Toronto Resto Pauses Indoor Dining Until Vaccine Certificate Debate Calms Down

The owner is also visually impaired and finds vaccine certificates "very difficult to read."

Toronto Staff Writer
Toronto Resto Pauses Indoor Dining Until Vaccine Certificate Debate Calms Down

Toronto's well-loved pizza joint, Frank's Pizza House, announced on Instagram that they will be closing indoor dining at their restaurant and opting for take-out and delivery six days a week.

Owner Giorgio Taverniti told Narcity he decided to pause indoor dining on the opening day of vaccine certificates in Ontario because he doesn't "think people are ready right now."

"We're not sure what's going to happen or how people are going to react, and as you can see online, everybody is fighting already. I didn't want that to [transpire] in my restaurant or out in front of the door."

"I just feel, let's wait maybe a couple of days, maybe a week or two weeks and then when everybody cools off, and everybody's cool with it we're going to go ahead and apply the rules and follow."

Taverniti clarified that his whole staff is vaccinated and that they aren't anti-vax and, "As of now, we've followed all of the mandates the government has applied."

Taverniti says his staff isn't comfortable, and he worries for his 16-year-old daughter, who works in the restaurant.

"I don't want her to be yelled at by a grown a** man. Because whether she didn't check somebody's ID properly or she's asking someone for the vaccine passport. Either, or, right."

Accessibility issues with checking vaccine certificates

Taverniti is visually impaired, and he says that adds another layer to his hesitancy.

"I am visually impaired and without the app and the way it's coming out on the screen, even on my screen today. I'm vaccinated. We're all vaccinated here. It is very difficult to read unless you blow up the print on it. So I know myself I would have a difficult time looking at the screen at the moment."

Taverniti says the timeline for their reopening will be influenced when the app launches, and it is easier for him to read and check customers' certificates.

"I probably myself would feel more and more comfortable once the app is up. It's probably very easy to see. I'm assuming it's probably like typical apps, a little bit bolder."

Despite not mentioning anything about vaccine certificates in his post, Taverniti says he has gotten hundreds of messages congratulating and condemning his closure.

"People are applauding our decision, other people are like, 'why are you doing this?' and I tried to explain to them. I've told some people, if you want clarification to call me or come by to talk. I'm a very open person. I don't want to share everything about my disability, everything online and have to repeat myself."

Brooke Houghton
Toronto Staff Writer
Brooke Houghton is a Staff Writer for Narcity Canada's Ontario Desk focused on celebrity news and is based in Toronto, Ontario.
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