indicatorCommunity initiatives and programs during COVID-19

Entrepreneurs share ways that you can support your favourite local restaurants

By ATB Financial 27 January 2021 2 min read

COVID-19 has created challenges for every Albertan, and it’s certainly taken its toll on businesses throughout the province. The hospitality and restaurant industry has been hit particularly hard with upwards of 95,000 Alberta restaurant workers losing their jobs due to the pandemic. When the pandemic first hit, restaurants had to quickly close their dining rooms, lay off staff, sometimes ceasing operations completely or quickly adapting their businesses to allow for pick-up or delivery options only.


From stabilizing cash flow and doing everything possible to keep staff and customers safe, restaurant entrepreneurs say the hardest part was embracing uncertainty. But with their passion for serving others and their true entrepreneurial spirit, they have stood up to the challenges of COVID-19 with resilience and determination to succeed.

Ten months later, Albertans continue to navigate changing public health restrictions—including a ban on all in-person dining. That means restaurants in the province have once again shifted their focus to takeout and delivery services in order to continue serving their customers.

6 things you can do to support local restaurants

The restrictions on in-person dining don’t prevent Albertans from supporting their favourite local eats. Here are a few things you can do to help keep the businesses you love in business—according to restaurant owners themselves!

  1. Let your friends and family know about some of your favourite local restaurants and encourage them to order food or stop by for takeout. The greatest honour and compliment is when someone comes in and tells the restaurant that they’re here because of a friend or family member.

  2. Order from a variety of local restaurants in your neighbourhood, trying new places or cuisine.

  3. Vote with your dollars. The restaurants you support today are the ones that will be around tomorrow. Regular clientele and friends make these businesses what they are. If people return more frequently, it might be all they need to get back on the right track.

  4. If you’re on a tight budget, provide a positive online review or share their content on social media. Positive referrals from customers make a big difference.

  5. Purchase a gift card to use at a later date or to give to a friend or family member.

  6. Be patient, kind and generous to restaurant staff. They’re showing up every day to help feed Alberta, and they deserve our thanks.


Local businesses are the heart of our communities—without them, our neighbourhoods would lack the charm and personality that make these places so special! They are as much a part of the fibre of our communities as those of us that live there. At ATB, we’re proud to support Alberta businesses—after all, we were built to help Albertans through tough times. Follow ATB on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to discover more amazing Alberta businesses and find out ways to support them—both now and in the future.

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