This is a sponsored guest post.
COVID-19 has had a huge impact on the restaurant industry. In a matter of just months, Canada’s restaurant industry was brought to its knees. Restaurants were forced to transition to takeout only, many shut down for good, and many were left questioning what would happen when things started to return to normal.
Before COVID-19, the country’s foodservice sector was a booming industry worth $93 billion and employing over a million people—Canada’s number one source of jobs. Since the pandemic began, however, more than 800,000 jobs and tens of billions of dollars in the industry have been lost.
While these statistics are sobering, public health experts are hoping that the pandemic is on its last leg. Provincial governments across the country have begun the slow and deliberate process of reopening the economy and resuming business as usual—although things may never be the same.
For restaurants that can afford to reopen, Restaurants Canada recently offered a fantastic 3-day course to ease the transition—one that is already proving to be more complicated than we anticipated. Here’s what you need to know about that program and the current state of the Canadian restaurant industry.
Operating at a Loss
It’s a whole new world out there. To help restaurants navigate it successfully, Restaurants Canada introduced the Rapid Recovery Series. This series featured content for foodservice professionals to learn the necessary skills to reopen quickly and safely, and to attract much-needed customers.
The series was offered at no cost and consisted of 10 one-hour webinars addressing the most pressing issues in the industry post-COVID.
Restaurants need the help. Even as the economy reboots, restaurants continue to operate at a loss. This comes after months of little to no income. It goes without saying that restaurants will need ongoing support to survive COVID-19, even as the virus fades in the rearview mirror.
In a survey by Restaurants Canada themselves, 60% of respondents reported that they were still losing money despite pivoting to takeout and delivery or offering dine-in services under lifted restrictions. Of the latter, more than a third stated that reopening has had a negative impact on operations.
Supporting Rapid Recovery
Restaurants have been left with no other choice but to learn, adapt, and grow. The Rapid Recovery Series featured the following topics:
- Maximizing foot traffic post-COVID
- Regaining customer trust
- Reorganizing your staff
- Modifying menus to meet new safety standards
- Negotiating rent agreements
- Navigating the supply chain
The series will also feature a panel of CEOs that will touch on the future of the industry, effective leadership, and innovative ideas to push recovery forward.
Restaurant professionals who enrolled in the course each received a copy of the Restaurant Canada Rapid Recovery Guide, which summarizes best practices surrounding food safety, cleanliness and disinfection, and personal hygiene.
Course attendees were also entered automatically for a chance to win the Let’s Relaunch Right package provided by The Fifteen Group and worth roughly $7,000 in value.
The Restaurant Industry Will Return
Canada’s restaurant industry has proven itself to be one of the most resilient and innovative of its kind. In the face of adversity, we will continue to learn and adapt.
While the traditional restaurant experience may change for good—the restaurant industry itself will continue to innovate and adapt to these new challenges.