- Over 10,000 UK restaurant jobs were lost in 2018 amid the so-called 'casual dining crunch' on the high street, according to end of year figures from the Centre for Retail Research. The study points to a 23% rise in restaurant business rates in England and Wales last year, and predicts another challenging 12 months for the sector in 2019.
- A number of hospitality figures were recognised in the 2019 New Years' Honours list. Wahaca co-founder Thomasina Miers was made an OBE, while Mowgli Street Food founder Nisha Katona received an MBE.
- Richard Caring's Caprice Holdings restaurant group saw a rise in sales in 2017, but says this was offset by 'well-publicised cost increases' such as growing business rates and wage bills. Overall like for like sales across the group, which includes The Ivy Collection and Mayfair's Sexy Fish, rose 2.1% in the year to December 2017. Profit before tax rose £0.5m to £9.2m, but adjusted earnings fell £1.3m to £11.1m.
- My Million Pound Menu returns to BBC2 next week, with a rejigged format that will see three aspiring restaurateurs compete for potential investment each week. Read our interview with presenter and Galvin at Windows maitre d' Fred Sirieix here.
- Despite the difficulties facing the restaurant industry there is still plenty to look forward to in 2019. See our round-up of the openings to watch out for this year here.
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