SkipTheDishes cooks something up with Mitch Marner

Just in time for what Toronto Maple Leafs fans hope will be a strong end to the regular season, SkipTheDishes is introducing a limited -ime promotion with one of the team’s biggest stars, Mitch Marner.

Launching Thursday (March 2), “Mitch’s Dishes” will be a virtual restaurant, offering a menu of food—23 items in all—curated by Chopped Canada-winning chef Matt Rosen and approved by Marner. SkipTheDishes is describing this as a “pop-up delivery experience” in 50 locations across Ontario, including Thunder Bay, Sudbury, Kingston and Niagara Falls for at least four weeks.

New advertising, developed in-house, will also run on digital and social channels, with creative highlighting food options—including “Crispy Chicken Wraparound” and the “Goalie Pulled Pork”—as well as Marner’s “discerning food tastes.” Teasers were already live on SkipTheDishes platforms on Tuesday.

SkipTheDishes is the official food deliver app of the NHL, and featured Marner in an another campaign last year.

While the food apps are mostly known for delivering from established restaurant brands, they’ve also led to the growth in ghost kitchens and virtual restaurants.

The former usually have no retail or dine-in locations and are just kitchens preparing food for delivery online. Virtual restaurants, meanwhile, are typically part of actual restaurants. Skip the Dishes does not have any of its own virtual restaurants it has “strong relationships with virtual kitchen operators across the country,” said Cheryl Radisa, vice-president of marketing.

For example, it worked with the virtual food hall Kitchen Hub to open a pop-up Mooby’s—the restaurant from Kevin Smith’s popular film Clerks—in Toronto in late 2020, and is working with “several of our independent restaurant partners,” for Mitch’s Dishes, said Radisa. “Our virtual kitchen strategy team sees opportunities in this particular space, and continues to look for new and innovative offerings for our customers,” she said.

SkipTheDishes did not say if it is working with a restaurant for “Mitch’s Dishes,” and did not immediately respond to a request for more information.

“We always strive to bring Canadians together through food, and who knows more about game-day food rituals than Mitch Marner himself,” said Radisa, in a release announcing the campaign. “We’re thrilled that Skip can bring hockey fans and food lovers together over a restaurant curated just for them and provide a little extra joy to those in need along the way.”

A portion of proceeds from “Mitch’s Dishes” will be donated to the Marner Assist Foundation, which fights food insecurity across the country.

David Brown