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7 October 2020

“In a survey by GlobalData, nearly half (43%*) of consumers plan to eat breakfast outside of the home less often or stop altogether. This represents a significant loss for budget operators such as McDonald’s, wherein the convenient, cheap and fast-served breakfast items have always been popular among morning commuters.

“That said, the fast-food giant is taking a sensible approach. Rather than reintroducing standard menu items to its breakfast offerings, which may be slightly more complicated and costly to make, the company is expanding with simple yet indulgent bakery treats that may spark consumers’ curiosity. This new bakery line-up will prove a vital testing point for McDonald’s in the coming months. Should it help revitalize the brand's breakfast occasions, we are likely to see further menu expansion across its stores.

“There is more hope for the brand, as GlobalData’s survey found that, since the COVID-19 outbreak, 51% of consumers plan to only buy products from their favorite brands – given McDonald’s significant following, this is a positive sign for future sales.”

 
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VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Oct. 06, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Restaurants Canada is urging that all parties seeking to form British Columbia’s next government adopt recommendations to help the province’s restaurants pull through the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

“Restaurants are critically important to creating jobs, economic growth and vibrant neighbourhoods,” said Mark von Schellwitz, Restaurants Canada Vice President, Western Canada. “Restaurants Canada looks forward to working closely with British Columbia’s next government to ensure foodservice businesses have what they need to continue contributing to the province’s recovery.”

British Columbia’s restaurants expect a year or more to recover

Not only was British Columbia’s foodservice industry among the first and hardest hit by the impacts of COVID-19, the sector will also be among the slowest to recover.

According to a Restaurants Canada survey conducted between Sept. 15 and Sept. 24:

  • The majority of British Columbia’s restaurants are still not profitable: 45% of survey respondents said they are operating at a loss and 20% said they are just breaking even.
  • More than half of restaurants still operating at a loss expect to take at least a year to return to profitability:
    • 6% said 6 months or less.
    • 20% said 7 months to a year.
    • 46% said between a year and 18 months.
    • 29% said more than 18 months.

A menu for recovery

Restaurants Canada has shared recommendations to support the recovery of British Columbia’s foodservice sector with all major parties seeking to form the next provincial government.

“With colder months approaching, restaurants will need continued assistance to keep fulfilling their vital role within British Columbia’s economy,” said von Schellwitz.

Before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, British Columbia’s foodservice sector represented 5 per cent of the province’s GDP and was the province’s third-largest private sector employer. By April, COVID-19 had resulted in more than 112,000 foodservice workers losing their jobs or having their hours cut down to zero. While foodservice employment in British Columbia increased by more than 97,000 jobs between May and August, the sector is still at least 14,000 jobs short of where it was in February 2020.

 
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TORONTO, Oct. 02, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Restaurants Canada commends the federal government for committing to help businesses survive the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic with more than $600M in new funding.

“Many of the measures announced today respond to our recommendations to help Canada’s vital foodservice sector pull through these extraordinarily challenging times,” said Restaurants Canada President and CEO Todd Barclay. “We appreciate the federal government’s continued recognition of the unique impacts that COVID-19 have had on restaurants and how integral they are to the economic recovery of communities across the country.”

Foodservice and hospitality sector continues to be hardest hit from COVID-19

“The vast majority of our members have been able to remain operational and continue contributing to their communities, largely thanks to measures the federal government has introduced since the start of the crisis,” said David Lefebvre, Restaurants Canada Vice President, Federal and Quebec. “We look forward to learning more details about the commitments unveiled today and continue building on the government’s efforts to address the ongoing needs of our industry.”

Without continued and additional support, Restaurants Canada estimates that 40 per cent of independent restaurants might not survive beyond March 2021, on top of the roughly 10 per cent of establishments that have already permanently closed over the first six months of the pandemic.

Restaurants Canada continues to recommend support for restaurants in the following key areas:

  • Assistance with labour costs, rising debt and cash flow
  • Red tape reduction for small and medium sized businesses
  • Targeted foodservice sector support
 
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Smooth Commerce, a digital commerce and customer engagement solution provider, is pleased to announce the addition of Jason Allard to its investor group and business development team as an Enterprise Sales Executive.

Allard co-founded the pioneering Famoso Pizzeria in 2007 in Edmonton and, as COO, grew the chain across Canada. At Smooth Commerce, he will be guiding strategic direction and business development in Western Canada and the United States.

“With a wealth of experience in foodservice from the frontlines to the executive offices of a national chain, Jason’s insight and perspective will be indispensable as we grow the capabilities of our platform and expand our footprint across Canada and the U.S.,” said Brian Deck, Smooth Commerce CEO.

As COO of Famoso, Allard saw first-hand the introduction and evolution of technology that sought to allow foodservice operators to understand and serve their customers better. In Smooth Commerce, he sees the complete package of digital ordering, delivery, loyalty and engagement as an industry leading platform that provides operators with the tools they need to compete and adapt in an ever-evolving environment.

“Smooth Commerce’s integrated suite of services sets them apart from other solution providers,” said Allard. “We deliver the digital experience that customers increasingly demand and provide operators with data, insights and tools to drive sales and marketing campaigns, ultimately serving their customers better.”

“Having been responsible for selecting and implementing technology solutions at Famoso, the Smooth solution is the best I’ve seen,” added Allard. “I look forward to working with the team to bring this incredibly powerful platform to new customers and markets.”

 

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