60% of restaurants in Canada could close within 3 months

The campaign aims to put a spotlight on the current situation faced by Canada’s restaurants amidst COVID-19

iStock/BIV files

Over half of Canadian restaurants may be close over the next three months, according to new government data.

On Aug. 26, the Canadian Survey on Business Conditions (CSBC), produced by Statistics Canada with support from the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, found that 29% of accommodation and food service businesses cannot operate at all with social distancing measures in effect. 

The survey also found that a further 31% of these businesses will only able to remain operational for up to 90 days with distancing measures in effect. In other words, up to a whopping 60% of the industry could fail within three months.

Report author Harrison Ruess, Public Affairs Officer for the CCC, notes that the figures are particularly concerning since, "83% of businesses in the accommodation and food services industries temporarily closed and two-thirds were forced to lay off some staff due to COVID. According to Restaurants Canada, the food service industry lost 800,000 jobs."

Ruess says that the government hasn't created a recovery plan that is tailored to the needs of the hardest hit industries, such as food services. As a result, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and 15 food service businesses, representing more than 60 brands, are launching the ‘Our Restaurants’ campaign.

“We need to act now. Across Canada, our restaurants are where we meet for business or pleasure, where we got our first job and where our families spend a night out. Simply put, our restaurants are cornerstones in our communities,” said Hon. Perrin Beatty, President and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. “The ‘Our Restaurants’ campaign underscores the urgent need for Canadians – both the public and our governments – to come together to support these businesses in their time of need.”

The campaign aims to put a spotlight on the current situation faced by Canada’s restaurants amidst COVID-19: high costs, fewer customers, and government programs ill-equipped for the unique, long-term challenges faced by the industry.

Our Restaurants is a campaign led by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and supported by:

• Arterra Wines Canada

• Benny & Co.

• Boston Pizza

• CWB Franchise Finance

• Firkin Group of Pubs

• Foodtastic

• Gordon Food Service

• Molson Coors Beverage Company

• Northland Restaurant Group

• Paramount Fine Foods

• Pizza Pizza

• Restaurants Canada

• Service Inspired Restaurants (SIR Corp)

• St. Louis Bar and Grill Restaurants

• Sysco Canada

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