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Tuesday 14th July 2020
Update: JD Wetherspoon, Fever-Tree
Wetherspoon rebuts CAMRA and SIBA criticism: JD Wetherspoon has rebutted a number of claims by CAMRA and SIBA in relation to its VAT reduction to customers. A joint statement by Tom Stainer, chief executive of CAMRA, and James Calder, chi … view
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Tuesday 14th July 2020
Propel Tuesday News Briefing
Coffeesmiths Collective undergoes restructure: Coffeesmiths Collective, which runs coffee chains including the Department of Coffee and Social Affairs (DoCaSA) and Filmore & Union, has undergone a restructure, Propel has learned. The comp … view
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Monday 13th July 2020
JD Wetherspoon is to reduce prices on a range of meals and drinks after VAT cut
JD Wetherspoon is to reduce prices on a range of meals and drinks after VAT cut: Pub operator JD Wetherspoon is to reduce prices on a range of meals and drinks following the Chancellor’s decision to reduce VAT on food, coffee and soft d … view
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Monday 13th July 2020
Propel Monday News Briefing
Prezzo seeking £15m of investment to restart business and accelerate growth: Prezzo, the Karen Jones-led chain that earlier this month became the latest sector operator to push the start button on a sale process, is seeking to secure £1 … view
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Sunday 12th July 2020
Epiris in exclusive talks to acquire Casual Dining Group
Epiris in exclusive talks to acquire Casual Dining Group: Epiris, the UK-based private equity firm that formerly backed TGI Friday’s and Parkdean Resorts, is in exclusive talks to acquire Casual Dining Group (CDG), operator of the Café Roug … view
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Friday 10th July 2020
Exclusive: Itsu appoints advisers as it eyes restructure
Exclusive – Itsu appoints advisers as it eyes restructure: Itsu, the healthy Asian food chain created by Pret A Manger co-founder Julian Metcalfe, is understood to have appointed advisers as it looks to step up conversations with landlo … view
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Friday 10th July 2020
Friday Opinion
Subjects: Nothing to fear but fear, customers will be key to success, and making digital ordering work
Authors: Paul Chase, Katy Moses and Nick Popovici

Nothing to fear but fear by Paul Chase

< … view
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Friday 10th July 2020
Update: The Restaurant Group, Great Portland Estate, The Gym Group
The Restaurant Group updates on banking facilities, pay cuts for directors and re-opening schedule: The Restaurant Group (TRG) has announced increased flexibility in its banking facilities and an update on board remuneration and estate reopeni … view
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Friday 10th July 2020
Propel Friday News Briefing
Ford – Caffe Nero saw 10% to 15% jump in revenue when seating areas reopened: Gerry Ford, founder and group chief executive of Caffe Nero, has said the business saw a 10% to 15% jump in revenue when the business reopened seating in its … view
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Friday 10th July 2020
Pubs and restaurants see trade down 45% on reopening weekend
Pubs and restaurants see trade down 45% on reopening weekend: Those managed pub, bar and restaurant companies that reopened sites in England last weekend have reported like-for-like trading 44.5% down on the corresponding weekend last year, ac … view
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Thursday 9th July 2020
Legal Briefing

Let’s stick together by Michelle Hazlewood

As lock-down restrictions are eased further across England, Scotland Wales and we look forward to the sector opening up further, it’s a good time to reflect on the journey of the past four m … view
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Thursday 9th July 2020
Update: Burger King UK, Hawthorn Leisure, C&C Group, pub tenant ‘max exodus’ warning
Burger King UK could permanently shut 10% of outlets: Burger King UK chief executive Alasdair Murdoch has warned up to 1,600 jobs could be lost as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Only about 370 of the company’s 530 UK stores have … view
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Thursday 9th July 2020
Propel Thursday News Briefing
Operators frustrated by slow Welsh approach to reopening: Operators in Wales have expressed their frustration at its government’s slow approach to reopening. First minister Mark Drakeford has said indoor hospitality won’t reopen on Mo … view
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Wednesday 8th July 2020
Tossed parent company files notice of intention to appoint administrators
Tossed parent company files notice of intention to appoint administrators: The parent company of Tossed, the London-based healthy eating brand, has filed a notice of intention to appoint administrators. It follows the directors of Zest Food no … view
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Wednesday 8th July 2020
Operators react as chancellor announces VAT cut and voucher initiative
Operators react as chancellor announces VAT cut and voucher initiative: Operators have hailed chancellor Rishi Sunak’s decision to cut VAT from 20% to 5% on food, accommodation and attractions for six months and launch a vouchers initia … view
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Wednesday 8th July 2020
Propel Wednesday News Briefing
Andy Laurillard – there are three waves to this crisis and we’ve just got over the first: Andy Laurillard, co-founder of Thai restaurant brand Giggling Squid, has said there are three waves to the covid-19 crisis and the hospitality s … view
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Tuesday 7th July 2020
Update: Whitbread, JD Wetherspoon and St Austell
Whitbread – we are in a good position to take advantage of structural opportunities: Whitbread has reported it now has more than 270 UK hotels and 24 restaurants now reopened with the majority of the rest of the estate due to reopen thr … view
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Tuesday 7th July 2020
Propel Tuesday News Briefing
More than one-quarter of adults visited a pub or restaurant during reopening weekend: More than one-quarter (28%) of UK adults visited a pub or restaurant during reopening weekend, according to new research from KAM Media. However, the cu … view
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Monday 6th July 2020
Majority of Vapiano’s UK estate acquired out of administration
Majority of Vapiano’s UK estate acquired out of administration: The majority of Italian casual dining brand Vapiano UK has been acquired out of administration in two separate deals, Propel has learned. Allan Graham and Matthew Ingram, of Duf … view
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Monday 6th July 2020
Operators report low-key reopening weekend
Operators report low-key reopening weekend: Operators have reported a low-key start to trading during the weekend, with turnover in many cases well below the corresponding weekend last year. Some companies reported turnover of less than 50% of … view
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Monday 6th July 2020
Pret to restructure and reshape business, 30 sites to close
Pret to restructure and reshape business, 30 sites to close: Pret A Manger, the JAB Holdings-owned group, has announced it will undergo a restructure, which will see 30 of its UK sites permanently close. It comes after the company experienced … view
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Monday 6th July 2020
Sector calls on government for ambitious package of business investment
Sector calls on government for ambitious package of business investment: About 120 industry leaders have written to the prime minister urging the government to commit to an ambitious programme of business support and investment to stimulate th … view
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Monday 6th July 2020
Update: Treasury reviews access to coronavirus business loans, Scottish hospitality reopens outdoors
Treasury reviews access to coronavirus business loans after EU relaxes rules: The Treasury is considering ways of making it easier for businesses to access coronavirus support loans – ahead of expected measures from the chancellor desig … view
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Monday 6th July 2020
Propel Monday News Briefing
Super Saturday – operator reactions and early trading data: Early data from Wi-Fi solutions provider Wireless Social and feedback from operators seem to imply the easing of lock-down regulations on ‘Super Saturday’ (4 July) led to … view
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Saturday 4th July 2020
Exclusive – Tnui Capital to take control of Busaba
Exclusive – Tnui Capital to take control of Busaba: Tnui Capital, the London-based private equity firm, has reached an agreement to acquire Busaba, the Thai chain founded by Alan Yau, Propel has learned. Tnui, which is a turnaround specialis … view
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Friday 3rd July 2020
Exclusive: Wasabi considers funding options including possible sale
Exclusive – Wasabi considers funding options including possible sale: Wasabi, the sushi and bento chain led by Henry Birts and backed by Capdesia, is looking to secure new investment that could include a sale of the business, Propel has … view
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Friday 3rd July 2020
Exclusive: TowerBrook takes lead in race to acquire Azzurri Group
Exclusive – TowerBrook takes lead in race to acquire Azzurri Group: Private equity firm TowerBrook Capital Partners, which has offices in London and New York, is believed to have taken the lead in the process to acquire Azzurri Group, Propel … view
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Friday 3rd July 2020
Friday Opinion
Subjects: One more sleep, why track and trace is key to recovery, in defence of landlords, and restoring control
Authors: Ann Elliott, Victoria Searl, Catherine Johnstone and Malcolm Muir

One more … view

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Friday 3rd July 2020
Exclusive: Bistrot Pierre to file notice of intention to appoint administrators
Exclusive – Bistrot Pierre filing notice of intent to appoint administrators: Bistrot Pierre, the Livingbridge-backed group, is to file a notice of intent to appoint administrators today (Friday, 3 July), Propel has learned. The 25-stro … view
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Friday 3rd July 2020
Update: Market Halls, Boris’ pub plea, Soho House, Fuller’s
Market Halls to remain closed while social distancing remains: Market Halls, which has three sites – in Victoria, Fulham, and on Oxford Street – has begun a redundancy process with staff after deciding to stay closed while social distancin … view
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Friday 3rd July 2020
Propel Friday News Briefing
Phil Urban – M&B discounting unnecessary to entice customers, reduced capacity a bigger issue: Mitchells & Butlers (M&B) chief executive Phil Urban has said the company isn’t planning on widespread discounting to encourage customers b … view
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Thursday 2nd July 2020
91 restaurants close permanently as Casual Dining Group goes into administration
91 restaurants close permanently as Casual Dining Group goes into administration: Casual Dining Group (CDG), the Bella Italia, Café Rouge and Las Iguanas operator, has been placed into administration leading to the closure of 91 of its 2 … view
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Thursday 2nd July 2020
Trade bodies clarify reopening rules for operators and councils
Trade bodies clarify reopening rules for operators and councils: UKHospitality, the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) and the British Institute of Innkeeping (BII) have produced updated FAQ guidance to help operators understand the go … view
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Thursday 2nd July 2020
Mitchells & Butlers – ‘we are encouraged by results at our re-opened German business’
Mitchells & Butlers – ‘we are encouraged by results at our re-opened German business’: Mitchells & Butlers has reported its re-opened German business, Alex, provides insights and encouragement ahead of its UK re-opening this weekend. It … view
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Thursday 2nd July 2020
Propel Thursday News Briefing
Almost 500,000 sector supplier jobs at risk without extended government support: Almost 500,000 jobs are at risk if the government fails to extend sector support to include suppliers, a new survey has revealed. The findings by the UKHospi … view
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Wednesday 1st July 2020
Exclusive: Bidders circle Casual Dining Group
Exclusive – bidders circle Casual Dining Group: A number of parties are bidding to acquire all or part of Casual Dining Group (CDG), the Bella Italia, Café Rouge and Las Iguanas operator, as the company’s advisers continue to push for a d … view
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Wednesday 1st July 2020
SSP to axe up to 5,000 jobs in the UK
SSP to axe up to 5,000 jobs in the UK: UK transport hub foodservice company SSP Group is to axe up to 5,000 jobs in the UK to reflect the current low level of passenger demand – traffic is still down 85% year-on-year – resulting from … view
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Wednesday 1st July 2020
Propel Wednesday News Briefing
Hornby – industry needs to be relentless, because it will get harder as the year goes on: Andy Hornby, chief executive of The Restaurant Group, the Wagamama and Brunning & Price owner, has told Propel the industry will need to be “rel … view
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Tuesday 30th June 2020
Update: Cineworld, Comptoir Group, Intercontinental Hotels, Vianet
Cineworld to re-open UK cinemas on 31 July: Cineworld is to re-open its cinemas in the US and the UK starting Friday 31 July. The company stated: “Cineworld has and will continue to reopen cinemas in its other markets as previously stat … view
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Tuesday 30th June 2020
Propel Tuesday News Briefing
Capdesia and Toridoll enter JV to launch Marugame Udon in UK, Keith Bird to lead business: Capdesia Group, the backer of Wasabi, and Toridoll Holdings Corporation, the backer of Shoryu Ramen and Wok to Walk, have formed a new joint ventur … view
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Monday 29th June 2020
Creditors approve TRG leisure estate CVA
Creditors approve TRG leisure estate CVA: Creditors of The Restaurant Group (TRG) have approved the company voluntary arrangement (CVA) for its leisure business. More than 82% of all creditors voted in favour of the proposal, with 75% app … view
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Monday 29th June 2020
Sky News – Byron files notice of intention to appoint administrators
Sky News – Byron files notice of intention to appoint administrators: Better burger brand Byron has filed a notice of intention to appoint administrators. The move is designed to provide protection from creditors as the company holds detaile … view
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Monday 29th June 2020
Update: Pub spending this weekend, Deliveroo and Champneys
Spending in pubs this coming weekend forecast to be £210m: Spending in pubs is forecast to reach £210m when premises open their doors this coming weekend. Industry research suggests that 35% of adults will return to pubs within a week o … view
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Monday 29th June 2020
Propel Monday News Briefing
Findlay – government needs to be ‘big and bold’ on VAT cut: Ralph Findlay, chief executive of Marston’s, has said the government needs to be “big and bold” when it comes to a VAT cut to help stimulate the economy as the hospit … view
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Friday 26th June 2020
Friday Opinion
Subjects: The perils of wriggle room, a shout-out for the cultural sector, employee challenges and latest unpicking of furlough, and to the pub on 4 July
Authors: Paul Chase, Philip Kolvin, Alastair Scott and Richard Hartley, … view
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Friday 26th June 2020
Update: Marston’s, Loungers, Chinatown, Duncan Garrod, Chinatown
Marston’s – ‘we are well-placed in the medium term’: Marston’s has insisted it is well-placed for a post covid-19 recovery in medium term. It said plans are in place for pubs to reopen from 4 July, although initial revenue and e … view
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Friday 26th June 2020
Propel Friday News Briefing
Former TGI Friday’s and Parkdean Resorts backer in running for Azzurri Group: Epiris, the private equity firm, which formerly backed TGI Friday’s and Parkdean Resorts, is one of the parties bidding to acquire the Azzurri Group, the Zi … view
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Thursday 25th June 2020
Update: Greene King, al fresco dining, Young's, Just Eat
Greene King to open two-thirds of managed estate on Monday 6 July: Brewer and pub retailer Greene King is to re-open 1,294 of its managed pubs from Monday 6 July, with the remaining one third of the managed estate following in the second … view
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Thursday 25th June 2020
Propel Thursday News Briefing
Christou – Pret in eye of the storm, to pay 30% of June quarter’s rent: Pano Christou, chief executive of Pret A Manger, has written to the group’s landlords stating the brand is “currently in the eye of the storm”, with UK sale … view
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Wednesday 24th June 2020
CMA determines Amazon's investment in Deliveroo won't significantly lessen competition in sector
CMA determines Amazon investment in Deliveroo would not result in significant lessening of competition in restaurant or grocery sector: The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has determined Amazon’s investment in Deliveroo will not … view
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Wednesday 24th June 2020
Update: Re-opening guidance, Wetherspoon, McDonald’s, Fuller’s
Government publishes re-opening guidance: The government has this morning published a 41-page document offering the sector guidance of safe re-opening on 4 July. The guidance covers areas such a “keeping customers and staff safe”, “ … view
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Wednesday 24th June 2020
Propel Wednesday News Briefing
Leon-led group among bidders for Busaba: Natural fast food brand Leon is involved in one of the main bids for Busaba, the Thai chain founded by Alan Yau, Propel understands. It is thought the John Vincent-led business, which is backed by … view
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Tuesday 23rd June 2020
Operators react as government gives green light to 4 July opening date and replaces two-metre rule
Operators react as government gives green light to 4 July opening date and replaces two-metre rule: Operators have been sharing their reaction after pubs and restaurants in England were given the green light by the government to reopen on 4 Ju … view
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Tuesday 23rd June 2020
Propel Tuesday News Briefing
Brasserie Bar Co ramps up talks with landlords, plans August reopening: Brasserie Bar Co, the Richard Ferrier-led operator of the Brasserie Blanc and White Brasserie Company, is working with advisors as it considers its options in regards … view
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Monday 22nd June 2020
Opinion Special: No more ifs, buts or maybes please Boris

No more ifs, buts or maybes please Boris by Mark Wingett

A tweet from this weekend courtesy of MeatLiquor founder Scott Collins: “If 4 July is the ‘legal’ reopening date for pubs/bars/restaurants can they open at 12.01am (licence p … view
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Monday 22nd June 2020
Propel Monday News Briefing
Industry survey reveals protracted recovery and need for confirmation of 4 July reopening: Hospitality businesses are predicting a lengthy and painful recovery with levels of trade expected to be significantly supressed for many months to … view
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Monday 22nd June 2020
Industry survey reveals protracted recovery and need for confirmation of 4 July reopening
Industry survey reveals protracted recovery and need for confirmation of 4 July reopening: Hospitality businesses are predicting a lengthy and painful recovery with levels of trade expected to be significantly supressed for many months to … view
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Saturday 20th June 2020
Exclusive: Luke Johnson among bidders for Bistrot Pierre
Exclusive – Luke Johnson among bidders for Bistrot Pierre: Serial sector investor Luke Johnson is among the interested parties bidding to take control of Bistrot Pierre, the Livingbridge-backed group, Propel has learned. Johnson, who is … view
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Friday 19th June 2020
Government extends anti-eviction measures for businesses
Government extends anti-eviction measures for businesses: The UK government has extended measures to prevent struggling companies from eviction over the summer. It said it would lay a statutory instrument to amend the Coronavirus Act to e … view
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Friday 19th June 2020
Friday Opinion
Subjects: More plates to spin, getting customers back to pubs, Hospitality Feeds and the hardest part is yet to come
Authors: David Read, Katy Moses, Ann Elliott and Ibrahim Dogus

More plates to sp … view

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Friday 19th June 2020
Propel Friday News Briefing
Scottish government publishes sector reopening guidelines: The Scottish government has published its reopening guidelines for the hospitality and tourism sectors. As well as reaffirming the proposed reopening of the industry from 15 July, … view
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Thursday 18th June 2020
Living Ventures places Blackhouse business into administration, D&D London plans phased reopening
Living Ventures places Blackhouse business into administration: Blackhouse and Newgate Restaurants, the Living Ventures-owned business, has appointed administrators following the closure of its restaurants in March due to the covid-19 pan … view
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Thursday 18th June 2020
Update: Wagamama, Greene King, Oakman, Gusto, re-opening
Wagamama sees encouraging sales performance from reopened sites: Wagamama, The Restaurant Group (TRG)-owned brand, has said it has seen an “encouraging sales performance” from the 81 sites its has so far reopened over the past few wee … view
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Thursday 18th June 2020
Propel Thursday News Briefing
Parkdean Resorts reports bumper staycation bookings through to autumn, agrees £25m refinancing: Holiday park operator Parkdean Resorts, which is led by former Casual Dining Group chief executive Steve Richards, has said it was seeing “ … view
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Wednesday 17th June 2020
More than 50 sector bosses write to PM demanding firm opening date by Friday
More than 50 sector bosses write to PM demanding firm opening date by Friday as research reveals businesses burning through £100m a month: More than 50 sector pub and brewing bosses have written to prime minister Boris Johnson demanding he co … view
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Wednesday 17th June 2020
Westminster reopening strategy, Giggling Squid secures £5m loan, Domino’s UK
Westminster Council sets out reopening strategy for hospitality: Westminster Council has published its plans to help the hospitality industry reopen, including the temporary closure of a number of roads to make room for external seating. … view
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Wednesday 17th June 2020
Propel Wednesday News Briefing
McDonald’s reports global sales down 30% in current quarter but seeing recovery in demand: McDonald’s said global sales fell about 30% in the first two months of the current quarter due to the coronavirus pandemic but signalled a reco … view
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Tuesday 16th June 2020
Seafood Pub Company to enter administration
Seafood Pub Company to enter administration: Seafood Pub Company, the north west based, ten-strong country inns business, is set to go into administration. The award-winning company, which was founded in 2010 by Joycelyn Neve, filed a Not … view
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Tuesday 16th June 2020
Propel Tuesday News Briefing
Sector CEOs and Deliveroo write to PM calling for urgent support for industry: Deliveroo and the chief executives of its leading restaurant partners, including Itsu, Pizza Hut, Pret A Manger and Wagamama, have called on the government to … view
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Tuesday 16th June 2020
Sector CEOs and Deliveroo write to PM calling for urgent support for industry
Sector CEOs and Deliveroo write to PM calling for urgent support for industry: Deliveroo and the chief executives of its leading restaurant partners, including Itsu, Pizza Hut, Pret A Manger and Wagamama, have called on the government to provi … view
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