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Wed 27th May 2015 - Hotcha looks for franchisees after hiring Domino’s executives
Hotcha looks for franchisees after hiring Domino’s executives: Chinese delivery concept Hotcha is looking to recruit franchisees to turn the brand into the first national Chinese takeaway franchise in the UK. “Despite the enormous popularity of Chinese food all over the country, there were no national players of the type you see in the pizza, chicken and burger markets,” said founder James Liang. “Those highly successful brands all developed models that gave consistent quality without the prohibitive cost of a highly trained chef in every outlet – well we’ve done the same with Hotcha and we’ve proven it works.” Hotcha has ten company-owned stores in the South West of England with all food and sauces being freshly prepared in a centralised kitchen and delivered daily to each outlet. The next stage in the company development is to franchise the business. Added Liang: “The aim is to be the ‘Domino’s Pizza of the Chinese takeaway sector’. In fact we have recently appointed Clive Mellor, former head of training and operations partnerships at Dominos as our operations director and Andy Emmerson, who has substantial experience in the franchise sector including Domino’s, has been on board as a non-executive director for the past year.” The company is looking for experienced area developers to help it achieve its goal of opening 100 franchised stores within the next three years. “Given how difficult it is now to get a new franchise territory in the quick serve restaurant sector with an established brand, this should be a seriously exciting opportunity for anyone who wants to grow a multi-unit food business of their own. An average franchised Hotcha store should be generating revenues of up to £500,000 per annum with a gross profit margin of 70-75% This offers a very good return on the franchise fee of £180,000.” For more information about the Hotcha franchise opportunity contact the franchise recruitment team: Suzie McCafferty at suzie.mccafferty@hotcha.co.uk or call 07793 054 233 or 0131 664 1218.

L’Atelier calls for revised TripAdvisor ranking system: Michelin-starred restaurant L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon has called on travel website TripAdvisor to revise its popularity ranking system because it does not fairly reflect the reality of many establishments. Marketing and communications manager at the London establishment, Peggy Li, says while the reviews are useful in helping restaurants ensure high standards, the ranking system doesn’t. Restaurants, including L’Atelier, use TripAdvisor as key information to action improvements but their ranking could still be affected by poorer earlier reviews, particularly in the case of independent establishments. Li feels it’s now time for the website to press refresh and should just take into account feedback from the previous 12 months in order to paint a more accurate picture. She said: “Whilst of course customers should be able to give honest feedback about their experiences, after some time these must be deemed as not relevant any longer. Instead, if the ranking is based only on reviews from within a year, then browsers of TripAdvisor will be getting more accurate information and their experience of restaurants will bear relevance to what they have read and seen on TripAdvisor. It’s a win-win for restaurants and diners alike.” Although TripAdvisor claims to add some weighting to “recent” reviews for the popularity rating, it also adds huge weight to the quantity and quality of reviews left.

Bridgehouse Brewery relocates to Airedale Heifer: The Bridgehouse Brewery in Keighley, Yorkshire is relocating to new premises behind its Airedale Heifer pub in nearby Sandbeds, which is currently closed as part of a £500,000 redesign and refurbishment programme. The new brewery will allow an increase in production of around 50% on current capacity, and an additional brewer is to be recruited to the team. Customers at the pub will be able to see the beer being brewed in the brewery via a video link while they sit and enjoy a drink at the bar. The re-opening of the pub, and the opening of the new brewery, is due to take place early in July. The brewery has hired “a well known chef” to create a themed menu which will include many dishes incorporating its range of ales, and it will also begin producing cider, to be served from oak casks. Yorkshire sculptor Emma Stothard has been commissioned to make a three-metre-tall galvanised wire sculpture of the famous Airedale Heifer cow, which was rumoured to weigh 188 stone and measure 11 feet from nose to tail after being fattened on the East Riddlesden Hall estate from 1825-1830. It will sit on a stone plinth at the front of the pub. Simon Lamb, sales and marketing director at the Bridgehouse Brewery, said: “We are thrilled that the long-planned refurbishment of the Airedale Heifer is now getting under way. The combining of the pub with the newly relocated brewhouse will provide a truly unique destination in the area. This represents a significant investment for our business and we were determined to find an opportunity to expand in the local area. The Airedale Heifer and its grounds provide the ideal location.” The Bridgehouse Brewery was founded in 2010 and merged with the Old Bear Brewery in Keighley in 2014, at whose premises its beers are currently brewed.

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