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Fri 5th Jun 2015 - Propel Friday News Briefing

Story of the Day:

Giggling Squid acquires third Surrey site and first inside the M25: Thai brand Giggling Squid has acquired a third Surrey site – and its first inside the M25. The company, which opened in Reigate in July 2013 and will welcome customers in Guildford from this summer, plans to open in Esher in October. The first of many Giggling Squid sites planned within the M25, the restaurant occupies a prime corner site in the town centre. Richard Negus, of agent AG&G, acted on the transaction. Following a £100,000 refit, the 120-cover restaurant will create about 20 jobs. “Despite the wealthy customer base, we felt the area really lacked for good places to eat,” said Pranee Laurillard who co-owns the restaurant group with her husband Andrew. She added: “We lived a few miles down the road in Oxshott for a couple of years and usually ended up in Wimbledon when we wanted something decent.” Esher will be the group’s 16th site when it opens. In addition to the four confirmed pipeline sites in Guildford, Billericay, Bury St Edmonds and Bath, there are also three further new units currently going through conveyancing. Meanwhile, Giggling Squid is closing its Crawley site, which became the home of the third Giggling Squid when it opened in August 2010. “Crawley was the only site we’ve had that never really got going and it has always been slightly marginal,” said Andrew Laurillard. “It made more sense for us to focus on the 11 winners and the new sites in the pipeline than invest lots of time trying to keep it above water.” Staff will be deployed elsewhere within the group. Giggling Squid operates venues in Brighton, Hove, Tunbridge Wells, Stratford-upon-Avon, Henley-on-Thames, Reigate, Maidstone, Horsham, Sevenoaks, Salisbury and Bristol.

Industry News:

CrowdBnk boss – the UK has ‘best approach to crowdfunding’ in the world: The founder of crowdfunding platform CrowdBnk, Ayan Mitra, which has Cabana founder Jamie Barber among its advisors, has argued that the UK has the “best approach to crowdfunding in the world”. He said: “Personally, I feel we’ve got the current balance between regulation and risk right, with our country being the only one globally that’s really allowing crowdfunding to thrive. We have sensible regulation in place, plus our industry has taken a responsible approach from the outset, committing to voluntary codes of practice, such as that drawn up by the UK Crowdfunding Association (UKCFA). Among other things, these require UKCFA members to put clear water between investors’ funds and platforms’ finances, maintain transparency and ensure security over information and investments.”

More than 1.5 million sign Jamie Oliver petition calling for practical food cooking on school curriculums: More than 1.5 million people have signed a petition launched by Jamie Oliver urging world leaders to get practical food cooking on the curriculum for school children, in a bid to stop child obesity. There are more than 42 million children under five who are overweight and studies have shown that children who are overweight or obese during childhood are likely to stay this way when they grow up. Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution Day Change.org petition was launched in March calling on all 19 G20 countries and those in the European Union to take action against obesity by introducing compulsory food education for children.

Cappuccino slips off Starbucks menus in America: Starbucks appears to have moved cappuccino off its printed menu in America. The espresso drink has been available at the Seattle-based company since current chief executive Howard Schultz added it in 1986. However, the listing has disappeared in stores in New York, San Francisco and Seattle, although Starbucks continues to serve the drink if it is ordered, reports Business Insider. The drink is still on menus in London. According to reports, the cappuccino may have come under threat from the introduction of the flat white earlier this year. This is traditionally a ten-ounce coffee consisting of a double shot of espresso with micro-foam milk, giving it a velvety texture that is a subtle middle ground between the foam of a cappuccino and the warm milk of a latte. Starbucks declined to comment on taking the drink off the menu, noting only that menu boards differ around the world based on what the brand chooses to highlight each season in a given location and the drink is still available to people who order it.

ALMR issues race discrimination warning: Following media reports into alleged racial discrimination in licensed hospitality venues, the ALMR has reminded its members and the wider sector that there is no place for discrimination of any kind in its businesses, and venues found to be discriminating against customers are liable to penalties under The Equality Act 2010. Several recent media reports alleged that customers had been denied entry into late-night venues on the basis of race. ALMR chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “We want to remind hospitality businesses, although they should not need reminding, that discrimination on the basis of race, gender, gender orientation or religion is not just a matter of poor businesses practice, it is against the law. We are in the business of providing safe and enjoyable nights out for our customers and if any of our members have witnessed discrimination of any kind we urge them to contact us immediately. Pubs and bars are required to adhere to the terms of their licences, and that means employing a measure of discretion on the door; for instance, refusing access to drunken customers and under-18s. In the vast majority of cases venues act appropriately and door staff are subject to rigorous ongoing training. There can be, however, no room for discrimination or any other illegal activity. We are, by and large, a conscientious and welcoming industry and we need to act to ensure that we build and maintain a reputation for great hospitality.”

Company News:

City Pub Company bids for third Cambridge pub: The City Pub Company is bidding to open a third site in Cambridge – it already runs The Mill in Mill Lane and The Cambridge Brew House. The company, led by Clive Watson, wants to open new premises at the former Howes Cycles site in Regent Street. Downing College is among those objecting to its licensing bid. Will Smith, chairman of the city’s branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), told The Cambridge Evening News: “I think it’s very encouraging that companies like the City Pub Company would like to increase the number of pubs in the city and I think they’re entering into it with the confidence that the city council will look after pubs, as they have done over the past two, three, even five years. I guess it could be a renaissance – I very much hope it is.”

Abokado announces two more sites and success of recent NPD: Abokado, the healthy food chain led by Mark Lilley, has secured two further sites, both located in the City of London. They are expected to be open by the end of August, which will take the estate to 26 stores. Lilley said that the company is on track to achieving its goal of 30 stores by the end of its current financial year of March 2016, with several other sites in legals or negotiation. He also shared that the business has undertaken considerable new product development in recent months, with the launch of a range of cold pressed juices, frozen yoghurt, an enhanced breakfast offering and a range of bento salads. He said: “We’re just coming out of an unprecedented period of menu innovation, with our team having worked incredibly hard to deliver some outstanding new products to our customers. The benefits of that investment and focus are already being felt in our performance, with record sales being achieved in recent weeks at a number of stores.”

Greene King hires Hudson Sandler to handle trade media relations ahead of Spirit Pub Company acquisition: Greene King has hired Hudson Sandler to handle trade media relations ahead of its planned £774m acquisition of rival Spirit Pub Company. Hudson Sandler’s remit is to lead a communications programme to “further build positive awareness of Greene King as an innovative and responsible business among key stakeholders”, reports PR Week. Mark Blythman, strategy and communications director at Greene King, said: “We were impressed by Hudson Sandler’s relevant experience and expertise, and its support will be invaluable as we look to communicate our growth story and engage with our audiences.” Hudson Sandler chief executive Andrew Hayes said: “We look forward to amplifying this highly successful brand and supporting its strategy to connect with key issues in the pub and brewery industry.” The acquisition will create the country’s biggest pub group by turnover, with more than 3,000 outlets.

Richard Caring to open £12m Sexyfish site in September: Sector investor Richard Caring is to launch a new Mayfair fish restaurant in September opposite his Berkeley Square venue Annabel’s. A huge neon shark installation revealing the provisional name of the 200-seater restaurant – Sexyfish – has been erected on the hoardings surrounding the former NatWest bank site. Caring’s Caprice Holdings beat off competition from 17 other restaurant operators for one of the most sought after sites in central London and will pay a rent of £1.1m a year. The London Evening Standard has claimed the total cost for the site and fit-out estimated at about £12m. The new 8,500 sq ft restaurant will have a private dining room for up to 48 in the basement. Opening hours are expected to be noon to 2am Monday to Saturday and noon until 1am on Sundays. David Rawlinson of consultants Restaurant Property told the London Evening Standard: “The Mayfair market shows no signs of slowing down. The demand from national and international operators is at an all-time high and London is now considered by many in the sector to be the restaurant capital of the world.”

Red’s True Barbecue brand appoints Zeitgeist Agency to help raise profile: Restaurant chain Red’s True Barbecue has appointed The Zeitgeist Agency to help raise its consumer profile. Red’s has asked the agency to target non-food media including entertainment, music, lifestyle and London-centric brands, reports PR Week, as well as help launch a pop-up restaurant at The Old Blue Last pub in Shoreditch, London, to run from 11 June to 4 July. Zeitgeist will also aim to raise awareness of Red’s new flagship restaurant in Shoreditch, and plans to invite figures from the media, music and lifestyle industry to the opening on 24 July. The agency won the account having worked with Red’s previously at festivals and while the appointment is initially for three months, it is expected to run beyond that. Red’s opened its first site in Leeds in 2012 and now operates five restaurants. Last month it secured £5m in funding from a selection of restaurant industry entrepreneurs including Wagamama founder Ian Neill, Tortilla founder Brandon Stephens and Stephen Wall, managing director of Vietnamese chain Pho. 

McDonald’s shuts loophole on self-service machines in Australia to stop customers cutting meal cost in half: McDonald’s has closed a loophole in its new self-service machines in Australia after customers found they could cut the cost of their meal in half. The company acted immediately after a video appeared on Facebook giving a step-by-step guide of how to manipulate the system, allowing a family dinner box that cost $19.95 to be bought for $9.75. A McDonald’s spokesman told the Daily Mail it was “fairly confident” the issue had been addressed and said: “It is a new computer system and the nature of computer systems mean sometimes glitches can happen.” The video first directs customers to the EFTPOS – electronic funds transfer at point of sale – option so as not to arouse suspicion when going to the counter to pick up their meal. It then shows the customer selecting the dinner box before scrolling down to the L AND P icon, which when selected dropped the price to $17.20. They repeat the process bringing the price down to $14.45, $12.10 and finally $9.75. The $19.95 box contains two Big Macs, two cheeseburgers, four small fries, two medium soft drinks and two large soft drinks. Although versions of the self-service system have been available in Europe dating back to 2004, McDonald’s Australia only recently rolled out the automated food ordering systems in March this year.

JD Wetherspoon set to open £1m pub in Belper: JD Wetherspoon is set to open a new £1m pub in a disused building in Belper, Derbyshire (population: 20,548). The company has submitted plans to convert the former Bugg’s Bar and Diner in Strutt Street into a new venue, creating about 45 jobs. JD Wetherspoon spokesman Eddie Gershon told The Belper News the company had exchanged on the site and was awaiting the outcome of its planning application. He added: “Wetherspoon has been keen to open a pub in Belper for a number of years and are pleased that this is now moving in the right direction.” The company also hopes the development will boost the town’s nightlife and economy.

Toro’s Steakhouse brand to expand in former Coventry pub that hosted some of the biggest names in music: Restaurant chain Toro’s Steakhouse is to open in a former pub in Coventry that played host to some of the biggest names in music this summer. The company, which is famous for using traditional South African braai and basting recipes combined with a modern twist and halal ingredients, will open at the former Old General Wolfe in Foleshill Road. The pub was a thriving music venue from the 1960s to 1990s and hosted the likes of U2, the Eurythmics and Robert Plant. The routine for the video of Specials’ hit Ghost Town was even worked out in the pub bar. The new restaurant is part of the company’s ongoing expansion plans to “meet the ever growing demand”, reports The Coventry Telegraph. Toro’s Steakhouse opened its first restaurant in Leicester in 2009 followed by the chain’s fast food restaurant called Toros Express. It has restaurants in Nottingham, Birmingham and Manchester with two further sites in Harrow and Derby due to launch soon.

The Stable set for prime Exeter site: The Stable, the artisan pizza and cider brand in which Fuller’s has a 51% stake, is believed to be taking the roof top terrace spot overlooking Queen Street in Exeter, above the new Caribbean restaurant Turtle Bay that was announced last month. Every Stable has a different menu, depending on the ingredients and cider available locally. Queen St Dining will be The Stable’s ninth restaurant in the south west, including Plymouth and Bath.

Pop-up Half Man Half Burger secures first permanent site: Half Man Half Burger, which has traded in various pop-up restaurants in Brighton over the last few years and worked the UK festival circuit, is to open its first permanent burger joint at Marine Court in St Leonards next month. A spokesman said: “We ignored all ‘sensible’ advice and naysayers and went with our gut feeling. In our eyes St Leonards and Hastings really needed a dedicated burger joint where we would enjoy eating and drinking. We figured if we did others would join us. Our business was inspired by pilgrimages to authentic American burger joints where we soaked up the vibes and the food. Our mission is simple: to create perfect hamburgers, fries and sides every time. We believe food and drink should be served up with a smile, whilst playing some quality music at the same time. We deal directly with Sussex farmers in sourcing our beef and insist on traceability at each stage of the process. Once selected, our beef is freshly ground every day and hand-pattied on site for maximum taste.”

Street food operator Wild Game Co to open Mac and Wild restaurant: Street food company Wild Game Co is to open a permanent site, Mac & Wild, on Great Titchfield Street in the West End this summer. It will offer wild venison, game and seafood in a rustic setting. Founded by Andy Waugh, who hails from just north of Inverness, all of its meat is sourced and then butchered with care by his family’s game-butchering business, which has been in existence for over 30 years. Since arriving on the London food scene four years ago, Waugh has won ‘Street Food of the Year’ at The Young British Foodies Awards, Best Signature Burger at the National Burger Awards 2015 and was named by The Evening Standard as one of the top five places to eat game in London. The restaurant will stay true to the rural ethos, with design features including original hardwood floors; stag heads mounted on the walls and butchers hooks hanging from the ceiling. The venue can hold up to 70 covers, which will be split into two floors. Waugh said: “We’re delighted to be bringing the north of Scotland to Central London with the launch of Mac & Wild restaurant. Our produce is not just wild or from ‘somewhere’ up north, we can tell you exactly who shot it and where from the Highlands.”

Tea shop brand Bettys reports data breach to customers: More than 100,000 online customers of iconic tea shop brand Bettys of Harrogate had their personal details accessed last month following a data breach. Bettys.co.uk issued an email yesterday to all 120,000 of their online customers on their website database informing them that the site had been affected by a data breach. Information including names, email addresses, postal addresses, encrypted passwords and telephone numbers of customers could have been accessed as a result of the breach. However, Bettys stressed that credit or debit card details could not have been copied as the information is storied on a separate system managed by a “certified third party”. A spokesperson for Bettys said: “Bettys takes customer confidentiality extremely seriously and we have carried out a full investigation with our security partners. The software issue has been addressed and further security measures have been put in place.”

Champagne & Fromage seeks events venue: Champagne & Fromage, the French artisanal bistro and deli that is opening its third outlet this month in Greenwich Market, south east London, is looking for premises where it can put on larger champagne-and-cheese tasting events for City clients, as the events side of its business grows in importance. Co-founder Stefano Frigerio told Propel: “We get a lot of requests, both from private groups and corporate for champagne tasting events at our premises, and sometimes, for larger events, in other locations or at their offices: we just received a request for a tasting for 55 people next week. It’s working extremely well, people are very pleased with the results, and for us it’s becoming a strategic part of the business, more and more embedded in the way we operate.” The company is currently looking at Soho and Shoreditch for its next openings, believing both places have the perfect combination, for its brand, of a high but ever-changing footfall. Frigerio said: “It’s not like pizza – you can have pizza every day. We need a place with new footfall all the time.” But while its ideal venues are about 900 to 1,100 sq ft, with room for 50 covers, “in Shoreditch it would be fantastic to have a bigger place, because then we can organise events for the City,” Frigerio said. He added that Champagne & Fromage’s unique offer was making landlords actively seek it out to invite it to take space in their venues: “Landlords are very much interesting in discussions with us, and having our concept in their developments, because it’s different and unique, and lending value to their property and the area around their property,” said Frigerio. “This happened in Greenwich – the Greenwich Hospital [owner of Greenwich Market] contacted us to see if we were interested in taking this location. We were very pleased, because we believe that the location will be very nice for us.”

Liverpool’s Lunya to open in Manchester: The Lunya Catalonian Restaurant and Deli, based in the Liverpool One shopping centre, and winner of the Good Food Guide’s Readers’ Restaurant of the Year for the North West 2015, is to open a branch in the Barton Arcade on Deansgate in Manchester. The restaurant will occupy the former Each To Their Own clothes store and the former Spirited Wine store, both fronting onto Deansgate. According to the website Manchester Confidential, the site will have a bar, deli and casual dining on the ground floor and in the arcade, while a full-service restaurant will occupy four units on the first floor, including the former-camera store, with dining out on the indoor balconies. The first floor space will be twice the size of the ground floor. Lunya’s owner and executive chef Peter Kinsella told Manchester Confidential: “We spent three years determined to have only one restaurant in Liverpool, we were really adamant about that. But having now got Lunya Liverpool to exactly where we want it, and having such a huge customer base travelling over from Manchester, this move just made sense. And this building, it’s just fantastic. Having covered outdoor seating on the ground and first floor is such an amazing attribute.” A planning application has been made, with building work expected to begin in mid-August, and a launch pencilled in for early October. 

Ice-cream parlour secures future, predicts doubling of business: A thriving ice-cream parlour in Bamburgh, Northumbria, has secured its future with a loan that has enabled it to buy the premises from which it operates, as owners predict the business will double its turnover in the coming year as the “staycation” trend grows. Wyndenwell Ice Cream Parlour was established in 2010 by Noel Page and his wife Kirstie, who later expanded with a coffee shop offer. Now funding from Barclays has allowed Wyndenwell to purchase the building where it trades. Noel Page told Insider Media that the company has flourished in part because it has been able to take advantage of the “staycation” holiday trend. He said as Bamburgh becomes increasingly an all-year destination, he expected that the business will double its turnover in the coming year, which could lead to a significant increase in staffing levels. “When the opportunity arose to buy the premises we decided to take advantage of the low interest rates we’re currently seeing and we’re now the proud freeholders of the business premises,” he said.

Nando’s to join Wetherspoon as new arrival in Huntingdon: Nando’s is lining up a new opening in Huntingdon where JD Wetherspoon is also opening its first pub with a new-build stand-alone hotel. Nando’s is to take over the former Blockbuster video outlet at the Towerfields leisure area off St Peter’s Road. A spokesman for the firm confirmed that the restaurant would be opening in the “late summer” although it was too early to give a date or how many jobs would be created. The firm has applied to Huntingdonshire District Council to alter the Blockbuster building and to put up signs.

Aquila meets opposition in plan to turn West Hampstead lap-dancing club into nightclub: An application to turn a long-established lap-dancing club into a 300-capacity nightclub have come under fire from residents in West Hampstead. Dozens of people have written to the Town Hall opposing plans to convert Secrets – described by one neighbour as a “discreet adult entertainment” venue – into a music-driven nightclub that will attract a younger audience, which many fear will disturb their peace and quiet late into the night. Owners of Secrets, which opened in 1999, decided to close the club earlier this year, after deciding that Finchley Road “wasn’t quite the right location” for a table-dancing club. Events company Aquila, which is said to be at the “forefront of London’s nightclub industry”, is now looking to open a “high-quality nightclub” on the site, sparking a flurry of objections. In documents filed as part of a planning application, Aquila is said to have “an established track record of event management across numerous venues within the capital.” It adds: “These events have successfully filled the venues up to capacities of 1,000 without issue; a scale of activity far in excess of this proposal.”

Wear Inns features on UK’s top 100 fastest growing companies list for second time: Pub operator Wear Inns has been highlighted as one of the UK’s top 100 fastest growing private companies for a second time. The company, which has an estate of 26 pubs – 17 in the north east and nine in Yorkshire – reported a full year turnover of £13.4m putting it 68th in the summer update of the Investec Mid-Market 100 list, having featured in the inaugural one. Although the company remains primarily drinks-led, food sales have increased significantly from £900,000 five years ago with food expected to contribute about £2.4m this year. Chief executive John Weir said: “We are delighted to once again be highlighted on such a prestigious well-researched list. We will always be led by drink but we expect the growth in food to continue due to our strategy of organic growth and acquisitions.” The list, compiled in conjunction with business data provider DueDil, ranks active, UK-registered companies according to their four year average compound annual growth rate, with a minimum annual turnover of between £10m and £200m.

Taco Bell to trial alcohol in Chicago, new design trialed in the UK: Taco Bell will serve beer, wine and “mixed alcohol freezes” at a new location set to open in the Wicker Park area of Chicago this summer. The chain, owned by Yum Brands, says the restaurant design planned for Chicago has already been tested in South Korea, Japan and Britain. The company said the Chicago store “will highlight the work of local artists” to give it a neighbourhood feel. The move is an additional sign that Taco Bell is working to shed its fast-food image and appeal to millennials, who marketers say prefer places and products that seem less standardised and more authentic. Wendy’s, which is also trying to recast itself as a step up from traditional fast food, has been promoting a remodeling of restaurants that features more inviting and mixed seating options.

Azzurri Group instructs Lunson Mitchenall to help secure sites in south east of England: Azzurri Group, which owns Ask Italian and restaurant brand Zizzi, has instructed retail and leisure agency Lunson Mitchenall to help it secure new sites in the south east of England. The London-based agency will support Azzurri in the region as the company looks to continue its expansion and aims to find 20 new UK outlets over the next year, reports Property Magazine International. The Ask and Zizzi brands were purchased by European private equity firm Bridgepoint under the company name Azzurri Group in December 2014 for £250m and following investment and new openings, now operate more than 240 restaurants in the UK.

BrewDog hires head of international sales: BrewDog has hired former AB-InBev director Andrew Hatherell as its new head of international sales. Hatherell, who was AB-InBev regional director for Asia, will work directly with BrewDog’s international distributors to scale its existing operations. He will also be responsible for identifying and implementing distribution in new territories. BrewDog said it currently exports to 55 countries. James Watt, co-founder of BrewDog, said: “It is awesome to welcome someone of Andrew’s calibre into the BrewDog fold. He has a proven record for successfully strategising international growth, and will bring a wealth of experience to the table. His knowledge of international drinks markets knows no bounds and his appointment is a key step in scaling our mission to make people as passionate about craft beer as we are, wherever in the world they are.”

Bradford Brewery reports strong orders and brewpub 30% over budget: The newly-opened Bradford Brewery has reported a flying start with more than 100 casks a week being delivered. Bradford Brewery opened in February this year, as part of the current Bradford revival, seeing the return of a traditional Yorkshire industry to the city centre. When brewing started on site shortly afterwards, it was the first time beer had been brewed in Bradford city centre for more than 50 years. Brewing is now being carried out three times a week and, with demand already outstripping supplies, there are plans to recruit a junior brewer to assist head brewer Steve Crump. The brewery’s own pub, which also showcases the beers, has been 30% busier than expected – reflected in a 30% higher turnover than projected. As a result, the venue is now recruiting an additional bar supervisor and three extra bar staff, which will bring the total of jobs created to 15 – four more than the original 11 projected in the growth zone bid.

Coatbridge multi-site owner Tavis McCabe launches first city centre site in Glasgow: Coatbridge owner Tavis McCabe has launched his first city centre venue in Glasgow. McCabe has opened The Bowery Bar and Restaurant on the site of the Independent Bar and Kitchen in Queen Street after a £150,000 revamp. The venue aims to bring a taste of the US to Glasgow with its New York style steaks and barbecues although Scottish and Mediterranean recipes are also available. With McCabe’s background in brewing, there is also an extensive drinks menu. He told STV Glasgow: “We’re trying to appeal to people who want to come in for a high quality steak pie and a pint, and someone who wants a 380 calorie salad. We’ve gone with the traditional pub grub influence but with high quality ingredients – and the provenance of our meat is stated on the menu.” Once The Bowery has found its feet, McCabe is also looking to set up a function room catering for 80 to100 guests and install a private dining area.

TGI Friday’s to open first restaurant in east India in Kolkata: TGI Friday’s is making its first foray into east India by opening an outlet in Kolkata. The 150-cover restaurant, spread over 3,500 sq ft, will be on the second floor on the Forum Mall in the city and is expected to start trading in September. TGI Friday’s India chief executive officer Rohan Jetley told The Times of India: “It will be a lot more upscale in terms of decor than the outlets in Mumbai, Delhi or many other cities across the world. The store will feature the new T10 design. There will be three focus areas: seating, bar and kitchen. The seats will be a larger and more comfortable. The bar will be central to the restaurant. The kitchen will be an open one with its energy radiating into the restaurant.”

Nottingham BID outlines five-year plan: The Nottingham Business Improvement District (BID) has launched its business plan outlining what it will do for the next five years, should Nottingham city businesses vote yes to a second term of the organisation in the balloting period that takes place this month and concludes in July. The renewed Nottingham BID will expand the area that it covers and, for the first time, include businesses in the office and educational sectors as well as those in the retail and leisure areas. It will also reduce the levy that members pay from 1.33% to 1.25% and raise the threshold above which businesses must pay the BID levy from £15,000 to £25,000. This aims to ensure that the city’s businesses are better represented by the BID in terms of geographical and sector coverage and to relieve financial pressure on smaller businesses. The Nottingham BID’s vision for its second term is to transform Nottingham into a regional and national city of choice for shopping, leisure, work and study. This vision will be realised by concentrating on four key strategic areas: Promoted City, Independent City, Working City and Managed City.

Domino’s Pizza appoints new CFO: Domino’s Pizza Group has named Paul Doughty are its new chief financial officer (CFO). Doughty was CFO at Moneysupermarket.com for ten years until May last year, and led the successful £840m IPO of the group in July 2007. He will take up his new position on 8 June and will report to chief executive David Wild. Domino’s former CFO, Sean Wilkins, announced his resignation in January after just over a year with the company. Domino’s chairman, Stephen Hemsley, said Doughty “brings a wealth of experience from a leading consumer brand in the technology and FTSE250 listed environment”. He added: “David and his senior management team look forward to Paul’s contribution at this exciting time for Domino’s as we continue to grow through more store openings, a relentless focus on e-commerce technology and by supporting franchisee profitability.” Doughty said: “It’s great to be joining Domino’s and working with David and the board to strengthen Domino’s leadership position. I’m excited about the company’s strategy and future potential.”

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