TORONTO — On Wednesday, April 15, Canadians from coast to coast banded with the hospitality industry to kick off National #TakeoutDay, a movement that encourages Canadians to order from their favourite local restaurants.
Massive support for restaurants poured in, through increased takeout orders and heartfelt messages of encouragement all over social media. Many restaurateurs saw a significant spike in sales.
“The preliminary numbers are showing an overall range of 15- to 40-per-cent sales increases in restaurants across the country over the prior week,” says Robert Carter, managing partner at The StratonHunter Group.
Canada Takeout also received feedback from many restaurants across the country reporting sales increases from 20 per cent up to 60 per cent, with some operators selling out over the previous week.
A restaurateur in Leduc, Alta. said sales were double the previous Wednesday customers said #TakeoutDay influenced them to order.
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 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. Millions more, up and down the supply chain, including farmers, fishermen, linen suppliers, cleaners, beverage distributors, et cetera, 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,” says Janet Zuccarini, CEO of Gusto 54 Restaurant Group.
According to Carter, 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.
This takeout movement continues every Wednesday.