Bakers Journal

Canada’s food industry needs more data and more support

October 27, 2020
By Bakers Journal

logo courtesy of Restaurants Canada

Restaurants Canada is calling for more immediate support to businesses suffering the consequences of indoor dining closures in COVID-19 hot spots, as well as data to prevent further restrictions.

“Our members need to understand what’s driving government decisions and how they can do their part to avoid suffering the devastating consequences of indoor dining closures. We’ve been asking for this data for weeks,” said Restaurants Canada president and CEO Todd Barclay in a statement. “Restaurants also need to know what emergency assistance they can rely on to pull through periods of heightened restrictions and continue serving their communities.”

Recommendations for emergency support

Restaurants Canada is calling on all levels of government to take immediate action and urgently support foodservice businesses with:

  • Data on the effectiveness of COVID-19 containment efforts among the foodservice sector so the industry can address areas for improvement and avoid further restrictions.
  • A coordinated effort between federal and provincial governments to protect commercial tenants from evictions until financial assistance becomes available through the new rent relief program.
  • Pressure on insurance companies to rein in skyrocketing rates and honour business interruption claims.
  • Emergency assistance programs similar to the Quebec compensation system for restaurants forced to close in targeted areas.
  • Stronger enforcement and penalties for flagrant violations of COVID-19 restrictions.
  • A “seal of approval” inspection program to clearly differentiate violators from responsible restaurant operators and improve consumer confidence.
  • Consultation with industry to streamline contact tracing with existing or developing technology.

Indoor dining closures will cost Ontario in restaurant sales and jobs

  • Sales losses of as much as 80 per cent for full-service restaurants and more than 40 per cent for quick-service restaurants.
  • Tens of thousands of jobs lost across the province:
  • 12,000 in Ottawa
  • 33,000 in Toronto
  • 14,900 in Peel Region
  • 8,800 in York Region

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