VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — If you can’t follow the COVID-19 rules, B.C. restaurants want you to stay home.
The B.C. Restaurant and Food Services Association is starting a new campaign after a series of troubling incidents at various restaurants. The social media campaign launches Tuesday and includes messaging from restaurants for customers to respect physical distancing and other COVID-19 measures.
On the weekend, the manager of Vancouver’s Hotel Belmont — where there was a COVID-19 exposure last month — stopped a large group of people getting off a party bus from entering the bar.
On Friday, a video surfaced of a man yelling at the owner of a Chinese restaurant in Sorrento, near Kamloops, for apparently not having his food ready on time.
Ian Tostenson, with the B.C. Restaurant and Food Services Association, said the recent incidents at restaurants are unacceptable.
“The hard message here from our industry to consumers — and this is not to the 99 per cent of people who are having such fun in restaurants — it’s to the one per cent,” he added.
“It’s, basically, if you can’t follow the rules, stay home, because we’re not interested.”
Tostenson said his industry is appreciative of people who are supporting their local restaurants while being considerate.
“This is a temporary situation that we’re in right now,” he added. “In order for restaurants to stay open, we need to make sure, the only way they can stay open is that we all abide by those rules.”
He told a story about a family with seven people who got upset only six are allowed at a table.
“Well, I’m sorry, the answer is no, and please understand our point of view. We didn’t make the rules, but we’re happy to execute on the rules,” Tostenson said.
“The rules are there for a reason, and it’s called public safety,” he added.
“So for the people who come in, this is not about you, this is about us. And if you make it about you, and you can’t accept that, then as I said at the beginning, if you can’t follow the rules, then stay home, because you put too many people at risk.”