The constant need to adapt, coupled with the threat of a total lockdown, is taking its toll on Edmonton-area businesses.
“I can’t even count the number of times we’ve had to adapt over the last few months,” said Sylvia Cheverie, the co-owner of Chartier in Beaumont.
The French-Canadian restaurant owner is sharing her perspective from an industry fighting for its survival.
For the eatery in the bedroom community south of Edmonton, the latest round of new restrictions was an update served with a whole lot of headaches.
“We are once again pivoting with the restrictions that were announced earlier this week. We had lengthy discussions with our management teams and our entire Chartier family and we’ve made the decision to continue in-house dining until the end of this week,” Cheverie said.
The self-imposed change was made to keep the restaurant’s staff safe from COVID-19, while also trying to balance the new restrictions with the reality of operating a business.
“It’s challenging to have so many things out of your control, but we are reminded why we are doing this on a daily basis,” she said.
Since the start of the pandemic, the restaurant has overcome numerous hurdles, including extensive renovations to make the dining area capable of physical distancing.
“Our previous space was kind of an open concept. It was the most anti-COVID [safe] space that you could imagine: community tables, folks were really close to each other in shared seating.”
But all those changes don’t matter much with the pause of dine-in service. One more adaptation they hope goes well, as the possibility of a government-imposed closure looms.
“We’ll make decisions as we see the implications of these stricter measures being implemented. Our crystal ball hasn’t been very great since the start of the pandemic, but just taking it a couple weeks a time.”
While the journey has not been easy, Cheverie said she’s optimistic for the future.
“Through the struggles there’s been a really strong sense of community and banding together to make sure that we get through this.”