(CBS4) – A new survey of Colorado restaurants indicates 95% of them say sales are down considerably compared to 2019. It was conducted by the Colorado Restaurant Association earlier this month.

Cactus Grille in Loveland in June 2020

Cactus Grille in Loveland last month (credit: CBS)

The findings also included the eye-opening statistics that the typical restaurant has spent at least $4,500 on PPE and that 87,000 jobs have been lost in the industry during the coronavirus pandemic.

When asked when they might have to consider permanently closing if Colorado’s current COVID-19 restrictions continue (which restrict the number of indoor diners), 62% of restaurant owners said they would have to do that in less than 6 months. 35% said they’d have to do that in less than 3 months. 5% said they’ll likely have to close in less than a month. There is currently a 50 person limit indoors in restaurants, according to official state guidelines, but outdoor limitations have been scaled back considerably.

Pourhouse Bar & Grill in Loveland in June (credit: CBS)

Many restaurants have already shut down for good. The Market at Larimer Square closed in April and Euclid Hall around the corner is also now permanently closed. Last month the Boulder owners of the now-shuttered The Med, Brasserie Ten Ten, and Via Perla said “with the new economic pressures that the hospitality industry is now facing, we simply cannot continue to run and operate our restaurants with the level of quality and service that we are committed to providing, and that our guests have rightly come to expect.” Racine’s is also among the restaurants in Denver that recently announced a permanent closure (although that wasn’t entirely due to coronavirus).

“We hope that our beloved guests continue to support independent restaurants,” the owners said earlier this month. “They truly need our help to survive.”

More than 160 restaurant owners participated in the Colorado Restaurant Association study, which was conducted from July 15 to July 25.

Jesse Sarles

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