On Vaccines for Restaurant Workers and the Georgia Straight’s Respect For Hospitality

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

BC’s recent decline in new Covid-19 cases is in keeping with a trend health officials are seeing across the country. This past Friday came with news of 508 new cases in the province. As numbers continue to plateau and the vaccine rollout ramps up, officials are reminding the public that caution is still required to ensure new cases continue to trend downwards. And so, with glimmers of light on the horizon, we continue to cover how the food and beverage industry is fairing through the second wave…

Despite the news of a comprehensive provincial vaccination plan in the coming months, many restaurants are anticipating significant challenges well into 2021.

How the 11th hour New Years Eve public health order affected some local restaurants more than others.

Even amid so many challenges for restaurants this past year, we’re still seeing new spots open, including the Vancouver House location of Autostrada, which is set to launch this Thursday.

Local chef Bardia Ilbeiggi pens an OP-ED on the possibility of changing the culture of restaurant kitchens, starting at the very top.

“In the cutthroat industry of hospitality where hours are long, salaries are low and the lifestyle is generally physically and mentally tiring, chefs need to take on the role of a compassionate mentor, in which they can harness talent and lead their team to success, day in and day out.”

The strain on food banks over the past year has made it clear that the root causes of food insecurity require more than short term solutions: Global News reports.

Gastown’s Pourhouse undergoes a concept revamp to appeal to current appetites for comfort food.

And speaking of comfort food, Scout continues its tour of the best comfort food in the city, including these thumbprint cookies from Flourist.

Georgia Straight editor Charlie Smith shared his top 10 personal tips for local restaurants during the pandemic, and it didn’t go over very well. His so-called “tips” offended many in the hospitality trade, but the article’s tone deafness began with its opening paragraph, which comically characterized Smith’s estimation of his own powers:

These are tough times for the restaurant industry. And this morning, I’m really not in the mood to write an eviscerating review that might contribute to a Metro Vancouver business going bankrupt in the middle of a pandemic.

How benevolent. Several dozen industry workers have since left eviscerating comments on the piece, including this doozy from a well known bar manager:

“As much as I love it when a middle-aged white man with no experience in my field tells me how to do my job, kindly keep your diary entries to yourself. Your holier-than-though attitude has you banned from any of my venues.”

One can only hope Smith’s article will be followed by an equally detailed list of recommendations to patrons on how to treat industry staff like human beings in the middle of a global health crisis.

Thankfully, now that 45 is out of office, Biden is instituting more stringent safety guidelines for workplaces that will hopefully create safer environments for restaurant and food industry workers.

While he’s at it, Biden has also introduced legislation creating a pathway to citizenship for more than 11 million undocumented workers, many of whom work in the food sector.

And of course one of his first orders of business was to remove that Diet Coke button on the resolute desk.

Seeing as you can order this dish in for delivery, there’s no excuse not to try PiDGiN’s pork belly rice bowl. I mean, look at that thing…

Food and Wine shares new research that suggests the pandemic may have lasting effects on the way we eat and drink for years to come.

Similarly, NPR spotlights a number of people who got better acquainted with their kitchens over the past year.

Bon Appetit on how a single dish illustrates the effects of the pandemic, not only on the restaurant that serves it but also on the entire supply chain.

We’ve heard it many times but we should never ever forget that the convenience of those delivery apps come at a cost and most often it’s at the expense of restaurants and those who work there.

“This third-party delivery ecosystem has caused death by a thousand cuts for restaurants for the past two decades. As fees have ratcheted up, restaurants have been fighting a losing battle: What used to be a 5 percent per order fee for restaurants in the early 2000s rose to 15 percent by 2010 and stands closer to 30 percent today.”

Finally, as vaccine rollouts continue, restaurant workers ask when they will be eligible to receive their first dose.

There are 0 comments

On Believing in Chef Nicolas Cage and Hospitality Workers Living Decently

In her latest read of the food and drink headlines, Talia finds salmon in trouble and patrons who should just stay home.

On Menu Prices Going Up and Customers Fighting Amongst Themselves

In her latest read of the food and drink headlines, Talia finds fewer cooks in the kitchen and Portland lauded for its pizza.

On Suddenly Taking More Tables and Toiling Away in Potentially Lethal Temperatures

In her latest read of the food and drink headlines, Talia finds another chef being a jerk and the labour shortage grinding on.

On No More Takeout Cocktails and Chefs Worrying About the Rising Cost of Food

In her latest read of the food and drink headlines, Talia finds food security woes and new spots getting good reviews.