The number of Colorado restaurants that expect to shut their doors for good has doubled over the last six months, according to a new survey by the Colorado Restaurant Association (CRA).
The industry group’s survey found that 54% of respondents expect to shut their doors within the next 12 months as many reported struggling to access federal stimulus grants. Another 28% expect to close within the next six months.
“Nearly 3,100 Colorado restaurants applied for but did not receive federal Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) grants,” CRA CEO Sonia Riggs said. “Each and every one of those restaurants is waiting for Congress to replenish the RRF, which would provide desperately-needed support as they face ever-increasing overhead, supply chain disruptions, and an industry-wide labor shortage on the heels of two years of dire operational challenges.”
“Restaurants will close and thousands of Colorado workers will lose their jobs if Congress doesn’t act now,” she added.
Some of the main reasons for the trepidation among restaurant owners are increasing operating costs from labor and supplies.
Almost every survey respondent said their labor costs have risen since January 2021, with another 90% saying they raised their menu prices in response.
A similar number of business owners reported facing worse supply chain issues now than they did last year. These issues have primarily impacted purchasing of food, disposables for takeout orders, and restaurant equipment.
According to the survey, 80% of restaurants are also struggling to restaff, with another half reporting increased efforts to retain their existing workforce by adding bonuses.
Colorado’s restaurant industry is still 8,400 jobs below its pre-pandemic employment levels, according to data from the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment.
This article was originally posted on Number of Colorado restaurants that expect to close has doubled