Friday Five: the week's top news

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Friday Five: the week's top news

Related tags: Hospitality

This week's main hospitality news stories include Adam Handling announcing the closure of his eponymous Chelsea restaurant, Le Caprice reopening as a training academy, and JKS acquiring Arcade Food Theatre.

- Adam Handling will close his fine dining restaurant at Chelsea’s Cadogan Hotel​ after reaching a ‘mutual agreement’ with the Belmond-owned property. Adam Handling Chelsea launched in early 2017 and is set to close in October as the chef’s consultancy deal to oversee the entirety of the top-end Sloane Street hotel’s F&B offer comes to an end. Handling - who recently launched a pub in Windsor and will soon bring his sustainable Ugly Butterfly restaurant to Cornwall - said the closure will allow him to focus on his Covent Garden flagship Frog by Adam Handling. The Cadogan will be relaunching ‘a new dining experience’ later this year.

- Iconic London restaurant Le Caprice has reopened as a training academy​ in response to the worsening staff shortage hitting the hospitality sector. Owner Richard Caring told The Times ​the lease on the restaurant, which closed last summer, had 18 months to run, so he had decided to use it to offer six-week training courses aimed at 18 to 24-year-olds who had not previously worked in hospitality. The aim is to train bartenders, chefs, waiters and kitchen porters. Caring, who runs the Caprice Holdings restaurant group, said that the move was a response to the staff shortage created mainly by the impact of Brexit and the pandemic on the supply of European workers. His hope is to eventually move the academy to a bigger site in London and to develop two more in Manchester and the south of England.

- JKS Restaurants is to relaunch Arcade Food Theatre as Arcade Food Hall in November​ with nine different food brands including a standalone restaurant and two counter dining experiences. The brands have yet to be revealed for the prominent West End venue, but JKS Restaurants - which operates numerous restaurant brands including Hoppers, Bao, Berenjak and Gymkhana - says the food offer will be diverse, including Thai curries, Indonesian street food, North Indian fast food, Spanish tapas, Middle Eastern shawarma, Japanese sushi, and American-style burgers. It seems likely that a number of JKS Restaurants brands and chefs - the group backs some of London’s biggest cooking talents including James Knappett, Nieves Barragán Mohacho and James Lowe - will be involved in some way, but the venue will also be ‘fostering up and coming talent within the hospitality industry’.

- The proportion of hospitality workers from the EU is at its lowest level since at least 2016​, according to the latest figures from Fourth. The data, aggregated from the analysis of more than 700 companies across the restaurant, pub, bar and QSR sectors, reveals that while the number of EU workers in the sector has dropped, the proportion of British workers in hospitality has risen substantially over the past two and a half years. The proportion of EU workers has been consistently declining since the UK formally left the European Union in January 2020, which was closely followed by the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic just two months later. EU workers made up 37% of the hospitality workforce in June 2021, compared to 43% in June 2019; while British workers made up 51% of the workforce in June 2021, compared to 46% in June 2019.

- Vegan curry house SpiceBox is to open its second permanent site this autumn​ in Leytonstone, east London. The 90-seat site is significantly bigger than SpiceBox's original 30-cover restaurant in Walthamstow, which was opened by founder Grace Regan in January 2019. SpiceBox has gained a huge following for its menu of curry house classics reimagined with a plantbased spin. The Leytonstone menu will feature a host of new dishes, including additions to SpiceBox’s weekend brunch offering. While details of the new dishes are still being kept under wraps, 'signature' plates set to feature include the jackfruit jalfrezi; shroom keema with a plant-based mince of chopped mushrooms, walnuts, soya and peas; and the red lentil tarka dhal served with kachumber, pickled pink onions, brinjal chutney, turmeric pickle and crispy onions, which was voted Best Dhal in Britain at the British Dhal Festival 2018.

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

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