Struggling restaurant industry calls on NB government to boost consumer confidence

With nearly two years of pandemic protocol changes and stay-at-home calls, some Maritimers may still have reservations when it comes to eating out, which the industry wants to see resolved.

Mike Babineau, president of Bella Hospitality Group in Fredericton, New Brunswick, says public health officials and political leaders need to stand up and say it’s safe to dine out in order to build consumer confidence and to help the sector in difficulty.

“We really need them to come out and really say restaurants are doing what they normally do, they’re sanitizing, they have the most training to run good food service,” Babineau says.

“We really need to see the government step in and say get out there and support your local businesses because that’s very important.”

Luc Erjavec, Restaurant Canada’s vice-president for the Atlantic region, says they would like to see assistance for restaurants go beyond easing restrictions and for governments to take “strong action” in order to encourage people to go out and support their local restaurants.

“What I would really look for are programs similar to what PEI has. did last winter, which is called the Dine and Save program,” says Erjavec.

“What really drove consumers to go out and dine on slow nights like a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday.”


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Cecil N. Messick