Friday Five: the week's top news

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Friday Five: the week's top news

Related tags Hospitality Restaurant

This week's main hospitality news stories include Moor Hall being named Estrella Damm National Restaurant of the Year, Sven-Hanson Britt’s plans for Oxeye, and soaring hospitality job vacancies.

- Mark Birchall’s restaurant Moor Hall has been named the Estrella Damm National Restaurant of the Year for the second year running​. The Lancashire restaurant with rooms was crowned the best restaurant in the UK at the awards ceremony, which was held on Monday (16 August) at The Stratford hotel in London. Tom Kerridge was also recognised at the awards for the work he has done over the past 18 months. The Hand & Flowers chef-patron was awarded an Outstanding Contribution award by helping create the invaluable charity Meals From Marlow, which has so far raised more than £180,000 to help feed NHS staff and people in need. Other recipients at this year’s awards include Andrew Wong, who was named Chef of the Year, and Tom Booton who was named Chef to Watch. Tommy Banks was named Restaurateur of the Year. To see the full list of the UK’s top 100 Restaurants, as well as all the individual category winners, click here​.

- Sven-Hanson Britt will open his long-awaited debut solo restaurant Oxeye just south of the Thames in Embassy Gardens this October​. Part of the high profile Nine Elms development, the site will combine a fine dining restaurant, bar, shop, private dining room and gallery which will showcase artwork from up-and-coming London artists. Britt - a finalist of BBC’s MasterChef: The Professionals 2014 and the winner of MasterChef the Professionals: The Rematch 2019 - says the restaurant has been 10 years in the making. The fine-dining restaurant at Oxeye will host six sittings, three lunches and three dinners, a week, serving a tasting menu created by Britt and his partner Kae Shibata. Dishes will include Cornish Yarg churros with fresh nettles and sea beet; Irish coast sea urchin, potato dumpling and smoked butter; braised wild Cornish turbot, sea kale and sauce Tillington’; and Arhuaco Businchari cocoa, Scottish sea salt, birch syrup, caraway and sesame praline.

- Job vacancies across the hospitality sector more than doubled between May and July​, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Vacancies in accommodation and food service grew by 73,000 across the quarter, a rise of 163.7% compared to the previous three months. Demand for labour increased as Coronavirus restrictions eased through the spring into the summer. Across the UK, there were an estimated 953,000 job vacancies in May to July - a record high, having grown by 43.8% (290,000) compared with the previous quarter. Vacancies in accommodation and food service surpassed its pre-pandemic peak by the largest margin of any sector, now 33,000 (39.1%) above its January to March 2020 level. The Scottish Hospitality Group (SHG)has urged Westminster to work with the three devolved nations and introduce a migrant visa scheme to provide hospitality employers with access to workers​. The group, which comprises many of Scotland's largest and best-known restaurant and bar businesses, is warning that the end of furlough in five weeks will not fully address the staffing crisis facing hospitality, and is calling for a four-nations approach to tackle the sector's ongoing jobs crisis.

- More than 7,000 licensed premises have yet to reopen after last month’s so-called ‘Freedom Day’​, the latest Market Recovery Monitor from CGA and AlixPartners reveals. Just under 5,000 of Britain’s licensed premises opened their doors again July to bring the sector to more than nine-tenths of its capacity. It was estimated at the end of June that around 12,000 licensed premises had yet to reopen. The wave of reopenings was partly triggered by ‘Freedom Day’ in England on 19 July, which allowed many venues, especially nightclubs and late-night bars, to trade for the first time since March 2020. Across Britain, 98,790 licensed premises were open by the end of July, which equates to 93.0% of the total known sites. While it is expected that some are still planning their restart or are waiting for trading conditions to improve — especially in Scotland and Wales, where restrictions were lifted later than in England — others are unlikely to open again.

- Stevie Parle has relaunched his floral restaurant and retail concept JOY as a plant shop and café in London's Marylebone​ that will also host a weekly 'intimate' supper club. Working with business partner Tom Dixon, Parle's new incarnation of JOY will only be a temporary venture, although it is understood the chef restaurateur is still looking to find a permanent location for the concept. The new 30-cover JOY café and shop on Marylebone High Street will be open 10am to 7pm every day, and serve a short, 'hyper-seasonal' menu that will see Parle continue to work with Canterburybased farm to fork purveyor The Goods Shed. Dishes will include Acton burrata with slow cooked peppers and tomato; fresh, raw vegetables with black olive and elderberry tapenade; ajo blanco with sherry vinegar, cherries and fennel flowers; Dorset clams cooked in fino sherry with guanciale and chickpeas; and American cherry pie and clotted cream.

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

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