Sign Of Things To Come

In late December, one Toronto paper reported that 99 restaurants and bars in the city have closed since the start of the pandemic. Around the same time, a popular Toronto blog suggested that number could be as high as 140. More recently, the Financial Post announced that 10 percent of Canada’s restaurants have shuttered permanently with another 18 percent suggesting they too might close as early as mid-February “if current conditions continue."

The industry forecast is based on Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that includes restaurants tracking the total number of customers and the number of takeaway meals served, instead of the more common ‘table turnover rate’, a figure not available due to COVID-19 restrictions.

For most Toronto facilities, the number of meals served is down substantially although the chefs in one kitchen have seen numbers grow to record levels in 2020 with the trend continuing in 2021. But that isn’t a positive sign of things to come. Quite the opposite.

By the end of December, 81,000+ meals were prepared and distributed at Haven Toronto in 2020 compared to 49,000+. Breakfast service was up 145 percent year-over-year. Breakfasts and lunches combined are up 92 percent at the drop-in centre for elder men impacted by poverty and homelessness. Haven Toronto’s kitchen is open for breakfast and lunch every day all year, including all major holidays.