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 471 new cases of Covid in the province. Despite ongoing delays in vaccines arriving in BC, almost 150,000 people have received their first dose. Last week, provincial health officials also announced that current Covid-19 restrictions have been extended indefinitely. As cases plateau and gatherings remain limited, we continue to cover how the food and beverage industry is managing both at home and abroad…
First up: Skip the Dishes has added a questionable “B.C Fee” to their orders after the provincial government capped the amount that third party delivery apps could charge restaurants for their services. Classy.
While New York City is beginning to vaccinate restaurant workers, we’re still waiting to get many medical staff their first dose.
After a decade of service, Gastown’s Peckinpah is closing its doors with final service taking place this Thursday.
In a bit of good news, La Taqueria’s El Camión food truck is hitting the streets once again.
This year’s Super Bowl was more likely a super bust for local bars and restaurants after BC health officials restricted promotion of the big game.
Despite Dine Out Vancouver looking a little different this year, the annual event has a record number of restaurants participating and, of course, many more takeout options.
Meanwhile, New York is planning to reinstate indoor dining starting Valentine’s Day.
In concerning news, the US restaurant industry saw another 19,400 jobs lost during the month of January.
Similarly, Grub Street explores the effects of the unemployment crisis among restaurant workers in New York.
“In November, as COVID cases started surging in New York City once again, the unemployment rate rose to 39.8 percent. December’s indoor-dining shutdown shot that number back up to 43.4 percent. The swollen unemployment rate among New York City restaurant workers is nearly four times higher than the city’s overall rate — and even the national restaurant-industry unemployment rate is far lower, at 16.1 percent. In total, it’s estimated that there are approximately 140,700 fewer jobs in New York’s restaurants, bars, and other businesses defined as “food and drinking places.”
While food workers have suffered high numbers of outbreaks in the workplace, employees working in agriculture and food processing are still struggling to get vaccinated.
“The thousands of workers who pick, pack, and process our food have become eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in many states. But they still face obstacles to actually getting the vaccine, as companies sort out their vaccination policies and advocates struggle to secure enough doses for a workforce that ranks among the most vulnerable to the coronavirus.”
After a successful fundraising campaign in 2020, Klancy Miller has launched For The Culture – a new magazine celebrating Black women and femmes in food.
Best-of lists may be on hold at the moment, but the Globe and Mail’s Alexandra Gill still nominates Say Mercy! as top contender for best new restaurant of 2020.
Despite a new year and a new government in Washington, the wine industry continues to face the same challenges: The New York Times reports.
Eater asks people who lost their sense of taste to virus what they find themselves eating these days.
“Quitting restaurant work widened my perspective enough to see its problems more clearly. My silence, I realized, was due in part to my sense that I was powerless. I was barely making a living wage, so keeping my job was critical. I knew there was a deep labor pool, so when managers told me I was easily replaceable, I believed them. And kitchens are notoriously hierarchical; “yes, chef” culture doesn’t leave a lot of room for dissenting opinions. That powerlessness I felt is a feature, not a bug, and it’s the way restaurants have operated for far too long.”
Finally, this week in food and podcasts, Reply All has launched a multi-episode series featuring interviews with former Bon Appetit employees in the wake of the magazine’s recent reckoning with a toxic and racist work environment.