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Without news, restaurateurs are angry

Still greatly affected by the last-minute closure of their restaurants on New Year’s Eve, restaurateurs have no news from the government about an upcoming reopening, as some health relief measures were announced this week.

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“We can no longer always be the first to be closed and the last to reopen,” laments Pierre Moreau, CEO of the Restos Pleasures group in the Quebec City region, in an interview in Quebec.

“We had a hard time understanding the last closure. We could have stayed open with the bubbles. When I walk in supermarkets and I see people walking around with the mask down and I don’t know if they are vaccinated, I think it was safer in my restaurants ”, explains- he does.

Restaurant owners have no idea at this point when they will be able to resume operations and have no communication with the government.

“We need predictability, we can’t reopen a restaurant like that! We would like to know that a little in advance. For the moment we have no information. Put yourself in the shoes of our employees who stop working four times over a period of almost two years. It does not make sense what these people are going through, ”denounces Mr. Moreau.

The CEO of Restos Plaisirs hopes to reopen its establishments at the beginning of February. Until then, it can count on certain government assistance, especially that of the federal government.

“Not those of the Quebec government: it’s a fairly complex program that only applies to people who have working capital problems, management is not easy, there are many criteria, it is managing locally by some organizations. What helps us are federal programs, which allow us to keep our heads above water, ”he explains.

Restaurant owners are tired of the yo-yo, says Mé Moreau, they who have complied with the health measures put in place by Quebec, whether it is the wearing of a mask, the verification of the health passport, distancing, reduced capacities .

The last closure was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

“I have rarely seen restaurateurs so angry. The last closure, they had a hard time understanding it. What that implies in terms of management, a closure a few hours before December 31, that was not just anything. The government must listen to the concerns of these traders, and above all, we must remain open, ”he concludes.