Businesses gearing up to fully open the premises, but owners say returning customers may take time – .

0
18
Businesses gearing up to fully open the premises, but owners say returning customers may take time – .


Toronto businesses are cautiously optimistic that COVID-19 capacity limits will be lifted on Monday, saying they hope that easing public health rules will improve their results.
But as they prepare to fully open their sites, they say they need time to determine the impact of the change and see if people will come back with the benefits.

George Bozikis, co-owner of Hendriks Restaurant and Bar in downtown Toronto, said it had been difficult to survive during the COVID-19 pandemic, although the lack of a capacity limit was an improvement. But it may not be business as usual, he added.

“Just because we are able to open more of the restaurant does not mean that we are going to fill a larger part of the restaurant again. Office towers are operating at 10 to 15%. The theaters in this area are closed. Tourism is non-existent. Offices are coming back slowly, but certainly not fast enough, ”Bozikis told CBC Toronto.

“Our margins are still very, very tight with supply chain disruptions, employee disruptions, understaffing. It’s the perfect storm and we’re trying to weather it, and only time will tell what really went through it all. ”

Hendrik’s restaurant and bar can seat 280 people. It must have been operating at 50% of its capacity, which means it can only accommodate 140 people. On top of that, he had to pay additional staff to check the vaccination certificates.

George Bozikis, co-owner of Hendriks Restaurant and Bar, said: “Just because we can open up more of the restaurant doesn’t mean we’re going to fill up more of the restaurant again. ” (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

Beginning at 12:01 a.m. Monday, the Ontario government will lift capacity limits at the majority of facilities where customers are required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination.

These parameters include: restaurants, bars and other catering establishments; indoor areas of sports and recreational facilities such as gymnasiums and where personal fitness trainers provide instruction; casinos, bingo halls and other gaming establishments; indoor meeting and event spaces.

Colleen Brophy, owner of Oxygen Yoga and Fitness Liberty Village, which opened in 2019, said she took over the business in September 2020, completed a renovation and operated the business at half capacity. That means having 15 people six feet apart in classrooms, with 30 people on the waiting list. The business needs 12 people in the studio to break even. Brophy, however, tries to stay positive.

“I hope that once these capacity limits are lifted, we can increase these margins and have a successful business,” she said.

“I think it’s absolutely time to lift the restrictions on gyms and other small businesses that have suffered from the COVID pandemic. “

Colleen Brophy, owner of Oxygen Yoga and Fitness Liberty Village, said, “I hope that once these capacity limits are lifted we can increase these margins and have a successful business. “ (SRC)

Jennifer McChesney, director of operations at Studio Lagree and Studio Spin, said business won’t necessarily change overnight just because limited capacity is lifted. The pandemic has been the most difficult time for the company, she said.

“The past two years have been a roller coaster ride, not knowing when we might ever open and when we did: what would be the restrictions? How would that affect us? Would it even be worth opening with restrictions? It was a great balance, but for us I think the security piece was the most important element, ”she said.

Friday’s announcement to lift capacity limits for recreation facilities was unexpected, she said.

“We were initially surprised just because we felt like that day would never come and we were just adjusting to our new normal. But of course, like most businesses that have been affected in this way, we were really excited and happy to be back to normal.

Studio Spin, however, will continue to operate at less than full capacity, McChesney said. Currently it has 20 bikes but it will only add five to eight more. Before the pandemic, it had 40 bikes.

“We know we need to earn money to get back on our feet, but we want to make sure people feel safe in our space,” she said. “We want to run, but we have to walk first. “

Jennifer McChesney, Director of Operations for Studio Lagree and Studio Spin, said: “We know we need to make money to get back on our feet, but we want to make sure people feel safe in our space. We want to run, but we have to walk first. (SRC)

The government will allow other parameters on Monday to lift capacity limits and physical distancing requirements if they decide to require proof of COVID-19 vaccination. These establishments include personal care services, such as hair salons, barber shops, and tattoo parlors.

Alexandra Tocci, owner of Salon Tocci in Liberty Village, said the company has chosen to maintain its current capacity. There is a large space and she said she did not feel comfortable asking clients for vaccine certificates.

“I was hoping we would be able to reach 100% of our capacity without having to ask for proof of vaccination because we always wear masks,” she said.

“We just want to welcome everyone. We want everyone to feel comfortable. And if that means maintaining our current capacity, then we’re okay with that. We’ll just wait and see. It’s pretty good at the moment. ”

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here