Restaurants Canada and Uber Eats distributed $1 Million in grants to 400 independently-owned restaurants across Canada this week.
The program is part of a partnership announced in February to support restaurants that have had to keep their dine-in service closed or restricted with capacity limits. It is part of the “Eat Local Relief Effort”, a Canadian Uber Eats initiative to provide support to restaurants when they need it most.
Lola Kassim, General Manager of Uber Eats Canada, said that: “As we continue past the one-year mark of the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada, it’s never been more important to support the restaurant industry and help keep kitchens open.”
Kassim continued: “We’re proud to partner with Restaurants Canada on this program and offer support to 400 restaurants across the country. This is one piece of our ongoing efforts to do our part and support the thousands of restaurants in Canada that make up the heart and soul of local neighbourhoods.”
After receiving over 1,500 applications from coast to coast in the first week alone, 400 restaurants were selected based on financial need, having fewer than 5 locations, a maximum of 50 employees per location and annual gross revenues in 2020 of less than $3 million per location. Preference was given to the restaurants who demonstrated a commitment to their local community.
Todd Barclay, President and CEO, Restaurants Canada, said that: “The response to the grant has been staggering, but it just goes to show the need for continued support for restaurants across the country.”
Barclay continued: “The transition to dine-in continues to be longer than anyone expected, and thanks to industry allies like Uber Eats, this grant will go a long way to allow these restaurants to continue safely serving their local communities.”
Feedback from restaurants has been overwhelming, with many expressing that delivery options have been a lifeline during the pandemic. Others noted that this support not only helped operations, but morale as well.
Uber Eats announced the grant program as part of their five-month, $7-million restaurant support package to help independently owned restaurants.
The package is driving renewed demand to local restaurants, helping those who are struggling through the second and now third wave of COVID-19 by continuing to waive and discount a number of fees, including: extending 0% pickup and 7.5% online ordering until June 30, 2021, and helping restaurants with cash flow by waiving daily payout fees until June 30, 2021.