- Leon has closed its experimental Thai fast food restaurant Tuk Shop in London after just two months of trading. The company says the concept, a collaboration chef David Thompson's Bangkok-based Aylmer Aaharn food group, will "pop-up" with a new menu in another central London location later this year.
- The CEO of Casual Dining Group has said the industry needs to dispel the "myth" that all restaurant workers are low paid. Steve Richards, who oversees brands such as Bella Italia and Las Iguanas, told the UKHospitality conference his highest paid waitress takes home £50k a year with tips.
- Speaking at the same conference, hospitality entrepeneur Luke Johnson warned that the majority of investors have completely "lost interest" in the restaurant industry. The former PizzaExpress chairman said "virtually all" private equity had "washed its hands" of the sector amid its well-documented difficulties.
- The founders of sandwich chain Eat are expected to resign after the company closes 10% of its sites. Niall and Faith MacArthur are understood to have had no day-to-day involvement with the company for the last five years, besides sitting on the board. Eat avoided resorting to a CVA earlier this year, but has closed a number of its 100+ cafes.
- Pret A Manger is planning to open a store run entirely by members of staff who used to be homeless. The sandwich chain's Rising Stars programme launched ten years ago and has employed over 400 ex-homeless people since it started. It is hoped the site will showcase the advantages of employing people from disadvantaged backgrounds.
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