Amuse-bouches: The latest restaurant news bites

We round up the latest restaurant news, from the launch of a deliverable DIY frying pan pizza kit to Côte Restaurants establishing a ready meal operation.

Yotam Ottolenghi: Writing in the Guardian, chef, restaurateur and writer Ottolenghi called for an extension of the rent holiday and “a total debt-enforcement moratorium for the next six months”. He warned that the Covid-19 pandemic was at risk of completely destroying the restaurant industry in the UK.

Carluccio’s: As reported by the FT, supermarket Tesco is among those that have expressed interest in some of Carluccio’s former restaurant sites. The Italian restaurant chain collapsed into administration last month, and insolvency specialists FRP Advisory has said a number of offers have been made from the likes of restaurant operator Boporan Holdings and Byron owner Three Hills Capital. No buyer has come forward for the whole business, the FT has been told.

Pizza Pilgrims: Pizza chain Pizza Pilgrims will deliver DIY frying pan pizza kits UK-wide from 22 April. The kits contain ingredients for two margherita pizzas, and cost £18 plus a £4.99 delivery charge. They are available for next day delivery.

Côte Restaurants: Côte has created a ready-meal division after transforming one of its production sites in London’s Park Royal into a kitchen where dishes can be pre-packed before being delivered. Meat and wine is also available for delivery.

Fast food chains: Three major fast food chains have reopened branches for takeaway and delivery in order to support NHS staff. KFC, Burger King and Pret a Manger have reopened a total of 25 sites between them. Pret has opened 10 sites near London hospitals, KFC has re-established 11 restaurants, and Burger King another four.

Leon: A campaign launched by UK restaurant chain Leon and actors Damian Lewis, Helen McCrory and Matt Lucas has reached its £1 million target to provide hot meals for hospitals. Unveiled at the end of last month, the JustGiving campaign aimed to raise £1 million to supply around 6,000 meals a day at a 50% discount to NHS staff working in London hospitals. On 11 April, the campaign raised its £1m target, and has now raised almost £1.1m. At the time of writing, a total of 11,394 supporters people have donated via the fundraising page and a total of 24,000 have supported the campaign. The money helped the restaurant chain provide 35,000 meals to 11 London hospitals last week. This week, Leon is hoping to ramp up production to serve 45,000 meals in London as well as in Birmingham and Manchester.

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