Some Toronto Restaurants Proactively Return to Takeaway Model as Omicron Spreads – Toronto – BoilingNews

Normally, Victoria Bazan would be busy serving the afternoon craving of diners at her western Toronto fish restaurant and fish shop, Honest Weight.

Instead, her indoor dining room stands empty and Bazan packs takeaway.

With the number of COVID-19 cases increasing and the Omicron variant spreading rapidly, Bazan says she takes no chances and closes indoor dining – limiting the service to takeaway and retail only.

“It was important to me to ensure that our staff would be able to spend the holidays with their families,” Bazan told Global News. “Because right now, if someone tests positive, they’ll have to isolate themselves, which means they would not be able to spend time with their families during the holidays.”

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Her restaurant is not the only one in Toronto that takes proactive action against the highly transferable variant. French restaurant Greta Solomon’s also announced that they were stopping indoor dining in an Instagram post, saying it was not the way they had anticipated their prelude to the holiday.

“I think it’s in their DNA now that they need to be ready to shut down at any time. It’s an unfortunate way to run a business,” said James Rilett, vice president of Central Canada of Restaurants. Canada.

Right now, Rilett says, it’s up to restaurants to do what they feel is necessary to stay safe. However, he says it would help if the province provided guidance on how its members should safely navigate these waters, now that Omicron is becoming dominant.

“We’d asked that chief physician for health … to be a part of that conversation, to talk to us, to share his data with us,” Rilett says. “If there are things we need to change, we would like to help, but unfortunately those conversations are not conducted.”

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Global News contacted the Ministry of Health for a comment on whether and when new guidelines could be issued for restaurants, but did not respond before the broadcast deadline.

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“I can mobilize and implement measures far faster than any government can,” said Bazan, who is not waiting for the government to act – even though she stands to lose a lot by parking her chairs now in the busy holiday season.

“I had to spend two hours calling our reservations in the next few weeks and canceling with apologies,” Bazan told Global News.

For her, however, she says the decision is about more than that. It’s about protecting those she loves and their loved ones.

Click to play video: 'Restaurant owners struggle as cancellations flow into gatherings'

Restaurant owners struggle while cancellations flow in to gatherings

Restaurant owners struggle while cancellations flow in to gatherings

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