Dine Around offers great deals and a chance to help the hospitality industry

Dine Around offers great deals and a chance to help the hospitality industry. - Douglas Dec/Jan 2022 2023
Tempting plates from Lot 1 Pasta Bar.

It’s no secret that restaurants and hotels have been particularly hard hit these last few years, first by pandemic-related restrictions, then by the labour shortage, supply-chain issues and skyrocketing inflation.

So this winter, taking part in Dine Around & Stay in Town Victoria is more than just an opportunity to enjoy a fine meal. It’s a delicious way to support the hospitality community when they need it most.

Dine Around was originally created in 2004 to attract customers during the slow winter season by offering three-course meals at value-driven set prices. That first year, just 12 restaurants participated. Now dozens of Victoria’s best restaurants and finest hotels are taking part.

Organized by Destination Greater Victoria and the Victoria branch of the BC Restaurant and Foodservices Association, Dine Around has become one of the city’s most popular events. It is a good opportunity to try an intriguing new restaurant or revisit an old favourite, and not have to worry about getting home afterwards.

Dine Around & Stay In Town 2023 kicks off with a gala event at the Crystal Gardens on January 19 and continues through February 5. More than 50 restaurants will offer set menus for $25, $35, $45, $55 or $65. Rates for participating hotels are $139, $159, $179, $199 or $259. For more information, visit tourismvictoria.com/eat-drink/dine-around.

Dining by the Dollar

Since the pandemic hit in early 2020, Canada’s restaurants have been on a fiscal rollercoaster ride of historic proportions.

Now, after a 40.3% drop in sales in early 2021, things are on the rebound. According to the Foodservice Industry Forecast 2022-2026, by the end of 2022, annual commercial foodservice sales are forecast to increase to $73.2 billion.

This is a 12.4% increase in sales over 2021, but still 5% below pre-pandemic levels. However, in 2023, Canada’s foodservice industry is expected to return to pre-pandemic levels with annual sales forecast to reach $83.3 billion.

And by 2026, commercial foodservice sales are projected to increase even higher, to more than $97.5 billion.