VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Restaurants in B.C. are being given the heads up about possible large fake orders being placed on Monday, when the COVID-19 vaccine passport kicks in.
Ian Tostenson, president of the BC Restaurant and Foodservices Association, says, luckily, many people use an app to order, most of which require you to pay ahead of time.
“Very few people get phone-in orders. So right off the bat, if we get a whole bunch of phone-in orders, we’re going to probably know that something’s up here,” he explained.
However, he finds the possibility incredibly frustrating, saying he’s tired of people trying to play games with businesses that are just trying to follow public health orders.
“I would say shameful, disrespectful, and ignorant,” he said of plans to place bogus orders. “It just makes me sick that anybody would even think about taking a business — any business — and the employees and do something like that. I don’t know what they think they’re going to gain.”
As of Monday, British Columbians will be required to show proof they’ve received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine to access certain services, events, and businesses, including restaurants. There will be a two-week grace period during which people will be able to use their original paper vaccine record as proof. After that time, they will be required to sign up for proof of vaccination through the government’s website, which will provide them with a QR code.
As of Oct. 24, people will need to be fully vaccinated to access those settings.
The BC Vaccine Card plans have sparked loud opposition from many in the province in the form of protests.
With the possibility of people making fake orders, Tostenson says he’s hearing many owners are already taking steps to ensure nothing gets wasted.
“It’s terribly selfish. I just don’t know how people can even think that way, but we’re starting to hear a little bit more about this, and you know what will happen? If ignorant people just want to phone in orders and not pay for them, we just won’t take phone orders,” he told NEWS 1130.
“I don’t know that it will come to that but I just think anybody that thinks they’re going to get away with it, we have ways to deal with this.”
He says it’s ultimately up to each restaurant to decide how it wants to do business.
As part of B.C.’s upcoming vaccine passport system, restaurants will be required to enforce the order.
Tostenson says those who choose not to follow the rules will face consequences.
“Restaurants that cast a negative light on our industry, on the integrity of our industry, and there are restaurants that have openly said we’re going to defy this and we’re just going to carry on business, it’s just completely disrespectful. I’ve actually called a couple of them and said, ‘Your better choice is to just go with this and be part of the community. Why would you want to put something out there that’s going to now divert all the energy into negative press and take away from the integrity of the industry? And what will happen is you’re going to get closed.'”
The BC Restaurant and Foodservices Association will be releasing a guide of “best practices” to help businesses get on the same page, ahead of the Monday launch.
That will include how to deal with guests who don’t have proof of vaccination.
“We are hospitality, we’re not the border patrol guys here. And we do not want conflict, we want people to come into the restaurants, we want people to be safe, we want them to enjoy themselves, and they are going to do that. I just think it’s going to be right now the very small minority of people out there. I think they’ll dissipate quite quickly when they realize that their efforts aren’t going to come out to a whole bunch,” Tostenson explained, adding “the public’s getting tired of it.”
“We want to move on,” he said.