Restaurant owners are in survival mode as they continue to try and make a go of it against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a story published this week by Business in Vancouver (available on our website at www.delta-optimist.com), reporter Glen Korstrom takes a look at restaurants, tourism and hospitality business owners and the loss of business due to the pandemic. The financial toll is wide-spread across the sector.
According to his report, before the pandemic, the province’s restaurant industry was the third-largest private-sector employer, generating $15 billion annually. Now it is estimated that about 20 per cent of the province’s restaurants have been forced to close and that number could rise even higher – to 30 per cent by the time some of the restrictions ease.
Those are dire statistics.
Here in Delta, thanks to the support of the business community, it’s economic recovery taskforce, Delta council and lots of ingenuity, restaurants have managed to pivot offering additional patio space for in-house dining options, enhanced take-out options and other ways to serve their customers.
Many of our restaurants are family-owned and operated, employee locals and have played a huge role in the social connectivity of this community. I sure hope that all of our restaurants find a way to survive.
I try and support locally as much as possible and have been very impressed with the service and the health and safety protocols at our local eateries, so when a note from a reader last week came into my in-box, I was quite surprised.
In part the note read: “My teenager works at a local restaurant and she has been sworn at and treated rudely by members of our community who feel they’re entitled to things they are not. Be kind, be patient, be respectful and if you can’t - stay home.”No one should be treated like this – at the best of times – let alone during a pandemic. Let’s all remember to, as this reader suggests, be kind, be respectful and support our local restaurants.