A new campaign is encouraging Delta residents to explore the local food scene while supporting local businesses hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The inaugural Dine Around Delta is a project of Tourism Delta and the BC Restaurant & Food Services Association aimed at giving a boost to local restaurants during a traditionally slow time of year, exacerbated by COVID-related health restrictions.
“The industry has been hit really hard, and we’ve been encouraging people to — within comfort levels — go out and support [local restaurants],” said Jane Stark, We Love Delta program director at Tourism Delta. “This is all about community resilience and economic recovery and supporting this sector as much as we can.”
Running March 12 to 28, the campaign also is timed to coincide with Spring Break and help families come up with locally-focused activities.
The 17-day event is a take on the popular Dine Out Vancouver festival, with restaurants offering three-course meals at fixed prices: $25, $35 or $45 (lunch menus are set at $15, $25 or $35). Some are also offering beer and wine pairings for an additional fee.
With COVID-19 restrictions still in place, many participating Dine Around Delta eateries are also offering take-out, take-and-bake or meal kit options, “all the different variations that restaurants have come up with this year to keep their businesses alive,” Stark said.
“It’s been really interesting to watch and see how everybody’s been pivoting … whether it’s patios and tents, or different take-out options. We’re seeing a [surge] in take-and-bake, meal kits, that kind of thing that we haven’t seen so much in the past. So it’s definitely interesting and it’ll be interesting to see how that kind of continues moving forward, what sticks and what doesn’t.”
Two dozen Delta restaurants, pubs, breweries and coffee shops are participating in the inaugural Dine Around Delta — a full list with menus is available at welovedelta.ca/participating-restaurants.
If the campaign is a success, Stark said she sees it becoming something local foodies can enjoy year after year.
“We’re launching it this year obviously to support with COVID, but we’re hoping it will become an annual event and that in future years we’ll actually be able to maybe add some sort of festival and event component to it,” Stark said.
”So it’s definitely not just a one-off, it’s something that we’re hoping the community will get behind.”