Victoria offering free meals, Government House picnic prize to support local restaurants

Local tourism and hospitality groups are coming together and offering free meals in Greater Victoria to help support the restaurant industry through the final stretch of the pandemic.

From June 8 to 30, people who visit a local restaurant on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, or Thursdays may find that someone has picked up their tab for them.

Members of six B.C. organizations will be scattered across restaurants in Greater Victoria paying for random customers meals throughout June.

The organizations involved include the City of Victoria, the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce, the Downtown Victoria Business Association, Destination Greater Victoria, the B.C. Restaurant and Food Services Association-Victoria Chapter, and Vancity.

At the same time, people who prefer to order take-out during the pandemic can enter to win a catered picnic lunch for two at the Government House in Victoria.

To enter the picnic contest, islanders need to tag their favourite restaurant and two friends on any Picnics and Patios social media post.

"There are so many great dining options in the core of our city," said Jeff Bray, executive director of the Downtown Victoria Business Association on Monday.

"We need to support these businesses at a time when many did not generate significant revenue in the past few months," he said.

The groups add that "a local celebrity" will also be visiting some restaurants and celebrating with winners if their tab is picked up by the tourism organizations.