indicatorCommunity initiatives and programs during COVID-19

Entrepreneurs share ways that you can support your favourite local restaurants

By ATB Financial 26 June 2020 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. 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.

As the province is well into its phased opening, restaurants are starting to rehire and open their doors. With occupancy limits in place and a greater emphasis on social distancing, preparing and serving food for Albertans has forced local restaurants to reinvent their operations and rethink their dining rooms and menus.


8 things you can do to support local restaurants


Locally owned businesses such as cafes, restaurants and food trucks are an important part of our communities, providing gathering places to socialize, connect, celebrate and enjoy great food together.

We reached out to Alberta restaurant entrepreneurs to share ways Albertans can help support local restaurants, and they suggested the following:

  • Let your friends and family know about some of your favourite local restaurants and encourage them to order food or visit. 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.
  • Visit a variety of local restaurants in your neighbourhood, trying new places or cuisine.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Purchase a gift card to use at a later date or to give to a friend or family member.
  • Participate in the #TakeoutWednesday initiative, while considering ordering take-out on other days of the week as well.
  • Be patient, kind and generous to restaurant staff. They’re showing up every day to help feed Alberta, and they deserve our thanks.
  • If you’re a business, consider covering the discount local restaurants are offering to frontline workers or hiring their services to give back to the community.

We want to hear how you are supporting local restaurants across Alberta! Share your acts of good with us using hashtag #ATBGoodnessGrows on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

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