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That's some tab Ford has run up with restaurants

Restaurants Canada is handing the Ford government a $100-million tab — the cost to restaurants of the flip-flopping restrictions and lockdowns.


James Rilett, vice president of Restaurants Canada (Central Canada), said their Ontario members estimate they lose about $10,000 in food and other costs every time they get a sudden order to shut down dining services.


The latest province-wide application of the emergency brake, which closed patios and inside dining, cost restaurants $100 million, the industry advocate says in an open letter to Premier Doug Ford Tuesday.


“We don’t expect them to just cut a cheque to everyone who’s been shut down, but we think there are measures that they can invoke that will help cover some of these costs that restaurants incur every time that they’re opened and then closed again,” Rilett said.


As reported by the Toronto Sun’s Joe Warmington, Antler Kitchen and Bar sent Ford a $431 bill for beer the Toronto restaurant bought after being told it could reopen in April.


Draft beer kegs cannot be returned once opened, Rilett said.


Restaurants Canada has asked for the costs to be mitigated through a sector-specific program that covers the financial implications of wasted inventory, staffing costs, patio setups, and related expenses.


The group has also requested an expansion of the property tax and energy cost rebate program to all impacted food-service industries and an immediate end of the 6% LCBO markup for restaurants buying alcohol.


At the very least, patios should remain open for dining outside, Rilett said.


“The staff are going out of their way that not only they follow the rules, and they do the best practices, but they make sure that the patrons are following the rules and the best practices,” he said.


“It’s not like in a retail store where people are free to go wherever they want. And if they’ve been in a big box store lately, there’s only so many that are allowed in, but they can all gather in the same area.”


About 10% to 12% of restaurants have already permanently closed, and others are facing massive debt and may not reopen even when they can, he said.


Source: Toronto Sun

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