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Tuesday 30th November 2021
Pret signs two new UK franchise partners
Pret signs two new UK franchise partners: Pret A Manger, the JAB Holdings-backed business, has signed two new franchise partners in the UK. Dallas Holdings, which has worked to enhance customer experiences globally across multiple brands, … view
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Tuesday 30th November 2021
Update: Marston’s, Shaftesbury, JD Wetherspoon and cancellations
Marston’s reports managed like-for-like sales up 1.3%: Marston’s has reported that trading since its year end to 2 October “remains encouraging”, with total like-for-like sales in its managed and franchised pubs up 1.3% relative t … view
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Tuesday 30th November 2021
Propel Tuesday News Briefing
Just Eat – breakfast and lunch orders driving growth, pub deliveries a growing presence: Breakfast and lunch orders have proved to be the big growth drivers for Just Eat in 2021, accounting for a “pretty significant number” of its d … view
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Tuesday 30th November 2021
Pret confirms launch of first loyalty scheme
Pret confirms launch of first loyalty scheme: Pret A Manger, the JAB Holdings-backed business, has confirmed the launch of its first loyalty scheme. As revealed by Propel earlier this month, Pret has launched Pret Perks. The scheme will be rol … view
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Monday 29th November 2021
Fortress Investment Group approaches Punch over £1bn takeover
Fortress Investment Group approaches Punch over £1bn takeover: The owners of Punch Pubs & Co, one of Britain's biggest pub operators, are exploring a sale of the company after receiving a string of approaches despite ongoing pandemic-rel … view
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Monday 29th November 2021
Propel celebrates tenth birthday
Propel celebrates tenth birthday: Propel is celebrating its tenth birthday this week as an independent and privately owned newswire and events company which has grown to have the biggest high-level readership in the sector. Readers and custome … view
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Monday 29th November 2021
Update: West Berkshire Brewery, Itsu and AG Barr
West Berkshire Brewery on brink of falling into administration: The Berkshire brewery at the centre of allegations of bullying and sexual harassment is understood to be on the brink of falling into administration. The Times reports West B … view
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Monday 29th November 2021
Propel Monday News Briefing
Greene King Pub Partners launches new franchise concept Hive: Brewer and retailer Greene King has launched a new pub franchise concept, Hive, a branded community pub model through its tenanted and leased arm, Pub Partners, Propel has lear … view
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Saturday 27th November 2021
Flip Out owner acquires brand’s global IP portfolio, signs licensing partner, pays down all debt
Flip Out owner acquires brand’s global IP portfolio, signs licensing partner, pays down all debt: MFT Capital, the owner of trampoline park business Flip Out, has reported “exceptionally strong” trading since sites reopened and has … view
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Friday 26th November 2021
Friday Opinion
Subjects: Agility and flexibility now key for sector businesses, multi-site pub brands must focus on hospitality basics, creating the right atmosphere, experienced operators can lead the way on industry’s staffing crisis 
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Friday 26th November 2021
JDW – major investors and advisors are breaching the Corporate Governance Code
JDW – major investors and advisors are breaching the Corporate Governance Code: Tim Martin, founder and chairman of JD Wetherspoon, has accused major investor Fidelity of damaging public companies over its approach to governance while b … view
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Friday 26th November 2021
Propel Friday News Briefing
Urban – we have trials in place to accelerate some brands, annualised sales for delivery now at circa £45m: Phil Urban, chief executive at Mitchells & Butlers, has told Propel the business has “a couple of trials in place on how we m … view
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Thursday 25th November 2021
Coffee subscriptions ‘brought Pret back from the dead’, central London to be included in expansion plans
Coffee subscriptions ‘brought Pret back from the dead’, central London to be included in expansion plans: Pret A Manger was “brought back from the dead” by its coffee subscription service, according to its UK trading director Guy … view
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Thursday 25th November 2021
Mitchells & Butlers reports 2.7% increase in lfl sales
Mitchells & Butlers reports 2.7% increase in lfl sales: Mitchells & Butlers (M&B) has this morning reported a 2.7% increase in like-for-like sales for the eight weeks since the end of its financial year to 25 September 2021, against the s … view
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Thursday 25th November 2021
Propel Thursday News Briefing
Martin – I would go for a two-year immigration visa to ease staff shortages, job vacancies set to hit record high: Tim Martin, founder and chairman of JD Wetherspoon, has said he would personally go for a two-year immigration visa to ea … view
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Wednesday 24th November 2021
Papps – Nando’s suffered the ‘the most challenging year in its history’
Papps – Nando’s suffered the ‘the most challenging year in its history’: Rob Papps, group chief executive of Nando’s, said the peri-peri chicken chain suffered “the most challenging year in its history” as its full-year loss … view
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Wednesday 24th November 2021
Pret sales rise above pre-pandemic level for first time
Pret sales rise above pre-pandemic level for first time: Sales at Pret A Manger rose above their pre-pandemic levels last week for the first time. The chain’s transaction volumes in locations including London’s financial districts and … view
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Wednesday 24th November 2021
Propel Wednesday News Briefing
Fridays to trial ‘grab and go’ site early next year: Hostmore, the parent company of Fridays and the 63rd+1st concept in the UK, is to trial a “grab and go” site for its core brand at the beginning of next year. Propel revealed in … view
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Tuesday 23rd November 2021
Propel Tuesday News Briefing
Metcalfe – this is a scary situation, with a lack of young staff coming into the sector: The UK hospitality sector is facing a “scary situation”, with a lack of young staff coming into the sector, Julian Metcalfe, founder of Itsu, t … view
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Monday 22nd November 2021
Nightcap acquires company behind Barrio Bar Group
Nightcap acquires company behind Barrio Bar Group: Bar operator Nightcap has announced it has acquired Barrio Familia Ltd, the company behind the five-strong Barrio Bar Group. The business comprises four Latin American-inspired, Tequila-l … view
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Monday 22nd November 2021
Propel Monday News Briefing
Hornby – sector could see fundamental shift next April, supply chain cost pressures could be very intense: Andy Hornby – chief executive of The Restaurant Group (TRG), operator of Wagamama and Brunning & Price – believes the sector … view
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Friday 19th November 2021
Friday Opinion
Subjects: No time to COP out, putting covid in the rear-view mirror, things are looking up for London’s pubs
Authors: Kate Nicholls, Paul Chase, Glynn Davis 

No time to COP out by Kate Nicholls< … view

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Friday 19th November 2021
Propel Friday News Briefing
Gravity owner expects £12m-£14m annual run rate for Wandsworth experiential site, eyes £85m-£95m valuation for business, lines up ten more UK venues: Gravity co-founder Michael Harrison is projecting a £85m to £95m valuation for his … view
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Thursday 18th November 2021
Harden’s – Pandemic causes record closures and churn amongst London restaurants
Harden’s – Pandemic causes record closures and churn amongst London restaurants: London restaurants have suffered record closures and churn. That’s the conclusion of the 30th edition of Harden’s London Restaurants – the 2022 pub … view
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Thursday 18th November 2021
Propel Thursday News Briefing
Hospitality Rising embarks on £5m fundraise to launch sector recruitment campaign: Hospitality Rising, the project led by ex-Pret a Manger and YO! marketer Mark McCulloch to try to reignite and rescue the hospitality talent crisis, is la … view
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Wednesday 17th November 2021
Sector company commits to Beyond the Living Wage
Sector company commits to Beyond the Living Wage: Independent restaurant and hospitality company Green & Fortune has announced all current and future employees will be paid Beyond the London Living Wage. The company said the new hourly ra … view
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Wednesday 17th November 2021
Propel Wednesday News Briefing
Food price inflation set to increase up to 6% by new year as supply chain issues cause Christmas concerns: Food price inflation pressure eased in September, but sharp cost increases of between 3% and 6% by the new year are predicted, acco … view
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Wednesday 17th November 2021
Food price inflation set to increase up to 6% by new year as supply chain issues cause Christmas concerns
Food price inflation set to increase up to 6% by new year as supply chain issues cause Christmas concerns: Food price inflation pressure eased in September, but sharp cost increases of between 3% and 6% by the new year are predicted, acco … view
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Tuesday 16th November 2021
Exclusive: Mowgli appoints advisors as it explores funding options
Exclusive – Mowgli appoints advisors as it explores funding options: Indian street food concept Mowgli, the Nisha Katona-led business, has appointed advisors to help review its funding options for its next stage of growth, Propel has le … view
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Tuesday 16th November 2021
Update: Revolution, The Restaurant Group, Wingstop and Admiral Taverns
Revolution reports like-for-likes up 14% compared with 2020: Revolution Bar Group has reported trade since reopening on 19 July has been 14% up on the comparable period in 2020, the last normal period of trade. The company stated: “The … view
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Tuesday 16th November 2021
Propel Tuesday News Briefing
Hickory’s Smokehouse appoints advisors as it explores funding options for next stage of growth: American-style smokehouse and barbecue brand Hickory’s Smokehouse, which has been backed by Piper since 2014, has appointed advisors to he … view
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Monday 15th November 2021
Nightcap reports 23 sites in legals or under offer, to focus on female-led socialising
Nightcap reports 23 sites in legals or under offer, to focus on female-led socialising: Bar operator Nightcap has reported it has 23 sites in legals or under offer. Chief executive Sarah Willingham said: “The performance of the Tonight … view
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Monday 15th November 2021
Propel Monday News Briefing
Rolling 12-month sales down 4.5% for managed pubs, bars and restaurants as October shows modest growth: The UK’s leading managed restaurant, pub and bar groups achieved modest sales growth in October despite mounting operational pressur … view
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Monday 15th November 2021
Rolling 12-month sales down 4.5%, Pizza Hut Delivery expands into ‘on-the-go’ travel market
Rolling 12-month sales down 4.5% for managed pubs, bars and restaurants as October shows modest growth: The UK’s leading managed restaurant, pub and bar groups achieved modest sales growth in October despite mounting operational pressur … view
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Sunday 14th November 2021
Weekend leisure stories and restaurant reviews
Waiting staff accuse restaurants of cutting their tips to pay chefs: Restaurant owners in the UK are being accused by waiting staff of unfairly distributing tips to boost the salaries of chefs and managers as the industry battles severe s … view
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Friday 12th November 2021
Friday Opinion

Subjects: Industry collaboration is the only route to a sustainable future, hiring ex-offenders would help ease staffing crisis, understanding the Gravity of the situation

Authors: Rob Pitcher, Glynn Davis, Ann Elliott 

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Friday 12th November 2021
Propel Friday News Briefing
Revolution Bars Group CEO urges collaboration to help reach sustainability targets: Rob Pitcher, chief executive of Revolution Bars Group (RBG), has urged fellow hospitality operators to join him in setting tough targets towards a more su … view
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Thursday 11th November 2021
Update: Young’s, Wendy’s, M&B, Uber Eats
Young’s reports strong trading: London pub operator Young’s has reported total revenue for the 26 weeks ended 27 September was £149.6m (2020: £52.7m), with an adjusted Ebitda of £42.7m (2020: £1.5m). Pre-tax profit was £22.2m (20 … view
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Thursday 11th November 2021
Propel Thursday News Briefing
New Leicester restaurant forced to close kitchen a week after opening, highlighting industry-wide staffing shortages: Newly opened Leicester restaurant Black Iron Social, which only launched last week inside new aparthotel The Gresham, ha … view
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Wednesday 10th November 2021
Legal Briefing

Late-night venues and the spiking pandemic by Michelle Hazlewood

This year has been, without a doubt, a disastrous year for late-night venues. First, the lengthy closures due to the pandemic, and now the adverse publicity and reputationa … view
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Wednesday 10th November 2021
Update: JD Wetherspoon, Pret, Welsh covid passport extension, Market Taverns et al
JD Wetherspoon reports like-for-like sales recover to 91% of 2019 levels: JD Wetherspoon has reported like-for-like sales for the 15 weeks to 7 November 2021 were 8.9% lower than the record sales achieved in the same period in 2019. Bar s … view
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Wednesday 10th November 2021
Propel Wednesday News Briefing
‘Devastating’ labour shortages forcing quarter of hospitality businesses to cut trading hours, MPs told: “Devastating” labour shortages have forced a quarter of hospitality businesses to cut trading hours, MPs have been told. UKHo … view
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Tuesday 9th November 2021
New laws and code of practice introduced in bid to address £7bn rent debt dispute
New laws and code of practice introduced in bid to address £7bn rent debt dispute: New laws and a code of practice have been introduced to resolve the remaining commercial rent debts accrued because of the pandemic. Landlords will not be able … view
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Tuesday 9th November 2021
Shepherd Neame reports strong demand since re-opening
Shepherd Neame reports strong demand since re-opening: Shepherd Neame, the owner and operator of 310 high quality pubs in Kent and the south east, has reported strong demand since re-opening. Total revenue for the year ended 26 June 2021 … view
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Tuesday 9th November 2021
Propel Tuesday News Briefing
Urban Pubs & Bars eyes 70-strong London estate as it appoints former JD Wetherspoon director: London operator Urban Pubs & Bars is looking to grow its estate in the capital to up to 70 sites after appointing Miles Slade as operations dire … view
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Monday 8th November 2021
Exclusive: Portobello buys freehold portfolio, Daisy Green launches £2m crowdfund
Exclusive – Portobello acquires freehold pub portfolio, plans 80-strong business: Portobello Starboard, a new acquisition platform backed by private equity firm Zetland Capital and operated by Portobello Brewery, has acquired 12 freehol … view
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Monday 8th November 2021
Toca Social, the interactive football bar concept, to open in Birmingham
Toca Social, the interactive football bar concept, to open in Birmingham: Hammerson has re-let part of the former Debenhams department store in the Bullring shopping centre in Birmingham to Toca Social, the interactive football bar, repor … view
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Monday 8th November 2021
Propel Monday News Briefing
Eckbert – the banks are telling us we would be a good candidate for an IPO: John Eckbert, chief executive of Five Guys UK, has told Propel that banks have said the 126-strong brand would be a good candidate for an initial public offerin … view
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Sunday 7th November 2021
Weekend leisure stories and restaurant reviews
YO! Sushi owner puts £750m stock market float on ice: The company behind the sushi chain YO! has halted plans for a £750 million stock market listing amid growing unease among investors. Snowfox Group, which controls YO! along with bran … view
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Saturday 6th November 2021
Exclusive: JD Wetherspoon places motorway services pub on market
Exclusive – JD Wetherspoon places motorway services pub on market: JD Wetherspoon has placed the company’s first and only pub based at a motorway service station on the market, Propel has learned. The company spent £1.18m developing … view
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Friday 5th November 2021
Friday Opinion
Subjects: Needle spiking ‘panic’ scapegoats nightclubs, operators risk losing customer relationship, one strike and you’re out, digitisation beyond the pandemic
Authors: Paul Chase, Glynn Davis, Katy Moses, Nick Liddle< … view
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Friday 5th November 2021
Propel Friday News Briefing
Story of the Day:

Paul Chase – nightclubs are scapegoats in needle spiking ‘moral panic’: Nightclubs already suffering the effects of covid-enforced lockdowns and restrictions are finding another barr … view
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Thursday 4th November 2021
Franco Manca franchise deal signed for Greece, 20 UK sites in legals
Franco Manca franchise deal signed for Greece, 20 UK sites in legals: Franco Manca owner Fulham Shore has signed a franchise agreement for Greece with Franco Manca EE Limited, a company founded by a group of experienced local operators an … view
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Thursday 4th November 2021
Propel Thursday News Briefing
Offers invited for Chop’d pending an anticipated administration process: Offers are being invited to acquire salad bar chain Chop’d, pending an anticipated administration process, Propel has learned. Propel understands the 12-strong b … view
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Wednesday 3rd November 2021
Escape Hunt to acquire Boom Battle Bars for £17.38m
Escape Hunt to acquire Boom Battle Bars for £17.38m: Escape room operator Escape Hunt is set to acquire Boom Battle Bars, the adventure bar concept from the team behind trampoline park business Flip Out, for £17.38m. The deal will be sa … view
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Wednesday 3rd November 2021
Burger & Lobster to recommence UK and international expansion
Burger & Lobster to recommence UK and international expansion: Burger & Lobster, the nine-strong London-based restaurant group, is to recommence expansion with a “strong pipeline of sites in place, both in the UK and internationally”. … view
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Wednesday 3rd November 2021
Update: Nightcap, Wendy’s, Loungers, Greene King and Flight Club
Nightcap reports upgrade on expectations: Bar operator Nightcap has reported unaudited total net sales for the 13-week period of the new financial year since 28 June of £7.6m. The company stated: “This is a 68% increase compared to the … view
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Wednesday 3rd November 2021
Propel Wednesday News Briefing
Brakspear to rename managed estate Honeycomb Houses, plans acquisitions: Henley-based pub operator Brakspear is to expand its managed estate through acquisitions after renaming the division Honeycomb Houses. The company’s managed divisi … view
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Tuesday 2nd November 2021
Update: Hostmore begins trading on London Stock Exchange, Various Eateries to launch new concept
Hostmore hails ‘significant milestone’ for Fridays and 63rd+1st brands as it begins trading on London Stock Exchange following demerger: Hostmore, the parent company of Fridays, has begun trading on the London Stock Exchange following … view
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Tuesday 2nd November 2021
Propel Tuesday News Briefing
Mollie’s Motel & Diner secured new £10m facility to aid growth: Mollie’s Motel & Diner, the Soho House-developed concept, secured a £10m interest-free, loan facility earlier this summer, to support the company’s expansion plans an … view
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Monday 1st November 2021
Hawthorn founders and ex-Ei Group director to buy 17 SA Brain sites in first acquisition for new pub company
Hawthorn founders and ex-Ei Group director to buy 17 SA Brain sites in first acquisition for new pub company: Valiant Pub Company has reached an agreement to buy 17 pubs from Welsh brewer and retailer SA Brain for an undisclosed sum through it … view
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Monday 1st November 2021
Brighton Pier Group reports £5m insurance pay-out, strong summer trading
Brighton Pier Group reports £5m insurance pay-out, strong summer trading: Brighton Pier Group has reported a strong summer of trading and a £5m insurance receipt. Chairman Luke Johnson said: “Sensible decisions (were) taken before the … view
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Monday 1st November 2021
Propel Monday News Briefing
Restaurant Marketer & Innovator European Summit returns for 2022: Restaurant Marketer & Innovator European Summit is returning for its fourth edition, and tickets are now on sale. The event is a partnership between Propel and Think Hospit … view
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