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Thursday 30th April 2020
JD Wetherspoon raises £141m, Tim Martin's stake diluted to 28%
JD Wetherspoon raises £141m, Tim Martin’s stake diluted to 28%: JD Wetherspoon has successfully placed 15,668,430 new ordinary shares at a price of 900p per share. Concurrently with the placing, certain directors, including John Hutson … view
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Thursday 30th April 2020
Propel Thursday News Briefing
Chesterford Group CEO – we re-engineered our business model in a week: James Lipscombe, chief executive of the Chesterford Group, which operates 40 sites under brands including Churchill’s and Bankers Fish & Chips, has told Propel the … view
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Wednesday 29th April 2020
JD Wetherspoon to raise £141m in share placing, expects to reopen pubs in late-June
JD Wetherspoon to raise £141m in share placing, expects to reopen pubs in late-June: JD Wetherspoon intends to raise £141m through a share placement as it attempts to tackle the economic impact from the coronavirus crisis and related re … view
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Wednesday 29th April 2020
Busaba appoints advisors to explore options
Busaba appoints advisors to explore options: Busaba, the Thai chain founded by Alan Yau, has appointed advisors as it looks at securing new investment or a buyer, Propel has learned. The Terry Harrison-led group, which operates 13 sites i … view
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Wednesday 29th April 2020
Update: Furlough, Vapiano, Burger King, Starbucks, landlords
Furlough extension plan for workers in struggling sectors: Workers in the parts of the economy worst affected by coronavirus could be furloughed for longer than others under Treasury plans to gradually remove taxpayer wage support, writes … view
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Wednesday 29th April 2020
Propel Wednesday News Briefing
Luke Johnson – ‘I fear for this industry’: Sector investor Luke Johnson has said he fears for the future of the hospitality industry, and of the businesses he had spoken to about possible investment “a lot are very frightened”. … view
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Tuesday 28th April 2020
Wagamama announces phased return for delivery operation, McDonald's begins testing for reopening
Wagamama announces phased return for delivery operation: Wagamama, The Restaurant Group-owned brand, has announced plans for a gradual return for its delivery operation. Closely following government and expert medical advice, the brand ha … view
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Tuesday 28th April 2020
Propel Tuesday News Briefing
Pho co-founder – opening with social distancing measures in place could be catastrophic: Stephen Wall, co-founder of Vietnamese concept Pho, has said opening pubs and restaurants with social distancing measures in place “could be cata … view
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Monday 27th April 2020
Opinion Special: Pathfinders and roadblocks by Mark Wingett

Pathfinders and roadblocks by Mark Wingett

“You’re a kite dancing in a hurricane, Mr Bond.” I’m not one for quoting lines from James Bond films, but taking in the current landscape of the UK’s hospitality industry, this one fro … view
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Monday 27th April 2020
Propel Monday News Briefing
Gaps in level of support for sector businesses highlighted in UKHospitality survey: Gaps in the level of support being provided to sector businesses has been highlighted in a new survey by UKHospitality. About half (48%) of businesses hav … view
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Friday 24th April 2020
Friday Opinion
Subjects: What's the exit strategy – part two, the four stages model, an opportunity to press the restart button and responding to coronavirus
Authors: Paul Chase, Nick Popovici, John Gater and Daniel Davies
< … view
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Friday 24th April 2020
Propel Friday News Briefing
Douglas Jack – Loungers has enough liquidity to sustain site closures until next March, should emerge from crisis to ‘resume sector leadership’: Peel Hunt leisure analyst Douglas Jack has said cafe bar brand Loungers has enough liqu … view
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Thursday 23rd April 2020
Government to protect businesses from aggressive rent collection
Government to protect businesses from aggressive rent collection: The government has announced high street shops and other companies, including those in the hospitality sector, that are “under strain” will be protected from aggressive … view
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Thursday 23rd April 2020
UKHospitality submits six-point plan to government as it warns extended social distancing period could cost one million jobs
UKHospitality submits six-point plan to government as it warns extended social distancing period could cost one million jobs: An extended period of social distancing could cost one million jobs unless measures to protect sector businesses are … view
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Thursday 23rd April 2020
Update: Just Eat, Loungers, Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Costa and PizzaExpress
CMA clears £6.2bn merger between Just Eat and Takeaway.com: The Competition and Market Authority (CMA) has cleared the £6.2bn merger between Just Eat and Takeaway.com. The CMA stated: “Takeaway.com operates in 11 countries overseas, i … view
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Thursday 23rd April 2020
Propel Thursday News Briefing
Just Eat UK MD – crisis might lead to a further paradigm shift for delivery: Andrew Kenny, managing director of Just Eat UK, has told Propel the coronavirus crisis might lead to a further paradigm shift for the delivery channel and excl … view
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Wednesday 22nd April 2020
NTIA instructs Philip Kolvin QC to challenge Hiscox over business interruption claims denial
NTIA instructs Philip Kolvin QC to challenge Hiscox over business interruption claims denial: The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) has instructed solicitors to challenge insurer Hiscox over its refusal to pay out under its business int … view
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Wednesday 22nd April 2020
Propel Wednesday News Briefing
Two-thirds of hospitality business ‘will not survive three more months of lock-down’: Two-thirds (66%) of hospitality businesses do not think they will survive three more months of lock-down measures while 87% will cease operations wi … view
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Tuesday 21st April 2020
Sector leaders back plans for Chancellor over steps to save businesses
Sector leaders back plans for Chancellor over steps to save businesses: Sector leaders, including Pret A Manger chief executive Pano Christou and Prezzo chair Karen Jones, have signed a letter written by London Union chief executive Jonat … view
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Tuesday 21st April 2020
Propel Tuesday News Briefing
Karen Jones in talks to take back handful of Food & Fuel sites: Karen Jones, the executive chair of Prezzo, is in talks to take back up to five of the 12 Food & Fuel sites The Restaurant Group (TRG) placed into administration last month, … view
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Monday 20th April 2020
NWTC appoints Jesper Friis as new CEO as Hill steps down, Le Pain Quotidien UK set to go into administration
NWTC appoints Jesper Friis as new CEO as Hill steps down: Graphite Capital-backed pub restaurant group The New World Trading Company (NWTC) has appointed Jesper Friis as its new chief executive as it prepares for renewed growth when gover … view
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Monday 20th April 2020
Propel Monday News Briefing
Sector faces another crucial week as Gove confirms it will be among last to reopen: The UK’s hospitality sector is facing another key week with it preparing to lay out its case for further government support, as cabinet office minister … view
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Friday 17th April 2020
CMA provisionally clears Amazon’s investment in Deliveroo to ensure its survival, FeedNHS and Greene King
CMA provisionally clears Amazon’s investment in Deliveroo to ensure its survival: The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has provisionally cleared Amazon’s investment in Deliveroo after the delivery firm revealed to the watchdog … view
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Friday 17th April 2020
Friday Opinion
Subjects: The circle of enlightened hospitality, the post-closure weeks, doing and dithering, changing for the future, getting ready, and post-coronavirus consumer trends
Authors: Kenny Blair, Alastair Scott, Elton Mouna, Ann … view
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Friday 17th April 2020
Downey to submit sector rent-free proposal to government
Downey to submit sector rent-free proposal to government: Jonathan Downey, chief executive of London Union and founder of the Hospitality Union initiative, has said he will submit a formal proposal to the Treasury next week for a nine-mon … view
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Friday 17th April 2020
Propel Friday News Briefing
Murdoch – Burger King reopenings will provide important lessons on the way forward: Alasdair Murdoch, chief executive of Burger King UK, has told Propel the brand’s decision to reopen four sites for delivery only will provide it with … view
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Thursday 16th April 2020
City Pub Group cuts net debt by two-thirds after raising £22m
City Pub Group cuts net debt by two-thirds after raising £22m: City Pub Group has cut its net debt by two-thirds after raising £22m in an oversubscribed share placing. A total of 30 million new ordinary shares have been issued under a placin … view
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Thursday 16th April 2020
Exclusive: Le Pain Quotidien UK put on market
Exclusive – Le Pain Quotidien UK put on market: Belgian restaurant and boulangerie brand Le Pain Quotidien UK has been placed on the market, with final offers for the 26-strong business sought by 22 April, Propel has learned. It is unde … view
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Thursday 16th April 2020
Urgent inquiry helping hospitality and tourism businesses back into work to launch
Urgent inquiry helping hospitality and tourism businesses back into work to launch: The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Hospitality and Tourism is launching an urgent inquiry to establish the best ways to support the recovery of businesses h … view
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Thursday 16th April 2020
Exclusive: Bids in for Carluccio's sites
Bids in for Carluccio’s sites: A number of parties have an expressed an interest in acquiring parts of Carluccio’s out of administration, Propel has learned. Bids were due in yesterday evening for the business, which was placed into a … view
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Thursday 16th April 2020
Propel Thursday News Briefing
Wasabi refutes report casting doubt on future, like-for-likes up 5% pre-coronavirus crisis: Wasabi, the sushi and bento chain led by Henry Birts and backed by Capdesia, is confident the business is well placed to bounce back strongly when … view
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Wednesday 15th April 2020
Pret to reopen ten sites tomorrow for delivery and takeaway, restarts supply chain
Pret to reopen ten sites tomorrow for delivery and takeaway, restarts supply chain: Pret A Manger, the JAB Holdings-backed business, is to follow in the footsteps of KFC and reopen a select number of its sites tomorrow (Thursday, 16 April) for … view
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Wednesday 15th April 2020
Propel Wednesday News Briefing
Peter Backman – foodservice sector losing sales to retail market at rate of about £1bn a week: The foodservice sector is losing sales to the retail market at the rate of about £1bn a week, according to industry analyst Peter Backman. … view
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Tuesday 14th April 2020
Opinion Special: Apocalyptic leadership by Chris Edger

Apocalyptic leadership by Chris Edger 

Unprecedented, troublesome times. A pandemic that has casually and ruthlessly killed thousands, has triggered a global shut-down that will have incalculable human and economic consequences. Hospita … view
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Tuesday 14th April 2020
Insight special: Mark Wingett’s inside story on the work to save the sector

When you walk through the storm

The last month will prove to be one of, if not the, most important periods for the UK’s hospitality sector, and its future. As we gear up to face further challenges over the coming months, Mark Winget … view
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Tuesday 14th April 2020
Propel Tuesday News Briefing
UKHospitality – chancellor needs to make ‘one more big, bold intervention’: UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls has told Propel the chancellor needs to make “one more big, bold intervention” as sector companies “hold o … view
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Friday 10th April 2020
Government's landlord warning, foodservice pricing at 12-month low, mentoring scheme et al
Government considering action against landlords not supporting tenants: The government is considering taking action against landlords that are placing unreasonable demands on their tenants and pursuing other means of debt recovery. Propel … view
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Friday 10th April 2020
Propel Friday News Briefing
Body Text Here … view
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Thursday 9th April 2020
Opinion Special: Don’t bite the hand that feeds us, latest on the CJRS, pulling together and we will thrive again
Subjects: Don’t bite the hand that feeds us, latest on the CJRS, pulling together and we will thrive again
Authors: David Read, Richard Hartley, Nick Griffin and Andy Slee 

Don’t bi … view

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Thursday 9th April 2020
Coronavirus: Greggs, trade bodies' grant plea, Arc, D&D London and Bella Italia
Greggs to access £150m under government CCFF scheme: Food-to-go retailer Greggs has said it is accessing £150m under the government’s Covid Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF) scheme with a duration of 11 months. The company said the … view
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Thursday 9th April 2020
Restaurant Group to be a ‘survivor’ after exiting up to 40% of sites
Restaurant Group to be a ‘survivor’ after exiting up to 40% of sites: The Restaurant Group could exit the bottom 40% of its estate after raising £57m in a share placing. Leisure analyst Douglas Jack, of Peel Hunt, has stated that the com … view
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Thursday 9th April 2020
Propel Thursday News Briefing
McDonald’s pulls guidance as global like-for-likes fall 3.4% in first quarter, 75% of restaurants open, plans $1bn capex reduction: McDonald’s has pulled its guidance for 2020 and beyond with chief executive Chris Kempczinski warning … view
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Wednesday 8th April 2020
TRG plans share placing, assumes phased reopening of sites until end of year
TRG plans share placing, assumes phased reopening of sites until end of year: The Restaurant Group (TRG), the Wagamama and Frankie & Benny’s operator, has announced its intention to carry out a placing of new ordinary shares in the capital o … view
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Wednesday 8th April 2020
Legal Briefing

Partnership working will help get us through this together by Michelle Hazlewood 

The current coronavirus crisis has led us into extraordinary times with operators and authorities all having to move at great pace to try to adapt. We’v … view
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Wednesday 8th April 2020
Update: Everyman, Coronavirus loan scheme
Everyman to bolster balance sheet with £17.5m placing: Everyman Media Group, the independent, premium cinema group, is to conduct an accelerated book-build placing to raise gross proceeds of up to £17.5 million, at a price of 100 pence … view
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Wednesday 8th April 2020
Propel Wednesday News Briefing
Sector urges government to reconsider excluding tronc payments from CJRS: UKHospitality has urged the government to reconsider its decision to exclude tronc payments from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS). The call came as Londo … view
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Tuesday 7th April 2020
Opinion Special – What’s the exit strategy? by Paul Chase

What’s the exit strategy? by Paul Chase 

If our involvement in foreign wars has taught us anything it is that it’s a lot easier to get into a war than it is to get out of one. Modern generals ask: “What’s the exit strategy?” b … view
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Tuesday 7th April 2020
Update: Cineworld and Adnams
Cineworld – all 787 cinemas now closed: Cineworld has reported that its entire estate of 787 cinemas in ten countries has been closed as a result of covid-19, ‘a situation impossible to imagine a few months ago’. The company added: … view
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Tuesday 7th April 2020
Propel Tuesday News Briefing
Downey – we need a nine-month rent free measure, time to help suppliers: London Union founder Jonathan Downey, who is campaigning alongside UKHospitality for government sector concessions, has told Propel the industry should be seeking … view
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Monday 6th April 2020
The restaurant property train crash by Morgan Davies

The restaurant property train crash by Morgan Davies

A colossal train crash is happening in slow motion, right now.

The UK retail and leisure property market has been over-inflated for years. Since I began runnin … view
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Monday 6th April 2020
The Restaurant Group unveils increased bank facility flexibility and pay cuts
The Restaurant Group unveils increased bank facility flexibility and pay cuts: The Restaurant Group has announced increased flexibility in its banking facilities, executive pay cuts and changes to its board composition. The company stated … view
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Monday 6th April 2020
Propel Monday News Briefing
Famous Brands pulling funding signals ‘death knell’ for GBK: Analysts in South Africa, the home country of Gourmet Burger Kitchen (GBK) owner Famous Brands, have said its decision to pull the investment plug on the UK restaurant chain … view
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Friday 3rd April 2020
Propel Opinion
Body Text Here … view
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Friday 3rd April 2020
Friday Opinion
Subjects: navigating through the crisis, leading from the front, the decline to closure and there could be worse to come
Authors: Gareth Ogden, Ann Elliott, Alastair Scott and John Gater  

Navigat … view

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Friday 3rd April 2020
Update: Fuller’s, pub companies, ‘squeezed middle’
Fuller’s updates on coronavirus position: Pub operator Fuller’s has reported it has placed the vast majority of its employees in furlough, retaining a small number in key positions to maintain critical functions and deliver the year-e … view
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Friday 3rd April 2020
Propel Friday News Briefing
Pubcos sign declaration to protect certain tenant rights amid coronavirus emergency: The Pubs Code adjudicator (PCA) has announced the six regulated pub-owning businesses (POBs) have signed a formal declaration that serves to protect cert … view
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Thursday 2nd April 2020
Future of GBK in doubt, government risking ‘irreparable’ damage to economy
Future of GBK in doubt after Famous Brands pulls plug on investment: The future of Gourmet Burger Kitchen (GBK) is in doubt after parent company Famous Brands pulled the plug on its investment. Famous Brands stated: “Shareholders are re … view
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Thursday 2nd April 2020
UK Hospitality: Proposed changes to CBIL scheme still not enough for majority of sector
UK Hospitality: Proposed changes to CBIL scheme still not enough for majority of sector: Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UK Hospitality, has said that changes to the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan scheme (CBIL) would be welcomed … view
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Thursday 2nd April 2020
Propel Thursday News Briefing
Luke Johnson – ‘lock-down risks 1930s-style depression that may not protect NHS in long run’: Sector investor Luke Johnson has argued the coronavirus lock-down risks a “1930s-style depression” that might not protect the NHS … view
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Wednesday 1st April 2020
Benito’s Hat placed into administration
Benito’s Hat placed into administration: Pico’s, the parent company of Benito’s Hat, the Mexican restaurant brand that underwent a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) last summer, has been placed into administration. Irvin Cohen and … view
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Wednesday 1st April 2020
Update: Sandpiper, Chapel Down and bank loans
Sandpiper pulls out of Randalls deal: Investment company Sandpiper has pulled out of a deal to buy the Randalls Group of Guernsey because of coronavirus. Sandpiper’s board says the effects of covid-19 and the uncertainty for the future, … view
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Wednesday 1st April 2020
Propel Wednesday News Briefing
Pubs to trade as food shops as Greene King, Admiral Taverns and St Austell sign up to national initiative: A ground-breaking national initiative will enable pubs to trade as food shops offering essential items such as bread, eggs and milk … view
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