pay it forward

Toronto restaurant is paying it forward with free meals

Toronto restaurants are coming up with lots of creative ways to support their communities right now, and one in particular is paying it forward by offering free meals.

Throughout the month of April, Score on King (known pre-COVID-19 for outrageous Caesars) will allow anyone not in a financial position to pay for a meal to call and order one item from their takeout menu for pickup, free of charge.

Hey Toronto! Times are tough, we get that. That’s why we’re launching our new “Pay It Score-ward” initiative. We want to help those in our community who are having a little trouble make ends meet right now with a hot meal. All we ask in return is for you to pay it forward in any form you can, whenever you can. Here's how it works: For the month of April, If you are not in a financial position to pay for a meal, call Score on King 416-519-4654 and let us know you are ordering through the Pay It Score-ward program. Order any one item from our takeout menu (excluding nachos). Come pick up your meal free of charge. We will get through this together! With love, The Score Army ❤️ • 🎥: @peterverge

A post shared by Score on King (@scoreonking) on

"All we ask, is that you pay it forward to someone else in need when you can," says Jesse Ritchie of Score.

"We recommend buying someone else a meal once you're back on your feet. It started during a meeting of how to drive take-out/delivery revenue. We felt like at this point, instead of using our platform to prolong our business while it's closed, we decided to go this route.

"We are in an OK place for a few months with the help from our landlords and suppliers who have been working with us to make sure we don't have to close our doors permanently. We had an amazing first year in Toronto and want to be around for when things get back to normal, whatever that will be."

According to Ritchie, the concept has been embraced wholeheartedly.

"We have seen a huge outpour of support in calls, emails and social media messages from people wanting to help us out," says Ritchie. "At this point, we will cover the cost of this for the people who call us directly, but if they want to spread the 'Pay it Score-ward' movement, we encourage them to donate to local food banks, shelters, etc."

Customers have already been paying it forward. "A couple of beauties, Dylan and Kent ordered take-out and ordered two more meals for people they knew who needed it," says Ritchie.

Score just started up the program, so this should be just the beginning of a chain reaction of acts of kindness.

"We just launched it last night and hope that we will be able to provide someone who may not be in a position for a restaurant quality meal to order it without worrying about the cost," says Ritchie. "We want this to catch on so this movement spreads to other businesses, and we can help showcase some good during these difficult times. "

Takeout menu items include options like cauliflower wings, avocado fries, salads, burgers, fried chicken and pulled pork mac n' cheese. Score has also been doing a pickup happy hour, and has offered healthcare workers and first responders half off takeout orders. 

Lead photo by

Jesse Ritchie

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