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Metro Vancouver heatwave causes uptick for some restaurants, hotel businesses

Last Updated Jun 30, 2021 at 5:12 am PDT

A takeout meal from a West Vancouver eatery. (Submitted by Betty Tang)

We're all looking for places to cool down and that's causing an uptick in business for restaurants and hotels

A relief of sorts given the intensely difficult year-plus it's been during the pandemic

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — The heatwave is unpleasant for anyone without AC — but the situation is giving a welcome boost to hotels and restaurants — both a pair of struggling industries.

Some restaurants and hotels are enjoying a bit of a boost after a rough period during the pandemic.

Darragh McFeely with Nuba Restaurant Group tells NEWS 1130, kitchens are busy at Metro Vancouver restaurants since people don’t want to spend much time by the oven in this heat. So restaurants are seeing a jump in takeout.

“With the sheer temperatures, I don’t think as many people were going out as they normally would have on a sunny weekend. So while our customer numbers surged over the weekend, which was great, it really was more skewed towards takeout. Because even with the air conditioning, I think people are reluctant to travel from their house to the restaurant,” he says.

McFeely says there was a surge in dine-in as well but not compared to the takeout orders.

As restrictions continue to ease in the province, McFeely says they’ve been experiencing a steady surge over the last few weeks.

But the extreme weather conditions did result in an estimated 15 per cent bump compared to what McFeely was expecting this week.

“The reality is we’re still about 30 per cent down on pre-COVID levels, the lunch businesses has yet to come back and we’ll see whether it does to the full extent,” he says.

“It was nice to see the extra business no question.”

McFeely says he is looking forward to B.C. entering stage 3 of the COVID-19 restart Thursday, which will allow dine-ins for large groups at restaurants, bars, and pubs.

READ MORE: Masks won’t be mandatory when B.C. enters stage 3 of COVID-19 restart Thursday

Meanwhile, Ingrid Jarrett with the BC Hotel Association says while some people booked rooms, many hotels had to turn people away because they don’t have the staff to operate at full capacity.

“The phones are certainly ringing. When we really think about how many people are still working from home. And how many homes in the province don’t have air conditioning, there’s a great opportunity for people to go and book a hotel room,” she says.

However, she is asking hotels guests to be patient.

“People are certainly making their reservations for their summer vacations, in addition to this heatwave — is we have this critical workforce shortage,” she says.

“Many of our properties are having to limit their occupancy right now, because they simply do not have the workforce to clean the rooms or to look after the level of service that people would have been provided previously.”

Jarrett expects the summer to be a successful business, but she says they are not out the woods yet considering the many unfilled positions.