A Canadian restaurant has gone to the dogs – allowing its customers to present photos of pooches instead of proof of COVID-19 vaccinations or negative test results, according to reports.
The Granary Kitchen was temporarily closed after officials received tips that the eatery in Red Deer, Alberta, was flouting strict rules that require diners to show a proof of a jab, negative test result or a medical exemption, the Washington Post reported.
“Specifically, complaints were received … indicating that employees are allowing patrons to dine-in when presented with a photograph of a dog and personal identification,” according to the Alberta Health Services, according to CBS News.
Two agency investigators posing as customers went to the restaurant on Jan. 11 to test the canine conspiracy.
“In both instances, facility staff used a tablet to make it appear as if they were scanning a QR code when in fact the staff member was presented with a photograph of a dog,” the agency said, NBC News reported.
“The staff member then proceeded to ask the test shopper for personal identification and offered dine-in services,” it added.
Following the undercover operation, The Granary Kitchen was ordered shut temporarily.
In a Facebook post, the business said it “had an unfortunate circumstance at our front door which involved one of our underage hostesses, and the requirements for the (Restrictions Exemption Program) program.
“We are taking the weekend to retrain and regroup. … In closing we would like to remind everyone of the tremendous pressure being placed on front staff, and please remember to be kind,” it said.
“We will be offering free coffee for all phone in togo orders this weekend,” the eatery added.
But a former employee took issue with the statement, saying management rarely enforced the protocols.
“That’s an absolute joke,” the former staffer told CTV News on condition of anonymity. “It’s not surprising that they would have someone to take the blame instead of putting it on themselves.”
The person added: “It’s not a secret amongst Red Deer individuals, and people in the industry, that this place was run a little bit looser than others. It was just a matter of time before the flagrant disregard towards the mandates was going to be caught.”
Health officials said that the restaurant reopened Monday after the owner provided a written COVID-19 compliance plan, the newspaper reported.