Friday Five: the week's top news

By Sophie Witts contact

- Last updated on GMT

Friday Five: the week's top news
We round-up some of the top hospitality stories you might have missed this week

- There was an outpouring of support from across the industry after chef Andrew Fairlie announced he will be stepping back from the kitchen at Gleneagles​ due to suffering from a terminal brain tumour. Fairlie, 54, will hand over the reins at his two-starred restaurant to head chef Stevie McLaughlin, general manager Dale Dewsbury and his business partner Gregor Mathieson on 1 February.

- Living Ventures has launched a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) process​ for its five-strong Blackhouse steakhouse concept, closing its London site and one in Manchester. Last month the group put its Artisan and Manchester House restaurants in to administration after a "period of difficult trading".

- Casual Dining Group has called in a restructuring adviser​ in a bid to reduce its rent bill amid tough times on the high street. The company, which owns brands including Cafe Rouge, Bella Italia and Las Iguanas, said a "small number" of sites were lossmaking due to "high rents and rates".

- Restaurant closures in London have hit a 28-year high, according to new data from restaurant guide Harden's.​ The guide reports that 117 independent sites have shut over the last 12 months, though 167 launched over the same time frame - a net increase of 50.

- Scott Macdonald is believed to have left his role as managing director of Polpo​ after less than a year and a half in the role. The former Bill's managing director joined the seven-strong Venetian group last summer and oversaw a consolidation of its estate, including closures of sites in Bristol, Exeter and its Ape & Bird site in London. Polpo declined to comment.

For more of this week's news, click here.

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