'So far, so good' for food court franchisees amid inflation: MTY Group CEO
The widespread Rogers Communications Inc. outage that took place Friday will cost MTY Food Group Inc.’s restaurants “tens of millions of dollars in sales,” according to the Canadian franchisor’s chief executive officer.
“An outage of that duration is going to cause problems and for many of our franchisees that operate with Rogers, you know, not only (debit) cards were not available but even credit cards for a large portion of our franchisees, and that happened on the Friday which is one of the top days of the week,” said MTY Chief Executive Officer Eric Lefebvre in an interview Tuesday.
“It cost us, we're still counting, but it's tens of millions of dollars in sales.”
The nationwide network failure affected some businesses’ ability to accept debit and credit transactions for a large portion of the day Friday.
Lefebvre said the outage may cause his team to consider diversifying their network coverage with more than one carrier.
“We'll take it as a learning experience. I think, for everyone, our dependence on one carrier might be a problem,” Lefebvre said.
“We'll need to take it back and look with our teams to assess the situation and decide what to do going forward.”
BUSINESSES CALL FOR COMPENSATION
MTY franchise owners aren’t the only ones that are claiming they missed out on sales amid the outage.
Earlier this week, Dan Kelly, president and chief executive of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, said some small businesses lost thousands of dollars and were unable to serve customers due to the network issues.
On Twitter, Kelly said business owners are calling for “proper compensation for lost sales.”
I’m getting calls for proper compensation for lost sales due to the #Rogers outage from many small biz owners. Losing critical sales as we come out of COVID makes this even more serious. https://t.co/8b3F3g0tyF— Dan Kelly (@CFIB) July 9, 2022
ANOTHER FOOD SECTOR HURDLE
The outage came a time when restaurants are already navigating rising food costs and labour shortages.
“We need to adjust prices accordingly and if we have labour or more supply chain issues that cause inflation, we need to pass it on to our customers, but so far so good,” Lefebvre said.
“We've been extremely careful on how we price and how we address all these issues, but so far the customer has been able to take it.”
Lefebvre added labour issues in the restaurant sector go beyond staffing at this point and the main problem is coming from his distributors that can’t find warehouse workers or delivery drivers.
“If we're missing one staff in our restaurant that's one thing, but if we have no products to sell, it's a bigger problem,” Lefebvre said.