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  • PizzaExpress
    Opinion

    Peter Martin: Creating the playbook

    2020-11-13T08:30:00Z

    When David Campbell took on the top job at Wagamama one of the first things he did was start to read. The book was The Way of the Noodle, part written and inspired by Wagamama’s enigmatic creator Alan Yau.

  • GettyImages-1218809014
    Opinion

    AlixPartners: The brave new world of delivery

    2020-11-10T08:20:00Z

    Food delivery sales have unsurprisingly reached new heights this year with people across the world locked down and brands keen to generate revenue. With its importance amplifying once again given the second national lockdown in England, AlixPartners director Steve Braude looks State-side at the key trends driving the US delivery market and how developments might influence the UK

  • Ted Schama 1
    Opinion

    Ted Schama: Next stage of rising to the challenge

    2020-11-02T10:56:00Z

    I am currently writing this piece in Bratislava, Slovakia, as I am lucky enough to share the birth of my second baby, Zara Schama.

  • Fiona Dickie
    Opinion

    PCA Fiona Dickie: ‘I have teeth and I am not afraid to bite’

    2020-10-30T11:14:00Z

    Those following the coverage of my investigation into Star Pubs and Bars will know that I found Star had committed twelve separate breaches of the pubs code, which they must now put right.

  • Pret, St Christopher's Place
    Opinion

    Editor's Opinion: Confusion continues to rise

    2020-10-30T08:17:00Z

    Divisions are everywhere. The sense of unity that helped the UK through the surreal first wave of the coronavirus is now a distant memory, like the azure blue skies in April. Now they have been replaced by grey skies and rain with nothing on the horizon but pain.

  • Bill's
    Opinion

    Mark out of Ten - Bill’s Videos

    2020-10-23T06:56:00Z

    There’s been a set of videos lately on Instagram that I can’t get out of my mind that I can’t unsee, so I have to write about it and share them with you. Like the earworm of an annoying song lodged in your brain that you grow to love or becomes a guilty pleasure at the very least. I am a self confessed Bill’s lover and love Bill himself in equal amounts. I pretty much moved to Brighton on the strength of Bill’s breakfasts back in the day and I dare say my wife would leave me for a Bill’s veggie breakfast. So, as a fanboy I follow what Bill’s is doing as one of the strongest brands in our sector and I have also had the pleasure of working on the Bill’s brand to help reposition it for the future.

  • Hawksmoor Edinburgh
    Opinion

    Will Beckett: The ever-changing regulations are horrific

    2020-10-23T06:56:00Z

    The last week or two have felt like yet more hammer blows for hospitality, and for a lot of people, especially in the North West (where wet-led venues are now shut and customer confidence has been obliterated) and in central London (which is so reliant on public transport to make it work), it feels like this is a blow people can’t recover from. The toxicity of constant worry and ever-changing regulations is horrific.

  • GettyImages-946961992 (1)
    Opinion

    Peter Martin: Struggling for influence

    2020-10-20T07:45:00Z

    So who gets your vote? Andy Burnham? Rishi Sunak? Which politician deserves most credit for supporting the interests of hospitality?

  • JW Lees logo
    Opinion

    William Lees-Jones: government policy is a disgrace

    2020-10-16T06:40:00Z

    Our breweries and pubs have been an integral part of Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Cheshire and the North West’s communities for hundreds of years – we are on the ground - we are not running our pubs in a theoretical intellectual and political bubble 200 miles away in Westminster. The current government policy to single out pubs for closure in Tier 3 with inadequate support is a national disgrace. It is clear, and the statistics show, that transmission of the coronavirus is happening in education, care homes, hospitals and the home. Already we have been trading with severe restrictions since July 31 in Greater Manchester but we feel that the government is now going too far and we stand by the stance that Andy Burnham, Mayor of Manchester, is taking

  • Marston's
    Opinion

    Dominic Walsh: eating out, Marston’s and the rule of six…

    2020-10-15T07:45:00Z

    Working from home is all very well in these Covid times, but it’s important to make sure the house and the school run don’t become the extent of your pared-back existence – a particular danger in this era of home delivery. Hence the decision to vary life a bit by taking the family out to a local restaurant. I was intrigued to see how the establishment in question – known for serving decent enough food and having excellent service – would go about making our visit Covid-safe. It started well enough, with a big sign at the entrance enjoining us to wear face masks to the table and wash our hands with hand gel. The only problem was a complete lack of hand gel dispenser.

  • greene king
    Opinion

    The PM can’t produce the science because it doesn’t exist

    2020-10-08T07:01:00Z

    Monday is looking like a big day. Make that another big day. Or maybe they are all big days at the moment, it certainly feels that way. News of CVAs and redundancies blur with curfews and localised lockdowns, or in the case of Scotland a near-total lockdown. The outlook is bleak. It all feels like bad news right now, the only hope is that the government sees sense and has a rethink over the 10pm curfew, or is forced into scrapping it following the curfew vote, which has been delayed from Tuesday to Monday so the PM can get his whip out. It will take a big party rebellion to overturn the curfew because every non-conservative MP would have to vote against it and be joined by 79 Tory rebels. Certainly not impossible, but not especially likely.

  • GettyImages-1227222173
    Opinion

    The 10pm curfew has set alarm bells ringing

    2020-10-05T07:46:00Z

    Everyone makes mistakes. No-one is immune from doing so. But everyone knows if you make a mistake the best thing to do is to admit it, try and reverse the situation if possible, and learn from it. The worst thing to do is to carry on regardless and ignore any ongoing damage being done.

  • Cookhouse and Pub
    Opinion

    Dominic Walsh: What’s more ludicrous, the 10pm curfew or VAR?

    2020-09-29T07:35:00Z

    For as long as I’ve been a journalist covering leisure and hospitality (31 years if you must know), the industry has fought, mostly in vain, for recognition in the corridors of power of its importance to the UK economy. While rival industries like aerospace, car manufacturing and financial services seemed to have no problem catching the ear of government (mostly coming under the wing of the big beast departments of Business and the Treasury), hospitality struggled to attract attention, being made the responsibility of the backwater that is DCMS. It didn’t make it into the name of the department – even when it was expanded to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport.

  • Pret
    Opinion

    Mark McCulloch: Pret's Inventive Incentive

    2020-09-25T07:27:00Z

    “When I was at Pret’’ is a phrase I find myself saying most days (and get the mickey taken out of me for like a stuck record for those who hear it daily). I use the phrase as most days I find myself in a situation where I need to solve a problem, Pret is the best example of how to solve it without fail. I learned more in my 10 months there than in any other business. The focus and confidence of what Pret would and wouldn’t do is an unspoken yet powerful bond that lives with the current teams and anyone lucky enough to work for/with Pret in the past.

  • alcohol
    Opinion

    A six month sentence

    2020-09-23T06:08:00Z

    “Nuts.” “No logic.” “A crushing blow.” The industry wasn’t impressed by the idea of a curfew. And that was the reaction before Boris Johnson handed down a punitive six month sentence. Frustration at the prospect was palpable and understandable, primarily because hospitality is being treated like a leading cause of infection rates rising when it isn’t.

  • GettyImages-1217029390 (1)
    Opinion

    Peter Martin: Time for cool heads and hard data

    2020-09-23T06:08:00Z

    Repeat after me. The Government is not our friend. It might like to think it still is, but it has proved far too unreliable, inconsistent and devious a companion for that. Now that’s not to say, we shouldn’t perhaps try to be civil and ready to do business – but a lot more openness and honesty on our political leaders’ part needs to be forthcoming before trust with the hospitality sector is going to be restored.

  • Ted Schama 1
    Opinion

    Ted Schama: From third place to second place

    2020-09-17T06:44:00Z

    I am a family and community man. I live by Hampstead heath and revel in walking the dogs, meeting new people and seeing old faces. I suppose you could say I am a people person.

  • Philip Kolvin QC
    Opinion

    Philip Kolvin QC: Regulators v insurers, the verdict

    2020-09-17T06:44:00Z

    Sometimes white smoke appears from a chimney and the result is clear. Sometimes, smoke rises from the battlefield, casualties are counted and it takes a century or two to work out who won and lost.

  • Restaurant
    Opinion

    Ain’t nothing going on but the rent

    2020-09-03T07:26:00Z

    Okay, that’s not strictly true. The industry has only partially reopened, social distancing remains in place delivering a widespread reduction in covers, the industry is under close government scrutiny to ensure it’s compliant with the safety guidelines, EOHO has stimulated the industry (and debate!) and the invaluable furlough scheme continues ...

  • Nando's interior
    Opinion

    Eat Out to Help Out a billion pound bonanza

    2020-08-28T06:56:00Z

    Eat Out to Help Out has worked better than expected. With four days left of the scheme, 64 million meals have been ‘sold’ with 84,000 restaurants taking part, many of whom are yet to claim their money back meaning the final number of discounted meals will be far higher. Particularly as the scheme has become more popular as the weeks have gone on. Week one hit 10 million meals, in week two the total tripled to over 30 million. So it’s on a trajectory to hit, or even exceed, 100 million meals. If all of those claim back the maximum £10, Rishi could be looking at settling up a billion-pound bill, a bit like when you order lots of sides in Wagamama.