Amuse-bouches: The latest restaurant news bites

In restaurant news this week: the industry unites behind the ‘no more no-shows’ campaign, a poll suggests over half of hospitality outlets will take part in the government discount scheme, and Gizzi Erskine and Professor Green launch a pizza pop-up.

Poll reveals over half of pubs and restaurants will participate in government scheme: A poll conducted by analyst MCA on behalf of The Morning Advertiser and Big Hospitality has found that just over half of businesses plan to participate in the government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme in August. 58% of 217 respondents said that they would be participating, with a higher percentage recorded among independent outlets.

Industry unites behind No More No-Shows campaign: A campaign launched by the founder of hospitality recruitment consultancy Sixty Eight People, Abi Dunn, and Antonia Lallement, brand sales manager at Gusto, has garnered support from chefs nationwide after it was initially unveiled in Manchester. The pair, who created an image to explain to customers that a simple phone call is all it takes, have been using the hashtag #nomorenoshows on Twitter. According to The Caterer, their campaign is set to appear on billboards in both Manchester and London.

Italian chain Vapiano bought, securing 209 jobs: The UK restaurants belonging to UK pizza and Pasta chain Vapiano have been bought by Mario Bauer and the Savour Group. Bauer already owns the company’s global franchise and has now taken on the UK business after it fell into receivership in April.

Mãos gets rid of communal dining as it reopens: Michelin-starred Shoreditch restaurant Mãos is set to reopen on 19 August in a new guise. The eatery first opened two years ago with a concept that revolved around communal dining. The new version of the site, dubbed Mãos 2.0 will feature individual tables with a maximum of eight guests per evening in the main dining room for a 14-course menu. There will also be a new chef’s table, positioned just off the kitchen in a private dining room.

St John to reopen with no-show fees: Bloomberg’s Richard Vines reported this week that both St John restaurant and casual dining sister site St John Bread & Wine would be reopening on 29 July, and would now be charging no-show fees. Credit card details will be taken with every booking, with a £20 no-show fee charged per guest.

Openings:

Turnips dining pop-up: Tomas Lidakevicius, the former executive chef of Jason Atherton’s City Social restaurant, has teamed up with Borough Market greengrocer Turnips to launch a veg-focused pop-up restaurant. Operating out of Turnips’ usual stall, the outdoor eatery will be open from Thursday to Sunday with a selection of small plates as well as a £65 five-course tasting menu.

Giz & Green: Chef Gizzie Erskine and rapper Professor Green have brought their fakeaway concept to life with a pop-up at Shoreditch Italian Passo. Open today until the end of August, the pop-up will serve up the duo’s sourdough, stuffed crust pizza.

Closures: 

Milk & Honey: Soho bar Milk & Honey has said it will close in September. Owner Jonathan Downey said the bar, which was launched over 18 years ago, will remain open for 10 weeks until it is forced to close. Citing the reasons behind the decision, Downey said that his landlord was requiring rent payment for the lockdown period, which he was not in a position to be able to pay.

Esca: Another long-standing fixture, Glasgow’s Esca restaurant has announced it will also be closing after 22 years in business. Announcing the closure on social media, management said the coronavirus was key to the decision.

The Apartment: Edinburgh’s The Apartment restaurant, which opened in the Scottish capital in 1999, also announced its closure this week, citing pressures caused by closure during Covid-19. Edinburgh also lost vegetarian and vegan restaurant chain Hendersons, which had been in business since the 1930s.

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