A Vernon restaurant group projects revenues at local eateries have gone sour in the wake of COVID-19.
The Pretium Restaurant Group – which operates Wings, the Italian Kitchen in Vernon and Italian Kitchen Lake Country – said revenues are down as much as 90 per cent, even with a push on takeout and delivery for some operators, with all dining in options closed due to the pandemic.
This, said Katie Dahl, vice-president of operations for Pretium, affects restaurant owners, all team members, landlords and all vendors.
“We are doing our best to balance whatever is right for our employees, our guests, and our communities,” Dahl said.
“As a small business, like many others across Canada, we will be looking to the government for economic support. We’ll aim to fully reopen all of our businesses when the time is right but without the help of our landlords, lenders and suppliers aiding us to alleviate this financial burden, it’s possible they may not all make it.
“When this passes, we’re sure that support for local, independent businesses such as our own as well as the businesses we support will be necessary for communities to get back on their feet.”
Italian Kitchen head chef Rob Dew said it’s he and his partner, Nicole, working the restaurant every night cooking takeout orders and living by the motto of the Bobby McFerrin song: “Don’t worry. Be happy.”
“For years, I have been telling all my friends and family who I love, ‘Don’t Worry. Be Happy,’” Dahl said. “This is how we run our business and this is the way others should be and how they should approach life in general. This tough time will pass.”
Downtown Vernon Association executive director Susan Lehman echoed the sentiment.
“I’m quite confident that our restaurants will weather this,” she said. “They’re a resilient bunch. I’ve been seeing some pretty cool things restaurants are doing to maintain their brand during this crisis.”
The Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce has compiled a list of restaurants doing takeout/delivery/online orders during the pandemic.