Propel Morning Briefing Mast Head CPL Learning Link Paul's Twitter Link Black Sheep Banner
Morning Briefing Strap Line
Tue 20th Nov 2012 - All Bar One, Enterprise and Wellington

Story of the day:

Enterprise Inns moves towards income growth; Olympics had an eight per cent negative impact: Enterprise Inns has reported more progress towards achieving growth in its pub estate. The company saw like-for-like net income growth of 2.2 per cent for licensees in occupation for more than a year – and like-for-like net income across the whole estate down by just 1.2 per cent. However, the company revealed that the two weeks of the Olympics saw an eight per cent decline in beer volumes. The company also expects it estate size to reduce by around 700 pubs to 5,200 pubs over the next three years. Chief executive Ted Tuppen said: “We are pleased to report significant progress in moving towards growth in net income despite a tough trading environment for our publicans and ourselves. We continue to stabilise operating performance with total like-for-like net income across the entire estate reducing by only 1.2 per cent, or £5m, in the year to September 2012, compared with a fall of 4.3 per cent in the prior year. Strong cash flows from operating activities and our successful disposal programme have helped to reduce total borrowings to £2.7bn, secured against assets valued at £4.3bn. Our exposure to the banking market reduced to only £310m and the market price of our bonds improved by an average of 21 per cent during the year. The strong cash generative nature of our business has enabled us to agree a new forward start facility of £220m, which extends the availability of bank funding through to 2016.  Given the security of our funding position, we are now able to focus all efforts on continued operational improvement. Our first target is to achieve like-for-like net income growth for the entire estate before ultimately restoring the business to sustainable growth in earnings per share. In the meantime we will continue to use available cash to reduce debt as we aim to create value for our shareholders.” The company also revealed that its Project Beacon managed tenancy scheme, which now runs 254 pubs is only likely to be applied to a further 50 pubs. Profit before tax and exceptional items was £137m in the year ended 30 September.

ALMR National Restaurant Show Study Tour in Chicago open for bookings: The Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) has opened its study tour to the National Restaurant Association Show in Chicago in May 2013 for bookings. Next year’s visit takes place between Thursday 16 May and Monday 20 May. The ALMR launched its first study tour trip to the NRA show this year, with the trip led by Propel Morning Briefing managing director Paul Charity. The NRA draws 58,000-plus industry professionals from all 50 states and 100 countries, all seeking the newest innovations and up-to-the-minute information about trends and issues. The ALMR trip provides: insights from industry experts on the rise in fast-casual dining, social media, new and emerging brands, menu development, staff management and a host of other issues – with 70 free education sessions; involves a tour of Chicago’s hottest concepts and a market overview briefing sessions from US experts. ALMR chief executive Nick Bish said: “Our first trip in May this year was a tremendous success with our attendees reporting they had benefited enormously from the visit to the Show and the chance to study the key trends in the innovative US market.” Paul Charity, managing director of Propel Info, said: “The NRA show is a fantastic opportunity to find fresh inspiration and understand the emerging trends shaping the fast-changing US market.” To book a place, e-mail Jo Charity on or call her on (01444) 810304. Places are limited.

Industry news:

More than one in ten shops now empty: The collapse of major retail brands such as JJB Sports and Comet has increased the number of empty shop units in the high street. Across the UK, one in 10 shops on high streets and in shopping centres were empty in October as retailers battle against stagnating sales and rising costs. The British Retail Consortium (BRC) said the town centre vacancy rate of 11.3 per cent was the worst figure since its nationwide survey began in July 2011. A fifth of store units are currently empty in Northern Ireland, while the rate for Wales is 15.1 per cent and for the north and Yorkshire region the rate is 14.6 per cent. Greater London had 7.6 per cent of its units lying empty. The survey also revealed footfall dropped 0.4 per cent on a year ago in the three months to October, driven by a 2.6 per cent decline on the high street last month.

More than 200 pubs lost to supermarkets in the past two years: More than 200 pubs have been converted to supermarket convenience stores over the past two years, a new report by Camra has revealed. The consumer lobby group urged the government to change planning laws which it said were allowing major supermarket chains and developers an “easy route’’ to demolishing or changing the use of pubs. The campaign group said “arcane’’ planning law loopholes in England and Wales were rendering communities powerless in the fight to save their locals. Since the beginning of 2010, a “staggering’’ 130 pubs have been converted into convenience stores by supermarket giant Tesco, and 22 by Sainsbury’s, with a further 54 by other companies such as The Co-operative, Asda and Costcutter, said Camra, with a further 45 pubs under threat of conversion across Britain.

Jamie Oliver magazine to launch in the US: Jamie Magazine, the Jamie Oliver magazine launched four years ago, is to launch in the US with a distribution of 300,000. “We’re going to North Americanise Jamie Magazine, but still leaving in that wonderful British flair that makes it Jamie,” said Robert Sowah, chief executive of publisher Idoodlemedia. “We’ve met with the Food Network and all of his shows are over here. He has a huge following and he has been a leader as a chef and food activist. It’s hitting a note with an awful lot of people [that enjoy] eating properly and having fun doing it.” The magazine will launch as a multiplatform publication - with both print and mobile app versions. There will be a piece of technology that allows sponsoring grocery stores to share ingredients with readers via GPS and in-store locations and sales. “It can map out the store for you on your phone—if you’re looking for something in particular on sale it will show you where it is in the store,” said Sowah. “We’re lifting the experience off of the magazine and letting the reader take it with them, wherever that is.”

Best Bar None seeks national director: Best Bar None (BBN), the national award scheme that encourages responsible alcohol retailing across the nation’s pubs and bars, is to receive a significant boost with the creation of a new national director role. The scheme administered by the BII (British Institute of Innkeeping), aims to reduce alcohol related crime by building positive relationships between the licensed trade, police and local authorities in towns and cities across the UK. Peter Thomas CBII, chief executive of the BII, said: “The role will inject new energy into the scheme and ensure the strong foundations are built upon at a pace. We are looking for someone with the drive and passion to ensure that BBN becomes an essential part of any community that is proud of their pubs and bars and takes responsible alcohol retailing seriously. We are urging those who think they have what it takes to apply via the BII.” More than 130 towns and cities are already involved with the scheme that was originally piloted in Manchester in 2003.

Company news:

Mitchells & Butlers unveils All Bar One brand evolution: Mitchells & Butlers will open its second evolved All Bar One in Kingsway tomorrow (21 November) after launching its first new generation site in Chiswick last month. The new generation All Bar One features one of the UK’s largest wine displays behind the bar, measuring 20ft by 7ft. First opened in 1994, All Bar One offered simple yet high quality food in female-friendly light and airy spaces during a time when bars were renowned for being dark and smoky. The re-energised format features wine tasting sessions each evening from Monday to Wednesday, as well as a series of cocktail masterclasses available to book at the bar. To accommodate this, a special tasting table has been constructed for guests and an enomatic wine system has been installed to allow guests to treat themselves to better wines. The cocktail and beer ranges have been streamlined to offer fewer but more interesting lines, including classic and on-trend cocktails such as tea-based concoction the Tanqueray Tea Tonic, which fuses Tanqueray gin with specially selected teas to produce a distinct flavoursome take on the classic gin and tonic. All Bar One’s food offering, including breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner menus, has also been developed using free-range, sustainable and organic ingredients wherever possible. And its World Tapas dishes have also been improved, offering everything from pan-fried chorizo in cider to home-made salmon & prawn arancini balls.

Wellington Pub Company reports 21 lease forfeitures in its most recent quarter: Wellington Pub Company, the 805-strong free-of-tie estate owned by the Reuben brothers, has reported to bondholders that there were 21 lease forfeitures in the estate in its most recent quarter to the end of September with nine pubs re-let on long leases. The estate is producing an annual income of £27.3 million, which is 1.4 per cent below last year. The average level of rental uplift achieved at review in the year to the end of September was 7.5 per cent. A bondholders’ report stated: “At the quarter end there were 805 public houses in the estate. This is one fewer than the last quarter. The disposal strategy remains to sell bottom end and /or problem properties and those that have a higher alternative use value.” 646 pubs (80 per cent of the estate) are let on a long lease. Quarterly Bond interest of £2,805,466 (‘A’ Class loan notes - £2,178,880, ‘B’ Class loan notes - £626,586) was paid in July. Following these payments the company retained circa £11 million of cash on deposit. The annualised EBITDA for the 12 months to end of September 2012 was £20.1 million.

PizzaExpress adds hearty calzone to menu: PizzaExpress has reversed a previous decision to exclude calzones from its menu after a successful trial at 12 sites. Emma Woods, marketing director at PizzaExpress, said: “Bringing fresh innovation to our menu is hugely important to PizzaExpress, especially in the run up to the festive period. We’ve been working on ways of introducing calzone to our restaurants for some time so we’re particularly excited by its arrival. Our calzone is a hearty pizza and a dish we’re very proud of.”

Restaurant chains in talks over Trowbridge opening: Four more restaurant chains are in talks over moving to the Odeon cinema site at St Stephen’s Place in Trowbridge. An October 2013 opening is scheduled and senior asset manager at developer Legal and General Property Tim Russell said he expected one more restaurant brand to be confirmed in the next few weeks with the final three early next year. He said: “We are talking to PizzaExpress, Wagamama, Los Iguanas, Frankie and Benny’s, Harvester and Zizzi. One of them is almost done, I’ll be able to announce them in the next two, three or four weeks.”

Campaign launched to raise money to buy Marston’s pub: A campaign has started to raise the £150,000 needed to buy The Stanley Arms, in Pemberton Street, Blackburn. The pub was closed in August by Marston’s because it was no longer financially viable. Residents immediately started to look into the possibility of reopening the pub, which first opened in 1901, under community ownership. Leading campaigner Siobhan Coyne said: “We have made real progress since the campaign started and we are now at the stage where we need to find out how we can raise the funds needed to buy the building from the current owners.”

Beer writer Roger Protz to open new Oak Taverns brewhouse pub: Beer writer Roger Protz will reopen Oak Taverns’ new pub The Black Horse in Barnet on 28 November – it’s seen a £350,000 investment by owner Punch Taverns. The pub, situated on Wood Street, will have a one barrel (36 Gallons) brew plant installed specialising in one-off brews for the pub. Outside, glass doors have been installed onto the micro-brewery so customers can see inside as the beer is being brewed and tours will be offered to customers. Oak Taverns director Simon Collinson said: “It’s a great opportunity to work with Punch. They are serious about the pub industry and by investing large amounts into their sites it shows their commitment to drive the pub, and the industry, forward. The Black Horse has so much potential and we share the same vision to bring the Black Horse back to a traditional pub – something which will appeal to the local community. The investment has transformed the overall look and feel of the pub and I think the brewery is a great selling point for the site – there is nothing like it around. We have collaborated with XT Brewery to create ‘Thame Oxfordshire’ and although it will not be ready on the 28th, it will be on site maturing in Oak Casks. I look forward to giving the residents of Barnet a good quality and authentic traditional pub and I can’t wait to see their reactions.”

Punch pub set to become a Buddhist temple: An iconic Runcorn pub owned by Punch Taverns is set to become a Buddhist temple. Tony Collacott is currently in the process of purchasing The Waterloo on High Street from owner Punch Taverns. He has applied to Halton Borough Council to change the building’s use from a pub to a place of worship for Buddhists. Collacott said: “We recognised the need for a facility in the triangular area between Manchester, Liverpool and Chester/North Wales and decided that The Waterloo was a beautiful building in a perfect location with a perfect environment.”

Alan Yau opens new Naamyaa concept: Wagamama and Busaba Eathai creator Alan Yau opened his latest restaurant concept, Naamyaa Cafe, a Bankok-style café, yesterday in Islington’s Angel Building, which also houses the Design Council’s new offices. Eschewing Wagamma-style shared tables, the 110-cover Naamyaa offers a more individual dining experience coupled with a menu of lower priced dishes that its sister Thai concept Busaba Eathai. The menu features Western dishes ranging from Caesar salads to classic burgers. Naamyaa features ‘a blend of traditional Thai materials with modern detailing.’ Materials include handmade Ayutthaya Thai Bricks and ceramic Siamese decorative tiles, used alongside modern Perspex linear LED pendant lighting features. The restaurant’s name maintains the Alan Yau tradition of featuring the key vowel in his name. A second site has been secured in the Kingston Riverside Development.

Iconic art deco Truro hotel set to become flats: An iconic Truro hotel is set to be demolished after its owners sold it for £1.7 million to developers. Paul and Pamela Treseder, who took over the 1938 Art Deco Brookdale Hotel on Tregolls Road in 2000, sold it to developer McCarthy and Stone, which has planning permission to build 45 retirement flats. Last year the couple also sold Crossroads Hotel, Scorrier, which has since been turned into a home for the elderly. Of the sale, Paul said: “Regulations, government red tape and 20 per cent VAT have killed the trade. The lodge chains (such as Premier Inn) have got the edge in advertising and their booking system. It’s not a nine-to-five business, it’s hard work 365 days of the year and people don’t want to work unsociable hours. When you run a hotel the customers are king, your private life comes third after customers’ and staff.”

Rock Restaurants opens third site: Rock Restaurants opens its third site today. The new venue is located in Westbourne, Dorset, within a former Methodist chapel. The company opened in Wimborne last month and will add ten individually designed bedrooms in the Spring. Rock Restaurants was founded by Jonny Townsend, Nick Atkins and Jeremy Brown, who have more than 40 years combined experience in the catering and events industry. Atkins, who previously worked at Chewton Glen in the New Forest and Pebble Beach at Barton-on-Sea, said: “It’s going really well at Rock Wimborne. Initially, it’s a bit of a shock for people when they come in, because this used to be an Indian restaurant, but soon they are loving it.” The original Rock Restaurants site is in Raynes Park, situated between Wimbledon and New Malden. 

BHA board member sells coaching inn off £1.35m asking price: Chris Davy, who is on the board of the British Hospitality Association, and his wife Alison have sold the freehold of 12-bedroom Rose & Crown at Romaldkirk, Teesdale, off an asking price of £1.35m. Described by agent Christie + Co as “one of the best coaching inns to come to the market in recent years”, the venue has been sold to John and Ann Robinson who own the nearby Headlam Hall. The Robinson family bought Headlam Hall in 1978 and have turned it from being a dilapidated business into a four-star hotel, offering a spa and golf club.

Fluid Group opens Hood Street Club in Newcastle: Fluid Group, which operates bars and coffee shops in the north east, has opened the Hood Street Club in Newcastle. “There is nothing else in Newcastle like Hood Street Club,” said David King, of Fluid Group. “What we are going to offer is unrivalled service and an experience which discerning adults will enjoy; people who want a night out in luxurious surroundings and who are looking for first-class service. We’ve looked at venues in other parts of the world and we think Newcastle is long overdue somewhere sophisticated that appeals to grown-ups with style.”

Shepherd Neame brewery visitor centre short-listed for award: Shepherd Neame’s brewery’s visitor centre has made the Beautiful South Award’s shortlist for best small attraction. Visitor centre manager Graham Hukins said: “We are delighted to have made the shortlist for this prestigious competition and hope that we’ll have to make space in our trophy cabinet. We are passionate about sharing the unique history of Britain’s oldest brewer so to know that people love to come here and learn more about Shepherd Neame makes us very proud.”

Loungers to open flagship Cardiff site this Friday: Loungers, the award-winning café bar company led by Alex Reilley, will open its flagship site in Cardiff site located at The Hayes this Friday (23 November). Paul Alexander, operations manager at Loungers, told local news blog Your Cardiff: “St David’s is a perfect site for our Cosy Club concept. Customers these days increasingly seek more of an ‘experience’ when socialising so we tend to operate out of interesting, characterful spaces which enhance this. Think gentlemen’s club meets village hall with a twist of cricket pavilion thrown in for good measure. We have recruited a strong team, passionate about hospitality and our excellent pre-opening and ‘on the job’ training programme ensures our staff will be at the top of their game.”

The Bertinet Bakery to open second site in Bath: The Bertinet Bakery is to open its second site in the exciting new Vaults at SouthGate development next to Bath Spa railway station. The new bakery will be situated within the arches, originally built by Isambard Kingdom Brunel in 1840. It will be open seven days a week and will be selling a range of Bertinet breads, including its award-winning sourdough, spelt, focaccia and rye breads. 

Spirit leased pub re-opens with ten-minute meal promise: A Spirit leased pub in Derby, the Bridge Inn in Chester Green, has re-opened after a £450,000 refurbishment with a plan to trump McDonald’s by serving better quality food in ten minutes. Landlord Mike Crosbie said: “We were looking at places like McDonald’s and we saw that its prices had got quite high. So we felt that we could offer good-quality, freshly-prepared food made within about ten minutes and rival them. We specialise in sausages. Customers can get the menu, pick from a range of sausages, and team it with their favourite type of mash and then choose the gravy. We also do tapas and we are going to start opening for breakfast from 8am.”

Everards told to remove external lighting at Leicester’s oldest pub: Leicestershire brewer and retailer Everards has been asked to remove modern-style spotlights from the outside of Leicester’s oldest pub, The Globe, which is now tenanted by Chris Bulaitis’s Ever So Sensible Group. The company fitted the seven floodlights on the upper elevation of the 18th century building in August and sought retrospective planning consent, which has been rejected.

Costa Coffee to open first site in Cambodia next month: Costa Coffee will open its first site in Cambodia next month - in the Chamkar Mon district of Phnom Penh. RMA Cambodia, which franchises or represents international brands in Cambodia such as John Deere, Dairy Queen and Ford Automotive, has obtained the rights to Costa in Thailand and Laos as well.

Return to Archive Click Here to Return to the Archive Listing
Punch Taverns Link
Return to Archive Click Here to Return to the Archive Listing
Propel Premium
Knorr Banner
Food Alert Banner
EMenu Now Banner
Santa Maria Banner
Contract Furniture Group Banner
Dr Oetker Banner
Bizimply Banner
Matthew Clark Banner
Matthew Clark Banner
Quorn – ChiQin Banner
Knorr Banner
Camile Thai Banner
Propel Banner
Frobishers Banner
The Licensees Association Banner
Airship – Toggle Banner
John Gaunt Banner
Libeo Banner
COREcruitment Banner
Access Banner
Caleno Banner
Reputation Banner
Cynergy Bank Banner
Zonal Banner
Double Dutch Banner