Reward yourself with takeout

This week's editorial.

If there’s one thing COVID-19 has taught us, it’s to really value our local restaurants and cafés.

It’s been over a year now since the South Cariboo’s local diners, grills and coffee houses have operated normally. Since the initial lockdown, they have had to abide by a wide range of new health guidelines that have changed from month to month as the pandemic ebbed and flowed.

Now unless they have a patio or outdoor seating of some kind, they are unable to have in-person dining and can only do takeout and delivery. It’s easy to look at this as yet another hardship on top of hardship, but it can also be seen as an opportunity – to taste-test what our stellar lineup of restaurants has to offer.

Before the pandemic hit, the team at the Free Press occasionally enjoyed eating takeout from various local restaurants as a way to support local eateries and enjoy some good food. Over the course of 2020 and 2021, this has become a twice-monthly occurrence as we made a conscious effort to help support some of the businesses we love. While it’s always been takeout we’ve still had the chance to bond as a team over a plate of good food.

With the latest restrictions, we’re encouraging the 100 Mile community to join us and safely eat out this month by either dining at a patio or by ordering some takeout from our locally-owned restaurants. No matter what your taste, this town has a lot to offer – from coffee shops to Japanese and Chinese food to burgers, fish and chips, donuts and even a brewpub.

While it may not quite be the same as the dining experience, takeout can still make for a fun and simple family dinner or a new way to bond with your work colleagues.

If you do eat out this month, be sure to keep the receipts as the 100 Mile Free Press’s publisher Martina Dopf is prepared to offer $10 off subscriptions until the end of April should you bring them in. Dopf also challenges the rest of our local business community to do something similar to help out our service industry.

As the Wrangler’s recent silent bid auction shows, when it comes down to it 100 Mile residents reach into their hearts and wallets to help one another out. Many of our local restaurants have, over the year, supported or hosted events to support the community, not to mention feeding all of us. It’s only right now that, with this added pressure, we do our best to help them out while these restrictions last.

You don’t have to eat out every day, of course. Only as much as you can afford. But our local culinary entrepreneurs will appreciate it and one day, pay it forward.

Besides, spring seems to be arriving here in the South Cariboo. Dining outside, or maybe in the park, is hardly the worst thing to do.

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