Propane is the new toilet paper for 2021—at least for Colorado restaurants. 

Outdoor eating is becoming a necessity with the number of coronavirus restrictions limiting indoor dining and capacity limits at restaurants. For Colorado restaurants, that means finding ways to keep customers warm and comfortable while enjoying some al fresco dining in the harsh, cold winter.

Most restaurants use propane to fuel the space heaters, heat lamps, and other sources to get people eating outside while adhering to coronavirus guidelines. With the number of businesses looking for propane, the fuel has become a hard-to-find necessity.

The standard-size propane tanks restaurants use are typically available at grocery stores, home improvement stores, and even gas stations. But as more people are purchasing tanks, fewer are available. Restaurant and bar owners are scrambling to find propane, sometimes driving for miles searching for just one tank. 

Many restaurant owners view it as a priority in these trying times, so they're doing all they can to get their hands on propane.

While Colorado counties have moved to Level Orange, ensuring restaurants can allow a small percentage of diners, businesses are opting to seat customers outside. There's more space for more people.

It's a shortage on par with the toilet paper frenzy we all experienced back in March. Without access to propane, people in rural areas can't heat their homes or use hot water. However, despite local shortages, there hasn't been a widespread propane supply issue in the United States. 

Which would be harder to live without: propane or toilet paper? Let us know in the comments.