A pub patio in Victoria. (Black Press Media file photo)

A pub patio in Victoria. (Black Press Media file photo)

Patio and picnic dining could mean a free meal for Greater Victoria patrons

Local celebrities pick up the tab with latest Greater Victoria chamber contest

Everyone enjoys a meal out, and when residents do it this month in Victoria, their meal could be covered by a local celebrity.

Now through June 30, the Greater Victoria Picnics and Patios contest will see a few lucky restaurant patrons get free food courtesy of 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.

Representatives will visit restaurants across the region, usually with a local celebrity, on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays to select winners.

“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’,” said Bruce Williams, CEO of the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce. “As we emerge from the pandemic, we wanted to support the restaurant sector. A contest such as Picnics and Patios is a great way to encourage dining on nights of the week people might not otherwise consider.”

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The inaugural contest aims to support eateries as the province recovers from the impacts of COVID-19 health and safety protocols. B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan began May 25 with a return of indoor restaurant dining for up to six people.

“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,” said Paul Nursey, CEO of Destination Greater Victoria. “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.”

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