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.

- Nathan Outlaw’s London restaurant Siren will not re-open post lockdown​ as part of a planned scaling back of The Goring’s F&B department. The restaurant opened its doors at the Belgravia hotel last summer serving an upmarket menu of dishes largely based on seafood sourced from Cornwall, where Outlaw runs Outlaw’s Fish Kitchen and the two-Michelinstarred Restaurant Nathan Outlaw. In a brief statement to BigHospitality,​ Outlaw said that the situation was frustrating and that he had enjoyed working with The Goring and its CEO Jeremy Goring.

- PizzaExpress could be forced to close a portion of its UK estate under a Company Voluntary Agreement (CVA)​, as a result of the growing financial pressures caused by the Coronavirus pandemic. It is understood the crisis has forced the firm to evaluate options for ensuring its future viability, and a CVA is one of several possibilities being considered. Responding to the claims, a PizzaExpress spokesperson told BigHospitality​: “Our priorities during the Covid-19 pandemic remain clear - to look after our teams, to protect the business for the long term and to re-open successfully when the time is right. While planning for the future, we will undertake a comprehensive review of our business encompassing our restaurants, including the roll-out of Future Express, and planned digital innovations."

- The Michelin Guide has created a barometer to track the reopening of Michelin-starred restaurants around the world​ that have had to close as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. It says the international barometer is designed to provide both the food service and wider tourism sector with a 'real-time overview' of the evolving rate at which Michelin-starred restaurants across the world are reopening. Each week the barometer will record the number of open Michelin-starred restaurants across 35 countries in which the Guide is established. To be included, restaurants must demonstrate that they are currently open at least three days per week.

- Prime Minister Boris Johnson has suggested that pubs and restaurants in England could begin to reopen earlier than originally planned​. Speaking to the Government's cross-party Liaison Committee, the Prime Minister said that plan may be able to be pushed forward 'faster than previously thought'. He said: "On hospitality... we are really trying to go as fast as we can. It is really difficult to bring forward hospitality measures in a way that involves social distancing. "But I am much more optimistic about that than I was. We may be able to do things faster than I previously thought." In the same meeting, the PM also asked top Government scientists to review the two-metre social distancing rule in the 'hope' it could be reduced.

- The Cheese Bar and The Cheese Truck founder Matthew Carver has launched a crowdfund campaign to help purchase and redistribute dairy products​ that would otherwise end up going to waste. Working in partnership with food waste charity FareShare, Carver says he wants to create a bridge between the rise in milk and dairy being wasted due to the crash in demand caused by the Coronavirus pandemic; and the rise in people's reliance on food banks, community kitchens and other charitable initiatives to ensure they have enough food to survive the ongoing crisis. Hosted on Crowdfunder, the 'Got Milk' campaign​ is aiming to raise £25,000.

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

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