The Domino Effect of COVID-19 on the Restaurant Industry

The pandemic’s aftereffects can still be felt throughout Metro Vancouver’s restaurant industry.

Restaurants owners and chefs are struggling to bring their former employees back to the restaurant business.

Head and Sous Chefs of local restaurants, such as Marty Flores, could serve only takeout food and had to layoff a massive amount of employees.

“It affected a lot from sales and employees. The employees got affected the most, but as operators, it was very difficult for us during the beginning because it just suddenly happened. We had to close down the restaurant, but we still had to keep it open for takeout. My restaurant runs about 70 to 100 employees and now suddenly closing the restaurant with only takeout, we had to cut 95% of our people.”

  • Marty Flores, local Sous Chef

Restaurants have faced many difficult challenges because of the layoffs.

Now that local restaurants have begun to open to full capacity, management must continue to hire more employees to make up for the staffing shortages.

Chef Flores says his staff is still constantly adapting to situations they are faced with as he attempts to bring back as many employees as possible all while fully opening their dining room.

He believes that his workforce is nowhere near to where it was in 2019 and the beginning of 2020, and needs to hire quickly, as he recognizes the tasks piling for each individual as each day gets busier.

“The last six months, we are slowly getting back open. When we started to open up our restaurant, we started to see 2019 sales. The only problem is now that we’re getting the sales, we don’t have enough people for it because we let go of the people and then, yeah, that’s why it’s really tough. Now the workload is higher for each individual.”

  • Marty Flores, local Sous Chef

The pandemic has unfortunately wiped out many local spots along with many establishments still trying to stay afloat due to the shortage of employees.

As the summer dining season approaches, restaurants are trying to find ways to meet the demands for their customers with the amount of staff they have, while continuing to recruit more workers.

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