PEI

Some restaurant staff facing upset customers over proof-of-vaccination policy

Some restaurants on P.E.I. are dealing with a spike in upset customers following the roll-out of the Provincial Vax-Pass on Oct. 5. 

Businesses report a drop in customers, but are hopeful people will 'get used to it' and return

It's not just tension between staff and customers. Arguments have broken out between patrons with proof and those refusing to show it. (Jane Robertson/CBC)

Some restaurants on P.E.I. are dealing with a spike in upset customers following the roll-out of the provincial Vax Pass this week. 

Anyone looking to dine-in at a restaurant now must provide proof of vaccination.

The general manager of Michaels Pizzeria in Summerside, Robert Gallant, said his staff are having to deal with upset people when they ask to see customers' proof of vaccination.

Robert Gallant, general manager of Michaels Pizzeria, says he's concerned about staff safety. (Tony Davis/CBC)

"It shouldn't be on us to have to do that. We're short-staffed right now, you know it's tough enough to try and find people to work right now. And to try and put people in place to man the door to make sure someone is there all the time so they don't slip by us … it's not going to be fun," Gallant said. 

The new requirement hasn't just caused tensions between staff and customers. Arguments have broken out between patrons with proof of vaccination and those refusing to show it. 

Gallant said an argument on Thursday night scared one of his younger employees. He's worried about staff safety, he said.

"To have that fighting in my dining room, she was scared, she was literally scared and that's not right." 

It's been a challenging week at other restaurants too. 

Sam's restaurant in Cornwall has seen a drop in business since the requirement. 

Business was down about 20 per cent this week, owner Fadi Rashed said. 

Fadi Rashed, owner of Sam's in Cornwall, says anytime a new public health measure is introduced they see a drop in business. (Tony Davis/CBC )

"The first few days were really rough. There was a huge drop. I felt that our demographic is families and older customers, seniors. I felt that they didn't have enough time and they weren't given proper direction on how to print their vaccine passes," Rashed said.

Staff at Sam's say business is starting to pick back up and they expect things will get better. 

"This happens every time the government puts in some kind of new regulation, you see a big drop. It takes us time to catch up, people to get used to it, then they start to come back out," Rashed said. 

Some restaurants are shifting to doing take-out only. 

Michaels Pizzeria said that would hurt their business even more and it's a last resort

With files from Tony Davis

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