Strict licensing laws are losing hospitality businesses custom, according to chef Neil Rankin, speaking at today's Caterer Summit.
"If you can't sell booze to people earlier, if you can't open for breakfast, if you can't do takeaway because of licences, it's restricting our ability to trade and make money," said Rankin, who runs three Temper restaurants across London in Covent Garden, the City and Soho.
He was one of a stellar line-up of operators speaking at the event, which took place at the British Library. They included chef Tom Kerridge, managing director of the Ned Gareth Banner and street food entrepreneur Jonathan Downey from London Union.
Rankin said: "Rent has always been something we take at face value… what really can make things better [for hospitality businesses] is looking at licensing."
He described recent examples of clampdowns on licensing, such as Hackney Council's introduction of strict new rules earlier this year, as "sanitising" areas for residents.
He added: "I don't want trouble, I just want people to be able to enjoy themselves and I want to capitalise on the 10 million people in London properly."
When it comes to licensing restrictions on takeaway and delivery services such as Deliveroo, he added the segment is "part of peoples' lives now" and is "only going to grow" - and pointed out that Deliveroo now has the power to offer him discounted rates on his own suppliers.