Friday Five: The week's top news

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Friday Five: The week's top news

Related tags: Coronavirus

As the Coronavirus crisis continues to dominate the headlines, we round-up some of the main stories regarding how it has affected the hospitality industry in the past week.

- The UK eating out market is forecast to contract by between 60-70% in 2020​ according to the HIM & MCA Insight UK Recovery Report 2020. The report says the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for spending on out of home food and drink is expected to fall by 23.1% between 2017-2020F, down from growth of 1.2% over the period 2014-2017. In contrast, the CAGR for in home food and drink spend is set to grow, from 2.0% between 2014-2017 up to 4.5% for the period 2017-2020F. While consumers have remained cautious with their spending throughout the Coronavirus pandemic, with 63% actively trying to save, the report also found that 45% of are confident about their financial position over the next six months, compared with 21% who are concerned. However, nearly two-thirds (64%) say they are worried about visiting eating out venues.

- Trade body UKHospitality has launched a campaign highlighting the leading role hospitality businesses can play in Britain’s economic recovery​. The #FAIR4Hospitality campaign calls on the country’s central and devolved governments to invest in a fair and timely return for hospitality businesses over the summer months, so that they can benefit local communities; peoples’ jobs; the national wellbeing; and the British economy. It says that businesses in the sector are ready to reopen in a safe and sustainable way given the right Government support.

- The Government’s proposed points-based immigration bill, which could make it impossible for hospitality businesses to secure EU migrants for entry-level positions, has been given initial approval by MPs​. Following a vote in the House of Commons, the general principles of the law were approved by 351 votes to 252, and the bill will now go on to receive further scrutiny. It marks the latest phase in the Government’s plan to bring in an ‘Australian-style’ points-based immigration system that would favour workers who are judged to be ‘high-skilled’, and aim to end ‘low-skilled’ migration from the EU once the UK leaves the bloc at the end of the year. 

- Consumers could spend £3.8bn in hospitality in the first week of re-opening​, according to a new poll. The poll of 2,000 nationally representative UK adults conducted by has found that over half (51%) of Britons are keen for hospitality to get ‘back to normal’, with 42% having a new-found appreciation of the sector. Almost a third (31%) of consumers says they are planning to go to the pub within a week of being allowed to do so, increasing to over half (53%) in London, and 30% plan to dine out within a week of restaurants reopening.

- Whatley Manor’s Niall Keating has been named the ‘Champion of Champions’ at this year’s Great British Menu banquet​. Keating, who is executive chef of two Michelin-starred country house hotel in the Cotswolds, overcame competition from Deanes Eipic chef Alex Greene and Simon Rogan protégé Tom Barnes to take the top prize with his winning fish course ‘witches of the Northern Lights’. The literature-themed banquet, which marked 150 years since the death of Charles Dickens and aired on the BBC last Friday (15 May), saw all three chefs present dishes influenced by their favourite works of fiction. Keating’s fish course, which was inspired by the novels of author Phillip Pullman, featured black tortellini in the shape of a witch's hat, served with a dashi broth presented in a miniature cauldron.

Check below for more of this week's headlines, or click here​​​.

Related topics: Trends & Reports

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