Dining out is back during the Ontario Re-Opening Plan

By Mathew Lajoie

As Ontario moves through the provincial re-opening plan, Waterloo residents are gladly returning to local restaurants for the forgotten pleasure of dining out. Through restrictions on table size, patios and guest limits, it’s been a challenging time for local restaurants. 

Restaurant Owners Keeping Guest Safety at Forefront

Restrictions on tables sizes are not the only thing that restaurants are doing to keep their guests safe. According to Desi Fatkin, owner of The Duke of Wellington Pub in Waterloo, her team is dedicated to keeping their customers safe and comfortable.  

“We have been diligent in keeping up with all of the COVID-19 guidelines. We are constantly sanitizing tables, chairs, menus and door handles.  We have also introduced a QR code so our guests can answer our contact tracing questions without having to use a pen and paper. They can choose to use the codes to access our menu online as well, so they don't have to touch anything unnecessarily,” she says.  

Continuing to Support Local Restaurants

Local restaurants could not have made it this far without the fierce support of the community. Desi is grateful for their ‘pub family.’ 

“We are overwhelmed with the support of our community from day one. We are lucky to have so many amazing regular customers who are determined to help us keep our doors open and have been consistently supporting us. We have also gained so many more amazing customers through our take-out and delivery. We would love it if they would continue to support us as we navigate our new normal!” she says. 

Online ordering, delivery and curbside pickup have been the bread and butter for The Duke of Wellington and other local restaurants. “The online ordering options have been a saviour during this pandemic,” says Desi. “Although we have seen a decline in online orders since reopening, we will continue to offer the option of ordering through Uber, Skip the Dishes and our own online app which has the option for free delivery 7 nights a week.” 

Great Deals Even Through Restrictions

Even through this difficult time, restaurants are still offering great experiences and incredible food specials. At The Duke of Wellington, they have had a lot of fun matching themed specials to the teams that are playing in the EURO’S.

Desi and her team have been hard at work introducing new cocktails and planning fun summer promotions. Great food and a fun atmosphere are still possible through the steps of reopening, but it just looks a little different than it did pre-pandemic. 

Future is Looking Brighter

As the province and the Waterloo area safely move through the steps toward reopening indoor dining, restaurant owners like Desi are looking ahead. “We can’t wait to open inside the pub. It has been a long 15 months!” she says. 

For The Duke of Wellington, a move is in the future as the building they are located in is set to be rebuilt. “We are currently looking for a new location, either temporary or permanent. We have no intention of closing after more than 40 years in business!” says Desi. “If anyone out there has a suitable location, we would love to hear from them!” 

The Duke of Wellington has been serving classic British pub fare in Waterloo for over 40 years. Visit their patio at 33 Erb Street West, give them a call at (519) 886-9370 or check them out online, on Facebook or Instagram. Online ordering is also available. 

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