Restaurant owners in the region are divided at the idea of quickly reopening their dining room, as the mayor of Lévis suggested on Friday, while many still find the bet too risky, especially in terms of profitability.
• Read also: Lehouillier believes that restaurants should reopen
Thursday, the mayor of Lévis, Gilles Lehouillier, affirmed that the government should reopen the restaurants, while ensuring that all the instructions are respected.
He proposed to target the recalcitrant rather than the sectors of activity, by immediately closing a restaurant, for example, which does not comply with health measures.
ARQ in favor
The idea seems to appeal to many traders in the industry, provided that the measures are the same as during the first deconfinement.
“Overall, we are in favor of reopening. Restaurants offer a safe environment, ”says François Meunier, vice-president of public and government affairs at the Association des restaurateurs du Québec (ARQ).
The take-out service is not profitable, he says. The reopening of the rooms could therefore ensure a certain profitability for several restaurateurs, but it would be necessary to see what the restrictions would be, argues Mr. Meunier.
The owner of the Le Corsaire microbrewery in Lévis wants to welcome customers back as soon as possible.
“We spent the summer managing the measures. If they are the same instructions, I have no stress with that, ”says Martin Vaillancourt.
One of the owners of Tapas & Liège said she was divided on the possibility of opening quickly, because of the risk of having to close if there was a breach of instructions. Although every effort is made to comply with sanitary measures in her business, a closure would be dearly paid for a good faith mistake, argues Vanessa Roberge.
“We would open, because that’s what we like to do, but it would be very demanding,” she observes.
Jacques-André Pérusse, general manager of the Société de développement commercial (SDC) du Vieux ‐ Québec, finds the idea very interesting, but it is not attractive to all restaurateurs.
“The customers are not there, and they will not be there anymore,” he laments.
He wonders if it will be worth it for traders to bring in staff and incur costs to resume activities in the dining rooms.