Welcome to Year in Eater 2021, Eater’s annual ritual to praise the past 12 months with contributions from the city’s best food writers. For the final week of 2021, Eater NY will be posting questions to the New York restaurant scene daily for the past year, with answers from those who know it best: Eater’s editors and Eater’s friends. Now: What is your biggest hope for the restaurant industry in 2022?
Tae Yoon, Editor-in-Chief of New York, thrill: This bad and problematic behavior continues to not be tolerated by people in the industry and even by customers.
Kayla Stewart, food journalist: I hope the industry will continue to evolve towards creating an environment of fairness, respect and kindness at all levels of the restaurant world.
John deBary, beverage expert, co-founder of Community Foundation of Catering Workers: As we collectively realize that hospitality workers are the critical factor in making restaurants so integrated and vital, so we stop treating them as costs to be managed and instead as a precious resource to nurture and maintain.
Deanna Ting, Senior Writer, Resy: I hope everyone in the restaurant industry can build on what we’ve learned from the craziness of this year and the year before, and that we can continue to build something better – an industry. more sustainable and fairer for everyone involved. I know this is a difficult task, and finding ways to do it is even more difficult, but it is my greatest hope: that what happened, especially with the pandemic, can be a catalyst for positive changes in the restaurant industry, especially for restaurant workers. And secondly, I hope that we, the diners, will continue to have empathy for the restaurant workers. The past two years haven’t been easy for anyone, and I think if we all had more empathy for each other it would go a long way.
Patty Diez, Project Manager, Eater: That the diners continue to be (or become) empathetic towards the employees of the restaurant. Oh! And that they order directly from the restaurant and never the apps.
Ryan Sutton, Chief Food Critic, Eater NY: We all hope the pandemic ends, but other than that it would be nice to see the federal government replenish the Restaurant Revitalization Fund as so many small independent establishments have been closed while steakhouse chains and fast food outlets have been closed. have raised millions. It would also be nice to see Congress pass the Build Back Better plan so hardworking people in the hospitality industry and others can continue to collect the absolutely crucial child care tax credit. This is indeed an experiment with a Universal Basic Income and it will help make restaurant jobs slightly more sustainable for so many workers with families. We must also extend the increased and prolonged unemployment for catering workers who remain unemployed in the long term.
Robert Sietsema, Senior Food Critic, Eater NY: I pray that the city truly realizes the contribution of classic restaurants to our culture, on par with museums, libraries, churches and parks, and takes appropriate action. The idea that a greedy owner could shut down a major restaurant and community anchor like Casa Adela with one stroke of a pencil is abhorrent. Real estate interests do not deserve to exercise full control over every property in all circumstances, especially when they are contrary to the public interest.
Grace Young, cookbook author: I hope restaurants can finally experience a full recovery. Restaurants in Chinatown and AAPI have battled a double virus – COVID-19 and the impact of anti-Asian hate, which has made the AAPI community afraid to dine in restaurants. It is my wish that we can win the war against COVID-19 and anti-Asian hatred.
Talia Baiocchi, editor-in-chief, Punch: After the last round of temporary shutdowns and an overwhelming sense of déjà vu, to overcome whatever comes next.
Amanda Kludt, Editor-in-Chief, Eater: God, may we come out of there and find a way to stability, may people find a way to take a break.
Note: Some answers have been edited for clarity and brevity.