- Cronut creator and famed pastry chef Dominique Ansel is to permanently close both his eponymous London bakery in Belgravia, and his recently launched Treehouse restaurant in Covent Garden. The Dominique Ansel Bakery, which continued to operate for takeaway throughout the Coronavirus lockdown and has since reopened for dine in customers, will close at the end of August. The Dominique Ansel Treehouse, which only opened to the public in February this year, has been closed since the lockdown came into effect in late March and will now not reopen at all. A spokesperson cited the ongoing impact of the Coronavirus pandemic as the reason behind Ansel's decision to leave the city.
- London-based group Corbin & King will reopen French brasserie Bellanger in mid-August, almost exactly a year after it chose to permanently close the Islington restaurant. In an email message confirming the plans, CEO Jeremy King says the relaunched restaurant will feature a more casual offering than before, with the menu and prices akin to those found at the group's beloved Parisian-style Brasserie Zédel in Piccadilly. The decision to reopen Bellanger comes after a survey asking local customers if they would want to see the restaurant resurrected received around 4,000 positive responses.
- Pizza Hut is considering a CVA and has appointed professional services firm Alvarez & Marsal to explore a restructuring of the business. The US-born casual dining brand has nearly 250 UK locations and 213 of them are expected to be trading again by 10 August. Sources say that a final decision had yet to be taken by the chain, but that a CVA was “a distinct possibility”.
- Britain's exit from the European Union gives the nation a 'once-in-a-lifetime opportunity' to reshape its food system, according to the first part of Henry Dimbleby’s National Food Strategy. The report, published earlier this week, says that for the first time in nearly half a century, the UK can decide for itself how it wants to trade with the rest of the world. It adds that Brexit gives the UK the potential to put into place a system of importing food that can protect both the environment and animal welfare, as well as mitigate climate change concerns.
- The hospitality sector saw a 'catastrophic collapse' in revenue during the second quarter of 2020 with sales plummeting 87%, according to UKHospitality's latest quarterly Tracker collated by CGA. The losses, which are equivalent to nearly £30bn, follow the widespread Coronavirus lockdown of restaurants, pubs, bars, hotels, attractions and other hospitality venues mandated by the Government in mid-March. As a result, sales across the industry from April and June totalled just £4.6bn, a loss of £29.6bn when compared to the £34.2bn in takings recorded during the second quarter of 2019.
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