The restaurant industry can help save the economy

But the federal government and most provinces have failed to help the hospitality sector. Only New Brunswick is making a difference

The restaurant industry can help save the economyThe best way to get an economy going again is to get to Canadians’ wallets by way of their stomachs. But it’s a long road. Up to 25 per cent of restaurants in Canada have closed for the season and perhaps for good. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce expects 60 per cent of restaurants to…

The dark side of tipping your server

Tipping promotes age, race and gender bias, and make servers more vulnerable to sexual harassment from customers

The dark side of tipping your serverIn North America, the tipping culture has always been a source of pride, giving customers the last word when human interaction is involved. Good service deserves a good tip, while an unsatisfactory experience results in no reward for the server. In some European and Asian countries, the tip is included in the price at the…

Food service industry needs a post-pandemic boost

Food service industry needs a post-pandemic boostWe’re now $343 billion poorer as a nation because of COVID-19. As a result, our national debt will reach unprecedented levels. While some Canadians will dispute how the government is supporting Canadians and businesses during the pandemic, many will argue it didn’t have of much choice. There’s certainly some truth to that. The numbers are…

Dammit Jim! Where’s the waiter?

The use of robots can make the restaurant sector more robust financially and more secure from a public health perspective

Dammit Jim! Where’s the waiter?Canada’s first server-free restaurant has opened its doors in Toronto. Box’d is a fully-automated restaurant designed for life during a global pandemic. It’s an interesting concept but it makes you wonder what role humans can and should play in the food industry. Being aware of the new risks, we need to boldly move forward to…

The rise of the night owl: a convenience store giant

Alimentation Couche-Tard has become one of the largest convenience store chains in the world by converting gas dollars and foot traffic into more food sales

The rise of the night owl: a convenience store giantTaking over the world, one convenience store at a time, was Couche-Tard’s plan from day one. There are two types of convenience stores: Mom-and-pop stores, often operated by local people or newcomers seeking a better life in their adopted country. Stores that are part of enormous multinational conglomerates, which streamline operations by supporting thousands of…

Restaurant and bar sales in Alberta up from a year ago

But operating costs may also be up and spending may be spread over a larger number of establishments: ATB analysis

Restaurant and bar sales in Alberta up from a year agoOn a month-over-month basis, seasonally-adjusted restaurant and bar sales in Alberta edged down slightly, falling by 0.1 per cent in August to $803.8 million, according to ATB Financial’s Economics & Research Team. Sourcing Statistics Canada data, ATB said in its daily economic update The Owl that the situation is better on a year-over-year basis with sales…

Creating a culinary mix of local and worldly

Executive chef Eraj Jayawickreme talks about how the Hawthorn Dining Room and Bar distinguishes itself in the Calgary market

Creating a culinary mix of local and worldlyEraj Jayawickreme is the Fairmont Palliser’s executive chef and food and beverage manager. His responsibility includes the Hawthorn Dining Room and Bar. What makes the Hawthorn unique in the Calgary marketplace? Jayawickreme: Hawthorn is special as we highlight the amazing producers, artisans and farmers in this province. It is our core philosophy to ensure that…

The great protein parade gains momentum

If A&W is seen as a disrupter in food service, McDonald’s could become the exclamation mark in an era of protein plurality

The great protein parade gains momentumWhen McDonald’s makes a move, everyone pays attention. That’s just the way things are in the food service industry. For months, rumours swirled around when McDonald’s would launch a plant-based product. We now know McDonald’s will enter the plant-based game by running a 12-week pilot in Ontario. This is a global first for McDonald’s. That’s…

A retreat oasis in the heart of Calgary

Denise DeNeve talks about how the FCJ Retreat and Conference Centre caters to the local community, and national and international groups

A retreat oasis in the heart of CalgaryDenise DeNeve is director of the FCJ Retreat and Conference Centre in Calgary. Can you explain what the FCJ Retreat and Conference Centre is? DeNeve: The FCJ Retreat and Conference Centre as stated in our mission statement is a “Centre of Hospitality and Hope Where God can be Experienced in a Changing World.” It’s a…

Building relationships between guest and host

Robert Vidra talks about how Simply Elegant strives to be an exceptional hospitality firm

Building relationships between guest and hostRobert Vidra is CEO of Simply Elegant. What’s Simply Elegant and what does it do? Vidra: Simply Elegant is a hospitality firm. Our philosophy is “enlightened hospitality.” We work towards providing the best possible experience for our clients, guests, staff and vendors. We must be more than a service or product. It must encompass our…
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