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By James McAllister
10-Dec-2021 – Last updated on 10-Dec-2021 at 14:43 GMT
Related tags: Coronavirus
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– Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been accused of ‘throwing hospitality under the bus to save his own skin’ this week as he announced the introduction of tougher Covid curbs​. On Wednesday (8 December), Johnson confirmed that England will move to ‘Plan B’ restrictions amid concern over the spread of the Omicron Covid variant in the UK. Under the rules, face coverings will become compulsory in most public indoor venues, excluding hospitality; working from home guidance will be reintroduced; and NHS Covid Passes (more commonly referred to as ‘vaccine passports’) will become mandatory for entry into nightclubs and settings where large crowds gather. The sober announcement comes at the start of the crucial Christmas trading period, a highly consequential month that can be the difference between a good or bad year overall for hospitality businesses. As concern grows that operators will face another winter washout, voices across the sector have levelled accusations at the Prime Minister that the decision to introduce these restrictions now is intended primarily to distract from media reports of multiple parties taking place in Downing Street during the height of lockdown last December.
– The Hakkasan Group has quietly closed its modern-Japanese restaurant Sake no Hana​ on St James’s Street in London. The restaurant announced its permanent closure via a Facebook post on 5 October. It said: “We are sad to announce that Sake no Hana will close its doors permanently from today. We have really enjoyed being a part of London’s exciting and innovative restaurant scene for the past 10 years. Our team at Sake no Hana continue to work in our sister restaurants Hakkasan Mayfair, Hakkasan Hanway Place, Yauatcha Soho and Yauatcha City. We would like to take this chance to say thank you to everyone who made Sake no Hana the restaurant it is, from our talented chefs to our team who ran the restaurant front of house and behind the scenes. We would also like to thank everyone who came into the restaurant.”
– Baton Berisha has left his role as chief executive of the Ivy Collection​ after just one year in the top role. Richard Caring has requested his senior executive team report directly to him after the departure of Berisha, who had led Caring’s collection of brands including The Ivy, Bill’s and Birley clubs since the end of last year. Berisha was promoted from managing director to CEO of The Ivy Collection, Bill’s Restaurants, Caprice Restaurants and The Birley Group in December last year.


– One in five restaurants have been forced to shut early due to supply chain issues and staffing shortages over the past three months, according to figures from Deliveroo. In a survey of small and independent restaurants on its delivery platform, Deliveroo found that supply chain difficulties are causing widespread problems across restaurant operations​. Of those polled, more than half (54%) have had to remove items from their menus due to lack of availability, while nearly half have had to increase prices. For core ingredients, 89% of restaurants have seen wholesale costs increase and the majority (55%) agree that managing their supply chain has become more difficult over the past six months.
– The Connaught Bar in London’s Mayfair has claimed the top spot in The World’s 50 Best Bars list​ for the second consecutive year. The list, which was revealed at a live awards ceremony at the Roundhouse in Camden this week, saw Connaught Bar, which is led by Agostino Perrone, Giorgio Bargiani and Maura Milia, hold on to the coveted title; while Alex Kratena and Monica Berg’s Shoreditch bar Tayēr + Elementary took the number two spot, having ranked at number five last year. In total just three UK bars, all in London, featured in this year’s top 50 list, with the other being Heddon Street’s Kwānt, ranking at number 31 having placed at number six last year. The World’s 50 Best Bars list 2021, sponsored by Perrier, features bars from a total of 17 countries, with 18 new entries spread across Australia, India, Mexico, Russia, Argentina, Sweden, Spain, China and the UAE.
Check below for more of this week’s headlines, or click here​.
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Related topics: Trends & Reports

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