Many restaurant owners believe it could take a year before their businesses return to profitability


Published July 8, 2020 at 12:21 am


Despite the fact restaurants have been permitted to resume offering dine-in services—albeit in a reduced capacity—many restaurateurs believe it will take at least a year for their establishments to return to profitability.

A recent survey from Restaurants Canada found that the majority of foodservice businesses are operating at a deficit, and they can expect to continue to do so for the foreseeable future—possibly up to a year.

According to the findings, more than half of restaurateurs whose businesses are open in any capacity—whether they’re only offering takeout and delivery, or takeout delivery and dine-in options—say they are continuing to operate at a loss.

“Restaurateurs are eager to help rebuild the economy and revive neighbourhoods, but they’re going to need continued assistance from the government to remain operational under ongoing restrictions,” David Lefebvre, vice president of Restaurants Canada, said in a news release.

Additionally, when asked how long it would take for their establishment to return to profitability, 13 per cent of owners said it would take six months or less, 31 per cent said it would take between seven months to a year, 36 per cent said it would take between a year and 18 months, and 20 per cent said it would take longer than 18 months.

Further, for the third consecutive month, 90 per cent of respondents reported lower sales compared to this time last year.

Moreover, a restaurant’s failure affects more than just the owner—restaurants and foodservice businesses are the fourth-largest source of private-sector jobs, and the number one source of first jobs for Canadians.

As well, restaurants support a wide variety of supply chain businesses, indirectly supporting more than 290,000 jobs.

In order to prevent having to close their doors permanently, many restaurateurs are calling on the federal government to implement rent relief and commercial tenant protections.

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