It’s no secret that restaurants and bars have been struggling and this news is certainly a welcome lifeline. When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, Ontario quickly jumped into action to allow for restaurants and bars to sell alcohol with food orders. It’s just been announced that the Alcohol & Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) has decided to make this permanent.
Before it became a permanent fixture, the ability for restaurants and bars to sell alcohol for takeout and delivery was set to expire at the end of the year.
A statement from the Attorney General reads, “Ontario’s vibrant hospitality sector and its workers have been hard hit by COVID-19 in every community across our province,” said Attorney General Doug Downey. “We’re building on the actions we took early in the pandemic to support local restaurants, bars and other businesses by providing permanent help to workers and small businesses as they face these ongoing challenges.”
However, even though this is positive news for the hospitality industry, recent stats from Restaurants Canada via Yahoo Finance reveal that 8 out of 10 restaurants are losing money and barely scraping by. A whopping 65% of restaurants are continuing to operate at a loss, while 19% are just breaking even with the ability to sell drinks.
“Local restaurants and bars are essential to community life in this province,” said Attorney General Downey. “We are taking actions to provide more opportunities for Ontarians to directly support their local communities when and how public health directives permit.”
This definitely has something to do with the fact that restaurants are forced to purchase alcohol at retail prices despite buying in bulk amounts.
Even though it’s not a perfect cure-all for the struggle restaurants are facing, hopefully, these bars and restaurants will be able to see some relief.