Restaurants Will Need Support To Survive Indoor Dining Closures

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A restaurant kitchen. Picture: Pixabay

TORONTO: Restaurants Canada anticipates that closing indoor dining in Ontario’s COVID-19 hot spots will result in tens of thousands of lost jobs that will require government help to recover.

“Our sector was one of the first to suffer the impacts of this crisis and continues to be among the hardest hit,” said Restaurants Canada President and CEO Todd Barclay.

“Going back to this level of shutdown will be a huge blow. Restaurants deserve to see the data driving this decision and will need immediate emergency assistance so they can continue contributing to the social and economic fabric of the communities they serve.”

Indoor dining closures will cost Ontario in restaurant sales and jobs Restaurants Canada estimates that the indoor dining closures coming into effect at midnight tonight will result in:
• Sales losses of as much as 80 percent for full-service restaurants and more than 40 percent 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

Recommendations for emergency support

“Ontario’s restaurants have made major investments in health and safety equipment and training so that they could continue serving their communities throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,” said James Rilett, Restaurants Canada Vice President, Central Canada.

“They are now being asked to severely restrict their operations to help the province contain rising community spread. Doing so will come at a steep economic cost for communities impacted by these restrictions if all levels of government don’t step up with emergency assistance to help them pull through.”

Restaurants Canada is calling for the following immediate support measures from all levels of government:
Federal Level
• Expansion of the newly unveiled rent assistance program to ensure businesses are supported for as long as they are mandated to operate under severely limiting restrictions due to COVID-19.
• An amendment to allow management positions to qualify for funding under Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy program.
• A mechanism to force insurance companies to honor business interruption claims and pressure to rein in skyrocketing rates. Help is also being sought at the provincial level – with regards to emergency assistance and on insurance rates and at the municipal level.

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