HALIFAX — A new study suggests the number of people who will continue to work from home could take a big bite out of the restaurant business that is already struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The owners of Dartmouth restaurant The Wooden Monkey say business was down 45 per cent in July. An expert in the field says he expects the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to devastate the food and service industry in Canada.

“In a year from now, 25 per cent of all restaurants will disappear” says Sylvain Charlebois, a professor in food distribution and policy in the Faculties of Management and Agriculture at Dalhousie University. Charlebois predicts the outlook to be especially grim in this region of Canada.“The market which will be the most hit in the country is likely going to be the Maritimes.”