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COVID-19 Case Study; O’Connor’s Ale

Category | Health and Safety    Posted by SafetyON | March 19, 2020

We usually utilize case study’s to observe how a business not following proper procedures can wind up closed or on the wrong side of a workplace health and safety audit. Unfortunately this is not this case now, and we’re examining a business that suffered a loss due to the catastrophic and unforeseeable nature of the Corona Virus and ensuing pandemonium. This local neighborhood bar in Etobicoke’s Southern neighborhood was forced to close down after a myriad of regulations and policies caused an overwhelming loss of income.

During the initial ramp up of fear and panic, the bar had seen a steady decline in patrons and customers for a few weeks in February. However as March progressed, these numbers plummeted and the business was making less than half of its regular earnings from the following year at that same time. It was an effect felt by nearly all bars and restaurants in both Canada and abroad, as the federal government has taken decisive actions to curb the spread of COVID-19 as best they can. On March 17th things hit a fever pitch and the Ontario Premier Doug Ford declared a province-wide state of emergency. This was quickly followed by legislation to prevent unnecessary gatherings of people, meaning that bars, clubs and restaurants (though not takeout places) must close or risk repercussions. Fines ranging up to $25,000 are also a strong deterrent to keep business from opening their doors, and thus the problem continued to spiral.

The owners of O’Connor’s Ale had faced a few slow months prior to February, but were well prepared to bounce back in March, as they reported making more than 3 items their monthly average with the help of the St. Patrick weekend. But the crushing blow of being ordered to temporarily close and the lack of patrons meant an abrupt end to their livelihood. In a state of closure now, the owners are uncertain if they’ll be able to bounce back this time. There has been the promise of financial stimulus packages from all 3 levels of government, but both O’Connor’s Ale and the wider Canadian public are unsure of exactly how much they’ll be getting, and what good it will do. For now we all have to stay positive, and hopefully we’ll all make it through to the other site of this crises with our wallets and businesses intact.


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