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Restaurants Canada urges support for New Brunswick’s foodservice sector’s recovery

Most of the province’s restaurants are still not profitable and the majority of those operating at a loss expect to take a year or more to recover, association says


August 25, 2020
By Canadian Pizza

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Restaurants Canada (CNW Group/Restaurants Canada)

Fredericton – Restaurants Canada is advocating for New Brunswick restaurants. The association is urging all parties seeking to form New Brunswick’s next government to adopt recommendations to help the province’s restaurants pull through the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

Not only was New Brunswick’s foodservice industry among the first and hardest hit by the impacts of COVID-19, the sector will also be among the slowest to recover, Restaurants Canada said in a news release.

“Restaurants are critically important to creating jobs, economic growth and vibrant neighbourhoods,” said Luc Erjavec, Restaurants Canada vice-president for Atlantic Canada. “Restaurants Canada looks forward to working closely with New Brunswick’s next government to ensure foodservice businesses have what they need to continue contributing to the province’s recovery.”

According to a Restaurants Canada survey conducted between June 25 and July 3:

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  • The majority of New Brunswick’s restaurants are still not profitable. 47 per cent of survey respondents said they are operating at a loss and 24 per cent said they are just breaking even.
  • More than half of restaurants still operating at a loss expect to take at least a year to return to profitability.
  • 10 per cent said six months or less.
  • 33 per cent said seven months to a year.
  • 43 per cent said between a year and 18 months.
  • 14 per cent said more than 18 months.

Recovery

Restaurants Canada has shared recommendations to support the recovery of New Brunswick’s foodservice sector with all major parties seeking to form the next provincial government.

More than half of New Brunswick’s restaurants still operating at a loss expect to take at least a year to return to profitability. –Restaurants Canada survey

“With colder months approaching, restaurants will need continued assistance to keep fulfilling their vital role within New Brunswick’s economy,” Erjavec said.

Before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, New Brunswick’s foodservice sector represented four per cent of the province’s GDP and was the province’s fourth-largest private sector employer. By April, COVID-19 had resulted in somewhere between 8,100 to 13,700 foodservice workers losing their jobs or having their hours cut down to zero. While foodservice employment in New Brunswick increased by 6,500 jobs between March and July, the province’s hospitality sector is still 1,600 jobs short of where it was in February 2020.