Friday five: the week's top restaurant stories

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Friday five: the week's top restaurant stories

Related tags Restaurant

This week's top news stories include El Celler De Can Roca's plans to launch Scotland outpost, McDonald’s ending its AI drive-thru trial in US, and Dorian Janmaat's new Cornwall restaurant.

- The trio behind world famous Spanish restaurant El Celler De Can Roca will launch an outpost at Scotland’s The Macallan Estate later this summer​. TimeSpirit will be brothers Joan, Josep and Jordi Roca’s first permanent restaurant outside Spain and will offer a nine-course tasting menu that is ‘a culinary exploration’ of The Macallan’ The 30-cover space has been timed to celebrate the whisky brand’s 200th birthday and will sit at the heart of the estate with a dining room designed by David Thulstrup, who designed the original Noma restaurant in Copenhagen. The space has been reimagined to create the ‘ultimate gastronomic dining experience and immersion in nature at The Macallan Estate, as diners overlook sweeping views onto the rolling hills of Speyside’.

McDonald’s in the US is ending its AI drive-thru trial​ after of errors with customer orders, including bacon being added to ice cream, have gone viral. The fast food giant has been trialling an AI ordering system, developed by IBM, at more than 100 of its locations in the US since 2021. The technology uses voice recognition to process orders but has at times struggled to get them right. Errors with customer orders have emerged on social media with one customer receiving an ice cream topped with bacon and the technology adding £166 worth of chicken nuggets to another customer's order. McDonald’s has now instructed franchisees to remove the technology by the end of July as it has decided against extending the contract. However, it says it is confident that AI technology would still be a part of its future.

- Former Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons head chef Dorian Janmaat will open his debut solo restaurant in Cornwall next month​. Called Ardor, the restaurant is inspired by the food cultures of the Iberian peninsula and Mediterranean and will open in the heart of St Ives on 8 July. Originating from the words ‘heat’ and ‘passion’ in Latin, Ardor is described as a casual dining restaurant that will pay homage to Janmaat’s love of the Mediterranean coast and Cornwall, where he spent much of his upbringing. Open for lunch and dinner, it will serve a small plates menu featuring flavours from both Cornwall and Andalusia. Many of the dishes will be nostalgic for Janmaat, bringing back memories of summer lunches with his family on the Spanish coast and will include plates such as fritto misto: Calabrian chilli aioli with burnt lemon; and rotisserie chicken, on show at the face of the kitchen.

The opening of new hot food takeaways will be banned across most of Newcastle​ in a bid to combat rising obesity levels in the city. Plans approved this week by Newcastle City Council will impose tight restrictions on where new food outlets can open. It means takeaways will no longer be granted permission to open in wards where more than 10% of Year 6 pupils are obese, which covers every part of the city except the suburbs of Gosforth and South Jesmond. They will also be banned from opening within 400m or a 10-minute walk of schools, parks and community centres, as well as in wards where the volume of takeaways exceeds the UK average. The rules, set out in a new Healthier Food Environments Supplementary Planning Document (SPD), will apply to both newbuild and change-of-use planning applications and be in force everywhere in Newcastle with the exception of the city centre’s retail core, which will be exempt from the rule.

-Deliveroo has launched a new invite-only loyalty programme called Plus Diamond​, which it says will ‘provide enhanced service and greater selection for its top customers’. Costing £19.99 a month, Plus Diamond members will receive priority delivery on every order and an on-time delivery guarantee giving customers the full order value back as credit if it arrives more than 10 minutes late. They will also have a direct line to a dedicated customer care team; an elevated in-app user experience; and 10% of their basket total back in Deliveroo credit on orders over £30. The premium service will also give customers access to exclusive partners, including Vori, Lavo, IZAKAYA at Dreams, Min Jiang, Hedonism Wines, and The Black Farmer, with further exclusive partnerships to be announced shortly.

For more of this week's headlines, click here​.

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