clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Here’s What Happened in the London Restaurant World Last Week

As the government dallies on masks, chains continue to struggle

Frith Street in Soho, pedestrianised after lockdown lifting measures
Frith Street, in Soho
Michaël Protin/Eater London

London restaurants have been allowed to reopen for dine-in service for three weeks. In that time, some have returned with new safety measures in place, serving a clientele which is growing accustomed to a new reality in hospitality. The government has attempted to offer relief for restaurateurs with tax cuts, grants, and a new nationwide dining scheme. But with tourism still largely suspended and workers not yet returning to their offices, much of London is still relying on takeaway, delivery, and outdoor dining; the centre attempting to win back customers who have become more reliant on local networks, and more of the mind to keep them strong.

Here’s what happened this week in the London restaurant world.




  • Taking control has been a running theme, with 320 Tory MPs voting against taking back control of U.K. food standards. Those who voted against including a clause that would bind all imported food to the same standards as U.K. produced food in the upcoming Trade Bill included Michael Gove, who has long promised “no dilution” of U.K. food standards. It would have effectively barred U.S.-produced meat like chlorinated chicken, which is a problem not because of chlorine but because of the working and animal welfare conditions that necessitate its use, from coming into the U.K

  • Old mate Michael had a pretty harrowing week, having his flimsy “good manners” position on wearing face masks when buying takeaway food collapse about his unmasked ears when he visited Pret a Manger without one last week, and then wore one this.


  • One chain immune to private equity flimsiness because, well, have you seen its accounts? is McDonald’s, which reopened 700 restaurants this week. It has not, however, answered questions from the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU) over staff safety, posed as long ago as April.



Don’t forget, in spite of reopened dining rooms, takeaway has not gone away:

Until next week, eat well and be safe.

Borough Market

8 Southwark Street, , England SE1 1TL 020 7407 1002 Visit Website

Pizza Express

399 Barking Road, , England E6 2JT

Bread Ahead

249 Pavilion Road, , England SW1X 0BP 020 7403 5444 Visit Website

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Eater London newsletter

The freshest news from the local food world