Host Chris Wolf had the opportunity to chat with Winnipeg Restaurant owner and operator Scot McTaggart about how restaurants are making their way through this latest round of COVID restrictions.
Earlier this month the province of Manitoba announced the tightening of restrictions to help curb the spread of the third wave of the COVID pandemic. One of the restrictions that the province announced was that in person dining at restaurants would no longer be allowed. Restaurants have returned to delivery and curb side pick-up as a way of helping to stay afloat.
In February the province announced that it would be allowing restaurants to operate at 25 percent capacity, and in March the province increased that to 50 per cent, as long as guests were from the same household. For Scot McTaggart, owner of Fusion Grill Restaurant these percentages and family only restrictions proved to be problematic. “Normally during the week we would see lots of business to business stuff…clients being entertained, people taking people out to lunch, sales meetings etc. happening at Fusion…but because of the family rule this kind of business just was not happening.”
At one point Scot says that the dining room at Fusion Grill went for three days without anybody in it. For Scot this meant that he was paying servers, cooks and other staff to quite simply wait for customers, and nothing happened. As Scot says “So you increase your overhead to do less business.”
The other point that Scot McTaggart makes is that the public perception could at times be quite wrong. “The public perceives that we are open…and they have this idea that because you are open, you are okay as a business, when in fact we are not okay.”
This latest lockdown has been somewhat of a mixed blessing for Fusion Grill. “Now that we have been closed again…our takeout and delivery has come back up, and people are really ponying up. They are realizing that they need to do takeout and delivery again… which is great!”
A passionate advocate for the restaurant business; Scot McTaggart also sits on provincial and national restaurant boards. He has been talking to his colleagues in other Canadian cities. Recently he chatted with a friend in Toronto, who told stories of restaurants having to deal with various landlords who are unwilling to come to the discussion table and help restaurants out. There are other colleagues of Scot who have had to re-mortgage their business’ building and their own personal homes to help keep their establishment a float. In short; local owned and operated restaurants and businesses are hurting. As Scot says “It has been a really great testament to some very resilient people in our industry,” in regards to wanting to keep their businesses open.
Fusion Grill is located at 550 Academy Road, and only serves recipes made from the best in locally grown ingredients. By ordering from Fusion Grill you are supporting not only Fusion Grill, but also Manitoba farmers, and fisherman, at a time when all local businesses such as these could do with some help from Manitoba consumers.
Right now Fusion Grill is featuring local game meats, such as Bison and Elk, and also has a new Caribbean salad that will melt in your mouth! All of these meals from Fusion Grill are sure to be delicious and tasty. Their Master Chef Lorna Murdoch, takes a huge amount of pride in the menu items that go out Fusion Grill’s door. If you order from Fusion , there is a good chance that Scot McTaggart himself will bring your meal to your door hot and tasty…and always with a smile.
To see the menu and place an order from Fusion Grill click here:
Or you can call 204-489-6963
To see host Chris Wolf’s conversation with Owner and Operator of Fusion Grill Scot McTaggart click here: