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 Ynyshir being crowned the UK’s best restaurant at The Estrella Damm National Restaurant Awards 2022, and Tom Sellers' new Mayfair venture.

- Gareth Ward’s Ynyshir in Wales has been crowned the UK’s best restaurant at The Estrella Damm National Restaurant Awards 2022​. The restaurant, located in Machynlleth, is the first outside of England to claim the top spot in the award’s 16-year history. Mark Birchall’s Moor Hall in Lancashire, which has been ranked the number one restaurant in the UK for the past two years, claimed the second spot and also the title of Best Restaurant in England, with third place going to Brat in Shoreditch. The Ritz in Mayfair, meanwhile, climbed to number four in the annual rankings. High-end Indian restaurant BiBi in Mayfair was named the highest new entry at number five and was also named Opening of the Year. Other winners include Simon Rogan, chef-patron of L’Enclume in Cumbria, who was named Chef of the Year, while The Ritz won The Service Award. The Ritz head chef Spencer Metzger was also named winner of the Chef to Watch award. Dan and Natasha Smith from The Fordwich Arms and The Bridge Arms, both in Kent, were named Restaurateurs of the Year and Stockport restaurant Where The Light Gets In too home The Sustainability Award, judged by the Sustainable Restaurant Association. Lifetime Achievement Award went to Ruth Rogers, the chef-owner of London’s The River Café.

- Chef Tom Sellers is to launch a restaurant within 1 Hotel Mayfair next year​. The chef-patron of two Michelin-starred Restaurant Story in Bermondsey is partnering with the hotel group for its first European property, located overlooking Green Park. The as-yet unnamed restaurant will be a departure from Story with a heightened focus on sustainability, local and organic ingredients.

Calum Franklin has stepped away from his role as executive head chef at Holborn Dining Room​ after eight years. Announcing his departure on Instagram, Franklin said the move would allow him to focus on new projects. “Letting go of something you have cared for deeply is never going to be easy but after almost nine years it's time for a big change,” he wrote. “Last week marked the end of my time at Holborn Dining Room as I made the decision to move on to focus on new projects to push myself further towards my goals and dreams. I'll always be proud of what we have achieved at the restaurant, as a team I think we gave it a real identity, celebrated British culinary history and built a pretty cool pie room.”

- A leading hospitality trade body has warned that next week's national rail strikes will have a 'catastrophic impact on trade'​, limiting access to cities, events and festivals across the UK. The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA), which represents some 1,400 independent bars, clubs and live music venues across the UK, adds that the strikes, which will see much of the national rail network ground to a halt next week, will compromise the safety of both staff and customers. “The timetabled strike day rail services across the UK will leave many stranded at night, compromising safety with very few alternative transport services available,” says Michael Kill, CEO of the NTIA.

Hospitality staff shortages have hit a record high​, according to figures released by the ONS. The hospitality sector is experiencing 83% more vacancies across the sector compared to March to May 2019 - the most recent comparable period – despite the sector creating nearly 300,000 new jobs over the last 12 months. According to the new figures, hospitality currently has 174,000 jobs available, a record high, in a climate where those that are economically inactive and wanting a job have fallen by about 130,000 over the same period.

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