Orillia’s Economic Recovery Task Force (ERTF) is looking for feedback from residents, visitors, and local businesses on its See You on the Patio program to support restaurants and retailers through city-wide open-air dining this summer.
Two surveys have been launched to encourage both patrons and business owners to provide feedback on the See You on the Patio program:
Started in 2020, the See You on the Patio program is a city-wide initiative that provides Orillia residents with a safe way to dine outside while adhering to COVID-19 guidelines.
The program highlights restaurants throughout the city that offer open-air dining through a promotional campaign, animation program, and summer street closure on Fridays and Saturdays in the downtown core, which ran from July 2 to Sept. 4, 2021.
“The 2021 See You on the Patio program was a great success with patrons and businesses alike. As the summer started off with indoor dining restrictions still in place and ongoing reduced capacity limits, a restaurant’s ability to expand its footprint safely outside was invaluable,” said Coun. Ted Emond, Chair of the ERTF. “I was also approached by many residents who noted that the program allowed them to reconnect with friends and family in a safe setting, which from a community mental health perspective is just as important as the economic impact of the program.”
In 2020, 426 visitor survey responses and 44 business survey responses were received. The feedback gathered through the surveys helped the organization team improve the program for 2021.
The city-wide See You on the Patio program was developed by the City of Orillia and local business support organizations (Downtown Orillia Management Board, Orillia & Lake Country Tourism, the Orillia District Chamber of Commerce, and the Orillia Area Community Development Corporation). The program was designed to help bars and restaurants expand their seating, promote patronage to local restaurants, and stimulate traffic to local retailers.
“We’ve heard from many businesses and visitors that they enjoyed the See You on the Patio program this year, and we thank all those who attended or participated,” said Laura Thompson, Senior Manager of Business Development. “But even those who didn’t get a chance to come out to a patio or participate as a business are encouraged to take the survey so that we can understand how the program can be adapted in the future to attract even more patrons.”
Anyone who takes the survey is eligible to qualify for a draw to win one of two prizes of $100 Downtown Dollars. One winner will be drawn from the visitor survey responses and one from the business survey responses. The surveys will be active until Friday, Nov. 5, 2021 at noon.
To access the surveys, or more information about the 2021 See You on the Patio program, please visit orillia.ca/patio.