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Mon 8th Dec 2014 - Propel Monday News Briefing

Story of the Day:

Allegra – non-specialist coffee producers, led by pubs, out-pacing branded coffee shops in growth terms: The total UK coffee shop market is estimated at 18,832 outlets and continues to outperform the UK retail sector with significant sales growth of 10.7% on last year with £7.2 billion total turnover, according to Allegra World Coffee Portal’s definitive report, Project Café2015 UK. The branded coffee chain segment recorded £2.9 billion turnover across 5,781 outlets, delivering sales growth of 11.9% and outlet growth of 4.9%, adding 271 stores during 2014. After 16 years of considerable growth, the coffee shop sector continues to be one of the most successful in the UK economy. Costa Coffee (1,821 outlets), Starbucks Coffee Company (824) and Caffè Nero (590) remain the UK’s leading brands with a combined share of 56% of the branded chain market by outlet numbers. Market leader Costa added 151 UK outlets and achieved 15% sales growth in calendar 2014. The non-specialist sector, including pubs, fast food operators, supermarkets and retail stores, has outpaced branded chains with outlet growth of 14.5% to reach 7,017 establishments with a strong coffee offer (excluding branded chain partnerships). Pub groups are responding to the threat coffee shops pose to their role as the traditional community hub. Pub groups have added a further 648 establishments representing growth of 19%, the main contributor of growth in this sector. In addition, retail and department stores (including garden centres, bookshops, homeware and supermarkets) added a total 189 stores, representing growth of 10%. The non-specialist sector took a further 2% share of market to represent 37% of the total coffee shop market compared with branded chains with 31% outlet share and independents with 32% market share. A spokesman for Allegra Group said: “The third wave/artisan coffee has profoundly influenced operator and consumer expectations about coffee quality and store design. The artisan independent segment is becoming far more regionalised than ever before, with cities such as Bath, Edinburgh, Manchester and York boasting strong artisan independents. The gradual decline of instant coffee consumption at home and subsequent premiumisation of the at-home segment further increases the availability of specialty coffee and intensifies competition.” While outside of the report scope, Allegra notes that gourmet vending is outpacing the UK coffee shop market, growing at 27% in 2014 to reach 5,237 units and is worth an estimated £230 million. Allegra predicts the total UK coffee shop market will exceed 27,000 outlets and £16.5 billion turnover by 2020, driven by branded coffee chain expansion and non-specialist operator growth. The branded coffee shop segment is forecast to exceed £5 billion across 7,870 outlets by 2020 with outlets predicted to grow at 5.3% compound and revenue at 10% compound over the next five years. It is estimated that the UK has the long-term potential to comfortably host more than 9,500 branded coffee shops. Allegra Group managing director Jeffrey Young said: “The UK consumer increasingly appreciates a quality cup of coffee and operators must continue to deliver innovation, fantastic quality while genuinely engaging with customers in order to stay ahead of the curve.”

Industry News:

Professor Chris Edger to hold Multi-Site Management Masterclass: The UK’s leading thinker and teacher on multi-site management Professor Chris Edger will be holding his second Multi-Site Management Masterclass, in partnership with Propel, on Tuesday 24 February at One Moorgate Place, London. Professor Edger, who has just published his latest book, Leading at a Distance in Multi-Unit Enterprises, will focus on how Area Managers can create organic growth through the three-step process of engagement, execution and evolution. Professor Edger currently teaches at City University, Birmingham, where a number of the sector’s leading companies send their General Managers to be taught. His one-day seminar will include live contributions from senior UK executives. Paul Charity, managing director of Propel, said: “This is a great chance for multi-site companies to refresh their thinking – and the thinking and expertise of key staff – as 2015 gets underway.” Tickets are £295 plus VAT for ALMR members and £345 for non-ALMR members. CLICK HERE for more detail or email to book.

Scottish licence revocations to hit 10,000: An estimated 10,000 people are being notified that their personal licences are being revoked for failing to meet legal requirements over training, solicitor John Gaunt has reported. The topic was discussed at a licensing conference held in Glasgow last week attended by John Gaunt partner Kate Redford. The meeting heard some 7,600 licences are in the process of have licences revoked or have been revoked to date, with an estimated total of 10,000 who have either failed to re-train or notify re-training to Licensing Boards as required. Any revocation will lead to a five-year ban on re-application. Over 30,000 licence holders have re-trained as required but a number of those did not realise the additional requirement to notify. There is a double requirement – failure of one or both can result in revocation. A spokesman for John Gaunt said: “Scottish personal licence holders should urgently check the grant date of their licence and proceed to seek to surrender if that is their best way forward to avoid a revocation, if they have failed to train and/or notify such training in time.”

Places still available for Enterprise networking event: Places are still available at Enterprise Inns’ London networking and feedback event tomorrow Tuesday (9 December). It is being held between 4pm and 9pm at The Sir John Balcombe pub, Balcombe Street, Marylebone, London. Enterprise’s Greater London team will host the event, which is aimed at highlighting new pub business opportunities in the capital for both new and existing business partners. Around 100 guests are expected to attend the event, which is via registration only, and they will be welcomed by around 20 Enterprise representatives, including regional manager and divisional directors. Enterprise Greater London pub lettings manager Luke Seymour said: “We’ll be focusing on how to help quality publicans – whether existing or prospective – expand their operations in London through some of the pubs we have. There are some excellent publicans here, some of them already multiple-operators, who are keen to grow their businesses, and so we want to talk to them about the options that are available to them.” Enterprise plans to hold quarterly events for its London publicans, each based on a different theme, such as feedback and support services. To attend Tuesday’s event, email Jo Linforth at or call on 0121 256 3064. 

London Beer Week to run from 16 February: ABV Global, the international events company, which organises London Cocktail Week and London Wine Week, has announced it will launch a new festival in the capital next year dedicated to beer. London Beer Week will run from 16 to 22 February 2015 in pubs, bars and breweries and will include brewery tours, pop-ups, supper clubs and drinks offers throughout the city. Its format will run similarly to its sister events, with drinkers encouraged to purchase a wristband to enter events and receive deals and discounts throughout the week. The event will be run in collaboration with the Craft Beer Rising festival, taking place at the Old Truman Brewery on 19-22 February. Simon Dehany, organiser of Craft Beer Rising, said: “Craft Beer Rising is delighted to partner with London Beer Week in what will be a welcome addition to the drinker’s calendar in the capital. The rise of the craft beer movement has been significant in the last few years and we will be looking forward to integrating our own established festival into the wider activities that London Beer Week will be hosting. This is a great move forward for both parties involved and keeps London at the cutting edge of the craft beer movement.” London Wine Week and London Cocktail Week will be running in May and October 2015 respectively.

Company News:

Mitchells & Butler converts first Orchid site to own brand: The Sawyer’s Arms, Manchester opened as a Nicholson’s pub this weekend after a significant investment. It’s the first Orchid pub to be converted by Mitchells & Butlers since the company bought the Orchid Pub Group in June 2014 and will employ over 35 people. Mitchells & Butlers is converting 96 of the 173 Orchid pubs into its brands and formats over the next two years. The company is investing £35 million in this programme. Alistair Darby, chief executive of Mitchells & Butlers, said: “This is a significant milestone in our investment plan for the Orchid pub estate. The Sawyer’s Arms is a great addition to the Nicholson’s collection of classic pubs and is the first of around 90 exciting conversions to our leading brands which we will be undertaking over the next two years.”

Euston Tap owner seeking to open site in Manchester: Bloomsbury Leisure Group, which runs the Euston Tap and Holborn Whippet craft beer bars in London and The Lanes and Crofters Rights in Bristol, is planning to open a bar in a vacant unit at Gateway House on the approach to Piccadilly station in Manchester. The company has put in a premises application to open a bar called Piccadilly Tap at the site, which would be open Monday to Saturday from 10.30am to midnight and on Sundays from 10.30am to 11pm. Jonathan Dalton of Bloomsbury Leisure Group told the Insider Business website that there has been significant interest in the company’s plans ahead of the launch, and, subject to licensing, Bloomsbury aims to open the Piccadilly Tap at the end of February. He said: “Our 25 taps will be a mixture of cask and keg, with a couple of taps especially for the up and coming local breweries of Manchester. Manchester can look forward to a busy bar with affordable craft beers on tap. Though we will have a wide range, and use our networks to bring the best beer in the UK, our view is, craft beer should be affordable. We stick with breweries who share this view – in other words there will no £6, 1/3 pints.” Dalton said the decor of the bar would “suit the era” of Gateway House.

Luminar opens £1.25m Ashford nightclub: Luminar has opened a new £1.25m nightclub in Ashford called Cameo in the Old Warehouse in Station Road. The venue features three floors with different music on each level: Dance/House, Pop/Old School and R‘n’B/Hip-Hop. It also boasts 16 VIP booths with table service, a ladies pamper area complete with straighteners, a roof terrace and three dance floors.

Tokyo Industries open second Stein Bier Keller: Nightclub and bar operator Tokyo Industries, led by Aaron Mellor, has opened its second Stein Bier Keller, a £650,000 investment this time in Newcastle’s Bigg Market within the cellars of the Royal Buildings at City Vaults. The main feature of the bar is two large linked rooms with connecting runs of benches, each seating 40 people who will served beers from around the world in stein glasses. Traditional oompah bands will play and encourage the crowds into singing battles between the two rooms – and there’s an Alpine photo booth for groups to capture memories of their night out. Director Nigel Holliday said: “We opened up in York in September and it’s been a huge success after just a few weeks. It’s a very interactive experience – we’ll have room for 120 people in each side of the cellar, with a band in each side. Big screens will show what the band and crowd are doing in the other side and they’ll compete against each other to be the loudest. After the success of York, and if this bar goes as well as we think, we’re already looking to open a third bier keller.”

TCG focuses on serve with new cocktail list: Jam jars, milk bottles and rum tins are being used by managed pub and bar operator TCG to add theatre to the presentation of its new cocktails and give them a point of difference in the competitive town centre market. Among the new serves are Lynchburg Lemonade – Jack Daniels, Cointreau and lemonade, presented in a jam jar, Cookies & Cream – an alcoholic milkshake blending Jack Daniels and Oreos, served in a small milk bottle, and a range of mojitos presented in a Havana Rum tin. Other new drinks include a whisky sour and a fourth vodka Martini and an expanded range of picklebacks, with gin and bourbon joining the original Jameson’s variant launched last year. Several drinks come with an optional upgrade to a more premium spirit, such as Bramble with Bombay Sapphire gin or Margarita with Patron Silver tequila. TCG chief operating officer Nigel Wright said: “Demand for cocktails shows no signs of slowing and consumers are looking for a ‘wow’ factor when choosing their drink. Unusual serves are going to be even bigger in 2015, as the economy recovers and operators seek to persuade consumers to enjoy going out on more occasions, which is why we have focused on presentation of the drinks as much as the content.” TCG delivered full cocktail training last year to upskill its bartenders, and has followed up with specific training on the new drinks.

New hot dog concept planned by Matt Hermer: Leisure entrepreneur Matt Hermer, his wife Marissa and Fortnum and Mason boss Ewan Venter are planning to launch a new hotdog concept, The Sunday Times has reported. Top Dog will serve hot dogs made from organic meat and will open next year in Soho with further outlets expected to follow. The opening is being financed by the trio themselves with support from friends. Matt Hermer has previously launched Boujis and Bumpkin restaurants.

Brothers open second Fat Toni’s pizza takeaway with plans for national roll-out: Brothers Darren and Jason Orsi, who opened the first Fat Toni’s pizza takeaway in Stroud in 2012, are now opening their second venue, in King’s Square, Gloucester, with plans for an eventual national roll-out. Darren Orsi said: “It was always our plan to expand, not just across Gloucestershire but nationally.” Jason Orsi previously worked alongside Marco Pierre White and Gordon Ramsay. The brothers, joined by their father Remo, opened the takeaway on the corner of Stroud’s Gloucester Street and since then they have opened a new unit at Cam in Gloucestershire, where they will be able to prepare much larger quantities of their sourdough. The chain’s 20-inch pizzas, enough for a family of four, have proved to be popular, and are affordable when compared to some of the major pizza chains, the brothers say. Pizza toppings are sourced from local suppliers and Italian cured meats and cheeses are imported from the North of Tuscany. Darren said: “We are not like other pizza takeaways. We take a more authentic approach. Our use of sour dough cultures enables us to create structures in our pizza bases that have been some of the best-kept secrets of Italian bakers and pizzaiolos in Italy and America for decades.”

Cau to open first north of England restaurant: The Cau chain is to open its first restaurant in the north of England, in a former Strada outlet in Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire. The Argentine-themed chain intends to open the new venue in February, and has submitted an application for a variation to the premises licence to amend the layout. It will seat 130 covers and include an open kitchen on the ground floor and outside terrace for al fresco dining. Cau’s operations director, Graham Hall, said: “Our speciality cuts are obviously something very special, quite unique for the high street but it’s the attention to detail and the ethos of making everything fresh on site that really sets us apart from the rest.” Cau, part of the Gaucho Group, launched in 2012 and now operates eight sites, including Bristol, Guildford, Cambridge and Amsterdam, as well as three London restaurants.

TV chef Colin McGurran foils £27,000 wine scam: The TV chef and restaurateur Colin McGurran has foiled a £27,000 wine scam by criminals using stolen credit cards and ordering in the names of famous footballers. McGurran, who owns The Winteringham Fields restaurant in Lincolnshire and is due to open The Hope and Anchor pub in nearby South Ferriby after putting £500,000 of his own money into making it a gastro venue, was contacted by someone who claimed to be throwing a party for the football stars Fernando Torres and Didier Drogba and who booked a table for six people with an accompanying order of ten bottles of wine worth £27,000. However, McGurran became suspicious when the table was cancelled and a taxi was booked to deliver the wine to London. Ringing his merchant service, he soon discovered the credit cards were not owned by the person ordering the wine. He said: “We have logged it with the police, but it has affected other restaurant owners.” Daniel Clifford, who was on the Great British Menu, lost £27,000 to a very similar story. McGurran also revealed that The Hope and Anchor is scheduled to open on 1 March.

Calls for Madame Jojo’s to re-open under new management: A leading Labour councillor has called for Soho’s Madame Jojo’s to re-opened under new management, after its license was revoked last month following a violent incident. Westminster Council revoked Madame Jojo’s license last month after its security staff used baseball bats to attack assailants who had been throwing glass bottles at them. Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg, leader of the Labour Group, told City AM: “There is precious little left of what made Soho unique. There is no need for more burger bars, pizza places and bland restaurants – there are plenty of these a few minutes away in the rest of the West End. Madame Jojo’s is a unique part Soho where new and established bands and solo artists play (many established bands played some of their first gigs here). Its club nights are different and imaginative and it’s one of the only bars with a 3am license every night of week. Westminster Council should not let Madame Jojo’s die, but should do all it can to keep this unique Soho venue live on under new management.”

Opening date set for Hoddesdon Wetherspoon after Tudor paintings discovery causes delay: JD Wetherspoon’s first pub in Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire will open Tuesday 16 December after a delay caused by the discovery of 16th century Tudor wall paintings during renovation works that were deemed of great historical and national significance. The paintings will now be on display in the pub, which was formerly called The Salisbury Arms but is reverting to its original name, The Star. Roof beams dating to the mid-1400s have also been revealed, suggesting The Star is older than previously thought. The pub was due to open earlier this month, but a Wetherspoon spokesman told The Hertfordshire Mercury newspaper that the date was postponed to accommodate works on the paintings. Wetherspoon said the pub will create 45 new jobs.

Cosmo to open in former Habitat store in Norwich: The Pan Asian banquet chain Cosmo looks likely to open its 18th outlet in the former Habitat store in London Road, Norwich. A spokesman for the chain, whose first restaurant opened in Eastbourne in 2003, said there was no fixed opening date yet for the new restaurant. It will take up part of the former first floor of the old Habitat building, which closed in 2011, after 26 years in the city. A change of use from shop to restaurant has also been approved by Norwich Council for two mezzanine floors. Stefan Gurney, executive director of Norwich BID, said that it would be a “positive” move if the restaurant chain moved to the city. Cosmo currently has 16 venues open around the UK, including Aberdeen, Belfast, Leeds, Sheffield, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Reading, with a 17th due to open in Nottingham in 2015. 

Matthew Clark launches first ever all-female wine list: Matthew Clark has created the first ever all-female winemaker wine list for Brixton’s Dim Sum restaurant, Courtesan. The list will be launched on the 10 December and will be a permanent feature. Sales account manager Greg Scrive, who selected the wines to create the list, said: “Matthew Clark was honoured to be approached by Courtesan and to be able to show off its collection of female winemakers – what better way to present these fantastic wines than to pair them with elegant Dim Sum dishes.” The idea of an all-female winemaker wine list was born from Courtesan owner Hammant Patel Villa’s desire to celebrate the ‘courtesans’ of Imperial China, who diligently ensured the smooth running of the Royal Court. He said: “This female-led selection of some of the world’s finest wines required some meticulous research.”

First Indian restaurant to open in Spinningfields: The first Indian restaurant in the Spinningfields development in Manchester is due to open early in 2015 in a former Strada outlet. The area will shortly be home to more than 20 restaurants selling at least ten different kinds of cuisine, according to the website Manchester Confidential: British, Modern European, American, Italian, Pan-Asian, Brazilian, Portuguese, Thai, Indian and, when the Iberica chain opens its new outlet early next year, Spanish. Scene, an “Indian Street Kitchen”, will have space for 150 covers as well as a private dining area for 50. There are also plans to use the outdoor terrace overlooking the River Irwell. Owner Asif Ali told Manchester Confidential: “We want to create a truly engaging experience that uses all five of the senses, where customers can see the freshness of the ingredients and the vibrant colours of the spices through our open plan kitchen, smell the different aromatic spices used during the cooking process, and watch their food being prepared.” 

New concept Portland secures sight: Agent Shelley Sanzder has secured a site for Portland, a new dining venture for Will Lander (co-owner of The Quality Chop House) and Daniel Morganthau (previously of 10 Greek Street). Located at 113 Great Portland Street, the 1,725 square foot restaurant will be split over ground floor and basement levels and is due to open on 19 January, 2015. The team at Portland also includes head chef, Merlin Labron-Johnson, who brings his own Michelin-starred experience to the restaurant from his time at In De Wulf, Belgium. 113 Great Portland Street, historically a clothes showroom, has undergone a complete transformation into what will be a light and airy restaurant for breakfast, lunch and dinner from Monday to Friday. Acting on behalf of Will Lander and Daniel Morganthau at Portland, Kit Alexander, leisure agent at Shelley Sandzer, said: “113 Great Portland Street gives the tenant, Portland, the perfect site to showcase its brand new restaurant in a location with great visibility and with beautiful surroundings.” Shelley Sandzer represented Will Lander and Daniel Morganthau at Portland.

Pizza Rossa seeks another £150,000: Pizza Rossa, the artisanal pizza by-the-square-slice operator which has opened two outlets in London after a crowdfunding campaign which raised £440,000 in just 17 days from 119 people, is now launching a new drive to raise cash from the public on Crowdcube. The company, founded by Corrado Accardi, wants to raise at least a further £150,000 to support working capital, focus on expansion opportunities, and support a concession in West London, a presence at street markets and food festivals, and pop-up sites in shopping malls and supermarkets. Accardi said: “We are confident that this new campaign will grab the attention of investors watching the steady growth of Pizza Rossa. Since we opened the first pop-up at Leadenhall Market in June, we have served in the region of 20,000 people – and that’s only a five-day a week operation. We opened at London Wall just three weeks ago, and we are extremely encouraged by the results to date. It seems that the City has really taken to Pizza Rossa, and it proves that our concept is right on target for this audience.” 

Ed’s Easy Diner achieves placing in fast-growth list: Ed’s Easy Diner has been recognised as one of the fastest growing companies in the UK in The Sunday Times Virgin Fast Track 100. With a three-year compound average growth rate in sales of 63.99%, Ed’s Easy Diner was ranked 59th, an improvement on last years’ position of 72nd. Ed’s Easy Diner has increased revenues over three years to £26.2 million last year. The number of restaurants grew from 21 to 31. Since the date of this survey, Ed’s Easy Diner has opened a further three restaurants bringing the total now to 34. Ed’s Easy Diner anticipates continuing its roll out of new restaurants nationwide and plans to expand its estate to more than 50 units by the end of 2015. Chairman Stephen Greene said: “We have exciting plans for the future and a receptive market place to grow into – we plan to more than double again in the next couple of years.” 

Dorset’s only Michelin-starred restaurant to close: The Sienna Restaurant in Dorchester, the only venue in Dorset with a Michelin star, will serve food for the last time on 25 April. Owners Russell and Elena Brown said they had “come as far as we can with Sienna,” 12 years after it opened. The restaurant, in High West Street received a Michelin star in January 2010. Russell Brown said: “Our lease comes to the end in May and, after careful consideration, Elena and I have decided that it is time to look for a new opportunity and therefore won’t be renewing. Getting a Michelin star in 2010 was a huge turning point and I know it may seem odd that we are making this announcement. However, I genuinely feel we have come as far as we can with Sienna in its current guise.” He said that a break in the lease was the right time to move on, and he hoped to host a new website which would include a blog, consultancy and cookery teaching.

School of Wok picks up two gongs in cookery school awards: School of Wok, based in Covent Garden, London, has won two categories at this year’s British Cookery School Awards. School of Wok won in the “Best Specialist Cookery School” category and the school’s founder and head chef, Jeremy Pang, 30, won in the “Young Rising Star” category. Pang said: “We’ve spent the past few years working hard, listening to our guests’ feedback and dreaming big. It’s great to see our hard work recognised, but the journey is far from over.” School of Wok, which specialises in Oriental and Asian cuisine, runs classes ranging from dim sum to authentic Chinese, Thai to Korean, as well as organising tasting tours of Chinatown, and a variety of full-day intensive classes. It has just launched the Oriental Culinary Institute, its new professional accredited classes, which will train professional chefs in Oriental and Asian cuisine.

Blackpool cafe owner plans to start franchise operation: An entrepreneur who started a cafe business in Blackpool only in April has decided it is doing so well he can take a step back and franchise the operation, opening new outlets under the same name. Stephen Pierre, owner of the Galleon Coffee Shop in Topping Street, said: “We opened a closed-down former greasy spoon type cafe and have built up a great customer base.” The coffee shop has now been handed over to its manager, Cory Hailstone, while Pierre, owner of the Blackpool live music venue the Galleon Bar, can concentrate on franchising. He said: “I have plans to open a second Galleon Coffee Shop. A shop of this size and turnover suits a hands-on occupier/operator.” The Galleon Coffee Shop has a vintage, showbiz style and a gallery upstairs showing Blackpool’s entertainment history.

Northampton restaurant pair open second outlet: The couple behind the Italian restaurant Papa Cinos in Dychurch Lane, Northampton are opening a second venue, Nuovo, in the town, incorporating a Forno-Grill, recently arrived from the Valoriani factory in Tuscany, which it is claimed is the first of its kind in the UK. The new restaurant, just off Abington Street, opens tomorrow, 9 December, in what was formerly Joe’s Diner and more recently La Dolce Vita. Stewart and Sophie Wright have named Matthew Taylor as the head chef of Nuovo. Taylor has worked with the Wrights at Papa Cinos and until recently was the chef-owner of Brabenecs in Wellingborough Road, Northampton, which closed down last month. Stewart Wright said: “When I heard Matt was available, I knew he would be perfect to lead our kitchen. He has always maintained an extremely high standard of cooking and together we are creating an exciting menu of innovative dishes for our cicchetti and chargrill menu.” Taylor said: “I am really looking forward to the grill arriving with us so I can begin experimenting with our new dishes.” The menu includes tapas, salads, grills, steak, platters and pasta. 

Manchester institution Koffee Pot forced to relocate: Koffee Pot, the Manchester cafe owned by Chris Devlin, a former chef at Terence Conran’s Bluebird, is being forced to relocate from its premises on Hilton Street in the Northern Quarter. According to planning documents lodged with Manchester City Council, the business has been “forced to vacate” its current site by Christmas. It is now seeking permission for a change of use for 84/86 Oldham Street, close to the Malaysian restaurant Ning on the edge of the Northern Quarter. Koffee Pot hopes the new cafe would open on 31 January, and further applications will be submitted for an expansion of the business at the new premises in the new year, planning agent Roy Boyle said. Koffee Pot is well-known for its links with Manchester musicians such as Elbow. 

Canadian government agrees Burger King’s takeover of Tim Hortons: The Canadian government has approved Burger King’s $11.10bn takeover of the coffee-and-doughnut chain Tim Hortons, which will create a new company based in Canada. Canada’s Competition Bureau gave its stamp of approval to the deal in October. Burger King had agreed to buy the iconic Canadian company in August in a deal that would create the world’s third-largest fast-food restaurant group. Canada’s industry minister, James Moore, said in a statement: “Our government is pleased to see companies like Burger King investing in Canada’s economy and looking to benefit from our low taxes and open markets.” Moore said that after a review of the deal, Burger King had agreed to a number of commitments, including setting up the headquarters in Oakville, Ontario, and listing the company on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Tim Hortons will be managed as a distinct brand, and at least half of the members of the brand’s board will be Canadians. Burger King has also agreed to expand Tim Hortons by opening new restaurants at a significantly greater pace than currently planned, both in the United States and globally.

TGI Friday’s open in Edinburgh: TGI Friday’s has opened in Edinburgh – it seats up to 272 guests, making it one of the largest Friday’s in Scotland. The restaurant features an open plan kitchen – allowing guests to sit at the grill and see their food cooked to perfection before their eyes. Cocktails come courtesy of a ‘shotgun’ bar, which is the focal point of the restaurant. Warwick Preston, general manager for TGI Friday’s in Fort Kinnaird, said: “We are thrilled to have opened our latest restaurant in Edinburgh. We have had an incredibly busy opening week, welcoming thousands of guests through our doors – and we look forward to welcoming tens of thousands more over the coming weeks and months. There is clearly a huge appetite for Friday’s in the shopping centre. We’re also very pleased to have created an extra 85 jobs for the area.”

Bread Holdings doubles profits: Bread Holdings, the company that owns Gail’s Artisan Bakery and wholesaler The Bread Factory and where Luke Johnson’s Risk Capital Partners holds a substantial stake, has reported turnover rose to £36,085,000 in the year to 28 February 2014, up from £27,691,270 the year before. Pre-tax profit was £2.71m compared to £1.38m the year before. The company stated: “Both businesses have exceeded their sales targets for the year. Over the past three years group turnover has grown by an average of 33% each year, with average growth in Gail’s of 36% and The Bread Factory of 21%. The strong like-for-like sales growth within the core retail bakeries and within the wholesale business has been supported by operational improvements across the group along with new bakery openings, resulting in group operating profit growth of £3.1m during the period.” Gail’s Limited reported pre-tax profit of £561,275 in the year to 28 February 2014 compared to a loss of £109,615 the year before. Turnover climbed to £14,066,399 compared to £10,185,640 in the year prior. Ebitda was £1,380,578 compared to £668,566. The Bread Factory part of the business saw turnover of £24,775,00, up from £20,298,000 the year before. The company reported risk within the Bread Factory had been mitigated by the leasehold acquisition of three new units on the same industrial estate as the existing bakery. Turnover has now almost doubled since 2012 when it was £20.4m and the company made a loss of £115,824

Wimpy Restaurants turnover down, profit up: Wimpy Restaurants UK, which is owned by Famous Brands, has reported pre-tax profit of £845,682 in the year to 28 February 2014, up from £606,660 the year before. Turnover declined to £5,835,025 compared to £6,240,341 the year before. The company employs only 11 staff in the UK – its restaurant estate is all franchised.

Starbucks opens new Reserve outlet with little sign of the green mermaid: Starbucks has opened its new high-end Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room in Seattle with its famous green mermaid barely visible. The Seattle store, rumoured to have cost more than $20m, in the hipster Capitol Hill neighbourhood, is part of plans to open to supply what is expected to be some 100 global Starbucks Reserve cafes opened over the coming years, selling small-batch coffees at prices between $3 and $6.50 (£1.90 to £4.15) per cup, roughly a 40% to 50% increase over the cost of a coffee in typical Starbucks stores. Its logo is a white star and “R” on a blue background, rather than the mermaid. The new outlet is described by the New York Times as “part retail store, part manufacturing facility and part theatre,” which “intentionally evokes the chocolate room where Augustus Gloop met his fate in Willy Wonka’s candy factory. See-through tubes snake up out of the floor and under the ceiling, ferrying green coffee beans to copper-clad roasters and roasted beans to the coffee bars scattered like islands around the 15,000 sq ft space.” The newspaper quotes Liz Muller, director of concept design for Starbucks, as saying: “This is a magical place where coffee comes to life.” Howard Schultz, chief executive of Starbucks, said: “We’re going to take the customer on a journey, immersing them in an interactive environment where they’ll be introduced to handcrafted, small-batch coffees within feet of where they’re being roasted.” Schultz said his vision for the Reserve Roastery store stretched back a decade or more, and he collected a scrapbook with ideas for finishes and furnishings. But it was not until a used car dealership nine blocks up Pine Street from the first Starbucks store in Seattle became available that he began executing his plans. “I’ve probably touched thousands of our stores in one way or another, but as time has gone by, given the scale of the company and other things, I’ve not been as directly involved,” Schultz said. “But I can’t tell you how personal this project has been for me.” He said the Reserve stores would be run as a business and must make a profit to survive. “At the end of the day,” he added, “this all has to be proven in a cup – and it will be.” Schultz plans to open a second “Star R” branded Reserve roastery and tasting room in Asia in 2016.

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