ICYMI: Alberta hospitality pleads for clarity, Tim Hortons allegedly steals invention, and more

Some popular Canadian food news stories you might have missed this week

This week, in an open letter to the provincial government, the Alberta Hospitality Association expressed its frustration with the current state of restrictions, and put forth demands for better communication, fact-based data decision-making, and a clear, near-term reopening plan.

In Ontario, a father-son duo who pitched an invention to Tim Hortons for a COVID-safe coffee lid applicator have alleged that the Canadian coffee giant is using their invention without providing compensation. Although Tim Hortons has denied the allegations, experts say the likelihood of intellectual infringement is considerable. 

Finally, on the topic of fast-service coffee chains, Starbucks Canada announced this week that it will move forward with its plans to close up to 300 locations across the country by the end of March, with plans to transition toward more takeout and delivery-friendly options. 

Here are five stories you might have missed in food news this week.

Alberta Hospitality Association pleads for a path to reopen the province

Alberta’s hospitality industry and its ongoing battle with COVID-19 restrictions reached a new climax this week after the Alberta Hospitality Association demanded via an open letter that the province provide better communication, fact-based data, and a clear plan for reopening. 

The association says while it supported the temporary partial lockdown as it was enacted last month, "with no clear end in sight and a lack of supporting data, it is difficult justifying having some industries closed while others remain open," the open letter said.

Head to CBC News for the full story.

Tim Hortons allegedly steals invention from father-son duo

Tim Hortons and an Ontario-based father-son duo have been the source of nationwide media coverage this week after the Canadian coffee giant allegedly knocked off the first-time inventors’ idea for a COVID-safe coffee lid applicator. 

The invention, which has been picked up by chains like A&W, Starbucks, and McDonalds, was reportedly turned down by Tim Hortons over a pricing dispute, but has since been spotted by the duo in use at a local Tim’s location. Tim Hortons has denied the allegation, but according to expert opinion, the likelihood of intellectual infringement is extremely high.  

Get the full story from CBC News.

Starbucks to close 300 Canadian locations by March

In an effort to adapt to evolving consumer habits brought on by the pandemic, Starbucks Canada announced its plans to go forward with closing the doors to up to 300 locations across the country by the end of March. 

According to a statement from the company earlier this week, the restructuring will include adding drive thru locations and expanding delivery and curbside pick-up options. 

Head over to the Huffington Post for the full breakdown.

France blocks Canadian convenience store group takeover

Photo courtesy of Couche-Tard's Facebook page

This week, the government of France blocked a proposed takeover of French supermarket chain Carrefour by Canadian convenience store group Couche-Tard. 

The proposed takeover by the Canadian chain, which has grown from a single outlet in Quebec in 1980 to become a global network with a market value of $33 billion, was cited by the French government to be a risk to the country’s food sovereignty. 

Visit Global News for more.

Toronto’s Fearless Meat offers free burgers to seniors and the homeless

Earlier this month, the owner of Fearless Meat in Toronto’s east-end launched an initiative to give back to the city’s most vulnerable, and began offering free burgers to seniors and those experiencing homelessness.

Although it appears to be unclear just how many burgers have been given away, David Brown says he’s seen as many as 100 handed out in a single day. Find out more at CTV News.