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Restaurants Canada calls for national working group for restaurants to bring back jobs


Restaurants Canada (CNW Group/Restaurants Canada)

Toronto – With food-service businesses continuing to face devastating restrictions, Restaurants Canada is calling for a national working group to lay the groundwork for the industry’s revival in 2021.

“Our members are seeking a new year’s resolution from government, not only to support their survival but our industry’s vital role building back a stronger, more resilient Canada,” said Restaurants Canada president and CEO Todd Barclay. “Restaurants Canada is calling for a national working group to pave the way for the food-service sector’s revival, building on the commitment in the federal government’s 2020 Fall Economic Statement to provide targeted, sector-specific support to restaurants and other hardest hit businesses.”

According to the latest survey from Restaurants Canada:

  • Eight out of 10 restaurants are either losing money or barely scraping by.
  • 65% are continuing to operate at a loss, while 19% are just breaking even.
  • 63% of food-service businesses that are losing money expect to take at least a year to return to profitability.
  • 48% of single-unit food-service operators expect to permanently close their establishment within six months if conditions don’t improve, while 56% of multi-unit operators said they expect to close at least one of their locations within the same time period.
  • Further food-service job losses recorded for second month in a row

According to the latest Labour Force Survey from Statistics Canada, the food-service sector lost 72,000 jobs in October and November, after recovering 426,900 jobs from May to September.

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This means 21% of the restaurant workforce are not yet recovered.

Recommended areas of focus for a national working group

Restaurants Canada recommends setting up a national working group to focus on the following key areas in support of the food-service sector’s revival:

  • Mechanisms for timely consultation on COVID-19 related aid measures, to ensure businesses impacted by significant restrictions are provided sufficient, efficient and effective aid throughout the ongoing economic and public health crisis.
  • Joint communications materials and campaigns to:
    -Reassure Canadians that restaurants provide safe and reliable meal options; and
    -Promote takeout and delivery to show support for struggling entrepreneurs, restaurant staff and local food suppliers.
  • Coordinated action on key issues of concern for food-service businesses to develop and implement solutions over the short, medium and long term through innovative, multi-stakeholder discussions to ensure restaurant operators are set up for success in the post-pandemic economic environment.

Everyone interested in joining the call for a dedicated working group to help restaurants support Canada’s economic recovery can send a letter to their Member of Parliament at: https://info.restaurantscanada.org/covid19recovery