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Restaurants need urgent support to survive indoor dining closures, says industry association

Restaurants Canada is calling for urgently needed support, and data to prevent further dining closures, as an increasing number of jurisdictions continue to be targeted with heightened restrictions.

The not-for-profit association says, indoor dining closures will cost Ontario in restaurant sales and jobs.

Sale losses could be 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 will also be lost including:

  • 12,000 in Ottawa
  • 33,000 in Toronto
  • 14,900 in Peel Region
  • 8,800 in York Region

Restaurants Canada is calling on all levels of government to take immediate action and urgently support food service 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.

“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. “Restaurants also need to know what emergency assistance they can rely on to pull through periods of heightened restrictions and continue serving their communities.”


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