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Fri 21st Feb 2014 - Propel Friday News Briefing

Story of the Day:

Giggling Squid founder criticises VAT non-enforcement: Andy Laurillard, founder of the Thai restaurant chain Giggling Squid, has criticised VAT non-enforcement, claims his company is undercut 20% by restaurants not paying VAT. He reports that he knows of restaurants in Brighton, where the company was founded, that do not even use tills. He said: “At my last VAT inspection, they had clearly done little homework. I laid out the receipts for all takings for three years on the floor of the office in weekly bunches. I had presumed VAT inspectors would have been and eaten, paying cash a few times in the months before an inspection, and then would look for the receipts. “Oh, we don’t do that,” was the reply. So I asked how they tackle VAT avoidance, which is endemic in Brighton. The playing field needs to be levelled by proper control – the VAT guys come down like a ton of bricks on people that are honest and disclose the liability but get into occasional difficulties on timely payment. But they don’t do any of the hard work sniffing out the massive fraud – I know restaurants in Brighton that don’t even have tills! 33% of everything we take from customers goes to the taxman – VAT, payroll taxes, Corporation Tax and business rates. Unscrupulous operators can put cash straight into their pockets by avoiding three of these four with no realistic chance of discovery, as HMRC is not sufficiently resourced or organised to clampdown. I would like cash to be gradually phased out – a radical idea to level the playing field, reduce tax collection costs and wipe out all manner of cheating and thieving.”

Industry News:

Big demand for tickets to UK’s first Casual Dining show: The UK’s first Casual Dining show, which takes place at the Business Design Centre in London on 26 and 27 February, has met with big demand for tickets. Visitor pre-registrations have been averaging 100 a day since the beginning of February. In the past 24 hours alone, more than 210 buyers and senior decision makers from almost 100 towns and cities across the country have added their details. More than two thousand are expected to attend when doors open at the Business Design Centre in London on Wednesday 26 February. Paul Charity, managing director of Propel Info, will host a panel discussing the future of the pub within the casual dining landscape, starting at midday on Thursday 27 February. He will be joined by Brian Whiting, managing director of Whiting & Hammond, Steve Haslam, co-founder of TLC Inns, Anthony Pender, co-founder of Yummy Pubs, and the ALMR’s chief executive, David McHattie. To register for a free trade pass to Casual Dining on 26-27 February, at the Business Design Centre in London, visit ( Free registration for trade visitors closes at 5pm on Tuesday February 25, after which a £20 door charge will apply.

Indian multi-site restaurant owner backs minimum wage rise: Dev Biswal, the owner-chef of the award-winning Ambrette restaurants in Kent and Sussex, has bucked the industry trend by backing the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s proposal to raise the minimum wage. Biswal has also called for the government to clampdown on the widespread tax evasion within the catering sector, which he describes as “endemic”. Biswal said better wages for the low paid working in restaurants, pubs, hotels and cafes would benefit both the catering sector and the wider economy as a whole. He said he believed the short-term pain felt by restaurants’ rising wage bills, would be quickly offset by increased takings. “Paying a living wage would put more money in the hands of kitchen and waiting staff – which would be spent on the high street, boosting company profits and restoring the balance sheets in the beleaguered banking sector,” Biswal said. “We seem to have a mentality in this country where the wealthiest people need generous tax breaks and enormous bonuses, while those at the bottom of the heap need to have their living standards cut. But economic history shows that businesses do better when ordinary people have a rise in living standards, not the other way round.”

Dublin retail rents drop by 60% in seven years: Prime retail rents in Dublin have dropped 60% in the past seven years, making it the 44th most expensive city in the world. A new report from CBRE shows that Dublin has plunged down the rankings along with the property crash, to the extent that prime locations in the capital are now barely higher than the likes of Utrecht in the Netherlands and Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam. At one stage Dublin had ranked in the top ten cities globally. The rebalancing of rents and property values in the Republic of Ireland has paved the way for major UK pub retailers to explore expansion in the country, with JD Wetherspoon set to open its first site in April.

Technomic – UK restaurants brands are responding to consumer need for convenience: Darren Tristano, vice-president of the insights firm Technomic, has argued that UK restaurants are expanding into non-traditional locations in response to consumer appetite for on-demand convenience. He said: “UK restaurants and grocers seeking to stay top of mind with their customers are racing to open units in non-traditional locations and roll out convenience-oriented services – all in an effort to position themselves as reliable, go-to brands of choice. This drive to be ever-present in consumers’ lives may be seen as borne out of necessity in an increasingly on-demand, convenience-craving society. More than four in five consumers polled last year for Technomic’s UK Cafe Consumer Trend Report, for example, said that grab-and-go options could increase their visits at coffee cafes, bakery cafes and patisseries. (One in five said they expect these locations to offer grab-and-go items and will go elsewhere if such choices are not available.) Among consumers who reported visiting coffee cafes more often in the past year, 47% cited convenient locations and 40% identified fast service as reasons for their increased patronage.”

Sbarro closes just over a third of managed sites: Sbarro Holdings has closed 155 company-owned units in North America. The company said in a statement: “This action represents an important step toward improving the financial performance of the company and is designed to facilitate continued growth and investment in the brand. This action is part of a series of steps taken and planned by the new leadership team that took over in 2013.” It added that the closure of underperforming locations will significantly improve the profitability of the company. According to Nation’s Restaurant News’s Top 100 report, Sbarro had 417 company-owned locations and 174 franchised units in the United States at the close of its 2012 financial year.

GrubHub Seamless lines up IPO: GrubHub Seamless, the online restaurant-menu and takeout-ordering service, has made a confidential filing for an Initial Public Offering (IPO). Company officials have met with investment banks and could launch the IPO as soon as the first half of the year. GrubHub Seamless was created by the merger of New York-based Seamless and Chicago-based GrubHub last year. Seamless and GrubHub had previously been considering going public on their own. About 28,000 restaurants across 600 cities post menus or allow customers to order through GrubHub Seamless’ websites, which generated more than $100 million in revenue in 2012. Under US securities rules, companies with less than $1 billion in revenue in the past fiscal year can initially file confidentially with regulators for a public offering.

Company News:

Fuller’s to re-open iconic Westminster pub next week: Fullers will re-open the Red Lion pub in Parliament Street, Westminster next Tuesday (February 25) after a major refurbishment. It will be branded The Red Lion Ale & Pie. Fuller’s has brought forward refurbishment projects at a couple of key London pubs. Fuller’s chief executive, Simon Emeny, told Propel last month: “We don’t like having pubs closed, but it’s the best move for the long term, and we’ve had some big successes with the project we’ve recently carried out.”

180-bed Youth Hostel Association site set for Brighton: Planning permission has been granted to create a 180-bed youth hostel in part of the Royal York Buildings in the centre of Brighton, which has been bought by Development Securities for £4.5m from an administrator acting on behalf of a bank. Development Securities has signed a 100-year lease with the Youth Hostel Association (YHA) at a starting rent of £200,000 a year subject to five-yearly RPI indexation, with the first tenant break at 30 years. The youth hostel will be in the former 51-bed Royal York Hotel, which occupied part of the building. The property also includes nine serviced apartments and 3,400 sq ft of retail and amenity space. Matthew Weiner, a director at Development Securities, said: “The Royal York Buildings are a strong addition to our investment portfolio, with the YHA already having been secured as an anchor tenant. The building is well-located in the centre of Brighton and in addition to the new youth hostel, offers further asset management opportunities to create an attractive and vibrant leisure destination in this prominent location.”

BrewDog and Honest Burger team up to create the BrewBurger: Scottish brewer BrewDog and the better burger brand Honest Burger have teamed up to create a burger infused with craft beer. The BrewBurger, available at all Honest Burger restaurants from 3 March, will contain enough craft beer that customers will be required to show identification to order the dish. The brainchild of BrewDog co-founder James Watt and Honest Burgers co-founder Tom Barton, the limited edition BrewBurger is a 150g aged beef patty with Comté cheese and bacon candied with BrewDog’s amber ale, 5am Saint. BrewDog has developed an accompanying bottled beer named Bourbon Baby to complement the taste notes of the BrewBurger. BrewBurger and Bourbon Baby craft beer will be served as a package (£15) at all Honest Burgers restaurants from March 3 until April 2 and at BrewDog venues across the country on selected dates.

Zizzi rumoured for last unit in Aylesbury: The pizza chain Zizzi is rumoured to be taking the last space in a new development in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire. The news come as Nando’s opens this week with a 122-cover venue in the development, joining Wagamama, which opened earlier in a three-unit space that has been created from the re-modelling of two units formerly occupied by La Tasca and Slug & Lettuce. The Nando’s opening, will create 45 new jobs.

Motley Fool columnist lists the reasons he drinks at Wetherspoon: Douglas Adams, a columnist with the investment website Motley Fool, has listed the three key reasons he drinks at JD Wetherspoon pubs: design to be proud of, the price tag and late opening hours. He added: “No dramatic pub tale begins with “… and then I began to shout loudly across the table”. I find music to be one of the quickest ways to end an engaging conversation. So the lack of music, particularly in the evening, is really welcome. No one is alienated by song choices and there’s no struggle to hear what the other person is saying, dialect depending. Tim Martin was also going to receive a worthy mention, but that hair!”

New bar, restaurant and nightclub for Newcastle Assembly Rooms: Newcastle Assembly Rooms is to have a £1m refurbishment that will include the opening of Bonbar, a new bar, restaurant and nightclub, in the 237-year-old venue. Antony Michaelides, the building’s owner, said: “It’s our aim to restore a venue that has been part of the very fabric of our city for years, traditionally a place for people to meet, dance and have fun.” Michaelides secured the finance from NatWest with assistance from Tait Walker Corporate Finance. He said: “These secured funds will ensure that this tradition continues, putting [the assembly rooms] firmly back on the map as a social destination for the people of Newcastle and the wider area, while opening it up for future generations to come.” Tait Walker’s Steve Plaskitt said: “This was an exciting project to be involved with. In addition to giving a beautiful and much loved grade-II listed building a new lease of life, a considerable number of jobs will also be created, which is great news for the local night-time economy too.”

Coffee #1 opens in Pershore: Coffee #1, the cafe chain owned by the Welsh brewer SA Brain, has opened a branch in Pershore, Worcestershire, 14 months after being granted planning permission. The new cafe is in the former Ezee computer store in Pershore High Street. Coffee #1 said the venue had been given “a living-room feel, with carefully chosen artwork, shelves packed with vintage books and a log-stocked fireplace”. In 2012 a petition containing more than 1,000 signatures was presented to the local planning authority protesting against the chain opening in the town, but planners said they could not find any reason to object on planning grounds.

Lincs property company acquires third pub: North Lincs Property Holdings has acquired its third pub, the currently closed Wheatsheaf Hotel, on Westgate Road, Belton, near Doncaster, and says it intends to totally refurbish and reopen it as a public house as soon as funds allow. At the same time it has also applied to North Lincolnshire Council for planning permission to erect three town houses on part of the pub’s car park, and extend the car parking to compensate. The company owns two more pubs in the surrounding Isle of Axholme area, The Reindeer Inn at Sandtoft and The Red Lion at Crowle. Both have been totally refurbished and extended by NLPH since it acquired them. However, it said, “most recently the Reindeer Inn has just had a large rear extension and seven-chalet accommodation block completed. This, however, was a resource-heavy scheme and, whilst successfully completed, did run over budget. Therefore it is proposed that part of the car park of The Wheatsheaf be used for a small development to provide the necessary fund for the refurbishment of the public house.”

Admiral Taverns reports it has three flawless pubs: Three pubs in the 1,200-strong Admiral Taverns estate have achieved flawless scores in the company’s retail excellence programme, created to help licensees grow their businesses. The Riverview, Birkenhead, the Lamb, Newport, and the Black Horse, Princes Risborough, all achieved perfect scores after an extensive “Detail to Retail” audit undertaken by their business development managers, in partnership with each pub’s licensee. The “Detail to Retail” excellence programme was established by Admiral with the purpose of driving and maintaining high retail standards in all its pubs, to try to ensure they are the best in the business. Admiral’s chief executive, Kevin Georgel, said he was stunned that three pubs had achieved perfect scores across all areas of the customer experience, little more than a year after Detail to Retail was launched. He said: “It is an amazing feat for these three pubs, so huge congratulations to their licensees and their incredibly hard-working teams. This is a fantastic achievement, of which we are all so proud, and really shows how close working relationships between BDMs and licensees can boost pub retailing.”

Sunderland pub entrepreneur doubles up: Sunderland pub entrepreneur Michael Brogan is to open a second site after acquiring Pure in Olive Street, which is closing down just 18 months after re-opening. Brogan and his sister Claire are to re-launch the venue as Legacy – named in honour of their dad Davey Brogan who died eight years ago, aged 48. Michael also runs Sinatra’s in Holmeside.

JD Wetherspoon opens pub in abandoned Grade II listed building in Essex: JD Wetherspoon has opened a £1.6m pub in an abandoned Grade II listed building on Frobisher Way, Shoebury, Essex. Architects KD Paine and Associates designed the new look of the building, which features a bar, an open fire place, a free-standing glass mezzanine area and two large beer gardens at the front and back of the building. Anne Chalk, a Shoebury councillor, said: “It’s good to see this historic building being restored. It’s part of Shoebury’s heritage, and a lovely building.”

Greene King pub in Reading sold to developer: Agent Savills has sold the freehold of The Woodley Arms in Reading to Oakmount Property Investments for £305,000. The Woodley Arms is situated on Waldeck Street close to the centre of Reading, on a site totalling circa 0.2 acres (0.09 hectares). Adam Bullas, associate director of leisure and trading at Savills, said: “This sizable property boasts a prominent roadside location in a suburban area of Reading with excellent transport links and would lend itself well to residential development/conversion, subject to planning.”

Akbar’s restaurant set to be demolished: The Akbar’s restaurant in Greek Street, Leeds, one of 12 in the north of England and Scotland run by the Indian chain, is to be demolished to make way for an 11-storey, 90-bedroom Dakota hotel, under plans approved by Leeds Council. An application was submitted last year seeking permission for the construction of the four-star hotel between Russell Street and Greek Street currently home to a derelict mechanical stacker car park and the single-storey Akbar’s restaurant. The plans have been now been recommended for approval subject to conditions, including the completion of highway works prior to the opening of the hotel. The hotel will feature a mix of black cladding at ground and first floor and a grey treatment for upper floors in keeping with Dakota’s other venues. The land is owned by Evans of Leeds. Akbar’s also has a restaurant in Eastgate, Leeds, and others in Sheffield, Bradford, Manchester, York, Birmingham, Middlesbrough, Newcastle and Glasgow.

Hotel adds 85-cover restaurant and new kitchen: The Pinewood on Wilmslow Hotel in Cheshire, which operates under the Best Western Plus brand, is adding an 85-cover restaurant, a new kitchen and 12 new bedrooms, as part of a £1.4m refurbishment programme. The hotel plans to take on a restaurant manager, an events manager and 15 members of staff for its housekeeping, food and drink, reception and kitchen teams. General manager John Scott said: “We have spent the last three years developing the hotel’s reputation as a provider of high levels of hospitality and service. As a result our corporate and leisure business has grown by 23% and so the additional guestrooms are a must for us to capitalise on this success.” The current owners of the hotel, a partnership of four directors from the Best Western Plus Castle Green Hotel in Kendal, took over the Pinewood on Wilmslow Hotel in 2011.

Que Pasa site in Taunton to become Bar Fever outlet: Contractors have started work on the former Que Pasa site in Taunton High Street, Somerset to convert it to a Fever & Boutique outlet, with the venue due to open on Thursday, March 27. New lessee Bar Fever was handed the keys on Monday, a month after Marston’s, which owns the site, had said there were “no immediate plans” for the venue. Bar Fever, run by Mark Shorting, now has 16 outlets under the Fever brand, from Derby to Barnstable, plus one The Beach in Rugby. The manager of the new Taunton outlet, Nikki Mitchell, told the local newspaper that the venue will open Thursday to Saturday and will offer clubbers two rooms with two DJs playing music “for everybody”.

Joule’s opens Silverdale pub: The Shropshire brewer and retailer Joule’s Brewery has re-opened the Crown Inn in Silverdale, Staffordshire after buying it last year. The pub carried Joule’s colours until 1974, when the original Joule’s brewery closed. The brewery, based in Market Drayton, has also announced the sponsorship of Silverdale Athletic for a four-year period. The sponsorship is the company’s biggest ever and the brewery has made further sponsorship funds available to support other sports in the village.

Newcastle nightclub secures future with 150-year lease: The World Headquarters nightclub, which is based in Curtis Mayfield House, Carliol Square, Newcastle upon Tyne, has announced a £200,000 investment, coupled with growth funding from Barclays, which has enabled it to buy its 150-year ground lease from Newcastle Council. Tom Caulker, the nightclub’s managing director, said: “We’ve banked and worked with Barclays since 2002 and they have supported us both with the original move, the subsequent growth of the business and now the long-lease purchase. We operate as a cosmopolitan and credible alternative to the city’s mainstream club scene and securing a new extended lease means we can plan for the future with confidence and cement our existing reputation as a niche player, attracting a strong, loyal, local following, as well as the student market.” It is envisaged that the World HQ club will expand on to another floor of the venue, creating up to ten new jobs.

Alcohol-free bar opens in Kettering: A new alcohol-free bar has been set up in Kettering, Northamptonshire. Genesis, based at the Eden Centre in Montagu Street, is open on Saturdays from 8pm to 1am. One of the people who helped set up the bar, Fiona de Boltz, said: “It’s providing something different – it’s an alternative to what’s out there already. It’s somewhere safe and warm and chilled.”

Freedrinks hires Fleet Street Communications: Freedrinks, the company behind the new soft drink brand Zeo, has appointed Fleet Street Communications, headed by the former trade journalist Mark Stretton, to handle its UK trade PR and media relations with immediate effect. Zeo is the first offering from Freedrinks, which aims to provide a constant stream of innovation within the soft drinks market. A blend of fruits and botanicals, Zeo was originally inspired by the premise that a drink does not have to be alcoholic to be interesting and a desire to re-create the sensation of alcohol but with 0% ABV. The appointment of Fleet Street Communications is part of a wider initiative by Freedrinks to raise the profile of Zeo across the UK on and off-trade, with a focus on the gap it fills in the soft drinks market.

Second new whiskey distillery in Dublin planned: Plans have been submitted to convert a former sofa factory in Dublin into what will be the Irish capital’s second new whiskey distillery. The Dublin Whiskey Company’s application comes after the Teeling Whiskey Company’s announcement that it would build the first new distillery in Dublin in 125 years. The Dublin Whiskey Company’s plans include a cafe and tasting rooms at the site, in Mill Street, in the Liberties area.

Hampshire college gets £55,000 VAT rebate: A Hampshire college will receive a £55,000 tax rebate after a tribunal ruled that the haute cuisine served at its in-house restaurant is exempt from VAT. MJ’s restaurant at Brockenhurst College is open to the public and offers fine dining so good it has been praised by celebrity chefs including James Martin and Raymond Blanc. The restaurant, run by catering students, charges heavily discounted prices and does not make a profit. The college has been in a long-running battle with Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and has reclaimed almost four years of VAT it had wrongly paid on meals served at MJ’s. HMRC’s lawyers argued that diners benefited from the service, which meant that VAT was chargeable even on the rock-bottom prices they paid. Upper Tribunal judge Roger Berner ruled that the restaurant aimed to meet the educational needs of the students and was therefore VAT-exempt.

Le Pain Quotidien reports increase in profits: Bakery chain Le Pain Quotidien has reported pre-tax profit rose to £803,000 in the year to 29 December 2013 from £585,000 the year before. Sales rose 3.9% to £30.83m from £29.66m the year before. The company opened two sites to grow the estate to 24 with “established stores maintaining sales performance”. Gross profit margin was 17.46%, up from 16.05% in 2012. Operating profit was £1.02m, up from £854,000 the year before. The company paid its Belgian parent a final dividend of £563,000. In 2012 the UK store network grew from 18 to 22 sites. Profit before tax was £3.12m in 2011, when a loan from the company’s Belgian parent company was waived.

Wetherspoon to serve canned beers at 900 pubs: Wetherspoon has teamed up with Sixpoint Brewery in Brooklyn, New York, to exclusively serve three of the brewery’s canned beers across the chain’s 900-plus pubs. The award-winning craft beers will be available in all Wetherspoon pubs from March 5. The beers, Sweet Action, The Crisp and Bengali Tiger, will be available in 355ml cans and will be served in a world beer glass. Sweet Action (5.4% ABV) is described as “part pale ale, part wheat, part cream ale”, The Crisp (5.2% ABV) as “a pilsner style lager brewed with noble hops for an indelible sehr crisp flavour” (sehr means “very” in German) and Bengali Tiger (6.4% ABV) as “blaze-orange in colour with an abundance of citrus hop bitterness and a full pine and grapefruit bouquet in the aroma.” Wetherspoon’s chief executive, John Hutson, said: “We are thrilled that the beers from Sixpoint Brewery will be served exclusively in our pubs. We pride ourselves on offering the widest selection of drinks and looking for new drink styles for our customers to enjoy. Cans are the biggest growth area in the US craft industry and the three beers from Sixpoint taste and look fantastic. Wetherspoon strives to bring the best drinks from around the world to its pubs and this is highlighted with the introduction of Sweet Action, The Crisp and Bengali Tiger.”

Fyne Ales begins work on £2m expansion: Argyll-based craft brewery Fyne Ales has begun work on a £2m expansion plan, which will treble turnover and meet growing demand for the company’s range of award-winning craft beers. The development is co-funded with grant support from Highlands and Islands Enterprise, a Food Processing, Marketing & Co-operation Scheme grant from the Scottish government and a £1m loan from Bank of Scotland supported by the Enterprise Finance Guarantee Scheme as well as asset finance. Fyne Ales’ current turnover is £1.6m. The expansion is expected to see this figure increase to over £5m in four years. The development is expected to create ten construction jobs and 12 new permanent jobs in the company itself. Fyne Ales currently produce 90 barrels of beer per week. The first expansion phase will see production increase to 180 barrels a week with space available to boost production to 120 barrels a day in five years’ time.

NPD – doughnuts lead UK snacking growth categories: Doughnuts were the fastest growing UK “out of home” snack items in the year ending December 2013, growing by 11.1% servings compared to the previous year, research by the insights firm NPD Group has shown. This is an increase of 6.4 million servings, to 63.7 million, for the whole year. Brownies came a close second, growing 10.9%, with a total of 54.6 million servings for the year. Chocolate bars topped the league table of Britons’ favourite snack food items away from home. Nearly one in 14 snacks was a chocolate bar, with 245 million servings sold during the year. Consumers said the desire for a little treat was still a big motivator when they snacked, with “treat myself” up by 11.7% and accounting for 14.5% of all snacking meal occasions during 2013. The appetite among Britons for snacking away from home is declining. Snacking visits out of home decreased 2.3% in the year ending December 2013, after several years of growth. NPD Group figures show that all types of snacking dropped: morning snacks were down 2.9%; afternoon snacks were down 2.4% and late snacks fell by 1.7%. The declines were driven by the core consumer, those aged 25 to 49 years, and are partly due to consumers preferring to eat at the usual times of breakfast, lunch and dinner, and choosing to eat out in a more sociable way. Most snacking occasions declined, including “on-premises” snacking, and there was less snacking at work or school too. However, snacking on the go has increased, with snacking in cars or on other forms of transport up by 2.6%. There is clearly still an appetite for snacks among busy consumers on the go. Pubs saw the biggest drop in snacking business; they recorded 28 million fewer snacking visits in the year ending December 2013 (down 11.7%). There was a similar shift at retailers and convenience stores, which recorded 27 million fewer snacking visits (down 4.2%). The biggest loss of appetite for snacking was among the C2DE social groups, with snack visits down by 13.1%. In contrast, snack visits among the more affluent ABC1s were up by 5%. But consumers will still be tempted to snack if there is a promotional deal involved. Snacking visits to take advantage of a promotion increased last year by 2.1%. Chocolate bars finished the year way ahead, with 7.3% of all snack visits including a chocolate bar. Cake and crisps came in second and third, while beefburgers were fourth, narrowly beating ice cream into fifth place. Sandwiches are still seen as good snacks but individual sandwich choices such as chicken (100 million servings) or bacon (78.4 million servings) still came behind the “chips and french fries” option (111.8 million servings). Jessica Chambers, client development manager for the NPD Group, said: “We spent £8.1bn on ‘out of home’ snacks in 2013, so we are not losing our knack for a snack, even though some people are definitely trying to save money by snacking less often. And with three sweet snacks in the top five fastest growing, and nearly 425 million servings of chocolate and cake happily consumed out of home in 2013, we clearly have a sweet tooth.” When consumers are looking for a snack, “convenient location” is still the number one reason to visit a particular outlet or restaurant, accounting for 44.9% of occasions. Cyril Lavenant, director of foodservice UK at NPD Group, explains the key UK foodservice trends – and how the market compares with Europe and the US – at the Propel Multi Club Conference on 13 March.

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