tuck shop toronto

Toronto restaurant is permanently moving to takeout only

A Toronto burger shop is moving to takeout only permanently and closing their walk-in area forever amid COVID-19 concerns.

TuckShop Kitchen, known for their burgers, grilled cheese and bacon, recently posted on social media that they were converting their operation to a takeout window alone, blocking off any access to the indoors.

Co-owner of TuckShop Robb Eng says they remodeled primarily to keep customers and staff safe, and to survive financially into next year, as their floor space was simply too small to make sense. Even a curbside pickup model at the front door still didn't seem good enough.

"With the strict COVID-19 measures in place, we could only allow one person at a time in our tight space, and even with that it would be questionable depending on the number of staff we had operating in the restaurant at one time," says Eng.

"We had started offering food at the front door prior to the remodel as an experiment and the response was great. But this still put our staff in close contact with customers and leaving the door wide open all day will not be a good idea in the winter and rain."

New views at Tuck Takeout

A post shared by TuckShop Kitchen (@tuckshopkitchen) on

They plan on using the extra space they'll gain inside for a wholesale operation producing their Tuck Bacon, which they're planning on making available to restaurants, for retail, and to cafes and butcher shops.

"This is a measure we are taking to mitigate the loss of office catering and businesses like FreshBooks that used to be across the street from us," says Eng.

"The challenges have been tough given the cost to afford the investment to remodel. The government programs made this possible, through the CEBA and Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy. Without that support we likely would not be operating anymore."

Despite recent challenges, TuckShop recently celebrated their fifth anniversary, and even though they weren't able to have a proper party the community still came out and showed lots of love. Tuck Shop's patio is still open for the time being.

"We are concerned about the upcoming winter so this will be our next challenge," says Eng.

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