For the past 12 years, Salamanders of Kemptville has cooked up the 5 Cs: Cajun, Creole and Low Country Cooking with a Canadian twist.
Like thousands of other small, independent restaurants across the province, Salamanders has struggled to ride out the pandemic. It’s all about striking a workable balance between take-out, catering services, opening a patio during warmer weather and offering inside dining when permitted with proper safety measures in place.
Owner Paul Cormier and his team realized the value of building out Salamanders’ social media channels beyond Facebook and creating an e-mail marketing list to remain engaged with their customer base. They also decided to adapt digital technology to reduce reliance on paper and to make operations and customer service more efficient and safer.
Enter Digital Main Street. Salamanders qualified for a Digital Transformation Grant and worked with DMS’s local Digital Service Squad to adopt new software and new mobile devices, implement new operating procedures, and set milestones for customer growth and other service improvements.
“This grant has contributed to what is the life-blood of restaurants everywhere in these difficult times: the capacity to change, improve and meet the needs of our honoured guests,” Paul said. “Starting in early spring with the annual grand opening of our patio, we expect to see improvements in our operation that we will be able to measure and factor into further improvements over the next year.”
The Digital Main Street program has been further extended through funding from FedDev Ontario and the Ontario Ministry for Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade (MEDJCT). The new round of funding includes $42.5 million from the Government of Canada’s Regional Relief and Recovery Fund, a national recovery initiative delivered by Canada’s regional development agencies. With $7.45 million from Ontario, this combined federal and provincial project will strengthen Ontario’s economic capacity for innovation, entrepreneurship and collaboration, and will promote the development of a strong and diversified Ontario economy. For more information, please visit digitalmainstreet.ca/ontariogrants