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Fri 11th Oct 2019 - Third largest US fast food chain opens debut UK site
Chick-fil-A opens debut UK site: Chick-fil-A, the largest chicken, and the third largest US fast food restaurant chain, has opened its debut UK site in Reading. The company, which operates more than 2,300 restaurants across 47 States, opened yesterday on the former Miami Burger site in The Oracle shopping scheme in the city. The site will open Monday to Saturday 11am-9pm, but as in the US will close on a Sunday due to the chain’s founder’s Christian faith. Propel revealed in August that the company was looking to take a significant step towards launching in the UK, with the opening of a one-year pop-up here, although it is as yet unclear how long the Reading site will be operating for. The brand had been exploring opportunities for the pop-up in the UK, with London the ideal location, but also major regional cities were under consideration, for a launch before the end of the year. It is thought the year-long pop-up would be the prelude to a full-scale launch for the business in the UK. Chick-fil-A has previously held day-long pop-up events in the UK, the latest being in Edinburgh last year, which was its fourth in total, after two previous visits to London and one to Birmingham. A UK launch for the brand has been mooted for a while, with both MH Alshaya Co and Sir Charles Dunstone – the backer of Five Guys and MOD Pizza in the UK – linked as possible partners. For several years, Chick-fil-A has been involved in a major controversy in the US, after allegations the company had donated millions of dollars to anti-LGBTQ+ groups. The company also closes its sites on Sundays, because of the chain’s founder Truett Cathy’s Christian faith. Cathy founded the business in 1946 and the company reported $10.46bn in sales last year.

UKHospitality and Tourism Alliance publish Brexit no-deal guidance: UKHospitality and the Tourism Alliance have published joint guidance for the hospitality and tourism sectors in the event of a no-deal Brexit. With the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union scheduled for 31 October, and with no deal agreed, the two trade bodies have joined forces to brief their members on what to do in the event that the UK leaves with no deal. The tailored guidance provides tourism and hospitality employers with advice on a range of issues including: the potential economic impact of leaving the EU without a deal; the impact on the UK’s hospitality and tourism workforce; potential disruption to supply chains including tariffs; data protection requirements for businesses; food labelling in the event of a no-deal Brexit. UKHospitality will also be holding a webinar on Thursday 17 October for its members and the wider hospitality sector, giving businesses an opportunity to raise questions and prepare ahead of the scheduled exit date. Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UKHospitality and chair of the Tourism Alliance, said: “We are now less than three weeks from the scheduled withdrawal from the EU and, as it stands, we are leaving without a deal. Much can change in the coming days and weeks but it is absolutely vital that businesses leave nothing to chance and prepare as comprehensively as possible. Our guidance is being made available to all our members and non-members, to make sure that everybody is up to speed and prepared for Brexit.” For Brexit guidance click here

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