Restaurant trends

Restaurant Trends

In this section you’ll find all the latest news and data on the UK restaurant market, including dining trends, food and beverage trends, eating-out spend, and restaurant marketing and technology trends.

World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2014: Top chefs descend on London

Chefs and restaurateurs from The World’s 50 Best Restaurants are set to descend on London tonight (28 April) for the 12th annual World’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards. Follow the action with BigHospitality on Facebook and Twitter for updates, photos and gossip as the evening unfolds.

Attack of the TripAdvisors: Should review websites allow anonymity?

Review website TripAdvisor has reiterated that blackmail from customers is ‘strictly against guidelines’ after a Yorkshire-based restaurateur claimed reviewers were threatening to leave negative comments unless they received a free meal at one of his outlets.

World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2014: Will El Celler de Can Roca retain top spot?

The World’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards, sponsored by S.Pellegrino and Acqua Panna, takes place on Monday (28 April) and speculation is beginning to mount - will Spanish restaurant El Celler de Can Roca hold off the likes of Noma and Osteria Francescana to stay at number one?

Happy Easter: Hospitality businesses set for bumper weekend

Hospitality businesses across the UK are gearing up for a bumper Easter weekend, with 3.4 million Brits planning to take a domestic holiday, generating some £800m in tourism spend.

Ed's Easy Diner named fastest-growing restaurant group

Ed’s Easy Diner, the 24-strong 1950s-style American diner chain, has topped the 2014 Zolfo Cooper Profit Tracker - a list of the 50 fastest-growing restaurant and bar companies.

Marching on: Spring sales surge for restaurants and pubs

Britain’s restaurant and pub groups saw collective like-for-like sales grow 4.6 per cent in March against the same month last year, marking 12 consecutive months of positive growth for the sector. 

T.G.I Friday’s unveils new 'Fast Track' concept for transport hub expansion

‘A new era is dawning’ for T.G.I Friday’s as the American restaurant chain today announced it will be opening its first outlet at a key transport hub under a newly created quick-service format.

All Bar One lands at Birmingham Airport

Mitchells & Butlers (M&B) is tapping into the business potential offered by high-footfall transport hubs, with two debut All Bar One sites soon to open in Birmingham Airport.

Prezzo FY EBITDA up 13%; plans 25-30 openings this year

Prezzo, the Jonathan Kaye-led restaurant group, has reported a 13 per cent rise in adjusted EBITDA to £28.9m in the year to 29 December on revenue up 15 per cent to £166.5m, and said it planned to open 25-30 new sites by the end of this year.

Tom Conran converts Notting Hill restaurant

After 24 years operating Tom’s Deli in Notting Hill, Tom Conran, the restaurateur and son of Sir Terrance Conran, is launching New Tom’s - a 12-month pop-up restaurant on the same site, serving ‘avant-garde modern cuisine. 

PizzaExpress focuses on lunch trade with new ‘Express’ menu

PizzaExpress is looking to grab an even bigger slice of the UK’s ever-growing lunch market with a major revamp of its menu to include cheaper ‘Express’ items available to take away. 

Blumenthal takes The Fat Duck Down Under

Heston Blumenthal is temporarily relocating his legendary three-Michelin-starred restaurant The Fat Duck while carrying out a six-month refurbishment of the original site in Bray.

Pizza & Ice Cream concept hits Camden

A new pizza and ice cream concept has opened this week in the heart of Camden Town’s Stable Market. 

The Ambrette set for South East expansion

Dev Biswal, chef patron of The Ambrette which has restaurants in Margate and Rye, has revealed plans to expand across the South East, with two new sites opening in the coming few months. 

Scotland’s first 'neo-bistro' to open in Edinburgh

New neo-bistro Aizle is opening in Edinburgh in April, the first restaurant of its kind to come to Scotland.

Marcus Wareing to open third London restaurant

Marcus Wareing Restaurants, led by the eponymous two-Michelin-starred chef, is opening a third London restaurant in Covent Garden which marks an 'exciting stage of growth' for the business.

Harry Ramsden's to open 50 new restaurants in Scotland

Fish & chip restaurant brand Harry Ramsden’s plans to open 50 sites in Scotland over the next five years after signing a major franchise deal with Sevenseas Ventures.

Restaurants and pubs have reason to cheer despite ‘flat February’

Sales for the nation’s pub, bar and restaurant groups evened out in February, with collective like-for-like sales up by just 0.2 per cent on the same month last year.

Vapiano looks past London

Fast-casual Italian restaurant chain Vapiano has announced it is looking for ‘entrepreneurial partners’ to support its UK expansion outside of London.

Alain Ducasse brings Rivea to London

Legendary French chef Alain Ducasse is set to launch Rivea – an informal Mediterranean restaurant situated within the five-star Bulgari Hotel in West London - in May.

Heston Blumenthal reveals details of new T2 restaurant

Heston Blumenthal’s new ‘nostalgic British restaurant’ will be called The Perfectionists’ Café and will open at Heathrow’s newly redeveloped Terminal 2 in June. 

National Apprenticeship Week 2014: Hospitality leads the way

As the seventh annual National Apprenticeship Week draws to a close, BigHospitality has heard from an array of hotels, restaurants and pubs - and even Boris Johnson – all pledging their support for the initiative.

Dindin hits Holborn

Dindin Kitchen, a new fast-casual Persian restaurant concept, is set to make its debut next month with a 30-cover restaurant opening in Holborn.

Foodilic eyes 30 London restaurants in five years

Restaurateur Peter Ilic is looking to take the London grab-and-go market by storm, with plans to open at least 30 outlets for his healthy fast food brand Foodilic over the next five years.

Shoryu snaps up third site

The Japan Centre Group is continuing its expansion of restaurants in London with a third site for its Shoryu Ramen concept opening in the West End next month.

Singha beer brewer opens Asian restaurant in London

Boon Rawd Brewery, the Thailand-based company that produces Singha beer, has brought its Asian street food concept Pacata back to London with a new restaurant opening in Covent Garden.

Entries open for MasterChef: The Professionals 2014

Chefs from across the UK are being urged to enter MasterChef: The Professionals 2014, with the deadline for applications closing on 4 April. 

Marco Pierre White to open 50 new restaurants

Marco Pierre White has signed a major deal with a hotel development company which will see the ‘godfather of modern cooking’ roll out 50 branded restaurants across the UK and Northern Ireland over the next five years.

National Apprenticeship Week: Hospitality industry unites

It's National Apprenticeship Week and hospitality businesses large and small have been pledging their support for the initiative which celebrates apprenticeships and the positive impact they have on the UK economy.

Former nightclub duo to open Jerusalem-themed restaurant in Soho

Layo and Zoe Paskin, the siblings behind London’s former The End and AKA nightclubs, are venturing back into hospitality together with the launch of a Jerusalem restaurant in Soho.

Out of touch: Contactless payment has ‘huge impact’ on customer service

Restaurants, pubs, bars and cafés that don’t offer contactless payment technology are ‘out of touch’ with what customers want and risk losing out on additional business. 

Viajante closure paves way for new F&B offerings at Town Hall Hotel

As the Michelin-starred East End destination restaurant Viajante prepares for its last service, details of the replacement F&B offerings at the five-star Town Hall Hotel in Bethnal Green have been revealed. 

Marani brings a taste of Georgia to Mayfair

Khinkali dumpings, Khachapuri cheese bread and spiced broths will feature among the menu of Marani, a new family-run Georgian restaurant opening on Curzon Street next week.

Carluccio’s achieves top SRA rating

Carluccio’s, the all-day Italian café chain led by Simon Kossoff, has become the largest restaurant operator in the UK to achieve the highest accolade possible for its commitment to sustainability.

TRG targets 43 new restaurants in 2014 as profits rise

The Restaurant Group (TRG), owner of the Frankie & Benny’s, Chiquito, Garfunkel’s and Coast to Coast restaurant brands, plans to open 36-43 new sites this year after delivering ‘another strong performance’ across its estate in 2013.

​Itsu targets nationwide expansion

Itsu, the oriental chain set up by Pret a Manger founder Julian Metcalfe and led by Gerard Loughran, has plans to go nationwide after the success of its first store outside London.

Restaurants and pubs outperform retail at train stations

As the intense competition for prime, city-centre sites continues to spread into transport hubs across the UK, new figures released today reveal that restaurants, pubs and bars in Network Rail-owned train stations are now outperforming retail units. 

Customer-focused technology: High-tech hospitality in action

For the final part of our technology special feature, BigHospitality checked in at one of the country’s most high-tech hotels to bring you an exclusive video report on the business benefits of customer-focused technology.

Customer-focused technology: Complete control

So you’ve enticed your customer with an efficient mobile booking service and wowed them with portable EPoS devices and super-fast Wi-Fi. In the third part of this special feature, we look at how you can use technology to encourage that customer to visit again.

Dabbous confirms second London restaurant

Barnyard, the second restaurant from Michelin-starred chef Ollie Dabbous and mixologist Oskar Kinberg, will open just a few minutes’ walk from their original site in Fitzrovia next month.   

​Panda Yummy ready for rollout

Panda Yummy, the noodle restaurant concept, has lined up its first eight openings of 2014 as it looks to grow to c40 sites by the end of the year, founder Ian MacDonald has told our sister title M&C Report.

Camera shy: Should food photos be banned from restaurants?

Snap-happy foodies taking pictures of their meals with smartphones has become a common sight for restaurants worldwide, but for some chefs the practice has become a nuisance; disrupting the ambiance and often doing the presentation of the food an injustice. 

BrewDog and Honest Burger create ‘BrewBurger’

Scottish-based independent brewer BrewDog and London restaurant business Honest Burgers have joined forces to launch a new product which taps in on two of Britain’s biggest food and drink trends – burgers and craft beer. 

Work that experience: The changing face of customer loyalty

Consumers have become ‘value hunters’ and are increasingly willing to go extra lengths to get the best deal, making it more important than ever to build the relationship that will create brand loyalty. But with this loyalty comes further expectations and the need for more than just greater value but also for an experience, a point that a number of operators are quickly picking up on.

Hospitality industry welcomes Government support for storm-struck businesses

Hotels, restaurants pubs and tourist attractions situated in areas affected by the extreme weather have welcomed the Government’s new £10m support scheme to help put businesses ‘back on their feet’.

UK floods: Hospitality & tourism businesses ‘struggling to cope’

Hotels, restaurants, pubs and tourist attractions have been battered by heavy rain and gale-force winds and the Government must 'act now' to set a path to recovery. 

Eating-out value growth to reach pre-recession levels

Emerging fast food concepts, coffee shops and the further proliferation of the street food movement are set to drive the UK’s eating-out sector in 2014, with the market forecast to grow 3 per cent in value over the next 12 months to £82.5bn - the highest level of growth since the recession. 

Busaba ramps up UK expansion

Alan Yau's casual-dining Thai chain Busaba Eathai has confirmed plans to double its estate over the next three years, with two new London openings in 2014 and an extra focus being placed on further expansion outside of the capital.

Jamaican ‘patty’ concept hits London

Jamaica Patty Co, a new fast-casual concept offering traditional Jamaican patties, is set to launch in Covent Garden next month as ‘the first of many across Britain’. 

Ping Pong primed for national expansion

Ahead of opening its ninth outlet in London, dim sum restaurant chain Ping Pong has unveiled plans to open another 20 to 25 sites in and outside of the capital over the next four years. 

Jerk BBQ & rum shack concept unveiled by Adventure Bars

Dub Jam - a new, fast-casual jerk BBQ rum shack concept – is being launched in Covent Garden next month by London-based bar operator Adventure Bars. 

Energy price hikes: Restaurants feel the heat as costs soar

The inflation-busting price hikes announced by ‘the big six’ electricity and gas firms last year have hit hospitality businesses hard, with 90 per cent of restaurateurs claiming rising energy costs have forced them to reassess menu prices.

Tube strike: Travel chaos brings ‘mixed bag’ for London’s restaurants and pubs

The first of two strikes on the London Underground disrupted the journeys of millions of commuters this week, but for the capital’s restaurant and pubs, the business effects were varied, with some actually reporting an increase in trade. 

Rebecca Mascarenhas goes ahead with Italian restaurant in Putney

Restaurateur Rebecca Mascarenhas has renewed plans to open her modern Italian trattoria concept Bibo, having secured the site of what used to be Gregg Wallace’s Wallace & Co restaurant in Putney.

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal temporarily closed after norovirus outbreak

Heston Blumenthal’s two-Michelin-starred London restaurant Dinner has shut up shop for a week following an outbreak of norovirus affecting members of staff and guests.

Consumer confidence setback puts restaurants in ‘stop-start mode’

With latest figures showing that consumer confidence suffered an unexpected dip in the final quarter of 2013, foodservice consultancy Horizons believes the eating-out sector will remain in ‘stop-start mode’ until the economy has fully recovered. 

Philippe Conticini opens ‘pastry shop of dreams’ in London

La Pâtisserie des Rêves, the Parisian boutique patisserie concept from pastry chef Philippe Conticini, is opening its first UK outlet today (31 January) with a site in Marylebone High Street.

Young hospitality entrepreneur to open butcher/restaurant concept in London

Luca Mathiszig-Lee, the young entrepreneur that BigHospitality profiled not too long ago, has stuck to his ambition of opening more hospitality businesses in London, having secured a site in Hackney for a new butcher/restaurant concept. 

Ryan Giggs opens new restaurant in Worsley

Fresh from opening his football-themed restaurant with former teammate Gary Neville, Manchester United star Ryan Giggs has launched a new, premium dining destination in Worsley.

You’re hired: Hospitality’s job creation drive continues into 2014

Last week’s revelations of unemployment dropping to a five-year low has been met by positive recruitment ambitions for the hospitality and leisure industries, with almost half of businesses pledging to take on new talent this year.

Back in business: Hospitality property market outlook

As the new year gets rolling, now is the perfect time for hotels, restaurants and pubs to determine the key developments that will impact their business in 2014. This short audio podcast, taken from Christie & Co's annual Business Outlook, should help you to ensure you're on the right track for the year ahead. 

The London Story: What makes the 'global capital' so hospitable?

With a record number of tourists continuing to flock to London, chef, TV personality and restaurateur Gordon Ramsay is fronting a new video campaign to promote the capital’s food and drink businesses to the rest of the world.

Ning Restaurants exits York, looks to London for next opening

Malaysian chef Norman Musa is looking to bring his Manchester-based Ning Restaurants business to London with an upcoming food stall in Soho being used as a forerunner for a potential permanent site in Islington.

Business Outlook 2014: What’s in store for hospitality?

An increasing number of pubs will be sold for ongoing use; private equity will continue to pour into restaurants; and hotels in London and the provinces will look to consolidate their positions in the marketplace. 

Restaurants, pubs and coffee shops celebrate bumper festive period

The festive period appeared to be one of the strongest on record for many restaurant and pub groups across the UK, despite the recent challenges to footfall caused by the extreme weather.

Food for thought: Should restaurants be forced to display hygiene ratings?

It is now compulsory in Wales and there are calls for the rest of the UK to follow suit. But opponents of the current system say it is inconsistent and open to misconception. Should all restaurants and takeaways be required by law to display their food hygiene ratings?

Happy New Year: What's hot in hospitality for 2014

What does 2014 hold for the hospitality industry? We’ve looked into our crystal ball (and spoken to a few industry experts) to predict some of the big trends and developments in the world of restaurants, hotels and pubs over the next 12 months. 

Caffè Culture Show 2014: Artisan food focus reflects changing marketplace

Some of the brightest business minds from the café bar industry will descend on London's Olympia this May as the Caffè Culture Show returns for its ninth year.

BigHospitality’s 2013 review: What you told us

It was the year that the horsemeat scandal rocked the food chain, Noma was knocked off of top spot and the beer duty escalator was finally scrapped. But what did you make of it all? Here’s a look back at some of the biggest issues of 2013.

Former Red Hot World Buffet manager brings world cuisine concept to Oldham

A seasoned restaurant worker and former manager of Red Hot World Buffet in Manchester has embarked on his first solo venture with a new restaurant in Oldham offering his own take on global cuisine.

In good spirits: Operators trade strongly in run-up to Christmas

Britains’s restaurant, pub and bar groups are in good stead in the run up to Christmas with like-for-likes up by 1.7 per cent in November compared to the same month last year.

Opportunity knocks for Greek restaurants in London

The owner of a new Greek restaurant and deli in London believes there is a gap in the market for a group of restaurants offering an ‘integrated Greek experience’ as he looks to expand his business under a franchise. 

Camino confirms UK expansion plans

The Spanish restaurant revolution in London is set to take another turn next year as Camino, the four-strong tapas restaurant and bar group, is embarking on an ambition expansion programme to reach 10 sites over the next three years.

American focus to open new Avenue for D&D London

D&D London has become the latest hospitality operator to capitalise on the increased demand for more casual, American-inspired cuisine with the announcement that it is to re-launch its modern British restaurant, Avenue.

Extra technology focus needed for pubs and restaurants in 2014

Pub and restaurant operators ‘must embrace new technologies’ in order to be profitable next year, as the pace of change and the use of smartphones and social media is set to accelerate even further.

London’s ‘French revolution’ continues with Blanchette opening in Soho

The Salt Yard Group’s co-founder Simon Mullins and chef director Ben Tish have partnered with three brothers to open a new Parisian restaurant in Soho next week, capping off a year packed full of French bistro openings in the capital.

Tamarind Collection to re-launch Zaika restaurant as One Kensington

Indian restaurant group the Tamarind Collection is to convert Zaika in Kensington High Street, which it acquired earlier this year, into ‘a new direction lifestyle concept’.

Absolute Taste heads to Fenwick

Bespoke catering and events company Absolute Taste has launched The Terrace, a new 220-cover restaurant and bar situated within the Fenwick department store in Royal Tunbridge Wells. 

Autumn Statement 2013: What it means for hospitality

"Britain's economic plan is working," proclaimed George Osborne in his Autumn Statement earlier today as the Chancellor pledged to support 'the hard-working values' of the nation's high street restaurants, cafés and pubs. 

Ibérica eyes Farringdon and Manchester for next restaurant openings

Two weeks after revealing plans to expand to up to 10 sites across the UK in the next five years, Ibérica Restaurants says it hopes to be opening its fourth London restaurant in Farringdon next spring, followed by two new restaurants in Manchester later in the year.

KERB partners with NCASS to increase street food safety

London-based street food organization KERB has announced that all of its members will become part of the Nationwide Caterer’s Association (NCASS) in a bid to improve public confidence in the safety of food sold on the streets.

Food for Good: Farm Africa raises £500k in one year

A year after the launch of its ‘Food for Good’ campaign, the Farm Africa charity has raised an impressive £500k from leading restaurants and chefs across the UK.

Places now available for study tour of Chicago

Restaurant operators are being encouraged to sign-up for an educational and feature-packed study tour of Chicago next May.

Five Guys strengthens pipeline

Five Guys, the popular US burger chain, has lined up a further three openings of for the start of next year, as it looks to open up to 30 new sites in the UK over the next 12 months.

Tragus to open new brasserie concept at Heathrow’s T2

Tragus Group, owner of the Café Rouge, Bella Italia, Strada and Belgo brands, is launching a new concept at Heathrow’s new Terminal 2: The Queen’s Terminal, next year.

Alan Murchison Restaurants in liquidation

Alan Murchison Restaurants Ltd, which operated the Michelin-starred L’Ortolan restaurant in Berkshire, has been put into voluntary liquidation after running up debts of almost half a million pounds.

Hospitality Openings: November 2013

London is again the hub of all things new in our photo gallery for November, with Angela Hartnett's second solo venture, a Prohibition era-themed bar and a cocoa-based fine-dining restaurant all featuring among the latest hospitality openings. 

Roka to open two new restaurants in London

Roka, Rainer Becker’s contemporary Japanese robatayaki restaurant brand, is doubling its footprint in the UK with two new venues opening in London next year.

Leon to double in size over the next year

Leon has this month opened the first of a planned twelve sites over the next year as the restaurant chain looks to 'create fast food as it might be in heaven'. 

Chewton Glen chef to open first solo venture

The head chef of Chewton Glen hotel in Hampshire is going solo to pursue his lifelong dream of owning a Michelin-starred restaurant with the opening The Elderflower in nearby Lymington next year.

Ibérica reveals UK expansion plans

Ibérica Restaurants, the three-strong Spanish group led by two-Michelin-starred chef Nacho Manzano, is actively looking to expand outside of London with plans for up to 10 UK sites in the next five years.

Peter Gorton backs new Restaurant Academy

Chef Peter Gorton is backing an innovative new Restaurant Academy in Plymouth designed to combine modern brasserie dining with a centre of excellence that will launch the careers of the next generation of young hospitality professionals.

More pubs for Brunning & Price as owner The Restaurant Group reports ‘good progress’

Brunning and Price, the Chester-based pub company owned by The Restaurant Group, is opening three more sites by the end of the year, with an ‘even busier’ pipeline next year.

Boris Johnson launches new scheme to help restaurants cut food waste

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson has this week launched ‘Foodsave’, a new scheme to help foodservice businesses maximise profits by reducing food waste and diverting surplus food away from landfill and towards useful purposes.

The Mince Pie Project: Top chefs helping to fight food poverty

The Mince Pie Project, the annual mince pie auction and raffle featuring baked delights from some of the UK’s leading chefs, has re-launched for 2013 with Michel Roux Jr, Michael Caines and Raymond Blanc all on-board.

Mexican restaurant replaces Aurelia in Mayfair

Venture capitalist and highly successful London restaurateur Arjun Waney has opened Peyote - a modern Mexican restaurant and bar in Mayfair – in partnership with fellow businessman Tarun Mahrotri. 

Des McDonald to launch new BBQ concept

Fresh from opening the successful Fish & Chip concept in Islington earlier this year, Des McDonald is opening a new BBQ restaurant and bar in Camden.

Simon Rogan: ‘Replacing Ramsay will be a massive challenge’

Simon Rogan has admitted that there is a lot of pressure to emulate what Gordon Ramsay created at Claridge’s, but the chef is confident that he can deliver a long-lasting modern restaurant that reflects the timelessness of the five-star London hotel. 

Simon Rogan to open restaurant at Claridge’s

Visionary chef and restaurateur Simon Rogan is opening a new restaurant at Claridge’s following Gordon Ramsay’s departure from the five-star hotel earlier this year.

Hospitality Openings: September/October 2013

New London restaurants including Merchants Tavern, Boulestin and Gymkhana domintate our Hospitality Openings gallery for September and October – although some innovative hotels and pubs also feature…

Restaurants confirmed for new Victoria developments

Land Securities is continuing its transformation of London’s Victoria with Spanish restaurant Ibérica secured for the property firm’s upcoming Zig Zag Building and two high street operators soon to open within its 62 Buckingham Gate development.

D&D London reports 'important year of growth'

Following a renewed period of expansion and the opening of a number of new venues, restaurant, bar and hotel operator D&D London has reported a strong year of trading, with revenue and profits up across the group.

Arnaud Stevens to open Sixtyone restaurant with Searcys

Arnaud Stevens, former executive chef of 40/30 at The Gherkin, is opening Sixtyone – a modern British restaurant in London’s West End. 

Big brands reserve restaurants at Newport shopping centre development

Shopping centre developer Queensbury Real Estate has revealed details of the first five restaurants to sign up to its 390,000 sq.ft Friars Walk development in Newport.

Hudson’s House joins VQ at St Giles Hotel

Hudson’s House, an ‘unselfconsciously hip’ bar and restaurant, has officially opened within the St Giles Hotel in central London after a soft launch period.

André Garrett wants ‘at least one Michelin star’ for new restaurant at Cliveden

Having recently assumed his position as executive chef of Cliveden House hotel, André Garrett will open his eponymous fine-dining restaurant at the five-star Berkshire property in just a few weeks’ time. And the chef has big ambitions for the new venue.

Will Holland reveals details of new Shropshire restaurant

Will Holland, the former chef-patron of Alan Murchison’s Shropshire restaurant La Bécasse, is staying in the county for the opening of his own restaurant early next year.

Byron sold for £100m

Gondola Group has sold its fast-growing burger brand Byron to Hutton Collins in a surprise £100m deal.

Pizza and cocktail concept to open on reserved Covent Garden site

Chuck’s Clubhouse, the New York-style pizza restaurant that was set to open in Covent Garden this month, will instead open in another, ‘better suited’ location in London next year due to complications with the building.

Pizza Hut reveals multi-million pound restaurant makeover

Pizza Hut, the Rutland Partners-backed family restaurant chain, has today announced the start of a £60m refurbishment and restructuring programme which will see over 80 of its UK sites revamped with a new, ‘interactive’ design and a more Americanised food offering.

September sales slowdown for restaurants and pubs

Britain’s restaurant and pub groups saw sales growth slow last month, with collective like-for-likes up by just 0.4 per cent year-on-year.

Hotel Chocolat brings cocoa restaurant to Borough Market

With National Chocolate Week taking place this week (14-20 October), renowned cocoa grower and chocolatier Hotel Chocolat has revealed details of a new, cocoa-based fine-dining restaurant opening in Borough Market next month.

French cooking: Outdated and overrated?

A panel debate at The Restaurant Show earlier this week got all the big chefs talking. France may have influenced and defined the terms of virtually all western cooking, but does it continue to impress?

Trinity Leeds looks to revolutionise food retailing with new street food concept

Trinity Leeds, Land Securities’ £350m, city-centre shopping and leisure development, is pioneering ‘a new take on eating out’ with the launch of a new food hall, housing street food vendors, pop-up market stalls and emerging high street food brands.

Survey reveals growing influence of restaurants on local property prices

High-quality restaurants in London can boost nearby residential property values by up to 20 per cent, while fast food outlets often have the reverse effect, causing a drop in property prices by 15 per cent in the immediate vicinity. 

National Restaurant Awards: Hand & Flowers takes 2013 title

The Hand & Flowers, Tom Kerridge’s pub-restaurant in Marlow, has been voted the UK’s best restaurant at the 2013 National Restaurant Awards, snatching top spot from The Ledbury, which held the title for three years.

Bill’s eyes 20 new sites in 2014

Bill’s Restaurants, the fast-growing Richard Caring-backed chain, is eyeing a further 20 openings next, which would include a concerted push into the North and take the group close to the 50-site mark.

Going mobile: Restaurants realise pop-up potential

As numerous restaurateurs would testify, the pop-up restaurant has fast-become the new weapon in securing a permanent site. But could we now be seeing a reversal of the trend, with established brands spinning off their own temporary concepts?

Comptoir Libanais snaps up two more sites as UK expansion continues

Comptoir Libanais, the canteen and delicatessen concept created by Tony Kitous, is opening its sixth, seventh and eighth restaurants later this year, including its first site outside of London.

Michelin Guide 2014: Two stars for Dinner by Heston Blumenthal and Greenhouse

The Michelin Guide for Great Britain and Ireland 2014 has awarded Heston Blumenthal's Dinner and Mayfair restaurant Greenhouse two Michelin stars, while 15 other establishments including including Lima, Jason Atherton's Social Eating House and Tom Seller's Story have gained a first star.

Digital restaurant: How to extend your reach with online innovations

The likes of social media, online advertising and mobile loyalty apps allow businesses large and small to reach out to increasingly digital-savvy consumers. But how can these ‘digital innovations’ be used in the most effective ways to impact your restaurant’s bottom line?

Operators 'must optimise food distribution and sourcing' as food inflation takes its toll

With rising food inflation and value-conscious customers continuing to squeeze margins, operators will need to take steps if they want to avoid a significant impact on their bottom line.

David Moore takes former Roganic site to trial new concept

David Moore, the man behind Michelin-starred London restaurants L’Autre Pied and Pied à Terre, is to open a pop-up restaurant on the former site of Simon Rogan’s Roganic in Marylebone. 

Fleurets Rental Survey suggests ‘return to growth’ for restaurants and pubs

An increase in rent reviews among licenced retail premises and a flurry of transaction activity across the restaurant sector could mean that ‘we are at long last beginning to see an upturn in the market, or at least the end of the downturn’.

Chuck’s Clubhouse: New York-style pizza restaurant coming to Covent Garden

The restaurant resurgence of Covent Garden will take another turn next month with the addition of Chuck’s Clubhouse – a New York-style pizza restaurant from the team behind GO Food.

Spirit follows US route with new Fayre & Square food offering

Fayre & Square, the 157-strong family pub offering from Spirit Pub Company, is the latest brand to tap into the rising popularity of American food concepts with the launch of its new autumn menu.

Sustainable Champions: SRA unveils new accreditation for dining destinations

The Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA) has developed the first ever sustainability accreditation for food destinations, after its research found that 70 per cent of consumers would choose a sustainable restaurant given the option, and more than half would pay more for the dining experience there. 

ZaZa Bazaar to be the Gate’s next big star

ZaZa Bazaar, the world banquet and bar concept, has secured its second site in the Gate, Newcastle, and toldM&C Report that it has a pipeline in place for further openings next year.

Counter service gains casual credibility

High-end operators are taking a leaf out of Nando’s book by adopting and tweaking counter ordering systems for new mid-market restaurant formats.

Fazenda hits Liverpool, Manchester and Birmingham next

Fazenda, the Brazillian 'rodizio' restaurant concept with a single site in Leeds, is expanding into areas we’ve previously highlighted as upcoming ‘Hospitable Cities’, with a second site opening in Liverpool this autumn and more to follow in Manchester and Birmingham.

London’s burger boom continues as new Tommi’s restaurant reports ‘crazy’ week of sales

Tommi’s Burger Joint, the pop-up-to-permanent Icelandic burger restaurant which has just re-opened in Marylebone, reported 'fantastic’ sales in its first week, with director Robert Aron Magnusson claiming simplicity and quality are the key to success in an increasingly crowded market.

Bunnychow parks up in Boxpark

After three months roaming London’s streets in its eponymous truck, South African street food vendor Bunnychow has secured its first semi-permanent site at one of the saught-after shipping containers within Shoreditch’s Boxpark development. 

Summer sales up for London’s restaurants and pubs

A recent survey of BigHospitality readers revealed that 65 per cent of restaurant and pub owners saw increased bookings and sales as a result of the heatwave in July, and the latest figures from the Coffer Peach Business Tracker reflect these benefits. 

Blacks Burgers welcomes London's burger boom as it prepares to double up

The manager of an expanding burger business in Greater London says he welcomes the wave of burger joints flooding the capital in recent months, claiming there are still gaps in the market which can be exploited.

One-trick ponies: Are single-dish restaurants widening the industry skills gap?

The co-owner of a restaurant and bar in Notting Hill says the recent flurry of single and dual-dish restaurants is changing the skill set of up-and-coming chefs and making it harder for more varied and traditional concepts to attract new talent.

Big spenders: Young diners bolster eating out sector

Restaurants looking to increase revenues this summer and beyond should look no further than Generation Y, with diners under the age of 34 the most likely to eat out and spend more per head. 

AUDIO: Steve Holmes on why ASK Italian has ‘a right’ to try to become the market-leading Italian restaurant business

Steve Holmes, managing director of Gondola Holdings-owned ASK Italian, has said he has recently started to believe his transformation strategy for the business will produce the desired results.

Burger business: Why quality and traceable beef will prevail

With London’s burger boom showing no signs of abating, BigHospitality took a trip to a beef cattle farm in Scotland to find out how one of the newest burger joints to hit the capital is championing the quality and traceability of its patties to stand out from the ever-growing crowd.

Festivals to restaurants: Grillstock opens first permanent site

The team behind barbecue and music festival Grillstock have launched their first permanent restaurant in Bristol ahead of a planned rollout of the brand. 

How to set up a food business: Pop-up to host restaurants and advice clinics

The team behind food start-up business support programme Kitchenette are to launch a summer pop-up in Islington which will give potential entrepreneurs the chance to hear from some of the industry's success stories including MeatLiquor founder Yianni Papoutsis and Martin Morales from Ceviche.

Harbour & Jones chef calls on event catering chefs to back his 'Real Food' campaign

Leo Rodley, executive chef at 76 Portland Place, has launched a campaign - Real Food - in order to encourage event catering chefs to showcase their use of quality, seasonal produce and change the negative stereotypes surrounding meeting and event food. 

The Diner acquires Old Spitalfields Market site for seventh restaurant

Southern-inspired American restaurant group The Diner has acquired a site in Old Spitalfields Market for a seventh restaurant which is set to open this August. 

Cheltenham Café Rouge pair go it alone to open first restaurant

Sadek Ahmed and Tom Johnson, who met while working for Tragus Group at the Café Rouge in Cheltenham, have opened Tarragon - their first restaurant - in the town.

Independents v chains: Are big brands ‘ruining’ the high street?

The co-owner of a new restaurant in Watford has said the domination of branded restaurant chains and fast food outlets is making it increasingly difficult for independents to stay afloat and contributing to Britain’s obesity crisis.

Thinking small: London’s ‘intimate’ restaurant trend continues with 20-cover Bermondsey bistro

On the same day that we announced a former MasterChef: The Professionals finalist would be opening a 14-cover restaurant in Notting Hill, BigHospitality has heard from another London-based restaurateur who is opening a similar-sized venue in Bermondsey.

Hospitality Openings: May/June 2013

Long-awaited restaurants, including Bruno Loubet's The Grain Store and Hutong at The Shard, dominate this month's hospitality openings photo gallery which also documents concept launches, refurbs and re-brands carried out by hospitality businesses in May and June 2013.

Prezzo taps in on burger and chicken restaurant trends with new brand

Restaurant group Prezzo, the operator of the eponymous Italian chain and Mexican concept Chimichanga, has launched a new brand specialising in chicken, burger and ribs, with a debut site having just opened in Cobham, Surrey.

A Steak in the Economy: Government warned not to overlook food start-up businesses

The Government is in danger of stifling and overlooking food and restaurant start-up businesses which could hold the key to economic growth, a new report has claimed.   

Tipping Point: Should UK restaurants ban tipping?

UK restaurateurs and front-of-house staff have slammed the decision of a New York restaurant to outlaw tipping, calling the move 'ridiculous' and one that should not be adopted by venues on this side of the pond.

Optimism in the eating-out sector hits a six-year high

Increased spending in the eating-out sector will provide some welcome relief for restaurateurs this year and could help pave the way for an economic recovery, according to figures released by the CBI.

Bone Daddies owner brings ‘Flesh and Buns’ to Covent Garden

Ross Shonhan, the man behind ramen restaurant Bone Daddies, is doubling up in London with the opening of Flesh and Buns – another Japanese concept, this time specializing in  ‘hirata’ steamed buns – in Covent Garden next month.

CAU takes third site, more on the horizon

Charlie McLean’s Argentinian steakhouse concept CAU has secured its third restaurant in London’s Blackheath, with another site expected to open later this year and four to five more planned in 2014.

Eighty sites in seven years: Giggling Squid ramps up expansion plans

Thai restaurant group Giggling Squid is sticking to its bold ambitions to become the first major national Thai chain with the appointment of a property director who will oversee its expansion target of 80 sites within seven years.

Honky Tonk heads to Clapham, London expansion begins

The owner of Honky Tonk, the American diner concept which launched in Chelsea last year, has secured a second site in Clapham Common as part of ambitious plans to roll out up five venues a year across London.

Restaurant 1701 brings Jewish fine dining to the City

Gourmet kosher food brand Adafina has launched Restaurant 1701 - a new fine-dining venue celebrating the world of Jewish cuisine – within the grounds of Britain’s oldest synagogue in the City of London.

Four new restaurant signings for Gloucester Quays’ extension

Ed’s Easy Diner, Zizzi, Chimichanga and Loungers are the latest restaurant and bar operators to secure units at Quayside - the new £60 million extension to the Gloucester Quays Outlet Centre.

Breaking the bind: Restaurants replace discount dining with apps and loyalty schemes

Deep discounts, special offers and the use of daily deal websites are showing no sign of abating in the casual dining restaurant sector, but a number of recent promotion indicate a shift in discounting behaviour.

Bath’s Hole in the Wall restaurant to re-open as The Stable

Long-standing Bath restaurant The Hole in the Wall looks set to re-open under new ownership after being closed for over a year.

EU scraps olive oil ban after industry outrage

The EU has withdrawn its plans to ban restaurants from serving olive oil in refillable jugs and dipping bowls, less than a week after they emerged.

Olive oil ban: Refillable jugs and dipping bowls can remain on restaurant tables

The European Union ban on the use of olive oil jugs and dipping bowls in restaurants should be taken with a pinch of salt according to the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA) who says restaurants will still be able serve customers olive oil at their tables, provided they mix it with another product.

Prezzo, Richoux and The Restaurant Group increase shopping centre footprint

Prezzo, Chimichanga, Dean’s Diner and Frankie & Benny’s are among the restaurant operators that have secured units alongside each other at a new shopping centre which opens in Fareham tomorrow (23 May).

New British restaurant group snaps up two London sites

The Markets Group, which looks to create ‘farmers markets’ housed within the same space as new restaurants in London, has just opened its first site in Crystal Palace and is opening a second in Fulham later this year.

Salt Yard owners to showcase Basque cuisine with new restaurant

Salt Yard group, which operates three modern tapas restaurants in central London, has secured a fourth site in Soho, BigHospitality can reveal.

Restaurants hit back at ‘stupid’ EU olive oil law

A new ban on restaurants serving olive oil in refillable jugs and dipping bowls has today been lambasted by UK restaurants as an unnecessary interference by the EU which will strangle business at a time of economic crisis.

The Five Fields restaurant to open in Chelsea

American chef Taylor Bonnyman is all set to launch The Five Fields restaurant in Chelsea next week, having assembled a team which includes former staff members of Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley, Tom Aikens Restaurant and Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons.

Bumpkin opens fourth restaurant in Chelsea

British restaurant group Bumpkin is sticking with its plans to expand to 20 venues across the UK within the next five years, having acquired a fourth restaurant in Chelsea which will open next month.

Restaurant sales recover in April following March snow

Restaurants and pubs returned to a marginal sales growth in April following the devastating effects of the snow and freezing temperatures in March.

#SocialRestaurant: How to use Twitter effectively

They’re all on it. Big national chains, high-profile chefs and small emerging brands across the UK have realised the power of Twitter. But in the fast-moving world of social media, how can you use the networking site to convert followers to customers?

Former Arbutus team to open Picture restaurant in London’s West End

Three former Arbutus Group employees have teamed up to launch Picture, modern European restaurant situated opposite the BBC’s Broadcasting House on Great Portland Street.

Andrew Pern to open second restaurant in York

Andrew Pern, chef-proprietor of the 90-cover Star Inn in North Yorkshire, is set to open a second venue – the Star Inn The City – in York’s Museum Gardens this autumn.

Supermarket sweep: How to beat the meal deals

As supermarkets begin to take a bigger bite of the foodservice sector, many restaurant operators are left struggling to compete. Could an extra emphasis on lunchtime offerings and more seating options provide that crucial point of difference?

Chabrot Bistrot owners open new restaurant in Smithfield

The team behind Chabrot Bistrot d'Amis restaurant in Knightsbridge has this week launched a second restaurant - Chabrot Bistrot des Halles in Smithfield - with hopes to open up to three more over the next three years.

The Cinnamon Group turns to lunch trade as business growth slows

The new operations manager of The Cinnamon Group has admitted that the business has seen little growth over the past year, but insists there is still room to expand across the UK with the lunchtime trade cited as a ‘key opportunity’.

Benito's Hat secures £1.4m private investment deal for accelerated roll-out

Private equity investor Calculus Capital has invested the majority share of £1.4m into Benito’s Hat, with the fast-casual Mexican chain planning to grow from four to 10 sites by the end of next year.

Soaring food prices leave restaurants fighting for profit

Food prices have overtaken rent and business rates in the list of major overheads facing UK restaurants and are now second only to staff wages, according to a new industry-wide report by reservations company Livebookings.

Peruvian stars of World's 50 Best to open new restaurant in London

Peruvian chefs Gastón Acurio and Virgilio Martínez, whose Lima-based restaurants both featured on this year’s World’s 50 Best list, have joined forces to launch a new restaurant in London later this year.

Lording it up in London?

Shifts in landlord behaviour are making it harder for smaller players to get on the property ladder in the capital, writes Restaurant magazine's Joe Lutrario.

Hope on the Horizon: Five steps forward for foodservice

Following the annual Breakfast Briefing by foodservice consultancy Horizons yesterday morning (1 May), BigHospitality has picked out five of the big trends and forecasts for the eating-out sector to help your business plough on through the recession.

World’s 50 Best Restaurants: El Celler de Can Roca takes 2013 title

El Celler de Can Roca in Girona, Spain, has been named the best restaurant in the world by Restaurant magazine in its World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2013 list, snatching top spot from Noma.

John Wood gets on-board with Dormy House re-opening

Michelin-starred chef John Wood has been appointed as food and beverage consultant at Dormy House ahead of the Cotswolds-based hotel’s re-opening in September, following a £10m refurbishment. 

Dietary requirements: Catering for customers with allergies and intolerances

In the world of dietary requirements, allergies and food intolerances, the UK hospitality industry has come on leaps and bounds. Go back just 10 years and a restaurant would stand out for including an ‘N’ on the menu next to dishes containing nuts, while coeliac disease was virtually unheard of.

Goodman Restaurants follows Burger & Lobster success with new steak and crab concept

Russian steakhouse group Goodman Restaurants, which operates three eponymous restaurants and the thriving Burger & Lobster chain in London, is set to launch a new ‘premium’ concept in November, having secured a unit within the One Chapel Place development in the West End.

Little Chef for sale: Business timeline

Roadside restaurant chain Little Chef has been put up for sale, as turnaround firm RCapital – which bought the business out of administration in 2007 – claims ‘it’s time to explore the next phase for the foodservice operator’.

Rossopomodoro hits Wandsworth, eyes 30 London restaurants

Rossopomodoro, the Italian restaurant chain which stakes claim to spearheading the arrival of authentic Neapolitan pizza and pasta to the UK, has revealed ambitious plans to expand to up to 30 sites in London over the next five years.

Video: A pizza the action... how hard can it be?

With Restaurant magazine recently reporting on the capital’s booming pizza market, BigHospitality headed down to the final of Giropizza – the largest pizza competition in Europe – to get some key pieces of advice for UK operators looking to tap in on the gourmet pizza trend.

Profitable Prezzo prepares for more openings, Chimichanga takes spotlight

Following a strong set of sales results in 2012 for Italian restaurant chain Prezzo, chief executive Jonathan Kaye has reported a ‘good start’ to 2013 and is keen to expand the business along with the group’s Mexican concept, Chimichanga.

‘Everything but a Michelin star’: Artisan restaurant in East Yorkshire to close

The head chef and co-owner of the 16-cover Artisan restaurant in Hessle has claimed that a Michelin star could have potentially changed the fate of the fine-dining restaurant which is now set to close at the end of the month.

Posh pizza pushes on: Trendy and authentic specialists swap wheels for bricks ’n’ mortar

Two high-profile mobile pizza vendors are taking permanent premises in London, becoming the latest outfits to join the capital’s booming premium pizza market.

Fishy business: Could fish mislabelling be the next horsemeat scandal?

Foodservice businesses across the UK are being urged to take more responsibility for serving the right type of fish after a survey has found that seven per cent of cod and haddock sold in restaurants was actually another species. 

Hakkasan closes Chrysan Japanese restaurant

International restaurant group Hakkasan has closed its fine-dining Japanese restaurant concept Chrysan just six months after opening the site on Broadgate West.

Happy Easter: What's your business doing?

In spite of what is expected to be the coldest Easter since 1910, hotels, restaurants and pubs are gearing up for the ‘eggs-tended’ weekend with as over 2.5m Brits plan to take at least one overnight holiday trip here in the UK.

Heaton, Butler & Bayne joins Covent Garden’s restaurant revolution

Just days after BigHospitality reported on the recent flurry of restaurant launches in Covent Garden, Heaton, Butler & Bayne – a modern British all-day dining concept from London-based restaurateur Robert Siegler - is now set to open on the corner of Floral and Garrick Street next month.

How confident are you? Economic uncertainty provides 'new opportunities' for hospitality businesses

While there will inevitably be winners and losers from this year’s Budget announcement, the hospitality industry remains confident and defiant against a tough economic backdrop, with almost 50 per cent of businesses optimistic about the year ahead.

The gastropub revolution: Pub-restaurants begin to dominate eating-out market

Food sales in managed pubs are outperforming the rest of the UK’s eating-out sector on the back of keen pricing, effective marketing and a broadening of their offering to appeal to a wider consumer-base.

February sales turnaround for restaurants and pubs

Britain’s restaurant and pub groups enjoyed a welcome sales boost in February after poor trading in January.

Former National Chef of the Year to help launch 'calorie-neutral' pop-up restaurant

Frederick Forster, the 2011 winner of the National Chef of the Year contest, has joined forces with Miele to launch a pop-up restaurant which, it is claimed, is totally 'calorie-neutral'.

Curtain's up: Carrara at St. James restaurant targets theatregoers

A new restaurant - Carrara at St. James - has officially opened within the first theatre complex to be built in central London for 30 years.

Hospitality industry warms to digital marketing as technology drives business confidence

‘Technology is driving everything’, according to a recent report based on a survey of company bosses across the eating and drinking out sector, which discovered that two-thirds of businesses will be heavily investing in digital marketing this year.

Sam Metcalfe seeks tenant for soon-to-close Sam’s of Sevendials restaurant

Brighton chef and restaurateur Sam Metcalfe has blamed rising food costs for the imminent closure of his renowned restaurant Sam’s of Sevendials and has revealed he is now looking for a new tenant for the property.

Michelin partners with Livebookings for new restaurant booking service

Michelin has today announced a major strategic partnership with online reservations company Livebookings which will see the restaurant guide create a new UK website, offering diners instant table bookings at thousands of venues across the country.

Hospitality technology: Behind the scenes of the hotels, restaurants and pubs of the future

In the final part of our series of special articles on technology in hospitality, BigHospitality paid a visit to three of the most high-tech restaurants, hotels and pubs to investigate the business benefits for a special video report.

Orchid to refresh entire Great British Carvery pub estate

Managed pub and restaurant operator The Orchid Group has revealed it has completed the first refurbishments of its Great British Carvery pubs as it looks to refresh the estate over the next two years.

Lima launches event catering service

Peruvian restaurant Lima is branching out into event catering by launching a special events service from its London base next month.

Hospitality technology: Enhancing the customer’s experience during their visit

The world of technology is, by its very nature, driven by innovation and change. Ordering room service through smartphones, dining with on-table touchscreens and browsing drinks lists on iPads are not visions of the future, they are happening right now. 

Whitbread to boost food standards after horsemeat scandal as sales growth slows

Whitbread, which owns the Premier Inn, Beefeater and Costa Coffee chains, saw a 12.9 per cent sales growth in the 50 weeks to 14 February 2013, and the company is now launching a full investigation into its meat supply chain after falling foul of the horsemeat scandal earlier this month. 

Horsemeat Scandal spreads to Sodexo & Burger Manufacturing Company

Catering giant Sodexo and restaurant and pub supplier Burger Manufacturing Company (BMC) are the latest businesses to fall foul of the horsemeat scandal after some of their products have tested positive for equine DNA.

Foodservice 2025: Report predicts restaurant industry’s robotic future

The restaurant industry in 2025 will have to face lower profit margins and greater technological challenges, although robotics will help improve efficiency, according to a new report.

Tragus reveals plans to refurbish entire Café Rouge estate within three years

John Derkach, the chief executive of Tragus, has revealed he hopes to have completed an ambitious project to refurbish the ‘vast bulk’ of the Café Rouge estate within three years in order to make the brand more contemporary.

Isaac McHale to open 'crowdfunded' restaurant The Clove Club in March

The Clove Club Restaurant & Bar, the business from chef Isaac McHale which has been partly funded by investors using a crowdfunding website, is set to open in Shoreditch Town Hall next month.

Snow business: Bad weather ‘not wholly responsible’ for drop in January trade

Leading restaurant and pub groups collectively saw a 2.4 per cent drop in like-for-likes in January, but the heavy snow across the country 'was not wholly responsible' and year-on-year sales wouldn’t have increased without it.

The A-Z of Restaurants

The restaurant sector is a busy place, full of operators large and small, formal and casual, corporate and independent, high-end and mainstream, which can make it hard to define. Here in our A-Z guide we summarise it in just 26 words, explaining some of the key terms, and exploring some of the current trends, events and issues shaking up the UK dining scene.

Whitbread changes suppliers over horsemeat concerns

The UK’s largest hotel and restaurant operator, Whitbread, has been forced to remove thousands of burgers from some of its menus after a supplier embroiled in the horsemeat scandal couldn't guarantee its quality.

In the pipeline: Planning application research reveals big appetite for new restaurants

Despite recent reports suggesting the high street is losing its appeal for acquisitive restaurant operators, the demand for new sites across the UK is actually higher than ever, with new research showing that over 50 planning applications are submitted for new restaurants, bars and cafés every day.

Business Outlook 2013: What’s next for hospitality?

Smaller, up-and-coming pub operators will have more opportunities to expand, restaurateurs will begin to divert away from the high street and more hoteliers will begin actively preparing for recovery.

Strong Christmas trading for Spirit and Wetherspoon as pubs outperform restaurants over festive period

Spirit Pub Company and JD Wetherspoon are the latest pub groups to report a very profitable Christmas and New Year as the latest industry sales barometer reveals that pubs outperformed restaurants over the festive period.

Restaurants must change attitude to food waste, says SRA

Restaurants should be serving smaller portion sizes and encouraging diners to take home leftovers in doggy boxes, according to the Sustainable Restaurant Assocation (SRA), which is urging all UK foodservice businesses to try and reduce the ‘shocking’ amount of food waste thrown away every year.

Bad staff attitudes account for more complaints than quality of product, report finds

Hospitality businesses across the UK are being urged to focus on improving staff attitudes in 2013 after a report has found that the majority of problems eliciting a complaint were people-related, with the quality of the product accounting for just a third of grievances.

Christmas trading results highlight importance of early planning and value for money

Restaurants and pubs across the UK have generally reported strong sales over the Christmas and New Year period, with the majority admitting that any festive successes were down to early planning, effective menus and more price-sensitive offerings.

Happy New Year: Why hospitality businesses should be confident about 2013

Despite fears of an uneventful 2013 being a dead year for business, a number of leading hospitality and tourism bodies have given reasons for restaurant, hotel and bar operators to remain optimistic, insisting that the next 12 months could be even more successful than the last.

Burger controversy: Rare meat crackdown could break the wave of West End burger joints

Foodservice businesses are being warned about the potentially fatal risks of selling rare and medium-rare burgers that haven't been prepared correctly after Westminster Council served notice against Davy’s Wine Bar for the sale of its ‘undercooked’ £13.95 burger.

Service standards hold the key to profitable Christmas for restaurants

Restaurants across the UK are being urged to focus on providing first-class customer service and nurturing customer relationships throughout the festive period after a survey found that December is seen by diners as the worst month to eat out in terms of service standards.

Luke Johnson reveals top tips for success at Arena Christmas Lunch

The future of the restaurant industry belongs to optimists who constantly try to innovate while focusing on good service and the development of young people within their business, according to serial investor Luke Johnson speaking at the Arena Christmas Lunch yesterday.

Hakkasan to launch Chinese tasting menu restaurant HKK in December

HKK, a banquet-inspired, tasting menu restaurant concept from Chinese fine dining experts Hakkasan Group, is set to open on Broadgate West on 5 December.

The Midday dip: Breakfast and early evening meals take bite out of lunchtime spend

Out-of-home visits for lunch and afternoon snacks have dropped by six per cent over the past two years as breakfast and early evening meals are proving more popular, up by three and 12 per cent respectively.

Desk deliveries and power lunches: How to boost your lunchtime trade

The UK’s lunch market, already worth £14.9bn to the foodservice sector, looks set to occupy a growing share of overall sales in the next 12 months as consumers are looking for something quick, cheap and easy to eat. 

Brasserie Blanc operator insists lamb's liver is safe following ban on dish

Brasserie Bar Co, the group behind the Raymond Blanc-founded casual dining chain Brasserie Blanc, maintains the view that its rare lamb's liver dish does not pose a health risk to customers, despite having been banned from serving it at all of its restaurants.

Restaurant and pub groups hit by later school half-term

Britain’s leading restaurant and pub groups saw collective like-for-like sales down 1.7 per cent in October compared with the same month last year, caused in part by the later school half-term holidays, according to the latest Coffer Peach Business Tracker.

Ramen revolution: Shoryu Ramen taps in on West End noodle trend

Japan Centre Group, which owns the eponymous food shop on Regent Street, have opened the nearby Shoryu Ramen, specialising in authentic tonkotsu ramen noodles from the Hakata district of Fukuoka city.

Innovation and sustainability: What the hospitality industry can learn from Steve Jobs

The UK’s leading food and beverage companies could learn a lot from the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs when it comes to innovation and sustainability, a roundtable discussion has concluded.

London's burger boom continues with BRGR.CO opening in Soho

BRGR.CO, which operates two ‘back to basics’ burger joints in Beirut, is bringing the concept to the UK next month with the opening of a 50-cover restaurant in Wardour Street, Soho.

Pop-up to permanent: The lasting legacy of temporary restaurants

Whether it’s a 30ft-long shipping container, a rooftop Jubilee-themed ‘clambake’ or a steak and cocktail project occupying the upstairs of a pub, the pop-up restaurant is fast-becoming the new weapon in securing a permanent site.

Patty and Bun completes ‘golden triangle’ of West End burger joints

Patty and Bun, the burger joint which has been running pop-up venues in London's Battersea and Soho, is set to open its first permanent site on James Street later this month with plans to use the concept as a springboard for future projects.

Nando’s swings to profit as chicken restaurant craze shows no sign of abating

Nando’s, the fast-casual Portuguese chicken restaurant chain, made a £14.7m pre-tax profit in the year to 26 February 2012, marking a strong turnaround from a loss of £7.1m the previous year and bolstering the group’s reported plans to open up to another 100 sites in the UK.

Heathrow Terminal 5 restaurant operators join together for pop-up dining concept

Heathrow Airport has brought together a number of its restaurant operators, including Gordon Ramsay's Plane Food and Giraffe, to design a bespoke menu for a pop-up dining area which may become a permanent feature as the airport continues to update its F&B offer.

Clockjack Oven chicken restaurant hits Soho with more to come

Clockjack Oven, a new rotisserie chicken restaurant group, has secured its first site on Denman Street in London’s Soho, with plans to create a chain of up to 15 sites.

Exclusive: UK restaurants serving world cuisines facing danger of 'slow death'

The future UK growth of leading world cuisine restaurant brands such as Zuma, Roka and Busaba Eathai could be in real danger of stalling if the Government decides to remove skilled chefs from the migration shortage occupation list.

The Flat Chicken takes poultry craze outside of London

The recent flurry of chicken-led restaurants in London is now spreading outside of the capital with The Flat Chicken coming to roost in Stratford-upon-Avon next month.

Claire Clark: The Great British Bake Off should encourage investors to ‘take a gamble’ on UK pastry chefs

Claire Clark, former pastry chef at three Michelin-starred restaurant The French Laundry, has expressed her wish that the success of The Great British Bake Off will change perceptions of dessert chefs and help her and others get the finance to open solo dessert ventures.

Wake up and smell the coffee: Surveys reveal importance of coffee to restaurants and pubs

According to two surveys, hospitality operators are increasingly realising the importance of coffee to their businesses with national pub chains now selling more cups of the beverage than their coffee shop neighbours on the high street.

Pickles pledges more support for Indian chefs of the future with new scholarship

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles this week joined Britain’s leading Indian chefs and restaurateurs to launch a new scholarship programme for students to develop their careers in high-end Asian cuisine and restaurant management.

Are all-day dining and diversification the answers to restaurant's problems?

The successful future of the restaurant sector may lie with longer opening hours and multi-concept operations in one site, according to industry experts and operators.

Green Paper 2012: How sustainable is the UK hospitality industry?

The 2012 Gram Green Paper – a study into the hospitality industry’s attitudes towards sustainability – has been released, providing a comprehensive review of the sustainable attitudes and behaviours within the hotel, restaurant and pub sectors. 

The Restaurant Show Top 10: Chicken, bricks and Michelin stars - what we learnt at the trade show

The annual three-day restaurant extravaganza has finished for another year and, with tonnes of chef interviews, restaurateur panels, product launches and competitions, it's easy to feel you missed something, so BigHospitality produced this must-read Top 10 of what we learnt at The Restaurant Show.

Eric Chavot returns to UK for new London restaurant

Chef Eric Chavot has returned to the UK from his two-year stint in America to launch his own restaurant – Brasserie Chavot – adjacent to the Westbury Hotel in Mayfair next year.

Restaurants begin phasing out 2-for-1 deals in bid to break discount bind

High street restaurants are moving away from two-for-one discount deals in favour of vouchers offering smaller reductions available for more limited periods – could this be the first sign of a break in the ‘discount bind’?

Philip Howard: Chef's Chef of the Year Award a vindication of The Square's 'pure, proper' cooking

Philip Howard, head chef and co-owner of the Michelin-starred restaurant The Square, has described being named as the Chef's Chef of the Year as a 'humbling' experience and a pleasing realisation that people haven't forgotten his restaurant despite newer, high-profile eateries.

Prezzo and Pizza Hut add gluten-free options, is the industry doing enough?

With Prezzo and Pizza Hut the latest branded national operators to up their gluten-free offerings, the rest of the industry needs to ‘get up to speed’ when it comes to catering for customers suffering with coeliac disease. 

Hen party: London goes chicken crazy

The recent flurry of new chicken-led restaurants shows no signs of abating with more set to launch in the capital in the coming months.

Arjun Waney turns to Peruvian cuisine for opening of Coya in November

Arjun Waney, the man behind Le Petite Maison, The Arts Club and one half of the duo behind Zuma and Roka, is set to launch Coya – a contemporary Peruvian restaurant and private members bar - in Mayfair this November. 

Off the menu? How the global pork shortage could affect your business

Chefs and restaurateurs across the country are being forced to reconsider the meat options on their menus after a global shortage of pork and bacon has been deemed ‘unavoidable’ next year by Britain’s National Pig Association.

Red Tractor Week highlights increasing importance of food quality assurance on menus

With Red Tractor Week currently underway, a new survey from the not-for-profit organisation has revealed that over half of diners (56 per cent) now look for its symbol when eating out.

Lunch sales set to outperform rest of foodservice sector, says Horizons

The UK’s lunch market, already worth £14.9bn to the foodservice sector, looks set to occupy a growing share of overall sales in the next 12 months as more consumers are looking to grab something quick, cheap and easy to eat on a daily basis.

All aboard: Network Rail’s sales results show growing business potential of railway stations for restaurants

With branded national restaurant chains increasingly recognising the potential of high-footfall transport hubs, Network Rail’s latest train station F&B sales results prove that the areas are now becoming eating, drinking and dining destinations in their own right.

Taste of the Future: Foodservice not taking sustainability seriously enough

The majority of foodservice consultants believe that hospitality businesses are only 'paying lip service to sustainability', forecasting that the issue will have the greatest impact on the sector in the near future.

Restaurant and pub groups see London sales boost in August

Combined like-for-like sales for pub and restaurant groups inside the M25 increased by 5 per cent in August, but businesses outside of London saw a much more modest uplift of just 1 per cent compared with the same month last year. 

Tackling obesity: Should restaurants be doing more?

The majority of UK adults believe that obesity has become a ‘major problem’ in Britain and that restaurant and pub chains should be doing more to promote healthy eating. 

Service standards remain the ‘weak link’ for London restaurants

Service standards in London’s restaurants have been labelled as a ‘weak link’ by Tim Zagat, with his eponymous restaurant guide revealing that 73 per cent of all customer complaints relate to the front-of-house. 

Zagat 2013: The Wolseley, Wagamama and Roganic among winners

The Wolseley all-day café-restaurant in London’s Piccadilly has been named the capital's most popular restaurant for the second year running by eating-out guide Zagat.

Gourmet food-on-the-go concepts the Ones to Watch, says Horizons

Quality ‘food-on-the-go’ has become the key area of growth for the UK’s eating out market, with concepts consistently emerging in transport hubs, shopping centres and busy high street locations as consumers are looking to eat where they want, when they want.

Scotland’s £1m food and drink boost provides ‘golden opportunity’ to showcase Scottish hospitality

The injection of one million pounds of Scottish Government money into food and drink firms has been welcomed by hospitality industry bodies and businesses as the nation gears up for a series of showcase events in 2014.

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal offers the best meal in London, according to Harden's

The capital's dining scene has experienced a 'rapid rebound' in the last year with a jump in the number of openings of 25 per cent, according to the latest Harden's guide which lists Dinner by Heston Blumenthal as the best meal in London.

The Young Turks chef set to 'crowdfund' Shoreditch Town Hall restaurant

Isaac McHale, one half of The Young Turks chef collective, is preparing to jointly launch a set-menu restaurant in Shoreditch Town Hall, financed in part by 'crowdfunding' with the aim of opening two more sites for investors to benefit from.

Damp July and Olympics Opening Ceremony hit restaurant and pub sales

The week running up to the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics was the worst performing week of July for the UK’s leading restaurant, pub and bar groups, pushing an otherwise generally flat period into negative territory. 

Simon Rogan: Perfect rating in 2013 Good Food Guide ‘the icing on the cake’

Simon Rogan’s Michelin-starred restaurant L’Enclume has scored the perfect 10 in The Good Food Guide 2013, joining The Fat Duck as one of only two restaurants in the UK to achieve the maximum rating. 

Big restaurant chains see turnover rise, tough outlook for smaller businesses

The top 100 restaurant chains saw turnover increase by 5.6 per cent last year, a big improvement on the 2.6 per cent increase of 2010. But the market isn't becoming any easier for smaller businesses as the beleaguered state of the UK economy is making it harder for to secure funding to expand.

Funding hospitality: Private investment

In the final part of our special feature on securing investment for your hospitality business our focus turns to private investment: from love money courtesy of friends and family to equity houses and venture capital.

Steve Easterbrook leaves Pizza Express to join Wagamama

Steve Easterbrook has left Pizza Express after less than a year as chief executive, joining fast-casual noodle chain Wagamama as successor to Steve Hill. 

Funding hospitality: The banks

Whether you’re a budding entrepreneur with a bold idea for a new restaurant concept or a successful hotelier with plans to expand an already popular business, there’s one thing you’ll always have in common – a bank account.

How to run a successful banquet or develop event catering

TV shows like Great British Menu have led to a resurgence in popularity among chefs for cooking banquets or developing event catering, so BigHospitality went behind the scenes at a fine-dining three-course meal for 2,000 at the Royal Albert Hall to find out how do it.

Behind the scenes at a dinner for 2,000 at the Royal Albert Hall

To accompany a special audio podcast investigating top tips for chefs and restaurants on developing an event catering or banquet dining arm, BigHospitality took an exclusive look at how Rhubarb cater for 2,000 at the Royal Albert Hall for this photo gallery.

'Star Chamber' set to convene to tackle hospitality red tape and regulation

A cross-Whitehall committee or 'Star Chamber' is set to meet in the next few weeks to consider hospitality industry proposals to cut red tape and regulation, Tourism Minister John Penrose has revealed.

Breaking the discount bind: Loyalty schemes provide effective alternative for restaurants

Deep discounts, special offers and the use of daily deal websites could soon become a thing of the past for restaurants and pubs as customers are becoming more attracted to outlets which offer rewards for loyalty as opposed to money off, according to new research.

Heavy rain, Diamond Jubilee and Euro 2012 bring ‘mixed fortunes’ for eating out sector

UK restaurants and pubs saw like-for-like sales edge up 1.3 per cent last month, but a combination of the unusually cold and wet weather, Euro 2012 and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee brought contrasting prosperities for the sector.

How to develop closer links and relationships with food suppliers

With the popularity for local produce and diner demand for provenance information showing no sign of slowing down, Renaissance Pubs has solved the problem of developing closer links and relationships with suppliers by investing in their own farm.

An end to restaurant no-shows? New marketing platform reveals potential solution

The issue of customer’s booking tables and not showing up has plagued the restaurant industry for years, but now, a new marketing platform for restaurants which uses a demand-led pricing model, believes it has finally found a solution.

Rain and recession blamed for Le Bouchon Breton closure

Le Bouchon Breton restaurant in Spitalfields Market has ceased trading blaming rain and the recession on the closure just months after declaring a rebranding and cheaper menu had helped business 'explode'.

Food Trends 2012: Top 10 restaurant predictions

In the fourth and final part of our feature on food trends in 2012 we asked 10 leading chefs, restaurateurs and food critics including Heston Blumenthal, Simon Rogan and Richard Vines for their top tips and predictions on the hot trends to hit restaurants in the next 12 months.

Generation Y: Eating out becomes ‘lifestyle’ for young people, finds Taste of the Nation survey

Consumers from ‘Generation Y’ (18-34 year-olds) are continuing to defy the recession by going out to eat and drink 29 per cent more often than last year, a survey has found.

Food trends 2012: Natural & subtle

The ‘Rene Redzepi factor’ is set to take the UK by storm, with an increasing number of chefs and restaurants taking a more natural approach to food, using less meat products and incorporating raw ingredients into dishes. 

Hospitality industry surviving recession with ‘quick action and determination’, says BHA

With today’s release of revised gross domestic product (GDP) figures showing that the double-dip recession is deeper than originally feared, the British Hospitality Association (BHA) believes the hospitality industry can have something to smile about, having actually achieved growth during the final quarter of last year.

Bite-size Britain: Tapas-style restaurants sweep the nation

As Koh Thai Tapas prepares to open its third restaurant in the South East, a number of other new tapas-style concepts are springing up around the country, with sharing dishes and a more informal dining approach beginning to be applied to a variety of world cuisines. 

Hospitality industry unites to support new food waste reduction initiative

Sixty-nine British hospitality businesses, ranging from hotels, pubs, restaurants, contract caterers and industry bodies, have today signed up to a new, voluntary agreement which aims to cut food waste by 5 per cent and the associated CO2 emissions by more than 230,000 tonnes.

Discount dining: Help or hindrance for the restaurant sector?

Discount vouchers have traditionally proved an effective tactic by some operators in encouraging consumers to eat in their outlets and have risen in popularity since the recession. But the popularity of these schemes has raised concerns that some operators are now becoming reliant on them.

Restaurants and pubs see sales pick-up in May

Restaurant and pub groups across the UK saw a welcome 2.6 per cent increase in collective like-for-like sales in May, with total sales up 6.5 per cent on the same month last year.

Food quality in the premium casual market: 10 tips to success

Alex Scrimgeour, joint managing director of Côte Brasserie, has given fellow UK restaurant operators some of his top tips on maintaining or enhancing food quality in the premium casual dining market.

Nando’s revealed as Britain’s most popular casual dining concept

Nando’s, the fast-casual Portuguese chicken restaurant chain, has topped the eating-out popularity stakes, with more people choosing to eat at one of its sites than at any other major restaurant or pub brand.

Mobile restaurant ordering app using customer's own smartphone launched in UK

QikServe, an app that allows diners to view a restaurant menu, order food and drinks for their specific table and pay the bill using their own iPhone, iPad or Android smartphone, has been launched in the UK.

Digital Innovation Forum: How to make your restaurant stand out from the crowd

BigHospitality’s sister title Restaurant magazine launched a new industry event last week – the Digital Innovation Forum - which presented operators with the very latest developments, products and thinking in restaurant technology.

Breed recognition: Majority of chefs don't know which chicken breed they serve

The majority of chefs do not know which breed of chicken is on their menu or the provenance of the meat despite its continued popularity over pork or beef, according to a number of industry experts, including Mark Hix and the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA).

Robert Cook claims hotel brasserie is 'dead' as he relaunches De Vere Village Hotels

Village Hotels has been relaunched as De Vere Village Urban Resorts by newly-appointed chief executive Robert Cook, who has revealed target locations for the expanding brand and created a new restaurant concept, declaring the hotel brasserie 'dead'. 

Sharp's Brewery launches range of bottled beers to match food

Cornwall-based Sharp's Brewery has launched Connoisseurs Choice, a range of bottled beers designed to be matched with different ingredients and food.

Cold and wet April hits pub and restaurant sales

April proved to be a washout for the eating and drinking-out market as unusually cold and wet weather hit like-for-like sales, according to this month’s Coffer Peach Business Tracker.

Alain Roux on three Michelin stars: Things are never for life

Alain Roux took over as chef patron of Bray's The Waterside Inn in 2002 and as the restaurant nears its fortieth birthday BigHospitality caught up with him to talk about the pressure of holding three Michelin stars and his passion for nurturing talent.

René Redzepi reignites restaurant no-shows debate

Following last month’s restaurant no-shows podcast and follow-up news article, Noma's René Redzepi has told BigHospitality that it is still a ‘mega problem’ for the industry, and that diners should ‘respect a restaurant reservation like a trip to the dentist’.

Sustainability no longer a 'buzzword' but an 'insurance' for restaurants

Silla Bjerrum, the co-founder of Japanese restaurant and takeaway chain Feng Sushi and one of the restaurant industry's biggest sustainability champions, has told BigHospitality attitudes towards sustainability have changed beyond recognition in the last five years.

Restaurants leave customers playing the waiting game

More than half of UK diners believe that speed of payment is now a more important issue for a restaurant to address than the quality of food, with 89 per cent claiming that slow payment has ruined their evening.

Merseyside hotel doubles capacity using renewable energy specialist

Merseyside's Mere Brook House Hotel, near Thornton Hough in the Wirral, has opened a new cottage conversion with a design aided by a renewable energy specialist; doubling the capacity of the venue.

Manchester restaurateur behind Southern Eleven announces second concept

James Hitchen, the restaurateur behind Manchester's Southern Eleven restaurant, is to open a second concept, Neighbourhood, in the city's Spinningfields development less than a year after his first project.

Average price of three-course meal breaks £20 barrier

The average price of a three-course meal in a UK restaurant has risen by 7.1 per cent to £20.90 - up from £19.52 last year, while the average price of an individual dish has risen nearly 3 per cent year-on-year, from £6.19 to £6.41.

Branded chains and fast food concepts to lead eating out sector growth

The branded restaurant sector is to grow by more than 20 per cent in three years and fast food operators are to spearhead growth in the eating out industry, according to the Allegra Project Restaurant 2012 report from Allegra Strategies and Barclays.

Restaurants have ‘work cut out’ as discount voucher use still rising

Almost half of UK restaurant-goers – equating to some 15 million people - rate discount vouchers as ‘very’ or ‘extremely’ important when deciding where to dine out, with the number continuing to increase. 

Light at the end of the tunnel for restaurants, says Horizons

The UK restaurant industry is weathering the financial storm, with increased consumer spend and on-going innovation in the foodservice market providing a solid foundation for post-recession recovery over the next 18 months.

World's 50 Best Restaurants Awards: What makes a restaurant world class?

In the ten years since the World's 50 Best Restaurants Awards was launched a wide variety of gastronomic and dining styles have been represented in the top 50 so as excitement builds for the 2012 list BigHospitality asked chefs and experts what makes a restaurant world class.

Restaurant no-shows: are booking websites to blame?

A number of high-end restaurateurs and industry experts have condemned the use of online reservation systems, claiming booking websites are contributing to the growing number of people booking tables and not showing up. 

Food and drink matching trends: Spirits/Cocktails

As we have seen in previous parts of this feature, food and drink can be a marriage made in heaven for restaurants and pubs. But cocktails, apéritifs and spirits are not products that tend to be associated with food and they are rarely even advertised or upsold.

Byron and Union Jacks to open restaurants at Bluewater

Byron and Union Jacks are the latest restaurants to recognise the business potential of high-footfall shopping centre locations, with the opening of two new sites at Bluewater in the coming months. 

Food and drink matching trends: Beer

When it comes to maximising drinks sales, beer has always stood in the shadow of higher GP wine and there has been little faith that diners would ever choose grape over grain. But, with a rise in the popularity of craft beers and a continuing surge in food-led pubs offering vast ranges of speciality brews, beer a food matching is an opportunity not to be missed.

Shopping centres emerge as must-have locations for expanding restaurant concepts

The intense competition for prime city-centre restaurant sites is spreading rapidly into shopping centres across the UK, as landlords, established food concepts and emerging brands are increasingly recognising the potential of such high-footfall locations.

Business Outlook 2012: What’s in store for hospitality?

Restaurants, hotels and pubs had mixed fortunes in 2011, with all three hospitality sectors suffering a decline in property prices. But there is hope on the horizon, with the potential for an increase in opportunities and transactions in 2012.

Pubs and restaurants see major sales boost after snowless December

Britain’s pubs and restaurants saw a major sales boost over the Christmas and New Year period, with like-for-like sales for December up 9.9 per cent from 2010.

Restaurant magazine’s 2012 predictions

With a year packed full of national and restaurant-related events, BigHospitality’s sister publication Restaurant magazine has published its own series of sage predictions for 2012. The crystal ball goes into overdrive: High-quality German sausage, grimy noodle bars, mid-market tasting menus and Polpetto's Florence Knight...

Food for Thought: Richard Vines leads discussion on key restaurant industry trends

A panel of restaurant industry experts headed up by renowned food critic Richard Vines have given their insights into key issues affecting the sector, shedding some light on current trends and fluctuations and what to expect in 2012.

Restaurants and pubs show resilience as UK consumers eat out more

In spite of the current economic crisis, UK consumers are going out to eat and drink and restaurants and pubs even more than before, according to the latest Taste of the Nation survey conducted by Deloitte.

Hospitality entrepreneurs on the rise

The numbers of young entrepreneurs starting up businesses in the hospitality industry is on the increase, according to a recent report, which defined the sector as ‘vulnerable’ due to short-term operating challenges.

BCA announces nominees for annual awards

The Bangladesh Caterers Association (BCA) has announced the nominees for its ‘Chef of the Year’ award, ahead of its annual awards ceremony for the UK’s curry house industry in London next weekend.

Sizzling September boosts pub and restaurant sales

Following the warmest September since 2006 and the equal-sixth warmest in the last 100 years, Britains leading pub and restaurant groups saw a significant boost in sales.

Start-up restaurants proving successful, despite decline in foodservice sector

As sales in the UK’s foodservice sector are beginning to decline, restaurant, bar and café operators are keeping customers eating out by introducing new brands, changing their menus and broadening their food and drink offering.

Diners eat out more despite rising restaurant prices

Diners are eating out more often each week and having better experience, despite the price of an average meal in London rising by 6.3 per cent in the past year.

Northern restaurant chains confident despite tough trading conditions

Most restaurant chain operators are confident that northern UK cities still offer growth potential, despite trading conditions remaining tough in the region.

Pizza Express begins 'biggest rebrand' in company history

Pizza Express is undergoing the biggest brand makeover in the company’s 46-year history in homage to its ‘pizzaiolos’ and their striped shirts.

The Ledbury serves best food in London, claims Harden's

Notting Hill restaurant The Ledbury has been named as serving the best food in London, according to restaurant guide Harden’s, after topping the publication’s over £85 category.

Pollen Street Social named best new UK restaurant in Good Food Guide awards

Jason Atherton’s Pollen Street Social has been named the best new UK restaurant by the Good Food Guide 2012 (GFG), entering its list of the UK’s Top 50 Restaurants at number eight.

Investor interest in fast-casual restaurant chains set to soar

A fresh round of investment is expected in the hospitality industry over the next 12 months, in particular in small-to-medium fast casual restaurant chains, with private equity companies and investors acknowledging the sector’s growth potential.

More business failures expected for hospitality SMEs

Small businesses in the hospitality sector should be particularly vigilant of their business strategies over the years ahead, as corporate financial analysts warn that the worst is still to come.

Vouchers are losing influence on diners’ eating habits

Restaurant vouchers and discounts are losing their influence on diners’ decisions on where to eat, a survey has found.

Premium brands driving on-trade spirits growth

A growth in cocktails, premium drinking venues and the rise of the Weekend Millionaire has fuelled growth of the spirits market, which is largely driven by premium brands.

UK leads in holidays for seniors

The UK is the largest single source of over 55 year-old holidaymakers, a population group that makes up more than a quarter of all holiday travel in Europe.

Eating out market continues to grow despite economic pressure

The UK eating out market is expected to grow by 2.8 per cent in 2011 to £42bn, with the low-mid value sector and lunchtimes showing the greatest signs of growth.

Hospitality execs plan investment as optimism increases

Senior executives in the hospitality sector worldwide are more optimistic than their peers in other industries about the prospects of the economy, with many of them gearing up for growth in their business, according to a new survey by Ernst & Young.

Diners willing to pay more for steak in restaurants and hotels than pubs

Consumers are happy to pay more for a steak in a restaurant or hotel than in a pub, with almost half prepared to fork out up to £17.

Pubs outpace restaurants in value food sales

The economical food offering in pubs is helping the sector attract consumers while traditional full-service restaurants continue to struggle, according to new market research.

Red Hot World Buffet plans expansion to 80 UK venues

Red Hot World Buffet (RHWB), the north-based buffet restaurant operator, has revealed plans to grow its estate up to 80 venues as it launches Europe’s largest buffet in Manchester.

Restaurants, pubs and cafes now account for a third of high street shops

Restaurants, pubs and cafes now account for a third of independent high street shops in the UK, a study of 75,000 businesses has found.

Learning from abroad: Restaurants

The British restaurant industry can often be short-sighted; concentrating too much on what’s happening in their local neighbourhood rather than focusing on the bigger picture.

Learning from abroad

With the hospitality industry becoming increasingly competitive, operators should be drawing inspiration from those that are performing ahead of the market in order to run their business more effectively.

Tourists spent £114bn in UK in 2008, says ONS

Domestic and foreign tourists spent a total of £114bn in the UK in 2008, with more money forked out on food than on hotels, according to a new set of experimental data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Alcohol prices see record hikes in April as inflation rises

The UK’s latest inflation hike is likely to cause further damage to the hospitality sector, both in terms of sales and staffing, say sector trade groups.

April pub and restaurant sales up, but analysts urge caution

The Royal Wedding, Easter Holidays and record sunshine all contributed to higher sales in pubs and restaurants this year, but market analysts warn that they also created new challenges for the hospitality sector, which did not trade as well as it could have.

Cost of eating out rising faster than inflation

The cost of eating out in the UK is rising faster than inflation, with an average three-course meal eaten out of home now costing almost £19.

Restaurant and pub sales increase while retail sales fall

The UK’s major pub and restaurant groups have recorded a slight increase in sales last month, demonstrating that consumers are still eating out despite spending less at the supermarket.

Predictions for next generation of celebrity chefs

Jason Atherton, Nathan Outlaw and Tommi Miers are amongst the chefs most likely to become the next big celebrity chefs, predicts the retail sector’s leading publication, The Grocer.

Graduate interest in hospitality jobs soars following Michel Roux’s Service

TV show Michel Roux’s Service may have inspired a growth in student and graduate interest in hospitality jobs of almost 200 per cent, signalling a shift in the perception of the industry as a worthwhile career route.

Subway overtakes McDonald’s as largest restaurant chain

Fresh sandwich chain Subway claims it has now overtaken McDonald’s as the largest restaurant chain in the world, with a 1,000-venue lead.

Scottish restaurants lead list of top diner-rated venues

Scottish restaurants Restaurant Martin Wishart and Piccolo Mondo have led a list of the UK’s Top 100 restaurants, based on the ratings of Toptable users.

Restaurants and pubs invest in gaining market share, finds survey

Leading casual dining and pub brands plan to invest more in marketing, branding and customer feedback in an effort to gain market share in 2011, reveals a survey of top CEOs in the sector.

Fast food gains market share from traditional restaurants, finds report

The restaurant sector is showing some signs of recovery, although full service restaurants continue to suffer in favour of fast food options, finds a new study.

Restaurants abusing ‘local’ claims, investigation reveals

Restaurants across England and Wales are using false ‘local’ claims on some of their products, a Local Government Regulation investigation has revealed.

CBI: Consumer service firms continue to struggle

Consumer service firms, such as restaurants and hotels, continued to struggle in the three months to February, as the gap in sentiment between firms that rely on consumer spending and those that benefit from business investment widened during the period.

‘Facebook Factor’ inspires 52% to make travel bookings

A new survey has found that the social networking site Facebook has a powerful influence over people’s holiday plans, with over half of users saying that photos on the site inspire them to travel.

Wine drinkers spend more but go out less, finds research

Restaurants are the most popular destination for British adult drinkers when they go out, according to new research by the Wilson Drinks Report (WDR).

Warmer weather saw January sales rise for operators

The UK’s leading pub and restaurant operators witnessed a 10.7 per cent like for like sales rise in January compared to last year, when snow hampered trade for much of the country.

Valentine’s Day restaurant bookings increase

Diners are more confident about eating out this Valentine’s Day than last year, as restaurant bookings for 14 February have soared by 25 per cent.

Quarter of operators fail to upsell wines

A quarter of hospitality operators are missing out on potential revenue by failing to encourage their staff to upsell wines, research has found.

Consumers to spend less on eating out

Almost two-thirds of consumers plan to cut back on eating out this year, according to new research.

Highlight healthier menu options before calorie counting, says expert

Restaurants should add a “healthy eating” section to menus before fully calorie counting every dish, an expert has advised.

Pret A Manger remains most admired brand

Pret A Manger and McDonald’s are the UK’s most admired food and beverage brands by people in the industry, according to a new survey released today.

Food Trends 2011: Dining Trends

Vouchers and discounts have meant big business for restaurants over the last year, but with consumers increasingly looking for value in more than just their wallets, and with warnings that vouchers could permanently damage brands, restaurants will need to pay attention to other dining trends in order to fulfil their customers’ desires.

Restaurants not online are ‘invisible’, says research

A worrying number of restaurants are not embracing technology and the internet to promote their businesses, research from online reservations and marketing service Livebookings has found.

Food trends 2011: Top ingredients

BigHospitality brings you an exclusive insight into which ingredients will be top of the agenda for some of the UK’s top chefs this year.

Hospitality property prices stabilise as buyer confidence returns

Restaurant, hotel and pub property prices have stabilised over the past year, although the restaurants sector was the only one of the three to show any significant increase in average prices, according to Christie + Co.

Food trends 2011: Popular flavours and food pairings

In the second week of BigHospitality’s food trend feature, some of the country’s top chefs tell us which popular flavours and food pairings they think will be big in 2011.

Restaurant and pub sales plummet in December

Pub and restaurant operators have seen sales plummet in December compared to last year, after the heavy snow encouraged consumers to stay indoors at home.

Food trends 2011: Popular cuisines

British diners have become more aware than ever of their expanding waistline and shrinking pockets, shifting their taste for out-of-home dining towards lighter, healthier meals that give value for money.

Special feature: 2011 food trends

Will this be the year Chinese food regains its place in the nation’s hearts? Or will Indian and Mexican cuisine continue to dominate the market?

Leading restaurateurs predict 2011 dining trends

Hospitality operators this past year have been pitted against ash clouds, torrential snow and a consumer reliance on discount vouchers, and while many may welcome 2011 with open arms and optimism, the next 12 months are set to present their own challenges.

Review of the Year 2010: The future

With 2010 almost over its time to look ahead to what the future brings. We’ve spoken to some of the industry’s key players to find out what they believe 2011 has in store for them and the industry, and look forward to the major openings hitting the UK.

British tourism set to rise in 2011

Britain is on target to attract 300,000 more visitors next year as confidence amongst overseas travellers returns.

Review of the Year 2010: Restaurants

As 2010 draws to a close, we take a look back at how the restaurant sector has evolved in the past 12 months.

Pub/restaurant wine sales outstripping off-trade

Wine sales are growing more strongly in pubs and restaurants than they are in the off-trade, according to the latest quarterly report from the Wine & Spirit Trade Association.

Linking food preparation to flavour is key, finds diner survey

As we look to the dining trends that are likely to pick up in the new year, a recent survey of UK diners suggests that people are especially interested in discovering new flavours that are linked to the way food is prepared.

Eating out is top activity of tourists to Britain, finds report

Eating out in restaurants when visiting Britain has been flagged up as the top priority of most holiday-makers to the country, according to a new study published by VisitBritain.

White Christmas could be “disastrous” for hospitality

Hospitality businesses are expected to suffer over the next few weeks, as a second wave of freezing weather hits the UK in the run-up to Christmas.

Hospitality SMEs living ‘on the breadline’, finds study

Small and medium-sized businesses in the hospitality sector are struggling to make ends meet, with many having no cash flow flexibility to cope in case of emergency, finds a new study.

Pub and restaurant sales slow as Christmas approaches

Pub and restaurant operators will likely face a tough trading environment as we head towards Christmas, as analysts say the latest sector sales figures reveal a challenging time ahead.

Restaurant brands facing discount voucher “treadmill”

Restaurants brands may be forced to permanently lower prices as consumers become accustomed to discount voucher spending, a food service analyst has warned.

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