Friday Five: The week's top news

By Sophie Witts

- Last updated on GMT

Friday Five: The week's top news

Related tags: Thai cuisine, Jamie oliver restaurant group

We round-up the top stories you might have missed this week.
  • More trouble at the Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group, which has put its two London Barbecoa steakhouses up for sale​. The move comes after creditors voted in favour of a Company Voluntary Agreement which could see at least 12 of its 37 Jamie's Italian sites close. The group is also understood to have pulled out of opening a third Barbecoa, at Nova Victoria, last year.
  • Leon announced it is teaming up with Aylmer Aaharn,​ the Thai food group co-owned by chef David Thompson, to launch a restaurant project in central London this spring. Tuk Shop will offer Thai curries, noodles and more using Leon's fast food model. Leon is also pushing ahead with international expansion, with plans to open a further 20 sites in transport hubs​ ​across Europe over the next two years.
  • Smokehouse group Red's True Barbecue has closed its only London restaurant​ after less than three years of trading. The Leeds-based company opened the £1.4m, 150-cover site in 2015 with the intention of using it as a base to grow in the capital, but said 'current market forces' had put paid to its expansion plans.
  • TGI Friday's has refuted claims by trade union Unite​ that it is planning to save on payroll costs by using tips to improve wages of back-of-house staff. From 19 February 40% of all tips received on card at the chain will go to the kitchen teams, which TGI Friday's said was 'in the interest of fairness'. However Unite claimed the move was 'ethically dubious' and was a way for the group to avoid giving experienced back-of-house staff a pay rise. The Union held demonstrations at three TGI Friday's sites​ in London on Valentines Day to protest the issue. 
  • An app which lets customers buy surplus food from restaurants has launched in London​ following a successful debut in Sweden. Karma has already signed up 50 restaurant partners, including Michelin-starred Aquavit and fast-casual sites such as Detox Kitchen. Its founders claim the app can increase restaurant's yearly revenue by up to £30,000 by selling food that would otherwise go in the bin.

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

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