Rogers Outage Causes Restaurant Chain to Lose ‘Tens of Millions of Dollars’

Canadian restaurant franchisor MTY Food Group is claiming it lost “tens of millions of dollars in sales” because of last week’s nationwide Rogers network outage — reports BNN Bloomberg.

With Rogers’ services offline, millions of Canadians were left without phone and internet access. However, the breakdown affected more than just individual consumers.

Businesses, government agencies, smaller telecom operators, and even banking systems like INTERAC and Visa all rely on various Rogers services that went down last week. The incident arguably caused significant economic loss to Canadian businesses. MTY, at least, estimates it was deprived of tens of millions of dollars.

“An outage of that duration is going to cause problems and for many of our franchisees that operate with Rogers, you know, not only (debit) cards were not available but even credit cards for a large portion of our franchisees, and that happened on the Friday which is one of the top days of the week,” said MTY CEO Eric Lefebvre in a Tuesday interview.

“It cost us, we’re still counting, but it’s tens of millions of dollars in sales.” According to Lefebvre, his team is taking this as a wake-up call and may consider supplementing the restaurant chain’s network coverage with service from another carrier.

Experts are calling for both citizens and businesses to do the same. Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket, and diversify your network coverage to mitigate risk. After all, Rogers suffered another daylong outage last April.

Dan Kelly, president and CEO of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, said some small businesses lost thousands of dollars and were unable to serve customers due to the network issues. He added that Canadian business owners are demanding “proper compensation for lost sales.”

Rogers, meanwhile, originally offered customers two days worth of credits for prorated service as recompense. The company increased the offered restitution to five days of free prorated service on Tuesday.

Researchers and critics also believe last week’s events should serve as a wake-up call for the federal government and Canada’s telecom regulator as well. The devastating downtime has shone a massive light on the need for more competition in Canada’s telecom space.

Rogers CEO Tony Staffieri said on Saturday that the disruption was caused by “a network system failure following a maintenance update.” The government has ordered Rogers, Telus, and Bell to create a network safety plan, designed to prevent something like this from happening in the future, within 60 days.

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