TORONTO — Restaurants Canada and Uber Eats have distributed $1-million in grants to 400 independently owned restaurants across Canada under Uber Eats’ ‘Eat Local Relief Effort.’
“As we continue past the one-year mark of the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada, it’s never been more important to support the restaurant industry and help keep kitchens open,” says Lola Kassim, general manager of Uber Eats Canada. “We’re proud to partner with Restaurants Canada on this program and offer support to 400 restaurants across the country. This is one piece of our ongoing efforts to do our part and support the thousands of restaurants in Canada that make up the heart and soul of local neighbourhoods.”
After receiving more than 1,500 applications in the first week alone, 400 restaurants were selected based on financial need and meeting program criteria of having fewer than five locations, a maximum of 50 employees per location and annual gross revenues in 2020 of less than $3-million per location. Preference was given to the restaurants who demonstrated a commitment to their local community.
“The response to the grant has been staggering, but it just goes to show the need for continued support for restaurants across the country,” says Todd Barclay, president and CEO, Restaurants Canada. “The transition to dine-in continues to be longer than anyone expected and, thanks to industry allies like Uber Eats, this grant will go a long way to allow these restaurants to continue safely serving their local communities.”
Feedback from recipient restaurants has been overwhelming, with some noting this support not only helped operations, but morale as well.
“We were thrilled to have been awarded the grant which was great financially, but the real benefit was how it lifted the spirits of all the staff and gave them the sense that we are all in this together and truly not alone,” says Lorenzo Lepore, GM of Vancouver Alpen Club in Vancouver.
“Our experience with the Restaurants Canada and Uber Eats program to give back to their partners was very appreciated. In this time of need, this was something unexpected and generous on the part of Uber Eats,” says George Michakis, owner of La Belle Province (Bellepros) in Montreal.
Uber Eats announced the grant program as part of their five-month, $7-million restaurant support package to help independently owned restaurants.