Friday Five: The week's top news stories

By BigHospitality

- Last updated on GMT

Friday Five: The week's top news stories

Related tags: noshows, Tom kerridge, Tom Kerridge’s Bar & Grill, Vat, Loungers

The topic of no shows in restaurants stole the headlines this week with already struggling businesses hitting out at customers for failing to honour their reservations. And here are some of the other main stories of the week

- Tom Kerridge reignited the debate about restaurant no shows after revealing that 27 people who were no shows at his London restaurant Kerridge’s Bar & Grill on Saturday [11 July]. The high-profile chef hit the headlines by calling their actions “disgraceful" and "short-sighted”​ and urged customers to make cancellations if they didn't intend to show up for a reservation. Kerridge also warned that jobs were at risk as a result of no shows.

- Independent restaurants have voiced their concerns over customers expecting them to pass on the reduction in VAT at a time when they say their businesses need to use the Government support to survive. Chef Gary Usher said that price reductions from high street brands such as Pret, McDonald’s, JD Wetherspoon and Starbucks, is putting pressure on smaller businesses to follow suit - something which he said his Elite Bistros business couldn't do​.

- The Government is urging restaurants and other establishments serving food for on premises consumption to sign up as early as possible to its Eat Out to Help Out initiative​. Under the scheme, visitors to restaurants, bars, cafes and other establishments can a 50% price reduction, up to a maximum of £10 per person, on eat-in food and soft drinks throughout August.

- Loungers has said it intends to have its full estate open by the beginning of August ​having so far reopened 75 Loungers and 19 Cosy Clubs since 4 July, when lockdown was lifted in England. The company has also said that it wanted to return to the expansion trail as quickly as possible, and that by the first quarter of next year it hoped to be back up levels of expansion pre Coronavirus.

- The Government has announced that Coronavirus restrictions will be eased further in England ​with the country set to make a “significant return to normality” by Christmas. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that most leisure options that currently remain closed, including bowling alleys, skating rinks and casinos could reopen, with socially-distanced audiences in theatres and music venues allowed from August.

Related topics: Business & Legislation

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