A Restaurant’s Guide to the Ontario Digital Transformation Grant


We’ve had a lot of questions about Digital Mainstreet and the Digital Transformation Grant. In response, we decided to write a quick article addressing the most popular questions and how restaurants can take advantage of this great grant.

What is the Digital Transformation Grant?

In October, the Province of Ontario and the Ontario Business Improvement Area Association (OBIAA) announced the Digital Transformation Grant. It is a one-time $2,500 grant that restaurants inside of a BIA or central business district can apply for. The grant is to help main street businesses improve their digital operations. There are only 2000 grants available for all Ontario businesses and they are allocated on a first-come-first-serve basis.

Digital operations you say… what are some examples for my restaurant?

  • Build an amazing new website (on Sociavore ?)
  • New POS software – i.e. Square for Restaurants, TouchBistro and others
  • Social media or marketing software – i.e. Mailchimp email marketing

What’s required to apply for the grant?

Restaurants that would like to apply for $2,500 Digital Transformation Grant must:

  1. Complete a survey – Determine your current technology use and areas of improvement. (10 minutes)
  2. Complete the online training program – The training are videos and organized into 10 topics. You will need to complete quizzes after each topic along with a final quiz. (8 hours)
  3. Create a Digital Transformation Plan –The plan includes outlining business goals, required purchases, a way to achieve the business goals, and how you’ll measure success. (2 hours)

How long will it take to receive the $2,500?

The application gets reviewed by the OBIAA. Once approved, the restaurant will receive a grant agreement to sign. From application to approval takes about 3-4 weeks based on the experience of our restaurants so far.

Once the OBIAA receives the signed grant agreement, the OBIAA will release the $2,500 grant as a cheque or a direct transfer.

I’m convinced. I need a new restaurant website and I want to know what Sociavore can do.

Sociavore is an approved restaurant website vendor with the Digital Main Street Program and with our support our clients have been successful at receiving the $2,500 grant.

We power websites for hundreds of the leading restaurants in Canada and the US including Gusto 101Madrina and Beertown. Restaurants love working with us because we’re also restaurant owners and care about the guest experience as much as they do.

Sociavore is a digital restaurant platform that includes:

  • your own amazing mobile-responsive website completely optimized for your restaurant’s business goals
  • guest messaging
  • reservations
  • social media publishing & Instagram-importing
  • catering & private dining form builder
  • event management
  • integrations with services such as OpenTable, Mailchimp, and others

Sociavore is always evolving and restaurants on our service never have to upgrade to get new features. Upcoming features include e-commerce capabilities such as digital gift cards, online catering ordering, Google My Business integration, and more.

Does Sociavore have a plan that gets the most out of the Digital Transformation Grant?

You bet. But, Sociavore is only able to offer 50 (41 left) exclusive Digital Transformation Grant packages (a $5,000+ value for just $2,500). Sociavore’s Digital Transformation Grant package includes:

  • Support and personalized assistance with the Digital Transformation Grant application including the Digital Transformation plan
  • Access to the full suite of Sociavore features
  • We build your restaurant website and get it ready for launch in 10 business days

To get started on the Digital Transformation Grant, book a quick demo with us here or send me an email.

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