May 13, 2020
ABLE BC, BC Restaurant & Foodservices Association, BC Craft Brewers Guild, Chefs’ Table Society of British Columbia, and Wines of British Columbia are taking next steps in reopening our industry. This includes: building consumer confidence in supporting local hospitality businesses.
Our group is working to play an integral role in bringing some certainty back to the dining-out experience. The goal is to help diners and tasters navigate the “new normal.”
We know that for many people going out to taste the best BC has to offer is on the top of their list as soon as they are able. What consumers miss about dining out is not just food and refreshments but the connections that they associate with meals out.
Whether it’s grabbing a coffee with friends and co-workers, enjoying your “regular” burger from a food truck at lunch, stopping at your favourite pub after work, celebrating a special occasion with loved ones at a restaurant, or sampling your favourite craft or farm-to-glass beverage at a tasting room, consumers are ready to connect with neighbours, friends, family, and co-workers over food.
Restaurants, pubs, and tasting rooms play an important role in the fabric of lives in British Columbia. We want to help our consumers have the confidence to enjoy a meal together, whether it’s brunch on a patio, a three-course dinner, or a picnic with takeout at a local winery, brewery or distillery. Our customers are the core of our success and we want them to come back because they are confident that reinforced health and safety procedures are in place to respond to COVID-19.
After being inside for nearly seven weeks, consumers will need reassurances. We want to help them understand the best practices that are helping keep our staff and our customers safe. Education and outreach from our industry associations will help build the confidence necessary to dine out.
Here’s what we are doing:
- Supporting strong health and safety for staff: staff our frontline and we need to ensure staff has the resources to help them navigate working during COVID-19. We will be:
- providing members official resources for COVID-19, mental health, bullying.
- appointing point people with each business to help answer questions around the new normal.
- Providing easily customizable signage for physical distancing, hand washing and sanitizing best practices.
- Encouraging flexibility for dining outside: we’re working with Municipalities to offer increased flexibility around outdoor dining, patios and picnic areas. BC’s Public Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, has said that being outside is a great place to gather – we want to be part of that solution.
- Developing an extensive campaign to support education around what to expect in the new normal.
Stay tuned for more updates.