The World’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards is cancelled this year and postponed to 2021, as Covid-19 takes a huge toll on dining sector across the globe where thousands of fine dining restaurants were forced to close for good.
This is another major dining awards that was called off due to coronavirus pandemic after Michelin cancelled its award ceremonies in Singapore, Hong Kong and Paris.
50 Best, the organizer behind 50 Best Restaurants and 50 Best Bars, will move the ceremony to Antwerp in Flanders, the Flemish-speaking northern region of Belgium, to next year if by then Covid-19 is brought under control.
William Drew, Director of Content for The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, says: “After such an extraordinary and challenging year for the restaurant sector – and the world as a whole – we are looking forward with optimism and excitement to 2021.
“We believe that 50 Best has an important role to play in helping boost the recovery of restaurants worldwide, connecting food lovers across the globe and sharing a sense of solidarity and positive change – and we aim to bring this all together in Antwerp, Flanders for the comeback edition of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants. We hope the culinary community will be able to gather together once again as part of its revitalisation process, and to discover more about the hidden corner of gastronomic delight that is Flanders.”
Meanwhile, 50 Best launched 50 Next initiative to draw up a list of young people shaping the future of gastronomy. The list will be revealed next February.
This year, with the pandemic many restaurants were forced to shut doors or limit operation hours in line with social distancing rules to help slow down Covid-19 spread.
In the US, Covid-19 health regulations had resulted in layoffs of workers and loss of income for restaurants and owners. By late July nearly 16,000 restaurants had permanently closed.
In France and the UK, two main dining hubs in Europe, curfews on operation hours were imposed to curb virus spread and social contacts as cases surge again in Europe.