Recipe Unlimited To Offer Rapid Testing For Teammates At Its Restaurants

Posted April 28, 2021



Vaughan, ON, April 28, 2021 -- Today, with the support of Health Canada and the Ministry of Health for the Province of Ontario, Recipe Unlimited is proud to announce that it will begin offering antigen rapid tests across restaurants in Ontario. Beginning May 3, 2021, frontline teammates at participating locations will be tested twice per week, with the intention of rolling out testing nationally as similar programs are established in other provinces across the country.

Recipe is utilizing Abbott’s Panbio™ Rapid Antigen tests which were approved for use by Health Canada in October of last year. It is non-invasive and can be self-administered. “Offering this test to our frontline teammates, now that it has been made available to us, is the right thing to do for them, for our guests and for our communities,” says Frank Hennessey, CEO, Recipe Unlimited.

This initiative is another component of Recipe’s “Social Safely” program. The program provides a transparent view for customers of the protocols, procedures, and practices implemented at Recipe restaurants to help keep teammates and guests safe. These protocols include strict food safety and standard operating procedures, independent third-party audits, and rigorous safety training programs. In addition, Recipe and its franchisee partners have amplified safety procedures throughout the pandemic and invested in additional training and protective equipment that has, and will continue to provide, an environment that Canadians can trust to gather and be Social, Safely in.

“Our industry has always been held to high health and safety standards. As Canada’s largest full-service restaurant company, we are continually looking at every possible precaution to minimize any risk associated with working or dining in restaurants, and we believe that publicly sharing updates to our Social Safely approach will help restore customer confidence.” said Hennessey.

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Frank Hennessey
CEO, Recipe Unlimited Corporation



Recipe Announces $500,000 Support Package for Frontline Hourly Workers

Posted April 8, 2021



VAUGHAN, ON, April 8, 2021 /CNW/ - Recipe Unlimited Corporation, Canada's largest full-service restaurant group, announced a support package for its Ontario corporate frontline restaurant workers to help them through the latest extended closures that have been mandated by the Ford government. "The anxiety created by the roller coaster actions of government-mandated openings and closings is having a significant financial and mental health impact on many of our frontline teammates," said Frank Hennessey, CEO, Recipe Unlimited Corporation. "And while politicians and health officials debate the best course of action, it is evident that their decisions are impacting people beyond Covid-19. We want to ensure that no member of our team is left unable to pay their rent or feed their families. Unfortunately, we are seeing too many instances where this support is needed." Recipe's support program will consist of direct payments to teammates who would have otherwise been laid off by this latest lockdown. Recipe will also continue to focus on mental health through enhanced benefits coverage for mental health practitioners and employee assistance programs.

Since the beginning of this crisis, Recipe has taken action to support both its frontline teammates and franchise partners. In March 2020, at the onset of the pandemic, Recipe provided an additional two weeks of wages to its hourly employees to help manage the initial uncertainty of the provincial lockdown. Recipe also launched a 'Thank You Pay' premium in support of their employees that have provided an essential service throughout the pandemic, delivering great food and excellent guest experiences across dining rooms and patios, take-out, curbside pick-up, drive-thru, delivery, or through third-party aggregators. In May of 2020, Recipe announced a $35 million subsidy program provided to its franchisees along with additional economic support through December 2020. As public health restrictions on restaurants increased towards the end of 2020, Recipe extended its franchisee support program through the first quarter of 2021.

In November 2020, in addition to over $2 million in investment in PPE and other social distancing requirements, Recipe announced its 'Social Safely' program which provides a transparent view to the protocols, procedures, and practices implemented at restaurants to help keep Recipe Teammates and Guests safe. "The health and safety of our Guests and Teammates will always be our number one priority, and the Social Safely program along with this new support package echoes that commitment," said Hennessey.

Frank Hennessey
CEO, Recipe Unlimited Corporation



Recipe announces $35 Million Covid-19 Crisis Rent Subsidy for Franchisees

Posted May 21, 2020



VAUGHAN, ON, May 21, 2020 /CNW/ - Recipe Unlimited Corporation, Canada's largest full-service restaurant group, announced a $35M rent subsidy program to assist their franchise network with direct rent support through the end of 2020. As dining rooms slowly reopen across Canada, many may assume the crisis for restaurants has passed. Yet with Government mandates on capacity limits, supporting restaurant operators across the country is more critical than ever. Recipe's rent subsidy program provides franchisees additional economic support and allows more time for franchisees to recover financially. This is in addition to a new royalty subsidy program the company also announced. Both subsidy programs will continue through the balance of 2020.

At the onset of the Covid-19 crisis, Recipe swiftly implemented the following actions:

  • Board of Directors & Recipe's CEO voluntarily suspended their compensation
  • Recipe's Senior Leadership team and all support center teams agreed to pay cuts
  • All dividend payments to shareholders were cancelled
  • All stock buybacks were cancelled
  • Recipe suspended the collection of royalty fees and advertising payments from their franchisee network
  • Recipe provided wage premiums to employees continuing to work in corporate restaurants
  • Recipe and their franchisees have donated over $1.5M to charities, front line workers and food banks across Canada
  • Recipe supported the launch of the #onetable industry campaign, in support of independent Canadian restaurants

Recipe continues to negotiate with landlords for assistance with ongoing rent support until sustainable sales levels return. "We believe that our franchisees need assistance now versus waiting for negotiations with landlords to effectively respond to the problem. It is my hope that our commercial real estate landlords will recognize that everyone has a responsibility to do the right thing. We need them to do their part to assist restaurant owners and other retailers who have been, and will continue to be, severely impacted by this crisis," said Frank Hennessey, CEO of Recipe.

Established in 1883, Recipe has endured the Great Depression, World Wars and other major calamities with the perseverance of its teammates and franchisees and the unwavering support of Canadian families. Some of Recipe's leading brands like St. Hubert, Harvey's and Swiss Chalet have continued serving Canadians as an essential service throughout this pandemic, while many of their brands like The Keg and Montana's voluntarily closed their dining rooms entirely, prior to government mandates, with the primary focus on the health and safety of guests, teammates and franchisees.

Recipe is committed to Canada's economic recovery and bringing its 60,000 teammates fully back to work, serving communities coast to coast. "I want to thank all of our franchisees for their continued support through this event, and I want to thank our Board of Directors for their enthusiastic support of our rent subsidy program. All of our restaurants have prepared their 'Safe Reopening Blueprints' which include modified floor plans for social distancing, heightened sanitation practices, wellness checks for all teammates and other practices to ensure our guests feel confident in our dining rooms. Most importantly, when we reopen, these new measures will ensure our guests and teammates can still be social, while also being safe," said Hennessey.

Frank Hennessey
CEO, Recipe Unlimited Corporation



Update on COVID-19

Posted Wednesday March 18, 2020



As we have seen in recent weeks, the global spread of COVID-19 is impacting us all. We have been carefully monitoring the actions and advice of government and health leaders.  

The health and safety of our guests, employees and the communities we are a part of is our highest priority.

We have made the difficult decision to voluntarily close our dining rooms across Canada, in addition to the municipalities who have already ordered these closures, effective Wednesday March 18, 2020. This decision has been made on behalf of Swiss Chalet, East Side Mario’s, Harvey’s, Montana’s, Kelseys, Prime Pubs, Bier Markt, Milestones, Pickle Barrel, Landing, Original Joe’s, State & Main, Elephant & Castle, The Burger’s Priest, Anejo, Blanco Cantina, and Fresh.  

Although this is a difficult decision, it is one that we feel is best for our guests, our employees, our partners, and the communities we are a part of. We will continue to keep you updated with our plans to re-open our dining rooms as the COVID-19 situation evolves.  

We will continue to serve you and your family with pick-up and delivery at select Brands, at this time. 

We are also committed to the well-being of our passionate store employees, including those who will be temporarily out of work during the closure. Our team strength and compassion have always been core to Recipe and we are sensitive to the implications this decision has on our staff and will continue to support them through this process. Our Brand Leaders are in close contact with each of them and look forward to having them back to provide memorable experiences for our guests and communities when we reopen. 

We look forward to reopening our doors to you soon. In the meantime, stay safe and take care of one another.

Frank Hennessey
CEO, Recipe Unlimited Corporation



Navigating through COVID-19

Posted Friday March 13, 2020



To our Valued Guests,

We are watching closely as the global situation with COVID-19 continues to evolve. I wanted to reach out to you personally to let you know what we’re doing to manage and combat this or any other virus.

The health and safety of our Guests and Teammates continues to be our highest priority

Our highest priority is the health and safety of our Guests, as well as our Teammates and those in our network including our suppliers and delivery partners. We have been in regular communication with all of our teams across our network around the following protocols that support everyone’s health and wellbeing:

  • Reinforcing our already rigorous standards and operating procedures for food safety and personal hygiene.
  • Working closely with our delivery partners and our own network of drivers to ensure frequent hand washing, using hand sanitizer for every delivery and sanitizing their vehicles and delivery bags.
  • Continual sanitation of all high touch surfaces in our restaurants including seats, tables, menus, pay pads, etc.

We are following the guidance of government and health authorities

In early January, we established a task force to monitor the situation, ensuring that our standards were being strictly adhered to and that we had the right action plans in place. Our approach has been one of swift, measured action. We are closely following the direction of the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) which maintains a low public health risk advisory for Canada at this time. And with several restaurants around the Globe, our international locations are being guided by their local governments, along with our support.

We are also monitoring our teams’ health very closely and have put support systems in place to help anyone who may become affected by the virus so their number one focus is getting better.

We are committed to delivering excellent guest experiences, regardless of how you choose to dine with us

If you see our team wiping down payment terminals, cash registers, countertops and door handles, please know this is an effort to reduce any risk. As the situation evolves, you may see our restaurants implementing new measures to prevent the further spread of COVID-19. We will continue to do everything we can, always with the goal of creating the best guest experience possible and to give you and our teams peace of mind, regardless of how you choose to dine with us; through our dining rooms, take-out or delivery.

For 137 years, Canadians have been placing their trust in us. We take that very seriously and will never do anything to violate that trust.

Frank Hennessey
CEO, Recipe Unlimited Corporation