Well Seasoned gourmet food store owner Angie Quaale bought and distributed $500 worth of gift cards to a local restaurant last week, after Dr. Bonnie Henry announced the “circuit breaker” shut down of indoor seating at the end of last month. She’s hoping it will spark more people to help local restaurant and pub operators. She’s doing another giveaway starting Monday night. (Jeff Vinnick/Special to Black Press Media)

VIDEO: Gift card purchases aim to boost sales for struggling Langley restaurants

A Langley business owner tries to support fellow food entrepeneurs hit hard by pandemic restrictions

On a first-come, first-serve basis, a Langley entrepreneur is giving a boost to a few local restaurants struggling to survive under the newest COVID restrictions.

Langley restaurants are facing a tough April during the COVID-19 ‘circuit breaker’ efforts announced by the provincial health officer back on March 30. At that time, Dr. Bonnie Henry ordered indoor dining and liquor sales to be halted for a minimum of three weeks.

That’s left local pubs and restaurants relying on patio seating, deliveries, and take-out service to get by. And those without patios were left struggling even more, said Well Seasoned gourmet food store operator Angie Quaale.

Last year, when the pandemic hit, Quaale made and delivered meals to first responders and hospital staff, gave away yeast when everywhere was sold out and people were sheltering at home wanting to bake, and she pivoted to offering her cooking classes online for free.

Now, in April 2021, when restaurants are continually challenged, she came up with another way to help fellow entrepreneurs persevere.

Last week, she put $500 down to directly help a fellow Langley entrepreneur.

She bought 50 gift cards – worth $10 each – and gave them to her customers and followers. The gift cards were from one of her favourite local restaurants, Annora’s on 204th Street in Langley City.

“As everyone knows, COVID has really had an impact on our local restaurants and particularly restaurants that don’t have a patio,” Quaale said, explaining that Annora is one of many small operators left relying on take-out sales alone.

At the same time, she’s been encouraging fellow Langleyites to pitch in and support this and other local restaurants and pubs – saying a little help now, through take-out order, could mean the difference between several local businesses living or dying.

“They need your support and I need you to support our local restaurants because I really want them here when this COVID thing is over,” Quaale said when she turned to social media to offer up the first set of gift cards.

READ MORE: Langley restaurants face tough April during COVID-19 ‘circuit breaker’

“People scooped up all the gift certificates in three hours,” she told the Langley Advance Times.

“I haven’t got firm numbers in terms of actual orders from Annora, but based on the posts I saw on Social Media it certainly helped with awareness and orders,” she added.

The first effort went so well, that Quaale – with the aid of her friends – is now expanding the initiative. She’s been given a further $2,500 to buy 250 more gift cards to other Langley eateries.

Starting tonight (Monday, April 12), she’ll be giving away another 50 of the $10 gift cards – this time for the Hilltop Diner. She’ll be announcing her giveaways through her company’s social media channels.

“Brianne Costello from Hilltop cried when I saw her today, this is incredibly meaningful for her to feel supported,” Quaale said ahead of releasing her second video online Monday.

“I will work with five different restaurants this week that are struggling and hopefully we can get them some take-out action,” she said.

“We don’t need you to buy anything from us, there are no strings attached. We are just trying to help our friends so when this is over, we can all go back to dining in their fabulous restaurant,” Quaale concluded. “It takes a village.”

RELATED: B.C. businesses hurt by COVID ‘circuit breaker’ can apply for grants up to $10K


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Langley Advance Times