- 2018 MasterChef winner Kenny Tutt is to open a restaurant and cookery school in his home town of Worthing this May. PITCH is billed as a homage to the seaside town and will serve the likes of Sussex ham hock with egg, chips and gooseberry chutney; and doughnuts with whipped goast's cheese, toasted hazelnut and thyme jam. The third floor cookery school is expected to open later on in the year.
- Patisserie Valerie has been bought out of administration by Irish private equity firm Causeway Capital Partners, saving 96 cafes and most of the group's 2,000 remaining jobs. Its parent company Patisserie Holdings has also sold off its Baker & Spice chain to The Department of Coffee & Social Affairs for £2.5m, and 21 Philpott's stores to retail and distribution firm A.F Blakemore & Son.
- Andy McCue, the chief executive of The Restaurant Group (TRG), has announced his decision to leave the company due to "extenuating personal circumstances". He is expected to remain in the role while a successor is recruited. McCue joined TRG as chief executive in 2016 and oversaw the company's controversial acquisition of Wagamama for £559m last year.
- A Government plan to ban restaurants from deducting a percentage of staff tips will not be enforced until at least later this year. UKHospitality welcomed a delay to the change in law, which was announced at the Conservative Party Conference last autumn, and said it was a "sensible step" amid current "Brexit uncertainty".
- Costa has been ranked the world's second strongest brand in the restaurant sector, overtaking US rival Starbucks. The rating, calculated by consultancy firm Brand Finance, is based on measures such as marketing investment and stakeholder equity relative to competitors. McDonald's took the number one spot and was the only company to receive an AAA+ brand strength rating.
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