The 2021 holiday season may be challenging for restaurant owners, but unlike last year, more people may be inclined to book a holiday party to celebrate with friends and co-workers. In addition, some provinces’ public health restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic are loosening, allowing restaurants to host more guests at what is traditionally the most lucrative time of the year for them.
An Angus Reid poll taken in May 2021 gauged Canadians’ view toward restaurants, finding 89% enjoy eating in a restaurant, and 64% say restaurants will be an important part of their lifestyles after the pandemic is over. Meanwhile, another study finds 28% of Canadians are eager to dine in a restaurant now, and 58% want to see restaurant staff and guests wearing masks indoors.
Nevertheless, it may be an uphill climb for restaurants to attract revellers, and the competition between establishments attempting to woo consumers will be tough. For many, that will mean offering flexible cancellation policies and enhanced cleaning and sanitation, in addition to required capacity restrictions, indoor mask mandates, contact tracing, and ensuring all patrons can provide proof of vaccination upon arrival.