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Newswire - 10 May


Alfresco red tape to be permanently scrapped

Pavement licensing red tape is to be permanently scrapped, freeing up businesses to serve food alfresco all year round, reports The Caterer. Through new legislation, these powers will be made permanent, with the Levelling up and Regeneration Bill expected to be unveiled in the Queen's speech today. New legislation will also enable local leaders to force landlords to rent out commercial properties, while new Compulsory Rental Auctions will force landlords to auction shops that have been vacant for over a year.

Stonegate unveils new premium division

Stonegate has launched the first site under its new premium division, which will be known internally as the Chapter Collection. Made up of premium food-led pubs initially in city centres, the first to open under the collection is the Clerk & Well on Clerkenwell Road, which was previously in the leased division, and has undergone a significant refurbishments, advises Morning Advertiser.

Star to invest £42m in estate this year

Heineken-owned Star Pubs & Bars has announced that it will invest £42m in upgrading more than a quarter of its estate in 2022, report Pub & Bar. The revamps will reflect two long-term trends that have been accelerated and amplified by the pandemic - premiumisation and outdoor socialising. Schemes will be individually designed to suit each pub and its location.

Plans for a new hospitality hub in Birmingham submitted

Press Up Hospitality Group and sister company Oakmount has submitted a planning application to Birmingham City Council after acquiring the Grade II Listed Central Methodist Hall to create a substantial new hospitality hub. Plans for the large and centrally located hospitality scheme, which will be operated by Press Up Hospitality Group, include The Dean Birmingham, gym and events space, as well as the restoration of the Central Hall into a 1,500 seat event space, and a number of retail and hospitality units on the Ground Floor, advises Hospitality & Catering News.

Restaurant insolvencies soar as Covid support is withdrawn

The number of restaurant businesses going out of business soared by 41% in the past 12 months, new data shows. More than 1,300 restaurants in Britain became insolvent in the 12 months to 31st March 2022, a 4% rise on the previous 12 months when 926 restaurant businesses went into insolvency, according to accountancy firm Price Bailey. The number of restaurant sector insolvencies in Q1 2022 (278) is at the highest level since Q4 2019 (386) with an average 3.6 restaurant businesses going bust per day, up from 2.5 per day in 2020/2021, reports Big Hospitality.

Government rumoured to have scrapped planned changes to tipping laws

Speculation is growing that the government plans to backtrack on plans to ban hospitality businesses taking a cut of staff tips or service charge, advises The Caterer. Legislation to make it illegal for operators to withhold any part of tips was announced in September 2021. The move was expected to benefit around two million people working in the hospitality, leisure, and services sectors.

And Finally...

Millennium Hotels and Resorts has launched M Social Decentraland within the digital landscape. The lifestyle hotel, modelled on the M Social brand, allows guests to socialise in virtual reality report Boutique Hotel.