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Michelin delays 2021 restaurant guides

Michelin has put a pause on the issuance of its 2021 restaurant guides in the US in recognition of the devastation that Covid-19 has inflicted on the hospitality industry.

The company said yesterday in a written statement released through its American subsidiary that the 2021 edition of its famous red-jacketed guides to the world’s top restaurants has been delayed indefinitely and that the “official timing will be announced as the pandemic recovery takes shape.”

Normally the Guides with their star ratings are published for their three American versions – New York, Washington, D.C., and Chicago – during September and October.

Michelin also said that it is extending a sympathetic hand to the stricken restaurants. “The inspection team is sensitive to the situation in each restaurant and is gradually returning to visits when it seems appropriate, based on the individual establishment and their circumstances,” the statement read. “Our inspection team is fully committed to support and promote restaurants by being flexible, respectful and realistic as recovery takes shape.”

Meanwhile, the group has also announced it will postpone the ceremony for its UK and Ireland awards until January 2021. The event was scheduled to take place in October this year. The guide will also be a digital-only publication for the first time in history.

The company said it had implemented supportive activities ranging from a regional CSA program that benefits food charities and producers to donating more than 800,000 face masks throughout North America.

“Restaurants are the heartbeat of our communities, and we look forward to recognising their unwavering strength and talent at the appropriate time,” the statement continued.

Michelin also said its New York website recently introduced a new tool to feature restaurants that offer takeout. “We acknowledge that the restaurant industry has been severely impacted by this global pandemic,” the company said, “and many chefs and restaurants have shifted to new offerings with outdoor dining and takeout.”

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