One local Tim Hortons will re-open its doors for take-out amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Owner Dan Currie said the Okanagan Landing location at 5205-25th Avenue will be open Thursday morning, April 16.
Staff will be donning face masks to ensure the safety and well-being of staff and members of the public.
“The Curries are among the 1,500 Tim Hortons restaurant owners across Canada who are doing everything they can to ensure Canadians are fed and fuelled during this unprecedented time,” a brand communications spokesperson said.
Currie said his franchises in Vernon, Lumby, Armstrong and Enderby were drive-thru only in response to the directives outlined by British Columbia’s health experts, Health Minister Adrian Dix and Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.
They remained drive-thru only as Currie lost staff. He said he lost between 30-40 staff members who deemed work unsafe due to the pandemic.
“I was caught in a rock and a hard place,” Currie said about opting to remain drive-thru only.
Currie noted his staff worried about exposure to the novel coronavirus and the potential of bringing it home, infecting loved ones and household members who may be immunocompromised.
Drive-thru only, however, creates barriers for customers without vehicles though — and vehicles that are too big to use the drive-thru.
“We’re not supposed to serve people without a vehicle because if a car doesn’t see someone and runs them over there are obviously liability issues with that,” Currie said.
“We’re doing what we can during these times.”
One of those things, he said, is joining SkipTheDishes to enable delivery, and slowly reopening store fronts for take-out options.
On top of that, the local Tim Hortons have gone above and beyond to aid truck drivers and emergency responders in work vehicles.
Currie noted his locations are seeing sales cut in half, but despite the 50 per cent loss in revenue, the Curries donated more than 500 gift cards to hospital workers, ambulance, firefighters and RCMP.
“All these people are your customers at some point,” he said. “You want to look out for them.”
“If everyone stays positive we will get over this and we’ll move on and talk about it at our backyard parties,” he said.
But he does worry that COVID-19 may return this fall at the start of the 2020 flu season.
“That’s what happened with the Spanish Flu,” he said. “It’s not going to be the same normal when we come out of this.”
“We’re really proud of Dan and Jamie (Currie) and their team for all they are doing to meet stringent cleaning and hygiene standards to make Tim Hortons a safe place for guests to get food during this crisis,” the corporate office said.