Coronavirus: Some Alberta Restaurants Are Having Difficulty Reopening


It has been almost a month since the Province of Alberta authorized restaurants to be reopened for restaurant service, but some restaurants are struggling to make ends meet.Mahmoud Hamadeh owns Olympus Donair in the Edmonton community at Brander Gardens and says the pandemic has been very difficult for his little restaurant.

“We have lost more than 50% of our income.”

Hamadeh said that even though the province had given the green light to resume operations at 50% capacity for seated customers, he was not comfortable with the idea.

“We are still not open for dinner. We still don’t really feel safe. “

He said he was trying to limit interaction with customers by taking orders over the phone to pick up or send food for delivery.

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“Things are starting to improve a bit, but we are not busy enough to cover our costs yet.”

Coronavirus: Alberta restaurants expect offbeat start when reopening

He said that although his owner has been supportive and flexible, some bills are still unpaid.

Most of his belongings came from parents who dropped students off at school or a nearby gym – none of which are currently open.

Currently, there can also only be three clients at a time at Olympus Donair, due to distance requirements.

Alberta Re-launch Stage 2 to take place on June 12

Alberta Re-launch Stage 2 to take place on June 12

Friday, as part of the reopening of Alberta Phase 2, restaurants will have no cap limiting the number of people who can dine, as long as the tables are two meters apart.

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But that won’t help restaurants like Haus Falkenstein. The German restaurant, located near the Telus World of Science, is known to hold a Guinness World Record for the most varieties of pan-friend schnitzels: 347.

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But even that doesn’t bring customers. Owner Silke Hentschel said they opened as soon as possible on May 14 – but only received one order all day.

They expected a slow start, but were optimistic that things would improve over time.

” Now it’s [been] a month, and it’s not much better yet. “

She thinks that not all customers are ready to have a meal sitting outside their own home.

“Some of them are afraid and others may not have any money.”

Alberta restaurants ask Jason Kenney for clear rules before reopening during COVID-19 pandemic

Another problem plaguing the besieged restaurant industry? Additional costs. From personal protective equipment to food.

“Do we buy more meat – which is twice as expensive as before – and waste it? Or do we say to people, “Sorry, we are out”? It is this guessing game that we need to reduce a little so that we don’t have more losses than necessary. ”

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Even with a break in rent from their landlord this week, Haus Falkenstein had to cut his hours.

“We can’t sit here, have everything fresh and wait for customers to come, then we have to throw it out or eat it ourselves,” said Hentschel.

“It doesn’t make sense to have everything here, the hood and all the appliances, for nothing. ”

The restaurant also offers take-out or contactless roadside pickup.

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business said that hospitality businesses in Alberta, including restaurants, are struggling. Eighty percent cannot cope with additional expenses at this time.

“Business has not returned to normal. While these businesses may open, they have not seen the revenues they saw at the same time last year, or even before the pandemic, “said Annie Dormuth.

Restaurants Canada echoes this sentiment, saying that if things do not get better, Alberta’s restaurant industry could miss up to $ 5.8 billion in sales this year compared to last year.

“What we encourage people to do is shop local everyday, support locally everyday,” she said.

It would be of great help to the Hentschels.

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“It would mean that we could go on with our lives and go on like this. We would really appreciate that, ”she said.


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