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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Mon 30th Sep 2013 - ETM to add two more after £2m opening
ETM Group to add two more sites after £2m Canary Wharf opening: ETM Group, the London gastro operator co-founded by brothers Ed and Tom Martin, will unveil two more London sites after the £2m opening of its flagship Canary Wharf site, One Canada Square, later this month. One Canada Square, the company’s 11th site, in the eponymous office block in Docklands, will be followed by two new openings within nine months, one a pub and the other a bar and restaurant. Expansion will be funded by cash flow, and support from its bank, Lloyds. Turnover at ETM Group has risen to £25m this year, which is £500,000 above budget, and is forecast to rise above £30m next year. Tom Martin told Propel: “Like-for-likes are up across the board and good cost control has also delivered improved margins. Our investment into trusted and long-term employees is reaping its rewards, with improved top and bottom lines. This year, we have focused on our service standards, training and recruitment, and at the beginning of this year we launched the ETM Training Academy and also the ETM Wine Academy. As a result, we have seen a significant increase in repeat business, combined with a drop in the number of leavers and a better standard of applicants. We transformed the exterior area of the Gun [on the Isle of Dogs] into a 'gin garden' for the whole of the summer, which was a resounding success in terms of corporate events, other private parties and overspill from the Gun's riverside terrace. We also trialled a new beer festival at the Gun that proved to be so popular that we had a second, IPA-focused festival last month. These festivals will now take place at the Gun every three months. Over at the Jugged Hare in the City, we opened a new outside drinking area for private events, which was fully booked most days during the summer. Our strong emphasis on game at the Jugged Hare has been very well-received again this season with staple dishes of jugged hare and roast grouse topping the orders on the menu. We continue to strive to become one of the City's leading restaurants for British game.” Martin said One Canada Square “will be very different” to the company’s other venues. He said: “Don't expect a gastro pub or pub. We have transformed the north-western corner of the lobby of the iconic No 1 Canada Square office tower to create a stunning David Collins Studio-designed cocktail bar and modern European restaurant on two levels. One Canada Square is a brand new build from scratch, not even from shell condition. We have literally taken an empty lobby space in the UK's tallest operational office building and converted it into a bold, modern, new 100-cover restaurant and bar with a mezzanine level overlooking the ground floor and vast lobby of the building. We have used materials to complement the existing building, so there is a considerable amount of Italian and Guatemalan marble everywhere, polished pewter for the bar top and bar front, detailed bespoke timber flooring throughout and bespoke designed leather-clad furniture in all areas.  It is our biggest investment to date and has been designed to provide a smart and elegant backdrop to appeal not only to Canary Wharf professionals but also to destination diners and drinkers at evenings, for weekend brunch and Saturday evening dinners. We have designed the mezzanine level specifically for private events for stand-up drinks parties for up to 75 people or seated private dining for up to 30. In terms of drinks, we have set out to fill a gap in the market in Canary Wharf so, in the bar, high-quality cocktails are our focus, as well as wines by the glass. We will be using a cocktail trolley in the dining room and we have installed a 'by the glass machine' in the bar to enable us to serve up to six exceptional wines by the glass, alongside the 30 or so other wines available by the glass. We have been looking to open a new venue in Canary Wharf for many years now. We love this dynamic and constantly developing area and the customer base is exactly what ETM is geared towards. We are not opening a pub or gastro pub this time. One Canada Square will be quite the opposite. We already have, what we believe to be, the most incredible gastro pub in the local area, the Gun – recently voted, for the third year in a row, 'London's Best Dining Pub' by the Good Pub Guide – so the two offers will complement each other perfectly.” Martin said ETM Group will continue to look at tied leases and free-of-tie leases for expansion. He said: “We will look at everything from all angles and not let the fact that a site is tied prevent us from making an informed decision as to its viability. We have proven that it is possible to make good returns from tied sites providing the offer is correct.” Martin added that his and Ed’s other interests in the sector, Pho and Bounce, are performing “very well indeed”. “We look forward to the steady growth of these businesses as well as ETM Group,” he said.

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