The world’s best restaurant, which sells $700 lunches, posted a $240,000 loss amid Denmark’s Covid restrictions

  • Noma — the world’s best restaurant — posted a $240,000 loss for 2021 when it was shut for months.
  • The Copenhagen restaurant last reported a loss in 2017 when it was closed for a refresh.
  • It’s now serving menus focused on vegetables priced from $420 to $700 per person.

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Even the world’s top restaurant recorded a loss in 2021 amid coronavirus lockdowns.

Copenhagen’s Noma — which ranked No. 1 on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list in 2021 — reported a net loss of 1.69 million Danish kroner ($240,000) in 2021, according to a company filing with the Danish Business Authority. That’s after it collected 10.9 million kroner ($1.5 million) in government compensation for the impact of lockdowns.

The last time Noma recorded a loss was in 2017, according to Bloomberg. It was shut for the whole of that year as co-owner and chef René Redzepi wanted to refresh the restaurant.

The 3-star restaurant Michelin had to rethink the business again when it was forced to close on December 9, 2020, due to coronavirus restrictions in Denmark, according to the AFP. The restaurant reopened in June last year with a menu catering to local palates.

Noma is now serving summer menus focused on vegetables. Prices start from 3,000 kroner ($420) per person, including tax. The most expensive lunch menu, complete with wine pairing, costs 5,000 kroner ($700) per person.

Despite the high prices, many pre-paid reservation slots through October 21 are already sold out, according to its booking website.

“In the circumstances, the company’s result and economic development have been satisfying,” Noma wrote in its company filing. “The company expects an improved result for the year ahead.”

Noma was not the only restaurant hit by the pandemic, as food and beverage outlets across the world faced unprecedented challenges due to lockdowns and dine-in restrictions. In the US, about 159,000 food and drink establishments closed in 2020 alone, according to a Washington Post analysis published last week. That’s almost double the average of 81,000 closures per year before the pandemic.

Noma told Insider it doesn’t have further comments.