On the Thing About Saving Chinatowns and Making Vaccines Mandatory for Restaurant Workers

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, the province announced hit a 1-day record for Covid-19 vaccinations- a glimmer of hope in an otherwise challenging few weeks (and months…..and year). Despite a slower vaccine rollout than expected, new case numbers have been holding steady. As residents await a more robust vaccine rollout, we continue to cover how the food and beverage industry is holding up through ongoing uncertainty.

First up, Eater explains how bars and restaurants across the US are coping with unprecedented winter weather conditions.

Texas, as you know, was hit particularly hard, and in addition to suffering widespread power outages, food shortages have become a major problem: NPR reports.

Front-line food service workers reflect on what it has been like to feed their communities over the past year:

“Grocery store cashiers are among the 22 million food and agriculture workers deemed essential to the infrastructure of the nation during the early weeks of the pandemic. The diverse group encompasses workers on farms and in restaurant kitchens, workers who pack meals for schoolchildren or stock grocery shelves, workers who prepare and deliver meals—jobs that feed people and keep communities secure. People of color and women make up the majority of these workers, and immigrants are overrepresented, particularly in the meat-packing sector. The work they do is undervalued, underpaid, and often dangerous.”

As vaccine rollout continues, some restaurants in the US are grappling with whether or not to make vaccinations mandatory for employees.

Grub Street explains how the pandemic has exacerbated the effects of food deserts and accelerated the fight to address the issue.

While many of the industry issues coming to surface pre-date the virus, Covid-19 has forced many bars and restaurants to grapple with their longstanding, systemic problems.

Eater has a good point about why saving Chinatowns will never be enough if we’re not simultaneously addressing the rise in anti-Asian violence.

“The efforts to save Chinatowns through their restaurants and this year of violence against Chinese and other Asian people are symptoms of the same problem: a relationship mediated through consumption, without quite knowing what to do with the people behind those goods, who are imperiled by the physical threat of assaults, as well as longstanding threats like poverty and displacement. Americans may love Chinese food, but they don’t love the people who make it.”

With issues such as low wages and increasing penalties, delivery app workers are seeing former perks of the job quickly dwindling.

Even through tough times, BC restaurants are doing their best to support the local wine industry.

Alexandra Gill paid a visit to the recently opened Street Auntie Aperitivo House last week and found much to love about the fine dining spot. Also getting a positive review from her Gill week was East Van hideaway Straight & Marrow.

Something to look forward to: the City of Vancouver is once again opening up its summer patio applications.

Restaurant closures continue around the city and this past week came with news of Granville Island’s Edible Canada closing its doors permanently.

Similarly, East Broadway’s Black Lodge announced that it would be closing as well at the end of this month.

In recognition of Random Acts of Kindness week, Uno Gelato offered up free scoops for local health care workers.

Trump may be out of office but the legacy of his 7-step Diet Coke delivery procedure will live on in disturbing infamy.

Why one bartender chose to step out from behind the bar during the pandemic and is likely never to return.

There is 1 comment

  1. Before the entire world can be vaccinated. I would like to point out few cleaning/hygiene procedure that most restaurants and staff are not doing or doing it probably. Do not hold the rim of the glass/mug, part of the utensil that patrons are putting it in their mouth. When wiping/sanitizing the table, don’t just wipe the table top, the edges/sides and underneath. After wiping table and food crumbs off the table onto the chairs. Sanitize the chairs as well. Sanitize the salt/pepper shakers or any condiments and the serving tray. Servers should always wash their hands after handling emptied plates, utensils etc. before serving another table. You do not want cross contamination. It would be even better if restaurants can have bus boy clearing out dirty dishes, not the severs. Always wipe down the menu, card machine before and after every single use.

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