The top 5 stories in hospitality – 12/12-16/12

By Hannah Thompson contact

- Last updated on GMT

The top 5 stories in hospitality – 12/12-16/12

Related tags: Service charge, Michel roux, Le gavroche

From service charge controversy at Le Gavroche, and Gary Usher's crowdfunding, to a £403m deal for Punch pubs, we round up the industry's biggest stories this week

Michel Roux Jr scraps tipping at Le Gavroche

Michel Roux Jr, owner with his family of the two Michelin-starred Le Gavroche restaurant in London’s Mayfair, is to scrap tipping in favour​ of including a service charge on all bills. The chef said that from the end of January 2017, the prices of dishes will include 13 per cent service charge on average, with no separate service charge appearing on the bill at the end of the meal.

The news came in the same week as Roux Jr apologised after Le Gavroche had been found paying less than the minimum wage to some staff, who claimed they were working many more hours than they were being paid for. 

Sale of 1,900 Punch pubs to Heineken moves one step closer

Heineken moved one step closer to acquiring​ the lion’s share of Punch Taverns' pub estate this week, after three of the pubco’s top shareholders gave their support, Avenue and Warwick all backed an improved Heineken/Patron Capital Partners bid, which has been revised to 180p per share – up from yesterday’s offer of 174p a share – valuing the ordinary share capital of Punch at £402.7m. 

Hospitality staff clock up 28 hours overtime at Christmas

Hospitality staff will work an average of 28 hours overtime this Christmas according to the results of a survey​ into festive work habits. In the equivalent time behind the bar or in the kitchen, a member of staff could pour 840 pints of Guinness or cook 168 steaks, says drinks distributor Matthew Clark, who commissioned the survey.

Gary Usher confirms fourth site’s name as Wreckfish, ahead of new crowdfund

Chef Gary Usher – of the restaurants Sticky Walnut, Burnt Truffle and Hispi Bistro ‒ has confirmed plans to open a fourth bistro​, this time named Wreckfish, in Liverpool, early next year. The chef, who has established a name for himself as a successful crowdfunder after raising money for his previous two ventures online, is also an outspoken presence on Twitter, and first announced plans for the fourth restaurants – which will also aim to raise crowdfunded cash – on the microsite.

Foreign nationals make up 43% of UK hospitality's workforce

Currently more than two-­fifths (43 per cent) of workers in the restaurant, QSR, hotel and pub sectors in the UK are foreign nationals​, according to latest figures from Fourth Analytics. The research, which was based on a sample comprising 25,000 employees, graphically illustrates the impact a ‘hard’ Brexit would have – if Britain’s exit from the European Union served to limit hospitality businesses’ ability to recruit non-UK nationals.

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