the goods toronto

Toronto neighbourhood upset that local restaurant employees aren't wearing masks

The Roncesvalles neigbourhood isn't happy with a local restaurant where employees have been seen without masks.

The Goods, a vegan restaurant located in Roncesvalles Village, has been forced to restate its protocol on masks after customers expressed their discontent with the business in a since-deleted post on a local neighbourhood Facebook group and through Google reviews.

"I was severely disappointed when I picked up my order and discovered none of the staff were wearing masks," one Google reviewer writes. "It's sad as it's a neighbourhood staple...For a health focused restaurant, I cannot believe how reckless it is to jeopardize the health of customers by not wearing masks."

Another Google reviewer said that she called the restaurant to complain after seeing both the employees and customers in the store without masks on, to which she claimed they responded with "we're too busy to enforce that."

According to the City of Toronto bylaw, PPE including masks must be worn by employees in an indoor area if the staff are required to come within six feet of an unmasked person, or if they are not separated by a barrier, like plexiglass, from customers.

The Goods responded by saying that their mask policy is posted in their restaurant in plain view, and that the bylaw permits kitchen workers to be unmasked if they choose to be.

The restaurant's owner Lisa Labute confirmed to blogTO that there are barriers in place, and that staff always wear masks when at the front of the store.

She also said that they have sanitization stations and health screenings for their staff daily, and kitchen staff work at their own stations with staff spaced out.

In response to a Google review that claimed that there were "four or five workers without masks on," the restaurant wrote that wearing masks or face coverings for long periods of time "is not healthy" for their staff, but they have been sure to keep "ample distance" between employees and customers.

Labute told blogTO when bylaw officers visited the restaurant following complaints, they had no issue with any of the sanitary practices. She added that she also would never question a customer who wasn't able to wear a mask due to an exemption.

"I've been about having an inclusive, accepting space where everybody is welcome," Labute told blogTO.

Lead photo by

Jesse Milns

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