Coronavirus has cost Canada's restaurant industry 800,000 jobs: survey

Apr 2 2020, 10:38 am

It’s no secret that Canada’s restaurant industry is suffering amid the coronavirus pandemic.

We didn’t need to see any numbers to prove this, it’s evident if you glance out the window of the car, or take a look down empty streets while taking your daily walk around town.

Many shops and eateries are boarded up, and places that have decided to still offer takeout and delivery are still struggling despite adjusting to the guidelines instructed by the country’s various provincial health authorities.

But Restaurants Canada released some stats today that truly drive this point home: Our local restaurants are in serious trouble.

The national, not-for-profit association published the results of a survey to shed light on the state of the industry.

In Canada, four out of five restaurants have laid off employees since March 1, according to the survey.

Additionally, seven out of 10 food service operators will further cut back on staff hours or lay off more employees if conditions do not improve soon.

The survey also shows that nearly one out of 10 restaurants have already closed permanently, and another 18% will permanently close within a month “if current conditions continue.”

“Not only was our industry among the first to feel the impacts of COVID-19, we’ve been one of the hardest hit so far, with nearly two-thirds of our workforce now lost,” said Shanna Munro, Restaurants Canada’s president and CEO.

“In our 75 years of existence as Canada’s national food service association, these are by far the worst numbers we have ever seen.”

These numbers come from information collected by Restaurants Canada between March 25 and March 29, 2020.

Restaurants Canada covid-19 survey

Restaurants Canada

According to Restaurants Canada, the country’s $93 billion food and beverage industry represents 4% of Canada’s GDP.

If things continue as they have been, Restaurants Canada estimates “that food service sales will be down nearly $20 billion for the second quarter of 2020.”

To learn more about how Canada’s restaurants are coping during this crisis, head to One Table.

One Table is a coalition of independent Canadian restaurateurs and suppliers that have come together to create a unified voice for the industry.