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Fri 14th Dec 2018 - Update: JD Wetherspoon reveals museum plan, top 100 restaurants, Deliveroo, M&B
JD Wetherspoon unveils museum plans as part of £7m Wolverhampton development: JD Wetherspoon has unveiled plans for a museum that charts its history as part of a £7m development in Wolverhampton. The company has applied to the city council to transform The Moon Under Water pub in Lichfield Street. A 40,000 square foot space above the pub, which has been empty for more than 30 years, would be transformed into a 70-bedroom hotel under the scheme. Wetherspoon spokesman Eddie Gershon told Insider Media: “Subject to planning permission we aim to invest £7m on the pub, extend it and build a hotel above. It would also create many jobs. We also feel the museum would prove popular with people who want to know more about the history of the company. The fact Wetherspoon wishes to house it in Wolverhampton is positive for the city.” The five-storey building, which has the pub based on the ground floor, takes up half of one side of Lichfield Street.

Bristol’s Casamia heads Harden’s top 100 restaurants list, interest in York dining scene surges: Bristol’s Casamia has topped Harden’s top 100 restaurants list. Casamia, operated by the Sanchez-Inglesias family, moved up from second place last year and was praised for its “attention to detail you don’t see in other fine dining restaurants”. Texture was placed second, up from 33rd in the previous list, while last year’s winner and fellow London restaurant The Araki was third. Now in its 28th year, Harden’s surveyed 8,000 diners who contributed 50,000 reviews to form the basis for the annual poll. The list was split 49/51 between restaurants in London and those outside the capital. Modern British and French restaurants still predominate (accounting for 53 and 19 listings respectively) but Asian cuisine gained ground with 16 listings (five Chinese, five Japanese and six Indian). In terms of cities with the highest number of top-scoring restaurants outside London, Edinburgh was second with 13, followed by Brighton, which had nine entries. This year saw a surge in interest in the York dining scene following a number of ambitious modern openings. York entered the top 20 in terms of top-scoring destinations, ranking equal eighth. The guide’s editor and co-founder Peter Harden said: “York has hitherto been one of those charming British cities with inspiring medieval architecture but, by contrast, a middle-of-the-road selection of pubs, tea shops and bistros. In the past year or two, however, the city has shot to prominence as a foodie-magnet, with an assortment of Shoreditch-worthy arrivals such as Arras, Le Cochon Aveugle, Skosh and the yet-to-be-rated Roots.”

Deliveroo increases rider numbers to 25,000: Deliveroo has increased the number of riders it works with by 10,000 in 2018, to 25,000. The company said the growth had been partly driven by expansion into new parts of the UK. Deliveroo has rolled out a number of initiatives this year including a free, global insurance package for on-demand workers to protect riders and their earnings, and the reduction of plastic in its supply chain by being the first UK food delivery company to get customers to “opt-in” to receive plastic cutlery. The company said it would seek to build on these initiatives in 2019 as it continued expansion. Deliveroo said recent research had shown the gig-economy was set to grow to more than five million people by 2022. Half of the company’s riders are students, while 40% have caring responsibilities. UK managing director Dan Warne said: “This new way of working is extremely popular because of the freedom riders have to choose when and where to work. Deliveroo riders have done some amazing things in 2018 and the company will continue to seek to match their hard work and community spirit in 2019.”

M&B announces departure date of senior independent director: Mitchells & Butlers (M&B) has announced Stewart Gilliland, who joined the board as non-executive director in May 2013 and was appointed senior independent director in February 2015, will step down on Monday, 31 December. In September, M&B announced Gilliland was leaving to concentrate on his other roles as chairman of C&C Group and non-executive director of Tesco. M&B stated: “The process for identification and recruitment of a new independent non-executive director is progressing and a further announcement will be made in due course.” Non-executive chairman Bob Ivell said: “Stewart has made a hugely valuable contribution to our company and he leaves with our very best wishes.”

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