Following an Eater tradition, we asked a group of restaurant journalists, bloggers, and friends of the site to weigh in on the year in food. Their answers to the annual Year in Eater survey will be revealed in several posts. Now, what new pivots or innovative ideas have you seen emerge from the events of 2020 that you hope continue into 2022?
Emmy Kasten, Vegas Magazine — Golden Steer has recently started to accept BitCoin for payments. As cryptocurrency takes a larger role in everyday life, I hope more restaurants follow suit.
Philip Tzeng, social media food blogger at LasVegasFill — The more that I can do on my phone, the better. MGM Resorts has done a phenomenal job on their in-house app from using my phone as the room key to setting up my entire staycation straight from there.
Scott Roeben, Vital Vegas — I love that Superfrico lets guests of “Opium” order from their seats in the theater! Let’s do that everywhere, and please make the pizza just as good (not easy). As far as 2021, was the year of digital menus and dynamic pricing, a result of crazy supply chain and pricing issues. Another trend I’m hoping goes away is service charges and hidden fees on restaurant tabs. One trend I suspect will pick up steam is restaurants requiring credit cards up front, due to terrible tipping and increased dine-and-dashes. We’re going to see auto-gratuities at places, and under circumstances, where we haven’t seen them before. Service industry folks need to have their incomes protected, even in the face of a decline in civility. Also, more Pop Rocks. Just wanted to see if anyone read this far.
Bob Barnes, Las Vegas writer for Gayot.com and freelance food and beverage writer — In the case of local breweries, the pandemic and restaurant closures and capacity restrictions incentivized them to shift from selling mostly draft beer to predominantly packaged beer. This is still the case today and I like seeing more local beer in retail stores.
Louiie Victa, Eater Vegas photographer — More food halls. It’s a lot of fun having the ability to sample more cuisines at a given place. And I love seeing concepts such as food vending machines pop up all over the city.
Al Mancini, host of the Food and Loathing podcast — The outdoor dining pods that Esther’s Kitchen erected in their rear parking lot were really cool. I was reminded of them when I saw the little plastic “houses” that Tivoli Village has erected. (I mean, I’m way too old to climb into one of them, but I think they’re super-cool.) I hope we continue to find new ways to adapt al fresco to our inhospitable climate.
Rob Kachelriess, Las Vegas Writer for Thrillist — I think restaurants will find new cost-effective ways to do delivery without relying as much on third-party apps. The LoCo co-op is a good example. I’m sure we’ll also see more interesting and creative plant-based dishes show up on menus as the prices of beef, chicken and other meats continue to rise.
Susan Stapleton, editor of Eater Vegas — I like shorter menus that only focus on the best dishes at a restaurant instead of pages and pages of menus to read. More vegan and vegetarian options. More drive-thrus. More thoughtful takeout.
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