A hot-from-the-oven, buttery croissant from France. Freshly made pasta in tomato sauce from Italy. Rows and rows of perfectly formed sashimi from Japan. Is your mouth watering too…?
There has been a distinct rise in gastro tourism, seen around the world over the last few years. Holiday makers have been known to choose their destination based on their favourite cuisine and who can blame them? Tourists are often an integral portion of a restaurant’s customer base, so with travel bans currently in place due to COVID-19, many face financial hardship and potential closure.
Despite all this, restaurants are rallying to give back. In a beautiful display of empathy and humanity, we’re seeing brands come forward to do what they can with the resources they have available. US Chef José Andrés has announced that he will be developing his 8 kitchens across New York and Washington DC into community kitchens, to help feed anyone who is struggling through the pandemic. According to the New York Post, to-go only meals at those locations cost $7 for guests who can afford it, and that price is flexible for others who may be out of work or constrained.
In the UK, many companies are doing what they can to support our key workers and NHS frontline while they’re taking care of our community, and restaurants are no exception. London’s Yard Sale Pizza have launched a new NHS fund and are aiming to feed 5,000 NHS staff in the coming week. Accepting donations in varying denominations, this is a non-profit scheme with all the money raised going towards the cause. They are also, like many other restaurants, are offering NHS staff discount on their takeaway menu.
We have also seen the Quoot restaurant group, including the likes of By Chloe and Dominique Ansel Bakery , offering free lunchboxes to any kids who would normally be entitled to free school dinners. The meals include a sandwich, snack and drink and can be picked up from any of the 12 participating restaurants in London.
It is undoubtedly one of the most challenging times the hospitality industry has ever seen. Community has never been more important and it is so comforting to see businesses doing what they can to support others. We’re looking forward to the (hopefully) not so distant future when we can meet our friends and family and take the opportunity to return the support and enjoy a delicious dinner out!