There will be no World’s 50 Best Restaurants list this year. Both the awards ceremony set to take place in Antwerp, Belgium on June 2 and the announcement of the ranked fine dining restaurants will be postponed until 2021. Instead, according to a press release, the organization will direct its efforts to “supporting, connecting and uniting the global gastronomic community,” now struggling in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
The decision marks a shift in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants approach to handing out awards in light of COVID-19. Last week, the restaurant-ranking organization released its list of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants during a virtual event that replaced the usual awards ceremony. In a post to the World’s 50 Best Restaurants website, content director William Drew wrote that the announcement would go on “in a bid to shine some positive light into the darkness.”
World’s 50 Best Restaurants’ new direction mirrors that of the James Beard Awards, which postponed the announcement of its semifinalists and the awards for all categories and launched a relief fund and other initiatives designed to support restaurants.
The World’s 50 Best Restaurants has yet to outline its exact plans for “meaningful initiatives that will bolster the restaurant sector,” but promises reformatted content and future digital programming. Says Drew, “Today we make a pledge that even though there will be no celebration of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants this year, we will act to support and defend restaurants today and in the future.”
• World’s 50 Best Rest Restaurants [Official]