VANCOUVER — Boston Pizza Royalties Income Fund and Boston Pizza International Inc. (BPI) released an update on the business impact of COVID-19.
Between March 18 and May 4, 2020, approximately 75 per cent of the 394 Boston Pizza restaurants in Canada remained open, providing only takeout-and-delivery services, while approximately 25 per cent of restaurants closed temporarily.
Since May 4, certain Boston Pizza restaurants have begun re-opening their dining-rooms and sports bars with 50-per-cent seating capacity and appropriate physical-distancing measures as permitted by provincial health authorities. Currently, approximately 365 Boston Pizza restaurants in Canada are open and providing takeout and delivery services, with approximately 175 also having their dining-rooms and sports bars open with reduced seating capacity. Approximately 30 locations remain closed temporarily.
Under the conditions fuelled by COVID-19, gross sales of all Boston Pizza restaurants in Canada for May 2020 were approximately 42 per cent of what they were in May 2019. Franchise sales and the resulting royalty and distribution income for May were approximately 45 per cent of the level they were for May 2019 and same restaurant sales for the month declined by approximately 55 per cent year over year.
Boston Pizza Canada Limited Partnership (BP Canada LP) has recommenced collecting royalty and advertising fees from its franchisees in respect of franchise sales occurring from and after June 1, 2020.
To support franchisees, BP Canada LP had temporarily suspended collection of royalty and advertising fees, commencing with the amounts payable in April 2020. The deferral was made in order to provide its franchisees with financial support during the challenging times caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
BPI has indicated it will continue to build a consortium of financial relief and support for its franchisees across financial institutions, governments, landlords and others that, together, will be required to provide assistance at a level needed to help offset the otherwise unprecedented financial impact facing Boston Pizza restaurants and BP Canada LP’s franchisees.
It was also announced that the release of Q1 2020 financial results would be further delayed and are now set to be released on or before June 29.