It's one of the American dreams: to open your own restaurant. Colorado restaurants number in the very many, but new data points to that slowing down, for 2024.

Even if everything was going in your favor as a restaurant owner, the hours and stress can make it "unfun." When you take a look at the amount of money it takes to run a Colorado restaurant, you may forget the idea, all altogether.

There's a TV show, "The Bear," that has garnered a lot of great reviews and viewers, with its depiction of running a restaurant. It certainly doesn't make it look easy,  Maybe that's why so many people dive into opening their own places: The challenge of it.

WHY MIGHT THERE BE LESS NEW RESTAURANTS IN COLORADO FOR 2024?

A recent study finds that Colorado is the third most expensive state to open a restaurant. THIRD. Only California (#1) and New York (#2) are more expensive than the Centennial State.

Colorado Restaurant
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WHAT MAKES COLORADO SO EXPENSIVE TO OPEN A RESTAURANT?

According to the data researched by Restaurant Furniture, it's about the costs you'd incur over one year in Colorado with your restaurant.

  • Annual Food Service Permit: $385. (California: $805.)
  • Annual Liquor License: $500.
  • Colorado Sales Tax Rate: 8%. (California: 3%.)
  • Colorado Corporate Tax Rate: 5%. (California: 9%.)
  • Colorado Minimum Wage: $14.42/hr. (California: $16/hr.)
  • Rent (per sq. ft.) for One Year: $25.95. (California: $45.74.)
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The state of Washington doesn't have a corporate tax rate, that's one of the factors that makes it the 10th most expensive state to run a restaurant.

Local Colorado Restaurant Under Fire For New Added Fee

A local Colorado restaurant has gained some unwanted (or maybe wanted) attention after implementing a new fee each customer must pay when settling their tab. Are the added fees getting out of control?

As seen in the highlighted comments below, some are for their "staff PTO fee" but wish it was just built into the food cost, while others flat-out disagree.

Gallery Credit: Big Rob

11 of the Most Underrated Restaurants in Colorado for 2023

Are you ready to find your next favorite restaurant in the Centennial State? Get ready for the new year by checking out eleven of Colorado's most underrated restaurants you need to try. From a huge breakfast to specialty drinks and amazing steaks we've got something for every Rocky Mountain appetite in the gallery below.

Gallery Credit: Wesley Adams

The 10 Oldest Restaurants in Colorado

Take a look at some of the oldest operating restaurants in Colorado.

Gallery Credit: Kelsey Nistel

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