Friday Five: The week's top news

By Sophie Witts contact

- Last updated on GMT

Friday Five: The week's top news

Related tags: Chef

From trouble at casual dining chains to a new chef at Gidleigh Park, we round-up some of the top stories you might have missed this week.

- Independent restaurateurs have taken to social media to ask customers to 'use us or lose us' after admitting to struggling in 2017.​ ​Norse in Harrogate, which received a glowing review from Jay Rayner, said in a blog post that it would be changing its small plates format to a la carte in a bid to attract more customers. Nuno Mendes also took to Instagram to warn that his 'beloved' Taberna do Mercado in London was facing challenges. "I don't know if we will manage to stay open to see the end of next year, but let's hope so," he wrote.

- Devon's Gidleigh Park has named its new executive chef​ after the departure of Michael Wignall last year. Chris Simpson, former head chef at Nathan Outlaw's two-star flagship restaurant, has taken the reins this week following much speculation as to who would be charged with maintaining the hotel's two-star rating.

- Tough times continue for the casual dining market with Strada confirming it closed 11 of its 26 restaurants across the UK over the festive period.​ The Italian chain said the sites were 'no longer viable' and blamed tough market conditions. 

- Tim Allen has revealed he is no longer involved in plans to open a restaurant​ in Manchester with Select Property Group. The chef, who won a Michelin star at The Wild Rabbit in Kingham, parted ways with the project in a joint decision with the company but says he has 'exciting' plans for 2018.

- Kensington Roof Gardens in London, home to the Babylon restaurant, is to close its doors after 37 years in business.​ A statement posted on the site's website blamed rising rents, business rates and food costs for the decision. 

For a full rundown of this week's news, click here.

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