Small Business Minister joins Restaurant Revival Working Group to support foodservice sector’s recovery

Published January 28, 2021

Restaurants Canada is pleased to unveil a new national working group bringing together elected officials, government representatives and industry leaders to take the foodservice sector from survival to revival.

TORONTO — Restaurants Canada looks forward to hosting Small Business Minister Mary Ng, along with other government and industry representatives, for the virtual launch of its national Restaurant Revival Working Group at 5 p.m. ET today.

“It is my pleasure to join the launch of the Restaurant Revival Working Group. These leaders have been tireless advocates for this sector and the workers and communities they support,” said Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade. “Since the start of the pandemic we have worked with restaurant owners and workers in the industry and we will continue to support them through COVID-19 and on the road to recovery.”

“We appreciate this commendable show of support from the Government of Canada to make sure restaurants are in the best possible position to help relaunch our country’s economy,” said Restaurants Canada President and CEO Todd Barclay. “If we want to build back a stronger, more resilient Canada that continues to reflect our country’s enviable diversity, our industry is the best place to start.”

Between March and April 2020, more than 800,000 workers in the Canadian foodservice sector lost their jobs or had their hours of work reduced to zero. According to the December Labour Force Survey from Statistics Canada, there are still more than 316,000 fewer jobs in the foodservice sector than there were in February 2020.

Restaurants Canada has convened the Restaurant Revival Working Group to not only focus on helping restaurant operators pull through the remainder of the COVID-19 crisis but also ensure they are set up for success in the post-pandemic economic environment.

Members of the Restaurant Revival Working Group will include:

Representatives from government

  • The Honourable Mary Ng, P.C., M.P.
    Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade
  • Rachel Bendayan, M.P.
    Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade
  • Irek Kusmierczyk, M.P.
    Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion
  • Francesco Sorbara, M.P.
    Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue
  • Kate Young, M.P.
    Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages (FedDev Ontario)

Representatives from industry

  • Tina Chiu, Chief Operating Officer, Mandarin Restaurant Franchise Corporation
  • Warren Erhart, President & CEO, White Spot Hospitality
  • Dr. Mohamad Fakih, President & CEO, Paramount Fine Foods
  • Duncan Fulton, Chief Corporate Officer, Restaurant Brands International
  • Frank Hennessey, Chief Executive Officer, Recipe Unlimited Corporation
  • Alan Howie, President and Chief Operating Officer, Northland Restaurant Group
  • Guy Laframboise, President, Les Restaurants Subway Québec Ltée
  • Brenda O’Reilly, Co-owner and Chief Operating Officer, O’Reilly’s Irish Newfoundland Pub, Mussels on the Corner, Yellowbelly Brewery & Public House, and YellowBelly at YYT
  • Patrick Saurette, Owner, The Marc Restaurant Group
  • John Sinopoli, Partner & Executive Chef, Ascari Hospitality Group
  • Cindy Simpson, Executive Vice President, Imago Restaurants Inc.
  • Nivera Wallani, President & General Manager, KFC Canada, Yum! Brands

About Restaurants Canada

Restaurants Canada is a national, not-for-profit association advancing the potential of Canada’s diverse and dynamic foodservice industry through member programs, research, advocacy, resources and events. Before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Canada’s foodservice sector was a $95 billion industry, directly employing 1.2 million people, providing Canada’s number one source of first jobs and serving 22 million customers across the country every day. The industry has since lost hundreds of thousands of jobs and billions in sales due to the impacts of COVID-19.


For more information, contact:

Roberto Sarjoo
Director, Marketing and Communications
Restaurants Canada
C: 416-389-7941

Marlee Wasser
Manager, Communications and Stakeholder Relations
Restaurants Canada
T: 416-649-4254
Toll-free: 1-800-387-5649 ext. 4254

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