Quebec restaurants need more money to successfully reopen: survey

Most food service companies in Quebec say they won’t have the means to reopen when the time comes, according to a Restaurants Canada survey.

Establishments will need additional support to stay alive while they work their way to full recovery, the survey showed.

Seven in 10 respondents are very or extremely worried their business will not have enough money to pay suppliers, rent and other expenses over the next three months. The Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for Small Businesses will not be enough to meet rent obligations.

The survey indicates that approximately 20 per cent of independent restaurateurs are dealing with landlords who are unwilling to provide rent assistance, either through the CECRA program or otherwise.

In April, about 14 per cent of independent restaurant owners were incapable of paying their rent, and almost 20 per cent think May won’t be any different.

As a result of these findings, Restaurant Canada is asking for additional help with rent, debt, and labour costs.

The group reports that before the COVID-19 pandemic began, Quebec's food service sector represented 4 per cent of the province’s Gross Domestic Product. The pandemic caused about 175,000 job losses in the sector so far.

The survey was carried out between May 1 and May 5.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 7, 2020. 


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