In this week’s news we discover why you should lock up your used cooking oil and ask if you fancy a ‘byte’ at Bella Italia, consider the benefits of staff exchange programmes between restaurant groups and celebrate KFC’s brilliant surplus food programme with FareShare…

Thieves develop a thirst for used cooking oil

With rising costs, global food shortages and supply chain disruption there is one ingredient that is proving to be as valuable to thieves as gold – used cooking oil.  With rising fuel costs and diesel hitting the £2 a litre mark, used cooking oil is a viable (and cheaper) alternative.  Pubs and restaurants throughout the UK are being targeted by gangs – so stay vigilant and lock up your oil drums!



Bella Italia trials robot waiters

High street restaurant chain, Bella Italia, has found an innovative solution to staff shortages by recruiting its first byte-sized employee – BellaBot.  The cat-shaped robot is the brainchild of Chinese tech company Pudu Robotics, and can carry food to tables from a kitchen, with human staff or customers only required to load and unload the trays.  BellaBot carried out its first shift at the Bella Italia branch at Center Parcs Whinfell Forest in Cumbria and owners, Big Table Group said it launched the trial in an effort to ‘boost innovation and elevate the dining experience’.  We’d love to know what you think?



Celebrity chefs launch staff exchange programme

Michelin rated chefs Paul Ainsworth and Tommy Banks have launched an employee exchange programme between their respective restaurant groups in Cornwall and Yorkshire.  Team members from both businesses in front of house, back of house, office or operational roles can swap companies for a week to experience working in a different setting.  The scheme launched this month and has seen three successful exchanges take place, with a further seven scheduled for 2022.



KFC teams up with FareShare

Four million surplus meals will now make their way to people rather than waste to help those most in need thanks to a new initiative by KFC restaurants and FareShare.  The rollout across KFC’s 1,000 strong restaurants follows a successful pilot in 20 venues in the Midlands, the North East and Essex.  Since the beginning of the eight-month trial period, the partnership has redistributed the equivalent of more than 27,500 meals to over 22 local community groups, supporting an estimated 1,900 people each week.







Food Alert