This week we welcome an upturn to the UK economy, enjoy a sunny outlook for al-fresco eating and drinking, consider the rise of delivery robots and share the best hotel revamps.
UK economy grows 4.8% as hospitality bounces back from lockdown
Pubs and restaurants are driving the UK’s economy according to latest figures from the Office for National Statistics. The economy grew by 4.8 per cent in the second quarter of 2021 as lockdown restrictions lifted, with gross domestic product (GDP) also increasing by a further 1 per cent in June, creating five consecutive months of growth. We’ll drink to that!
Our taste for al-fresco eating and drinking continues to grow
We simply can’t get enough of the European laid back, al-fresco style of wining and dining, if analyses from PwC is anything to go by. Additional space for more than 17,000 extra outside customer seats has been granted, with Westminster processing one third of total pavement licence applications. More than 3,300 fast track applications for pavement licences were lodged by cafes and restaurants as ministers pledged to slash red tape and make the process cheaper and quicker.
Food delivery robots hit US student campuses
Food delivery robots could be coming to a campus near you as they take off in the US. These small autonomous machines are designed to carry up to 20 pounds of food – the equivalent of three shopping bags of goods. Consumers download an app to place their order and hail a robot and then drop a pin where they want their order sent, all for an average delivery charge of $2 per meal. When the food is sent out for delivery they receive an alert and can then meet the robot and unlock it using the app. With COVID-19 not going away any time soon and difficulty finding workers, the day of the food delivery robot could be over here soon!
Best hotel revamps from the last 12 months
From revamps to renovations, Boutique Hotelier lists their favourite hotel upgrades over the past year, which sound so good we thought we’d share. The list features 10 new bedrooms at Homewood Bath; the Lake District’s The Hydro Becomes The Ro after a multi-million pound renovation; and the hotly-anticipated NoMad London opens at the former Bow Street Magistrates’ Court and Police Station in Covent Garden, creating a 91-bedroom hotel, including 21 suites, plus a handful of exciting drinking and dining destinations taking residence in the Grade-II listed building.