Restaurants Canada estimates that 800,000 food-service jobs have already been lost nationwide due to COVID-19.
This week, a new initiative in Canada is starting with an aim to bring the nation together once a week to support your favourite local eatery.
Lots of restaurant owners, culinary leaders, and celebrities across the country to support "Canada Takeout", declaring every Wednesday to be Takeout Day.
This movement asks Canadians to order from their favourite local restaurant offering takeout or delivery, with a nationwide kickoff on Wednesday, April 15, 2020.
On that day at 8 pm EST, Canada’s Great Kitchen Party – Home Edition will host a variety show on Facebook live — in partnership with Canada Takeout — featuring musical entertainment from the country’s top talent, and celebrated athletes too.
Headliners will include Jim Cuddy, Alan Doyle, Ed Robertson, Barney Bentall, and Tom Cochrane, with the full lineup coming soon.
Friends and family can enjoy dinner and a concert together virtually, while supporting their favourite local eateries.
Nearly 10% of the country’s restaurants have already closed permanently, and many more might close by the end of April if conditions don’t improve. Food service sales are expected to be down nearly $20 billion for the second quarter of 2020.
“Restaurants are vital to the social and economic fabric of communities across Canada, but operating a food-service business is tough, even in the best of times,” says Shanna Munro, Restaurants Canada President and CEO, in a release.
“Not only was our industry among the first to feel the impacts of COVID-19, we’ve been one of the hardest hit so far, with nearly two thirds of our workforce now lost. We would love to see Canadians embrace Takeout Day and support those restaurants who are still able to operate through takeout or delivery.”
Pay Chen, an Ambassador for "Canada Takeout", says that the initiative aims to save more than just businesses. Ultimately, the nation’s culinary scene serves as an integral part of the country’s identity, and if it’s lost, an important part of our culture and heritage will be lost with it.
Hundreds of Canada’s favourite food personalities are actively involved including, chef Vikram Vij (Vancouver and Surrey), chef Ivana Raca (Toronto), and chef Tyrone Welchinski (Winnipeg).
“Restaurants are doing their part by staying open for takeout. Now it’s your turn to take an active part in the support of an industry that employs millions of people in this country".