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On Suddenly Taking More Tables and Toiling Away in Potentially Lethal Temperatures

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

On Friday the province announced just 35 new cases of Covid-19. Vaccine uptake continues to be high as almost 78% of adults have received a first dose. Last week also saw a further easing of restrictions on indoor and outdoor gatherings. Cautious optimism remains the name of the game as health officials continue to monitor infection rates with increased social contact. With the summer season in full swing, we continue to share how the industry is recovering after months of closures and reduced capacity.

First up, the recent easing of precautions came with good news for bars and restaurants including lifting of restricted hours and table maximums

Both hotels and restaurants saw increased demand last week as locals attempted to cope with the deadly heatwave that moved through the province.

While customers were getting relief inside air conditioned restaurants, kitchen staff were getting roasted to a debilitating degree, so much so that several closed.

It wasn’t just Vancouver restaurants that were shutting down in the heat. Many establishments across Portland and Seattle did the same

Even though they also closed their doors, Old Bird owner Sophie Lin was able to deliver ice to support her neighbours through the heat

Last week, Voodoo Doughnut employees in Portland went on strike two days into the heatwave due to unsafe work conditions. Now workers are saying the company is firing them in response.

“Employees say they approached management about improving the cooling system or closing the store over the weekend, concerned that conditions would get worse; the fear was compounded by the fact that employees have struggled with the heat within the west side Voodoo Doughnut location for years ahead of the recent heat wave.”

With an ongoing labour shortage in the industry, workers have the opportunity to reimagine the employer/employee relationship, Eater reports

“While reopening is an exciting step towards post-COVID normalcy, it also runs the risk of becoming a retreat into the status quo of past times. But a widespread labor shortage within restaurants at large is prompting some necessary conversations about the nature of restaurant work — the hours, the stress, and corresponding pay are simply not equitable or sustainable. And right now, restaurant workers have a significant opportunity to advocate for themselves and be particularly intentional about their workplaces.”

Take a look inside Granville Island’s new Alimentaria Mexicana, which softly opens this week

Ubuntu will be hosting pizza pop-ups from Pizza Boy Pizza on summer weekends

Vancouver Farmers Markets have announced two additional market days for the summer! Check out the full schedule here

Fed up with the industry’s refusal to purchase his daily catch, Steveston-based fisherman Frank Keitsch has taken matters into his own hands.

The past year came with a significant rise in packaging waste. Here’s what some local restaurants are doing to address the issue.

The restaurant industry continues to grapple with issues of workplace harassment as 15 women have come forward with allegations of sexual misconduct against Seattle chef Edourado Jordan

An act of community care: the Burnaby Youth Hub has set up a community fridge to help address food insecurity in the community

The Globe and Mail’s Alexandra Gill rounds up her picks for some of the best pop-up patios around town, among them South Granville’s Stable House Bistro.

Finally, while the heat wave impacted large swaths of the province, the town of Lytton suffered Canada’s highest ever recorded temperatures followed by a catastrophic wildfire. Here are some ways you can help residents through this crisis.

On Believing in Chef Nicolas Cage and Hospitality Workers Living Decently

In her latest read of the food and drink headlines, Talia finds salmon in trouble and patrons who should just stay home.

On Menu Prices Going Up and Customers Fighting Amongst Themselves

In her latest read of the food and drink headlines, Talia finds fewer cooks in the kitchen and Portland lauded for its pizza.

On No More Takeout Cocktails and Chefs Worrying About the Rising Cost of Food

In her latest read of the food and drink headlines, Talia finds food security woes and new spots getting good reviews.

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

In her latest read of the food and drink headlines, Talia sees case counts drop and the city waiving patio permit fees.