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Canada’s food industry needs us and the government more than ever

Many experts say it will take months and perhaps even years to understand the full impact of COVID-19.

Well, early numbers are in – and they’re not good. Especially for the food industry. Restaurants Canada, a not-for-profit association representing the country’s foodservice industry, has published a survey that paints a pretty grim picture.

According to the survey, 10% of Canadian restaurants have already permanently closed. Almost a million food service jobs have been lost. Four out of five restaurants have laid of employees in the past month.

While restaurant traffic has all but stopped, bills certainly have not. This is particularly devastating for businesses with notoriously slim margins.

“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.”

Here’s a closer look at those numbers:

So, what can be done to mitigate the damage? As someone who eats food, you can continue to support local restaurants by ordering take-out or delivery.

But it’ll take much more than that. Restaurants Canada is actively working with governments to provide the industry with immediate protection and relief. That includes rent subsidy arrangements with landlords, providing access to working capital, and initiatives to keep workers on payroll as well as those already laid off to be rehired.

Christian Nathler

Christian Nathler is a contributing writer at Notable Life.