Fast food that fits the spirit of the times on the Îles-de-la-Madeleine

COVID-19 and labor shortages have brought changes to the fast food landscape in the heart of Cap-aux-Meules, the hub of Îles-de-la-Madeleine.

Restaurant
Islands Subway

  • City: Cap-aux-Meules
  • Years of existence: 16 years
  • Affected employees: 2
    (10 in regular situation)
  • Owner: Management P. Chevarie

Businessman Patrick Chevarie, who operated three different flagship franchises there, successively closed two of them, namely Subway and A&W, in June and July. Mr. Chevarie (and by extension, downtown Cap-aux-Meules) ended up with just one fast food outlet, a Tim Hortons.

Restaurant
A&W des Iles

  • City: Cap-aux-Meules
  • Years of existence: 19 years
  • Affected employees: 8
    (15 in regular situation)
  • Owner: Management P. Chevarie

Patrick Chevarie explains that this is because five of his eight employees, all young people who worked for him from the ages of 14, 15 and 16, had to leave the archipelago in August to pursue higher education.

“I have always had long-term employees, and there, since most of them left and I had no replacements, because labor is scarce in the Islands, it became a turning point,” he says. The three that I had left decided to look for something else because all their friends were leaving -which is also very laudable, there- and besides, I only had a year and a few months left to renew my franchise contract for A&W. So, for various business reasons, I terminated this contract prematurely.”


COVID-19 and labor shortages have brought their share of change to the fast food landscape in the heart of Cap-aux-Meules, the central city of the Magdalena Islands.  In this photo taken on March 31, 2022: Building belonging to Gestion P. Chevarie, which has just terminated its A&W franchise contract in Cap-aux-Meules.  Hélène Fauteux / QMI AGENCY

Photo QMI AGENCY, Hélène Fauteux

COVID-19 and labor shortages have brought their share of change to the fast food landscape in the heart of Cap-aux-Meules, the central city of the Magdalena Islands. In this photo taken on March 31, 2022: Building belonging to Gestion P. Chevarie, which has just terminated its A&W franchise contract in Cap-aux-Meules. Hélène Fauteux / QMI AGENCY

While COVID-19 and labor shortages led the businessman to close two of his restaurants, they also affected operations at his Tim Hortons, the restaurant he kept open. As of March 2020, he has closed his restaurant’s indoor table space and limited operations to takeout and paid online takeout. The business has also had to reduce its opening hours to cope with a lack of manpower. The Tim Hortons Cap-aux-Meules team has grown from 45 people in 2016 to 14 today.

“And there is no replacement, which is very worrying. Because as an entrepreneur you have to look beyond tomorrow ”, stresses Patrick Chevarie, while hoping that fast food, perceived in his opinion as a sector of last resort by workers of all ages, will also continue to attract candidates. are.

At the moment, the businessman is starting a new retail concept, in the space until now reserved for his A&W and Subway. He plans the official launch in the next few months, but wishes to remain discreet about his project for now.

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