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Restaurants feeling brunt of new restrictions, businesses faced with another challenge

Last Updated Dec 16, 2020 at 9:14 pm MDT

Monty Noyes, a retired photographer who is supplementing his Canadian pension income by working for the food delivery service Skip The Dishes, loads his delivery bag into his car in Winnipeg. Wednesday, March 13, 2019. Noyes is enjoying the flexibility and stress-free working environment. Seniors are increasingly deciding to keep working after retiring in part because people are living longer. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods

CALGARY (660 NEWS) – Before new COVID-19 restrictions were announced last week, restaurants were already struggling due to the first set of lockdowns in the spring.

Since there is no dine-in service allowed for the next month, eateries are faced with another hurdle, ordering through an app.

Meanwhile, late Tuesday night council supported putting in a cap for apps and is asking Mayor Naheed Nenshi to write a letter to the province.

RELATED: Lockdown of bars, gyms, salons; provincial mask mandate among new COVID-19 restrictions

Now, Leslie Gardner, owner of Big T’s BBQ says this is good news, but the cost of hiring their own drivers can be costly.

“Insurance, liabilities you know with drivers, you know, they’re not employees, they are contractors. What happens if there is an accident you know there is all kinds of different think that restaurateurs need to consider.”

The growth of other delivery platforms doesn’t give them many options.

“I feel like I am stuck between a rock and hard place because the word Is out there, through the delivery, take out business has grown,” added Garner.

“The word is out there, you know through the delivery, the takeout business has grown, but my overall profit margin in the restaurant has dropped. It drops considerably every year.”

So, Gardner decided to help build her own platform to reduce some of those losses.

“We started off by doing our own online ordering then we developed into online payment system and then in and around June we started doing our own deliveries.”

A spokesperson for the minister of jobs, economy and innovation, Doug Schweitzer says there are ongoing discussions of a potential cap on apps.

“This is obviously a difficult time for many restaurants in Alberta and it is critical that we support these small businesses that are the cornerstone of so many Alberta communities. Ordering takeout and delivery is just one way that we can help our neighbourhood small businesses and make this pandemic a little easier for everyone. Our office continues to work with delivery-service apps to find solutions that support restaurants during this second wave of the pandemic.”