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Last Week, Huge Chains Eyed Reopenings While Restaurant Workers Were Short-Changed

Last week in London restaurants, explained

Restaurant workers in a London restaurant in the week tips were cut out of government support
At work
Photo by Kate Green/Getty Images

Following the hint of clarity on when restaurants might reopen and what reopening might mean, this week’s anticipated announcement on plans for a phased emergence from lockdown will likely be even bigger. In between, the country’s chain behemoths eyed swifter reopenings, while independents did further work on what the future looks like and how to get there.

Greggs wants to open its bakeries on the U.K. high street out of coronavirus lockdown by July Matthew Horwood/Getty Images
  • One, maligned way of introducing money right now is the government’s coronavirus loans and grants, which added another suite of “quick, simple” lending options this week after widespread criticism over their parameters, ease of access, and speed of receipt. The key takeaway? It may seem simplistic, but loans are debt: accumulating liabilities in service of short-term survival is not going to keep restaurants open.
  • Something that might keep them open is collaborative work with suppliers. Meat destined for some of the city’s best kitchens is now on the open market with Cornish butcher Philip Warren’s “On the Pass” initiative. One of many incidences of restaurant suppliers using grocery delivery to keep their producers’ cash flowing, restaurants could use their expertise and real estate in the future as collection hubs and quasi-retail environments, as suppliers’ delivery capacity gets filled up on their cooking once again.
Dry-aged beef for Brat restaurant in London
A dry-aged beef rib previously destined for Michelin-starred Brat
Warrens [Official Photo]