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Restaurants call for national working group to bring back 260,000 jobs


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,” Restaurants Canada President and CEO Todd Barclay said in a press release.

“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.”

Risk of closures

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 leaves the industry more than 260,000 jobs short of where it was in February, according to the release.

Citing an internal survey, Restaurants Canada also indicated that:

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