Welcome to your fast delivery, this summary of the latest news in the world of catering in Quebec. Get ready for this comment from Jean-Michel Dufaux on restaurant bills that are too high, on the arrival of the Milestones restaurant in Quebec, more precisely in Montreal, and on this story on the Frida restaurant, in Trois-Rivières, which is now for sale.
First, popular host and columnist Jean-Michel Dufaux believes that restaurants in Montreal have become excessively expensive, particularly in comparison with other international destinations. He noted that even European tourist cities such as Rome, Florence and Venice offer less expensive meals than Montreal. Dufaux pointed out that one of the reasons for this price increase is the calculation of the tip, which is often based on the total of the bill, including taxes. Unlike Europe, where the displayed price is the real price, Montreal "taxes the tax", which increases customers' bills.
He suggested that the SAQ work with restaurants to offer more competitive prices on wines, thus making bottles more affordable. Jean-Michel Dufaux insisted he was not blaming restaurateurs, but he encouraged serious reflection on the issue of high prices in restaurants in Montreal and Canada in general.
Second, the Milestones restaurant chain opens its first establishment in Quebec, located in Pointe-Claire in the west of Montreal, with an investment of $2.7 million. The restaurant has 220 seats inside and 80 seats outside, including a terrace.
Foodtastic, the parent company, intends to expand Milestones restaurants' presence in Quebec with five openings planned in the province, initially focusing on west of Montreal. They also plan to open restaurants in other areas of the city, including eastern Montreal, Laval and the South Shore. Milestones offers a menu including steaks, seafood and artisan pastas, and aims to provide a unique dining experience in the local community.
Finally, the owner of Café Frida, Gabrielle Cossette, announced on social networks the sale of her business just as she celebrates her eighth anniversary. She wants to slow down and explore other projects, such as home chef services or small events. Café Frida, known for its entirely vegan menu, is located in downtown Trois-Rivières near the port park. Gabrielle Cossette is looking for a passionate buyer to take over the restaurant, hoping that they share the same values.
At the same time, she highlights the need for better regulation of commercial rents by municipalities to support entrepreneurs. Assistance programs for businesses, particularly restaurants, are limited after the pandemic due to high competition and the short life cycle of this sector.
Regarding rents per square foot, the City of Trois-Rivières has little power to intervene in the commercial rental market. The recent closure of the Notre-Dame Market has also been attributed to factors such as inflation and teleworking, which have reduced traffic downtown.
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