"As a customer, how can I help fellow struggling restaurants across the GTA?"

There are some pretty interesting ways that you can help!

Dylan Koordi

Updated 2 years ago · 4 min read

It comes as no surprise that the restaurant industry has taken a major hit for the duration of the pandemic. To date, 800,000 jobs across the country have been lost in an industry that accounts for 4% of Canada’s total GDP. With such a great dependence on so many of these great restaurants, what are some of the ways that we as a customer, can help them through this tough period? With the unpredictability of in-person dining becoming a major issue, Toronto has gone through some positive changes. Last week, we saw that some of the restrictions have been lifted and in due time, we can expect the same for the culinary industry given that the vaccinations are in place.

Trivially, the best way to support your local restaurants is by continuing to order from them and leaving a nice tip while you are at it. But in this article, we will highlight some of the different ways that you can still support your local favorites.

Gift Cards for Restaurants?

More restaurants today are offering gift cards for customers to purchase and it is a great way of showing your support. Albeit digital or physical gift cards, this solution is a quick and effective way of providing “microloans” to restaurants with virtually no goods sold. This means that when you purchase a gift card, you are entitling yourself (or a friend) to a great discount on your next purchase in the same restaurant. For restaurants, it provides more cash for restaurants to cover essentials (rent, inventory, staffing, etc…). Outside of this reason, gift cards are also a great way for customers to commit to certain restaurants. When restrictions are lifted and you are looking for restaurants, why not use that gift card that you got a while back for a great meal at a fraction of the price?

Dining Bonds?

Very similar to gift cards but in the form of bonds (fixed income). Depending on the restaurant, the bonds can be sold at a price of 20-30% lower than the face valuable which you can then redeem when you physically dine at the restaurant or order for takeout. That also means that restaurants get a source of income to cover costs while also having a flow of customers for when the restrictions are lifted on in-person dining.

So, there you have it, spoken above are some of the different ways that we as customers should consistently support the restaurants we love. While we all hope to be able to return to in-person dining one day, we (at Matchii) continue to support local restaurants through different means! Please reach out to us if you are interested in being a part of our weekly podcast to share your experience in the industry!