For Stephanie Dickison, restaurants are the heartbeat of a city. She loves dining out so much, that she’s been covering the TO restaurant scene for over 15 years, which led her create the popular media platform, Toronto Restaurants. Right now, she’s fearful that many of them will not survive the financial collapse brought on by Covid-19. “Many businesses and people in the industry will not be able to recover from this,” she says. “Until the government steps in, all our restaurants, bars, bakeries, cafes, breweries, and food shops, have to count on is the public.” So Stephanie started a movement to help.

Similar to the #TakeoutDay movement gaining traction on Instagram, The Toronto Restaurants #TakeoutToronto and #Delivery Toronto social media campaign encourages people to order in, to support their local restaurants, and easily allows the public to locate restaurants and foodservice businesses offering takeout and delivery options.

At first, Stephanie was attempting to cover all the offerings that emerged when restaurants were forced to pivot, but the amount of changes made it impossible to keep up. “In the past three weeks, I’ve been overwhelmed with requests to help Toronto restaurants, bars, breweries, bakeries, cafes, and food shops. I’ve been working non-stop to try and cover it all and realized: It’s impossible to keep up-to-date with who’s doing what right now, because IT. CHANGES. EVERY. DAY. News outlets and blogs are running lists of certain restaurants offering takeout and/or delivery, but it excludes everyone else. Many diners are relying on delivery apps, but it still represents only a portion of businesses offering takeout and delivery, as not everyone can afford the high fees they charge.”

By tagging everything with #TakeoutToronto and #DeliveryToronto, all the info consolidates easily, allowing people to easily search through a plethora of options.  As the movement grows, both restaurants and the public are able to populate, allowing for a better and up-to-date understanding of what exactly is being offered, so Torontonians can best support the food + drink establishments they love.

The grim reality is that even though there are plenty of fantastic delivery options, this might not be enough. “Industry experts say takeout and delivery aren’t enough to save them. But it’s all they have right now, so we must do everything we can to get them through this.”