Friday five: the week's top stories

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Friday five: the week's top stories

Related tags The restaurant group ashley palmer-watts Honest Burgers Caprice holdings

The purchase of The Restaurant Group by Apollo Funds, and former The Fat Duck chef Ashley Palmer-Watts' return to the kitchens are among this week's most read hospitality stories.

- Wagamama owner The Restaurant Group (TRG) has been bought by US private equity house Apollo Funds​ in a deal worth £700m. The Restaurant Group Board said that it had considered all scenarios carefully, including ‘proactive discussions’ with possible purchasers for its individual divisions, but it concluded ‘that the certainty provided by this cash transaction was a superior outcome for TRG shareholders’. The cash deal - which will see the group become a privately-owned company - values each of the company’s shares at 65p.

- Former The Fat Duck and Dinner by Heston Blumenthal chef Ashley Palmer-Watts​ is returning to the industry following a three-year break with a multi-venue restaurant project in Surrey. Billed as a ‘unique collection of openings’, The Garden Cobham will incorporate a 35-seat high-end restaurant with additional seating on a garden terrace, a 52-seat wine bar, a café, and a bakery, all set around a courtyard. 

- The world’s first free-to-use global job portal has been launched to help job seekers and employers across the world fill hospitality positions. Called​, the portal has been designed to cater to the needs of individuals seeking jobs, internships, or stages in the hospitality sector and is completely free of fees, subscriptions, or sponsors. 

Caprice Holdings​ is back in the black after reporting a strong rise turnover in its latest financial results. The London-based group, which is led by Richard Caring and which owns the Scott’s and Sexy Fish brands, saw turnover rise 71% to £74m in the year to 1 January 2023, up from £43m the year before. The rise in turnover was driven by a full year of trading for all restaurants and the member’s club.

Honest Burgers ​has beaten its crowdfunding target, raising almost £3m. The restaurant group, which operates more than 40 casual dining sites across the UK, ended its crowdfund on 10 October having raised £2,905,631 from 3,455 investors. It had initially set a target of £1m.

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