TORONTO — For the third-consecutive April 15th, Canadians will be celebrating National Takeout Day, a holiday created in 2020 to support the restaurant industry during the first COVID-19 lockdown.
Additions to this year’s official holiday program include a partnership with Jif and an eight-day contest from April 7 to 15 with 20 takeout-inspired prizes valued more than $5,000.
National Takeout Day is a creation of Canada Takeout, a coast-to-coast resource dedicated to takeout and delivery. It spotlights independent restaurants, publishes where-to-order-from guides and recently launched a New Bites series for up-and-coming takeout options. More than 15,000 food businesses have registered on the Canada Takeout map in the past two years alone.
“The normalizing of off-premises meals (OPMs) from traditionally dine-in restaurants has carried forward into the post-pandemic times,” says Vince Sgabellone, foodservice industry analyst at The NPD Group. And the data backs him up.
OPMs, including drive-thru, carry-out and delivery, grew from 55 per cent of foodservice visits in 2019 to 80 per cent today. And full-service restaurants (FSR) depend upon OPMs for about half of their volume, up from less than a quarter before the pandemic, according to NPD’s continual tracking of the Canadian foodservice industry.
Sgabellone believes takeout will only grow in popularity and supports the idea of promoting the use of takeout.
“It is interesting to note that the under-18 cohort is over-indexed for delivery,” says Sgabellone. “Our research indicates that this comes from a generation inclined to expect (and equipped through technology to get) what they want, when and where they want it. Food delivery — especially through branded and third-party apps — hits all the right buttons for them.”
Entry into the $5,000 contest happens through Canada Takeout’s Instagram. Prizes include $1,000 in cash, Apple iPad and AirPods, a Nintendo Switch, picnic baskets, I Miss My Food meal kits and Crave and Spotify subscriptions.
Complimentary National Takeout Day promotional materials have also been made available HERE for everyone to help celebrate. Canadians are encouraged to continue the custom of tagging their favourite takeout with #TakeoutDay and restaurant handles.