As the weekend drew to a close, one Toronto Portuguese restaurant made a desperate post on social media letting people know they were stuck with 300 extra chickens after a flurry of cancelled orders.
Best Portuguese Chicken wrote they were in need of help and wanted to donate the fresh, uncooked chickens to a good cause in a post on their Instagram story.
Though the full impact of further restrictions was felt by most people over the past few days, BPC was already struggling with cancelled orders by mid-week last week.
By Thursday, they already had around 50 to 60 chickens left over from orders that had cancelled on Wednesday.
“One of the businesses whom had ordered from us on Thursday were really nice and had asked us to charge the order and donate the food, and we did, to the local fire department,” Kyle Nascimento of Best Portuguese Chicken tells blogTO.
That was a temporary fix for that day, but then on Friday about five more orders were cancelled, resulting in 100 left over chickens.
“We have to pre-order chickens from the chicken distributor two days in advance so they can package and deliver on time,” says Nascimento.
“I had orded 42 cases with 16 chickens in each to come in on Friday to cover all the orders for the weekend and walk-ins. I had ordered all those chickens because this is normally our busiest time of year and a lot of businesses call us for same-day orders.”
History repeated itself on Saturday, though, lots of people calling in to cancel rather than place orders on what is normally their busiest day of the year. They usually sell 150 to 200 chickens that day, and only sold 95.
“This lockdown talk the past week had understandably made people flip flop and continue to change plans which in turn does not help us when we’ve already ordered all the supplies and now are stuck sitting on them if they are not perishable, or eventually having to donate or even disposing of this food,” says Nascimento.
“The restaurant industry is getting hit over and over again and it’s getting harder and harder to survive.”
At least for the sake of not wasting food, fortunately Best Portuguese Chicken found people to pick up the extra chickens and they’re all accounted for.
200 of them are being picked up to go to Feed Scarborough, and someone is in contact with multiple shelters to take care of the others.