November 12, 2020

Dear ABLE BC Members and Industry Colleagues,

Here’s what you’ll find inside today’s update:

  • Urgent Update: public health order clarifications for Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley
  • BC Government launches Restoring Confidence App
  • New LCRB policy: Extending Authorization for Distilleries, Breweries & Wineries to manufacture, package, sell and donate alcohol-based hand sanitizer and sanitizer
  • ABLE BC Member Benefit: monthly rebates from Foodbuy Canada
  • LDB Wholesale Update: online product availability information resources for busy holiday season
  • Provincial state of emergency extended

Find all past COVID-19 updates here.

Urgent Update: public health order clarifications for Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley

On November 7, BC’s Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry issued new orders for the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley. The order is restricted to these two regions.

The order came into force Saturday, November 7 at 10:00 pm and will continue through to Monday, November 23, 2020 at 12:00 pm. The order impacts social gatherings, group physical activities, and workplace safety.

This order has confused and frustrated thousands of hospitality businesses. We know that the order also immediately confused patrons, leading to cancelled reservations and millions of dollars of lost revenue across BC’s hospitality industry.

Since Saturday, ABLE BC and our industry partners have been working directly with the Provincial Health Officer and her senior staff to get clarity for you and your patrons.

The Provincial Health Officer has released the following new documents for the Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Health Regions:

The original website detailing Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley restrictions has also been updated.

The new public order and guidance offers the following important clarifications for food and liquor primaries: 

  • People can meet up at a liquor or food primary with a maximum of six at a table. The rules for food and liquor primaries have not changed under the temporary order, but it is very important that they are diligently followed.
  • Liquor and food primaries can have more than 50 people in the building, as long as all protocols are followed with physical distancing, six people per table, and employee protocols in place.
  • Until November 23, there are no receptions permitted following weddings and funerals, including any planned receptions at liquor and food primaries. Any such receptions planned for the next two weeks should be cancelled.
  • Liquor and food primaries can otherwise stay open and must diligently follow their COVID-19 safety plans. WorkSafeBC will be increasing inspections and liquor and food primaries will be asked to close if they are found to not be following their COVID safety plan and not complying with PHO orders.
  • Patrons have been advised by government that they should only visit a restaurant with “people in your household or core bubble” with a maximum of six people at a table. Reservations for private parties that include more than one household or core bubble must be cancelled.
  • A core bubble is defined as “the people you spend the most time with and are physically close to. For some people, their core bubble is their immediate household. For others, their core bubble may contain a partner, relative, friend or co-parent who lives in a different household.”
  • We know the ‘core bubble’ remains confusing for patrons and operators. It is not your responsibility to make a decision on who is in a patron’s core bubble – trust patrons to do the right thing and cancel their reservations if needed.

Important reminder: daily workplace screening

Daily business and worksite COVID-19 employee screenings should already be included in every business’s existing COVID-19 safety plan; this could be done by someone asking employees as they arrive at the workplace, through an app. online form, or through signage and messaging at the entrance to the workplace.

This new order is a reminder for employers and employees to take the screening seriously and answer honestly, but it does not require in-person assessment of every employee as they arrive at work.

You should also remind employees to monitor themselves daily and to always stay home if they have COVID-19 symptoms. Continue to ensure that all workers and customers maintain appropriate physical distance and wear masks when appropriate.

Message from ABLE BC: 

Dr. Henry has been clear that this order is not aimed at our industry and noted that our industry’s current safety protocols are working. 

Although the new order is not aimed at our industry, ABLE BC shares your frustration that the order has undermined public confidence in BC’s hospitality industry. 

Since Saturday, ABLE BC’s Executive Director Jeff Guignard has been working with our industry partners in several media interviews to state clearly that it remains safe to visit your local pubs and bars.

We are also working to ensure that government is saying positive things to restore public confidence. 

We know how hard you’re working to keep your staff and patrons safe. We know you’re frustrated to see additional public health restrictions, especially when you’ve worked so hard to make ends meet over the past several months. But over the next two weeks especially, we must all work relentlessly to ensure safely protocols are followed. 

Please keep up your great work. Rest assured the team at ABLE BC will continue to do everything we can to help our industry get through this.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any other questions or concerns:

BC Government launches Restoring Confidence App

The Restoring Confidence App is part of the BC government’s Stronger BC for Everyone, Economic Recovery Plan. The BC Restaurant and Foodservices Association has been a driving force behind the importance of a consumer confidence program to the industry’s recovery and has provided input into the program’s development.

The Restoring Confidence App creates custom local business posters for operators who register to put in their business window. The poster serves as a uniform symbol for customers that a business has committed to creating and sharing their COVID-19 Safety Plan. The poster will highlight each business’ core commitments to ensuring the safety of their guests and employees and to following the Public Health Orders (PHO).

The local business poster program is designed as a tool for businesses of all types across several sectors to assist them in rebuilding relationships with their customers to establish confidence in returning to their physical location to shop, stay, dine or receive services.

The uniformity of using the same tool cross-sector will help consumers understand what ‘safe’ looks like.

Learn more by downloading the backgrounder here. To learn more about registering a business and obtaining a poster, visit the BC government website here.

New LCRB policy: Extending Authorization for Distilleries, Breweries & Wineries to manufacture, package, sell and donate alcohol-based hand sanitizer and sanitizer

On November 6, the LCRB released Policy Directive 20-28.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and to continue supporting industry with increased opportunities to generate revenue, while also supporting the production of essential health and safety products, the General Manager is extending the authorization for brewery licence holders, winery licence holders, and distillery licensees to use their establishments to manufacture and/or package, sell or donate alcohol-based hand sanitizer and sanitizer until June 30, 2021.

See Policy Directives 20-08, 20-09, 20-10 and 20-12 for further information on this authorization. 

ABLE BC Member Benefit: monthly rebates from Foodbuy Canada

ABLE BC members get access to exclusive benefit programs and discounts – that can more than cover the cost of your annual membership. We are pleased to partner with Foodbuy Canada on a monthly rebate program for on-premise businesses.

Foodbuy is North America’s largest procurement services company using over $2B in Canadian purchasing power to leverage over 400 contracted suppliers giving our members access to over 35,000 rebatable SKUs.

How to access savings and rebates: once you sign-up for Foodbuy, any purchases you already make that match with a Foodbuy supplier will generate rebates for your business. Through optimization analysis, Foodbuy will look for ways to increase rebates and you will also gain access to any food and non-food programs that can provide further savings.

You don’t have to change anything: Foodbuy is a no cost, no term partnership that allows you to continue to operate as you always have. Maintain any and all existing agreements. Whether you are in the pub or restaurant business, hotel or other they have programs suited to you.

Learn more about Foodbuy here. To sign-up for the program, please contact Martin Brochu (Sales Representative): 778-855-1231 or

If you are not yet an ABLE BC member and would like to learn more about membership please contact Danielle Leroux:

LDB Wholesale Update: online product availability information resources for busy holiday season

LDB Wholesale has shared the following update with us on online product availability information resources for the busy holiday season:

As the busy holiday season approaches, LDB Wholesale Operations would like to kindly remind customers to visit the Wholesale Operations Resources Product Information page where timely information about Supplier Stock Outs, New Products and Holiday On-Packs can be found. 

We are committed to working closely with our suppliers and agents on product availability and the Supplier Stock Outs posted on the LDB Wholesale Operations Resources Product Information page provides visibility to customers when there are occasional and temporary supply constraints. 

The Supplier Stock Outs file is updated weekly and lists the top SKUs where inventory availability is constrained or temporarily not available, along with estimated time of arrival if the supplier/agent has provided one. The New Products and Holiday On-Packs lists are also updated weekly.

Provincial state of emergency extended

The Province of British Columbia has formally extended the provincial state of emergency, allowing health and emergency management officials to continue to use extraordinary powers under the Emergency Program Act to support the Province’s COVID-19 pandemic response.

The state of emergency is extended through the end of the day on November 24, 2020, to allow staff to continue to take the necessary actions to keep British Columbians safe and manage immediate concerns and COVID-19 outbreaks.

Learn more.

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