Patty & Bun’s produces lock-down kit: Patty & Bun, the better burger concept led by Joe Grossman, has joined forces with its meat supplier, butcher HG Walter, to produce “The Lockdown DIY Patty Kit”. The initiative has sold 3,000 kits in just ten days, with both businesses adapting their websites and using existing drivers and vans to facilitate the deliveries. The kit, which is available anywhere within the M25, features Patty & Bun’s HG Walter beef patties, brioche buns, a mini squeezy bottle of smokey Patty & Bun mayo, cheese slices, and the home-made pickled and smokey onions. Three different burger boxes are available four Ari Gold cheeseburgers; four Smokey Robinson; and two Ari Gold and two Smokey Robinson.

Carluccio’s staff to be furloughed after landmark legal ruling: Unite, the union for hospitality workers, has secured clarification the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) can be used by companies in administration in its first legal test. Carluccio’s was placed into administration last month, casting doubt over whether its circa 2,000 staff were eligible for the scheme. Administrators were appointed to oversee the collapse of the restaurant chain on 30 March, four days after the Treasury had published details of CJRS. Three days later, it was announced companies in administration could make use of the scheme, protecting jobs for the time being. Insolvency laws mean administrators normally have to dismiss workers within 14 days of their appointment in order to avoid liability for their employment and wages, but the court’s new direction means the administrators can give more time for employees to respond to their furlough letter. The High Court has ruled administrators are able to place a company’s employees on furlough and claim for their wages under the CJRS. In the Carluccio’s case the court held the administrators had validly varied employees’ contracts and they will be taken to have “adopted” the contracts when they apply for the furlough funding. This is the first litigation involving the CJRS and provides the blueprint for administrators to make use of the scheme to protect jobs during the crisis. Unite’s assistant general secretary for political and legal affairs Howard Beckett said: “Time was running out for some of our members in Carluccio’s. They faced the prospect of being dumped out of work this weekend. In taking this action, Unite has secured them some wage security. It is now essential all those Carluccio’s workers who have either not received a letter or not responded to the letter from the administrator get in touch with their union, Unite, or the administrator immediately to ensure they are not dismissed and lose out on the opportunity that this court judgement has ensured. The new CJRS was put together in record time and its interaction with other areas of law – in this case insolvency law – needed to be looked at by the High Court. This important decision ensures no one is left behind in a hospitality sector reeling from the effects of the shut-down.”
KFC reopens 11 restaurants for delivery, Burger King set to follow suit: KFC has reopened 11 of its restaurants across the UK for delivery – and is looking at the possibility of reopening further outlets. The company has reopened sites in Bracknell; Cardinal Park in Ipswich; Coliseum Retail Park in Enfield; Deansgate, Manchester; Great Western Retail Park and Pollokshaws Road in Glasgow; Heaton Chapel, Stockport; Hulme, Manchester; New Oscott, Birmingham; Portsmouth; and Tamworth. Propel understands Burger King is also set to follow suit and reopen a number of selected sites for delivery over the coming week, with an announcement due in a day or so. When asked if it might reopen some sites, McDonald’s told Propel it had “nothing to share at this point”. Staff at KFC are returning on an opt-in basis, and only those who can travel without the use of public transport have been asked to work. The company has implemented a number of measures to observe social distancing including placing tape on the floor to create designated working zones two metres apart and operating with just one person per station and fewer team members. The restaurants are serving a limited menu to prevent the need for team members to cross stations and staff packing orders are wearing gloves. Similar procedures have been put in place for delivery drivers with contactless payment in place. KFC said it was looking at the possibility of reopening further sites “but if we can’t do it responsibly then we won’t”. Last week KFC donated more than 3,000 meals to NHS and key workers. It has also committed to providing 100 free meals from each open restaurant every Tuesday to those on the front line A KFC spokesman said: “There’s still a need for affordable, accessible food at this time – so we want to do our part. We’ve also donated thousands of meals from all our open restaurants to those on the front line, including the NHS and key workers, in partnership with Deliveroo, and will continue to do so each week while the situation continues.”
Just Eat delivers more than one million meals to NHS workers, extends discount and working on longer-term initiative: Just Eat, the online market place for delivery, has delivered more than one million meals to NHS workers since introducing its 25% discount two weeks ago and has extended the offer for another fortnight. The company said healthcare workers have saved £1.5m collectively through the discount, with meals ranging from large group orders enough to feed a whole team, to individual dishes at the end of a long shift. In addition, Just Eat will be introducing a longer term initiative to support more people on the front line who are putting themselves at risk, in order to help others. UK managing director Andrew Kenny said: “We are proud to be making a small difference to the individuals and families of those working for our fantastic NHS. Over the past few weeks we’ve heard from many of our customers and hardworking restaurant partners, who want to join in the efforts of supporting those doing an heroic job right now. We’re working on an initiative that will enable them to do just that. With the huge strain on our front line workers set to continue for the foreseeable future, we want to show our support to the people doing an extraordinary job of keeping this country going.”
US restaurant brands give masks to staff as they step up safety procedures: US restaurant brands are giving masks to staff as they step up their coronavirus safety procedures, especially protocols at the drive-thru. McDonald’s said it plans to distribute more than 100 million non-medical grade masks to the company’s almost 14,000 restaurants. Masks will first be distributed “to areas where the use of masks is required by law, to hotspots with a high level of confirmed cases in the community, and then to the rest of the country,” the company told Nation’s Restaurant News. McDonald’s USA president Joe Erlinger announced in a tweet the company’s supply chain had sourced more than 100 million masks. Chick-fil-A has also started distributing “face masks or other face coverings” to workers in accordance with federal health recommendations. Earlier this month, the company began installing portable handwashing stations outside so drive-thru workers can wash their hands more frequently. Taco Bell and KFC, whose parent company is Yum! Brands, have also announced plans to take employee temperatures before the start of shifts and supply them with masks. Restaurants in the country have been forced to close dine-in operations and switch to drive-thru, delivery and takeaway only.
Abokado supports homeless and front line workers: Abokado, the London-based healthy eating chain, has announced how it’s looking after its “family” as well as the wider community. In an email to customers, the brand announced it has retained its entire team with all staff being placed on the government’s furlough scheme. The company also said it was in touch with employees daily by sharing stories and news, videoblogs from chief executive Mark Lilley on his “seven top tips for staying sane” and keeping everyone informed and engaged “ready for our return”. Abokado has also been working with long-term charity partner St Mungo’s to support its hostels, which care for the homeless and vulnerable. And as part of a coalition of operators, Abokado is providing up to 1,000 of its freshly prepared Pacific-inspired meals to NHS workers daily across London. Lilley told Propel: “It’s hard when you’re staring down the barrel of a crisis such as this to look out and think of others, but that’s exactly what the Abokado crew have done. It says a lot about our special culture and character.”