We caught up with Laurie Thomas, executive director of Golden Gate Restaurant Association, which hosts the upcoming Eat Drink SF, to talk about this year's event.
What is the history of Eat Drink SF? Since 2009, Eat Drink SF has celebrated the Bay Area restaurant community as a world-class culinary destination by focusing on San Francisco tastemakers. It has become GGRA’s signature consumer-facing event. In years past, the event has featured more than 60 restaurants and over 3,000 attendees. It’s been held in Union Square, Fort Mason, and, most recently, at the Midway.
How is this year's EDSF different from previous years' events? With restrictions on large festivals and indoor dining dependent on city and state regulations, we’re honoring our restaurants in a variety of new and engaging ways, all physically-distanced. This year’s Eat Drink SF will be about showcasing San Francisco’s culinary culture through programs and outdoor dining throughout our city, as well as from the comfort of your home.
What is new for EDSF this year? We have pivoted the event so that everyone can enjoy it safely and to drive business to our restaurants. Eat Drink SF Presents: 10 Days of Dining, Culture & Community runs from Friday, October 23rd though Sunday, November 1st. Instead of a large indoor festival, we’re exploring the great neighborhoods of our city through outdoor dining, Restaurant Week-style experiences with prix fixe menus, exclusive to-go offerings and meal kits, ticketed outdoor seated dinners in adherence with current SF Department of Public Health guidelines, and virtual demos and forums.
How can people participate this year? There are lots of ways to participate! Browse our list of 100 participating restaurants to see their to-go and delivery options or make reservations for outside or inside dining; attend our virtual events; patronize local restaurants and retail in these neighborhoods.
What rules & safety regulations are in place for this year's event? Eat Drink SF Presents: 10 Days of Dining, Culture & Community adheres to the San Francisco Department of Health Directives & Guidelines for Outdoor Dining. We also commit to the following—GGRA is working with all participating SF Restaurant Week Restaurants to ensure they follow the San Francisco Dept. of Public Health guidelines for outside dining, including:
Only seating customers at tables of 6 or less
Promoting customers wearing masks at tables (posters to be prominently displayed)
Following all social distancing and safety protocols
Providing all participating restaurants with “Mask Up” posters
Utilizing the restaurant’s reservation systems to control the number of diners
There will be no “networking” events
There will be no special accommodation requests
Virtual programming will replace in-person demos, cookoffs and meetings
What are you most excited about for this event? The ability to help safely promote our restaurants and drive business to them. We really need to support our local restaurants and this is a very easy, safe way to do it. We’re also excited to bring great content to consumers via the virtual programming options.
Photography by: Illustration by Nigel Sussman