Hundreds of restaurant owners, culinary leaders, and celebrities across the country are supporting Canada Takeout, declaring every Wednesday from here on out to be Takeout Day.
This movement asks Canadians to order from their favourite local restaurant offering takeout or delivery, with a nationwide kickoff today, April 15.
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 more drop-ins being announced weekly. Olympic gold medalist Tessa Virtue and Paralympic multi-medalist Benoit Huot are scheduled to make appearances, too.
Hosted by George Stroumboulopoulos, friends and family can enjoy dinner and a concert together virtually, while supporting their favourite local eateries.
Restaurants Canada estimates that 800,000 foodservice jobs have already been lost nationwide due to COVID-19.
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).
They are encouraging Canadians to rally up family and friends — across social media, of course — using the hashtag #TakeoutDay.
You can find out where to order from nearest you for Takeout Day here.