On Serving Booze in the Dark Again and Struggling to Staff Up for Summer

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

As we head into the first week of summer, we continue to see a drop in new Covid-19 cases. As of Friday, over 76% of adults in BC had received at least a first dose of the vaccine. These rates bode well for phase three of the province’s reopening plan which is set to take effect on July 1st. As we gear up for a busier summer than last, we continue to cover how bars and restaurants are recovering with an easing of Covid-based restrictions.

First up, the struggle to find workers continues for the industry. Grub Street explains why.

“Workers are staying away because the industry has never treated them with respect, and if restaurateurs expect to change nothing, and return to a time when they could count on a huge stack of resumes from highly skilled individuals who would put up with all manner of abuse for meagre pay, they are mistaken.”

We already knew that Covid-19 could result in short and long-term loss of sense of smell and taste but 16 months into the pandemic and researchers are learning that some survivors are experiencing lingering food aversions as well.

A week into phase two of the province’s reopening plan and bars and restaurants are already seeing some relief with extended liquor service until midnight.

To celebrate the gradual easing of restrictions, The Globe and Mail’s Alexandra Gill suggests a visit to Bar Gobo.

Taking the concession stand to the next level: The Vancouver Sun’s Mia Stainsby pays a visit to West Vancouver’s Boat Shed.

How New York’s immigrant bicycle couriers are banding together to demand better from major food delivery apps.

Demand for couriers grew during the pandemic, yet their conditions only deteriorated. Lockdowns cut into their hours, leaving many workers struggling to pay bills and feed families. Eighty percent of gig workers surveyed in the summer of 2020 by the University of California, Los Angeles, Labor Center said they weren’t making enough to meet household expenses. A third did not have enough for groceries.

Punch Magazine on how Uncle Nearest founder Fawn Weaver is changing the American Whiskey industry.

You know all those folks that found a love of baking during the pandemic? Some are turning that love into a profession.

While the oyster industry took a big hit during the pandemic, they’re gearing up for a busy summer season: The New York Times reports.

It’s been 16 months of needing a whole lot of comfort food, so why stop now? Check out Nightingale’s unique spaghetti vongole, the newest addition to Scout’s indulgent Comfort Food Guide to Vancouver.

While pandemic restrictions may be easing, food insecurity is not and the Vancouver Food Bank is anticipating increased demand this summer.

A bit of good news for a struggling industry: The City has announced that it will waive all patio permit fees for bars and restaurants in 2021.

While they’re looking for ways to help, perhaps the city could also provide some rent relief to Historic Chinatown restaurant Floata – seeing as they are, in fact, the restaurant’s landlord.

A stacked and generous offer: all El Furniture Warehouse locations across BC are offering first responders and health care workers free burgers for life.

Finally and predictably, local cannabis dispensary Budway is on the hook for $32,000 after being taken to court by Subway for trademark infringement.

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