In keeping with the Eater tradition, we asked a group of restaurant critics, journalists, bloggers and friends of the website to weigh up the year of eating. Your answers to the annual Year in Eater survey will be published in multiple posts. Next, the restaurants talk about their hopes for gastronomy in 2021.
What is your greatest hope for the hospitality industry in 2021?
Sonja Swanson, Food and culture author: I really hope people get their jobs and their businesses back – working in restaurants is hard, hard work and we only see the tip of the iceberg from our dining room seats.
Louiie Victa, Eater Vegas photographer and co-host of Two hot cooks and a microphone:: There are simply no restaurants without customers. All of this remodeling would not be possible if customers didn’t enjoy the food scene again. That’s just the basic equation. Essentially, everyone has to help everyone else rebuild. Support local small businesses because they hang by a thin thread. Support in every possible way. Buy food and drink from restaurants, whether you are eating at a restaurant or taking it home. Every little bit helps improve the bottom line.
I really hope more people will come out looking for culinary experiences in 2021 than take away. Due to COVID, fast casual concepts are thriving, but gourmet concepts are really suffering. I really hope the vaccine is effective at suppressing COVID and that more people get back to work and their normal routine. I just can’t fathom a world without dining rooms or the opportunity to share great food with other people. The thought of it is just too scary.
Lorraine Moss, co-host of Two hot cooks and a microphone:: I hope we can survive And at some point I pray that we can make profits again.
Nina King, Las Vegas Magazine Editor in Chief: Restoration. And selfishly, I hope that every restaurant will have a new focus on plant-based foods.
Melinda Sheckells, editor OffTheStrip.com, OnTheStrip.com:: I hope for financial relief, a speedy recovery and a return to prosperity.
Diana Edelman, founder Vegan, baby:: That it can come back and rebuild. And also that more and more companies are starting to include plant-based options in their menu and experiment with these dishes.
Scott Roeben, Vital Vegas:: Let’s see a V-shaped recovery! I assume that the demand for restaurants in Las Vegas and Las Vegas is very high. So I hope the new year will bring a restaurant boom. Nothing is certain right now, but optimism has been instrumental in handling the seemingly endless supply of bad news in 2020. I hope that in 2021 customers will appreciate their favorite places more and that restaurants will in return appreciate their customers more. One great hope is that we can clarify the tipping practice. This custom is dubious because it puts pressure on employees to compensate employees directly. It’s an outdated and unreliable practice, and it doesn’t really do much to improve service. Oh, and another hope of 2021 is that the restaurants will get quieter again! That was a good site for reducing capacity. The opportunity to have a conversation was refreshing and I hope restaurants do more to turn off televisions, turn down music, and create interiors that absorb sound so diners can do what they like in restaurants and beyond most appreciate and connect with others.
Melanie Lee, Esser Vegas: Fewer closings of local favorites. I know this could be wishful thinking, but after seeing how many family / local spots struggle in 2020, I’d love to see this trend slow down in 2021.
Bob Barnes, editor of The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional and Las Vegas writers for Gayot:: My greatest hope is that restaurants will learn from the pandemic which business practices are efficient in order to survive in the worst of situations so that they can endure even more and perform excellently once things return to some sort of normal.
Ken Miller, editor of Las Vegas Magazine:: When it fully reappears, it will continue the security protocols currently in use. We are a long way from being out of the woods when it comes to COVID and we just cannot continue working as usual.
Philip Tzeng, food blogger at Las Vegas Fill:: Same as everyone else! A vaccine that works and restaurants overflowing with talented staff doing what they do best.
Krista Diamond, Freelance Writer at Eater Vegas: An end to the virus and a series of very, very big parties.
Rob Kachelriess, Las Vegas writer Thrillist:: Unfortunately, 2020 will be remembered as the year America abandoned itself and failed to face a shared challenge. Instead of rallying around each other, we politicized a virus and left people and companies on their own, be it because of lockdowns or forced to operate only to a limited extent. I would like a greater mix of compassion and personal responsibility so that restaurants and other businesses can thrive. I also hope that people will leave Twitter and Facebook alone for a while and enjoy the company of real people again. And there’s no better way to do it than with a drink or a great meal.
Susan Stapleton, Editor of Eater Vegas: I hope that there will be more financial relief for restaurants in the near future. This pandemic is far from over, and I hope restaurants continue to find innovative ways to stay afloat while keeping employees and guests safe. We will be here to tell their stories.
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