Toronto and Ontario bars and restaurants advocate for drinks to go even after Covid-19
Bars and restaurants in Toronto and Ontario insist that take-out service be made permanent. Read more here.
Toronto and Ontario restaurant owners have managed to create a business model through the rules applied to alcohol sales during confinement. Now, given the success of this selling mode, restaurant owners are fighting to have it made permanent.
Since March, the Ontario government has allowed restaurants to sell alcohol to go with food. This measure was implemented, as in many countries, to cope with the isolation by Covid-19 and to sustain business.
As a result of these measures many establishments saw improved performance. Shamez Amlani, co-owner of La Palette, a bistro in downtown Toronto, said his restaurant is selling more wine now than in 20 years of business. Amlani added that he sold 120 bottles in a single day when the pandemic began. “Now I can sell my supplies in a couple of weeks.” Says Amlani comparing the usual pace of his business.
Amlani explains that this system is also attractive to customers because they can get a bottle of alcohol cheaper than at a restaurant dinner.
More restaurants involved
On the other hand, Glenn Wesley owns Bathrust Local, a Toronto bar that specializes in sake, wine and craft beer. He said his bar will depend on take-out sales even after the pandemic. The extra income would allow him to recover financially from the isolation. In fact, the bar has been reinvented as an e-commerce platform. It offers intra-provincial shipping for drinks.
A spokeswoman for the Attorney General’s Office reiterated that the take-away law is a temporary measure that ends on the last day of 2020, but did not say whether an extension is being considered.
“As Ontario carefully moves toward recovery, the government continues to work with licensed establishments to support a thriving hospitality industry in Ontario,” Jenessa Crognali said in a statement.
“This is the new standard, and I don’t think there have been any problems with it so far. Customers have loved it, and so what would be the reason to take it away?” Says Wesley.
Don’t drink and drive. Enjoy responsibly.
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