Colorado restaurants brace for details of reopening

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DENVER (KDVR) — A new survey shows how restaurants reopen in Colorado will have a major impact on their survival. 

The Colorado Restaurant Association recently surveyed 250 operators in the state. 

One significant finding shows reopening will not protect restaurants from closure. In fact, if dining rooms open at quarter capacity, 23% of operators said they will have to consider closing permanently within a month. 

In terms of rehiring employees they had to let go, capacity limits have a drastic impact as well. Almost 50% of all operators said opening at quarter capacity means they will hire back virtually no staff. 

Kristy Socarras Bigelow owns the local Cuban cuisine chain Cuba Cuba and recently secured a federal loan through the Paycheck Protection Program. 

“We got really lucky and that helped us out significantly and it’s why we got the opportunity to bring back all of our staff,” she said.

Socarras Bigelow, like so many other restaurant operators, is anxiously waiting for details from the governor. 

“I’m still waiting to hear what is really going to take place,” she added.

In the meantime, she is making changes to her outdoor seating to make the best use of it. 

Her concern is when restaurants are able to open to diners, customers may be too scared to eat out. But she has faith things will eventually get back to normal and she will get back to enjoying what drew her to the restaurant business in the first place.

“The hardest part is not being with the people because that’s what I love. Letting them know what the menu is about, what the Cuban culture is about,” she said.

Cuba Cuba has also launched a campaign to give back to families in need. Socarras Bigelow said they have raised enough money to donate big boxes of ready to eat food. They are trying to help Hispanic families in the community but are open to helping any family who needs it. 

For more information on how to help, visit the restaurant’s Instagram page and send Socarras Bigelow a direct message. 

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