On Seattle’s Restaurant Ruins and the Hidden Threat to Hospitality Professionals

The Intelligence Brief is our weekly compendium of food and drink news sourced from outlets all over the world, including right here at home.

This past Friday came with news of another 155 new cases of Covid-19 in the province. With an active case count of over 1,500 and another 3,713 people under active public health monitoring, health officials continue to keep a close watch on the evolving picture of the Coronavirus as we move into cold and flu season. As restaurants pivot and adapt, we look at how the industry is holding up through ongoing uncertainty and change…

Wondering what precautions Vancouver restaurants are taking to protect staff and patrons during the pandemic? This anonymous IG account has popped up detailing recent dining experiences and safety measures in place around the city.

As restrictions tighten in certain parts of Ontario, restaurants in other parts of the province are restricting out-of-town guests from dining indoors.

As one of the first American cities to go into lockdown, the New York Times examines the toll the pandemic has taken on the Seattle restaurant scene:

“People ask, ‘Why don’t you take the boards off the windows?’” said Jean Nakayama, the owner of Maneki, Seattle’s oldest Japanese restaurant. Her response: “Let’s wait until after the election to see what happens.”

Losing one’s sense of smell and/or taste due to the coronavirus is a hidden threat that hospitality professionals face with a positive test. The virus altered this bartender’s sense of taste and it’s been more than 7 months since his diagnosis.

No stars for 2020: The Michelin Guide has decided to forgo its prestigious restaurant guide for the year due to the pandemic.

Due to a sharp rise in Covid cases, authorities in several French cities are now forcing restaurants to close by 9pm:

For Romain Le Cordroch, chef of MUMI restaurant in Paris, closing in the evening also seems inevitable. “We will surely close in order to benefit from state aid. Unfortunately, one service will not be enough for us. In the meantime, we will be open for lunch for our loyal customers.” But even though the situation is hard, there is no question that Le Cordroch will let it get him down: “In the afternoon we will cook to help associations, as we have already done during the confinement. I will also cook a dinner for the most disadvantaged at the Refettorio on 26 October, that will be served very early so that everyone can be gone around 8 pm. It’s hard, but we must not forget that there are always worse than us.”

You know folks are seriously missing travel when paying hundreds of dollars to sit in a grounded plane and eat a meal becomes an appealing option.

Food lovers inevitably have a long list of all the restaurants they dream of dining at one day. Grub Street grapples with the very real possibility of those establishments closing before we get there.

“There were a lot of places I didn’t go, but I liked that the potential to go always existed. So much of the magic of the city is not about what you actually do, but what, under the right unspecified circumstances, you could do. There is a world in which I might have been a regular at Egg, a fluke that could have made me a lifetime staple at Fedora. Every closed restaurant you didn’t go to offered you a version of yourself that will now never exist.”

This week in “How Not to Treat Restaurant Staff,” a server out of Philadelphia shares a rather offensive bill left by patrons after he asked them to wear a mask when they weren’t seated.

“Obviously nobody should argue with a worker who just wants them to wear a mask, because it is a) fundamentally deranged behavior and b) you shouldn’t need someone else to tell you to wear a mask. This story is, however, a handy reminder to generously tip your servers — this is what they deal with on a daily basis — and also advocate for the kinds of coherent public health policies that might have avoided this cascade of nightmares in the first place.”

As the industry prepares to brave the cold weather, Eater explores how some restaurants are planning to survive the winter months during the pandemic.

Three celebrated Italian chefs weigh in on their hopes and expectations for a post-Covid restart:

In an effort to help employees get to the polls, some restaurants in the US are giving their staff time off to vote.

In preparation for Halloween, experts share a few creative suggestions for celebrating the holiday safely.

While it may be more difficult to gather over good food these days, you can still get your hands on some of Vancouver’s most delectable wares at the upcoming Got Craft? Virtual market for foodies.

As if this year hasn’t been hard enough on the industry, a massive fire in the Cambie Village destroyed several businesses this past week, including two restaurants.

While some delivery apps have recently reduced their restaurant fees, the temporary decreases may not go far enough for restaurants to make sustainable margins.

Finally, in a bit of uplifting news, this creative human took their longing to dine out and turned it into the ultimate restaurant experience for the tiniest of guests.

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