On The World's 50 Best Restaurants List, None Are Black-Owned
Photo Credit: Andres Ayrton

Photo Credit: Andres Ayrton

On The World's 50 Best Restaurants List, None Are Black-Owned

black-owned business , news
Bernadette Giacomazzo
Bernadette Giacomazzo Oct 14, 2021

A list of the world’s 50 best restaurants has recently been released — and all 50 restaurants are white-owned and operated.

In a press release announcement, it was revealed that the competition — which was sponsored by S. Pellegrino and Acqua Panna — had unveiled its list of the world’s best of the best. And, as perhaps can be expected, the winners of the competition were almost exclusively based in Europe and North America. Additionally, the vast majority of the restaurants were run by men, and the one and only African restaurant in the top 50 — South Africa‘s Wolfgat — came in at the very bottom of the list.

It was a disparity that no less of an authority than Eater took notice of. “You’ll note that nearly all of the restaurants that have been ranked first are located in Europe; those that aren’t in Europe serve European-style tasting menus, and all of the restaurants are helmed by men,” they said, adding that the competition was initially billed as a “diversity initiative” yet seemed to fail miserably at that goal.

This list of best restaurants seems to fly in the face of conventional wisdom in the hospitality industry. According to data supplied by Restaurant Hospitality , a publication that caters to the restaurant industry, more than one-third of consumers are specifically seeking out Black-owned restaurants. The outlet spoke to an executive at Coca-Cola, who made it clear that the rise of social justice initiatives and the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the need for such disparities in the restaurant industry to be addressed.

“Our study found that recent events around race and social justice have inspired diners to seek out Black-owned restaurants,” said Kathleen Ciaramello, President of Foodservice and On-Premise at The Coca-Cola Company. “This increased support comes at a time when Black restaurant owners desperately need it, as 84% of them have made staff reductions due to COVID-19.”

Yet, for some reason, the judges on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants’ panel — who decide which restaurant makes the list — either didn’t get the memo or didn’t want to read the memo when they got it. As Eater correctly pointed out, it seems like diversity in the restaurant industry is still a long way away.

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