In recent years, Albertan households have spent more money dining out than the residents of any other province. It goes without saying that Albertans love their food. This is perhaps best shown by the foodie-scene in our own great city, where locals have always enjoyed a thriving eat-scene, going to new restaurants, trying out local breweries, and testing out the vibe in licensed cafes all around the city. Our local food hot-spots have become icons of Edmonton’s neighborhoods, representing the high “tastes” of our vibrant and resilient city, and now, we think it’s more important than ever to #eatlocalyeg.
Why it Counts
When COVID-19 hit Alberta in mid-March, new challenges arose for those local restaurants and eateries. Many of our favorite pubs and restaurants had no choice but to let staff go indefinitely, with many owners facing a number of operational uncertainties, navigating both city and provincial restrictions as best they could. These locations have since continued to take a direct hit in order to accomodate for our health, and it’s important that we show our thanks by continuing to support their efforts. Indeed, many are firing up their kitchens behind closed doors and feeding our community as best they can.
Today, as part of our #Local Goodness Project, we are challenging Edmontonians to take the time and research how third-party delivery apps gouge local businesses, and to consider the privileges afforded to those who have the ability to spend their money this way.
We can tell you off the bat that delivery and pick up services have become the beating heart of the restaurant industry in the last few months, but that third-party apps like Uber Eats & Skip the Dishes take around a 30% cut from the sale of local restaurants. Typically restaurants balance out these costs by either a) raising prices on the 3rd party apps, or b) making up losses through in-restaurant sales which are not currently happening. In the end, that means less access to food, and fewer employees being paid.
Get Connected to Your Plate
To help restaurants, then, especially during this time of COVID, consider “going back in time” and calling the restaurant directly for take-out or pick-up options, or check out their websites and social media pages for yummy updates. There are already quite a few ways to figure out who is open for delivery in Edmonton: Check out #EatWithMeYEG’s comprehensive spreadsheet, as well as Avenue Edmonton’s list to see if your favourite place is still open. Use your cash to support local and get a bite delivered to your doorstep, and make sure to follow that place on social media for future discounts and updates!
If you wanted to try something new or get a fun recommendation for a featured meal this week, make sure to check out tomato.ca, which has great weekly information on local places you may not considered when eating before. You could even order from a brand new location, and then try Civic Dinners, a great resource that can connect you to virtual dinner tables for opportunities to engage in interesting conversation and connection. Attending an online #EatWithMeYeg session can instantly connect you with a community of online restaurants, and feel free to follow YEGIHC on Instagram to see passionate stories of the #yeg restaurants, bars, pubs, clubs, hotels, and cafes you love.
Stay Connected, and Eat Well
You can also take social pride in helping a local businesses that take local sustainability seriously, while making your delivery night special! Coordinate your special dinner with special online events or show releases, during group calls, or coordinate a ‘happy our’ with your friends. Connect with other local foodies under our hashtag #LocalGoodnessYEG today, or take a food selfie with your delicious meal!
Though we may be be stuck at home, it’s worth remembering that eating food–and specifically, eating out–are all about community, but that there are plenty of ways to connect with those that share a passion for food around the city even when you can’t meet in person.
Even across the digital divide, a good meal has power to connect people, make memories, and warm hearts. So eat well, and enjoy the local food that your hard-working neighbours poured their hearts out to make, share the great #localgoodness that comes with a full belly, and be thankful for our local infrastructure that allows continued access to food in our community.