The Kingston Whig-Standard Financial Post: ‘Smoke and mirrors’ for restaurants and their suppliers, booming patios mask industry’s fragile state

Even though patios are reopening and it may appear that the foodservice industry is getting back to “normal”, this is simply not the case financially.

Our very own Larry Isaacs, President of The Firkin Group of Pubs, and James Eric Nicholson, GM of The Churchmouse: A Firkin Pub, are quoted alongside other leading restaurant owners, operators and suppliers in a Kingston Whig-Standard Financial Post article.

While reopened patios could look, from the outside, like the industry turning back on, some restaurant owners and suppliers are cautioning that it is mostly an illusion.

Restaurants Canada, a major industry association, estimates that a typical restaurant will spend roughly $46,000 to reopen, which is enough to make many hesitate, given their inability to function at full capacity.

Firkin Pubs, an Ontario chain with 23 locations, said reopening means turning on equipment after three or four months, which often leads to repair costs; then there are added costs for personal protective gear and marketing to bring customers back. And that’s all to reopen at a small fraction of their regular revenue.

“It is a smoke and mirrors of success,” Firkin Pubs president Larry Isaacs said of the excitement around patio reopenings.

“The reality is – you cannot afford to pay 100% of your bills when you don’t have 100% of your business.”

Larry Isaacs
President, The Firkin Group of Pubs

To read more, view the full article here.

Excerpts and full article are Copyright © 2020 The Kingston Whig-Standard / Postmedia Network Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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