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The Biggest Dining Grievances of 2017: Lack of Diversity and Labor Shortages

What irked food writers this year?


In keeping with Eater tradition, our closeout of the year is a survey of friends, industry types, and bloggers. To kick it off in Charleston, Eater asked the group eight questions, ranging from the restaurants they frequent most to the biggest surprises of the year. Responses are in no particular order, and readers are encouraged to leave answers in the comments.

Q. What was your biggest dining grievance of 2017?

Hanna Raskin, Food writer and critic for the Post & Courier:
I was disappointed by the ongoing disconnect between local restaurant culture and the current political moment. While I appreciate that it’s hard to balance books atop a soapbox, I wish admired food-and-beverage professionals here were more vocal about issues affecting their industry, from the immigration crackdown to the sexual misconduct reckoning. That said, props to Randi Weinstein for being out in front with the inaugural FAB conference.

Parker Milner, Eater Charleston contributor:
We need more good sushi!

Peg Moore, contributor and food critic for The Mercury:
Noise continues to block civilized conversation at many restaurants.

Erin Perkins, editor Eater Charleston:
With the food and beverage staffing crisis, I’d like the restaurateurs to work with the City of Charleston to find solutions to some of the problems — like the lack of public transportation in the evenings or reduced rates on parking for F&B employees to make it easier to attract workers to the downtown restaurants. Charleston Grill’s general manager Mickey Bakst founded Teach the Need with youth advocate Michael Miller to train high school students in the art of hospitality, so there are strides being made, but there is more to do.

And on a lighter note: Why does Charlotte get a Shake Shack, and we don’t?

Sydney Gallimore, Queen of the Food Age and Thrillist Contributor:
Not enough culinary diversity.

Robert Donovan, photographer and contributor to Eater Charleston:
Lack of diversity in the food in the food scene in Charleston.

Stephanie Burt, writer and founder of The Southern Fork:
Playing to the crowd. I see so much of the same on the menus. A lot of it is Brooklyn meets Lowcountry, kind of filling in the gap from Two Boroughs perhaps?

Samantha Connors, Eater Charleston contributor:
The closings of P.I.E Bakeshop and White Duck Taco on James Island.

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