The highly respected restaurant guide's 2021 edition will not be published due to COVID-19 disruption
This year is quickly becoming ‘the year everything was cancelled.’ Parties, music tours, theatre, art galleries, festivals, special meals and pretty much everything fun have all been mowed down in the path of this virus.
It’s the right thing to do, of course, but it ain’t half depressing.
A fair and accurate approach does not seem possible during these times
The hospitality industry was the first to feel the co-blow as enforced closure of restaurants led to panic, heartbreak and job losses. Many small businesses have been scrambling to come up with temporary solutions that keep them cooking, while others have furloughed staff, closed completely and are riding out the storm in the best way for them.
The knock on effect felt across the wider food industry’s makers, suppliers and growers has been in the spotlight recently too.
With no restaurants to speak of, other important players in the hospitality world - writers, critics and guides - have had to change their approach or make difficult decisions.
One of the key events in the hospitality calendar is the publication of the yearly Good Food Guide every September. It’s an announcement we at Confidentials look forward to each year - as do many of our readers - but this year it’s not to be.
The guide announced in a statement on their website yesterday that in spite of their wish to ‘shine a light’ on the UK’s incredible dining scene ‘now more than ever,’ a fair and accurate approach does not seem possible during these times. Therefore there will be no published guide this September (the 2021 edition) for the first time in the guide’s history.
The Good Food Guide was created in 1951 by Raymond Postgate and will be celebrating 70 years in business next year.
The GFG statement in full:
These are unprecedented times for UK restaurants which have been dealt a severe blow by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lockdowns have forced the majority to make the previously unthinkable decision to close their doors for the foreseeable future. Some have been able to adapt their services to support their local communities in this time of need; all – sadly – face uncertainty.
As it approaches its 70th year, The Good Food Guide would wish to shine a light on the incredible restaurant scene in the UK and Channel Islands more than ever. Over the past few weeks, however, it has become clear that a print edition would not be able to do this fairly or accurately. The editors have therefore taken the difficult decision not to publish the 2021 guide in September.
Until a publication date is confirmed for the next edition, the GFG will continue to promote the hospitality industry through its website, social media channels and other Waitrose & Partners publications, bringing you details of the latest news and initiatives.
The Good Food Guide by Waitrose & Partners has been championing the country’s best restaurants since 1951. Each edition is written and compiled from scratch, based on reviews submitted by readers coupled with reports by a trusted team of anonymous inspectors. As soon as the doors of the UK’s pubs, bars, restaurants and cafés are open once again, our inspectors will be ready to visit and support them, as well as the suppliers who rely on these establishments for their businesses to thrive.
In the coming weeks, the Guide will of course assess its plans for the rest of the year in line with Government advice and keep its valued readers and restaurant community updated.
Until then, take good care,
The Good Food Guide Editors