Who doesn’t like amazing food?! A great meal has always been one of the vehicles in which people connect, and the restaurant industry has long been one of the pillars of Toronto’s visitor economy, representing the diversity of our city through our culinary scene. And while locals connect (and re-connect) with each other over food, our visitors connect with our city through our restaurants, perhaps alongside a hand-crafted cocktail or two.
The pandemic brought this important sense of connection to a halt, crippling Toronto’s restaurant community. As a critical part of our local and visitor economy, restaurants needed help and locals needed to know how to support a suffering industry. During the lockdown, Destination Toronto developed ToGoToronto.com, a program designed to provide locals with information about restaurants offering delivery and takeout services. As the city was beginning to open up again, and with it a renewed sense of optimism, it was important to support the restaurant community and encourage locals to get back out into Toronto’s amazing summer patio scene in safe and responsible ways.
Both a contest and content generation initiative, #PatioscapesTO was a 6-week program that launched this summer designed to encourage Torontonians to explore their city outside of their usual ‘go to’ patios by snapping a pic of their patio experience and sharing it on social using the hashtag #PatioscapesTO. With a weekly random draw of a $100 patio gift card and a grand prize of Patios for a Year (52 $100 restaurant gift cards is a lot of patios!) for the best pic voted on by Torontonians, the contest was an exciting one!
From Patio Views to CafeTO and First Timer patios, each week was themed to focus content generation efforts. Throughout the campaign, Torontonians were encouraged to truly explore the city, from Etobicoke to North York, Downtown to Scarborough. Content partnerships with BlogTO, Narcity, Toronto Life, IN Magazine and BT helped us spread the word throughout the 6ix.
While we’re awaiting final reports to come in for paid media, we’re thrilled to share that this campaign generated 7.5M social media impressions and 256,028 social media engagements on our organic/brand posts, alone. And the campaign landing page has had more than 16,000 visits since the start of the contest.
Be sure to check out the campaign wrap video below!
Overall, more than 2,400 votes were cast for @kame_88’s winning shot. Congratulations to @kame_88 and happy patioing!
As the rate of vaccinations continues to grow and with it, the city reopening not just to patio dining, but indoor dining as well, Toronto’s restaurant community is beginning its long road to recovery. And to support that recovery, in our house there’s no better way to spend a date night, or time with our friends and family than finding a little hidden gem of a restaurant for a great meal, great conversation and reconnecting again with the city that we love.