DENVER (CBS4)– A recent poll published by the Colorado Restaurant Association says the industry has lost at least $ 3 billion to the pandemic to date. While Colorado’s comeback is in full swing, restaurants say it will be difficult to win back profits.

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The survey also found that 43% of property owners have lower sales compared to pre-pandemic sales. More than 90% have problems getting employees back on.

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Schoolhouse kitchen and libation in old town Arvada says it will be some time before service is restored before the pandemic.

“I think restaurants are hopeful, scared, and excited,” said Scott Spears. “It’s creepy. We don’t want to be shut down again, and it’s scary not being properly manned.”

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Spears says its limited staff are working hard to adapt as more people eat out.

“We went from 18 to 40 tables overnight and we just can’t do that to our staff,” said Spears. “We’re teaching the kitchen how to make the food faster, and pretty much everything, and retraining everyone to get back to a normal pace.”

With road closures in Old Town Arvada cleared for the next five years, Spears hopes a mix of indoor and outdoor dining will help them get back on track.

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“There are a lot of times people are walking in and we have to keep the tables open because our kitchen can’t handle it and our staff can’t handle it,” Spears said. “It’ll be a couple of weeks, a couple of months, but we’ll make it, but be patient.”