A chain of family restaurants is bringing a 1950s style of dining back to the city.
Valerie Funk is the owner of multiple Smitty's Family Restaurants in Manitoba, including five in Winnipeg.
As with many restaurants and businesses, they have learned to pivot during the COVID restrictions placed on Manitobans as of late.
"For people that are maybe just a little bit older than the teens and young twenty-year-olds, we used to have this back in the day, a carhop," says Funk.
Four of the five Smitty's in Winnipeg offer this carhop service each day between 5:00 pm and 8:00 pm. They have done it since Mother's Day in early May.
"Although we don't have the roller skates that they used to have many years ago, we have invested in these trays that hook onto a window of a vehicle. Our servers are out there and we can run and take your order right at your vehicle and we serve it right on the tray."
Customers have reacted positively to the carhop idea.
"You can enjoy a meal somewhere other than your home, and you can feel like you're going out somewhere yet the same household rules can apply," she says.
The restaurant chain did this during the first lockdowns in 2020. With the third wave of COVID in Manitoba and many more restrictions, the group thought to bring it back.
"You can't do too much these days so you do whatever you can."