On Running Out of Ketchup and Wounded Restaurants Bracing for More Bad News

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

Last week Covid-19 case numbers remained high across the province with a final count on Friday of just over 1000 new cases in a 24 hour period. Hospital admissions continued to rise at a worrying rate as well as researchers warn that acute spaces were on the brink of being over capacity. Today officials will announce if current measures will remain in place or increase as the province continues to battle this third wave of the pandemic. As the industry braces for more bad news, we continue to cover how bars and restaurants are coping both at home and abroad.

While official announcements will likely come later today, the BC Restaurant and Food Association has already given the industry the heads up that the indoor dining ban is likely to extend into May.

The extension will probably be received with mixed reviews as some argue current restrictions remain too lenient to curb spread while others remain skeptical on the evidence to support closures.

While the province continues with an age-based approach to vaccination, they have announced that residents 18 and above will all be able to register for their vaccine by end of week — a bit of hopeful news for an industry largely made up of folks in younger age brackets.

Meanwhile in Montreal, where extensive lockdown orders and curfews have been in place for months, restaurants are innovating with park deliveries and camping table rentals.

“As of yesterday, patrons ordering from La Grand-Mère Poule/Shack Attakk can rent a table for $10. If they post about it on their social media accounts, they’ll get a gift card for that same amount for their next purchase. Some may view it as a crafty loophole to the current ban on outdoor restaurant dining, but Abrieu says he’s essentially just pairing his takeout offering with a table rental service — something he plans to continue doing even after terrasses reopen.”

One year in, industry folks across the country share what it’s been like to try to stay afloat through the pandemic.

Similarly, a few Vancouver industry folks weigh in on the effects of the pandemic on the local bar and restaurant scene.

How one nonprofit in the US is attempting to address systemic racism within the restaurant industry.

First distilleries were making hand sanitizer and now a local snack food company has pivoted to making N95’s.

How last-minute cancellations and no-shows are weighing heavy for a restaurant industry already struggling to stay afloat.

The Globe and Mail’s Alexandra Gill shares recommendations for a few hidden gems for your next takeout order.

If burgers are your ultimate comfort food, check out these recommendations to get you through the third wave.

Ready or not: the Governor of Nevada has announced that the state will open at 100% capacity starting June 1st.

Meanwhile, restaurants are reopening in NYC, but will enough people be there to fill vacant jobs?

“New York’s bar and restaurant owners say that the national hiring crisis is compounded in the city, where an exodus of hospitality workers during the pandemic has led to what they say is an unprecedented talent shortage. Adding to that, the city’s immigrant population — which makes up the majority of restaurant labor, according to the state comptroller — has decreased “substantially” in the past five years, and the city’s overall population fell by 126,355 in the months following the arrival of COVID-19 in New York. And still other business owners say that they have former employees who’ve simply exited the industry…”

Tune in: Eater will be hosting a conversation with several restaurant owners across the US tomorrow (April 20th) to discuss what it takes to re-open after a year of shutdowns.

Remember back in February when Canada was facing a butter-based controversy? Well, here’s a few tips for being a more informed dairy consumer going forward.

Curious shortages of pandemic provisions continue even one year in. First it was toilet paper and yeast. Now it’s ketchup packets and boba.

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