Theo’s Restaurant is throwing people’s bill in the fireplace.
As a fun way to heat up mid-week dining, Theo’s is offering to burn one bill in the fire every Tuesday and Wednesday at 7 p.m. They choose one lucky table to throw their bill into the fireplace.
The wood burning fireplace is a focal point of the cozy restaurant and even more so now. Theo’s owner Gregory Condonopoulos said he has already been through six cords of wood and winter is still long from over.
The creative promotion kicked off Tuesday, Feb. 9 and already some amazing stories are coming out of it.
The first couple to burn their bill was the owners of Epic Cycling Wine Adventure Tours who were out for dinner on Tuesday, Feb. 9, said Condonopoulos.
On the second night, the chosen couple refused to burn their bill, Condonopoulos said.
The couple told Condonopoulos they have been supporting Theo’s through take out for all these months during the pandemic and this was the first time they got to enjoy dine-in.
“They said ‘we just can’t accept you paying the bill during this pandemic and with what restaurants have had to go through,’” Condonopoulos said.
“I told them, it’s a bad idea to argue with a Greek,” he said with a laugh.
So Condonopoulos took their bill and threw it in the fire anyways.
It turned out, the couple paid the bill anyways, leaving their server a $180 tip.
The server wanted to continue the giving momentum so she split the tip with the kitchen and hostesses.
“It’s already been such a great experience. It’s something whimsical and fun to do during these difficult times,” Condonopoulos said.
Theo’s, located at 687 Main St., is one of Penticton’s most iconic restaurants, having been part of the city for decades.
Condonopoulos took over as owner of Theo’s in July 2019, from the Theodosakis family. Theo Theodasaki is still a regular at the restaurant, keeping Condonopoulos in line, he joked.
|Flaming Saganaki by the fireplace at Theos with Theo himself. (Theo’s Facebook photo)|
Restaurants have been hit hard from COVID-19 restrictions that include reducing their seating capacity.
“We’ve had a really good three weeks and we are sold out for our Sunday seating for Valentine’s,” he said.
“I’m really grateful for our customers and for what we’ve created here which is a safe and friendly environment.”
But even when a seating is sold out, Theo’s is only able to be at one-third capacity.
“We are lucky that we are such a large restaurant so we can really space people out. But for the smaller restaurants they don’t have that luxury. Some of them aren’t going to make it through this pandemic and that’s awful.”
Take out still makes up 30 per cent of Theo’s revenue. But more people are seeking out the dine in experience after a year of staying at home.
Guests have been enjoying Theo’s famous seafood platter and their saganaki (cheese on fire) and moussaka which Condonopoulos said is great comfort food for these cold nights.
– To qualify you must be a table of 2, have made a reservation and must be present to win. The promo doesn’t include gratuity.