Friday five: the week's top hospitality stories

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Friday five: the week's top hospitality stories

Related tags Restaurant

This week's top news stories include reaction to the Government's new immigration plans, the UK’s 'largest' kebab house arriving in London, and the date for Michelin's 2024 star revelation ceremony.

- Hospitality leaders have warned new immigration rules that will raise the minimum salary for a skilled worker visa will ‘further shrink’ the talent pool businesses are recruiting from​. Earlier this week, Home Secretary James Cleverly unveiled a five-point plan to cut immigration, which also included an overhaul of the shortage occupation list. Under the new rules, set to come into force next spring, the earning threshold for a skilled worker visa will rise by nearly 50% from its current position of £26,200 to £38,700. Responding to the announcement, UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls noted that around 95% of the 8,500 hospitality visas issued last year would no longer be eligible under the new plans. “These changes will further shrink the talent pool that the entire economy will be recruiting from, and only worsen the shortages hospitality businesses are facing,” she said.

- The Italy-born Kebhouze will make its UK debut in central London later this month with what is claimed to be the country's “biggest ever” kebab restaurant​. On the corner of Oxford Street and Poland Street, the site will have three floors and will seat 100 covers. The venue is billed as immersive, with kebab-themed games and kebab-inspired art courtesy of British artist Philip Colbert aka The Lobster. Kebhouze says it gives kebabs a premium twist, offering ‘everything from traditional kebabs to kebab burgers and kids meals’. There are four different proteins offered: kebab meats: chicken, veal and turkey, beef and Planted – Kebhouze’s own peaprotein-based vegan alternative.

The 2024 Michelin star revelation ceremony for Great Britain & Ireland will take place at Manchester's Midland Hotel on 5 February​. The event will see the announcement of both the new Michelin stars and Green stars, the latter of which is awarded to restaurants considered to be at the forefront of the industry when it comes to their sustainable practices. A range of special awards covering a variety of categories will also be announced on the night.

- The venues that have made the 2024 Estrella Damm Top 50 Gastropubs list have been revealed ahead of the full announcement early next year​. Organised by Restaurant​ magazine's sister title The Morning Advertiser​, the high-profile annual list (see below) highlights and celebrates talent within the sector. The Top 50 list will be ranked on Monday 22 January 2024 at the current number one Parkers Arms, Newton-in-Bowland, Lancashire, and will be revealed on Instagram throughout the day. The ceremony will also named the specialist award winners of the Chef of the Year, Highest New Entry and Highest Climber categories as well as the new Estrella Damm Sustainable Pub of the Year award alongside the ‘highly anticipated’ One to Watch. In the run up to the event, the 51 to 100 will also be revealed on Instagram from Monday 8 January 2024.

Neil Burke has assumed full control of The Black Friar having overseen the historic Salford pub and restaurant as managing director for the past two years​. Salboy and DOMIS, the teams which originally redeveloped the site, say the pub has gone ‘from strength to strength’ under the direction of Burke and head chef Ben Chaplin. Burke plans to expand the brand with the ambition of redeveloping and bringing other iconic and landmark pubs back to life around the north through sister company Bigger Boat Hospitality.

For more of this week's headlines, click here​.

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