SkipTheDishes gives a virtual tour of generosity

Jon Hamm films an ad at home to keep up momentum for the delivery app's efforts to support its restaurant partners.


With the help of pitchman Jon Hamm, SkipTheDishes is celebrating its “Hungry to Help” initiative, which lets customers add additional tips to their orders that go directly to local restaurants who may be struggling during the pandemic.

Hamm, from the comfort of his home office and bedecked in a maple leaf sweater, once again references various forms of Canadiana, this time while providing a virtual tour of Canadian towns and cities via Zoom backgrounds, all the while commending them for the level of generosity they’ve shown through SkipTheDishes’ service.

At the beginning of the pandemic, Cheryl Radisa, VP of marketing for SkipTheDishes, says the brand was diligent in making sure there was nothing in the marketplace that was tone deaf or could be viewed as profiteering during a situation when delivery was the only option for people to get meals from restaurants. Communications, primarily through paid buys on social, focused on practical things consumers wanted more information about and features they were looking for, such as conveying confidence in contactless delivery, the safety protocols of its restaurant partners and emphasizing options with no added service fees and free delivery.

Now, the strategy has evolved to boosting and acknowledging restaurant partners with “Hungry to Help,” which Canadians have used to donate over $500,000 so far. Radisa says the online video, being pushed through SkipTheDishes’ social channels, is meant to recognize those who have made contributions so far, part of an effort to keep the momentum behind the donations moving.

The donation initiative was launch in March, at the same SkipTheDishes launched a 30-day support package for restaurants that initially included a 15% rebate on the total commissions paid to the delivery service. The package has since been extended and the rebate increased to 25%, which has directed more than $5 million back to restaurants so far.

Radisa says SkipTheDishes has done a lot with different key stakeholders beyond restaurateurs. She says food security efforts have always been a pillar for the brand – it committed $1 million to Food Banks Canada – and adds that will continue to going forward. This week it also partnered with Molson Coors to provide 20,000 front-line health-care workers with a free meal of their choice from SkipTheDishes, coinciding with National Nursing Week.

Recently, competing food delivery service Foodora announced its exit from Canada, citing issues in earning share in a crowded market, despite an increase in demand during the pandemic. Radisa acknowledges that meal delivery is still a crowded space with lots of competitors, but it “gets a lot of positive feedback about being a Canadian bred-and-developed company,” hence why it has been and continues to be a focus of its campaigns with Hamm. As reported in strategy, CEO Kevin Edwards has said the brand’s share of the Canadian market is just under 50%, and that SkipTheDishes sees potential for growth in group and breakfast ordering.

Arrivals + Departures is the agency partner for the current campaign, and Proof provided public relations support.