- It was a difficult few days for the Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group, which on Monday confirmed plans to close 12 of its 37 Jamie's Italian restaurants in the UK as part of a planned restructure of the business. On Thursday the brand sought to reassure customers after its former meat supplier Russell Hume was forced to withdraw its products after a food hygiene warning.
- Rofuto, the £3m restaurant opened at Birmingham's Park Regis Hotel by former Ivy chef Des McDonald, has closed its doors after less than two years. The hotel said the Japanese restaurant had struggled with inconsistent trade at the start of the week.
- Pitt Cue Co restaurateur Simon Anderson will launch several huge Market Halls in central and west London later this year. The projects will see unused public buildings turned in to bar and kitchen spaces for food traders, similar to the Dinerama and Kerb model. Sites are opening in Fulham and Victoria in spring and summer, followed by the launch of what Anderson claims will be the UK's largest food hall in the former BHS building near Oxford Circus.
- Nando's is the latest casual dining brand to trial a new express format to cater to busy customers on the go. The first site under the 'Nandos nino' concept opened in Twickenham this week and offers a streamlined menu to takeaway. Five Guys and Tortilla are also trialling similar formats in the capital.
- The first British-made 'bleeding' vegan burger will be available to order in a UK restaurant next month. Created over two years by scientists and chefs, the Moving Mountains B12 burger will be available from Mildreds in Dalston for £10 from 24 February. It is made with oyster musrooms, beetroot and coconut oil, which sees it sizzle and brown up like its meat alternative.
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