Restaurants face a great reset, thanks to COVID-19

Canada’s food service industry has suffered. But the pandemic may be exactly what it has been waiting for to make things better

Restaurants face a great reset, thanks to COVID-19It was certainly a year to be forgotten for the food service industry. Statistics Canada numbers told us this week that food service sales dropped a whopping 32 per cent from the fourth quarter of 2019 to the same period in 2020. The food retail/service ratio, a key metric to assess how important food service…

The restaurant industry can help save the economy

But the federal government and most provinces have failed to help the hospitality sector. Only New Brunswick is making a difference

The restaurant industry can help save the economyThe best way to get an economy going again is to get to Canadians’ wallets by way of their stomachs. But it’s a long road. Up to 25 per cent of restaurants in Canada have closed for the season and perhaps for good. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce expects 60 per cent of restaurants to…

The dark side of tipping your server

Tipping promotes age, race and gender bias, and make servers more vulnerable to sexual harassment from customers

The dark side of tipping your serverIn North America, the tipping culture has always been a source of pride, giving customers the last word when human interaction is involved. Good service deserves a good tip, while an unsatisfactory experience results in no reward for the server. In some European and Asian countries, the tip is included in the price at the…

Food service industry needs a post-pandemic boost

Food service industry needs a post-pandemic boostWe’re now $343 billion poorer as a nation because of COVID-19. As a result, our national debt will reach unprecedented levels. While some Canadians will dispute how the government is supporting Canadians and businesses during the pandemic, many will argue it didn’t have of much choice. There’s certainly some truth to that. The numbers are…

Dammit Jim! Where’s the waiter?

The use of robots can make the restaurant sector more robust financially and more secure from a public health perspective

Dammit Jim! Where’s the waiter?Canada’s first server-free restaurant has opened its doors in Toronto. Box’d is a fully-automated restaurant designed for life during a global pandemic. It’s an interesting concept but it makes you wonder what role humans can and should play in the food industry. Being aware of the new risks, we need to boldly move forward to…

The rise of the night owl: a convenience store giant

Alimentation Couche-Tard has become one of the largest convenience store chains in the world by converting gas dollars and foot traffic into more food sales

The rise of the night owl: a convenience store giantTaking over the world, one convenience store at a time, was Couche-Tard’s plan from day one. There are two types of convenience stores: Mom-and-pop stores, often operated by local people or newcomers seeking a better life in their adopted country. Stores that are part of enormous multinational conglomerates, which streamline operations by supporting thousands of…

The great protein parade gains momentum

If A&W is seen as a disrupter in food service, McDonald’s could become the exclamation mark in an era of protein plurality

The great protein parade gains momentumWhen McDonald’s makes a move, everyone pays attention. That’s just the way things are in the food service industry. For months, rumours swirled around when McDonald’s would launch a plant-based product. We now know McDonald’s will enter the plant-based game by running a 12-week pilot in Ontario. This is a global first for McDonald’s. That’s…

Beyond Meat should look beyond meat

Beyond Meat’s fixation on replicating the taste and texture of natural products like beef has become the company’s greatest weakness

Beyond Meat should look beyond meatBeyond Meat lost almost $10 million in its second quarter, but it beat expectations on revenues. Regardless, Beyond Meat is now worth US$14 billion U.S. and is Wall Street’s best-performing initial public offering (IPO) so far this year. But it does face challenges. Beyond Meat’s stock price has increased by more than 800 per cent…

Working in the post-retail era requires a reset

There are still plenty of jobs at the low end of the pay scale. But wouldn't it be a better idea to simply upgrade your skills?

Working in the post-retail era requires a resetOne day you head out to your favourite store and it isn’t there anymore. It could be a local specialty shop, part of a major chain or even a department store like Sears, whose stores and catalogues have been around seemingly forever. Retail outlets are disappearing all over, along with the jobs they provide. In…