Service Charges to Disappear?
Business Secretary Sajid Javid has announced the results of an eight-month review into the the practice of service charges. The problem with the service charge has been that many are unaware that it is discretionary, and it is a rather British tendency not to ask for it to be removed even if we think it should be. Matters are further complicated by a lack of knowledge on where the service charge goes, and while there is a voluntary code of conduct, many do not use it. The announcement put forward is that the service charge should be given in its entirety to the staff, and not used as an extra source of revenue for the restaurants. Whether this is set in law remains to be seen. Some places are already looking at reducing or removing the charge all together, while others are making moves to be fairer to staff by splitting it equally between front of house and the kitchen team.
Chunk Burger to Open
The team behind HotBox are to open Chunk Burger on Commercial Street in a renovated East End London style diner. Previously Chunk Burger has operated in Street Feast’s Hawker House. When open the restaurant will have a menu inspired by its founders travels across America.
The Chipping Forecast moves to Notting Hill
The Chipping Forecast continues the run of pop-ups and market stalls moving to permanent premises. Having traded for eight months at the Berwick Street Market in Soho, this fish and chip stall is moving to Notting Hill and permanent premises where they will serve sustainably-caught Cornish fish.
Sainsbury’s To Install Contactless Payment
Sainsbury’s lack of contactless payment has left it the only major supermarket without it and has been the bugbear of many customers. Like other chains, the giant has been rapidly opening convenience shops rather than large megastores, and it’s in such stores that customers are most likely to use contactless payment for purchases under the thirty pound threshold. Now Sainsbury’s has admitted it’s been an “embarrassing” mistake and they will be installing the machines across their stores. It appears that the retail company gambled on contactless taking a few more years to surge in popularity, believing they could wait before investing in new checkout technology that would be ahead of the competition. Of course this has not been the case: advances in technology in the field have come in the form of digital wallets on phones, which require the same machines as contactless cards, and Visa has reported a 237% rise in contactless payment on last year. Pret, meanwhile, says that 65% of all its sales are by that method.
Tate Modern to Open New Bars and Restaurants
Tate Modern is to hire 120 people to work across five new bars and restaurants. The new £260m Switch House extension, which opens 17th June, will have a new members room and the Switch House Restaurant on the ninth floor, and a bar on the ground floor. Meanwhile the main Tate Modern building will have a “refreshed” fifth floor members bar and a new bar and kitchen on the sixth floor.
The Selfie Comes to Costa
Costa is launching a selfie zone in selected stores in London, Leeds and Glasgow, complete with flamingos, sun loungers and fake grass (presumably the flamingos are imitation as well). It’s all in aid of launching their new summer menu. If you fancy a selfie with your coffee head to Great Portland Street in London, Briggate in Leeds or Saunchiehall Street Glasgow between now and June 27th.
Billionaire Pinault’s Modern Parisian Dream Finally Realised
After years of trying and frustration that saw him set up in Venice, François Pinault, the luxury goods billionaire, is to open a museum in Paris. The museum, to exhibit his collection of modern art, will operate alongside his current Venice museums and will be housed in the Bource du Commerce (the former commodities stock exchange) near the Louvre. The site will be redeveloped by Pinault and is on lease from the city of Paris for fifty years.
Art16 comes to Olympia from May 20th-22nd. Featuring works for sale from 30 countries the fair will also included discussion panels and talks by the likes of GQ’s Dylan Jones and tours led by students from Christie’s Education on various themes running through the fair. The Wallace Collection will be among a number of museums and galleries attending, and the RA will host a pop-up of its members lounge. There will also be a number of initiatives along with the Purple Dragon stand for children to get involved, create and learn about art. And if that wasn’t enough, Corbin & King will have a pop-up where their hugely popular restaurants, The Wolseley, The Delaunay, and The Colony Grill will each have a turn to offer their wares to those at the fair. For more and tickets: artfairslondon.com
Will a New Artist Director be a New Start for the ENO?
Daniel Kramer has been appointed the new Artistic Director of the ENO, replacing John Berry who quit last year. He will take up the new role from August 1st and has vowed to develop new talent and audiences for the struggling operatic company. ENO chairman Harry Brünjes and CEO Cressida Pollock have both stated how they look forward to this new start and believe it will “transform” the organisation. The public will have to wait until the first season Kramer will have programmed himself, in 2018/19, to see the results – although some have doubts about even that amount of longevity in the organisation.
Glyndebourne Announce 2017 Festival Line Up
The 2017 Glyndebourne festival will see a new commission staged: Hamlet, by Brett Dean, with the libretto is by Matthew Jocelyn, it’s to be conducted by Vladimir Jurowski the former Music Director at the festival, and the director will be Neil Armfield. there will be two new productions, Cavalli’s Hipermestra (Conductor: William Christie,
Director: Graham Vick) and Mozart’s La clamenza di Tito (Conductor: Robin Ticciati, Director: Claus Guth). The rest of the festivals billing will see the return of three previous productions; 2013’s Ariadne auf Naxos (Strauss. Conductor: Cornelius Meister, Director: Katharina Thoma), 2011’s Don Pasquale (Donizetti. Conductor: Giacomo Sagripanti, Director: Mariame Clémen), and 2014’s La traviata (Verdi. Conductors: Richard Farnes and Andrés Orozco-Estrada, Director: Tom Cairns).
Floods Cancel Two Doctor Faustus Performances
Both the matinee and the evening performances of Doctor Faustus starring Kit Harington at the Duke of York were cancelled on April 30th due to flooding in the theatre. The same issue had caused performances of Peppa Pig and Goodnight Mister Tom to be cancelled earlier in the year.
via The Stage
The Old Vic Announces 2016/17 Season
Glenda Jackson makes her stage return in the title role of King Lear, to be directed by Deborah Warner. among other productions, the season will also include the world premier of Samuel Beckett’s monologue No’s Knife and Matthew Warchus will direct a 20th anniversary production of Art by Yasmina Reza.