Another option for people to enjoy the festival is booking a room at a downtown Vancouver hotel during DOVF. After booking your stay, customers will earn a $50 Mastercard Gift Card to use per night
Despite the pandemic, the popular dining event celebrates 20 years
By Brandon Yip, Senior Columnist
With the current pandemic, the words “Dine Out Vancouver Festival” could be interpreted as an oxymoron. But the event is being held in 2022 despite COVID-19 being an unwanted guest. Notably, the popular dining event is celebrating its 20th anniversary.
The “Dine Out Vancouver Festival” was founded by Destination Vancouver. The goal of the festival was to salute and acknowledge the restaurant industry. And to get people out to try numerous restaurants during the winter months—when it is usually the “off-peak season” for the restaurant industry.
The official “Dine Out Vancouver Festival” website is proud the event is happening and posted about the alterations COVID-19 caused: “The festival is only slightly impacted by the updated Public Health Orders announced on December 21st and as such, will move forward as scheduled. Slight modifications to specific indoor ticketed events will be made to accommodate maximum seating requirements at tables and capacity limits at non-restaurant venues. Outdoor events like Street Food City are not affected by the current order.”
The event started on January 14 and ends on January 31, 2022. On January 6, the “Dine Out Vancouver Festival” website issued a news release, highlighting the events and over 300 restaurants partaking in this year’s event. One of the main highlights of the festival is the three-course set menus available at four price ranges: $20 to $29, $30 to $39, $40 to $49 or $50 to $59. Another option for diners includes enjoying tailor-made promotions offered by participating restaurants—with many having takeout available.
A press release for the festival stated that: “Diners can also indulge in a tantalizing lineup of unique food and drink-themed experiences, including a Chinatown tour, Distillery adventure, cooking class, brewery visit, the food truck festival [Street Food City], or the highly anticipated [Vancouver World Chef Exchange], the exclusive collaborative dinner series which returns after a one-year COVID related hiatus.” Vancouver Is Awesome reported on January 13 that some new restaurants joined this year’s DOVF: Bruno, Zarak and Carlino. In addition, there are the familiar popular chain restaurants: Earls, Cactus Club and The Keg.
Another option for people to enjoy the festival is booking a room at a downtown Vancouver hotel during DOVF. After booking your stay, customers will earn a $50 Mastercard Gift Card to use per night (up to three nights maximum). Reservations must be made between January 14 till January 31. The DOVF website says about the gift card: “Use it to cover your dinner, apply it to your room, or go shopping the next morning. It’s our treat to you!”
Lucas Pavan of Destination Vancouver offers a few tips for diners. Pavan says in an interview with the Vancouver Sun on January 11, some restaurants will keep offering the Dine Out menu after January 30, and Destination Vancouver will post updates on social media. Patrons will also be able to enter contests for restaurant certificates. Pavan recommends that customers honour their reservations—otherwise, the restaurant could lose revenue. But he says if customers are sick, then cancelling is preferred. Pavan also requested that customers be kind and polite to restaurant staff and tip generously: “People in the industry are stressed. There’s a shortage of workers and extra patience is required.”
Ian Tostenson, president and CEO of the BC Restaurants and Food Services Association, echoes the sentiments of Pavan. Tostenson hopes patrons enjoy eating at their favourite restaurant of choice safely. But he implores customers to be mindful of the impact the pandemic has had on restaurant workers. “Restaurants have been amazing operations (through the pandemic),” he said to the Vancouver Sun. “They’ve been piloting through storms, constantly making adjustments. If it’s not the labour situation, it’s been the supply chain and prices. Extra patience might be required. Dining out is so important and that’s been evident through the pandemic. There’s been no lack of demand and we saw during the holiday season people want to be pampered and served. So I encourage people to go and enjoy themselves and shake off the Christmas blues, but be safe and be kind.”