April 18, 2024

The Queens County Citizen

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Golden bargains for restaurants along Highway 20

Golden bargains for restaurants along Highway 20

Thousands of Quebecers vacationing this summer are a veritable gold mine for restaurants along Highway 20.

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And traders don’t hide it: the national holiday marks the start of the most profitable period of the year for these private dining breaks.

This is evident in the case of the franchisees at Madrid 2.0, a leisure area in Saint-Léonard-d’Aston known for its giant dinosaurs.

“Usually summer, it’s a really great time, where we put our strength […] We expect a very big weekend with Saint-Jean,” said Mahika Camirand, a representative of the local Saint-Hubert Express restaurant.

Mme Camirand, director of Saint-Hubert in Drummondville and a future co-franchisee of the family business, noticed an increase of about 15% in sales during the summer season.

She also notes that good weather and especially holidays bring a different dynamic.

“When people are in vacation mode, you can feel it right away, people often stop eating,” she says.

Expected period in Sainte-Julie

Traders near Highway 20 in Sainte-Julie are also looking forward to the first weekend of summer.

Scores restaurant owner VG Gnanaraja estimates that traffic will increase by 15% from June 23.

“Here, we don’t have accommodation in the city, so we live off tourists and motorists driving on the highway and stopping to eat,” the woman said.

She kept repeating that traders in the sector “want to have hotels around” to increase visitor retention rates.

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With the return of American tourists who were barred from re-entering Quebec last year due to the pandemic, the businessman recalled that his clientele will double this summer.

“We’re expecting 50% more traffic than last summer,” she predicted.

Restaurant Saint-Hubert in Rivière-du-Loup, near Highway 20, is one of the busiest in the province during the summer.

Photo by Louis Deschenes

Also in eastern Quebec

It’s enough to see that the holiday season has begun in Saint-Jean-Port-Joly and that restaurants and gas stations can take advantage of it. During our visit, the parking lots of McDonald’s, Tim Hortons, Subway, and Normandin restaurants were full.

And this traffic is traceable to Rivière-du-Loup, a city that qualifies as a crossroads, because people who want to go to Gaspésie or New Brunswick must pass through Rivière-du-Loup.

Additionally, the Saint-Hubert restaurant’s proximity to Highway 20 makes it one of the busiest in the province during the summer season.

Facts confirmed by owner Charles Pomerly, who owns Saint-Hubert Express in Montmagny.

And guess what? When it came time to open this new restaurant in Montmagny with his partner Martin Page, Mr. Pomerly also chose a location near Highway 20.

in numbers

Before the pandemic, it was estimated that more than 45,000 cars traveled daily on Highway 20 near Drummondville.

In Basse-Saint-Laurent, daily traffic is very light, with approximately 10,000 vehicles counted per day.

Still according to pre-pandemic figures, about 1.2 million people stop at Madrid 2.0 in a year.

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