April 3, 2020, Toronto, Ont. – Restaurants Canada estimates that 800,000 foodservice jobs have already been lost nationwide due to COVID-19 and might not return if current conditions continue.
With restaurants now struggling to pay rent and other bills due in April, the national association has conducted a survey to shed light on the state of the industry.
Responses from foodservice operators across the country have revealed:
“Not only was our industry among the first to feel the impacts of COVID-19, we’ve been one of the hardest hit so far, with nearly two thirds of our workforce now lost,” said Shanna Munro, Restaurants Canada president and CEO. ”In our 75 years of existence as Canada’s national foodservice association, these are by far the worst numbers we have ever seen.”
Canada’s $93-billion foodservice industry represents four per cent of the country’s GDP. If conditions do not improve, Restaurants Canada estimates that foodservice sales will be down nearly $20 billion for the second quarter of 2020.
The conclusions are based on responses to a Restaurants Canada survey conducted between March 25 and March 29. Restaurants Canada received a total of 655 completed surveys from foodservice operators across Canada, representing 13,300 locations.
Restaurants Canada has been working closely with government and industry stakeholders since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, contributing to efforts to safeguard public health and assure business continuity as much as possible.
“Restaurants have played an essential role during this crisis, but are also uniquely challenged by the impacts of COVID-19,” said David Lefebvre, Restaurants Canada vice president, federal and Quebec. “We are encouraged by relief measures introduced so far that have shown the concerns of foodservice are being heard. Without the steps already taken, the impacts on our industry would be even more devastating. In this time of crisis, it is reassuring to see governments, at all levels, come to the table with solutions.”
Restaurants Canada said it continues to be at the table, working with all levels of government to strengthen actions already taken in the following areas to provide foodservice businesses with more immediate protection and relief, as well as help to reopen and rehire:
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