Canadian restaurant ordered to close for requiring dog pictures instead of vaccine cards

We love our dog photos, but they aren't a substitute for real documentation.

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handsome dog
Photo: Steve Russell/Toronto Star (Getty Images)

Let’s file this one under “News I Can’t Believe I’m Writing About Today,” because it’s definitely... something. Many of us have read about restaurants not complying with vaccinate mandates by now. In the case of Canadian restaurant The Granary in Red Deer, Alberta, the non-compliance took a bit of a strange twist. Instead of asking for vaccination cards at the door, staff asked for dog pictures instead in order to gain entry.

CTV News in Edmonton reports that Alberta Health Services (AHS) received notices that in multiple instances guests were doing this to dine in. AHS sent test shoppers to investigate, and found that on two different occasions, they were allowed entry after showing dog pictures and identification cards.

AHS wrote an order to the restaurant, which stated, “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 staff member then proceeded to ask the test shopper for personal identification and offered dine in services.”

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AHS told the owners that the restaurant had to be closed, and a written order to Alberta’s Restrictions Exemption Program had to be submitted as well. The program allows businesses to operate with less restrictions indoors once patrons 12 years and older show proof of vaccination or negative tests at the door. The restaurant was also ordered to retrain their staff on these procedures before they could reopen.

A Facebook post by The Granary says:

To our valued guests, we had an unfortunate circumstance at our front door which involved one of our underage hostesses, and the requirements for the REP program. We are taking the weekend to retrain and regroup. We look forward to serving you again as soon as we are ready to reopen. In closing we would like to remind everyone of the tremendous pressure being placed on front staff, and please remember to be kind.

We will be offering free coffee for all phone in togo orders this weekend.

This isn’t easy for anyone, especially young staff members. Restaurant operators here in Chicago are even getting death threats, CBS Chicago reports. This all leaves me shaking my head, wondering why restaurant diners can’t follow basic instructions in order to sit down and eat a burger or something.