- The Coronavirus crisis continues to intensify, with a number of restaurants in London’s Chinatown appearing to temporarily close in a bid to limit the impact of the outbreak on their bottom line; and a snap poll finding that confidence among bosses of Britain’s pub and restaurant groups has been fractured, with 85% of senior executives across the market saying they were now “concerned” about the threat of Coronavirus to their business.
- In his first Budget as Chancellor, Rishi Sunak announced a freeze in all alcohol duties and cuts to business rates for small hospitality firms. Trade group UKHospitality responded saying that large hospitality businesses had been “utterly ignored”, despite being on the “front line” of the Coronavirus impact.
- Tributes have been paid to “titan of the hospitality industry” Michel Roux Sr, who died earlier this week at the age of 78. The chef passed away at his home in Bray, Berkshire surrounded by family following a long illness.
- The owner of the Westbury Hotel in London’s Mayfair has put the property on the market as part of a wider portfolio sale. Cola Holdings is seeking offers in excess of £1bn for its luxury estate, which includes the Burberry store on Bond Street and the Washington House building occupied by the private members Conduit Club.
- Causeway Capital Partners, which bought Patisserie Valerie out of administration last year, has merged the café chain with its Bakers + Baristas business. The Irish private equity firm says the combined company will have over 125 sites in the UK and Ireland, with each brand keeping its own identity and in-store offering.
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