There will be no easy ones ….

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Gilles Trépanier, Restolutions 27 April 2020

“There will be no easy ones.” The sentence is attributed to Claude (Piton) Ruel, former coach of the Montreal Canadiens, in response to a reporter who asked him if his team would win the Stanley Cup in 1969.

Nearly 50 years later, I can’t think of a better expression to describe the next few months that foodservice people will experience in Quebec and Canada (and virtually everywhere else in the world).

In addition to the financial constraints that will surely make management even more difficult, there all those regulations emanating from public health officials that will make the operations very complicated to carry out.

Without assuming that all of these measures will become the norm in Quebec and Canada, one can get an idea of what is coming by reading a comprehensive guide prepared for the industry by the National Restaurant Association of the United States. The link below will direct you to the .pdf version of the full guide. (English only)

Here are some of the recommended protocols.

*When salad bars and buffets are allowed, they must be equipped with sneezing guards. *Change, wash and disinfect utensils frequently and place appropriate barriers in open areas. *If you provide a take-out service, store the coolers at a level not exceeding the minimum. *Detail, clean and thoroughly disinfect the entire facility, especially if it has been closed. *Between seats, clean and disinfect table condiments, digital control devices, check presenters, self-service areas, tabletops and common touch areas. *Single-use items must be discarded. Consider using rolled silverware and eliminating table presets. Remove unwrapped lemons and straws from self-service beverage stations. *Clean and disinfect reusable menus. Discard paper menus after each use by the customer. *Avoid all surfaces in contact with food when using disinfectants. Provide customers with hand sanitizer. Consider contactless hand sanitizer solutions. *In terms of employees, the NRA stated that employee temperature checks can be carried out at the discretion of the employer, although this is not mandated by the CDC. Employers must follow local and state coating requirements, which the CDC recommends as an effective tool to mitigate the risks of people with symptoms of COVID-19.

How will the consumer react to this panoply of new devices, and behaviours? What impact will these have on the continuation of business? One thing is for sure: “There will be no easy ones.” But for the record, the Canadians won the Stanley Cup in 1969. Let us hope that the gods will support our industry and that it will emerge victorious from this agonizing period.