Restaurant owners are tired of playing yo-yos

Restaurant owners are demanding that a specific date be given quickly in order to plan the end of what they wish to be the last closure of their industry, even if they are encouraged to see the government studying reopening scenarios.

• Read also: Reopening of dining rooms: two scenarios on the table

• Read also: Restaurants: “open to us as soon as possible”

“The sooner we open, the better it will be for our employees. They need to work and they need income,” says Jean Bédard, president of La Cage restaurants.

With the Super Bowl weekend in his sights, he hopes the government will choose to open restaurants on January 31, while the authorities hesitate between this date and that of February 8, according to information revealed on Saturday by our Parliamentary Office .

“I have always said that it should open at least two weeks before these events. Those who are not ready, are not ready, but do not prevent those who want to open earlier from opening earlier, ”argues Mr. Bédard.

Key to success in allowing reopening, the COVID-19 situation also seems to be stabilizing after the peak of the last week with 56 fewer hospitalizations in Saturday’s balance sheet for a total of 3,295 occupied beds.

Quebec, however, recorded 68 additional deaths.

In addition to wanting to reopen, restaurants hope to no longer be held hostage by the limited hospital capacity of the Quebec health network. Dining rooms have been closed more than every other day since the start of the pandemic.

“It is not true that we are going to play this film every time, plague Martin Vézina, director of public and governmental affairs for the Association Restauration Québec (ARQ). They can’t play that yo-yo forever because the employees are going to work elsewhere. »

He expects Quebec to begin a “reflection” to make it possible to operate all economic sectors in the event of new waves of COVID-19.

“It is sure that we will have to take the measures so that it will be the last time”, also supports Mr. Bédard.

In the short term, restaurateurs ask for at least a few days of lead time because they need to be able to call back staff and order food.

GEN-Portrait of Pedro Medina who wants the CAQ to put an end to the rumors and announce the date of the reopening of the restaurants

Photo QMI Agency, Mario Beauregard

“It would be fun if it weren’t rumors and if the government could tell us, here’s the scenario,” said Pedro Medina, founder of the Oeufrier restaurants.

On the side of the ARQ, we prefer the date of February 8 in order to give the chance to all restaurateurs to prepare.

“If we announce it on the 31st, a few days in advance, I won’t rip my shirt off,” says Martin Vézina.

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