Amuse-bouches: The latest restaurant news bites

We round up the latest restaurant news from a third of on-trade bosses expecting to permanently close sites due to Covid-19, to burger delivery specialist Twisted London expanding its reach in the capital.

Covid-19 closures: According to new data, a third (32%) of on-trade operators in the UK expect to permanently close sites due to the coronavirus. The survey, conducted by consultancy firm CGA and tech company Fourth, polled 120 senior hospitality executives during the week beginning 20 April. After the Covid-19 pandemic has ended, they estimate that between 70% and 80% of current sites, including pubs, bars, restaurants, late-night venues and hotels, will remain operating, meaning the industry stands to lose between 20% and 30% of such outlets.

Corbin & King: Writing in the company newsletter, co-founder of restaurant group Corbin & King, Jeremy King, said that operating social distancing in a restaurant was “impossible and implausible”. He said that restaurants are “social hubs which depend on the conviviality of community” and said he would have “no interest” in going to a place where he would be sitting in isolation.

Tronc: As reported by Big Hospitality, industry figures including D&D London CEO Des Gunewardena, UK Hospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls, Hawksmoor founder Will Beckett and chef Adam Handling, have signed a letter to the chancellor Rishi Sunak asking for the inclusion of tronc payments in the government’s job retention scheme. Written by WMT Troncmaster Services, the letter argued that the decision to exclude tronc (tips and service charges) means that furloughed staff can receive as little as 55% of their normal salary, rather than the 80% promised by the government. The letter has over 50 co-signatories from the industry.

Twisted London: Burger specialist Twisted London opened a new site at Tileyard in Kings Cross this week. Planned to launch later this year, the new site has been fast-tracked in an effort to deal with delivery demand. Until restrictions are lifted, the restaurant will be offering delivery only, but will also offer counter service, a first for the company, when the lockdown is eased. The delivery radius stretches 2.5 miles from the site, offering those based in Angel, Camden, Stoke Newington and Finsbury Park a chance to taste the full Twisted menu.

McDonald’s: Fast food giant McDonald’s has announced that it will open 15 outlets on 13 May after closing its sites due to lockdown. It said it would take the temperature of employees at the start of each shift, sites would be open for fewer hours with less staff and will offer a limited menus. TGI Fridays, Nando’s, Burger King and Pret a Manger have also announced re-openings.

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