The beginning of phase two of the provinces re-opening plan gave restaurants the green light to slowly move towards offering their regular services.
In recent weeks, some establishments that had shut down completely have reopened. Some are offering takeout while others are open for dine-in. But for others, the pandemic has led their business to the point of no return.
“It’s a very tough time to bring a business back,” said the owner of Shanghai City restaurant You Nian Jin.
Jin has worked in the restaurant industry in Victoria for nearly three decades and opened up his own restaurant Shanghai City 12 years ago. Throughout the pandemic, he’s been forced to lay off all staff and run his take out service himself. But the losses the business has suffered have become too much to overcome and he’s been forced to put his restaurant up for sale.
It’s very tough to sell. It’s my life, it’s my treasure. I love to cook and serve to all different kinds of people.” Jin said.
Shanghai City isn’t the only Victoria restaurant up for sale. Several others have been put on the market, as an industry that can struggle even during the best of times has taken a major hit.
“Minimum wage has been going up, food costs were going up. You look at our real estate market and the Lower Mainland real estate costs were going up. So they had this cost side pressure and then you know they were making it, but then as soon as you get rid of that revenue through a pandemic, it has really really had a very quick impact,” said Graham Smith of Colliers International.