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11 Hopes for the Bay Area Dining Scene in 2023

Here’s to manifesting them all into reality

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Welcome to Year in Eater 2022, Eater’s annual tradition of celebrating the past 12 months with help from some of the Bay Area’s top food and restaurant industry experts. Between now and the end of the year, Eater SF will post daily questions about the Bay Area restaurant scene with answers from those who know it best.


Commercial rent control!

Sarah Henkin, manager at Omnivore Books

My biggest hope for the restaurant industry in 2023 is perhaps just an ongoing, forever wish of mine: For kitchens to become more equitable and humane to the staff who run them. There have been incremental moves in this direction, now more than ever, but it’s something I want to see and hear more of in years to come. I would also add to that wanting to see more discussion of mental health in the hospitality industry, which is woefully under-discussed there and in many other spaces.

— Dianne de Guzman, Eater SF deputy editor

Better working conditions for restaurant workers and food producers the world over. It’s a red herring when people cite better living conditions across the world as evidence the current global market system is working; one in four people globally, about 1.9 billion people, are moderately or severely food insecure. Food workers, those who grow and prepare the food eaten at home and in restaurants everywhere, are amongst those most impacted by a lack of nutritious food. I hope that state and federal actors and agencies increase attention and aid for those who make sure we can buy a bag of coffee at Gus’s or grab a burger at In-N-Out.

— Paolo Bicchieri, Eater SF reporter

I hope that we can correct the misalignment between price, quality, and service that we had to accept during the pandemic.

— Camper English, cocktails and spirits writer and author

Perhaps we can find some sort of post-pandemic steady state. It seems like prices are rising and places are short-staffed, and that’s tough on everyone involved.

— Nick Bastone, reporter at Axios SF

I know this is gonna sound like “old man yells at cloud” but bring back the physical menu! I need to obsessively look at it while I stuff my face.

— Cesar Hernandez, associate restaurant critic at the San Francisco Chronicle

Seeing all of the innovative, poetically inspired pop-ups and food trucks like Provecho, SMAX, Big Mafi Burgers, the Vegan Hood Chefs, Norte 54, Boug Cali, and more, open up bigger/permanent spaces and receive the support and amplification they deserve as locally-owned independent small businesses.

— Alan Chazaro, food reporter at KQED

More pancake parties! Or at least, more quirky, homegrown efforts to build community through food.

— Lauren Saria, Eater SF editor

Big question! Peace, love, and harmony? So much to hope for, resolving supply chain issues for restaurants, equitable wages for workers, inflation reduction for everyone, etc.

— Patricia Chang, freelance editorial and commercial photographer

That the trend of all people being accepted and welcomed continues in restaurants, food, wine, and hospitality. We are a community. It has always been this way. All are welcomed and treated with care, dignity, and respect.

— Tonya Pitts, sommelier and wine director at One Market Restaurant

I hope that restaurants will finally get some relief as far as inflation and supply chain issues go. It’s been a near-constant barrage of challenges over the past few years, and I’m sick of seeing really beloved, really historic spots close their doors. I also hope to see more restaurants baking sustainability into their business models in interesting ways, like how Shuggie’s Trash Pie made it cool to eat pizza made of food waste this year.

— Madeline Wells, SFGATE food reporter

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