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Food and Beverage Plan: The COVID-19 Pandemic Influence

Globally, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected many social spheres and made adjustments to the way people live. One of the sectors that have felt the impact of the pandemic acutely is the food and beverage industry. Both in Canada and elsewhere, catering has become limited due to social distancing and quarantine regulations. At the moment, the situation has changed for the better, but due to the constant outbreaks of the disease and its wave nature, the food and beverage industry is still in the conditions of many restraints and limitations.

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One of the main factors proving the impact of the pandemic on the food and beverage industry is the adoption of appropriate restrictive measures and regulations at the national level. In Canada, the situation is complicated by the fact that, at the end of 2016, corresponding changes were made to the Food and Drug Regulations, which were to be implemented over the next five years (“COVID-19 food labeling,” 2021). This is related to the updated principles of nutrition labeling, in particular, the conditions for educating the public about food ingredients used in the preparation of meals in catering establishments (“COVID-19 food labeling,” 2021). However, due to the current circumstances, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency has decided to postpone all inspections and prepared a list of useful educational measures for food and beverage business owners. Suppliers of agricultural products have also been affected due to the existing restrictions.

Labor activity in the field in question is another factor to take into account. According to the results of the beginning of 2020, in Canada, “a staggering 41% of payroll employment declines were in the food services” (“Canada public health report,” 2020, para. 6). In addition, food insecurity has increased among the country’s population, helped by unemployment due to the pandemic. As a result, the food and beverage industry has not only suffered financially but also become a sphere in which many employees have lost their jobs due to business closures.

As a result of the current hardships and constraints, several measures have been taken to keep the population safe and, at the same time, allow food service establishments to continue operating. Online resources and support programs have emerged, which alert business owners and potential visitors to the importance of following safeguards and sanitation (“Navigating COVID-19,” 2020). Particular attention is paid to targeted work with employees of the industry and the development of recommendations aimed to create the safest environment for customer service (“Navigating COVID-19,” 2020). However, given the wave nature of the coronavirus and the lack of herd immunity, even if the food and beverage sector can fully open again, many of the current restrictive measures will continue. The pandemic has demonstrated the importance of basic hygiene practices, and the demands on the considered business will remain high due to the ongoing risks of re-outbreaks.

To pivot their business models, food and beverage operators have resorted to some critical changes. As the key amendments, one should note ensuring social distancing (limited number of visitors), restructuring supply chains, building flexible strategies for interaction with food processors, and changes in fiscal policy (“KBRA releases research,” 2020). These changes are significant factors driving the industry’s adaptation to the COVID-19 pandemic since, without the adoption of the aforementioned changes, the risks of losing businesses are high.

To create a business in the food and beverage industry, one should take into account various concepts that differ in the principles of customer service, the speed of food preparation, and some other criteria. Schuetzendorf (n.d.) views various trends, such as the new fast-casual, plant-based foods, and many other concepts as popular approaches. For instance, quick service is a takeaway catering practice applied globally. Fast-casual offers similar services, but these establishments are focused on making healthier meals. Casual dining is a traditional concept of restaurants divided according to the direction of the cuisine. Fine dining is the catering sector where unique services and specialties are offered, usually associated with exquisite service. However, as the COVID-19 pandemic has shown, most establishments can experience severe hardships caused by social constraints. Therefore, as a business concept to open in Toronto, virtual dining is seen as a potentially beneficial concept. Delivery services have gained popularity during the pandemic, and such a solution will ensure high demand even after the lifting of restrictive measures (“Virtual dining concepts,” 2021). Therefore, this concept is seen as successful and familiar to a large number of citizens.


Canada public health report shows COVID-19’s impact on food and beverage industry. (2020). RestoBiz. Web.

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COVID-19 food labelling support measures. (2021). Government of Canada. Web.

KBRA releases research – Coronavirus (COVID-19): Winners and losers in the food and beverage industry. (2020). Business Wire. Web.

Navigating COVID-19: Food safety. (2020). Restaurants Canada. Web.

Schuetzendorf, F. (n.d.). Top 10 food and beverage trends. EHL Insights. Web.

Virtual dining concepts. (2021). Virtual dining concepts. Web.

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