Salado in Fairplay

Salado Restaurant in Fairplay will be open, with service according to guidlines set by the county and state, May 29. (Photo courtesy of Salado/Facebook)

Support your local restaurants as they are reopening in a variety of capacities.

This week, Salado in Fairplay announced they will open May 29. The Cream and Steam in Fairplay announced their opening May 15 on Facebook. Stephanie Carpenter announced that the Silver Scoop on Fairplay’s Front Street opened May 22.

Many restaurants, such as Platte River Saloon, Park Bar, Millonzi’s, Soup Pot, KB’s Kakery and Dorothy’s Tamales, and more will continue to be open. Look for them to add dine-in services when permitted.

Why do small restaurants need our support, other than they serve spectacularly delicious food at high altitude for reasonable prices?

One reason is running a restaurant is hard, and many do not make it. The recent forced closures of dine-in restaurant services has caused some restaurants to close temporarily and some permanently.

There has been a lot of focus on the restaurant industry throughout the country and the impact the coronavirus closures have had.

Most of the restaurants in Park County are small businesses, and this is consistent with the national and statewide profile of the restaurant industry. Here is more information about the restaurant industry as a whole and you can see how important this industry is to the State of Colorado and Park County.

The Colorado Restaurant Association, at their website, shares some of the following information:

“There are approximately 11,800 eating and drinking locations in Colorado. The total restaurant sales in Colorado are expected to exceed $13 billion in 2019.

“The Colorado foodservice industry employs 285,000 workers and Colorado restaurants generate approximately $348 million in state taxes, plus any taxes collected by local jurisdictions.

“More than 75 percent of Colorado’s restaurants are independently owned and operated.

Colorado restaurants account for almost 10 percent of the state labor force.”


Per CRA, “The restaurant industry is the nation’s second-largest private sector employer with more than 15 million people employed in one million locations.

In Park County, per the county’s website, the largest employer in the county was educational services workers (373) and second, food and lodging services workers (309). Third is construction workers (280), then retail with 265 workers and professional and technical services (120).

A few small business restaurant facts

One half of all adults have worked in the foodservice industry at some time.

One out of three adults found their first job in the restaurant industry.

Half of all adults are restaurant patrons on a typical day.

Twenty-three percent of table-service restaurant sales come from travelers and tourists.

Restaurants employ more minority managers and have more women in management and ownership positions than any other industry,” per CRA.

A tight margin

Many small businesses may not see a profit for many years, or have small profits due to the need for constant upgrades, payroll and capital expenses. Restaurants have, on average, very small profit margins.

In fact, a combination of National Restaurant Association and Colorado State Government data report that, “An average of $0.95 of every dollar a guest spends at a restaurant goes into the people, the place and the food.”

This means a restaurant may have revenue of one million dollars, but their profit would be just $50,000. And remember, that is for a job that is usually 365 days a year and up to twenty-four hours a day

Enjoy the restaurant openings in a variety of formats in the coming days. And, tip big. We welcome everyone back.

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