From Iceland — Iceland's Only Michelin Star Restaurant Dill Reduces Services Due To COVID-19

Iceland’s Only Michelin Star Restaurant Dill Reduces Services Due To COVID-19

Iceland’s Only Michelin Star Restaurant Dill Reduces Services Due To COVID-19

Published June 5, 2020

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Art Bicnick

Iceland’s only Michelin star restaurant Dill has struggled to cope with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, but is continuing to offer one service a week, Morgunblaðið reports.

Sales have dropped by 92% over recent months and owner Gunnar Karl Gíslason explains he had to rely on state aid to save employees’ jobs. The Icelandic hospitality industry has been extremely hard hit by the pandemic, on the first day of the government’s reduced rate of employment scheme, 22% of the 25,000 applicants were hospitality and catering employees.

Due to the difficult circumstances, Dill is currently only open on Saturday evenings, but Gunnar Karl hopes to gradually increase the number of services. “I’m going to see how things develop,” he explains. “It makes the most sense to start quietly.”

Before COVID-19, around 80% of Dill’s customers were foreign tourists, but locals have now reclaimed the restaurant. “Icelanders have taken over and fill the place on Saturday nights”, Gunnar Karl explains.

Gunnar Karl is optimistic that business will improve when Iceland re-opens to tourists from June 15th, but recognises that a long uphill struggle is ahead.

The Grapevine are huge fans of Dill – they won our Best Tasting Menu Award in both 2018 and 2019 (a much bigger deal than the Michelin star of course). Read our recent review here.

Note: Due to the effect the Coronavirus is having on tourism in Iceland, it’s become increasingly difficult for the Grapevine to survive. If you enjoy our content and want to help the Grapevine’s journalists do things like eat and pay rent, please consider joining our High Five Club.

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