By Talent Canada Staff
A national movement to support restaurants across Canada is boosting sales for an industry that has been decimated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
National #TakeoutDay, which launched April 15, has spiked sales in restaurants across the country, giving restaurant owners and workers a glimmer of hope. It encourages Canadians to order food from local restaurants any day, but particularly on Wednesdays.
“Sales were double the previous Wednesday,,” said Jim Hamilton from Habaneros Mexican Grill in Leduc, Alta.
Across Ontario, Lone Star Texas Grill saw increases of up to 61 per cent and reported having been busier than anticipated, and is ready to handle the uptick again this Wednesday.
Although the increase in sales from the first #TakeoutDay is promising, the battle to keep restaurants alive is an uphill one, which is why Canada Takeout — the organizers behind the hashtag and the movement — is asking Canadians to continue supporting this initiative until restaurants can welcome them back into their dining rooms again.
“Thousands of independent restaurants will likely be forced to close forever,” said Janet Zuccarini, CEO of Gusto 54 Restaurant Group and Food Network Canada’s Top Chef. “Millions more, up and down the supply chain — including farmers, fishermen, linen suppliers, cleaners, beverage distributors — will be gravely affected and the economic fallout will be staggering. Support for our local restaurants by way of takeout is the only chance we have to make it to the other side of this nightmare.”
One in 10 restaurants have closed
According to Robert Carter of the StratonHunter Group, 10 per cent of restaurants have permanently closed since the onset of this crisis, and he projects this number will double by the time businesses return to post-COVID operations unless there is significant support.
Foodservice workers also chimed in. Denis Craddock commented: “Thank you for this! Our business Brew House on the Grand was exceptionally busy for a Wednesday! Much love from Fergus!”
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