While the hospitality sector in Northern Ireland has flourished over recent decades, the Covid lockdown and resulting social distancing restrictions have forced many restaurateurs and hospitality owners to rethink the future.
Many hundreds of restaurants and eateries across the north are already improvising to adapt to the new reality.
They have been innovative in creating solutions to ensure the public can still enjoy gastronomic experiences despite the ongoing restrictions.
And today the Irish News is asking the public to nominate their Food Champions in a special readers’ poll being held in partnership with Food NI and Henderson Foodservice, BD Foods & Foodco.
We are inviting you to tell us how your favourite food outlets have gone out of their way during these unprecedented times to ensure you have still been able to avail of a culinary experience.
Normally in this vital period in the run-up to Christmas, pubs, restaurants and coffee shops, which are the lifeblood of our cities, towns and villages, would be buzzing with customers enjoying local hospitality at its finest.
But instead, eateries are showcasing their creativity and tenacity by cooking made-to-order meals, packing them in boxes and delivering them to people’s doors.
“Outlets that have completely pivoted their businesses to keep going through the pandemic, and these awards will shine a well-deserved light on them,” said Irish News marketing manager John Brolly.
“One way lots of restaurants and bars are supplementing lost income is to create DIY recipe boxes so that diners can whip up their favourite dishes or drinks at home.