Pubs set to miss out on £54m bonanza this St Patrick’s Day: Pubs will miss out on a £54m bonanza on lost beer sales on St Patrick’s Day on Wednesday (17 March), according to the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA). The trade body said 14 million pints would have been sold but won’t due to lockdown rules and reiterated the need for pubs to open without restrictions on the proposed date of 21 June. Pubs across the UK also remain unable to sell takeaway beer this St Patrick’s Day too, due to lockdown restrictions that mean they can only sell food for takeaway. BBPA chief executive Emma McClarkin said: “A pint in the pub on St Patrick’s Day is always a joyous occasion, but sadly this year it will not happen. Hundreds of thousands of pub-goers, if not millions, across the UK will be devastated they cannot enjoy a cold one at their local. It’s a real disappointment for our pubs too, which will miss out on what would have been a big boost to their trade and at a much-needed time too. Instead, they will miss out on selling some 14 million pints. That’s £54m in trade that would have been warmly welcomed by them. It is a great shame pubs cannot even sell a takeaway pint. It is abundantly clear the government must ensure all our pubs are fully reopened on 21 June as indicated on the roadmap. We urgently need to get the pub reopen and operating without restrictions so the recovery can truly begin.”

Coronavirus hits top restaurants’ values worldwide, Starbucks retains first spot in Brand Finance list for fifth year: The impact of covid-19 saw the total value of the world’s top 25 most valuable restaurant brands drop from $162.1bn (£117.3bn) in 2020 to $153.9bn (£111.4bn) in 2021, according to Brand Finance Restaurants 25 2021 report. Despite recording a 6% drop in brand value to $38.4bn (£27.8bn), Starbucks has retained top spot for the fifth consecutive year. According to Brand Finance, the coffee chain, which has more than 30,000 stores globally, used the pandemic to further differentiate itself from rivals and adapted to focus on speed and convenience in its service. This included ramping up the pace of the construction of drive-thru stores, a renewed focus on a loyalty rewards scheme and further integration of digital technology across the business – all of which are reflected in a surge in drive-thru and mobile orders, accounting for 90% of all orders in the US in the third quarter of last year. US companies took the top eight places in the rankings with only China hot pot restaurant chain Haidilao and Canadian quick service restaurant brand Tim Hortons taking ninth and tenth positions respectively. McDonald’s, KFC, Subway, Domino’s, Taco Bell, Dunkin’ and Pizza Hut took places two to eight. In fact, US fast food chains dominate the Brand Finance Restaurants 25 2021 rankings, claiming 20 out of the total 25 and US brands account for 92% of the total brand value in the list. The only bar or pub brand represented on the list was JD Wetherspoon, which ranked 21st. Jack in the Box was the fastest growing restaurant brand, surging 84% to claim 16th place; Papa John’s was the highest ranked newcomer, claiming 19th place; and McDonald’s continued to reign as the world’s strongest restaurant brand, with a “Brand Strength Index” score of 86.9 out of 100.

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