MediaEdge Communications is a leader in providing print and digital media products for foodservice professionals, such as Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News magazine, our weekly Restobiz Bytes E-Newsletter, our website Restobiz.ca, the @RestobizCRFN social channels, and our annual Canadian Restaurant & Bar Show.
We are monitoring the ongoing COVID-19 public-health situation very closely, and deeply care about the Canadian foodservice industry. We will continue to provide updates as they’re made available. Please find a series of articles and links below that we find useful.
Critical resources for foodservice operators
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How to apply for federal small-business support measures: A one-stop resource catered to foodservice operators.
- March 27: Updates to federal support measures for small businesses.
- April 6: The government has extended the Small and Medium-sized Enterprise Loan program to include bars and lounges.
- May 19: The government of Canada announces a 12-week extension to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy.
- May 21: Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) expanded to include owner-operated small businesses.
How to support restaurant employees during COVID-19: Three helpful suggestions for supporting both retained and laid-off staff during the ongoing health crisis.
Help For My Restaurant: A COVID-19 task force spearheaded by industry expert and regular CRFN contributor Doug Radkey, comprised of more than 15 industry experts and consultants across the U.S. and Canada. HFRM is aimed at providing free, crucial resources to restaurants and other foodservice operators to help them navigate and survive the current crisis, such as the Phase 1 COVID-19 Survival Kit (updated March 2020) and the Phase 2 COVID-19 Survival Kit (updated April 2020).
Workplace PPE Supplier Directory (Ontario): The government of Ontario has released a list of companies that sell personal protective equipment (PPE) and other supplies, such as sanitization products and digital technologies, to keep your employees and customers safe from COVID-19.
DineSafe: A website from the Ontario Restaurant Hotel and Motel Association (ORHMA) which includes links to an in-depth reopening guide, a reopening checklist covering areas such as adjustments to entrances, menus, and payment methods, and a list of industry resources.
The NFPA’s reopening fact sheet: A resource for small businesses from the National Fire Protection Association outlining general safety guidelines that companies should keep in mind when beginning their reopening process.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Workplace Decision Tree: A handy flowchart for businesses of all types to help determine whether they are prepared to reopen post-COVID-19.
The Long View: Foodservice trends emerging out of COVID-19
We’ve reached out to our partners within the Canadian and North American foodservice industry to reflect on how the current health crisis is reshaping the sector, both in the long and short term.
How COVID-19 is reshaping the Canadian foodservice industry (Nourish Marketing)
How restaurant operators are pivoting due to COVID-19 (Datassential)
Four pillars for surviving COVID-19
- Prepare to adapt to new measures.
As municipalities and provinces continue to take steps to protect Canadians, restaurant and other foodservice operators should prepare for further disruptions to their business, including reducing service to takeout, drive-thru, and delivery. If your restaurant does not currently offer these services, it’s imperative to implement strategies to incorporate them.
- Seek out support from governments of all levels, particularly as the federal government continues to roll out its significant support package for small businesses and individuals as the COVID-19 situation evolves.
- Be transparent.
Communicate clearly and frequently about your current protocols regarding safety policies for both food preparation, staffing, and customers. As the situation evolves, continue to communicate how your business practices and operations are adapting to new situations.
- Think ahead.
While there are many pressing concerns for foodservice operators to tackle on an immediate ongoing basis, it’s important to also keep an eye on long-term ramifications and trends that may continue to influence the sector once the crisis is past. Nourish Marketing’s Jo-Ann McArthur offers some insight to Restobiz/CRFN readers.
As of early 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a global state of emergency over the novel coronavirus outbreak that began in China in late 2019. Since then, the federal and provincial governments have taken a number of sweeping measures to try to curb the spread of the disease, including closing the border to international flights and, in several provinces, temporarily shuttering non-essential businesses.
The federal government also announced an extensive support package for small businesses and others financially affected by COVID-19. Importantly, from a foodservice perspective, the package includes the following measures:
- Waiving the one-week waiting period to apply for employment insurance for those who cannot work due to COVID-19, as well as waiving the requirement to provide a medical certificate to access EI sickness benefits.
- An Emergency Support Benefit delivered through the Canada Revenue Agency, to provide up to $5-billion in support to workers who lose their jobs or face reduced hours as a result of COVID-19.
- Temporary wage subsidies for eligible small employers for a period of three months, equal to 10% of renumeration paid during that period, up to a maximum subsidy of $1,375 per employee and $25,000 per employer, to help offset revenue losses and prevent layoffs.
- The Business Credit Availability Program, which will provide more than $10-billion of additional support largely targeted to small and medium-sized businesses.
- Read the full federal COVID-19 Economic Response here.
- See “Province-specific COVID-19 websites” below for links to individual provincial measures.
The COVID-19 outbreak has shaken the foodservice industry, and wrought new and unprecedented changes to operations. Most recently, during the week of March 16, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and B.C. moved to allow alcohol with takeout and delivery orders to help keep businesses open, staff employed, and additional options for individuals who are self-isolating.
Due to the fast-paced nature of these developments, we encourage our partners and readers in the foodservice industry to keep vigilant and seek out information relevant to their specific situations.
Province-specific COVID-19 websites
- British Columbia
- Newfoundland & Labrador
- Nova Scotia
- New Brunswick
- Prince Edward Island
- Northwest Territories