Toronto, ON (May 13, 2020) – Listen in as Branding & Buzzing co-partners Sean Beckingham and Marian Staresinic join Foodservice and Hospitality editor and publisher Rosanna Caira on her podcast, Table Talk.
Learn how their efforts galvanized consumers and industry alike to buy takeout foods once a week and have spawned a popular and successful initiative called Canada Takeout, which has helped to build restaurant sales and raise community spirit.
Episode Preview Question
One of the realities of this pandemic is that it has forced many restaurants to close. Some will probably close permanently; others were able to pivot to takeout. In the early days of this pandemic, Sean, I remember you calling me one day and letting me know you wanted to do something bigger as an initiative to galvanize the industry during these challenging times.
Tell our listeners how this idea came to you about Canada Takeout and why you focused on this approach as opposed to any other approaches you might have done.
Back to that day, (March) 15th, when our clients were calling us and asking us, “what are we going to do with our messaging?” At the same time, they said, “what is happening in the industry?” One of the very first calls was our client Vince Di Maria from Affinity Group saying something’s happening, what’s Restaurants Canada doing? What’s so and so doing?
There really wasn’t an answer at that time given it was so new and we were all caught on our heels because nobody knows what’s happening. I kept hearing that over and over again. I called everyone I knew to find out what was happening. There wasn’t anything that one person could get behind that really supported the industry until the day that the Premier of Ontario made restaurants essential services.
At that point, I got a phone call from a distributor I hadn’t heard from in a while but we share a client together. It was good old Vince. He’d called me an hour and a half after the Premier had come on and said, “Sean, we need to get behind our industry right here, right now and support it. I don’t care what it is that you do, but let’s support the people that are open now.” I said, “I completely agree, Vince.”
There were all these fundraising things going on, all of which are great initiatives, but our laser focus was on helping the operators who are still open and in business today. That is where our messaging was going to go. At that point, Vince had said he was going to go after all his customers and anyone else he had known to help put this together. We went after our customers, contacted Restaurants Canada, it was a great conversation with them. They said you’re not the only one doing this out here, there are a bunch of regional things around. Perhaps we can look at making (what’s now) Canada Takeout a national initiative.
Listen in for the rest of the story!
About Table Talk
One-on-one interviews with inspiring and influential leaders of the foodservice and hospitality industry. Presented by Foodservice and Hospitality.