Thirty local restaurant owners with booths at Taste of Saskatchewan expect an influx of business after the annual food festival.
Paula Nowakowski, owner of Wing World, said her unique food items featured at the festival are what entices people to come into her restaurant.
“There’s definitely an influx after taste of Sask. for particular items like the deep fried pickles and deep fried Mars Bars,” Nowakowski explained outside of her booth on the last day of the festival.
“Some people maybe didn’t get a chance to go to Taste of Sask., but they know it’s available all the time at our restaurants so they come in after that and then they get the chance to check out the full menu.”
This year, five restaurants earned their spot in the festival.
Six months before the event, Taste of Saskatchewan coordinators choose the restaurants based on food items and sales.
“Each year for Taste of Saskatchewan we’ll actually drop our weakest performers,” Scott Ford, a coordinator of the festival, told CTV News.
“And we fill those openings from our waiting list we’ve gathered, and which restaurant we think will be a good fit for our program.”
Some owners of smaller restaurants close their storefronts during Taste of Saskatchewan because they do not have enough staff to keep both running, and anticipate they will have greater business during the festival.
Being unable to meet the demand of both the festival and the restaurant deters some owners from opening a booth.
O’Shea’s Irish Pub has been open for 15 years, but this is the first time they have a booth at Taste of Saskatchewan.
“We’re busy in the summer, but we thought this would be fun to get our staff out of the restaurant and get some more exposure,” Daniel Ford Beavis, owner of O’Sheas, said.
“There’s lots of opportunity for people to see our restaurant, see what kind of good food we have and they can come and see us.”