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 Honest Burgers' regenerative farming initiative, Tortilla acquiring Chilango, and figures showing a third of people are cutting back on eating out and takeaways.

Honest Burgers has overhauled its supply chain through the development of a regenerative farming programme​, with the aim of reducing its carbon footprint and the environmental impact of eating beef. As of this week, six Honest Burgers restaurants in the capital including those in Brixton, Peckham and Clapham will serve beef from regenerative farms, with the remainder of the group’s nationwide estate set to be switched in turn. Honest Burger operates more than 40 restaurants in total and aims to complete the transition across the business by the beginning of 2024. Under its new regenerative farming programme, Honest Burgers now works directly with British regenerative farmers as opposed to the industry standard of working with major abattoirs and meat processors.

- Fast-casual Mexican chain Tortilla has acquired rival burrito chain Chilango from investment firm RDCP Group in a deal worth up to £2.75m​. The deal further bolsters Tortilla’s presence in central London, with six of Chilango's eight restaurant units positioned in Zone 1. Chilango's only bricks and mortar site outside of the capital is in Manchester. It also operates four delivery-only kitchens, three of which are in the capital with the other located in Brighton. Tortilla intends to retain and continue to operate the Chilango brand at certain locations and via the delivery channel in a number of its sites.

- A YouGov poll has revealed that more than a third of people have been forced to reduce or stop spending on eating out and takeaways​ over the past six months in the face of rising costs and inflation. The poll of 2,132 adults conducted in May found that 39% have had to cut back on dining out and that 38% have reduced or stopped spending on takeaways as a direct result in the rise of the cost of living. Inflation in the UK has reached a 40-year high of 9%, with warnings of future rises, which is impacting on the spending power of consumers. Dining out and takeaways are among the top five areas where customers are making cutbacks, with the biggest reduction in spending being in clothes. Non-essential items and luxury items make up the rest of the top five.

- French culinary school Le Cordon Bleu will open its first London restaurant next month​, more than two years later than planned. CORD by Le Cordon Bleu will launch on 85 Fleet Street in the City of London and feature a fine dining restaurant; a café; and an outpost to the London Le Cordon Bleu culinary institute, offering short courses with Le Cordon Bleu chefs. Once described as a ‘French gastro-hub’, CORD was first mooted back in 2019 and originally expected to launch in April 2020 to coincide with the 125th anniversary of the first Le Cordon Bleu school in Paris. However, those plans were delayed significantly as a result of the pandemic. André J. Cointreau, CEO and president of Le Cordon Bleu , describes the forthcoming opening of CORD as a 'notable milestone' for the distinguished institution.

- Birmingham-based chef Andrew Sheridan is to launch a 16-seat 'neighbourhood' restaurant the Worcestershire village of Barnt Green​. Set to launch on the 9 June, Black and Green will be part of About Dining Group, which is owned by Sheridan and husband and wife duo Sam and Emma Morgan. It will be the fourth site for the group, with its portfolio already including Sheridan’s ambitious flagship 8 - which is themed around the number eight - along with another tasting menu concept called Divide and the more casual Craft.

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

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