Latest restrictions shutter indoor dining

By Sharon Yeo

Effective Dec. 13, indoor dining is prohibited in all restaurants, pubs, bars, lounges and cafes across Alberta at least until Jan. 12, 2021. Businesses will be forced to rely on take-out and delivery for a period that, pre-COVID, would have been their busiest time of the year. Patrick Saurette of The Marc expects to lay off 95% of his staff due to the changes.

Some establishments, such as Pho Tau Bay, have elected to cease operations until they are permitted to offer dine-in services again. Others have pivoted back to offering meal kits, like DOSC and RGE RD.

The Marc

The Marc Restaurant

The day after the restrictions were released, third-party delivery app Skip the Dishes announced a support package for small operators. This includes a 25% rebate on commission for independent restaurant partners also effective Dec. 13. Some restaurants have been appreciative of this gesture, and given the frequency and volume of orders (Canada’s most prolific Skip customer lives in Alberta, having ordered 962 times so far this year), it may help hospitality establishments with their bottom line.

When choosing to support local restaurants, diners should consider picking up their take-out, which ensures all of the profits go directly to the restaurant.