Calgary restaurants speak out against ‘misdirected rage’ from anti-mask patrons
CALGARY -- Some Calgary restaurants say they are dealing with belligerent customers, regarding the city’s mask policy from in-person customers and messages online.
Modern Steak’s owner Stephen Deere says over the past few days his staff have experienced aggressive behaviour from people over the City of Calgary bylaw for masks to be worn in public indoor spaces to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
“This is a bylaw that has come from the city we are mandated to follow it. If we do not, we can be fined, and if we continue to not follow it we could be closed and that causes a ripple effect,” said Deere.
On Friday the restaurant received a message to its Facebook account — which it shared on its Instagram page.
The message reads in part, “how disgusting to walk into a place to eat and to not only have the servers all masked up but also your decor,” which refers to the ornamental black sheep spaced between the tables on the restaurants first floor that are also wearing masks.
“This rage is misdirected. It’s being focused on the retail and hospitality workers that are not the ones that made the decision,” said Deere.
Some commenters to the post drew comparisons with another recent anti-mask outburst at Fabricland last Sunday.
A woman was captured on cell phone video visibly irritated and hostile after refusing to wear a mask, and disputing the evidence of the pandemic and disease.
Deere also says the occasional anti-mask sentiment from customers has been hard to handle and is an added strain on staff.
“People are being treated aggressively and they don’t feel safe they don’t want to come to work. This is bad news for our economy this is also bad news for restaurants because we’re already in a hiring crunch.”
Other Calgary establishments are also stopping anti-mask aggression at its doors.
Leaders with the Alberta Hospitality Association is asking guests to be considerate of others and follow public health orders.
“If you really want to keep some normalcy the last thing any restaurant needs is another shutdown,” said Ernie Tsu, co-found and board member with AHA and owner of Trolley Five.
Calgary city council has extended the mask bylaw through to December requiring mandatory face coverings at all indoor public spaces.