Over the space of a few weeks, over 800,000 restaurant staff have been laid off due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, according to Blacklock's Reporter.
This is nearly two thirds of the entire restaurant workforce in Canada.
The Vice President of Restaurants Canada James Rilett called these figures "devastating," adding that "it’s unprecedented. I can’t think of anything that is comparable. Nothing comes close.”
Nearly a tenth of restaurants have now permanently shutdown over coronavirus, sparking concerns that a "v-shaped recovery" may indeed take place when the lockdown is over.
Addressing these numbers, Rilett said "Nearly two thirds of our workforce is now lost ... nobody even had time to plan, this wasn’t a discussion anyone had with us."
So far, the coronavirus lockdown has cost the restaurant industry some $4 billion in lost sales in thirty days. If these current conditions continue into the summer, it could cost the industry $20 billion by July.
“We thought 2008 was something, but not like this,” continued Rilett.
Previously, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asked restaurants to keep as many staff as they could, promising a 75 percent federal wage subsidy by May or June.