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Fri 30th Jan 2015 - Propel Friday News Briefing

Story of the Day:

Meantime Brewery opens fourth Greenwich outlet as it boosts production in £6.4m expansion: Meantime Brewery has opened its fourth outlet in its home patch of Greenwich, south east London, a 100-capacity bar at its brewery called the Tasting Room. The opening is part of a £6.4m expansion that is also seeing brewing capacity increased to around 175,000 hectolitres a year, almost nine times the capacity of 20,000 hectolitres the Blackwall Lane brewery had when it opened in 2010, as the brewery grows in size to 35,000 sq ft. Meantime has also added 30,000 sq ft of new warehousing in Woolwich, four kilometres from the brewery, and is moving all its sales and marketing staff from their current home close to Greenwich station to new offices at the brewery. A separate micro-brewery is due to be installed in the front of the Blackwall Lane premises by August for making test brews and one-off beers, which will be clearly visible to passers-by and travellers. The new bar, which is the 25th installation for Meantime’s “Brewery Fresh” tank beer dispense system, will serve food daily, and will also be used as a gathering-space for Meantime’s increasingly popular brewery tours, which now attract up to 200 people on Saturdays, and more than 15,000 people a year, bringing in £60,000 last year. Alongside it is an off-licence and merchandise shop open seven days a week, with a chilled beer room which includes a growler-filling station that dispenses fresh draught beer into two-litre glass growlers for taking home. Nick Miller, chief executive of Meantime, said the Brewery Fresh equipment, which allows beer to be delivered to pubs by Meantime’s tankers direct from the maturation tanks at the brewery, would be in 30 to 35 outlets by the end of this year. “It’s going really well – we’re getting huge throughputs. It really seems to resonate with the drinker,” he said. The brewery’s distribution footprint has now extended well outside London, down to Brighton and Bristol and up to Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds, Miller said, and Meantime would be extending its sales force to cover geographic areas outside London. Meantime’s other outlets in Greenwich are the Greenwich Union in Royal Hill, the Old Brewery at the Old Royal Naval College and the Beer Box at the O2 Arena.

Industry News:

Full Propel Multi Club Conference speaker programme unveiled: The full speaker schedule for the Propel Multi Club Conference on Thursday 12 March at the Lancaster Hotel, London has been unveiled. CLICK HERE to see the full programme and timings. Operators of multi-site companies can claim two free places by emailing
Fines for supermarkets move a step closer: Measures that will grant the Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA) the power to fine UK supermarkets that have breached the Groceries Code have been laid in Parliament. The Adjudicator will be able to impose penalties on the large supermarkets of up to 1% of their annual UK turnover, dependant on the seriousness of the breach. The GCA has published guidance on the principles that will be used to calculate the level of any fine. These new measures will sit alongside existing powers to issue supermarkets with recommendations as to their future conduct, and to ‘name and shame’ those that have breached the Code. The Code imposes on the supermarkets an over-arching principle of fair dealing with their direct suppliers; and includes, amongst other things, specific provisions governing terms of supply, timing of payments, marketing and promotional costs, and payments as a condition of being a supplier.

Shake Shack increases IPO price range two days before float: Shake Shack, the New York-based burger chain with a site in Covent Garden, increased its Initial Public Offering price range two days before flotation. Its IPO price range for its float today is now $17 to $19 per share, $3 per share higher than the initial $14 to $16 range Shake Shack estimated just last week. An increase in the range indicates high demand for the company’s shares. “The IPO is going to be incredibly successful,” said Dennis Kessler, a former Burger King franchisee turned professor at the University of Rochester’s Simon Business School. “There is a hunger out there for progressive chains. It’s going to fly.” If the stock trades at the peak of its expected range, $19 a share, it would have a valuation of $674.5 million before the stock starts to change hands. In the 2013 financial year, US-operated Shake Shack restaurants had average unit volumes of about $5 million. The Manhattan units raised the average considerably, with $7.4 million per unit, compared with $3.8 million for units outside Manhattan.

Tenanted pubco watchdog reports ‘good engagement’ but expresses concern that companies are ‘waiving business plans with increased regularity’: The Pub Governing Body, the body responsible for overseeing the current self-regulatory regime for tied pubs, has reported good levels of compliance and engagement among participating landlords covered by the Industry Framework Code of Practice. But it has also highlighted areas of improvement, in its annual audit report, that will be closely monitored over the next auditing period. The report has noted increased instances of waiving of business plans and low levels of business development managers who have completed their training in accordance with the Framework Code. Pub Governing Body chairman Sir Peter Luff MP said: “We have been pleased with the level of engagement from pub companies during our audit and, generally, we note good levels of compliance. We are concerned, though, to see business plans being waived with increased regularity. There is also clearly room for improvement in the area of BDM training. Overall, though, the level of compliance has been good and we commend those companies who are taking steps to ensure high levels of competency. We also emphasise that, until the Government’s Statutory Code for pubs takes effect, we remain well-placed to provide judicious, impartial and practical help for lessees who may be encountering issues.”
Fleurets offers Spanish property for south east freehold pub swap: A high quality villa or three freehold apartments in Spain in exchange for a freehold pub in the south east – this is what agent Fleurets is now offering to the market on behalf of experienced multi-site pub operators John Miller and Jim Paget. During the 1980s and1990s, under the name JM Inns, Miller and Paget ran a chain of around 50 freeholds and leaseholds, which were subsequently sold and they moved to Spain. A few years ago they moved back and bought one then two freehold pubs in the south east, which they refurbished – and both now trade exceptionally well. John Miller said: “We are happy to look at a variety of options for a property swap with a pub business in the south east.”

Brits to celebrate end of ‘dry January’ this weekend: New research among 2,000 consumers shows the UK is set to celebrate the end of ‘dry January’ and the first pay day of the year this weekend, with one in three Brits planning a night out and £168 million expected to being spent on drinks. Whilst traditionally a ‘dry’ or detox month, research conducted by smartphone app drinks order service Orderella found that only 39% of Brits attempted to give up alcohol in January and of those, only 12% completed the full month without a touch of alcohol. On average, those who pledged to go teetotal for January succumbed to their first alcoholic drink within 14 days of the New Year. Figures from 2,000 drinkers also found that men (36%) were more likely to give up on their no-drinking rule in January, after not even 14 days, whereas 46% of women lasted between 22-28 days. The research also identified the reasons as to why people initially chose to try and do a detox month, with the top three motives being: to ‘detox’ after Christmas (44%); to lose weight (40%); just to see if they could (28%). Jamal Hirani, chief operating officer of Orderella said: “Whilst the nation started January with the best of intentions to be a detox month, the lure of a night out with friends seemed too much for most people to handle the full 31 days off alcohol. What’s clear is that people were eager to be able to enjoy a drink with their friends again and at Orderella we aim to make it easier for people to enjoy a night out without having the faff of queuing and waiting around.”

Chairman of CenterParcs to give Arena Savoy Lecture: Martin Robinson, chairman of CenterParcs, is to give the Arena Savoy Lecture on Monday 23 March. He will share the CenterParcs story and look at topical and current industry issues and trends going forward. To obtain tickets, email Loraine Wood on or call on 07803 853 618.

Company News:

Desmond brothers secure Five Guys franchise for Ireland – and plan ten sites: The Irish franchise for Five Guys Burgers and Fries has been secured by Brett, Ross and Derry Desmond, the sons of financier Dermot Desmond. They are now seeking ten locations in Ireland north and south in which to start trading. Five Guys plans to initially open up to five restaurants in Dublin – two in the city centre and three more around the M50 belt – before expanding into Cork, Limerick and Galway. Northern Ireland is also in its sights, with one or two restaurants planned initially for Belfast. The requirement is for a minimum ground floor trading space of 2,500 sq ft with 1,500 sq ft back-of-house. “But if anything has been learned from the Five Guys UK experience, it is that larger stores, with up to 5,000 sq ft of trading space, can work very well in the right locations,” said Michael Harrington of Harrington Retail, which has been retained to secure the sites. The Irish franchise for Five Guys Burgers and Fries has been secured by Brett, Ross and Derry Desmond, the sons of financier Dermot Desmond.

Patisserie Holdings wins IPO of the Year Award: Patisserie Holdings have been named IPO of the Year at the Grant Thornton Quoted Company Awards 2015. All companies nominated in the category were judged by a panel of specialists on the amount of money raised, the costs of float, timing, sector and the type of company floated. The judges also looked at the valuation of the company as well as performance since float. Chief executive Paul May said: “This is a great achievement for Patisserie Holdings and we are delighted to have won this prestigious award. We’ve worked extremely hard to make this business a success, and will continue to do so.”
Jamie Oliver to open in New Zealand: Jamie Oliver is to open his first restaurant in New Zealand, located in Wellington’s Public Trust building on Lambton Quay and Stout Street. The buildings owner McKee Fehl managing director Maurice Clark said the restaurant would help create a “new hub” of activity in the area, which was home to many private and public sector offices but few restaurants. In late 2013, Oliver rejected SkyCity casino’s dining precinct in Auckland as his restaurant location because he did not want to be associated with gambling. The Jamie’s Italian is expected to open early next year.
BunnyChow wins most ‘innovative breakfast’ award: London restaurant brand BunnyChow has won the award for the ‘most innovative’ breakfast at the UK Best Breakfast Awards 2015. It took the award for its Full English Bunny special, which consists of an individually baked brioche loaf which is hollowed out and filled with sausage, lean bacon, tomatoes, mushrooms, spicy baked beans, black pudding and topped with an egg. BunnyChow’s serves all its meals in warm hollowed-out bread. The award was handed to BunnyChow chief executive Atholl Milton by TV chef Phil Vickery. Milton said: “Everyone loves a hot breakfast so we wanted to take our South African heritage of using the loaf and then packing it full of fresh breakfast produce. Since we opened three months ago, the Full English Bunny has been popular with the local office workers and commuters on the hop. We’re delighted they are now award-winning!”

Camerons to open £1m bottling plant and three pubs by Easter: Pub chain and brewery business Camerons is set to open three new venues by Easter and a £1m Teesside bottling plant. Financial director John Foots told local media: “These are exciting times for Camerons and we’re trying to grow across all three of our main pillars. As part of that strategy we’re investing £1m into a bottling plant at the Hartlepool headquarters and opening three new pubs by Easter. We continue to grow our managed estate, which is now 13 strong following the Head of Steam acquisition, which included seven outlets, and have subsequently opened sites in Sunderland, Leeds and Whitby. We’re looking to expand our managed estate and expect to have a further three by Easter, taking us up to 16, with new sites expected to open in Sunderland, Newcastle and Thirsk. I can’t be specific on locations yet but we’ll have more news soon.” Earlier this week, Propel reported that turnover increased 11.4% from £54.3m to £60.5m in the year to 24 May 2014 and net debt dropped by £4.2m.

Nando’s plans Stoke double in less than a year: Nando’s is to open two branches in Stoke-on-Trent in less than a year. The company plans to open the first in the extended Intu Potteries Centre in Hanley before the end of 2015. The shopping centre expansion is also set to include other national chains such as PizzaExpress and Frankie & Benny’s. Now the company has revealed a second restaurant is to be opened at a retail park off Etruria Road before the end of 2016.There are currently no branches of Nando’s in Stoke-on-Trent, with the nearest in Birmingham. The Etruria Road site is part of a proposed development of three restaurants and a pub that could create more than 100 jobs. A spokesman for Nando’s told local media: “We’re really looking forward to opening not one, but two restaurants in Stoke-on-Trent.”

Noma moves to Japan: Noma, the Copenhagen restaurants voted the best in the world for a number of years, has moved to Japan for a few brief weeks. It has temporarily moved to Tokyo’s Mandarin Oriental. Until 14 February, it will serve a new menu based on local products, completely different from its original menu. The fixed menu at Noma, including wine pairing, costs 64,900 Yen ($550). The dishes change depending on what is available on the market.

Starbucks targets singles for Valentine’s Day trading boost in partnership with Match: Starbucks and Match are offering singles new opportunities to connect at Starbucks. With more than 3 million members already listing “coffee and conversation” as one of their interests, starting today, Match members will now be able to use the “Meet at Starbucks” feature to more easily reach out and make that first coffee date. Additionally, on Friday, 13 February, in participating Starbucks locations around the world, customers are invited to join the World’s Largest Starbucks Date. “There’s no better time to celebrate meaningful moments of connection, and encourage new ones, than during Valentine’s Day,” said Sharon Rothstein, Starbucks global chief marketing officer. “For more than 40 years Starbucks has been a place to connect over a great cup of coffee.” Match is introducing the first-ever branded product feature that allows members to directly send an invitation to another member to set up that first coffee date. Using the “Meet at Starbucks” feature, members can send an email to someone they might like and can even find a convenient location for their Starbucks date using the Starbucks store locator. “Together, Starbucks and Match have made it easier than ever to turn that first flirt into a first date,” said Sam Yagan, chief executive of The Match Group. “Match is a ubiquitous part of singles’ lives generating more dates than anyone else and more first dates happen at Starbucks than anywhere else.”

Wagamama to open at Glasgow Fort: Wagamama is set to open a new restaurant at Glasgow Fort this spring. As part of major development work at the park, Wagamama will be sited alongside a new flagship Marks & Spencer store. The restaurant will bring 40 jobs to the area. Paul Wilson, area manager for Wagamama, said: “This brand new unit will incorporate our latest designs and styles, bringing our delicious much-loved Asian-style menu to the park’s customers. This will be a brilliant addition to our two existing restaurants in Glasgow city centre and Silverburn.” The restaurant, which is due to be completed around May, will sit 179 people.
Las Iguanas scoops top employee engagement award: Las Iguanas has reinforced its position amongst the UK’s best employers, collecting the Reward & Recognition Award at the 2015 Employee Engagement Awards held this week at The Brewery in London. Las Iguanas was the only restaurant brand shortlisted for the final, judged by a panel of senior executives from companies including the BBC, Publicis, Hugo Boss, Boeing & Deutsche Bank. The award recognises where an organisation has closely aligned a rewards and benefit strategy to the business objectives in order to incentivise and enhance engagement and productivity. Judges were looking for tangible evidence that showed how the reward strategy has a direct impact on employee engagement and subsequently the organisation’s bottom line. Chief executive Mos Shamel said: “We’re thrilled to have picked up another accolade for our people strategy, especially hot on the heels of securing our place on The Sunday Times 100 Best Companies for 2015. Great hospitality starts with great people and we make sure that our people are the first consideration in everything that we do. Working with such an inimitable team is really our reward day in day out, but getting this sort of recognition for what we do is some very nice icing on the cake.” Las Iguanas also hold the Investors in People Gold Award and were the recipients of the Excellence in Reward & Recognition award at the inaugural IiP Awards 2014. Their incentive programme includes annual staff trips to Brazil, Cuba, Mexico and Guyana, competitions to get dishes and drinks on to the menu and the Iguana Awards ceremony. Three new restaurants are due to open this spring in Woking, Torquay and Swansea creating 120 new jobs and bringing the total estate to 41, with a fast-growing pipeline in place from April 2015.

PizzaExpress wins Scarborough licence for retail shop conversion: PizzaExpress has been granted a licence to open in Scarborough’s Sandside. The company is taking over the X-Chainstore to open a two-storey eatery on the harbourside. A number of conditions were imposed on the company, including: staff should be extra vigilant about customers using glassware in the vicinity of the Juliet balcony when the doors are open to avoid any glasses being accidentally being dropped onto the pavement below and there should be signage to warn customers to take care with glassware in these circumstances; menus should list smaller measures of alcohol to encourage sensible drinking.

Richoux Group set to add at least four sites, puts Richoux back on expansion track: Richoux Group, led by Ed Standring, is planning to open at least four new sites in 2015, with its Richoux all-day brasserie back in expansion mode. The company has acquired four new sites in the past few months and has two further Deans Diners in legals. A Richoux is set to open in Gloucester Arcade in summer 2015. Standring said: “(It’s) the first of what we hope to be many new Richoux. It’s one of the oldest brands in the sector and we’re keen to push it on – the four existing sites all trade very well as all-day brasserie operations.” The company has four Deans Diner sites secured. A site as Hempstead Valley Shopping centre will open in Summer 2015, Deans Diner, Bromley South Central, will open in Quarter One of 2016 and Deans Diner at Yate Shopping Centre, will open in 2016. “We want to open at least four sites this year – we have the cash in the bank,” Standring added.
Work set to start on new Marston’s headquarters: Work is due to start next week on the multi-million pound redevelopment of Marston’s landmark headquarters in Wolverhampton. It will see its current four-storey 1960s office block partly demolished and then rebuilt and refurbished over the coming months. Over Christmas, office workers at the Chapel Ash site moved over the road to the empty Coniston House, where they will now work for the rest of the year. The plan is for them to be able to move back into their revitalised home by next Christmas. Chief executive Ralph Findlay said: “We have moved the best part of 400 people into Coniston House over the Christmas period and that proved a very smooth move. The serious work will now start on Marston’s House at the end of this month.”

Independent columnist – don’t cry too many tears for JD Wetherspoon: Independent columnist James Moore has argued that JD Wetherspoon’s chairman Tim Martin doesn’t deserve too much sympathy in his calls for tax equalisation. He wrote: “Don’t cry too many tears for Wetherspoon. It’s true that it gets hit disproportionately by this country’s iniquitous business rates, and by the VAT charged on the food it sells. But I’m much more inclined to feel sympathy for a family sandwich shop than I am a 900-strong pub chain, with economies of scale and easy access to cheap credit via the capital markets. While it’s true the company’s operating margins are falling, in part thanks to paying staff more (and isn’t it funny how companies rarely moan about boardroom costs, which, at Wetherspoon, amounted to £2.1m last year?), they’re still at above 7%. We’re not exactly comparing like with like here. But given that Mr Martin has opened the door with his talk of tax equalisation, it’s worth noting that most supermarkets would kill for something close to half that. So Mr Martin really has no reason to feel bitter. Perhaps he’d be best advised to sit down with a pint of the stuff at his local Wetherspoon pub, where he could take the opportunity to come up with some new ideas on how better to compete? Just a thought.”

Café Rouge to debut first international site in Dubai next month: Café Rouge, the Tragus brand, is to open it first international site next month in Dubai. Franchisee is Diamond Lifestyle, managed by Al Masah Capital. It will be located at Souk Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai. Shailesh Dash, chairman of Diamond Lifestyle, said: “Café Rouge is a brand that embodies our vision of bringing exceptional casual fine dining to the Emirates.”
Whitbread wins licensing go-ahead for hub by Premier Inn site: Whitbread obtained licensing approval from the Camden licensing committee yesterday for another of its ‘hub’ by Premier Inn developments, this time in Torrington Place at its junction with Tottenham Court Road. Planning for the development was obtained last year following an appeal. John Gaunt appeared on behalf of the company. The proposed hub will have some 170 bedrooms and represents an investment of £20m. This is one of a number of hub developments planned – the first hub opened in St Martins Lane in December. On Monday, Propel reported that Whitbread has acquired two sites for its new hub by Premier Inn format, on Tothill and Dacre Street in Westminster, for circa £80m in two off-market deals.
Hydes – our pub, restaurant and boutique hotel has got off to ‘a tremendous start’: Hydes Brewery managing director Chris Hopkins has reported that its innovative new pub, restaurant and 15-bedroom boutique hotel, Abel Heywood, opened last month in Manchester’s Northern Quarter, has got off to ‘a tremendous start’. Hydes has more that 60 pubs across the North West and North Wales and is planning to invest further in developing the quality of its estate. Hopkins said: “Given our success over the years and our investment in the north west, The Abel Heywood is an extension of our commitment to Manchester. We have developed this large island site in the Northern Quarter as a high quality city centre pub with dining rooms and boutique hotel bedrooms. This site has got off to a tremendous start and has attracted very positive feedback. We are confident that the Abel Heywood is a great addition to Manchester’s booming Northern Quarter and a real flagship for Hydes in the city centre.” The opening was supported by RBS, which provided a “significant finance package” into the estate to allow Hydes to fulfill its short-term aspirations.

Douglas Jack – we’re holding our M&B forecast with trading in line: Numis Securities leisure analyst has issued an ‘Add’ note on Mitchells & Butlers shares, with a Target Price of 480p after yesterday’s trading update. He said: “Like-for-like sales rose 1.7% over the 17 weeks to 24 January, implying a 1.1% increase over the last nine weeks. Trading was strong over the festive period, but weaker before and after that period, consistent with sector-wide theme of demand becoming more event-driven. Overall, trading is in line and therefore we are holding our forecasts. Like-for-like sales rose 1.7% during Q1 (food 2.8%; drink 0.4%) following two years of sub-1% like-for-like sales growth. Like-for-like sales rose 4.8% during the two weeks of Christmas and New Year (including 7.1% on Christmas Day), but were weaker before and after the festive trading period. Overall, like-for-like sales are being supported by reduced staff turnover (at 78% in 2014), higher net promoter scores (up 4ppts to 63% in 2014), food volume growth, as well as increased levels of capex on rebranding and IT systems. Ebit margins are expected to fall slightly this year. We are forecasting a 20bps decline, all due to dilution from the Orchid acquisition (initial costs, including refurbishment downtime, without all the synergies). Much depends on like-for-like sales and pricing behaviour. Although food pricing is very competitive, drinks prices rose 3.4% over the last 12 months (versus +2.9% over the previous 12 months) according to CGA. M&B acquired four sites in Q1; it expects to open 25 new outlets over the full year, in addition to continuing the conversion programme for the acquired Orchid estate. In Q1, 15 conversions took place, including six Orchid sites. Despite rising capex, we forecast the company’s net debt/Ebitda to fall to 4.4x from 4.6x this year. We are holding our recently-upgraded our forecasts (which are in line with consensus). We assume that like-for-like sales grow by 1.5% and that Ebit margins fall 20bps in 2015E.M&B’s shares are fairly valued, in our view, but there is plenty of growth potential to drive the shares. We are forecasting 32% earnings growth over the next three years; consensus 41%. Any further recovery in like-for-like sales or reduction in the pension deficit would be an added bonus.”
Magners introduces cider innovation in on-trade: Irish cider brand Magners has launched Magners with Irish Whiskey (ABV 5.5%), a new spirit cider, or ‘spider’, that combines premium apple cider with a hint of smooth Irish whiskey, to the UK on trade. Containing 25ml of real Irish whiskey in each 500ml bottle, Magners with Irish Whiskey is available from 1 March. Consumer demand for innovation in the cider category is high, with the proposition of combining spirits and cider becoming increasingly popular since the introduction of ‘spiders’ to the UK on trade a number of years ago. Ed Shoebridge, head of customer marketing at C&C Group, said: “Magners has been at the forefront of cider innovations since it revolutionised the cider category in the nineties with its over-ice serve, and today we are introducing another game-changer, Magners with Irish Whiskey. Consumers’ appetite for new flavours in cider keeps growing and we believe our new Magners with Irish Whiskey will offer a unique flavour both for whiskey lovers and cider lovers looking for something new.”
Whitbread plans £5m Premier Inn in Monmouth: Whitbread is preparing to lodge a planning application to build a 60-bed Premier Inn hotel on land at Portal Road, behind a petrol station. The site has been earmarked for development for ten years and is currently owned by Monmouthshire council. The £5 million scheme would create 20 full-time jobs on site as well as an estimated 34 jobs created in the wider economy through suppliers and services. Peter Lawson, the director of Cardiff-based planning consultants Turley, which is acting on behalf of Whitbread, said the application is due to be lodged with Monmouthshire council next week.

Landlord – Fuller’s support allowed us to survive: A tenant licensee of brewer and pub operator Fuller’s has praised the company for the support it has shown in the year since it suffered from flooding The Flowing Spring pub at Playhatch near Henley lost about half of its trade when its car park was under several feet of water for about two months last winter. It was the second year running it had suffered flooding. Nick Willson, who runs the pub with his wife Hazel Lucas, told local media: “Fuller’s did not charge us rent, which was a brilliant thing for a pub company to do. It gave us a helping hand through the depressing times. It has been perfect since the flooding. We had a very good summer, which is always important, as we have a big garden and lots of outdoors events. We try to allocate funds to get through the winter because we never know what it is going to be like.” Fuller’s has also offered to pay for a £50,000 flood defence scheme but this is still not in place. Willson added: “The brewery has been working on it since February and they have put together plans to raise the car park so if the ground is flooded the car park would still be useable. The sticking point has been the Environment Agency, which doesn’t want any further displacement of water even though the land is tiny in comparison with the flood plain it is on. Negotiations are ongoing and we have reached the last hurdle, which is to do some surveys of other people’s property to see how they would be impacted. Provided that happens, planning permission needs to be given before work could start. Hopefully it will be in place by next winter.”

Deliveroo unveils $25m investment: Deliveroo, the food delivery service that brings high-quality local restaurant meals to the doorstep, has announced a $25m Series B investment round led by Accel Partners, with participation from Index Ventures, Hoxton Ventures and Hummingbird Ventures. The investment will help drive expansion across the UK and internationally. Deliveroo is already live in London and Brighton and launches in Manchester this week. Deliveroo has expanded significantly since its Series A announced eight months ago, when it delivered to a few thousand customers in a handful of London neighbourhoods. Today, Deliveroo serves over 120 neighbourhoods in London, Brighton and Manchester and has built a customer base of over 50,000 who use the service regularly. Over the same period, the company has seen its office team grow to over 50 people. Deliveroo plans to use the new funds to aggressively roll out its service to neighbourhoods across the UK and internationally, with a particular focus on hiring and marketing activities. Chief executive Willisan Shu said: “This is a significant moment for Deliveroo. We’ve seen high demand for our service in London and Brighton and are excited to be launching this week in Manchester, the first step in our ambitious expansion plan. Today’s funding gives us the ammunition we need to bring our first-class delivery service to a much wider audience, and we’re delighted to have the Accel team and our existing investors on board to help us reach our goal.”

Delavals seeks £400,000 through crowdfunding: Delavals Brewers has launched a fundraising campaign via the crowdfunding platform to raise the £400,000 it requires to support its future plans for The National Trust Beer Club. The new funding would primarily be used to support a wide-ranging marketing campaign for the Beer Club that would be aimed at increasing Club membership and maximising sales, but some would also be directed at operational and technological improvements. The Club is a membership organisation through which beers from smaller regional brewers across the UK are sold, and was soft launched by Delavals 15 months ago as an extension of its partnership with the National Trust, where as an official licensee it had previously launched beers in collaboration with four North East National Trust properties. Better Capital boss Jon Moulton has already invested £25,000 – and a total of £175,000 has been pledged so far from just three investors.

Oakman agrees terms to acquire flagship Lazy Cow site in Warwick: Oakman Inns & Restaurants, the pub and restaurant operator led by Peter Borg-Neal, has agreed terms with the key parties to take over The Lazy Cow in Warwick, a flagship site that achieves net annual turnover of circa £1.7m. Borg-Neal said: “We have held long discussions with Urban & Country Leisure (UCL) and the site’s freeholder, Downing Capital and I am delighted to say that we have agreed terms in principal and are close to signing contracts. Warwick is a great town with a superb reputation as a thriving county capital with a huge programme of Community activities and engagement and we have admired this site for a long time. Part of The Lazy Cow’s success is down to the great hard-working team employed there and we believe the operation and its staff will prove a perfect fit for the Oakman portfolio. Our recent new openings are performing well and a high quality acquisition of this nature will build on that momentum.” The Lazy Cow opened in October 2010 following a £1.5 million investment into the former Globe Hotel and has performed strongly ever since under the direction of UCL’s managing director, Ross Sanders. So successful was the Warwick site that UCL expanded the brand into Salisbury, Solihull and Stratford-upon-Avon. Borg-Neal also indicated that they are considering changing the name back to its historical title, The Globe Inn, before inviting the people of Warwick to have their say in its long-term name. They also intend using a large number of local suppliers such as the highly renowned Aubrey Allen of Leamington Spa who already supply meat to all Oakman Inns in line with their sustainable restaurant policies. Borg-Neal added: “All current employees should be reassured that, if and when the deal completes, there will be no redundancies and they will simply transfer their jobs into our employment. We also hope that some of them will want to join our management training schemes and to develop careers within our company which is planning to open three further operations before June 2015.”
BrewDog launches craft beer import and distribution division: Scottish brewer and retailer BrewDog has launched a new UK import and distribution division and announced an exclusive deal to import beers from American craft brewer, Stone Brewing Co. From today, the new import and distribution division will provide full UK availability of Stone’s entire product range, including its year-round release beers, Stone Go To IPA, Stone IPA Stone Ruination IPA and Arrogant Bastard Ale. The San Diego brewery’s limited special release beers will also be available to UK customers throughout the year. Trade customers can order via BrewDog’s current UK Direct Distribution service, and bottles via the BrewDog online shop. The Stone range will be available to buy in bottles and will include keg beers for trade customers by April. The company stated: “The new import and distribution arm continues the BrewDog mission to spread the craft beer revolution around the globe. BrewDog is currently in discussions with several craft breweries in Europe and USA and will be announcing further import and distribution deals throughout 2015. BrewDog regularly joins forces with other craft breweries on projects to propel and celebrate the industry. In 2014 BrewDog launched the BrewDog Development Fund, allocating up to £100,000 of its annual profits to help establish other up and coming craft breweries including mentoring support and assisting them in building an international sales network. In 2014, BrewDog awarded the fund to London brewery Brew By Numbers, and CAP brewery in Stockholm. BrewDog also hosts the annual ‘CollabFest’, collaborating with breweries local to each of its UK bars as part of a weekend long celebration of the British beer scene.”

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