Photo by PAUL COWLEY/Advocate staff Red Deer’s Tony Roma’s Restaurant is closed.

Red Deer’s Tony Roma’s closed

Red Deer’s Tony Roma’s appears to be another restaurant casualty.

The popular eatery at the south-end Gaetz Avenue Crossing development has been shuttered in recent weeks.

A notice of default from Cushman and Wakefield Asset Services taped to the front door of the business says the rent was in arrears. Red Deer Ribs Ltd. was given 10 days notice to pay the rent, with the deadline ending at midnight on July 27.

The restaurant was one of dozens in Red Deer that had to close its doors temporarily to sit-down customers in mid-March because of pandemic-related health restrictions.

Efforts to reach Tony Roma’s Red Deer managing partner were unsuccessful. A phone number and website on the partner’s business card are no longer active.

A spokesperson for Orlando-based Romacorp Inc., parent company of Tony Roma’s, said since Red Deer’s outlet is a franchise all queries must be directed to the owners.

A number of Tony Roma’s outlets have closed over the last year. Four Edmonton and one Grande Prairie Tony Roma’s closed last October. In Winnipeg, the owner of three Tony Roma’s closed one of his locations in May.

Tony Roma’s website lists six restaurants in Alberta: two in Edmonton, and one each in Banff, Calgary, Lethbridge and Medicine Hat.

Canada’s restaurants have been hard hit by the pandemic and other economic pressures.

The industry group Restaurants Canada says while the latest labour force survey from Statistics Canada reveals food service employment rose by 100,500 jobs in July, the sector is still more than 300,000 jobs short of where it was in February.

“No other industry comes close to continuing to face this level of shortfall,” says the group.

Restaurants Canada is calling on the federal government to extend and strengthen support for food service businesses in the next federal budget so they can continue contributing to Canada’s recovery in 2021.



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