Calgary

Janice Beaton's Farm restaurant closes for good

Calgary's restaurant industry continues to struggle through this economic downturn, and the latest casualty is a well-known restaurant owned by Janice Beaton.

'So that was the choice we had to make, which was very difficult,' owner says

The slumping economy led to fewer customers and Janice Beaton closed the doors of her niche restaurant, Farm, for good over the weekend. (Jennifer Lee/CBC)

Calgary's restaurant industry continues to struggle through this economic downturn, and the latest casualty is a well-known restaurant owned by Janice Beaton.

As savoury sandwiches continue to hit the grill at Janice Beaton's cheese shop, the atmosphere at her restaurant next door is very different.

The red wooden chairs in Farm now sit empty.

Farm closed over the weekend. (Jennifer Lee/CBC)

"It just really got to the point where we just couldn't go on," Beaton tells CBC News.

"We were losing money."

She says there is simply less traffic coming through the door.

"People are not eating out as much. All of us who have experienced less sales, it's because we have less customers, let's face it. And I think people still go out, but they may do so more for special occasions or just less frequently."

'It just really got to the point where we just couldn't go on,' owner Janice Beaton tells CBC News. (Jennifer Lee/CBC)

The slumping economy led to fewer customers, and Beaton closed the doors of her niche restaurant for good this weekend.

"So you have to make a hard and fast decision when you get to that state. So that was the choice we had to make, which was very difficult."

Likely a trend, warns economist

Albertans are spending less on eating out this year and Alberta Treasury Branch's chief economist, Todd Hirsch, expects more restaurants will close in the months to come — particularly smaller, independent ones, because their margins are so thin.

Alberta Treasury Branch's chief economist Todd Hirsch says more restaurant closures could be on the way. (CBC)

"It's very, very difficult to hold on," Hirsch said.

"If your revenue is pulled back five per cent, a lot of those restaurants are going to see some real challenge and real strain, forcing a lot of them to decide, are they going to keep operating?"

Meanwhile, Janice Beaton says she isn't giving up on serving Calgarians.

Her cheese shop remains open.

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