Ottawa’s ByWard market attracts people from all around the world with its vibrant shopping, food, arts and entertainment. For those seeking traditional comfort food in the market, look no further than The King Eddy restaurant. The King Eddy is a family-owned affair that first opened in 2014. Owned by the Thompson family, their mission is to serve homemade traditional diner foods to Ottawa locals and tourists alike. From burgers to fried chicken, their menu items are all prepared fresh in house and are created to bring back fond memories of favourite childhood meals.
As one of the top Uber Eats sellers in Ottawa, The King Eddy was in a good position going into the pandemic. Unlike other restaurants that had to scramble to set up delivery and takeout systems, they had already had their systems in place for two years. In addition to Uber Eats, they typically offer delivery and takeout services directly through their website to avoid Uber’s hefty commission fees. Since the re-opening of their patio, they’ve temporarily paused this direct delivery service, but plan on reinstating it as summer wraps up and their patio closes. Assistant General Manager Johnny Bonney describes the decision to go digital as one of the best decisions they’ve made as a restaurant.
“We saw the market going in that direction and adapted. Our food is well-suited for takeout anyways.” Explained Johnny. “Everyone at the restaurant understood that we needed to go digital and make it easy for people to access our food.”
The pandemic has brought on many unforeseen challenges for The King Eddy, but they found that their biggest challenge was reworking their supply chain. They had to rethink the types of products they could order, opting for individual cans of beer instead of their typical kegs to limit the spread of germs. With each industry facing different challenges, there were many supply chain uncertainties and they found it difficult to source consistent chicken or beef. Each day held a new challenge in sourcing ingredients and they were forced to minimize the menu to cope with limitations.
Formerly a 24-hour restaurant, The King Eddy was forced to cut down their operating hours. With slower sales than they would typically have, it wasn’t feasible to pay 24 hours worth of wages each day. They’ve noted that industry-wide, early morning breakfast sales have taken the hardest hit, followed closely by lunch venues. Breakfast is easy to make, and the messaging to stay home has encouraged Canadians to simply opt for toast and coffee, to put it simply. Johnny doesn’t know if the breakfast industry will ever be what it once was. As for lunch, restaurants city-wide including The King Eddy are seeing the effects of a population that’s working remotely. People aren’t working downtown anymore, and for restaurants, this means no lunch rush.
“We’re forever grateful for the support we’ve received.” States Johnny. “We didn’t know if people were going to come out, but people have adapted. As for us, we’re taking things one day at a time.”
For more information on The King Eddy, or to order some traditional American diner food, please visit https://www.kingeddyburgers.com/.