Amuse-bouches: The latest restaurant news bites

With restaurants and bars closed to diners, we’ve rounded up some ways in which businesses are continuing to operate in the most challenging of circumstances.

News: It is now a week since all restaurants, pubs and bars were ordered to close in the UK. While premises can still operate as takeaway outlets, advice says this should only go ahead if staff safety can be guaranteed. For many, this has not been possible, and many businesses, large and small, have closed down as Covid-19 takes hold.

A flurry of support has come in for workers who have lost their livelihoods as a result of the pandemic. Drinks companies are raising substantial funds for a series of charities supporting hospitality staff (see below). Here are the latest headlines:

Floyd Cardoz: Pioneering New York-based chef Floyd Cardoz, who introduced the Big Apple to Indian fine dining, has died at the age of 59 from the coronavirus. The Mumbai-born chef died on Tuesday at Mountainside hospital in New Jersey. Cardoz admitted himself into hospital on 8 March after returning from a trip to India.

The figures: The latest figures from Wagestream has revealed that the hospitality sector has experienced a 77% slow down in the past month. The company used aggregate data from multiple workforce management systems to compare the number of shifts available to staff on Sunday (22 March), two days after the Prime Minister told restaurants and pubs to close, with a month earlier.

Gordon Ramsay: Celebrity chef and restaurateur Gordon Ramsay has faced criticism for his handling of staff during the Covid-19 pandemic. In an article published in the Metro, it was alleged that Ramsay hasn’t spoken to staff since terminating the contracts of some 500 workers. Ramsay, however, did take to social media to praise the efforts of his team.

Ingenuity in hospitality: 

Top Cuvée becomes Shop Cuvée: Neighbourhood eatery and wine bar Top Cuvée has changed its operation, launching its own delivery service and shop. The ‘shop’ served over 200 meals in its first four days in operation and is able to continue its commitment to its suppliers and staff. Currently operating on Blackstock Road, the team behind the site are also looking for a small depot in south London so that they can service a wider area. Products include ready meals, fresh meat and cheese, store cupboard essentials, craft beer, ready-made cocktails and of course wine.

Others that have adopted a similar approach include Brat and 24 The Oval.

Deliveroo: Other restaurants have signed up with delivery service operators. Deliveroo claims it has seen almost 3,000 new UK restaurants join the platform in the past month.

Ways you can help:

Here are a list of charities that you can donate to:

  • Hospitality Action
  • The Drinks Trust
  • USBG Foundation Emergency Assistance Program
  • Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation
  • CORE

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