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Sun 10th Nov 2013 - Weekend News Update
LT Pub Management partners iNTERTAIN in procurement review: The sector’s leading out-sourced management and back office services company, LT Pub Management, has partnered Walkabout operator iNTERTAIN to oversee the key early stages of its triennial procurement review. LT Pub Management was commissioned by iNTERTAIN in July of this year to draw up the full tender document for suppliers, including its full range of drinks products, and to oversee the first and second rounds of supplier reviews. The review process culminated in a presentation by LT Pub Management to iNTERTAIN executive board members, which provided the key information needed for choosing stocking policies and new suppliers starting on 1 January 2014. Whilst there are still a number of brand decisions to be finalised, the suppliers will be briefed during the coming weeks. LT Pub Management chief executive Billy Buchanan said: “We were delighted to be asked by iNTERTAIN to become involved in its liquor procurement review. With more than 1,000 pubs, restaurants, hotel and nightclubs under our management, procurement is an area where we are able to offer great experience and expertise. Essentially, we were able to do much of the heavy lifting in the early stages of the procurement review, enabling the gathering of key information from which iNTERTAIN was able to move to finalise its new supply agreements. The key advantages for iNTERTAIN relates to time saved for its key executives in the early information gathering stages combined with the benefits of LT Pub Management’s expertise in this area and knowledge of the wider market.”

Peter Marks – Luminar invested nightclubs seeing record numbers and could return to the stock market: Luminar chief executive Peter Marks has reported that company nightclubs that have seen investment are enjoying record sales and the company could return to the stock market one day. He told The Times: “Go to Bristol, Preston or Nottingham. Many of our well-located nightclubs, well-invested businesses are having record numbers – the best for five or six years – which tells us there’s not a structural problem per se with nightclubs, although there are towns, particularly in the north and the Midlands, that are finding the going tough.” On a return of the company to the stock market, he said: “It’s a simple business that is very cash-generative. If we are sensible and don’t do anything silly, then who knows?” Meanwhile, Luminar will re-open its flagship Oceana site in Kingston as Pryzm next Friday (15 November) following a £1m investment. Marks said the company will debrand or rebrand all 55 of its nightclubs. The Liquid brand will be rebadged under a new brand that is still on the drawing board.

Risk Capital makes £400,000 investment in upgraded Red Hot World Buffet site: Risk Capital Partners has made its first major investment in a Red Hot World Buffet site since it took a majority stake earlier this year. Red Hot World Buffet, located in the Theatre District area of Central Milton Keynes, has re-launched with a new look, a new management team and a new menu after a £400,000 investment. The Milton Keynes site now offers dishes spanning Thai, Chinese, Japanese, Mexican, Indian and Italian. There is also a selection of dishes for vegans, vegetarians, those with nut allergies or for guests who favour halal and gluten-free options. Red Hot World Buffet general manager Mellissa Rynn said: “We set out to create a unique atmosphere that provides a dining experience unlike any other – it’s all about eater-tainment.”

Rufus Hall – food-led businesses need capex; consumers want to eat better: Orchid Pub Company chief executive Rufus Hall has argued that there is a difference in the investment requirements in relation to wet-led pubs and food-led pubs. Hall, speaking to the Propel Multi Club Conference, said that the company has found that, with wet-led pubs, it’s “not about how much you spend as much as the offer you put in”. He pointed to the example of a wet-led pub in Sunderland, The Royal Marine, where the company had spent just £62,000 installing a “lite” version of its Pizza Kitchen and Bar offer – and got its money back in year. However, he stated “food-led businesses need capex” but there is a need to “do the right thing locally in terms of design, pricing and precise food offer”. But he added: “People are eating better. The sales of healthy options are up 20% at sites that have seen investment.”

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