By Justin Seward
Ross Beach, owner of Rossco’s Pub for 28 years in Medicine Hat , had a feeling more restrictions were coming after a recent surge in COVID-19 cases in Alberta.
“We did have a gut feeling that it was going to go back to take out, just (listening) to what was happening everywhere else ,” said Beach.
“It wasn’t a big, big shock.”
The province announced on Dec. 8 pubs, restaurants, cafes and lounges would be shutdown as of Dec. 13 at 12:01 a.m. and will be only allowed to provide take-out service, curbside pick up and delivery service.
“My biggest concern is all the employees that are going to have to go back on some kind of assistance-whether it’s Employment Insurance or whatever they want to do,” said Beach.
“That’s my biggest impact right now is all the staff that are out of work and especially December being the most stressful month of the whole year, is now one of the worst months of the whole year.”
Beach says the biggest adjustment he has had to do during the pandemic is making sure his overhead costs are in line towards the revenue.
“You’re adjusting almost every week,” said Beach.
“You’re adjusting just to make sure that you can maintain the ability to stay in business. It’s the adjustment of how much inventory you have and the staff that is working.”
Beach confirmed that the take-out option sales would ensure there is enough cash flow to keep the amount of employees the pub has on the payroll and pay some of his bills to keep going.
“We’re still alive and we’re still plugging away and that’s how it’s going to (go) basically-it’s just survival mode right now,” he said.
The focus will be to carry on from the first shutdown where the pub just had take-out only.
“I hope the community will support us,” he said.
He described 2020 as, “The most hardship year of my whole career and as much as it is Christmas time, you’ve got to remember there’s a lot of people out there that still need some help and we can’t forget about that as well.”
Beach says the pub will be below half their sales at the end of four weeks.
He plans to keep a full menu for take out from Wednesdays to Sundays from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.