When dining out at restaurants in Colorado, the last thing you want to see is being charged a "fee" of any kind.

It now seems that you may be finding a new fee at some restaurants for the most "wrong" reason.

This isn't a fee that will break the bank, but it does show you that even the "higher-ups" at one prominent chain in Colorado don't understand the new law on plastic bags.

Panera Bread at Centerra
TSM/Dave Jensen

It's that new plastic bag law, the law that says a lot of places in Colorado have to charge you 10 cents for a bag. A lot of people do not like the law; then again, a lot of people don't completely understand it.

RELATED: Coloradans react to new plastic bag ban/fee

Why is Panera in Loveland, Colorado, charging the 10-cent fee?

As I frequently do, I stopped in mid-January to get coffee at Panera in Loveland. With that new week came a new sign about how the restaurant will now be charging 10 cents per bag on to-go orders.

Per Colorado law.


Panera Bread Bag Fee
TSM/Dave Jensen

This really "got my goat" for a few reasons:

  • Panera doesn't have plastic bags (not that I have seen, anyway; they're usually paper).
  • We're already paying an extra 1.25 percent at this Panera for the Public Improvement Fund (developer McWhinney tax). I don't need another 10 cents added to my bill.
  • Restaurants are exempt, by Colorado law, from charging the bag fee.

I reached out to the Colorado Restaurant Association and Foundation, which confirmed that Colorado restaurants do not have to charge the 10-cent fee.

I did reach out to Panera's management company about the fee, and they responded:

Everything that we have read actually says restaurants are not exempt from the bag fee starting in 2024. Trust me, we do not want to charge for bags, but we are under the impression it was put into law starting this year. We are [also] reaching out to our attorneys for further clarification.

Again, it goes to the confusion over this new law.

I'm sure by 2025 we'll have it all figured out.

***By my next visit to that Loveland Panera, that sign was removed.

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

This Local Colorado Mexican Restaurant Is One Of The Best

After opening in 2008, Las Palmeras Mexican Restaurant has become one of the area's very best locally-owned places to get delicious, and authentic Mexican food. We found this place by accident years ago while driving hungry down Main Street in Longmont and have been regulars ever since.

Gallery Credit: Big Rob TSM

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