#DineYQG Support Program Announced for Local Food Service Industry

Cash Prizes Of $11,000 Available To Diners And Restaurant Owners
Eat.  Drink.  Win!

That is the prevailing theme of a local initiative launched today by the Windsor-Essex Chamber of Commerce, Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island and presenting sponsor CUPE 543.

#DineYQG will support locally owned restaurants, bakeries, coffee shops, take and bakes, wineries, breweries and distillers at a time when their businesses have been severely impacted by COVID-19.  Although most local restaurants remain open for take-out, delivery or curbside orders, no in-person dining is currently allowed under Provincial Lockdown guidelines.

According to the latest survey from Restaurants Canada, eight out of 10 restaurants are either losing money, or barely scraping by, 65% are continuing to operate at a loss while 19% are just breaking even.  While other industries have recovered at least 90% of their pandemic job losses, 21% of the foodservice workforce is still not recovered, and there are more than 260,000 fewer jobs in the foodservice sector across the country than there were last February.

Locally, one in six 6 restaurants are likely to close permanently, a number likely to increase based on the duration of the Lockdown. The sector has seen a 35% reduction in employment from September 2020 to December of last year, a decrease of 3600 jobs.

Diners can visit www.dineyqg.ca for menus, specials, hours, and delivery info for their favourite local eateries.  As well, by submitting a photo of a receipt, a picture inside or outside the restaurant, or of an actual food delivery, diners can enter a contest to win weekly cash prizes of $100.00.  Not only will the diner win money, but the restaurant they supported will also immediately win $1000.00, money to be used at their discretion. There is $11,000 in cash prizes from February 1st through April 10th.  Bonus entries are available for sharing on social media, using #DineYQG.

Local restaurants can submit a free listing on the #DineYQG web site, with their contact information, hours, menus, specials, payment options and delivery partners.  There are currently over 400 listings in the Restaurant Guide, categorized by food type and geographic region.  #DineYQG marketing tools can be accessed through the web site and downloaded for free, allowing eateries to use on premise and in their advertising campaigns.

Restaurants can benefit from various support programs too.  The first 35 eligible eateries to apply will receive a complimentary 12-month Windsor-Essex Chamber of Commerce Membership ($750 value) courtesy of CUPE 543, a one-year Membership to the Ontario Restaurant Hotel Motel Association (ORHMA) of Windsor Essex as well as no-charge business and personal banking and financial coaching services from Libro Credit Union.  Plus, one lucky restaurant will win a $500 gift card from Gordon Food Service. The application form can be found at www.windsoressexchamber.org.

The Chamber will be hosting a virtual Information Session on February 4th, connecting restaurant owners with various sponsors and partners of the #DineYQG campaign.  Participants will receive details on programs like Digital Main Street, financial counselling, vendor offers and peer support.  More details to follow.

#DineYQG is presented by CUPE 543 with support from partners including Libro Credit Union, Community Futures Essex County, Gordon Food Service, the WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation’s Small Business Centre, WEtech Alliance, ORHMA Windsor Essex, AM800 CKLW and CTV Windsor.   The program is an extension of the successful #ShopYQG campaign launched by the Chamber and TWEPI in Spring 2020, as encouragement to Shop Local not just during the pandemic, but also in the future.

For questions or to receive more information on the #DineYQG initiative, please contact: Windsor-Essex Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Rakesh Naidu;  rnaidu@windsoressexchamber.org or 519-966-3696  x222.


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