It’s no secret that we are living in unprecedented times and so many small businesses are struggling to stay afloat as they are forced to close their doors to normal business.
The food industry has been hit hard, with seating areas in restaurants off limits and restaurants open only for curbside pickup, takeout, or delivery, they’ve had to regroup and come up with a new type of normal.
As a chef who has worked in a number of local restaurants in my career thus far, I understand the impact this is having, and my heart aches for these businesses. Because of my career and what I’ve been exposed to and what I’ve seen, I’ve also developed a huge passion for shopping and eating local.
Today, I’m thrilled to see a new initiative out there set on driving support for local cafes, restaurants, and eateries: Wednesday’s are now being referred to as Canada Takeout Day.
All of us across the country are being encouraged to step away from our stoves for one night each week and consider supporting a local establishment by ordering takeout on Wednesday nights. Many restaurants have put special takeout menu’s online, some of these condensed versions of their larger regular menu’s, and have put free delivery or extra special precautions in place to ensure safe and/or contactless payment and pickup.
Those working in the food industry know that there were already strict procedures in place when it comes to the handling of food, but restaurants have put even more precautions into effect in light of this pandemic.
If you’re worried about the safety of bringing home takeout, do your research: check out the website of your favourite establishment, phone them and ask questions, look online for safety videos on what to do and how to handle outside packaging when you bring your orders home.
I can tell you that we ordered takeout last week and it really did a lot to cheer each of us up. We all felt like we had some sense of our old normal routine. Sure, it was different. Yes, I had to take extra measures when bringing the food packages into the house, but it was just an extra 10 minutes of my time, and it was well rewarded.
Firstly, we ordered from our favourite local restaurant, where we know the owners and were already comfortable with their procedures and standards. Second, we phoned in our order (rather than place it online through their website) and asked questions about the pickup procedures. And third, I put a small table at the front door where my husband put the parcels when he came home with our takeout. That way, the packaging never came into our house. I was the only one to handle the food wrappings and I transferred each dish from the restaurant packages onto each individual persons plate (without touching their clean plate in the process). Once done, I took all outside packaging straight to the garage and then was able to sanitize the doorknobs, the tabletop, and then wash and sanitize my own hands before sitting down to eat.
And did I mention you can enjoy your takeout in your kitchen with countless other Canadians and tune in to a free livestream event known as the Great Kitchen Party – Home Edition? Be sure to check out the Great Kitchen Party Facebook page for more information and the link.
When you can support the thousands of people who’s jobs are at risk, give your support to a local business, and enjoy some fabulous food while doing a little something for your mental health, why not enjoy a little takeout tonight?
Until we can all get back out there and relax with a glass of wine and a plate or two of incredible food in a restaurant together, cheers!