A little confidence can go a long way…

I fear that there is a new complacency out there. As the country reopens our economy stage by stage, province by province the consensus seems to be, we’ve beat this thing lets go back to the way things were. Perhaps that is why Dr. Tam, needed to issue a reminder that COVID-19 is still a thing and can come back and bite us in the butt if we’re not ready.

Here in Ontario, we’ve reopened into stage 2. The highlight of which is that haircuts are now available and patios are open for business. All under new guidelines for operating. The problem is that there is no enforcement of these guidelines. When probed on this idea of enforcement, Premier Doug Ford responded with a shrug and stating its impossible to do. I’m sorry Doug, but in this case the honour system isn’t going to cut it.

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Your favourite local restaurant is probably going to change…

What the QSR industry is going to need to survive…

Yesterday I said I was going to be focusing on what I thought restaurants are going to be needing to survive the transition into a new COVID-19 world. I’m dividing my analysis into two segments of the industry. I’ll talk about the full service dining restaurants tomorrow. Today I’m focusing on the quick service restaurant segment.

For those who are not knowledgeable about restaurant terminology quick service restaurants, or QSR are basically your fast food outlets. Typically highly franchised and branded. Although there is much room for independent start ups if you have the right product to sell.

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As we reopen, the race to embrace change begins.

In case you missed the news this week, the majority of the province is reopening for business. Adapted for the age of COVID-19 of course. The big part of that is the fact that restaurants are now able to open patios for sit down service. It raises the question of what the future of the industry is going to be.

According to Halton Public Health, groups of 10 maximum to reflect the new social circle guidelines, and tables must be spaced 2 meters apart. Restaurants are being forced adapt once again to new pandemic measures. By now it should be clear that the race is on to shape a new dining experience, not to see how quickly we can return to the ways of the past.

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Steve Paikin had a great conversation about the plight of restaurants. Take a look.

I came across the link below yesterday. Steve Paikin once again manages to get to the crux of the issue. The conversation summarizes precisely my arguments here and here.

Take a look:


When the restaurant closures hit close to home

This post came across my feed.

This hits particularly close to home. Emma’s was an iconic restaurant here in Burlington. For thirty years the restaurant was a fixture on the Burlington waterfront. Many young men and women got their first jobs working there. For patrons it was a home to many firsts.

For me a standout memory was renting out their party room to host my wife’s and mine wedding rehearsal party. To say that Emma’s was more than just a place to get food is an understatement. Which explains the outpouring of grief and shock online to the news of it’s closure.

The need for commercial rent eviction protection is needed more than ever for small businesses and restaurants in Canada. The provincial governments need to step up now to ensure that theses businesses are able to survive this pandemic. If they fail to act, then Emma’s is only going to be the first in a long line of closures.

No time like the present to accept help

I wrote a second opinion piece that I’m hoping will be published. You can read it here first.

May 1st has come and passed. In the time before COVID-19 life would have continued at its normal pace. We would have gone to work and school, and business would have continued as normal. However, these are abnormal times. The start of the month is when rent is due for tenants across the province. For small businesses, what would have been a regular expense is now turning into a matter of survival.

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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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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:

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