On What’s Next for Hospitality and the ‘Precious Privilege’ of Dining Indoors

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 week BC health officials announced the province’s phased re-opening plan with the goal of lifting almost all restrictions as early as September. The plan included a re-opening of indoor dining this past week (still at reduced capacity) as well as an accelerated delivery of second doses of the vaccine (reduced from a 16 week gap to 8). Cautious optimism is forefront as we continue to cover how food and beverage is fairing through eased restrictions both here and abroad.

As outlined by BC health officials: timelines for reopening are contingent upon decreasing case counts and increased vaccinations rates. A good reminder to roll up the sleeves!

“Indoor dining is such a precious privilege. House parties, local vacations, late-night drinking and long-table dinners are on the horizon….But the provincial restart plan is not unconditional. The next steps are aggressively tied to decreased case counts and increased vaccination rates.”

A glimpse into the future: As the US lifts restrictions at a much faster rate, some restaurant workers are feeling more hesitant to toss the masks and social distancing.

“Eater communicated with more than a dozen Boston-area restaurant operators and workers, and, unsurprisingly, got more than a dozen different impressions about the state’s decision to lift the remaining pandemic restrictions. Some are ready to get back to some version of pre-pandemic normal, while others prefer a slower transition, whether that includes keeping everyone masked or just staff.”

South Granville will soon be home to an all-summer, weekend food truck pop-up fest starting in June.

From the owners of Minami comes Aburi To-Go. The new Japanese speciality food market just opened in Yaletown and Scout was there to watch them set up.

Good news burger-lovers: Between2Buns will be setting up a permanent shop in the old Bestie location in Chinatown.

Catch it if you can: This cereal milk donut from Mello is a must-try but the daily change in menu means you’ll need to pop by frequently to find it.

Lifting some restrictions doesn’t mean all licensed establishments feel it’s worth it to reopen just yet. In Britain, for example, a quarter of restaurant, bars and other venues have yet to reopen despite the return of inside service.

As restaurants move towards resuming full operations, some are revisiting the no-tipping model, including Zuni Cafe in San Francisco.

New York City will lift its indoor curfew on restaurants and bars today, allowing establishments to “return to the closing times that their liquor licenses or other regulations allow.”

The flaming hot controversy: NPR explains why the popular Cheetos flavour and questions around its origins have been making headlines this past week.

The new Irish Heather is almost finished in Chinatown. Take a look inside.

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