As is the tradition as we near the end of 2022, Eater asked a trusted group of friends, industry types, and local bloggers for their takes on the past culinary year in Austin. All answers will be revealed before the year ends — cut, pasted, (mostly) unedited, and in no particular order. The final question, number ten:
What is your biggest hope for the restaurant industry in 2023?
Darcie Duttweiler, freelance writer and Eater contributing writer
As someone who has worked in the restaurant and hospitality industry, I know how tight the margins are and how expensive it is to run a successful restaurant, but as a diner, I just really miss the mid-range restaurant, where it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg to enjoy a meal. I hope that costs, supply chains, and labor issues lessen for the industry so it can become profitable to have a good, old-fashioned neighborhood eatery where you don’t have to spend more than $25 for a delicious dish.
Jane Ko, blogger, A Taste of Koko
A more sustainable and supportive environment for the hospitality industry.
Melanie Haupt, food editor, the Austin Chronicle
Really hoping that we can finally abolish tipping altogether and pay restaurant workers a living wage with benefits. And bring back silverware rollups!
Pat Sharpe, executive editor and food writer for Texas Monthly
I wish them unbroken supply chains, eager customers with big pockets, and low inflation.
Chris Hughes, editor-in-chief, Austin Monthly
Brick-and-mortar concepts that really value regular visits (i.e. true neighborhood restaurants that are affordable). We’re flush with splurge spots, and need to find that middle ground again.
Erin Russell, associate editor of Eater Austin
I hope they get a break. First, there was the COVID-19 pandemic, then there were staffing issues, then inflation … it’s a tough industry but I hope they have a year where they can focus on putting out exciting, creative menus rather than solely surviving.
Nadia Chaudhury, editor of Eater Austin
Here’s hoping that restaurant owners/operators/higher-up chefs take actual good care of their staffers. Here’s hoping that independently owned restaurants stay open. I hope cooks get well-deserved rests and breaks as well as good platforms for them to create their amazing foods. Here’s hoping that diners and customers respect restaurant workers.