado restaurants accounted for almost 10% of the state's labor force before the pandemic.
  • More than 75% of Colorado's restaurants are independently owned and operated.


Colorado and U.S. Demographics in 2019

  • Disposable income was expected to advance 3% in Colorado, compared to 2.5% nationally.
  • Population in Colorado was set to grow 1.2% compared to 0.7% nationally.
  • Total employment in Colorado was projected to increase by 2%, compared to 1.5% nationally.
  • Total U.S. foodservice industry sales were estimated to reach approximately $850 billion, 4% of GDP.
  • U.S. consumers were spending approximately $2.3 billion per day on food away from home.
  • The restaurant industry was the nation's second-largest private sector employer with more than 15 million people employed in 1 million locations.


Small Business with a Large Impact

  • ½ of all adults have worked in the foodservice industry at some time.
  • 1 out of 3 adults found their first job in the restaurant industry.
  • ½ of all adults are restaurant patrons on a typical day.
  • 23% of table-service restaurant sales come from travelers & tourists.
  • Restaurants employ more minority managers and have more women in management and ownership positions than any other industry.


A Tight Margin

Did you know that an average of 95¢ of every dollar a guest spends at a restaurant goes into the people, the place, and the food.

SOURCE: Colorado Restaurant Association using National Restaurant Association and Colorado State Government data.

Restaurants impact our economy throughout Colorado.


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