The restaurant industry is going to change due to COVID-19 and we wanted to learn more. That’s why we reached out to one of Vancouver’s largest and most successful restaurateurs, Emad Yacoub, to get his take on where we go from here.
Emad Yacoub is the owner of the Glowbal Restaurant Group which includes Trattoria, Italian Kitchen, Glowbal, Coast and Black+Blue. Up until March 2020, it was a $50,000,000 revenue business with over 850 staff.
What does the future of the industry look like?
With Vancouver’s cruise ship industry obsolete, the US border closed, and BC residents staying home and social distancing, there will be significant changes as the restaurant industry begins to open up again. Emad summed it in a short sentence:
“It’s going to look like a Sunday night,
on a Friday night”
How will the experience change?
“It’s going to be a different”, he said. Within his fine dining restaurants like Black+Blue there will be no more table side caesar salad, steak carving, or flambé. The server will bring over your bottle of wine, open it, and leave it at the table. All of these changes are designed to minimize how frequently the server interacts with customers.
What about the bar?
“I took 50% of our seating out of our restaurants”
“We have installed plexiglass shields between the bartender and the customer. If you come in as a group of two, you can sit at the bar, interact with the bartender on the other side of the plexiglass,” said Emad. “Fellow patrons will not be right next to you at the bar, they will be seated 2 meters away, significantly reducing the number of patrons that can be served at the bar.”
How do these changes impact landlords with restaurant tenants?
You’ll have to watch the webinar. Emad had a lot to say on this topic and shared many more insights about the restaurant industry’s future.