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Wed 4th May 2016 - Propel Wednesday News Briefing

Story of the Day:

STR – European hotel markets take three months to stabilise after terrorist attacks: European hotel markets saw stabilised performance results within about three months following major terrorist attacks, according to data and analysis from STR. The company analysed four instances where a major European market was attacked by terrorists – 2004 in Madrid, 2005 in London, 2015 in Paris and 2016 in Brussels. Terror attacks in those markets were found to have a greater impact on occupancy levels than on average daily room rate. STR said the best example was following the attack in London in July 2005 with hotels experiencing average year-on-year rate growth of 3.2% in the three months that followed. Occupancy, on the other hand, dropped 15.1%, 5.2% and 1.9% in the subsequent months before rising 1.0% in November. It added hoteliers typically do not attempt to recapture occupancy levels with lower rates following a terror attack, as tourists are likely to avoid the market regardless of price. Similar three-month recovery patterns were found when it examined the attacks in Madrid and Paris. In the case of Brussels, STR said while it was too early to draw a full analysis from the attacks in March, the city was also heavily affected by the November attacks in Paris, so data through February may indicate the market’s recovery patterns. Between November and January, Brussels posted an average monthly occupancy decline of 17.0%. Then in February, occupancy was down just 2.3%. Average daily room rate during this time fluctuated but grew in year-on-year comparisons for three of four months.
 

Industry News:

Propel Operators and Investors Dinner open for bookings: The annual Propel Operators and Investors Dinner is now open for bookings. The event takes place on Monday, 6 June at the Banking Hall in London, starting at 7pm. The popular event is in its third year and allows operators and investors in the sector to extend their network of contacts. Propel managing director Paul Charity said: “We have seen great demand for places in previous years and have added to the event’s capacity this year to accommodate more of those who would like to attend.” Tickets are £110 plus VAT each – email paul.charity@propelinfo.com to book a place.
 
Next recording for Propel Premium subscribers to feature Burger & Lobster managing director Simon King: The next recording for Propel Premium subscribers, to be sent out this Friday (6 May), will feature Burger & Lobster managing director Simon King. He talks about the brand’s unique business model, sourcing lobsters, pegging prices in the face of inflation, and the company’s approach to franchising. Operators, drinks companies, law firms, accountants, distributors and marketing firms are among the first companies that have signed up to receive the Propel Premium subscription service. The current free service to all existing readers remains the same, but readers can opt to upgrade to receive the Propel Premium service. Propel Premium subscribers will be able to receive the Morning Newsletter, which is sent at 6.30am each weekday, 12 hours earlier at 6.30pm the day before. Subscribers will also receive a copy of the Propel database of 500 multi-site companies, which will be updated every six months, and receive a digital version of Propel Quarterly magazine a week before publication. For operators, annual subscription costs £345 plus VAT, with an extra £50 per additional subscriber at each company. For suppliers, annual subscription costs £445 plus VAT, with an extra £50 per additional subscriber at each company. To subscribe to the Propel Premium service, email anne.steele@propelinfo.com 
 
Domino’s Pizza boss – US restaurant industry facing ‘interesting dilemma’ over wide range in minimum wage rates, New York increase hits company: Domino’s Pizza chief executive Patrick Doyle has said the US restaurant industry is facing an “interesting dilemma” in the coming years because of the wide range in minimum wage rates. New York and California have just agreed to raise their minimum wages to $15 per hour, but the federal rate remains $7.25 per hour – that’s a $16,000 a year difference for full-time workers, reports Nation’s Restaurant News. He said: “We operate in lots of markets around the world with different wage rates. I can’t think of any markets where you have wage rates that vary dramatically within a market. It’s heading that direction in the US. It’s an interesting challenge for the business.” Doyle also admitted the increase in the minimum wage rate in New York City has hit the company. He acknowledged Domino’s labour rate was higher at company units and the only place where it was having that problem was New York City, where the minimum wage for quick-service restaurants is currently $10.50 per hour. He added: “We own all the stores in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens. The minimum wage has gone up in New York. So that’s really the wage rate pressure we’re talking about. It’s primarily about New York. Our view, and it has always been our view, is that as wage rates move you may see a little dislocation in the near term. But over the medium and longer term you see that show up in better efficiency. As wage rates go up, stores tend to get better and more efficient about managing labour hours.”

Licensing update: Solicitors John Gaunt & Partners produce a useful monthly summary of topical issues and the latest can be accessed here 
 

Company News:

BrewDog updates filing as it prepares for $50m US crowdfunding launch: Scottish brewer and retailer BrewDog has updated its filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission as it prepares to launch its $50m crowdfunding campaign in the US. The company will offer 1,052,632 shares at a price of $47.50 per share. The minimum purchase is $95. It said the offer was to raise $50m in capital. After all fees, BrewDog hopes to net out $46.6m, reports Crowdfunder Insider. BrewDog is using an underwriter, Source Capital Group, which accounts for the bulk of the fees. Kendall Almerico, an attorney in the investment crowdfunding space, is representing BrewDog on the legal front. Almerico is also a partner in the investment crowdfunding platform BankRoll, which the offer will be listed on. BrewDog has netted more than £20m through its various Equity for Punks fund-raises in the UK from more than 35,000 shareholders.
 
Coffee Republic opens new franchise site in Maidenhead, continues international growth: Coffee Republic has opened a new franchise site in Maidenhead, Berkshire, as part of its continued expansion that has seen it double its UK presence in the past two years. The High Street site is one of the company’s largest at 214 square metres and has 93 covers. The opening is in line with Coffee Republic’s planned 20 openings in the UK this year and into quarter one of 2017, and is part of its biggest period of growth since new owners took over in 2009. It will also soon open a cafe at the Co-op superstore in Stourport – the third of ten sites to be launched this year in Co-operative superstores in the Midlands as part of a franchise deal between the two companies. Coffee Republic now has 32 franchised sites and three company-owned stores in the UK. It has also continued its international growth by opening two sites in Bahrain to add to its 20 sites outside the UK, with a new franchise opening soon in Menorca Airport on the Balearic island to complement its other overseas airport franchises in Lanzarote, Barcelona Terminal 1, Fuerteventura, and Vilnius International in Lithuania.
 
Zing Zing crowdfunding campaign attracts investment from Goldman Sachs boss, eyes expansion outside London: Zing Zing, the north London-based Chinese takeout concept, has seen its crowfunding campaign attract investment from Michael Sherwood, vice-chairman of Goldman Sachs and co-chief executive of Goldman Sachs International. The company, founded by Josh Magidson, who sold his start-up business to Just Eat in 2010, was aiming to raise £350,000 on Crowdcube in return for an 8.51% equity stake as it looks to expand across the capital. It hit that target last week and so far, 375 investors have pledged £638,510 and it is “overfunding” with eight days remaining. The largest investment to date is £31,850 with Sherwood understood to have invested £20,000 after becoming a fan of the food. From two sites in Kentish Town and Highbury, the company, which makes traditional Chinese food with a twist, stripping out the monosodium glutamate and using fresh, “top quality” ingredients, generates an annual turnover of £1.2m, which is forecast to rise to £2.8m next year. The business will hit £22m in revenue by 2020, Magidson claimed. Zing Zing boasts a number of heavyweight investors and board members, including Jamie Barber, restaurateur and founder of Brazilian barbecue chain Cabana; Maurice Abboudi, former Domino’s Pizza executive and founder of Pizza Lupa group, which sold to Firezza in 2015; and John Harrison, formerly of Malmaison and Liberty’s. Zing Zing is currently looking at sites in Kilburn and Shepherd’s Bush but Magidson said he was looking to grow the business beyond the capital over the next three years. He told the Telegraph: “Chinese takeaway is loved across the UK so this could work anywhere. We may also look overseas. I want to do what Just Eat has done. I want to grow Zing Zing really really big.”
 
French House starts expansion with Crystal Palace site, second south London restaurant: French House, which launched its first restaurant 18 months ago in East Dulwich, has opened its second south London site – in Crystal Palace. French House is the brainchild of Audrey Michel, who hails from Alsace, with a simple concept of traditional food from the region – think 1960s/1970s French restaurant-wine bar, reports Hot Dinners. The restaurant in Westow Hill is open daily for breakfast, serving French patisserie and Square Mile coffee. From lunchtime, the cafe turns into a restaurant with the menu focusing on Alsacian specials such as tartes flambées, choucroute and baeckeoffe, as well as raclette, fondue and other classic French dishes. On the wine front, everything on the regularly changing list is French and can be ordered by the bottle or 175ml glass as well as various sizes of carafe.
 
Liverpool entrepreneurs start expanding portfolio by opening new bar and canteen concept in city: Liverpool entrepreneurs Richard McGinnis and Lewis Boardman have started expanding their portfolio by opening a new bar and canteen concept in the city. McGinnis and Boardman, who are behind alehouse and eatery The Shipping Forecast in Slater Street, have launched The Merchant in the former Mello Mello building in the same road. The bar on the ground floor has a dedicated gin parlour that stocks more than 50 brands and also offers a range of craft beers. The canteen, known as Felicity’s Kitchen, is a revolving kitchen concept where it collaborates with street food traders in the north west. The first to hold a two-month residency is Leeds-based burger makers Patty Smith’s. McGinnis told the Liverpool Echo: “It’s been an exciting project to redevelop this iconic building and bring it back to life – with our quality food, drink and music offer, it will only add to such a dynamic and vibrant area of the city.” McGinnis and Boardman launched The Shipping Forecast about six years ago.

Shelley Sandzer secures two more sites for Franco Manca: Agent Shelley Sandzer has acted on behalf of pizza brand Franco Manca to secure two new London sites. They are a 2,200 square foot site located at 337 Kentish Town Road plus a 2,200 square foot site in Kilburn, north London. Both new deals join the recently opened 2,600 square foot restaurant at Guildford, which Shelley Sandzer helped to secure earlier this year. The restaurant design for both new restaurants will be carried out by an in-house team. The Kentish Town venue will boast 60 covers and there will be 85 at the Kilburn restaurant. Casey Phillips, partner at Shelley Sandzer, said: “Perception of Kentish Town has changed in just a few years and the location has been proven to have a strong daytime trade as well as evening. With the likes of Soho House, Knowhere Special, Ladies and Gents, Wahaca and Pret grabbing the cable tow, footfall and daytime trade has blossomed and Franco Manca will be in great company in this location.”

Rosa’s Thai Cafe opens seventh site in Victoria: Rosa’s Thai Cafe, which aims to combine “modern London with modern Bangkok”, has opened its seventh site in Victoria. The company, founded by Alex Moore and his Thai wife Saiphin, has opened the 1,300 square foot venue in Wilton Street. The site hosted the pop-up Laos Cafe by Saiphin Moore at the end of last year but has been transformed to offer the same authentic Thai food menu with a contemporary twist as the other cafes. Meanwhile, the drinks menu features ice-cold Thai beer and bottled cocktails such as Kaffir Lime and Mint Toreador designed specifically to complement Thai dishes. There is also a selection of loose-leaf teas from Comins Tea House that includes Houjicha, Sencha karigane and a new addition to the collection, Lishan spring tea. Rosa’s Thai Cafe, which secured £1.8m in funding from Santander in January for expansion, was launched in Spitalfields in 2006. It has since opened sites in Carnaby Street, Chelsea, Islington, Soho, and Westfield Stratford.

Turtle Bay to open restaurant in Solihull this month: Caribbean restaurant Turtle Bay is set to continue its rapid expansion by opening a site in Solihull at the end of the month. The company is investing £800,000 transforming the former Allied Irish Bank in Station Road into a 210-seat restaurant, creating 50 jobs. It will feature reclaimed wooden furniture, vibrant mosaics, colourful and eclectic murals, quirky feature lighting, an open kitchen, and outdoor seating. There will also be a central island bar and “veranda” style drinking spaces for those not wanting to dine. Founder Ajith Jayawickrema told the Solihull Observer: “We have been keen to open in Solihull for some time, so we’re delighted to have secured such a great spot in the town centre. It’s already a fantastic place to live and work, and we think our sunny Caribbean soul food will provide something unique in an already vibrant community.” Turtle Bay, which is backed by Piper Private Equity, was founded by Jayawickrema in 2010 and has 27 sites across the UK. 

Plans lodged for new lobster restaurant concept in Birmingham: Plans have been lodged for a new lobster restaurant concept in Birmingham city centre. Coventry-based Starash Entertainment has applied to the city council to open Peninsula Lobster Restaurant in John Bright Street. The application includes licensing for films, live music, recorded music, dance, late-night refreshment and the sale of alcohol, reports the Birmingham Mail. The area is already home to artisan pizza and cider brand The Stable, which is 51% owned by Fuller’s, Caribbean-restaurant Turtle Bay, and BrewDog.
 
PizzaExpress appoints agency to lead experiential campaign: PizzaExpress has appointed London creative agency BD Network to develop a nationwide campaign to drive consumer engagement, trial and conversation for the launch of its new Hawaiian pizza. The pizza forms part of the brand’s new spring menu and the agency’s experiential activation team will be on location across the UK engaging consumers, getting them to sample the Hawaiian pizza and amplifying the customer reaction via social media. The experiential campaign by BD Network forms part of an above-the-line campaign created by Otherway that sees pineapple-wrapped buses and other outdoor media executions running across the country. Gabby Barysaite, campaign manager at PizzaExpress, said: “We were looking for a team which could deliver a flawless experience-based activation that was more than just sampling. BD has embraced our above-the-line concept, maintained the essence and premium aspect of our brand to bring the campaign to life locally and drive footfall.” Taryn Gelder, senior account director, BD Network, added: “We created a campaign that not only drives awareness and footfall for the new PizzaExpress spring menu, but also makes consumers reappraise the brand. Our work leverages the experience derived from the new taste sensation through sampling, and disrupts consumers in a playful manner, to put the brand back on their radar”.
 
Caffe Nero secures fifth site in Boston, Massachusetts: Caffe Nero has secured its fifth site in Boston, Massachusetts. Millennium Partners has leased a space in Downtown Crossing’s historic Burnham Building to Caffe Nero. The coffee shop will be located in Summer Street, less than half a mile from Downtown Crossing’s first Caffe Nero, which is located at the base of Millennium Place, another high-end condominium complex developed by Millennium Partners. Caffe Nero also has locations in Jamaica Plain, the South End and the Longwood Medical areas.
 
Wadworth unveils board restructure as commercial director steps down: Devizes-based brewer and retailer Wadworth has unveiled a restructure to its main board. The company stated: “After nine years at Wadworth, commercial director Paul Sullivan has taken the decision to leave the business to pursue other opportunities. He is keen to progress his career and feels that this ambition would be best served by moving to another business at this time. Charles Bartholomew, chairman, and Chris Welham, chief executive, would like to thank Paul for his hard work and contribution to Wadworth over many years. Jonathan Thomas will take the new role of sales director and sit on the Wadworth board looking after the business transformation of our beer brands and building our relationships with our trade customers. Jonathan has over 30 years’ experience in the drinks industry including 20 years with Bass and Molson Coors in a variety of roles including national account director regional brewers UK, customer services director and free trade director. Jonathan also owns his own free house, The Ruperra Arms, Bassaleg, Newport, which won Welsh Pub and Restaurant of the Year 2015. Rupert Bagnall has also been appointed to the Wadworth board as operations director. He has played a pivotal role in leading the Wadworth managed house estate to be the established and renowned quality pubs they are today.” 

Hotbox team launches permanent Chuck Burger site in Spitalfields: The team behind London barbecue restaurant Hotbox will launch a new concept, Chuck Burger, in Spitalfields in June. Chuck Burger started by selling signature burgers and wings from a converted Chevy Step Van at Street Feast’s Hawker House in October. Now a permanent Chuck Burger site will open with the menu featuring the signature spicy Devil Burger, a ground 28-day-aged chuck steak patty topped with charred jalapenos, American cheese, grilled red onions, sriracha mayo, and topped with green jalapeño sauce. The restaurant will also offer new burgers such as the Hot-Ox (aged chuck beef patty topped with slow-cooked spicy oxtail chilli, American cheese, onions, pickles and chipotle mayo) and the Seoul Burger (crispy buttermilk-fried chicken with Korean hot sauce and kimchi slaw). Buffalo wings also feature, with sides including mac ‘n’ cheese balls, loaded fries with homemade nacho sauce and pancetta bacon bits, and a rotation of American-style desserts such as key lime pie and the signature lazy sundae. Hotbox launched as a street food venture before opening its permanent restaurant in Commercial Road, Spitalfields.

New plant-based restaurant concept Rawligion to open in central London: A new plant-based restaurant concept is set to open in central London in June. Ex-professional poker player John Tabatabai is launching Rawligion in Tottenham Street. It aims to “revolutionise the way Londoners perceive plant-based food by going back to basics and providing delicious nourishment in its rawest possible form” under consultant chef Kate Magic. The walls will be adorned with vine leaves and interwoven with twigs to help guests feel at one with the world around them although there will be USB chargers available for people who need to power up their phones and laptops. Inspired by the raw food trends of America’s East Coast, it will use local, seasonal and organically grown fresh vegetables, fruits, herbs, spices, sprouts, seeds, sea vegetables and cold-pressed oils. The menu will not include any animal products – with the exception of honey in small amounts – grains or dairy. Drinks will include London’s first Oji Cold Drip Coffee Tower – an artisan coffee served in a variety of ways, both hot and cold – in addition to a range of smoothies, freshly-pressed juices and special milks. Tabatabai said: “At Rawligion we are very passionate about creating only the highest quality drinks and dishes which will also excite the senses. We want to revolutionise the way busy Londoners eat and change existing perceptions of plant-based food. Prepare to have your taste buds tickled and be seduced by our delicious food and drink offering which will leave you feeling both energised and invigorated!”

CPL Online appoints new account director: CPL Online, the provider of e-learning courses and online business system solutions for the licensed retail hospitality sector, has promoted Andrew Rannard to account director. Rannard, who started at CPL Training Group before the online division was formed, takes up his new role with immediate effect and joins the company’s leadership team alongside managing director David Dasher. The appointment of Rannard, who was previously implementation manager, marks the first step in implementing an organised hierarchy. Rannard’s new role will alleviate the day-to-day management of the support, account and project teams, which will see line managers take on more responsibilities. As the new account director, his role will focus on devising key strategies with Dasher. Dasher said: “Andrew is a forward-thinking and dynamic professional. He’s been pivotal for CPL Online – leading by example and guiding projects over the finish line. Andrew will now handle the day-to-day management of the company – developing strategies and extending our reach into new markets.” Rannard added: “I’ve worked for CPL Online from the word go, so it’s a huge privilege to be given this opportunity. When I cast my mind back to 2009 and realise how far we’ve progressed – it’s incredible. From five people in a tiny office to 120 employees in our own building, I’ve watched us evolve into a market leading company. We are defining innovation here at CPL Online – the potential is inconceivable. I’m relishing the challenge of managing day-to-day operations and devising new strategies for the future.”

Punch Taverns sites win seven awards at Scottish Hotel Awards: Sites owned by Punch Taverns have won seven accolades at the 2016 Scottish Hotel Awards. The Portree Hotel was awarded the national and regional title for Town Hotel of the Year. The Newburgh Inn picked up four regional awards for Bar Dining of the Year, Informal Dining Restaurant of the Year, Golf Hotel of the Year and a Rising Star award for area food and beverage manager Johnny Macgregor. The Crown Hotel in Stornoway was crowned as having the Best Hotel Bar. Punch’s operations director Brian Davidson said: “The Portree Hotel, The Newburgh Inn and The Crown Hotel all underwent refurbishments in 2015 representing a combined investment by Punch of £2m and the teams involved have worked incredibly hard to establish the venues in their local communities. The award wins confirm that we have a great operation in Scotland. We currently have 200 premises and are looking for budding entrepreneurs to work with us as we develop key hotel sites in the north, Central Belt and Borders along with a number of pub sites throughout Scotland. We work together with our hoteliers and publicans, offering a great support package including developing their business plans, making this is a great time for the right candidates to take the lead on running their own sites.” The awards coincide with Punch announcing plans to invest more than £3m in its Scottish estate over the next 12 months, which will create about 250 jobs.
 
Metro Inns turns away from tenancies at will to focus on five key sites: Suffolk-based pub operator Metro Inns has said it has reduce the number of sites operated as tenancies at will to operate five key sites. Operations director Sean Driscoll said: “We used to do a lot of tenancies at will but are now quite happy to consolidate our business. That said, if the right pub with the right deal becomes available we would always consider the challenge.” Two of the sites are with Greene King, two with Enterprise Inns, and the other is with Hawthorn Leisure. The company has just completed a refurbishment of its Greene King site, The Masons Arms in Bury St Edmunds, which was the last pub it acquired in 2013. It follows the refurbishment earlier this year of its other Greene King site, The Kicking Dickey in Great Dunmow, Essex. Driscoll said following the Masons’ £250,000 refurbishment when the company took over, the pub had traded “far beyond all expectations” and was in need of a “freshen up”. The interior of the pub has been redecorated and some modifications have been made to the back bar while the courtyard garden has been transformed to create an open space with 25% of the available seating being designated a no smoking area.
 
Greggs earmarks two new stores for Belfast as part of Northern Ireland roll-out: Greggs has earmarked two new stores for Belfast as part of its roll-out of 50 sites across Northern Ireland. The company has applied to the city council to open a 24-seat cafe at Duncrue Industrial Estate and a store at the Kennedy Centre in west Belfast. Greggs has already opened a new outlet in Boucher Road, with two others, as yet unconfirmed by the firm, due to open in the heart of the city centre – including one in Royal Avenue, reports the Belfast Telegraph. Greggs opened its first store at the Applegreen service station on the M2 in April last year, with others at new service stations soon following. Meanwhile, Greggs has submitted a planning application for an outlet on the ground floor of the Scottish Provident Building in Donegall Square West in Belfast, which will become the firm’s Northern Ireland headquarters. Greggs has 1,670 stores across Great Britain.
 
Carling signs three-year deal to partner Premier League: Molson Coors’ Carling brand has signed a three-year partnership with the Premier League, running from June until the end of the 2018/19 season. The beer brand will aim to maximise Carling’s increasing relevance and connection with football and mainstream lager drinkers “to energise the category and benefit customers”. Jim Shearer, Carling brand director for Molson Coors, said: “We are bringing together the UK’s leading beer with the world’s most exciting football brand to rekindle a unique partnership. This exciting partnership will allow Carling to simultaneously champion pubs and bars via access to the nation’s favourite sport, whilst supporting growth within the off-trade by providing shoppers access to a range of brilliant Premier League assets. Together with our large network of pubs and retailers, we’ll be finding ways to use our unique access to the Premier League, alongside our existing partnership with Sky, to give Carling drinkers more reasons to get together and keep the stories going long after the final whistle has blown.”
 
Managing director of Mystery departs as company restructures operations: Mystery, the design agency specialising in branding, design and concepts for restaurants and bars, has restructured its operations with managing director Richard Samarasinghe leaving the company. The change will see the management board responsible for running and driving the UK office, while founder Dan Einzig continues to develop the business in the US. Finance director Steve Sharp said: “Following a recent strategic restructure, Richard Samarasinghe has left the company by mutual agreement after three-and-a-half successful years as managing director. Over this period Richard has helped grow the business, build a talented management team and build a strong portfolio of national and international clients. The company thanks Richard for his efforts and achievements and wishes him all the best in his future business endeavours. While Dan remains at the helm of the business, the management board is now responsible for the day-to-day operations in the UK, reporting to him.” The five-strong management board comprises of Janfranco Caro, Sarah Mannerings, Shân Rees, Greg Macdonald and Sharp. Einzig, who founded the company in 1998 and expanded to Los Angeles in 2014, added: “We’ve got incredible talent, a portfolio of fantastic clients and joint ventures both here and in the US. The culture of the company has always been central to the way we do things at Mystery and the company will really benefit from empowering the management board to drive the business forward.”
 
Intertain completes second major refurbishment of 2016: Intertain has completed its second investment of the year, with a £400,000 refurbishment to Walkabout in Reading. The project has been finished in time to capitalise on Euro 2016 – a key trading window for the brand. John Leslie, chief executive of Intertain, said: “The work that has taken place at Walkabout Reading will enhance people’s live sports experience when they are in the bar, reaffirming our reputation as the best place on the high street to watch the game when you aren’t lucky enough to be there in person. Outside of this, the work that has taken place will also put Walkabout on the map for lunch or a coffee, as well as early evening drinks and more.”

Tyne Bank Brewery hits £150,000 crowdfunding target, extends offer by two weeks: Newcastle-based Tyne Bank Brewery has hit its £150,000 target on crowdfunding platform Crowdcube and has extended its offer by two weeks. The company, founded by Julia Austin and that has part of the founding management team of Black Sheep Brewery, Pat Green, as a director, is offering a 9.09% equity stake in return for the investment. It has extended the offer by a fortnight to cover “the north east’s annual free after-hours culture crawl” The Late Shows on 12 and 13 May. So far, it has raised £163,440 from 235 investors and is now “overfunding” with 15 days remaining. The largest investment to date is £25,000. The pitch states: “Tyne Bank Brewery’s growth has been based on our strong brand and focus on quality craft beers. This has led us to outgrow our current premises in less than five years. Instead of just moving to another slightly bigger unit, we want to be ambitious and significantly scale up production. We have identified a new building, which we feel is perfect for a visitor attraction brewery with the addition of a craft beer tap room and event space. It also has space to house a kegging, bottling and canning line. Our own experience in the market suggests a shortage of short-run canning capacity and as such we envisage this new arm of the brewery becoming very successful. We are forecasting turnover to increase from £342,000 to £1.3m in 2020 with a net profit of 18%. The packaging line would increase that turnover even further to £1.7m with a net profit of 19%.”
 
Kornicis hires Colliers for rent reviews and lease renewals: Agent Colliers International has been appointed by bar operator Kornicis Group to advise on all rent reviews and lease renewals across its 17-strong portfolio. Kornicis’ venues are primarily located in the City of London and include brands such as Jamie’s Wine Bars and Smollensky’s. Kornicis was recently subject to a management buy-in with incoming chief executive Richard Stringer and chief financial officer Ian Banks acquiring the business with backing from Isfield Investments. Jonathan Essex, associate director at Colliers International, said: “Kornicis is a high profile operator and we look forward to working with them to develop the business. It’s great to see that Kornicis has recognised our expertise in the London market when choosing to appoint us and we look forward to working with the new management team to make their ambitious expansion and roll-out plans a reality.”
 
Scotland’s first cereal cafe opens in Glasgow: Scotland’s first cereal cafe has been launched in Glasgow. Audrey Bisland has opened Black Vanilla in Duke Street, offering more than 50 different types of cereal. It imports most of its cereal options from the US with customers then adding their choice of milk and toppings. A selection of cereal cocktails and “freakshakes” made out of different sugary treats are also on offer. Bisland told STV: “I had seen cereal cafes in America and London but there was nothing like that in Glasgow. When you say to people it will sell cereal, they just imagine Coco Pops and stuff. But there are so many toppings that can go in it such as candyfloss milk and stuff like that. There’s a lot for everybody.” The launch comes after the owners of one of the UK’s first cereal cafes, Manchester-based Black Milk Cereal Dive, revealed it was looking to extend its business into Scotland – but has yet to do so.
 
Peel Hunt issues ‘Add’ note on Just Eat shares: Peel Hunt leisure analyst Ali Naqvi has issued an ‘Add’ note on Just Eat shares after yesterday’s (Tuesday, 3 May) trading update where the company upgraded its forecasts. Naqvi said: “Just Eat put out another strong quarter one update and kept the momentum against increasingly tougher comparatives. Group orders were +57% versus 51% in quarter one 2015, like-for-like sales +41% versus 47%. UK like-for-like sales grew +40%, but the biggest surprise was the increase in commission rates to 13%, which we did not expect until later this year. We upgrade our forecasts following the FY15 results and strong quarter one 2016 update. We see forecast risk being on the upside as the group goes into quarter two with the upcoming Euros and the full-year effect of the UK commission increase. The UK also saw strong growth in like-for-like sales ahead of expectations and tough comparatives at +40% in quarter one 2016 (versus +49% in quarter one 2015). The Danish business, which has been a cause for concern in the established markets division, continues to see quarterly order growth and a higher margin than FY15. iFood, the Brazilian joint venture saw order growth of +160% with circa 1.5 million orders in March 2016. Management guided to commission increases in the UK in FY16, but we weren’t expecting them to implement it this soon. Commission rates increased from 12% to 13% in April and the group is moving to weekly settlements from twice monthly. The group increased UK commissions in 2014 to 12% and saw fewer than 20 restaurants leave the network, with a similar outcome following the increase to 13%. At the FY15 results, management guided to FY16 revenue and Ebitda of £350m and £98m to £100m respectively. Following the announcement and positive outlook, the group upgrade increased guidance by 2% and 4% to £358m and £100m to £104m.”
 
Columbo Group acquires live music venue in Camden: Columbo Group, led by Steve Ball and Riz Shaikh, has acquired its tenth site in London – live music venue Barfly in Camden. The deal marks the company’s third live music venue in the north London area. Columbo Group said Barfly would continue to operate in its present form, just under new ownership, with ambition to restore the iconic venue to its former glory. It has played host to bands such as Coldplay, Blur, Oasis, The Strokes and The Libertines, as well as a collection of budding acts often penned as the next big thing. The company will reopen the Jazz Cafe, which it acquired last year, later this month as well as launch its first London music festival, SunFall, in Brockwell Park on Saturday, 9 July.
 
Cornish Oven secures funding to expand fleet: Pool-based bakery Cornish Oven has secured funding from asset finance provider Ignition to add new catering vans to its fleet. The company was founded in 2000 and now has four shops in Pool, Camborne, Illogan and Helston as well as a fleet of vans delivering fresh sandwiches to offices across Cornwall. The two new vans take its fleet to seven in total, and are specially designed for delivering hot and cold food, featuring heated and refrigerated sides and a hatch for service. Ignition has previously provided funding to purchase essential equipment for expanding the business, including coffee machines, ovens and freezers, and to help with the fit-out of the latest shop, which opened in Helston last year. Cornish Oven owner Giles Williams said: “We realised that there are hundreds of people working in offices around Cornwall who don’t want the bother of making packed lunches in the morning, but are too busy or too far away from shops to go out and buy their lunch. By delivering to offices and industrial parks we provide the perfect solution – tasty, fresh food delivered to their desks.” Ignition director Paul Caunter added: “It’s been a pleasure to work with Giles and his team over the years and to help Cornish Oven succeed by providing the equipment the business needs for essential growth.”
 
Propel partners with Professor Chris Edger to launch new Brands Masterclass: Propel has partnered with the UK’s leading thinker and teacher on multi-site foodservice management Professor Chris Edger to launch a new Brands Masterclass to help create and evolve powerful brands. The event takes place on Friday, 10 June in the Chartered Accounts Hall at One Moorgate Place in London. Led by Edger, the all-day masterclass will showcase the advice of contemporary brand experts, who will address each aspect of a foodservice brand’s marketing mix. Each expert will deal with a specific dimension of brand longevity and success, making this programme an absolute must for UK foodservice brand leaders in 2016. The day will be split into three sessions to help delegates ensure their brands are evolved effectively to ensure long-term sustainability and success. Session one will cover leadership, proposition and product and will see Edger drawing on material from his newly-published book, co-written with Tony Hughes, senior independent director of The Restaurant Group, examining the leadership lifecycles of sustainable food brands. The session also features leading brands consultant Ian Dunstall on how to effectively differentiate a brand and its proposition while Chris Gerard, founder of gastro-pub business Innventure, will explain how to create and evolve a compelling food and beverage offer. Session two will cover environment, estate and employer branding with Dan Einzig, founder of leading restaurant and brand design agency Mystery, looking at site design and creating a brand identity while insights firm CACI will explore how operators create a high quality estate. Former Orchid Group chief executive Rufus Hall will talk about creating a people-centric culture and the benefits of having an outstanding team ethos. The final session will look at execution and marketing with Dr Clinton Bantock, associate professor of the Academy of Multi-Unit Leadership, sharing how to achieve operational excellence while James Hacon, managing director of Elliotts, will look at examples of memorable marketing campaigns and the importance of rewarding loyal customers. Tickets are £295 plus VAT for Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers members and £345 plus VAT for non-members. To book email anne.steele@propelinfo.com

 
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