Canadian Chamber launches National Food Services Working Group to bolster economic recovery

(OTTAWA) – June 16, 2020 – The Canadian Chamber of Commerce has launched the National Food Services Working Group to address the economic challenges of the food services industry. With approximately 98,000 foodservice establishments in Canada, the industry is integral to economy vibrancy in communities.

Co-chaired by David Lefebvre of Restaurants Canada and Steve Zmudczynski of Molson Coors Beverage Company, the Working Group is comprised of the presidents and CEOs of many of Canada’s best-known food service and restaurant brands. The working group will advocate on behalf of the sector for priority issues that the industry needs addressed if they are to begin the recovery process from the devastating impacts of COVID-19.

Before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Canada’s foodservice sector was a $93 billion industry that directly employed 1.2 million people. The industry has lost 800,000 jobs and is on track to lose as much as $17 billion in sales over the second quarter of 2020 due to the impacts of COVID-19. In addition, the sector is a vital end-user for Canadian agriculture producers and food processors, thereby compounding the economic impacts in other sectors.

The working group will focus on ensuring the benefits of the wage subsidy and rental assistance programs materialize for a sector that has been hard hit, and that will likely be one of the last sectors to recover as restrictions ease. The food service industry’s needs are unique with the combination of thin margins and practical challenges to maintain physical distancing protocols.

“Most food service businesses across the country continue to operate at a loss, even as the economy is slowly restarting. After months of significantly reduced revenue, or none at all, and now facing months of operating at reduced capacity, many restaurants need continued support to survive the road to recovery,” said David Lefebvre, Vice President, Federal and Quebec, Restaurants Canada and co-chair of the Working Group.

“The food service industry provides a critical foundation for a whole segment of companies in their supply chain. Without a vibrant food service sector, the supply chain crumbles. We need bold action to ensure the survival of the industry and protect Canadian jobs coast to coast,” explained Steve Zmudczynski, National Vice President of Sales, Premise and Emerging Growth, Molson Coors Beverage Company and co-chair of the Working Group.

Members of the Working Group include:

  • Arterra Wines Canada
  • Benny & Co.
  • Boston Pizza
  • Firkin Group of Pubs
  • Foodtastic
  • Gordon Food Service
  • KFC Canada, Yum! Brands
  • Les Restaurants Subway Quebec Ltee
  • McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada
  • Molson Coors
  • MTY Food Group Inc.
  • National Food Distributors Association
  • Northland Restaurant Group
  • Paramount Fine Foods
  • Pizza Pizza
  • Recipe Unlimited
  • Restaurant Brands International
  • Restaurants Canada
  • Service Inspired Restaurants (SIR) Corp
  • St. Louis Bar and Grill Restaurants
  • Sysco Canada

About the Canadian Chamber of Commerce – Because Business Matters

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce helps build the businesses that support our families, our communities and our country. We do this by influencing government policy, by providing essential business services and by connecting businesses to information they can use, to opportunities for growth and to a network of local chambers, businesses, decision-makers and peers from across the country, in every sector of the economy and at all levels of government, as well as internationally. We are unapologetic in our support for business and the vital role it plays in building and sustaining our great nation.

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For more information, please contact:

Phil Taylor at [email protected]