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Catering industry news roundup

30 | 08 | 13

We take a look at some of the latest industry developments that will be of interest to catering equipment suppliers. 

Underdog comes out on top

Underdog Restaurants has reported positive financial figures for the year ending December 2012. 

The company saw its profit increase by 13 per cent from £1.2 million to £1.4 million, while its turnover grew an impressive 70 per cent from £10.6 million in 2011 to £18.1 million, Caterer and Hotelkeeper reports. 

Underdog, which runs the London restaurant brand Hawksmoor, opened two new venues during the period and said its strong performance was driven by strong like-for-like sales. 

Hawksmoor operates as a specialist steak and cocktail venue and has a total of four sites spread across the capital. It prides itself on using locally-sourced beef in many of its dishes. 

On Tuesday (August 27th), Underdog announced it will be opening a new restaurant named Foxlow in Clerkenwell in November.

Third venue for Villandry 

Another company that is set to launch a venue in London is French restaurant and cafe group Villandry. 

It will open its second site in the capital and third in total this autumn. Named Villandry St James’s, the venue will provide cover for 170 people, as well as additional first-floor seating and two private dining rooms. 

Villandry managing director Philippe Le Roux told Eat Out Magazine: "Our latest restaurant has been designed to recreate the style of traditional French grand cafes, mixing both high end and casual all day dining."

"Whether traditional or contemporary, our team will make sure that the menu is ideally suited to a customer’s needs. Freshly prepared in our own kitchens, and baked in our own bakery, all our chefs are passionate about what they do," he added. 

Mr Le Roux said the venue's menu will have a French-Mediterranean feel, but make the most of seasonal and locally-sourced ingredients. 

Up to 4,000 pubs to close?

As many as 4,000 of the UK's pubs could be set to close this year, if the Good Pub Guide is to be believed.

However, rather than mourning the loss of these venues, the publication has welcomed their demise, claiming the majority deserve to go out of business and in doing so will improve the sector as a whole. It said too many pubs are "stuck in the 1980s" and serve poor quality food and a drink.

"The bad pubs are still being culled, just like lions pick off the slowest of the herd. It makes the pub industry more robust and far better placed for the future," the guide stated.

It predicted around 1,000 new venues will open this year to compensate for these closures.

These comments have proven controversial and have attracted criticism from groups who claim efforts should be made to save the UK's pubs rather encourage them to shut down.

A spokesperson for Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) said there is an element of "cruelty" in the Good Pub's Guide's comments as the closure of pubs would lead to people losing their jobs and the publicans who run the venues being forced to move home.ADNFCR-16001031-ID-801631368-ADNFCR

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