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

Eat Out to Help Out makes its mark, but longer-term fatal flaws remain for restaurants

London restaurants outdoors in the sunshine during the Eat Out to Help Out scheme after coronavirus
Sunny weather and discounts offer brief relief to London restaurants
Tolga Akmen/AFP/ Getty Images

London restaurants have been allowed to reopen for dine-in service for over a month, and the goverment’s “Eat Out to Help Out” discount scheme has been in place for two sunny weeks. Outdoor dining and that scheme have busied restaurants, and offered a boost in morale, but news of a coronavirus recession and government indecision on rent support make the next few months critical. Here’s what happened in London restaurants this week.



  • The biggest of those problems is restaurant rent. This week, UK Hospitality, The British Property Federation (BPF), British Retail Consortium (BRC), Revo, and ukactive have asked the government to introduce a “Property Bounceback Grant” — where the government pays half of owed rent for a six month period. Thus far, it has adopted a non-interventionist strategy, reliant on individual cooperation between restaurants and landlords, but with landlords legally allowed to demand unpaid rent from 1 October, that may need to change to keep thousands of businesses afloat.



  • Among the chains, pizza populist Franco Manca announced its intention to hoover up central London restaurants left behind by its stricken mid-market competitors. A reminder that they were stricken because they overexpanded. Après moi, le pizza.






As for where to eat...

Until next week, eat well and be safe.

St. John

26 Saint John Street, , England EC1M 4AY 020 7251 0848 Visit Website

Polpo

41 Beak Street, , England W1F 9SB Visit Website

Franco Manca

20 The Broadway, , England SW19 1RE 020 8947 4368 Visit Website

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