With more and more people getting vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus, more and more people are simultaneously venturing out for a meal.
For a large portion of clientele, it’s been more than a year-and-a-half since they’ve actually had a sit-down dinner.
Step two of B.C.’s four-step reopening plan permitted indoor gatherings of a maximum of 50 people while Step three on July 1 opened up optional mask wearing and an increase in capacity.
Fox and Hounds manager Billy Paul said he’s absolutely noticed an increase in clientele.
“We have a 150-person patio, which is larger than initial 50-person patio,” he told The Star. “We’re seeing that steadily fill.”
The increase is welcome after the Aldergrove restaurant had to lay off long-time staff members and continuously adjust service throughout the pandemic.
“Most staff are back,” Paul noted. “Everyone who wanted to come back came back. But our hiring signs are out and we’re hopeful for the future.”
In fact, most eateries are scrambling to fill slots now that full service can resume.
Aldergrove Indian Bistro said business is good but they’re in the midst of hiring a new cook. Bobs Bar and Grill is actively accepting applications for servers.
It’s not an isolated issue either – thousands of restaurants across Canada and the United States are reportedly understaffed and struggling to keep up with demand.
Economic commentators have noted that many former employees have either moved on to something new or have been left with a bad taste in their mouth after a tumultuous year-and-a-half in the industry.
Restaurants, pubs and bars employed an estimated 190,000 people prior to the pandemic, but the industry is bracing for a loss of about 40,000 people over the past 16 months.
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