Free meals to be won around Victoria this month in contest supporting restaurant industry

Free meals to be won around Victoria this month in contest supporting restaurant industry

A few lucky restaurant-goers can have someone else pick up their bill in a new initiative being deployed around Victoria this June, in an effort to support the restaurant industry.

Between June 8-30, a new contest — dubbed ‘Picnics and Patios’ — will have representatives from the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Victoria Business Association, Destination Greater Victoria, City of Victoria, B.C. Restaurant and Food Services Association – Victoria Chapter or Vancity paying for people’s meals around town.

How it will work is representatives from the above organizations will drop by restaurants across the region on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays in order to pay for people’s bill who are dining out.

The contest details highlight that a “local celebrity” will be a part of the visit whenever possible to help select the winning patrons.

“I can’t think of a better way to celebrate emerging from the pandemic than getting outside and enjoying a patio,” City of Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps said. “Restaurateurs go into business, in part, because they want to serve people. So let’s all give them customers to serve and enjoy great food and drinks while we do it. My thanks to all the partners who’ve come together so creatively to support the region’s business sector.”

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With supporting the restaurant industry being the main focus, the contest was developed to encourage residents to dine out locally on nights of the week people might not otherwise consider with the incentive of possibly landing a free meal.

“Diners at local patios, following public health rules on safe dining, may get to enjoy that euphoric moment when someone else says, “We’ll pick up the tab this time,” Bruce Williams, CEO of the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce, said.

With travel restrictions in B.C. slated to be lifted on June 15, the organizations involved hope the contest also encourages visitors to experience local restaurants.

“Travel to and from Vancouver Island will be allowed beginning June 15 if case count trends and vaccination rates continue. Marketing and promoting Greater Victoria as a destination with contests like Picnics and Patios will put us back on the map as an exciting place to visit,” Paul Nursey, CEO of Destination Greater Victoria, said. “The visitor economy has struggled since the beginning of the pandemic. We want to welcome people back with open arms. Part of this is promoting our culinary and hospitality sectors that do so much to attract people to our wonderful region.”

In addition to paying for people’s bills during the month of June, the Picnics and Patios contest also will be dishing out weekly prizes on social media.

Anyone who engages with the contest posts has an opportunity to win a variety of prizes while also earning the chance to win a catered picnic lunch for two at Government House.

More information on the Picnics and Patios contest can be found here:

Graham CoxGraham Cox

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