A Restaurants Canada survey has revealed that many of the food industry jobs which have been lost due to COVID-19 may not return.

The survey shows that nearly one in ten restaurants has had to close their doors permanently, and many more are on the verge of shutting down.

COVID-19 has cost Alberta's foodservice sector 95, 000 jobs in the last month.

The survey also reveals that an estimated 800, 000 foodservice jobs have been lost across the country in wake of the pandemic.

With restaurants now struggling to pay rent and other bills due this month, the national association has conducted a survey to shed light on the state of the foodservice industry.

The responses across the country show that:

  • Four out of five restaurants have laid off employees since March 1.
  • Seven out of 10 foodservice operators will further cut back on staff hours or lay off more employees if conditions do not improve.
  • Nearly one out of 10 restaurants have already closed permanently and another 18 percent will permanently close within a month if current conditions continue.

Restaurants Canada President and CEO, Shanna Munro says that the foodservice industry is one of the hardest-hit sectors.

Munro says “Not only was our industry among the first to feel the impacts of COVID-19, we’ve been one of the hardest hit so far, with nearly two-thirds of our workforce now lost,” She goes on to say ”In our 75 years of existence as Canada’s national foodservice association, these are by far the worst numbers we have ever seen.”

If conditions don't improve, Restaurants Canada estimates that Alberta’s foodservice sales for the second quarter of 2020 will be down nearly $2.5 billion.

Alberta’s $12 billion foodservice industry represents 3.4 percent of the province’s GDP and is the province’s third-largest private-sector employer.