The brand KFC may be missing from the landscape of Quebec city, but it thrives happily in the three cities that surround the capital.
The last restaurant chain in Quebec city, on the boulevard Hamel, closed abruptly at the end of last December.
“It has had an impact because I made the pub. Previously, I had approached the franchisee of Quebec, Olympus-Food, but he refused to do the pub together. I didn’t want it to pick up the results of my advertising,” says André Pomerleau, owner of the restaurants KFC in Donnacona, Sainte-Marie and Montmagny.
Its sales have rapidly increased from 15% to 20% and he even ran out of chicken the evening of January 2 to Donnacona, the place where the largest increase has been felt.
“The chicken that we get is fresh, there is that 5% of frozen. It is delivered three times per week by Exceldor. We had not been able to plan for the closure of Quebec city and we had a boom instant. But it rarely happens”, he says.
The effect of coronavirus
Since the beginning of the containment, it also happened to not be able to receive all the amount of chicken ordered. Moreover, the product has also failed late Friday evening of last week in Donnacona.
In addition, the restaurants of Mr. Pomerleau benefit from the current situation. “It is almost malaisant to say, but we have a very good growth since the beginning of the pandemic, except during the first two weeks, where it had fallen. We took advantage of the closure of several restaurants. We are up 30 to 35% compared to the same period last year.”
This goodwill does not necessarily translate into a greater profit. “Ultimately, we need more employees because of the standards of distancing and hand washing. It is necessary to double the post.”
“It also creates a shortage of jobs that I would like to fill, says the owner. I’m looking for people who will not go to school this fall for part-time work. What are the most difficult to find. The students are always available. It is not true that they take advantage of the government programme. Currently, we overload some of the employees. It does not falter with time.”
The increase is even more remarkable than the service to self is not as fast as in the dining room. According to Mr. Pomerleau, an order in the restaurant is more fast than service to self. In addition, the room has two points of service against a single outside.
“It still manages to serve 50 to 55 vehicles per hour. I’ve seen him go queue up at A&W,” says Mr. Pomerleau about this restaurant located 400 m from hers.
“The big majority of customers are very understanding. But those who are irritated, 5%, are more than before. Those who complain, it’s rude. The politely declined. And already that it is difficult to recruit workers”, he complained.
In Donnacona, Thursday, a couple of Lévis was even the leading motorcycle. “I wanted to eat KFC for my 60th birthday, so we came here. It remains only to find a place to eat”, has launched, all smiling, Lynda Guay. Good player, his / her spouse, Claude Blair, has not hesitated to go the distance. “This is what she wanted”, he said.
Claude Blair and Lynda Guay are parties of Lévis, on Thursday, to go to the restaurant KFC in Donnacona, for the 60th anniversary of madame.
The future of Quebec
The contractor has his point of view on the disappearance of the channel in the capital. “Olympus Food is not being renewed [in Quebec city] over the years. Some restaurants had not been renovated for 30 years. Donnacona was renovated six years ago, Montmagny, there are two, and it’s coming to Sainte-Marie in two or three years.”
“The restaurants of Quebec were managed remotely. It was the franchisee [the problem]. The franchisor is very healthy in Canada, and is now attack in Quebec. Currently, I have no designs on Quebec, but I know that there are discussions with groups to return to Québec because it is a very good market”, says he.
“People know that the fried chicken, it’s fat. But, as for me, I sell the antidepression,” he concludes.