Londoner launches interactive map of local eateries offering takeout
The map features independent restaurants, bakeries and breweries in the area
A London resident wants to make sure his favourite local eateries are still up and running when the COVID-19 pandemic is over. That's why he's created an interactive map featuring independent restaurants, bakeries and breweries who offer takeout.
"This is a very hard time for everyone, but it's especially hard for those whose livelihood is dependent on us going out and being in community," said Sameer Vasta, who created and shared a map to allow Londoners to browse through local eateries on days they don't want to cook at home
Last week, the provincial government banned gatherings of 50 people or more people and shut down restaurants, except those that offer delivery or takeout options in an attempt to slow the spread of the virus that has already killed 27 Canadians.
While Vasta knows these precautions are necessary, he wants to support local businesses in the best way he can during these times.
"We need places like cafes and coffee shops, we need restaurants that are able to provide us a place to get away from the home, enjoy ourselves and be in community," he said.
"If we don't support them in a time where they're struggling, we're not going to be able to have them once we come out of this."
Many local businesses have felt the financial repercussions that have emerged from the province's measures to prevent a large outbreak of the virus in the country, including the owners of Ivanopoblano, a Mexican restaurant that just moved to a new location a few months ago.
"It's scary," said co-owner Christopher Santana-Barnes.
He says that ever since the restaurant had to close their dine-in section, sales have gone down, with just an average of about 6 orders a day.
But, at the same time, the owners say they've felt the support of Londoners and maps like the one Vasta created, which encourage people to support local businesses, make them grateful.
"We're happy that we have a good community … Sometimes only five people will order, but those five people make our day," said co-owner Ivan Santana-Barnes.
Brandie Duval, who works at The Take Out Fish & Chips London, said that they've felt how the community has come together to support them during this time
"Our regulars still order, but so do new customers because we're one of the few places still open that offer takeout and delivery," she said.
"We love that the community stands with us. It really means a lot to us," she added.
Vasta says that any other local businesses who offer takeout and would like to be featured in the map he's created can contact him via Twitter.
"I think we need to think about the solidarity of the community that we're building and our community is only as good as the places that we support and the places that grow up around the community," he said.