A recent survey shows the Colorado restaurant landscape could change dramatically in the coming months.

In the Colorado Restaurant Association survey, 56% of restaurants said they will consider closing permanently in less than three months if the current capacity limits remain unchanged. Closings could come in less than two months for 30% of restaurants, and 7% say it could come in less than a month.

According to CBSN Denver, the survey of more than 220 restaurants was conducted during the first week of June and the results should not be surprising. After weeks of being completely shut down and then opening to dramatically reduced capacity limits the financial strain is nearing the threshold.

Outdoor seating options have been expanded across the state, but only 27% of restaurants in the survey said they are able to offer outdoor dining.

Here some other results from the CRA survey.

* 41% of restaurants have hired back less than 50 percent of their staff.
* 66% of restaurants say they have customer demand for more capacity.
* 32% of restaurants are turning away more than 50% of their normal capacity.
* 79% of restaurants are operating below 49% of normal capacity.
*80 percent of restaurants are operating below 50% capacity due to the 50 patron cap.

The writing on the wall is clear. It's time for Colorado restaurant capacities be increased to a business-sustainable level or else face dire consequences. Obviously, greater numbers will mean a greater risk, but at what point do we decide we just have to go ahead and take that chance?  We absolutely need to continue to employ safe social distancing practices and sanitizing, but give these restaurants a fighting chance.

As much as we all love to go out for dinner, this isn't about giving us something to do on a Friday or Saturday night. This is about people's businesses, jobs, and livelihoods, and their future. This is about economic and financial survival. This

Many restaurants have already reached the desperate stage and we can see from this survey that many more are on the brink. We've got to take action now before it's too late. If the restaurant industry is going to survive they need customers - and they need them now.

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