Friday five: the week's top news stories

By Restaurant

- Last updated on GMT

Friday five: the week's top news stories in the hospitality sector

Related tags Leon Kitchen Table tipping lockdown Rohit Ghai

The 'unmanageable' test and trace system for hospitality businesses dominated this week's news stories, with restaurant businesses claiming it is creating a lockdown in all but name.

- Hospitality businesses say they are facing a lockdown 'in all but name'​ as more and more businesses are forced to close because of staff having to self isolate. Restaurants, pubs and bars across the country, including Rochelle Canteen, Cafe Deco, and Kala have had to close their doors temporarily because of a single member of staff testing positive for the virus, which is causing entire teams to have to isolate for up to 10 days as a result of contact tracing. Bill Addy, CEO of Liverpool BID Company, has called on the Government to provide specific support for independents and small businesses forced to close because of Test and Trace. Later in the week trade body UKHospitality called for the Government to immediately review and amend its test and trace guidelines on self isolation warning that the current rules are proving massively disruptive for hospitality businesses across the UK.

- Two Michelin-starred Fitzrovia restaurant Kitchen Table will reopen on 20 July ​following a major expansion and refurbishment project, with a new £250 tasting menu. Dishes on the launch menu include glazed Cornish blue lobster, Tahitian vanilla brown butter, and pickled beach roses; and Cornish spring lamb barbecued in its own fat, garden mint and gem salad with Minus 8 vinegar and crème fraîche. The new-look restaurant features a new lounge and bar in the space that was formerly owners James Knappett and Sandia Chang's Bubbledogs hotdog and Champagne concept.

- Leon is driving innovation across its estate with plans to open its first drive-thru restaurant later this year​. Located in in west Yorkshire, the 50-cover restaurant will be the first new opening for the brand since it was bought by forecourt retailer and fast food operator EG Group in April. The new restaurant will be the first of many planned drive-thru openings for the brand, according to Leon, and will be the company's most sustainable venue to date.

- A proposed Tips Bill​ could see restaurants and pubs lose the power to deduct money received by staff in tips should it be passed by Parliament. Conservative MP Dean Russell has brought forward the bill to ensure hospitality staff receive all the money left to them in tips by customers. Deductions made by operators would be forbidden under the new bill, with staff to either keep the money received by them directly or agreeing a pooling system with colleagues.

Rohit Ghai will open a restaurant on Mayfair's Maddox Street this summer. Called Manthan​, the restaurant will have a focus on sharing plates and cocktails with Ghai drawing on his childhood in Madhya Pradesh, India, as well as time spent working in Indian restaurants such as Jamavar where it was awarded a Michelin star. "After a difficult time, we are so appreciative and humbled to be launching a new restaurant in the part of London where we have such great memories," says Ghai, who is chef-patron of Chelsea restaurant Kutir. "We look forward to welcoming regular and new guests and giving them a memorable experience."

Related topics Trends & Reports Casual Dining

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