Chef Andrew Vella / Photo by Bernard Polidano

For Andrew Vella, Chef Patron at Rebekah’s Restaurant in Mellieha, the pandemic has taught the industry to adapt quickly to ever-changing circumstances, amid the “confusion and insecurities” it repeatedly presented.

“Summer was positive, with people eager to return to some form of normality,” he says of the current outlook.

Mr Vella was commenting in the Autumn edition of Business Now magazine, the sister publication to BusinessNow.mt, as part of an in-depth feature on the staffing crisis plaguing the industry, and other challenges that abound.

“Vaccinations have given people a good level of confidence, so hopefully this trend will continue to improve, and we can look forward to the industry getting back on its feet. It will take a while, but I believe we will get there.”

Meanwhile, Mr Vella believes the increase in the number of new restaurants is evidence of reform in the sector, which he says is important to increase opportunities and competition. But he emphasises the need for excellence over “visionless temporary openings”.

“I believe quality is key rather than quantity,” he says of the path to recovery.

“We need the authorities to collaborate more with all segments of the industry to attract quality tourism, which will allow us to offer better wages and attract more people to work in the industry.”

This forms part of an in-depth feature on the future of Malta’s catering sector, first carried in the Autumn edition of Business Now magazine, the sister publication to BusinessNow.mt

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