An uncomfortable truth laid bare…

As restaurants began to close their doors to dine in service at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, many thought that delivery apps and services would provide a lifeline to keep may afloat. However, over time many have discovered the uncomfortable relationship many restaurants have with delivery service apps like Skipthedishes, Uber Eats and Doordash.

In the industry they are viewed more as a necessary evil than an innovative new practice. Delivery apps may prove to be causing more harm than good in an industry already on it’s heels. It is common practice for these services to take approximately 30% commission off an order. Prior to the pandemic, this was viewed as a price to pay to get your restaurant known to the public.

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The Government Takes Action…

I had posted Friday, about the urgency for action to protect small businesses and restauranteurs from being evicted from their foot holds. That morning Prime Minister Trudeau delivered his daily update, announcing the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance or CECRA.

Is this just pure coincidence? Yes it is actually. But still a welcomed announcement.

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The urgency for action remains…

Coming off my post from yesterday, the urgency of needing action from government to protect restaurants and small business hasn’t abated.

I wanted to follow up on what our levels of government have done to protect small busnesses from going under due to rent obligations. I remember that Prime Minister Trudeau had mentioned funding in the form of Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance or CERCA.

However to date, no funds have flowed to small businesses. The hiccup appears to be in navigating the responsibilities of provincial duties over contracts and tenancies. So far the only province to institute any protection for commercial tenants is New Brunswick.

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When prediction becomes prophecy…

For weeks now, myself and other’s knowledgeable in the restaurant industry have been calling for greater measures to ensure the industry survives COVID-19. You can read up on what I’ve said here, here as well as here.

As has been predicted by many restauranteurs, what they have been warning about for the previous few weeks is starting to come true. Rent was due for every restaurant on April 1. Those who have not been able to make arrangements with their respective landlords are now technically in default of their tenant agreements. Restaurants have notoriously tight profit margins, which means that many restauranteurs are not sitting a top piles of capital for pandemics. The result has been a perfect storm to decimate the entire industry.

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The Pandemic is Not a Michael Bay Movie

No doubt you’ve been spending a lot of time during this pandemic practicing social distancing by watching a lot of movies. In times like these, there’s nothing like a good bombastic escapism popcorn flick to take your mind of reality. In my honest opinion there is no better director who has master this than Michael Bay. Now this isn’t going to be a critique of his directing abilities. I don’t have the patience for that. What I am looking to write about is the overlap between his films and a certain segment of our population during the era of COVID 19.

If you watch enough of his films, you’ll notice a common thread in all of his films. The expert advice is always ignored over the individual rough and tumble hero of the film, who shrugs off their perceived incompetence to save the day in their own way. Take for example, Armageddon, Bruce Willis and Ben Affleck ignore the advice of NASA rocket scientists to train astronauts on drilling in favour of having to do it themselves. In 13 Hours, John Krasinski is left stranded on the front lines due to bureaucratic ineptitude, in the middle of a firefight and must courageous fight on his own to save the day. In Bay’s latest action flick, 6 Underground Ryan Reynolds demonstrates how easy it is to over throw a government using only 6 people. Don’t get me wrong, Bay’s films are fun action films where enough explosions can always wrap up the plot satisfyingly. In reality though the themes they advocate rarely translate well to solve the world’s problems.

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My Opinion Piece was published in The Spec today

You can read it online here.

Feeling rather proud this morning getting my first Op-Ed published in a major newspaper. Hope your Friday is going well.

The original post is here:

Andrew Oliver Nails the Restauranteur’s Dilema

Take a look at this interview with Andrew Oliver of Oliver & Bonacini with Amanda Lang on Bloomberg news:

He really sums up the unique challenges the restaurant industry is facing with COVID-19. Governments need to dive deep into making sure restaurants are on sound footing to survive this pandemic. I’ve written to my reasoning here.

Please share to your friends and families to help educate them on the unique pressures the restaurant industry is facing.

Local worries in the time of COVID-19

This piece of news came across my attention this morning.

The Toronto Star reported that my local hospital here in Burlington is allowing staff who have tested positive for COVID-19 to return to the front lines as long as they are asymptomatic.

The article goes on to explain that the guidelines provided by the Ministry of Health on this are confusing at best. It is common knowledge that asymptomatic carriers of the virus are still contagious. We’ve known for sometime as can been demonstrated in this March 30th article in Bloomberg news.

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There is no going back

I’m hoping that like me, you took some time to focus on family this weekend. Whether it was Easter like me, or Passover, or just an opportunity to spend time with loved ones in isolation, reflection is important in these trying times. I read a column on Friday morning by Andrew Coyne. His basic argument was that this Coronavirus pandemic we are going through will result in no changes in our society. His reasoning? We heard the same claims post 9/11 and the 2008 financial crisis, and never changed the way our society acts.

He’s right of course in regards to recent history. Those events proved in the long run to not fundamentally change anything in terms of how our governments or society functions. However, this time is different for one main reason. The length that we will have to endure this crisis is drastically different than what we went through before. 9/11 and the 2008 crash responses were about speed to provide security and a return to the status quo in as little time as possible. That option isn’t available to us.

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Restaurants are asking for help, we should listen

I wrote an Opinion piece I submitted to local papers on the crisis our restaurant industry is facing. I’m not sure if it’ll get picked up or not, but I figured I’d share it here anyways. Enjoy:

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