Welcome to Appetizers, OpenTable’s column that aims to uplift and motivate with a taste of the most inspiring food-world news of the moment. Discover the things that are making us laugh, cry, think, and just plain hungry for more.
Making us … grateful
Amazon magnate Jeff Bezos awarded an unexpected gift of $100 million to celebrity chef José Andrés’s nonprofit World Central Kitchen, which provides food to communities facing natural and manmade disasters across the world. The gift will go far in helping the organization provide meals to disaster victims, as it has critically done in the past for hurricane victims in Puerto Rico, Texas, and more. To accomplish this, WCK pays local restaurants to make meals for disaster victims, jumpstarting the local economy while helping out at the same time. Andrés said in a statement that the award is a start of a “new chapter” for World Central Kitchen. “It will allow us to think beyond the next hurricane to the bigger challenges we face,” he said. “People of the world: now is the time to think really big, to solve hunger with the fierce urgency of now.” Bezos’s move follows the Duke and Duchess of Sussex partnering with WCK to build relief centers in the Caribbean.
Making us … empathetic
As reopening continues to ramp up and diners return to restaurants in full force, many restaurants are understaffed, and some overworked employees are quitting their jobs in the middle of their shifts, CNN reports. A Palo Alto bakery owner told SFGate, “I’ve been seeing a huge rise in people just forgetting to be human.” One restaurant in Cape Cod even shut down for a “day of kindness” after customers made some employees cry, according to The New York Times. This is a friendly reminder that the next time you sit down to dine at a restaurant, be patient and kind to your wait staff as they navigate reopening in a likely understaffed environment. A small gesture can go a long way.
Making us … rejoice
This is the summer of dining out, and restaurant weeks across North America are in full swing to help get diners reacclimated with some of their favorite spots. Here is the lineup of restaurant weeks happening this year — make your reservations on OpenTable now to take advantage of the deals.
New York City: July 19 – August 22
Boston: August 8 – 21
Miami: August 1 – September 30
Los Angeles: October 1 – 15
Metropolitan Washington: August 9 – 15
Austin: October 1 – 10
Dallas: August 9 – 15
Houston: August 1 – September 6
Charleston: September 9 – 19
New Orleans: July 14 – September 5
Montreal: June 23 – October 11
Making us … ready to travel
June 25: Celebrate Pride at These LGBTQ+ Bars and Restaurants
May 26: You’ll Be Able to Keep Getting To-Go Cocktails From Restaurants in These 15 States
March 18: This Year’s St. Patrick’s Day Represented Hope for Many Restaurants