Friday Five: the week's top news

By Joe Lutrario contact

- Last updated on GMT

Top news stories for hospitality industry

Related tags: Larry Jayasekara, Tinie Tempah, Roti King, Le Bab, Pizza express

This week's most read news stories include a debut solo restaurant for ex-Pétrus head chef Larry Jayasekara, Tinie Tempah's fried chicken play and a new look and feel for PizzaExpress.

- National Chef of the Year winner and former Pétrus head chef Larry Jayasekara is to launch his first solo restaurant later this year in Mayfair.​ Jayasekara will launch the as-yet-unnamed restaurant in partnership with art dealer Tim Jefferies, who runs Hamiltons Gallery in Mayfair. The pair have secured a 3,000 sq ft site, set over four floors, within the historic Bruton Place Mews building. They have also secured another 800 sq ft site opposite the restaurant at 38 Bruton Place, which is set to become a delicatessen with takeaway option at ground floor level. Both sites will be extensively remodelled before opening, with the restaurant expected to launch in the early autumn.

- Tinie Tempah has become the latest rapper to get into the fried chicken game, teaming up with YouTube chef Big Has to launch a wrap-focused virtual brand that will debut with a residency in central London.​ Created in partnership with Kitchen Ventures, RAPS will be available for delivery via Deliveroo across much of the capital from 12 March with plans to expand delivery both nationally and internationally. The launch will be supported by a four month-residency at Willows on The Roof, a cocktails and events venue atop John Lewis’ Oxford Street flagship.

- Malaysian street food brand Roti King and new wave kebab operator Le Bab are among the next clutch of restaurants set to take up residency at London’s Battersea Power Station.​ This year is being billed as the ‘biggest one yet’ in the regeneration of Battersea Power Station, with the Grade II listed building’s historic Turbine Halls and Boiler House set to open from September. Other new operators set to take space at Battersea Power Station include vegan concept Clean Kitchen Club; Where The Pancakes Are; Italian poke chain Poke House; Joe & The Juice; and Gordon Ramsay's Bread Street Kitchen & Bar. 

- PizzaExpress has given its branding a ‘fresh’ new look and feel that ‘firmly aligns itself with innovation and self expression’.​Created in collaboration with VB&P, the new brand positioning includes a new logo, typography, bright brand colours and bold illustrations, and can be seen across updated restaurant menus and redesigned pizza boxes, as well as in OOH, POS and social media channels. As part of the rebrand, it has launched two new key market propositions; a new PizzaExpress Club rewards scheme and lunchtime pizza wraps.

- According to the new Lumina Intelligence UK Restaurant Market Report 2021/22, the UK restaurant market is set to recover to 94% of its 2019 value in 2022.​ The report indicates that the UK restaurant market grew 25.9% or £2.3bn in 2021 to a total value of £11.2bn. Coronavirus restrictions in the first half of the year, including no dine-in trade until early April and outdoor only trade until late May, hampered recovery in the first six months of the year. 

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