Restaurants Canda is calling on the province for help, as they move closer to ramping up operations.
A new Restaurants Canada survey reveals that the majority of Alberta's restaurants need more working capital to successfully reopen.
The survey shows that most restaurants across the province will struggle with having the adequate cash flow to allow for dine-in patrons, and will need more support until they are on a path to full recovery.
As the province moves forward with the three-phase relaunch plan set forth by the provincial government, seven out of ten survey respondents said that they're worried that they won't have enough liquidity to cover operating expenses.
While the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program may provide some restaurants with some relief, paying rent and vendors is still a concern for many independent restaurant operators.
The survey shows that 14 percent of independent restaurants haven’t been able to cover their cost of rent for April and close to 20 percent aren’t able to pay rent for May.
In a statement released by Restaurants Canada Vice President of Western Canada, Mark von Schellwitz, he says that "The resiliency of our industry won’t be enough to ensure Alberta’s 11,200 restaurants remain viable in the face of insufficient cash flow and insurmountable debt." He continued to say that "The province needs to come to the table with a package of solutions to help these mostly small and medium-sized businesses stay afloat as they ramp up their operations."
Before the start of the pandemic, The province's $12 billion foodservice industry represented 3.4 percent of the province’s GDP and was also the province’s third-largest private-sector employer.
Roughly 95,000 jobs in Alberta's foodservice sector have been lost due to COVID-19.