A new Facebook page has been started to encourage Hawkesbury area residents to support restaurants in the community.

Local Restaurant Support (Hawkesbury) went online April 7, shortly after former chef and restaurant manager Mike Young read an article in The Review about the struggles area eating establishments were having in coping with the most recent Ontario lockdown.

“I’ve worked in restaurants all my life, in and around Hawkesbury,” explained Young. “I know how restaurants work – they order so much stuff and then get shut down.”

Young was working as a manager at Déjà Vu Restaurant and Bar in Hawkesbury last spring, when the province was first closed down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He has since moved to employment not related to the food industry, but emphasized his career change came from a desire to try something new and was not related to the pandemic.

In its first incarnation last week, Young set up his support page with seven Hawkesbury restaurants – each allocated a day for people to order. However after receiving feedback that the setup was confusing, he has modified the focus and hopes to test out different ideas going forward, such as weekly restaurant ordering suggestions.

“Right now I’m a little worried that people are looking at it quickly and thinking they have to order every single day from all of these restaurants. I’m taking advice and I’m trying to figure out ways (to improve the page),” said Young, who modified the page to its current format later that evening. “It’s still a work in progress right now, but it’s an idea that I wanted to get out there.”

Young said he had not yet contacted any of the individual Hawkesbury restaurants currently listed on his page. “It’s mostly on my own,” he said. “I just want to encourage people to support them.”

Local Restaurant Support (Hawkesbury) is the second Facebook project for Young, who last spring founded the local Facebooks COVID-19 Music Wellness page. Over the past year COVID-19 Music Wellness has obtained more than 1,800 followers, who tune in to be entertained at home by local musicians who regularly post to the site.