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Tue 16th Jun 2015 - Propel Tuesday News Briefing

Story of the Day:

Gary Rhodes signs partnership to open restaurant at cinema in Dubai: Chef Gary Rhodes has partnered UAE-based Majid Al Futtaim Cinemas to launch Vox ThEATre by Rhodes in Dubai. Rhodes, who has five restaurants around the globe and a number of Michelin stars, will have a hand in every detail from “staff training to kitchen set up, cutlery design and menu preparations”, according to a statement. The new concept when it launches as part of the fresh Vox Cinemas development, in Majid Al Futtaim’s Mall of the Emirates extension in September. Rhodes said: “Vox Theatre by Rhodes is an exciting new marriage and challenge that we hope to turn into a culinary taste that blends and compliments the movie experience that Vox Cinemas has always been known to offer and now adding a new venture that I feel proud to be part of.” Cameron Mitchell, chief executive at Majid Al Futtaim Cinemas – VOX Cinemas, added: “The new VOX Mall Of The Emirates cinema will be the largest cinema in the Middle East, featuring all of the world’s most innovative cinema concepts including an IMAX laser projection system (the first in the Middle East), the region’s largest 4DX cinema (exclusive to VOX Cinemas) and two VOX Kids cinemas, the only cinemas designed especially for the younger fans.”
 

Industry News:

Cask Matters reports cask ale growth: New figures for the first quarter of 2015 obtained by Cask Matters show continued growth for cask ale, particularly premium cask ale. This comes on the back of figures for 2014 that revealed cask ale was in growth despite the slow down in on-trade beer sales, with total sales of cask ale amounting to 2,204,000 barrels in 2012, 2,223,000 in 2013 and 2,248,000 in 2014. Sales for the first quarter of 2015 show the following: Premium cask continues to be the success story with sales this year up against the same time last year by 1.7% in January, 5.1% in February and 1.8% in March; standard and premium combined is up by 0.8% on Q1 2014. This shows that cask is standing up well as total on-trade beer sales have continued to decline, down by 2.4% in the first quarter of 2015. Although standard ales still represent the largest part of the cask ale market, it is the premium ales (those ales over 4.1% ABV) that are continuing to show the strongest growth, demonstrating the move from session beers to stronger, premium beers among an increasing number of drinkers. The figures are all taken from the British Beer and Pub Association Barrelage Survey.
 
Whole Foods Market unveils name of first ever off-shoot, to be run by former UK boss: Whole Foods Market, which has nine sites in the UK, has unveiled the name of its first ever off-shoot. Scheduled to begin opening in 2016, the new stores, called “365 by Whole Foods Market”, will offer “convenience and everyday low prices on natural and organic products that meet the company’s industry-leading quality standards”. “We are excited to introduce 365 by Whole Foods Market to bring healthy foods to even more communities with a fresh, quality-meets-value shopping experience that’s fun and convenient,” said Jeff Turnas, a 20-year Whole Foods veteran who most recently oversaw the UK operation and who will serve as president of the new venture. “A modern, streamlined design with innovative technology and a carefully curated product mix will offer an efficient and rewarding way to grocery shop. For the past 37 years, we have built our company by leading with high quality standards and continuous innovation. We are excited for the next evolution to extend our offerings to a broader audience in a way that complements our successful Whole Foods Market brand.” Whole Foods Market currently has 421 stores in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.
 
Panera Bread named the US’ most trustworthy QSR, McDonald’s score plummets:
Cafe baker chain Panera Bread is considered to be the most trustworthy quick service restaurant (QSR) chain in the US, according to a new study by the Reputation Institute. Panera scored 80.0 – the highest possible score was 100. In a top ten list that looked solely at QSRs, Panera was highest, then Dunkin’ Brands, Subway, Krispy Kreme, Texas Roadhouse, Wendy’s, Chipotle, Mrs. Fields, Papa John’s, and The Cheesecake Factory. Reputation Institute examined Chipotle more closely and said the chain’s score went from 69.36 last year to a 2015 figure of 74.15. In the rankings, a “strong” score ranges between 70 and 79, and an “excellent” score is 80 or higher. McDonald’s 2014 score was 64.0 – and this year hit 55.3. In the rankings, scores between 60 and 69 are “average” and scores between 40 and 59 are “weak”.
 
Shepherd’s Bush Market to host six-week street food festival: Shepherd’s Bush Market is to host a six-week street food festival set to make it a west London alternative to Street Feast in Dalston, and Model Market in Lewisham. Little Feast will launch on Thursday 2 July in a space at the Goldhawk Road end of Shepherd’s Bush Market that is not usually open to the public, running there from Thursdays to Sunday. It’s a sister project to the Feast food festivals that have run in Brick Lane and Tobacco Dock, and will be home to eight street food stalls in wooden huts, including Green Goat serving grilled fish, Got Seoul offering Korean barbecue, Venezuelan arepas from Guasaca and a new stall called Poptata selling fries. An old fish shop under railway arches nearby in the market will also be turned into a deli and bar called The Arch. Little Feast will run from 5pm on Thursdays and Fridays and 11am on Saturdays and Sundays until 11pm each evening (9pm on Sundays). The Arch will serve coffees and food from 7.30am until 5pm Tuesday to Friday. Entrance is free.
 
Pubs minister joins Beer Day Britain celebrations: Community pubs minister Marcus Jones joined celebrations yesterday (Monday, 15 June) to mark the Magna Carta’s 800th anniversary and the first Beer Day Britain, which aims to raise the profile of the British beer and pubs industry. At 12.15pm, the minister took part in a nationwide toast, joining thousands of community pub patrons and beer lovers across the country. Clause 35 of the Magna Carta stated there should be a single measure for ale throughout the United Kingdom. This measure was called the London Quarter and is the equivalent of two pints. Jones said: “The Great British Pub is a national treasure which is why we are determined to protect it. We should all be proud of our nation’s great history as a brewing powerhouse, therefore it is only right we celebrate Beer Day Britain alongside the Magna Carta. I am told that in medieval times a standard measure of beer was the equivalent of two pints – called the London quarter – so while our glasses may now be smaller, our love for British beer remains as great as ever.”
 

Company News:

List published of Greene King pubs to be sold: A list has been published of the pubs Greene King will sell to comply with competition concerns in the wake of its acquisition of Spirit Pub Company. The sites are: The Fox Inn, a freehold Spirit pub in Boars Hill, Oxford; The Fish, a Greene King freehold in Abingdon, Oxfordshire; the Ladygrove, a Greene King long leasehold pub in Didcot, Oxfordshire; The Fox, a freehold Greene King pub in Abingdon, Oxfordshire; The Packhorse, a Greene King freehold in Abingdon, Oxfordshire; The Plough Inn, a Spirit freehold in Burlesdon, Southampton; The Crusader, a Greene King freehold in Nottingham; The Coach and Horses, a Spirit freehold in Castle Bromwich; the Fairham Hotel, a Spirit long leasehold pub in Clifton, Nottingham; the Gedling Inn, a Spirit freehold in Gedling, Nottingham; The Old Colonial, a Spirit freehold in Compton Acres, Nottingham; The Raven, a Spirit freehold in Birmingham; The Hare, a Greene King freehold in Wantage, Oxfordshire; and The Plough, a Greene King freehold in Wantage, Oxfordshire. Analysts were surprised when the Competition and Markets Authority ruled the sale of just 16 pubs would meet competition concerns – it had been suggested as many as 100 from the combined estates would need to be sold.
 
Luke Johnson – ‘I was approached by an Eclectic shareholder’: Sector investor Luke Johnson has told Propel that he made an investment in premium bar and nightclub company Eclectic Bar Group, revealed yesterday, after being approached by one of the shareholders. He added it was too soon to talk about which of the company’s brands he preferred and he would be undertaking a full review of the brands’ strength and weaknesses. Asked whether he’d been encouraged to make a further investment in the late-night sector after success with Grand Union, he said: “They’re all licensed businesses really including Laine Pub Company (although) Grand Union has had quite a good year – Adam (Marshall) is on good form.” 
 
Site let to Nando’s in Stockport sold for £1.15m: Williams Tarr, advised by leisure specialist Jenics, has sold a new-build restaurant investment, let to Nando’s, at Stockport’s Peel Centre Retail Park to Trustees of Sheffield Mutual Friendly Society for £1.15m, representing a net initial yield of sub 6.0%. The 2,781 sq ft restaurant in Great Portwood Street, is let to Nando’s Chickenland on a 20-year lease from September 2012, with a tenant break at 15 years, at a rental of £72,322 a year. Jeremy Collins, director of Jenics, said: “The deal was completed in just under three weeks and attracted a significant amount of interest, due to the building’s age, its location alongside a thriving retail park and strength of tenant covenant.” Ed Wilkinson, managing director of Williams Tarr, said: “Jenics acquired this site for us just over three years ago when it was being closed down. With their advice we redeveloped the site, agreed a deal with Nando’s and are now delighted to have secured a buyer for the freehold in such a short space of time.”
 
JD Wetherspoon submits plan for ambitious £1.4m five-level staggered roof garden in Exeter: JD Wetherspoon has submitted plans for a £1.4m five-level staggered roof terrace with cathedral views at the Chevalier in Fore Street, Exeter. The proposed £1.4m expansion involves taking over the neighbouring British Heart Foundation charity shop. The most eye-catching part of the plans submitted to the city council are the dramatic alterations to the upper part of the buildings, with an addition of five separate outside seating areas on staggered levels. Wetherspoon spokesman Eddie Gershon said: “The Chevalier is an extremely popular pub in Exeter. We are always keen to add value for customers using our pubs, and our aim is add a rooftop garden to The Chevalier, which we believe will be welcome by customers. We will await the outcome of the planning committee.” The flooring of the higher levels of outside seating is completely turfed with grass. The areas would be walled in with reinforced transparent glass in order to optimise the view over the cathedral, a stone’s throw away. The redevelopment would require demolition of various areas of the building, including two existing plant rooms and an upstairs customer toilet, to make way for additional seating and access to the rooftop beer gardens. Blueprints also reveal a planned extension into next door on the ground floor to create 247 sq m of additional indoor space. The Chevalier Inn opened as a Lloyd’s No. 1 bar in July 2009. It took the place of the Hog’s Head on the site adjacent to Exeter Corn Exchange, and brought the tally of Wetherspoon pubs up to four when it joined George’s Meeting House on South Street, The Sawyer’s Arms on Cowick Street and The Imperial Hotel on St David’s Hill.
 
Jamaican-inspired restaurant concept Rudies to launch in London: Jamaican-inspired restaurant concept Rudies is to launch its first outlet in London in September. The 60-cover establishment, which aims to provide customers with a “truly authentic taste of the very best of Jamaica”, will open in Dalston in the north east of the capital. Co-founder Matin Miah said: “Our primary focus is the food at Rudie’s, we’ve spent a lot of time researching and travelling to find the best Jamaican ingredients and methods of cooking out there and we can’t wait to share them with our customers. The atmosphere at Rudie’s will be cool, funky, casual and fun with a huge smiling persona – we want to bring a great big slice of Jamaica and the best ‘real jerk’ to the streets of London.” The sharing-style menu features “real jerk” dishes alongside innovative small plates inspired by traditional Jamaican cooking presented with a contemporary twist. The restaurant incorporates a central “rum bar” with stylish lighting installations, bespoke furniture and sculpture designs by Alexander Mulligan. The bar will serve rum cocktails based on retro classics like the Daiquiri and will house an extensive selection of Jamaican rum including Appleton Estate, Wray and Nephew and Monymusk.
 
Byron set to open in Bury St Edmund’s: The better burger chain Byron is set to open in Bury St Edmund’s, Suffolk, later this year. The company, founded by Tom Byng, is currently fitting out a unit at the Arc shopping centre, opposite Carluccio’s. A spokesman told the Bury Free Press: “Every Byron’s design is unique – at Byron Bury St Edmunds, the design will feature contrasting greens, whites and browns alongside a feature herringbone clad wooden wall. The open kitchen will provide a focal point, complemented by timber and polished concrete flooring, reclaimed doors and windows, and a mixture of vintage and contemporary furniture.” Byron, which has more than 50 outlets in the UK, is aiming to open ten new sites in 2015 after total turnover passed £50m last year.
 
Starbucks reports success with new packaged coffee range: Starbucks reports its newly branded packaged coffee range has achieved record results with a value growth of 31% versus prior year. This success outperforms the ground coffee (excluding single serve) market, which is currently declining by 1%. Starbucks was the fastest growing premium roast and ground brand and had a volume growth of 61% in the latest 12 weeks. The rebrand provides distinction between the different roasts, tasting notes with an eye-catching look and feel, in a new 200g size. The range consists of four different coffees – ground House Blend, Colombia, Caffe Verona and whole bean Espresso Roast and is sold in a number of supermarkets across the UK. Joern Staas, director of Starbucks EMEA channel business development, said: “Our aim with the new packaging is to reflect the artistry that goes into each blend of coffee, bringing origin stories to life and providing a better understanding of how they differ. Each package design mirrors the unique expression of heritage, roast and flavour with taste distinctions central to each unique coffee.” The range has a recommended retail price of £3.49 for a 200g bag (previously £3.99 for a 227g bag) and is available in Tesco, Waitrose, Morrison’s, Budgens, Nisa and online at Ocado.
 
Sir Ian Botham opens Beefy’s at Ageas Bowl:
Sir Ian Botham has opened Beefy’s focusing on local produce, steaks, and seafood, at Ageas Bowl in Hampshire. A roll-out is planned with other restaurants set to open in Abu Dhabi, Southport and Durham later this year. The venue is the brainchild of Botham, Hampshire Cricket Club chairman Rod Bransgrove, Ageas Bowl chief executive David Mann, Hampshire-based Palladian Hotels and Resorts boss Paul Clark and Front Foot Hospitality chief executive Steve Grant. Botham has chosen some of his favourite dishes for the menu. They include “Granny B’s” fish pie, grilled or poached turbot and a seafood platter, as well as Botham’s own favourite, the 20oz ribeye “Tomahawk” steak. Much of the menu is drawn from Hampshire produce, including beef, poultry, pork, watercress and vegetables.
 
Eataly to open first European store outside Italy: High-end Italian food emporium Eataly is to open its first European store outside of Italy later this year – in neighbouring Germany. The company, launched by Oscar Farinetti in 2007 selling cheese, dairy products, ice cream, chocolate, wines, beers and olive oils from leading Italian producers and brands, has started recruiting staff for the store in Munich, reports European Supermarket Magazine. Eataly, whose original format also includes restaurants as well as cooking courses and tastings, has 32 stores – half of which are in Italy along with 11 in Japan, three in the US and one each in the UAE, Turkey and Brazil. New store openings earmarked in the next three years include Moscow, London, Paris, Toronto, Seoul, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Boston and a second store in New York.
 
Cyprus restaurant owner to bring sushi to Newbury: Businessman Arik Goksel, who owns a restaurant in Cyprus, is to open a sushi restaurant in Newbury. Sushi Restaurant & Takeaway, which will be situated next door to Strada, will have the capacity to serve 18 people and most of the fish on the menu will be shipped daily from Japan. A formal planning application has been submitted to convert the building, formerly occupied by bakery and coffee shop Silva Robinson, into the new restaurant. The application says the restaurant would provide “the best quality of sushi and sashimi selections”. Goksel said: “I have lived in central Newbury for the past three-and-a-half years and I wanted to do something different. We have all sorts of restaurants in the Market Place, but we don’t have anywhere which serves proper Japanese food. I love sushi and I’m really excited to bring it to the place I live. I am hoping that the chef I have in mind will be able to fly over from Japan too.” Goksel hopes to open in August. The unit has been empty since December 2014.
 
Molson Coors launches £5.4m Carling British Cider campaign: Molson Coors is launching a £5.4m media campaign on Carling British Cider. The above the line (ATL) activity, that includes TV, outdoor and digital advertising, will be supported by a 12-week experiential campaign and on-trade support to drive increased distribution and trial. Across both the on and the off-trade, the Carling British Cider portfolio has recorded MAT growth of 71%. Jim Shearer, brand director, Carling at Molson Coors UK, said: “We are committed to exciting drinkers in the mainstream cider category with the Carling British Cider range. When launching the brand we focused on developing a high quality liquid – with one of the highest juice contents in the industry – and have seen multiple award wins from both consumers and the wider industry. Through our investment in a new media campaign, we hope to engage and delight our loyal drinkers, create awareness with new audiences and drive incremental growth in the category.”
 
Grind plans £10.6m turnover by 2020 after launching £1.5m mini-bond: Coffee brand Grind has launched a £1.5m mini-bond on crowdfunding service Crowdcube. Grind was founded four years ago by Australian DJ and musician Kaz James and entrepreneur David Abrahamovitch. The company has four sites, which also double up as cocktail bars, in Shoreditch, Holborn, Soho and London Bridge, with a fifth site set to open in Covent Garden this summer. It is raising the funds to open a sixth site as well as a new roastery and kitchen in east London to service its shops. Sales are forecast to hit £4.4m by the end of its 2016 financial year with site Ebita of £649,119, rising to £10.6m with site Ebita of £2,037,734 by the end of its 2020 financial year. By 10am yesterday morning, 28 investors had pledged £207,000 of its initial £750,000 target, meaning it is 27% funded. The pitch states: “Having successfully scaled to four sites, and on track to serve 750,000 coffees in the next 12 months, the next step for the group is to in-source the roasting of our custom blend – offering greater control, improved coffee margins, and allowing us the opportunity to take up the wholesale and retail opportunities that we’ve already been presented with. We have identified some space in east London, about 10 minutes from Shoreditch, in which we plan to create a state of the art roastery, a central kitchen and a sixth Grind, all in one. In this new space, the biggest and most ambitious Grind yet, we will not only roast coffee, but also bake croissants, cakes and pastries to be delivered to every Grind each morning. We’ve also got a few special projects up our sleeves, and the roastery will allow us the space and the facilities to make these a reality.” Grind, which counts Links of London founder John Ayton among its backers, said the four-year bond will pay an annual interest rate of 8% every quarter.
 
Orange Tree Group markets The Obar in Leicester for £450,000 after outgrowing site: Orange Tree Group, the East Midlands-based independent pub company, is selling The Obar in Leicester after outgrowing the site. The company, started and developed by best friends Ben Hings and Gareth Smith in 1995, has instructed property specialists Fleurets to market the freehold, with offers sought in the region of £450,000. This is in line with the most recent year’s sales, which were £450,677. The Obar, a three-storey building in Braunstone Gate, was originally developed in 2001 as a late-night bar. In November 2013 Hings and Smith used it to launch their pop-up smokehouse restaurant, which traded so well they made it a permanent feature in March last year. Hings said: “We’re now outgrowing this site and feel that the specialist craft beer/smokehouse barbecue soul food concept works really well together. We’re keen to continue it in new bigger premises.” The property includes a ground floor bar, smokehouse restaurant and dining area on the first floor and three-bedroomed accommodation with private access. It also has a premises licence until 2am Sundays to Thursdays and 4am on Fridays and Saturdays.

Enterprise Inns multiple installs beer wall, one of first outside London: A beer wall is giving craft ale and cider drinkers in Berkshire the rare chance to pull their own pints at Enterprise Inns’ Queen’s Head in Reading. The UK’s largest leased and tenanted pub company has partnered with publican Andy Becalick to upgrade the traditional venue, which is now home to one of the UK’s first beer walls outside London. The self-serve, automated dispense system features six regularly changing top quality craft ales and ciders for drinkers to choose from, following the purchase of a “beer card” from the bar. Multiple pub operator Becalick, former Entrepreneur of the Year at the Pride of Reading Awards, said: “At a time when the cask beer market is really opening up and growing in popularity, we’re excited to introduce the beer wall, which we believe will bolster our drinks offer. Located in a spacious new outbuilding, with easy access to our outdoor space, it’s the perfect addition in time for barbecue season.” As well as the new beer wall, a former stable block has been renovated and is now being used as an overflow dining and function space, to cater for the pub’s growing customer base. Less than two-years ago, Enterprise and Becalick injected a combined £150,000 to transform The Queen’s Head. It was rebranded and given a fresh, modern look, as well as a menu overhaul, featuring a selection of classic British food, and dishes inspired by south east Asia. Enterprise regional manager Jon Badge said: “The pub has certainly come a long way in the last few years and now has a premium food and drink offer, in an impressive setting.”
 
Davis Coffer Lyons completes East Dulwich pub double:
Agent Davis Coffer Lyons has completed two pub transactions in East Dulwich – the sale of The Herne Tavern on Forest Hill Road to a new start-up company and the acquisition of The Cherry Tree on Grove Vale on behalf of Redcomb Pubs. The Herne Tavern – which is situated on the edge of Peckham Rye Park and Common – was purchased by a group of local businessmen headed up by Dominic Taplin, former operator of Abigails members bar in the West End who is returning to leisure after a brief spell in the property sector. It is held on a Punch tied lease and will benefit from extensive garden landscaping after the summer. The vendor of The Herne Tavern, Cymon Eckel, has sold the pub in order to focus on his successful co-working/food and beverage concept Forge & Co on Shoreditch High Street as well as The Griffin public house also in Shoreditch. The Cherry Tree acquisition takes Redcomb Pubs’ estate to 14. Positioned immediately outside of the entrance to East Dulwich’s mainline station, it is on a free-of-tie lease from Wellington Pub Company and is set to close for eight weeks to undergo a £400,000 refurbishment. Chris Bickle, associate director at Davis Coffer Lyons, said: “East Dulwich is a great suburb with a catchment that extends to neighbouring Peckham, Nunhead and Camberwell. With the rise in Central London rents and premiums, these ‘London village’ locations are attracting more interest than ever before. The buyers reflect the diversity of the London pub market at the moment and highlight the sector’s ongoing popularity. The premiums achieved reflect the quality and potential of the assets and have no doubt that they will both be a success.”
 
Ice rink, ski centre and leisure plan for Bristol unveiled: Plans for a large indoor ice rink, complete with a skydiving and ski centre plus leisure offering in Bristol are set to be unveiled this week. The city has been left without an ice rink since the one in Frogmore Street was demolished in 2013, but that could soon change if permission is granted for the indoor sports centre planned at Cribbs Causeway. The plans are set to be unveiled by developer Baylis Estates, which partly owns The Mall shopping centre. As well as the sports centre, the proposed new facilities include a sports store, hotel, pub, coffee “drive thru” and two car showrooms. The centre is planned for land next to the Vue cinema complex.
 
Welcome Break rolls out digital restaurant menus:
Motorway service station operator Welcome Break is rolling out digital restaurant menus across its UK sites. The company is installing the system, which displays up-to-date menus and pricing, special offers and promotional videos at the likes of Papa John’s, Harry Ramsden’s and Subway at its venues. Saville Audio Visual is supplying and installing the LG webOS smart display screens and the displayed content is created and managed by different media agencies on behalf of the restaurants. The software, provided by digital signage technology company Signagelive, supports multiple content formats including static images, video, and web pages and also integrates with QR code technology and widgets from social media platforms. Welcome Break has 27 sites across the UK and sees 80 million customers a year.
 
Starbucks suspends use of some of its imported ingredients in India: Starbucks has suspended the use of imported ingredients in its India outlets not approved by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). Tata Starbucks Limited, a 50:50 joint venture between the US coffee chain and Tata Global Beverages, says it is working with the FSSAI “to provide the technical information relating to our pending ingredient applications that it has requested”. Starbucks has not given details of the ingredients it is removing but said it would use other FSSAI-approved ingredients that meet its global standards so it can continue offering its range of drinks. The company said in a statement all its imported ingredients, including the ones it is suspending, were “safe and meet the safety standards in over 65 countries where Starbucks operates”. “All of these imported ingredients received the then applicable product testing and safety authorisations when they were imported into India,” the statement said. Starbucks added it has “the highest standards for the safety and quality of the beverages and food offered to customers” and is “committed to complying with the regulations in every market it operates in”.
 
Marston’s pulls out of deal to sell pub to care home developer: Marston’s has pulled out of a deal to sell The Claregate in Wolverhampton to a developer. The future of the pub in Codsall Road had been under threat after Marston’s unveiled plans to sell the site to a care home developer. Marston’s spokesman Ed Hancock said: “We have withdrawn from negotiations for the sale of the Claregate. We can confirm it will continue to run as a pub and we are now reviewing options for its future.”
 
Prison cafe turns into runaway success: The cafe at HMP Kirklevington Grange, which sells plants as well as benches, tables and chairs made onsite in the woodwork and metal workshops, has turned into a thriving business. The original coffee shop, which opened about 18 months ago outside the perimeter fence of the jail in Yarm, North Yorkshire, has been expanded to meet demand and now has its own bandstand. Takings for the food baked freshly on the premises as well as the bespoke products it sold, totted up to thousands of pounds each week, which are ploughed back into expanding provision and integrating inmates back into society. Graeme Parry, head of security and operations, said: “The coffee shop and its products have gone through the roof. It has been a huge success story as it’s the first of its kind. We have had lots of other prisons come to look at the model. It’s about reintegrating prisoners back into society. If we have managed to get society here we are halfway there. At first people might come because they are curious but it is really friendly and I do not think those that return even think about whether they have been served by a prisoner or not.”
 
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 jo.charity@propelinfo.com. 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 tenth 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 and 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 Unites States in the past year. Jamie Barber talks about how his Brasilian barbecue brand Cabana brand was developed from scratch, its birth, evolution and future prospects. James Hacon, managing director of Elliotts, talks to about the future of sector marketing with Georgia Hall, brand and marketing manager for Café 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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