'A small incentive': Northern Chicken offers discount with proof of vaccination

· The Pulse
By Sharon Yeo
in the Food Roundup
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Local businesses have begun offering incentives to encourage Edmontonians to get the COVID-19 vaccine including Glass Bookshop, which is offering 10% off for a “celebratory vaccine order”, and Fleisch, which is accepting vaccine selfies as entries for a chance to win a $100 gift card.

On May 7, Northern Chicken jumped into the fray, offering 5% off meals with proof, valid on the day of the vaccination. Co-owner Andrew Cowan credits his partner Matt Phillips with the idea.

“It’s a small incentive to get people to get vaccinated,” said Cowan. “We talked about it, and it fits with who we are and what we do.”

Northern Chicken was an early adopter of voluntarily shifting to a take-out and delivery-only model in November, prior to provincial restrictions limiting in-person dining introduced in early December. Even when indoor dining restrictions lifted in February, Northern Chicken chose to remain closed to in-person dining, citing a need to minimize risk to their staff.

Northern Chicken co-owner Andrew Cowan

Northern Chicken co-owner Andrew Cowan. (Kristin Zabos Photography/Instagram)

Since introducing the incentive, over 30 people have claimed the discount. Cowan isn’t sure how long the promotion will be offered but is optimistic that greater vaccination rates will help move things forward. He shared that nearly half his staff have already been vaccinated.

“The quicker we can get people vaccinated, restaurants and businesses can get back to normal,” said Cowan.

Although they are doing a reasonable amount of take-out and delivery orders, Cowan is looking forward to the day when it is safe to welcome diners back again.

“We’re itching to get people back into the restaurant,” said Cowan, without committing to a timeline or a trigger for when he would feel comfortable with in-person dining again. “It’s social with staff but it’s nice to have new people come in, having friends and family come by,” said Cowan. “I miss it.”