Pizza Pizza CEO warns restaurants will close if government doesn't help
The head of Pizza Pizza is urging the government and the public to amp up their support for restaurants to keep the majority of businesses in the sector from going bankrupt.
The restaurant industry has been one of the hardest hit sectors since the beginning of the pandemic, with more than 800,000 jobs lost, according to Restaurants Canada.
NEW SURVEY RESULTS:— Restaurants Canada (@RestaurantsCA) July 6, 2020
Most restaurants are still losing money and the majority of foodservice businesses operating at a loss expect to take at least a year to recover.
Restaurants need continued government support so they can keep #FeedingTheRecovery.https://t.co/UppRrifyWH
Speaking to BNN Bloomberg, chief executive officer of Pizza Pizza, Paul Goddard, insisted that a lot more can be done to help struggling restaurants across the country.
“I don’t think some Canadians quite realize how dire the situation is,” he said. “We’re really trying to make our voices heard louder and hopefully people do hear and take serious note of how important this is to the whole economy.”
Pizza Pizza is one of 15 companies who are spearheading the “Our Restaurants” campaign, aimed at highlighting how badly restaurants around the country are struggling due to the pandemic.
"We're lucky as a pizza delivery business that we deliver a lot of pizza to people and we've seen a fortunate uptick there, but our walk-in business is down," noted Goddard.
As well as urging the federal government to provide increased support to the industry, the campaign also aims to encourage more people to give their business to local restaurants.
A recent report from Statistics Canada warned that more than 60 per cent of the country's restaurants may close permanently within the next three months due to the economic impact of COVID-19.
“Every restaurant you see is really a cornerstone of the community, Goddard continued.
“So many of them are struggling so much that we really need more continued help from the government side until things get better, but more importantly, also getting people out there … just to support these businesses in this tough time.”
Although most restaurants have adapted to the current situation by implementing measures such as curbside pickup, Goddard added that getting the industry back to pre-pandemic strength is "going to be a long run."
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