EDMONTON -- Restaurants are calling for government help as a new national study suggests that most won’t be profitable for around a year.

While many restaurants have been able to open, with COVID-19 precautions in place, revenue income is not what it used to be.

One couple, Gord and Lorraine McAuley, said they used to go to Jef’s Café in Beaumont weekly, but have only been back twice since it reopened.

“I have some immune problems, I’m asthmatic as well as other things, so I’ve been the one...it’s a little scary,” said Lorraine McAuley.

The owner of the café, Carolyn Thorpe, said she has been working many shifts on her own because it is all she can afford.

“Because we don’t have as much revenue it means the owners have to work more,” said Thorpe.

Thorpe said she believes it will be up to a year before she starts turning a profit.

According to the latest statistic from Restaurants Canada she is not alone. Over a third of businesses said it will take at least a year before they become profitable again.

  • 13 per cent say less than six months
  • 31 per cent say seven months to one year
  • 36 per cent say one year to 18 months
  • 20 per cent say more than 18 months

The study cited the role that restaurants play in Canada’s economy, spending large amounts of money in the agri-food sector.

The Edmonton independent Hospitality Community (EIHC) said this study shows there is a need for greater government stimulus. A spokesperson cited the lack of a safety net for businesses and continued fear from the public.

“Something definitely needs to happen and again, we’ve been asking for this for months,” said Kris Harvey with EIHC.

Thorpe said her business hasn’t qualified for help so far, she’s just hoping to hang on until the regulars feel comfortable coming again.

Additional information on the study’s findings can be found on the Restaurants Canada website.