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 restaurant pros talk about where the restaurant industry should be headed next.
Where should the restaurant industry go next in rebuilding?
Louiie Victa, Eater Vegas photographer and co-host of Two hot cooks and a microphone:: Hopefully the pandemic would have taught us a few things about the restaurant industry that we didn’t pay attention to – chefs, dishwashers, stewards, FOH staff, bartenders and restaurant managers serving their businesses and serving customers. They are indispensable workers and risk their lives so that you can immediately enjoy your meal or a great and unique dining experience. I really hope restaurants take this great opportunity to support and improve the quality of life for their employees instead of cutting back on the workforce, wages and health benefits. Or, I hope customers get generous with their tips, because the people in the industry really need all the help and support they can get to help them rebuild.
Lorraine Moss, co-host of Two hot cooks and a microphone:: Embrace the food that makes you feel passionate. It was heartwarming and delicious when Chef Sheridan Su opened Every Grain with a simple concept of lu rou fan, Taiwanese braised minced pork rice. The restaurant is dedicated to his mother and grandmother and what he loved growing up. Everything tastes better when it comes from a place of love. You can feel it when you eat it.
Melinda Sheckells, editor OffTheStrip.com, OnTheStrip.com:: Cooperations, popups, incubators keep the ideas and the passion alive.
Scott Roeben, Vital Vegas:: My attitude is the same as any post-pandemic company. The focus must be on value creation. It would be difficult for service levels to get higher in Las Vegas, so it has to be about delivering exceptional experiences at affordable prices. Restaurants need to stay away from the onerous fees that have led to nickel and diming perceptions in recent years. There is so much culinary talent in Las Vegas, let’s hope some of the people who left will return.
Melanie Lee, Esser Vegas: I would love to see more places that offer extended pick-up and family meals for the home. Even if things get better, I think there will be many families who will appreciate their time at home more and more family dinners will allow the best of both worlds.
Bob Barnes, editor of The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional and Las Vegas writers for Gayot:: Restaurants need to continue to be flexible and find other ways to be profitable, e.g. B. Take-away and delivery options and affordable pricing.
Ken Miller, editor of Las Vegas Magazine:: Keep everything they took over, including mask wear and extra space between tables. Other than that, I’m not sure.
Philip Tzeng, food blogger at Las Vegas Fill:: Restaurants can get more creative with how they use their spaces. Socially distant food doesn’t have to be lame or totally insane, it can be really fun and funny. Bubble rooms, crazy masks, super cool cubicles would all be features I would love to see.
Krista Diamond, Freelance Writer at Eater Vegas: I read an interview with Anthony Bourdain where he was asked what is the main and overlooked problem facing the food industry and he said racism. Against this background, I think it is worth looking into how we can make gastronomy more inclusive and fair in the future.
Rob Kachelriess, Las Vegas writer Thrillist:: I would love to see strip resorts and restaurants reach the community in meaningful ways with local-only specials, discounts, and prix-fixe menus. Of course, free parking doesn’t hurt either. Caesars Entertainment returned to paid parking but kept it free for Nevada residents. It should have been like this all along.
Sonja Swanson, Food and culture author: I hope that wage disparities (by gender and race, and in front of and behind the house) and abuse in the kitchen are addressed as the industry rebuilds.
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.
• Las Vegas Dining Pros share their hopes for the restaurant industry in 2021 [ELV]
• Friends of the Eater share changes Las Vegas restaurants have made that should continue in 2021 [ELV]
• Restaurants talk about Las Vegas restaurants that helped the community in 2020 [ELV]
• Las Vegas Dining Experts Share The Restaurants They Can’t Wait To Return To In 2021 [ELV]
• Restaurant Pros Remember the saddest restaurant closings in Las Vegas [ELV]
• Friends of the eater share their favorite meal of the year in Las Vegas [ELV]
• Where 2020 Las Vegas Food Writers loved to have dinner and order takeaway [ELV]
• The Biggest Stories About Eater Vegas in 2020 [ELV]
• The saddest restaurant and bar to close in Las Vegas in 2020 [ELV]
• Year-round Eater Coverage [ELV]