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Wed 9th Jul 2014 - Propel Wednesday News Briefing

Story of the Day:

Notting Hill Kitchen seeks £150,000 through crowd-funding to create chef’s table/private dining cellar: The Notting Hill Kitchen restaurant is seeking £150,000 of funding through Crowdcube – in return for 9.67% of its equity – towards the £330,000 needed to invest in a chef’s table/private dinning cellar, upgrade the bar and improve the restaurant’s overall offering (including further increasing the wine offer). It is thought to be the first time that crowd-funding has been used to raise money to undertake improvements on an existing site. The pitch states: “There is a basement cellar, which is currently only being used for storage. The business has obtained consent (from the landlord) and planning approval (from the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea) to excavate the cellar and convert it into an exclusive chef’s table/dining room for private or events. We intend to have this ready for the busy months leading up to Christmas. The chef’s table can also be used to host the restaurant’s own events such as wine tutoring and tastings, food and wine pairings, exclusive dinners for investors and parties. These are premium events that attract a wealthier clientele, with higher average takings that can significantly boost the top line of the restaurant.” The Notting Hill Kitchen is the joint venture between James Paget, Filipa Teixeira and Godric Walker. It opened in September 2013 on a site previously occupied by Leith’s and Notting Hill Brasserie. The menu offers a selection of grazing dishes and shared plates throughout the day in its Iberian style bar as well as a more classic a la carte dinner in comfortable dining rooms. Anyone investing £25,000 or more gets 15% off their bill and can store 24 bottles of their own wine in the restaurant’s cellar.

Industry News:

Christie + Co – managed pub demand outstrips supply: Demand for managed pubs outstrips supply in the UK marketplace at the moment, according to Simon Chaplin of the property agent Christie + Co. He told the Propel Multi Club Conference that buyers are fishing from a very small pond and the lack of supply is pushing major companies to ramp up their new-build programmes. Chaplin also reported that private equity players are very keen on the sector, after managed pub operators have successfully resisted the challenge of the growing restaurant chains. The tenanted pub sector is also seeing new player emerging from a non-brewing background. In addition, many established tenanted operators are now dealing with capex issues, he said. However, Chaplin reported that estate rationalisation would continue and there was an opportunity for the private freehold sector and regional pub companies to expand their estates. Overall, Chaplin said, “signs are good that the market is recovering.”

Jacques Borel urges multi-site pub and restaurant operators to take part in Tax Equality Day: Jacques Borel, who is campaigning for a VAT cut for the sector, has invited multi-site pub, restaurant and foodservice operators to take part in Tax Equality Day on Wednesday 24 September, when operators will reduce price by 7.5% to demonstrate the benefits to customers of lower VAT in the sector. Last year, 15,000 pubs and restaurants took part in Tax Parity Day, seeing a ten to 23% increase in turnover. Borel told the Propel Multi Club Conference: “The Treasury was very impressed with the levels of support on the day. We are working very hard this year to have more than 15,000 pubs and restaurants taking part. I would like to invite operators to take part this year. The only investment required is a 7.5% cut in price on the day. But if you see a ten to 23% increase in customer numbers, the surplus of customers will cover the cost. Simply go to our website to register [www.vatclubjacquesborel.co.uk]. All other costs are covered by the Jacques Borel Vat Club, including the cost of posters.”

Cambscuisine pledges support for Tax Equality Day: Cambscuisine, the Cambridgeshire gastro-operator, has pledged its support to Tax Equality Day on 24 September, when pubs and restaurants are being urged to cut their prices by 7.5% to show customers the benefits of a VAT cut for the sector. Co-founder Oliver Thain, who attended last week’s Propel Multi Club Conference and heard Jacques Borel’s progress report on the campaign, said: “I was really interested to hear what is happening and we’re going to get right behind it here in Cambridge on 24 September.” The company opened its latest venue, Smokehouse, in Cambridge last Wednesday. Thain said: “Smokeworks has started really well – we should take circa £22,000 this week which out of 48 covers is pretty good although still room for plenty of growth.”

Cider sales booming in the US: Cider sales are rowing faster than craft beer in the US, although from a very low base. Ciders accounts for about 1% of the total US beer market but observers expect that will soon be 5% or higher. Industry experts attribute the growth to several factors, including that people are eager to try a wider variety of flavours in what they eat and drink. At the same time, apples are gluten-free, and gluten-free drinks have gained wider appeal.

Camra defends itself from charges of Greene King aggression: The Campaign for Real Ale appeared on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme last week defending itself against charges that its campaigns are too aggressive against individuals. Greene King’s chief executive, Rooney Anand, told the programme that he had some 50 letters sent to his home purportedly from Camra members. However, Camra spokesman Tom Stainer said this was simply not the organisation’s style: “We would never encourage our members to do that. I checked with colleagues and no one knows of anyone encouraging anyone to write to people direct at home,” he said.

MasterChef pop-up takes more than 10,000 bookings: A South London pop-up restaurant where the kitchens are run by former MasterChef winners and finalists has had its run extended after it took more than 10,000 bookings. The restaurant and bar at the Blue Fin building in Southwark was due to open for four weeks from 2 September. But organisers decided to extend its opening by five days until 5 October after booking lines were overwhelmed by “phenomenal” demand. A dozen MasterChef stars, including six winners, will be cooking lunches and dinners plus a brunch sitting at the weekend. The extra week will be led by this year’s winner Ping Coombes and finalist Jack Lucas and last year’s champion, Natalie Coleman. Coombes said: “It’s simply brilliant that the pop-up sold out so quickly – 10,000 covers in under a week, that’s extraordinary. I’m really pleased that we get to come back and cook for longer.”

TGI Friday’s launches ‘endless appetiser’ offer in the US: TGI Friday’s has launched a high-profile but risky ‘endless appetiser’ summer promotion in the United States that offers all-you-can-eat appetisers for $10 per person. The offer lasts until 24 August. Guests can choose one appetiser from a list of the chain’s most poplar starters, including loaded potato skins, boneless buffalo wings and mozzarella sticks, and receive unlimited refills. While sharing is discouraged, that rule will not be enforced by servers, said Brian Gies, Friday’s chief marketing officer. “At the end of the day, our servers aren’t policemen,” Gies said of the promotion. “We’re not going to slap someone’s hand if they reach over and share someone else’s mozzarella sticks.”

Communities secretary Pickles throws out £160m Smithfields restaurant scheme: Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, has thrown out TIAA Henderson Real Estate’s £160m plans to redevelop Smithfield Market in London with a mixed use scheme of restaurants and offices. In a strongly worded report yesterday, Pickles said: “Overall the Secretary of State concludes that the extent of damage that the application would cause to the important heritage assets at Smithfield runs entirely counter to national and policy objectives intended to protect such assets from harm and that this would seriously undermine any economic, social or environmental benefits otherwise arising from the development, such that the proposal would not represent sustainable development.” TIAA-Henderson Real Estate now has six weeks to appeal against the decision at the High Court.

Casual Dining show wins top industry award: The organiser of the Casual Dining Show, Diversified Communications UK is celebrating a big win at the exhibition industry’s annual AEO Excellence Awards, only four months after the show made its debut at the Business Design Centre in London. Casual Dining, the UK’s first dedicated trade event for the multiple and independent pub and restaurant sector, is the first launch show (UK and international) in over five years to triumph in the AEO’s hotly contested “Best Tradeshow Exhibition under 2,000 sq m” category. Previous winners of the award include Diversified UK’s Lunch! show in 2010 and 2011. Diversified Communications’ group event manager, Chris Brazier said: “To have the honour of Casual Dining winning Best Trade Show under 2,000 sq m is something very special. The fact that Casual Dining was a new show that has been developed with, and supported by, pub and restaurant groups, as well as our incredible exhibitors, makes it even more special. We share this award with them and we couldn’t be happier.”

Company News:

Lord Bilimoria – Cobra’s unsecured creditors are being paid: The founder of Cobra Beer, Lord (Karan) Bilimoria, has told London Loves Business that unsecured creditors owed money by the collapse of Cobra into administration in 2009 are being paid. He said: “We were going through a company voluntary arrangement, which requires 75% of your creditors to agree: 90% of creditors agreed but in the end one creditor, without warning, tried to close down the business. Therefore, we had to abandon that route. So the only route left for us was a pre-pack administration. The problem with pre-pack administration is that it has a bad reputation because people misuse it. But we gave a whole week to people to bid for the business. PwC and Rothschild phoned, proactively, every single bidder interested in buying the company. In June 2009, Molson Coors and Cobra formed a joint venture. The secured creditors have all been settled and I am settling the unsecured creditors. Everyone has been looked after.” Bilimoria also reported a big push for the beer into pubs an bars: “We’re only in a few hundreds pubs and bars, as opposed to 7,000 Indian restaurants. There is a big potential here and it’s the next big step for Cobra. We’re getting repeat orders from pubs and bars, which have stocked our beer, for example, the Montpellier Group in Scotland. We’re trialing it in Liverpool and even within London.”

Rupert Clevely – it’s been a quiet first week but we’re now gathering pace: Geronimo Inns founder Rupert Clevely has reported a quiet first week at his family’s new concept, The Cyclist Refreshment Room in Brighton railway station, but said that trade was now gathering pace. He told Propel: “I called it the Refreshment Room so nobody knows what the hell it is – and there was nothing in the space before. But it is now gathering pace nicely – Steve Coogan came in for breakfast this morning.” Asked about how he was enjoying being operational again, Clevely said: “I’m absolutely loving it – I missed being at the coalface.”

Peter Marks – “a nightclub in Lincoln restored my faith in the sector”: Luminar chief executive Peter Marks has reported that Home, a nightclub in the city of Lincoln, restored his faith in the nightclub sector. Marks told the Propel Multi Club Conference that before acquiring Luminar out of administration, he had been involved, with the investment fund Downing in investing in Home. The venue has taken £80,000 a week consistently over three years since it opened, with admission money accounting for 20% of turnover. Marks stressed that “investment” was the key to strong performance in the nightclub sector.

Alex Reilley – 80% of expansion cash now internally funded: Loungers founder Alex Reilley has revealed that 80% of the money used to fund the company’s expansion is now internally generated. Reilley, whose company is backed by Piper Private Equity, told the Arena lunch: “At the point of Piper’s investment [in 2012] the business comprised 22 sites in total, having been at nine sites when recession hit, and by the end of 2012 we’d reached 29 sites in total. Last year, we opened another 12 sites, and by the time we reached our second anniversary of Piper’s investment, the business had doubled in terms of number of sites and increased by more than 100% in terms of turnover and profit. None of the money invested by Piper went onto the balance sheet or went towards funding the roll-out – the roll-out is predominately internally funded, coupled with a bit of bank debt, with new sites being 80% funded by the cash generated by the business. This year we’ll open 15 sites, next year we’re aiming to add a further 20 sites ,with an aim of reaching 90 sites by 2017.”

Coaching inn operator publishes own high-quality magazine: Bulldog Hotel Group, the seven-strong coaching inn operator led by Kevin Charity that is set to hit Ebitda of £1.86m on turnover of £9.7m this year, has followed the lead of the gastro-operator Whiting & Hammond and the bar operator Drake and Morgan in publishing its own customer magazine to cross-market its venues. In his introduction to the magazine, Charity sais: “We’ve decided to publish this magazine to keep in touch with our customers, let them know what we’re up to as a group – like our environmental and charity commitments. But also to suggest great days out whilst staying at our hotels and to [introduce] our suppliers, to find out about the effort they go to for us in order to ensure a great experience when [customers] stay at our hotels.”

YO! Sushi hires corporate and financial PR firm: YO! Sushi has hired Headland on a corporate and financial public relations brief, amid reports the company is getting set for a £120m sale, PR Week has reported. The new retained brief was won after a pitch process, with Headland’s chief executive, Chris Salt, leading the account as the restaurant chain seeks to develop its corporate credibility in the UK and overseas. YO! Sushi, which also retains LightBrigade PR for consumer PR, currently has UK 80 sites. Chief operating officer Vanessa Hall recently took on the role of chief executive previously held by Robin Rowland, amid reports that the chain’s private equity owner, Quilvest, had hired bankers to explore interest in the business. Salt told PR Week: “There are a huge amount of growth opportunities, and part of our role will be to bring a great awareness of the depth of management skill at the company, and the opportunities that the brand has.”

Wetherspoon set to open Stirling pub that beat Greene King objection, lines up Cambridgeshire double opening: JD Wetherspoon is opening its new pub in Stirling, central Scotland on 15 July, with the creation of 70 jobs. Wetherspoon has spent more than £1.7m developing a former office block into the new pub, the Crossed Peels. Greene King opposed the pub’s licence and sought a judicial review in order to stop the development of the pub. Wetherspoon’s chairman, Tim Martin, said: “We are looking forward to the opening of the Crossed Peels. The actions of Greene King were a throwback to the 1980s, when the major brewers tried to stop Wetherspoon and other companies opening up close to their pubs. Our investment and job creation is good news for the city and also offers people in Stirling more choice in terms of which pub they wish to visit.” The new pub is on two levels, with two bars, a main beer garden and a small pavement cafe area to the front. Meanwhile, Wetherspoon is eyeing up openings in Huntingdon and St Ives, both in Cambridgeshire. The company has submitted a heritage statement to Huntingdonshire Council in respect of developing the Old Post Office on George Street, Huntingdon according to local media reports. The Huntingdon venue looks likely to open this winter, after originally having ambitions for a summer opening. Wetherspoon is understood to want to link the 4,623 sq ft Grade II-listed Old Post Office to the George Hall, which sits on the corner of the site, to create a single large pub and dining area covering about 3,500 sq ft. The plans would also include demolishing the former sorting office to create an outdoor patio and garden area. It is expected to create about 40 jobs. Wetherspoon told the Hunts Post it was finalising contracts for a site in St Ives, although it could not confirm the chosen location.

Wine & Dine Company shuts Cannock restaurant: The Staffordshire-based restaurant group Wine & Dine company, run by John and Jo Ashmore, has shut one of its four outlets, Bistro 95 in Cannock, after poor trading. The Ashmores began the Wine & Dine Company with the purchase of The Yorkshireman in Colton, near Rugeley, Staffordshire, in 2007 after the sale of their previous restaurant group, Pastiche, a group of price-led bistro-style restaurants founded in the 1980s. They expanded to run the 1709 Brasserie and Ernie & Isabella’s fish restaurant, both in Lichfield, and Bistro 95 in Cannock. However, the Cannock outlet has now shut, with a notice on its Facebook page saying: “Unfortunately, due to poor trading, the directors were reluctantly forced to vacate the premises. After meeting with our accountants, on Tuesday an administrator was appointed and the company will be dissolved. Our other businesses are unaffected by this move. We would like to thank all previous customers for their support and custom throughout the past two years.”

Chilango burrito bond moves past £1.2m: The Chilango “Burrito Bond”, which the Mexican restaurant chain is using to raise money through the crowd-sourcing website Crowdcube with an offer to pay 8% interest a year, moved through the £1.2m barrier yesterday lunchtime. A total of 362 investors had pledged cash and the offer has 31 days left to run. The bond passed through the £1m barrier eight days ago.

Marston’s eye Berkshire new-build: Marston’s is eyeing a new-build pub within the grounds of Newbury College in Berkshire, on the fringes of the new Sandleford development. Although it has not yet put in an official planning application, Marston’s has applied for a premises licence and outlined plans for the pub, with capacity for 180 covers and a terraced patio and garden area. The pub would also have residential accommodation. In its premises licence application, Marston’s said it wants to be able to “sell to residents and supply their bona-fide guests 24 hours per day”. The principal of Newbury College, Anne Murdoch, said: “We can confirm that we are in discussions with Marston’s on their proposals for a development on the site, but that is it at the moment.”

Punch Taverns puts Worthing pub on the market for £550,000: Punch Taverns has put the Bay in Worthing, Sussex, on the market through the property agent Savills. The pub, on the corner of Thorn Road, close to Worthing town centre, occupies a site of 0.08 acres. Adam Bullas, associate director of leisure and trading at Savills, said: “The Bay is an attractive local pub, with a strong location in Worthing. Income potential is augmented by the letting rooms and private accommodation and therefore the property presents an interesting opportunity for both private individuals and speculators.” Meanwhile, Punch has sold the Rivelin pub in Sheffield for substantially in excess of the asking price of £275,000 through the property agent Fleurets. It has been bought by local businessman Dean Crookes, who will re-open the site after a refurbishment.

Sky – sports bar chain Rileys considers options: The owner of the site that used to house the Sports Cafe on Haymarket in central London could be heading for a change in ownership after a sharp rebound in profits, Sky has reported. Shareholders in Rileys, which operates more than 60 sports bars across the UK, have drafted in advisers to oversee a review of options for the chain. Sky reported the process could involve raising funds through debt or growth capital or pursuing an outright sale of the business. Global Leisure Partners (GLP), an advisory firm, is handling the process. Sky said “Rileys has been owned by Greybull Capital since it acquired the business through a pre-pack administration towards the end of 2012. Since taking control of Rileys, Greybull has shed about half its sites, which show live sport on big screens and provide venues for playing sports such as darts, pool and snooker. The chain, which took over the running of the Sports Cafe on Haymarket in the West End of London last year, now employs about 600 people and has more than half a million members, according to its website. Sources said it had gone from making less than £1m of pre-tax profit to more than £2m. Maurice Kelly, its chief executive, is understood to be keen to open more sports bars in and around the London area.”

Scotland’s ‘biggest pub’ set to open: The Campaign for Real Ale is turning an Edinburgh concert venue into the biggest pub in Scotland. More than 150 beers from 70 different breweries will be on offer at the Scottish Real Ale Festival, which runs from tomorrow, 10 July, to Sunday, 13 July, at the Edinburgh Corn Exchange on New Market Street in the city’s Slateford area. Festival organiser Owen Bell said: “Beer lovers from across Scotland and around the globe will be heading to Edinburgh to sample the very best of Scottish beer, which we at Camra consider to be among the finest in the world. There will be beers of all styles, from light, hoppy golden ales to robust stouts and porters from breweries from the Northern Isles to the Borders.” There are two major additions to the festival this year: an outdoor “beer garden” with seating, while gourmet caterer Bankhouse Catering, whose dishes such as venison burgers have proven popular with Camra festival goers in the past, are being brought in.

M&B opens biggest All Bar One to date: Mitchells & Butlers has opened its biggest All Bar One, at The O2 in Greenwich, South East London. Covering 13,899 sq ft, the venue is set across three floors and can accommodate 400 covers. It is in the main entrance of The O2, a short walk from North Greenwich tube station. The new bar has a “cocktail mixology table”, a “wine tasting table”, an espresso bar and a top floor available for private hire and corporate entertaining.

Rick Stein head chef opens own beach-side restaurant: Rick Stein’s former head chef has opened his own seafood restaurant in Newquay, Cornwall. Paul Harwood has opened the Fish House, at the Fistral Surf Centre. Harwood, who has worked in Stein’s kitchens in Padstow and Falmouth for the past 14 years, decided to go it alone and start his own business with wife Elise and their two children, Olivia and Sam. During his career at Stein’s restaurant, Harwood provided food for a variety of functions, including one in Washington, as well as cooking for Prince Charles in London. Elsie Harwood said: “It has always been Paul’s dream to open a seafood restaurant right on the beach, as this combines his love of surfing with his passion for food.”

Ten in Eight served with winding up order: Ten In Eight Limited, the company that operated restaurants such as La Bécasse, Paris House and the Angel in Dartmouth, has been served with a winding-up order in the High Court. The order came after a winding-up petition was filed against the company in April this year. Alan Murchison, the last of the directors of the 10 in 8 Group, resigned at around the same time. The company was set up to open ten financially sustainable Michelin-standard restaurants in eight years. Murchison is currently executive chef at L’Ortolan in Reading, Berkshire, which is now operated by Newfee Ltd. It was previously part of 10 in 8 Group, having been operated by a subsidiary, Alan Murchison Restaurants, but that company entered liquidation late last year.

Singer Paul Heaton to open underground theatre at Salford pub: Paul Heaton, singer with the group Beautiful South, is opening a basement theatre at the King’s Arms in Salford, Manchester. The cellar space, dubbed The Lucy Davis Vaults, is being used as part of the Greater Manchester Fringe Festival. The pub, which opened in the 1870s and replaced an earlier Kings Arms pub built in 1807 on the opposite side of the street, has recently restored many of its performance and studio spaces. As well as a meeting point for clubs and societies, it has been a filming location for TV shows such as Fresh Meat and Cracker. Since 2011, under licensees Paul Heaton and Zena Barrie, the Kings Arms has staged many big arts and theatre festivals, as well as film screenings, live music gigs, and comedy and poetry nights.

Colliers International hired to sell two Aparthotel properties: Union Hanover and EquityBridge Asset Management have appointed Colliers International and JLL to forward-sell a brace of Adagio Aparthotel properties in London for more than £110m. The two developments will open two years apart. Adagio, owned by Accor and the French holiday firm Pierre Et Vacances, will open the £70m, 217-apartment property on Whitechapel Road, East London in 2016 after the conversion of an office building, Black Lion House. The £40m, 137-apartment Adagio London Stratford on Celebration Avenue in Stratford, East London, is due to open in 2018. Adagio Aparthotels are aimed primarily at mid and long-stay visitors. They provide hotel services and fully-furnished studios and one and two-bedroom apartments, complete with kitchens and bathrooms, to provide high quality self-catering accommodation for extended stays based on attractive tiered pricing. The two properties are European market leader Adagio’s first aparthotels in London and are seen as central to the development of the brand in Europe and globally.

Gin bar pop-up for London hotel: A pop-up gin bar, Gin & Terrace, will be running at the Park Plaza County Hall on the South Bank in London over the summer, serving cocktails using gins made by four independent gin brands. Events running at the terrace include music sessions, mixology masterclasses and evening barbecues. The bar, organised by the drinks company Hi Spirits runs from 11 July to 7 September and will be selling Broker’s London Dry Gin, King of Soho Dry Gin, Blackwoods vintage dry gin, made using a blend of botanicals from Shetland, and No 209 Gin, distilled in San Francisco. Entry to the terrace is free, with a small charge for the masterclasses. The terrace will be open Monday to Friday from 3pm to 11pm, and 12pm to 11pm on Saturdays.

SSP in restaurant shake-up at JFK Terminal 4: SSP has opened or revamped four restaurants at Terminal 4 of John F Kennedy Airport in New York as part of its concessions programme. Danny Meyer’s Shake Shack opened its second location in the terminal on 5 July. McDonald’s, already one of the busiest restaurants at Terminal 4 has opened a new, expanded location, having increased in size from 1,200 sq ft to 4,000 sq ft to include a new dining room and self-serving beverage station. The Palm Bar & Grille’s Terminal 4 location has also expanded, adding an 800 sq ft dining room plus a full breakfast menu. Camden Food, a new concept for Terminal 4, is selling local flavours from regional farms and food artisans, as well as organic, fair-trade and healthy options.

Matthew Clark to introduce Boutique Beers range: With craft beer currently representing the fastest growing category in the on-trade beer market, wholesaler Matthew Clark is to introduce a new Boutique Beers range, offering its customers a total of 80 beers. This range will be launched through two beer events in London and Newcastle this July which will include masterclasses on beer and food matching and top tips from Melissa Cole, the UK’s first female beer sommelier. Over the past three years, Matthew Clark has seen outlets stocking its Boutique Beers increase by 28% and has responded to demand by extending its Boutique Beers range, with a heavy focus on the United States and the UK. New additions include BrewDog, Harviestoun, Flying Dog, Founders, and DNA. Matthew Clark has also linked up with Duvel to offer customers a rotational font on six Belgium beers.

New report: coffee shops boost high street economy by 2 to 4%: Figures published today in a report by industry analyst Allegra Strategies show that British high streets are enjoying significant economic and social benefits brought by the rise of branded and independent coffee shops. The report draws on research with more than 2,000 consumers and local businesses. The report, The Role of Coffee Shops on the High Street 201, demonstrates that the presence of coffee shops typically boost local high street economies by 2 to 4% through a combination of increased footfall and dwell time. Footfall studies show that branded coffee shops can increase high street footfall by more than a quarter (28%), while more than half (52%) of consumers interviewed for the study are more likely to shop for longer when there are coffee shops nearby.
The key findings of the report are:

Coffee shops have a highly positive impact on local businesses: 58% of local businesses interviewed indicated that coffee shops attract more people to their business, an increase on 38% in 2010; 43% of local businesses were positive about the contribution of coffee shops to their individual trading; coffee shops create a valuable regenerative effect; 85% of local businesses interviewed agreed that coffee shops improve the viability of the local area, an increase on 76% in 2010. Coffee shops play a significant role in driving high street visits: 58% of consumers surveyed had planned to visit coffee shops as part of their trip to the high street. Furthermore, 18% of consumers visited the high street primarily to go to the coffee shop. Coffee shops are fundamental to the wellbeing of British high streets: 95% of consumers interviewed feel that coffee shops improve the vitality of the local area, while coffee shops produce neighbourhood hubs and foster a strong sense of local community – 85% of consumers state that coffee shops have a valuable role in the local community, an increase from 77% in 2010. The report concludes that over the new few years, coffee shops will take an expanded role in local communities and the evening economy. Branded coffee shops and artisan independents will make further efforts to strengthen links with communities with more authentic and locally relevant store designs. The report predicts more widespread partnerships between coffee shops and retail and leisure operators, which will make valuable use of both existing and vacant high street space. Jeffrey Young, managing director at Allegra Strategies, said: “The report illustrates that coffee shops are helping high streets to evolve away from over-reliance on outdated retail models to embrace the demands of a more experience-led British consumer. Coffee shops offer much more than just refreshment, providing a space for community events and mobile working, while boosting local employment opportunities.” Jason Cotta, managing director at Costa Retail UK and committee member of the Future High Streets Forum, said: “Coffee shops have effectively become more than just a place to enjoy a hot drink. They play an integral role in terms of the socio and economic development of the high street, from employment opportunities to providing friendly community meeting hubs. As a panel member of the Future High Streets Forum, we have been working closely with local councils to revive and develop their high streets. I welcome the findings of this report which reinforces the role of coffee shops in driving footfall to the high street, as well as helping to improve the viability of the area.”

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