Many foodservice workers could remain out-of-work even after the pandemic ends.
In order to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Province has instructed all restaurants to close their dining rooms—they are only permitted to sell food via takeout and delivery.
As a result, more than 800,000 jobs in the foodservice industry have already been lost across the country—300,000 in Ontario alone.
Further, many of these jobs may not become available once the pandemic ends, as many restaurants have had to close permanently.
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Since March 1, 80 per cent of restaurants have had to layoff employees.
Moreover, 70 per cent of employers in the foodservice industry have said they will have to cut back on staff hours or lay off more employees if conditions don’t improve.
Most alarmingly, nearly 10 per cent of restaurants have had to close permanently, and if current conditions continue, another 18 per cent will join them.
“Not only was our industry among the first to feel the impacts of COVID-19, but it’s also been one of the hardest hit so far, with nearly two-thirds of our workforce now lost,” Shanna Munro, Restaurants Canada President and CEO, said in a news release.
“In our 75 years of existence as Canada’s national foodservice association, these are by far the worst numbers we have ever seen,” she continued.
Ontario’s foodservice industry represents roughly four per cent of the province’s GDP, and, if current trends continue, sales are projected to drop by more than $7.7 billion for the second quarter of 2020.
“We commend the Ontario government for deferring tax collection and other government payments so that restaurants can preserve much needed cash flow during this crisis,” James Rilett, Restaurants Canada Vice President for Central Canada, said in the same release.
“Without the steps already taken, the impacts on our industry would be even more devastating. In this time of crisis, it is reassuring to see governments, at all levels, come to the table with solutions,” he continued.