Dealing with the rules and those who flaunt them
By Matthew Fraser, Editor in Chief
For this restaurant, the procedure revolves around courtesy and consideration first extended to the customers and hopefully reciprocated towards the restaurant.
Despite directives from provincial health authorities and generally widespread vaccine acceptance, vaccine passports have been adopted for non-essential leisure activities. Chief amongst the places requiring vaccine passports are restaurants. Opposition to these measures has been expressed through blockades and protests, while their effects on restaurants and their staff have been more subtle and unnoticed. The Other Press spoke with the general manager of a local restaurant to get a feel for how some were handling the change. They requested that we not name them or their restaurant for fear of reprisals.
Considering the relative speed with which these measures were announced it was important to ascertain this manager’s confidence in enforcing them. When asked, they felt initially unsure but were aware that most businesses were likely in the same uncertain position: “I felt as if it was impromptu and hoped to have enough information when it happened. It was all pretty last minute but that is what I expected from such a short notice rollout.”
This level of uncertainty was partially mitigated by the procedures the restaurant had designed to enforce the new mandates. For this restaurant, the procedure revolves around courtesy and consideration first extended to the customers and hopefully reciprocated towards the restaurant. At this time, they have not had any serious incidents that would further add to the uncertainty. “We thus far have not had any unruly guests. [We’ve had] some guests so far that don’t have ID or their vaccination card on them that we have had to turn away, but no one has been mad or not understanding about it.”
This restaurant is also quite optimistic about the potential stress and difficulty that could come from these mandates: “I think originally we were all a little nervous with the unknown of how it was going to go, but pretty quickly we realized it was ok.” When it comes to directing the incoming clients, this general manager has elected to do most of the work themselves, despite any potential future conflicts: “I run the door, for the most part, the 5 days a week I am there… I do expect at some point to come across difficult circumstances but nothing so far and the staff has eased on being nervous as well.”
However, not all Vancouver restaurants have been able to ease into the new mandates. CTV News reported that Emad Yacoub, president of Glowbal Restaurant Group will be spending $30,000 a month on security as a result of the new mandates and restrictions.
His reasoning revolved around protecting his staff, namely the young hostess who will be challenged at the door: “Normally it’s their first entry job so they’re young, they’re 19, 20-year-olds. They’re not made to be able to handle this. We don’t want them to handle this.” Unfortunately, other restaurants may have a tougher time than these two restaurants of protecting their staff.