Byron could be the latest restaurant group to be sold in a cut-price deal in a further sign of the difficulties facing the casual dining sector. Sky News has reported that some prospective buyers are proposing to pay just £25m for the chain, which was acquired by its current owners Hutton Collins for £100m in 2013. It comes after Ed's Easy Diner was bought out of administration for £8.75m last year, after previously being on the market for a mooted £90m.
The restaurateur behind Mayfair sites The Greenhouse, Umu and the recently relaunched The Square has hit out at parts of the media for perpetuating the idea that the future of high-end dining is bleak. "Top-end restaurants are evolving, but the idea that fine dining is on the way out is ridiculous," Abela told BigHospitality.
The Italian chain says it will reconsider the 'wording' of its cash handling policy after a BuzzFeed report alleged the company used staff pay and tips to cover 'mistakes' such as lost receipts and customers leaving without paying. A spokesperson for Zizzi told BigHospitality the policy was only designed to prevent 'fraud and negligence' and that staff did not bear the cost if customers 'dined and dashed'. "We will revisit the wording of the policy to make sure that its purpose and application are absolutely clear," the company said.
A disconnect between catering colleges and professional kitchens is contributing to thousands of young chefs leaving the restaurant industry, a new study by People 1st has warned. The report highlighted that there were over 28,000 student chefs studying in 2015/16, yet the sector continues to struggle for staff. "In college I am being taught different skills [but] in the workplace I have yet to be asked to use any of them," one student told researchers.
London street food market KERB has launched its first bricks and mortar site in Camden as it looks to reposition itself as an all-day food and drink offer. The new opening will be a "testing ground" to host smaller private events, supper clubs and beer pairing nights. KERB is also looking to continue expanding in London, and told MCA it is close to securing a West End site.
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