In this issue of Santé Magazine, we talk about some new trends in food and drink for 2022. It is exciting to see how the hospitality industry continues to evolve. This pandemic is forcing us to adapt, and it is demonstrating the sheer creativity of the hospitality industry. Nevertheless, the reality is that the pandemic will continue to ebb and flow despite our guests’ desire to return to normal. So, what can we do to ensure that we don’t just survive but also thrive?
I say we are at a crossroads and need to seriously address the pandemic, not put our heads in the sand about it. Your guests have a pent-up desire to return to normal, but the reality is more complicated than that. If COVID surges, lockdown may become necessary again, or your vulnerable guests may start shying away. The guests who stay away may be the ones who have more money to spend, negatively affecting your bottom line.
Hospitality is about creating an environment where your guests feel like royalty. We have usually interpreted that to translate into extraordinary service, excellent food and drink, and an inspired atmosphere. But, in addition, I think you can enhance the experience and reassure your guests by taking the following steps:
- Reduce multiple contact points between your guests and servers. Instead of having the host, server, and bus person serve a table, pare it down to just one or two people. The experience will feel unique and safer for both guests and servers.
- Isolate guests gracefully. Rather than using tasteless barriers, how about redesigning the interior with private areas using attractive screens – think Japanese-style rooms. Use a decorative screen or high-quality glass creatively.
- How about thoroughly scrubbing the air? HEPA filters are not good enough, but independent labs have proved technologies such as Air Disinfection Biosecurity1 (ADB) to eliminate all pathogens, including SARS. It requires an investment, but some jurisdictions, such as Denver, have waived mask mandates for ADB technology establishments. According to the evidence, ADB is the only way to create a space where crowds can safely congregate without masks again.
Restaurateurs need to embrace science and use what we know about pathogens to create a unique and enjoyable space for our guests.
So what fun do we have in store for you this January?
As Santé Magazine enters its 26th year of continuous publication, we launch the New Year with Melanie Young’s reports on culinary trends for 2022. Where and what will we be eating? Where have top chefs migrated to? Melanie recommends cuisine of the year and those on the rise. Anyone for goat testicles?
Melanie also unveils Chef Jamie Oliver’s vegetarian fragrant squash curry in recipes.
Deborah Grossman takes us to the Top of the Mark lounge in San Francisco, a great place to lounge this or any season. However, she goes beyond the expansive views, diving into the exceptional wine and food pairings such as the stellar Champagne and caviar pairing. Top of the Mark delights with an excellent menu honed from 82 years of service.
Back in Europe, Penny Weiss takes us to a thorough exploration of Jumilla (pronounced who-ME-ah) in Spain, considered the birthplace of Monastrell, a hearty and resilient red grape variety (known as Mourvèdre in France).
She also reviews Riva Leone Barbaresco DOCG 2017 from Piedmont and 2 Hawk Winery Grenache Rosé 2019 from the Rogue Valley in southern Oregon.
Since it is dry January, Melanie helps us learn more about the “sober curious” movement and explores some excellent libation options. Her analysis includes Enroot, USDA certified organic sparkling “farm to bottle” cold-brewed teas with essences of fresh fruits and herbs – with a celebrity partner in the mix.
Enjoy this relaxing month because Mardi Gras is just around the corner!
(1) Santé is an affiliate of Steril-Safe, distributor of Air Disinfection Biosecurity. We have evaluated the evidence and endorse this product as doing what it claims.