WINDSOR, ONT. -- A new initiative is offering cash prizes of $11,000 to customers and food service businesses in Windsor and Essex County.

The local support program, called ‘#DineYQG’, was launched on Monday by the Windsor-Essex Chamber of Commerce, Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island (TWEPI) and presenting sponsor CUPE 543.

“#DineYQG will support locally owned restaurants, bakeries, coffee shops, take and bakes, wineries, breweries and distillers at a time when their businesses have been severely impacted by COVID-19,” said a news release from the chamber.

Most local restaurants remain open for take-out, delivery or curbside orders, but no in-person dining is currently allowed under provincial lockdown guidelines.

According to the latest survey from Restaurants Canada, eight out of 10 restaurants are either losing money, or barely scraping by, 65 per cent are continuing to operate at a loss while 19 per cent are just breaking even.

The chamber says one in six restaurants are likely to close permanently in Windsor-Essex, a number likely to increase based on the duration of the lockdown. The sector has seen a 35 per cent reduction in employment from September 2020 to December of last year, a decrease of 3600 jobs.

Diners can visit for menus, specials, hours, and delivery info for their favourite local eateries. By submitting a photo of a receipt, a picture inside or outside the restaurant, or of an actual food delivery, diners can enter a contest to win weekly cash prizes of $100. The restaurant they supported will also immediately win $1000.

There is $11,000 in cash prizes from Feb. 1 through April 10. Bonus entries are available for sharing on social media, using #DineYQG.


Local restaurants can submit a free listing on the #DineYQG web site, with their contact information, hours, menus, specials, payment options and delivery partners. There are currently over 400 listings in the Restaurant Guide, categorized by food type and geographic region.

#DineYQG marketing tools can be accessed through the web site and downloaded for free, allowing eateries to use on premise and in their advertising campaigns.

Restaurants can benefit from various support programs too. The first 35 eligible eateries to apply will receive a complimentary 12-month Windsor-Essex Chamber of Commerce Membership ($750 value) courtesy of CUPE 543, a one-year Membership to the Ontario Restaurant Hotel Motel Association (ORHMA) of Windsor Essex as well as no-charge business and personal banking and financial coaching services from Libro Credit Union. Plus, one restaurant will win a $500 gift card from Gordon Food Service. The application form can be found at

The Chamber will be hosting a virtual Information Session on Feb. 4, connecting restaurant owners with various sponsors and partners of the #DineYQG campaign. Participants will receive details on programs like Digital Main Street, financial counselling, vendor offers and peer support.

The program is an extension of the successful #ShopYQG campaign launched by the Chamber and TWEPI in the spring of 2020.