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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Wed 10th Jun 2015 - Propel Wednesday News Briefing

Story of the Day:

Pubs missing out on coffee market but “real opportunity” to improve sales, survey reveals: Pubs are missing out on the UK’s coffee market but there is a real opportunity to improve sales, a survey has revealed. Research by guest experience management experts HospitalityGEM shows while two thirds of respondents expect good quality coffee to be available in a pub, only 2% of people say it’s the place they buy it the most. Only 1% of people feel they receive the best service at a pub when buying coffee and only 2% choose them as the place to spend the most time drinking their cup with more than ten times as many selecting restaurants over pubs on these measures. However, a quarter of respondents felt the best coffee service they receive is in restaurants, rather than a dedicated store – demonstrating the potential for pubs to win customers based on the experience as a whole. Managing director of HospitalityGEM Steven Pike said: “While on first impressions these results may not seem hugely positive for pubs, we think they represent a real opportunity for landlords to improve their sales here. Pubs are seen as the heart of the community and nearly half of our respondents said they are most likely to enjoy coffee as a social event with friends, and a further quarter with their family. A lot of marketing effort goes into illustrating the wonderful food and creative ales that pubs now offer – we believe pubs should take a similar approach to promoting a more relaxed coffee-led experience than dedicated shops can offer, and encouraging customers to go into a pub during the day and ask for a coffee. Our research showed that a personal and welcoming service has a greater influence over women than men, and they’re more likely to drink in too; so when designing a coffee-drinking environment, seeing it through their eyes might give you a clearer picture.” The survey also identified the importance of a standout experience for customers when buying coffee, without a hefty price attached. 86% of people think service is important, while 61% will only pay between £1 and £2 for a regular Americano coffee. It also evaluated the big brands with Costa beating chains including Starbucks and Caffe Nero in terms of service, particularly with customers aged 30 years plus. 

Industry News:

New York restaurants set to carry salt warnings: New York could become the first US city to require warning labels on high-salt dishes at chain restaurants, taking campaigns to cut down on salt into new territory. The city’s Health Department will propose today that all chain restaurants add a salt-shaker-like symbol on menus next to products that contain more than the recommended daily limit of 2,300 milligrams of sodium, about one teaspoon of salt. Public health advocates hailed the proposal as a pioneering step to tackle a major problem. If the city Board of Health votes Wednesday to consider the proposal, a final vote could come as soon as September and the warnings by December.

Startup Direct reports surge in food and drink entrepreneurs: Strong demand for organic British food and the rising popularity of pop-ups has led to a surge in entrepreneurs looking to start a food or drinks business, says a government-backed loans company. Startup Direct, a partner of the government’s Start-Up Loans scheme, said there has been a 17% rise in enquiries from people looking to launch in the dining out sector. In the first four months of the year, the company said it received almost 2,000 applications for funding, 374 of which were for food and drink businesses. In the same period last year, there were 713 applications, of which only seven were from food and drink entrepreneurs. “Today’s twenty-somethings are short of money but prioritise eating out, so there’s a strong market for food businesses who have sound business plans and can make the numbers stack up,” said James Pattison, chief executive of Startup Direct.

Crowdcube to launch next round of live advertising: Crowdfunding platform Crowdcube, which has raised more than £83m to fund new businesses, is to launch its latest round of live pitch advertising through Birmingham-based advertising agency Chapter. The dual-branded ad campaign will run in the press, poster sites and also online and will see brands feature alongside Crowdcube to promote their upcoming round of investment. Luke Lang, Crowdcube co-founder, said: “After a very successful brand campaign at the start of the year, we wanted to capitilise on our rapid growth by keeping our pitches as live as possible, giving every investor – new and existing – the opportunity to get involved. For some of the brands it means having an advertising presence very early on in their growth. For investors, it allows more and more people to invest in young and innovative businesses.”

Former Spirit pub to become regional Muslim charity headquarters: A former Spirit pub, the Craven Heifer in Bradford, is to become the regional headquarters of a Muslim charitable organisation. The Craven Heifer, set in a prominent location on Manchester Road, has been acquired by the Al-Khair Foundation, which plans to use the building as its West Yorkshire base. The organisation started as an Islamic school in London in 2003 and has since developed into an international aid relief group, providing support to victims of major disasters in Kashmir, Haiti, Pakistan and Nepal. A spokesman for the Spirit Pub Company said: “The pub was put on the open market following a business review that identified the pub no longer sat within the long term strategy of the company.”

BT Sport unveils pricing structure for next season: BT Sport will charge the average independent pub £394 a month for it new BT Sport Total Pack, which represents a 60% saving versus the Sky Sports standard price. Existing independent customers will also benefit from a loyalty discount of up to 15% to bring the price down further. BT will also cut the price for customers who only want to show exclusively live Barclays Premier League football, the SPFL and Aviva Premiership Rugby on BT Sport 1. Customers will see a price reduction of 7% to reflect the change in content. Bruce Cuthbert, director commercial customers at BT Sport, said: “Next season will mark a big change for commercial customers who want to maximise their takings by showing the really big UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League clashes midweek, especially as none of those games will be on ITV or Sky Sports. We have been successful in broadening the numbers of commercial premises that show premium sports, we have grown the pubs market by 26%, and we want to show that top flight football need not come at a top price.” From 1 July customers signing up to BT Sport Total will be eligible for an exclusive free service from Screach: Screach Lite. This offers a dynamic entertainment and communication platform that turns pubs’ existing TVs into a sales and marketing tool to help drive footfall and sales using BT Sport content and customisable venue promotion tools. In addition to the free subscription, the first 1,000 BT Sport Total customers signing up to the package will also receive free equipment and installation delivering a combined saving to pubs of £755 in the first year alone.

CGA chief executive Jon Collins becomes IoL’s second patron: The Institute of Licensing (IoL) has announced that CGA chief executive Jon Collins has accepted its invitation to become its second patron. Collins said: “I am truly honoured to take up the position of patron. It puts me in prestigious company and is an offer made by a board for which I have the utmost respect. The Institute of Licensing has an informed and important role to play in shaping licensing policy across the United Kingdom. Of course, that policy then has a very real effect on so many aspects of our day-to-day lives making our work both intellectually stimulating and of real value. I will do all I can to see that our Institute, with the wealth of knowledge held by its members, continues to be recognised and listened to by policymakers at all levels.” The appointment as patron is made in recognition of his “exceptional contribution” to the IoL, and his achievements for the organisation during his time as chairman. Collins will be the IoL’s second patron alongside existing patron, Philip Kolvin QC.

Scotland’s busiest McDonald’s turns to classical music to calm customers: Scotland’s busiest McDonald’s restaurant has started piping in classical music to calm customers down. The fast-food branch in Glasgow’s Argyle Street opens late and already employs stewards after police were called to 200 incidents in 14 months. Now the company is playing Beethoven, Bach and Handel to create a sense of calm inside the site. A mixture of compositions is being used, ranging from full orchestral to solo piano pieces. Meanwhile in Hong Kong, McDonald’s has launched a new range of collectibles to go with its meals, which features a Lego-style Big Mac, fries, milkshake, apple pie, McFlurry, and even a small McDonald’s restaurant. The new line, which can be bought as extras with meals, was launched in Hong Kong in collaboration with Nanoblocks. The range sold out in just one day, the Metro reports. For the equivalent of £1.69 extra, on top of the cost of a meal, customers could choose an individual item from the collection – with the apple pie apparently a particular favourite. The full set costs the equivalent of £16.68. McDonald’s has revealed that it will make a limited number of extra units available to buy up until 24 June.

Company News:

Marco Pierre White to open restaurant in home city of Leeds: Chef Marco Pierre White is to open his first restaurant in his home city of Leeds. Marco’s New York Italian will open at The Merrion Centre in December 2016. He said: “It’s great to be coming home to Leeds, what more is there to say?” It will take up part of the ground floor of the new 134-room Ibis Styles hotel development at the site of the former Merrion Hotel, which closed in 2013. Planning permission has been submitted to Leeds City Council for Marco’s New York Italian, which will serve Italian and American dishes. Edward Ziff, chief executive and chairman at Town Centre Securities, which owns the Merrion Centre, said: “It was actually my daughter’s idea. She spends a lot of time in London and looked at one of his restaurants. Plus Marco Pierre White is an ex-Leeds boy and was keen to get one of his restaurants in the city. It’s fantastic.”

Ex-Greene King multi-siters open second pub after runaway Snowdrop success: Former Greene King multi-site tenants Dominic McCartan and Tony Leonard will open their second free-of-tie pub tomorrow (11 June). The pair will re-open The Roebuck Inn in Laughton. The pub, the only one in the East Sussex village, has been closed since March 2013. It was bought by local resident Rachel Daniels, who didn’t want to see it knocked down and turned into housing. A free-of-tie private lease has been agreed. The move follows runaway success at The Snowdrop in Lewes, a backstreet freehold acquired from Punch Taverns four years ago for £305,000. The couple, who publicly fell out with Greene King over unsustainable rents at their award-winning Brighton pubs, report takings at The Snowdrop have now surpassed their previous record turnover at their former pub, The Hop Poles in Brighton, in its best ever year – gross turnover at The Snowdrop is in excess of £1m a year.

Deltic Group to launch Unit 17 brand in Ipswich: Deltic Group, the UK’s largest nightclub operator formerly called Luminar, is to launch Unit 17 at its Ipswich nightclub Liquid & Envy after a £650,000 refurbishment. After 17 years in the town, Liquid & Envy will be renamed Unit 17 when it reopens on 24 July. The venue is looking to build on its existing team of 20 and recruit a further 50 full and part-time employees working across a number of areas including the bar, hospitality and sales. The new club will feature three distinctive zones; Vinyl (a retro room playing party and club classics), an R&B room and a main dance arena. Unit 17’s general manager Glen Freeman said: “Liquid & Envy has been part of Ipswich’s nightlife for 17 years, but it’s time to move on. With Unit 17 we are taking clubbing to the next level, offering the very best light and sound show in the region, with fantastic service and world class DJs and entertainment.” A new cocktail menu will also be introduced, with the opportunity for guests to enjoy cocktail making masterclasses. There will also be table service throughout the venue for pre-bookable booths and private areas to host parties.

Harry Ramsden’s launches first gift card: Harry Ramsden’s, the fish and chips restaurant chain, has launched its first gift card. The company has partnered with Samba Days UK, the UK arm of Canada’s leading gift experience provider, to produce the £15 gift card that is available from over 350 Morrison’s stores across the UK. Harry Ramsden’s chief executive Joe Teixeira said: “With our increased presence in towns and cities, not the mention the motorway network, as well as continuing to welcome our traditional customer base, we are successfully attracting a new generation to Harry Ramsden’s. With the introduction of this gift card, our brand will now be seen daily by the millions of shoppers Morrison’s attracts and we anticipate this will further boost our customer numbers.” The company will introduce the gift card into other high street stores and make it digitally available later this year. Harry Ramsden’s is the UK’s largest fish and chip operator and has almost 40 branded outlets.

Hydes Brewery opens first craft beer bar: Hydes Brewery has opened The Beer Studio bar in south Manchester to celebrate its craft beer range. It has created a “shop window” for the range produced at its Beer Studio brewhouse by opening its first craft beer bar, The Beer Studio Bar & Kitchen, in the former Sir Joseph Whitworth pub in part of an old church in the student area of Fallowfield, south Manchester. It offers seven cask beers, including a regularly changing pair from The Beer Studio, plus 16 keg beers and over 50 bottled beers from around the world. It offers a list of beer cocktails, priced from £4.95 to £5.50, ranging from a Gringo, made with tequila and grapefruit topped with an IPA, to a Weissen Sour, combining bourbon, bitters and citrus with Erdinger beer. There are also bottled and draught ciders and a short list of wines.

Chinese Buffet brand looks to more openings in 2015: The ten-strong Chinese Buffet, which was founded in Bolton in 2006 by Peter Wu with Paolo and David Hu, is looking to add sites this year. Wu said: “The vision from day one was to develop a Chinese restaurant brand to fill that gap in the market. If you look at the sector there are plenty of buffet-style restaurants but no brands. When we opened the first in Bolton it was very much about learning the ropes, putting things in place and getting things right. Now it is about expanding on what we know works. As the years have gone on, we have developed our brand and widened what food we have to offer, such as sushi and teppanyaki. We focus on quality food with a good atmosphere rather than just cheap value basic food. It’s a la carte service with the buffet-style experience. It’s all about the employees too, having a motivated team and recognising that the people we have are what makes the business work. That is very important when you want to grow a business.” The chain now has openings scheduled for Huddersfield and Darlington. Wu added: “We are looking at other sites now to open before the end of the year, which is exciting.”

Greggs joins campaign in Cardiff to help city’s homeless: Bakery chain Greggs has joined a campaign in Cardiff to help the city’s homeless by offering them food – and possibly even a job. The company is teaming up with Cardiff’s not-for-profit organisation Big Moose, which aims to “make a difference in other people’s lives” and is running a campaign to get restaurants to donate their unwanted food. Greggs has agreed to a number of its Cardiff bakeries donating unwanted food to homeless people in the city but the company has also suggested it could offer people in need jobs. Jeff Smith from Big Moose told Wales Online: “We have an agreement in place for Greggs to donate its unwanted food to us from a number of its Cardiff stores. We don’t know how many stores yet or where they are but it is great news. The most exciting news is the interest Greggs has shown in working with us on a programme it already runs which aims to offer employment for the homeless, people who have suffered with drug problems, and people who have been in prison. As long as Greggs are satisfied that candidates meet the right criteria, for example that they haven’t been in prison for fraud, then it offers them training and a chance of employment.”

Wetherspoon set to expand Cambridgeshire footprint with St Ives opening: JD Wetherspoon has applied for planning permission to open a branch in St Ives in Cambridgeshire (population: 16,710). The company has already lined up an opening in the nearby Cambridgeshire town of Huntingdon. The company has submitted its plans for a new pub and restaurant in St Ives’ Market Hill, in the shop formerly occupied by Warehouse Clearance. Its application for change of use, from retail to a public house, includes the creation of a beer garden. A statement explaining the proposals, published by Huntingdonshire District Council this week, says: “The proposed scheme has been designed to complement the economy of the town and maintain the commercial viability of this building with a general refurbishment and extensions, which will add interest and variety to the conservation area.” Inside, the bar and food area will be on the ground floor, which will be extended, with toilets upstairs, as well as a kitchen.

Whitbread group pensions director Lesley Williams appointed first woman chair of National Association of Pension Funds: Whitbread group pensions director Lesley Williams has been appointed the first woman chair of the National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF), the UK’s leading voice of workplace pensions. She will succeed Ruston Smith, group pensions director at Tesco, whose two-year term ends at the NAPF annual meeting in October. Williams, who has responsibility for corporate pensions strategy at Whitbread – which owns Premier Inn and Costa Coffee – has more than 20 years experience in the industry. She has held a non-executive directorship/director role at the NAPF since 2011 and is currently chair of its Defined Contribution Council. She said: “I would like to thank Ruston for his guidance, expertise and tenacity during a very busy time for pensions in the UK. I am also very pleased to be the first woman to chair the NAPF. We have seen an almost unprecedented amount of change in pensions in the past two years, but one thing remains sure – pensions will continue to be a hot topic, both socially and politically, for many years to come. The NAPF is in a unique position to inform that debate and to make sure the views and interests of schemes and their members are heard.” Smith added: “Lesley has an infectious passion for pensions and always has the interests of members at the heart of everything she does. She brings a wealth of knowledge and experience that will be of considerable value, particularly at this important juncture of retirement savings in the UK, and will make sure that NAPF members’ views will continue to be heard in Whitehall, Westminster and Brussels.”

Dunkin’ Donuts trialling mobile ordering service in America: Dunkin’ Brands, the parent company of Dunkin’ Donuts, is trialling a mobile ordering service in America. The company is developing a mobile ordering app that it is looking to launch next year and it could integrate with a delivery service in the future. Dunkin Brands’ chief executive Nigel Travis told CNBC’s On The Money television programme: “We’re now developing mobile ordering. We’re doing a private test. We’ll move to a more public test later this year. We’ll probably launch mobile ordering sometime next year. The trend in this country is convenience. So I think delivery plays very strongly. I think the next few years you’re going to see us get more and more into delivery.” But Travis, who has run the company – which includes Baskin-Robbins in addition to the Dunkin’ Donuts brand – since 2009, will not be rushed into a full launch. He added: “The key thing is we have to make sure we can operationalise all these procedures. That’s why I’ve slowed up mobile ordering to make sure it’s operationally simple at the store level.” Dunkin Brands is the latest company to experiment with mobile food ordering, with Starbucks, McDonald’s, Chipotle and Taco Bell also venturing into the market.

Ed’s Easy Diner set to open in Redditch: Ed’s Easy Diner is set to open at the Kingfisher Shopping Centre in Redditch, Worcestershire, later this summer. The company’s new restaurant will be in the complex’s leisure quarter The Hub and joins the likes of Nando’s, the American diner and milkshake bar Tinseltown, Chopstix noodle bar and Vue Cinema. Kingfisher general manager Ken Williams told The Evesham Journal: “It’s brilliant news Ed’s Diner has chosen Redditch to open its next restaurant. Ed’s is a terrific brand with a great product that I am sure our shoppers and leisure guests will love. It brings a further dimension to The Hub, giving people an even greater choice, long into the evening.”

Paul UK reports 13.7% like-for-like sales growth: Paul UK has reported 13.7% like-for-like sales growth in the year to 31 December 2014. Turnover rose 3.6% to £24.6m (2013: £23.8m). Group Ebitda (before head office costs & management fees was £4.3m (2013: £3.6m) up 19.2%. Three new stores opened, a kiosk in Canary Wharf, the first outside London, Paul in Oxford, and the brand’s first restaurant format, Restaurant De Paul in Covent Garden. A site in Newbury opened in March 2015 and a further three bakery openings are planned at Tower of London, Marble Arch and Birmingham later on this year. This summer will see a second Restaurant De Paul at Tower 42 in the City featuring an enhanced retail offer alongside an all-day French restaurant and wine bar. A refurbishment programme is underway to enhance the overall customer experience through improved design and store layout. Jean-Michel Orieux, chief executive of Paul UK, said: “We are delighted that trading has exceeded expectations. The improvements and controls put in place from mid-2013 have enhanced our results and produced a solid platform to enable the brand to step-up its expansion programme. Our like-for-like revenue growing by 13.7% demonstrates that our commitment to baking artisanal bread using premium ingredients and traditional techniques, without additives or preservatives, is appreciated by an increasing number of customers. Very few of our competitors take this approach and we are proud of the Paul ‘Bien Mange’ ethos. Those results are a credit to all the hard work and passion delivered daily by our team throughout our bakeries and restaurants.”

Ice cream parlour with a difference pops up at Cinnamon Kitchen bar: An ice cream parlour with a difference has popped up at Cinnamon Kitchen’s spice-infused London bar Anise. The Cinnamon Parlour, which will be on the Devonshire Square bar’s al fresco terrace until 31 July, offers a modern Indian twist on a traditional ice cream parlour. It will serve a selection of cocktails – both alcoholic and non-alcoholic – vanilla, coffee and cinnamon-flavoured ice cream sandwiches, fizzy kulfi pops and a daily-changing selection of ice cream and sorbets. The parlour pops up from noon on Monday to Friday and from 6pm on Saturdays.

McDonald’s appoints new global chief communications and marketing officers: McDonald’s has appointed Robert Gibbs as global chief communications officer and Silvia Lagnado as global chief marketing officer. Both will report to president and chief executive Steve Easterbrook who said: “Robert and Silvia are both highly-respected, talented leaders who will bring a wealth of experience and outside perspective to McDonald’s as we build a more modern, progressive burger company. Returning excitement to our business proposition and brand is foundational to our turnaround plan, and Robert and Silvia – with their respective teams – will play critical roles in bringing this strategy to life.” Gibbs, who joins from The Incite Agency – a strategic communications advisory firm he co-founded in 2013 – will lead McDonald’s corporate relations group, working to enhance the brand and support corporate strategies. Gibbs, who served as US president Barack Obama’s press secretary during his first term, replaces Bridget Coffing, who announced her retirement earlier this year after 30 years with the company. Lagnado, who was most recently chief marketing officer of Bacardi, will be responsible for all aspects of global brand management, including marketing, menu and consumer insights. Her appointment fills a position previously open due to organisational changes. McDonald’s is the world’s leading global foodservice retailer with more than 36,000 locations serving approximately 69 million customers in over 100 countries each day.

Prezzo’s Chimichanga brand to replace Tampopo in Bristol: Prezzo’s Chimichanga Mexican brand is to replace Tampopo at Bristol’s Cabot Circus when it closes at the end of the month. Tampopo, which is inspired by Asian and Far East cooking, occupies a prime spot in the shopping centre next door to the entrance of the Cinema de Lux complex. Tampopo, which has its headquarters in Manchester, has decided to move on after being offered significant premiums to sell its Bristol and Reading sites.

Sharp’s Doom Bar becomes number one ale in off-trade as well as on-trade: Cornwall based Sharp’s Brewery has revealed that its flagship beer, Doom Bar (4.3% ABV), is now the number one single bottled ale in terms of value sales in the off-trade. The top spot has been achieved through growing customer demand, with one bottle of Doom Bar now sold every four seconds across the UK. The announcement follows Doom Bar’s continued success in the on-trade, the UK’s number one cask beer in both volume and value since 2013. Emma Bebbington, general manager at Sharp’s Brewery, said: “We are lucky to have an exceptional team who always strive to ensure the top quality of every beer. We’re excited to be expanding our off-trade reach even further in 2015 and beyond, so we can continue to share our Cornish energy and passion for brewing great beer.”

Drive-thru Costa Coffee and Frankie & Benny’s restaurant planned at proposed Sheffield retail park: A drive-thru Costa Coffee and a Frankie & Benny’s restaurant are planned as part of proposals for a new retail park in Sheffield. The scheme at Drakehouse – south east of the city centre – also includes an Aldi supermarket, Home Bargains discount store, two other small retail units and more than 150 car parking spaces. Agent Steven Abbott Associates, on behalf of Consolidated Property Group, said it would be “high-quality architecture” and was big investment in the economy that would create building jobs and “a large number of permanent jobs”. However, there are fears about traffic volume and the impact it could have on the nearby Drakehouse Retail Park and Crystal Peaks Shopping Mall & Retail Park, reports The Sheffield Telegraph.

Farncombe Estate opens third hotel: Farncombe Estate, near Broadway in the Cotswolds, has opened its third hotel called The Fish. The new boutique hotel is on the privately owned 400-acre estate next to the group’s two existing hotels – the eight-bedroom Dormy House and Foxhill Manor, which opened in March. The Fish has 43 bedrooms spread throughout three refurbished buildings and includes a restaurant, bar and meeting facilities for up to 120 people. The hotel, which was part of an extensive redevelopment, is a brand new type of accommodation for the group, which it says represents a more affordable price. Farncombe Estate chief executive Andrew Grahame told Hotel Owner: “The opening of The Fish is another significant milestone for Farncombe as it brings together both a new type of accommodation and the wide range of activities we offer on the estate. This very exciting addition will not only enable us to reach more leisure and corporate guests, but also serves to demonstrate that price doesn’t have to mean compromising on style and service.”

Domino’s Pizza opens first Portugal store: Domino’s Pizza is continuing its international expansion by opening its first store in Portugal in the Telheiras area of Lisbon. The master franchisee for Domino’s Portugal is Daufood, a subsidiary of Cobega Group, one of the largest family companies in Spain. Daufood chief executive Jose Martí said: “We’re thrilled to introduce the people of Lisbon to the Domino’s brand that is enjoyed around the world. We are looking forward to delivering this community delicious, quality pizza as we work to become the leading pizza delivery restaurant in Portugal.” Domino’s international president Ritch Allison said: “Establishing ourselves in Portugal provides an excellent opportunity for our brand to continue growing globally. Domino’s has terrific potential to offer an unmatched pizza experience to the people of this great market.” Domino’s now operates in over 75 markets worldwide, with more than half of its global retail sales coming from international stores.

Apple Pay to launch in UK next month: Coffee shops, fast food restaurants and supermarkets are among the retailers set to adopt Apple’s new contactless payment system when it launches in the UK next month. Costa Coffee, Starbucks, Wagamama, KFC, McDonald’s, Marks & Spencer, Lidl and Waitrose are just some of the companies that will allow customers to use their iPhone or Apple Watch to make their purchase securely and easily by touching their device on contactless pads. When a credit or debit card is added to Apple Pay, the actual card numbers are not stored on the device or on Apple servers. Instead, a unique Device Account Number is assigned, encrypted and securely stored on the device and each transaction is authorised with a one-time unique dynamic security code. Costa says it will particularly help customers on the go and want to be served at speed and also save team members time during busy periods at the point of purchase. Jon Fisher, head of mobile and loyalty at Costa, said: “At Costa we always put the customer at the heart of everything we do. We currently provide contactless payment across the majority of our UK stores, which is proving really popular, so offering Apple Pay will make our customer experience even more seamless whilst maintaining privacy and security.” Most major banks have signed up for the scheme although Barclays customers will not be able to use the system. The much-heralded UK roll out of Apple Pay, first unveiled in the US last October, was revealed at the tech firm’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco. Apple Pay is easy to set up and users will continue to receive all of the rewards and benefits offered by credit and debit cards.

Propel Conference on 2 July at the Oxford Belfry: Multi-site operators can book up to two free places at the Propel Multi Club Conference on Thursday 2 July at the Oxford Belfry, followed by the summer party by emailing Cyril Lavenant, of NPD Group, looks at the current performance of the UK foodservice market, areas of growth and how the UK is performing within a European context. Steven Pike, managing director of HospitalityGem, talks about what operators can learn from listening to their customers and how it can drive sales. Berry Casey, founder of pioneering better burger brand Hache, celebrating its 10th birthday, talks about the better burger market, evolving and staying ahead in the increasingly crowded better burger market. Corrado Accardi, founder of Pizza Rossa, talks about transforming the pizza offer, creating an award-winning business plan, going through two rounds of successful crowdfunding and planning to expand the company. Keith Knowles, chief executive of Beds & Bars, explains how the company’s food beverage and accommodation performance has been transformed in the past 18 months. Giggling Squid founder Andy Laurillard, who was previously head of brand strategy and innovation at TUI, talks about his company’s steps towards becoming the first UK national Thai restaurant brand. Industry consultant Eddy Passey provides his top ten operational tips gleaned during a career that has spanned working at high volume beds, bars and buffet businesses. Darren Tristano, vice president of research and insights form Technomic, provides an overview of the most interesting and innovative new concept launches in the US in the past year. Jamie Barber talks about how his Brazilian barbecue brand Cabana was developed from scratch, its birth, evolution and future prospects. James Hacon, managing director of Elliotts, talks about the future of sector marketing with Georgia Hall, brand and marketing manager for Cafe Rouge, Kate Cargill, group marketing manger Hix restaurants and Tim Foster, head of being awesome at Yummy Pubs. Sector investor and Patisserie Valerie executive chairman Luke Johnson sets out the ten key steps in turning Patisserie Valerie into a national brand.

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