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The next time you’re in Maid Marian’s Diner, don’t be surprised if you overhear someone order their “filete de res” medium rare and their “huevos” over easy.
The steak and eggs in the King Richard Feast are one of the items on the Charlottetown diner’s version of its menu translated from English to Spanish.
“We have a lot of customers that come in with different nationalities. And, we’re really trying to welcome everyone to Maid Marian’s, not just English speaking,” said Stephanie Drake, who bought the diner in 2017 with her husband, Robert MacLellan.
This summer, Drake noticed that a lot of Spanish-speaking seasonal workers were coming into the diner every weekend and were having trouble ordering from the English menu.
Also this summer, Drake’s oldest daughter’s boyfriend, a Canadian who happens to be originally from Mexico City, visited Charlottetown and helped with the Spanish translation for a new version of the menu.
“It was great. I would bring it down to the table every weekend when the guys would come in, and they just loved it. They really appreciated it,” she said.
"...With one of our target markets being younger generations, college students with so many international students, it’s very important that we make it as welcoming and friendly as possible for them." -Gabrielle Richard
Drake said the Spanish workers’ favourite menu item was the King Richard Feast.
“And, they loved the coffee. I couldn’t keep it in their mugs fast enough. It was so sweet.”
The diner has about 10 Spanish menus.
Drake said the diner is planning on adding Mandarin and French translated versions. The diner is also open to suggestions about other languages for the menu that could help customers.
“Absolutely. If there is a need out there, we would like to fulfil the need, for sure,” said Drake.
Gabrielle Richard, 20, works in marketing at the diner. She is also a student at Holland College in the marketing and advertising management program.
She helped with the design and layout of the Spanish menus in terms of making them easy to read, as well as compact.
Richard sees the menus as appealing to local customers, tourists and students.
“We always get lots of people from all over the world. As well, Charlottetown is so diverse and multicultural. And, with one of our target markets being younger generations, college students with so many international students, it’s very important that we make it as welcoming and friendly as possible for them. And, it makes it more comfortable for them if they’re not worrying about ordering the wrong thing,” she said.