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Mon 22nd Jun 2015 - Propel Monday News Briefing

Story of the Day:

Government must act to eradicate business rates inequality: The Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) has renewed its call for an overhaul of the business rates system and urged the government to implement a fairer, more responsive system for licensed hospitality businesses. The ALMR has submitted evidence to the government’s consultation on the terms of reference of its review of business rates and has argued for a fairer, more flexible deal for pubs, bars, clubs and restaurants. ALMR chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “We have been consistently vocal in our calls for a full, fundamental review of the business rates system in the UK. At present, the UK’s high street is more highly taxed than any other property market in Europe – the system is unresponsive, out-of-date and plainly not longer fit for purpose. The hypothetical assumption of ‘fair and maintainable trade’ upon which pubs are valued, has the effect of punishing successful businesses and produces manifestly unjust outcomes. A fair and flexible business rates regime must treat all businesses equally in terms of the basis upon which they are assessed. Inconsistencies have become even more noticeable with the continuing shift towards online retail which has succeeded in shrinking the business rates base, forcing high street businesses, which do not benefit from the corresponding low rent and rates, to make up the shortfall. The businesses that are driving the recovery of our high streets are shouldering a disproportionate burden. Pubs, bars, clubs and restaurants represent around 4% of properties but are contributing more than 6% of the total rateable value. The government can alleviate much of this disparity by assessing all businesses, including supermarkets and online enterprises, in a similar manner by accounting for turnover as well as rental value. This needs to be backed up by more frequent valuations calculated using annualised CPI to ensure accurate rental values. Only if the government takes these steps will we begin to see a fairer deal for pubs, bars and restaurants.”

Industry News:

Jamie’s Italian to add 10p ‘sugar tax’ levy to every drink with added sugar: Jamie’s Italian is to add a 10p levy to every drink with added sugar. An explanation of the drink levy will be printed on all menus in Jamie Oliver restaurants and waiting staff will be briefed about the alternatives choices for children. Money from the levy will be put in a fund run by the charity Sustain, which advocates better food and farming policies and practices, to support children’s healthy food initiatives across the UK. The Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group will make a donation of £25,000 to get the fund started. The sugar drink tax – which Oliver calls the ‘children’s health levy’ – is expected to raise £80,000 in the first year. Simon Blagden, chief executive of Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group, told The Sunday Times: “As a business, we’re concerned about the increasing levels of diet-related disease in the UK, especially in children, and, while we’re not against treats, we do feel we need to take lead when it comes to keeping our customers informed. A levy on these drinks allows us to send a message as well as raise money to help give children the knowledge to make better choices.” 

Norwich City Council to decide on Cumulative Impact Policy tomorrow: Norwich City Council will vote tomorrow on whether to introduce a Cumulative Impact Policy to limit the opening of new bars and clubs in the area around Norwich’s Prince of Wales Road. Officers from Norfolk police spent months pulling together evidence of the problems of violence and anti-social behaviour they face when policing the city’s clubbing district. They say the opening of new bars last year led to increasing levels of violence, with an extra six officers drafted in to police the city’s clubland on Saturday nights. They have presented that evidence to Norwich City Council and have called for City Hall to bring in tighter controls on when, and where, clubs, pubs and bars can open. The city’s licensing committee has already backed the move, but tomorrow (Tuesday) the final decision on whether to introduce it will be made by the full council.

PR agency decides pub is the perfect place to test candidates social skills: A PR agency, Up Communications, is to take over a London pub for a day as part of an unusual recruitment drive, PR Week has reported. The agency will rebrand a London pub as the ‘Up Inn Arms’ for the day on 1 July and the founders will carry out interviews and creative tests, with the aim of hiring three recruits. Stuart Jackson, chief executive of Up Communications, said that the firm wanted to use the pub as it was the “original social network” and show potential recruits how important face-to-face communication is. He said: “Far too much business is being done over email in this industry, so we’re going back to basics. Whether you enjoy a tipple or not, the pub is still one of the greatest places for people to communicate on the matters that mean most to them.” The central London location of the pub is being kept secret to ensure anonymity of the candidates.

Fuller’s writes to EC over illegal actions of 100 local authorities: Fuller’s chief executive Simon Emeny and chairman Michael Fuller have written to the European Commission to complain about ‘illegal action’ by more than 100 councils. The Chiswick-based brewer and retailer claims the council have put pressure on retailers to stop stocking strong beer and ciders. Emeny told The Mail on Sunday: “This is something I feel very strongly about. We know of customers who have been unable to buy their favourite beers from their local shops.” To try an side-step the problem, Fuller’s has introduced a new “click and collect” service that enables customer to order beer to collect and take home from their local. “We call it next-dray delivery,” said Emeny. 

BT revolving restaurant to open to public for a fortnight: The revolving restaurant at the top of the BT Tower in central London is to open to the public for two weeks to mark the building’s golden anniversary. The tower was opened in 1965 by then Prime Minister Harold Wilson and the restaurant opened the following year. The tower was closed to the public in 1971, with the restaurant shutting in 1980. BT will hold a ballot for members of the public to eat at the restaurant while overlooking London’s skyline. Gavin Patterson, BT Group chief executive, said: “I’m delighted we’re able to re-open the restaurant to the public. The BT Tower was a unique feat of engineering when it was first built and it remains an important and much-loved building today.”

Company News:

Giggling Squid to begin delivery trial: Giggling Squid is to begin a delivery service trial. The trial, due to begin within the coming weeks, will take place in Horsham, where the company will make 90% of its menu available as delivery option. Founder Andy Laurillard told Propel: “There is clearly big demand for our menu to be delivered to customers’ homes which we will now be able to meet.” If the trial is successful, it will be expanded to other sites across the estate. On Friday, Giggling Squid announced it had acquired a prime site in Berkhamsted – its first in Hertfordshire. Berkhamsted will become the 14th Giggling Squid after planned openings in Guildford and Billericay, and is expected to open ahead of recently acquired sites in Bury St Edmunds, Esher and Bath. The new 120-cover restaurant will undergo a £200,000 refit, with an opening scheduled for September or October, creating between 15 and 20 new jobs.

Davy’s operations director Sarah Weir steps down to start her own company: Davy’s of London operations director Sarah Weir has stepped down to start her own bar company. Weir, who worked at Davy’s for 18 months, was previously commercial director at Bramwell Pub Company. She has also worked as head of food and drink innovation at PizzaExpress and head of drink development for Mitchells & Butlers. Weir told Propel: “Having developed many concepts for great companies, I am going to have a go for myself.”

Spur Group to debut new RBW concept in Corby this week: South Africa-based Spur Group is to debut its new ribs, burgers and wings concept RBW in Corby’s Parkland Gateway on Wednesday, opening at a new cinema complex. As well as serving ribs, burgers and wings, the menu offers hotdogs, skinny ‘skin-on’ fries, desserts and milkshakes. RBW’s official opening on Wednesday will follow the recent opening of a Nando’s next to the cinema and comes ahead of Prezzo opening in the same complex on Tuesday, 30 June. The new Prezzo has cost £620,000 to develop.

Jamie Oliver to open culinary school with Russian restaurant operator: The Russian restaurant holding firm Ginza Project, which operates 34 restaurant brands in Moscow, is to open a culinary school in Moscow’s Danilovsky market with Jamie Oliver. Part of the balcony running inside the market’s dome will house the school, the concept for which and business terms are yet to be finalised, according to a report in business daily Kommersant. Ginza already has a joint project with Oliver. In late 2012, the company agreed a $25 million deal to open 20 Jamie’s Italian sites in Russia and Ukraine. So far two restaurants – in Moscow and St. Petersburg – have been launched. The latest project is part of a broader scheme to modernise Danilovsky market.

Bill’s granted permission for High Wycombe shopping centre restaurant: Bill’s has been granted planning permission to open a venue at a shopping centre in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. The company has been successful in its application to Wycombe District Council to convert the unit occupied by childrenswear firm Pumpkin Patch at the Eden shopping centre. The proposed restaurant has room for 90 diners on the ground floor and a further 50 on the first floor. Bill’s, which recently launched restaurants in Gloucester Quays shopping centre and Sheffield, is due to open venues at Taunton in Somerset and Colchester in Essex in July. 

Hull premium coffee shop Deli No 1 to start expanding: Hull-based premium coffee shop Deli No 1 is to start expanding with two new outlets in East Yorkshire. The company, which opened its first shop at The Pod in St Andrew’s Quay last year, is in the process of securing a shop in Hull city centre and is opening another store in Beverley in October. Owner Daniel Moxon told The Hull Daily Mail: “We’re expanding our brand. Everything is more premium than our competitors. It’s about offering something a bit different.” Moxon says his shop is part of the “third wave” of coffee, after off-the-shelf freeze-dried blends raised the drink’s popularity in Britain and the big high street chains followed in its wake. He uses coffee beans sold by Hessle firm The Blending Room and added: “We’ve gone in at the top end, really, to make sure we’re at the forefront of this third wave of coffee making. We want to produce the perfect cup of coffee. People are quite happy to eat out but if they eat out, they want something a bit better than what they would have at home. People have transferred from Costa, Caffe Nero and Starbucks to us because of the coffee we’re offering. We look at how the beans are sourced and how they’re roasted.” The existing Deli No.1 store is in a spot once occupied by Starbucks.

Former Charles Wells head of communications steps down from top Domino’s communications role: Sarah McGhie, who spent ten years heading up communications at Charles Wells, has stepped down as head of public relations at Domino’s Pizza after almost two years in the job, PR Week has reported. She is looking at contract and interim roles in the industry. She has been replaced by former Post Office head of PR Nina Arnott. Before joining the Post Office in 2013, Arnott held a series of interim communications roles including director of European communications at McDonald’s and head of communications and CSR at Yum! Brands.

Hard Rock Cafe introduces World Burger menu: Hard Rock Cafe has introduced a World Burger tour menu, giving diners the chance to sample burgers that have proven popular at Hard Rock Cafes around the world. The Manchester venue’s take on a local burger – the Lancashire Hot Pot Burger – has also gone on the menu at Hard Rock cafes around the globe. Other burger on the menu include: Banh Mi Burger (Ho, Chi Minh City, Vietnam) Marimba Burger (Guatemala City, Guatemala), the Cuban Burger (Miami, America) and Date Burger (Dubai, United Arab Emirates) – a burger topped with chunks of fresh diced date, a date chutney and soft cream cheese.

Wagamama names Intu Metrocentre as best site in its estate: Wagamama has recognised its Newcastle Intu Metrocentre site at its Restaurant of the Year – beating 114 other branches nationwide to the title. The restaurant, which can be found in the Yellow Mall’s Qube, opened three and a half years ago, and won the award after exceeding its sales targets and putting a training programme in place for staff at other Wagamama branches. The restaurant’s general manager, Rhian Davey, collected the award on behalf of her 40 full and part time staff, at the company’s annual conference at Windsor.

Birmingham multi-site nears £1m pre-tax profit: Birmingham-based multiple operator Bitters ‘n’ Twisted Venues has reported turnover rose 10.7% to £5.7m across its six venues for the year ending 31 August 2014, with pre-tax profits increasing by 53% to £975,000. Managing director Matt Scriven said: “Exterior investments made in previous years paid dividends due to the good weather, high quality and relevant management information was developed by the operations team and operational performance improved greatly as a result. There were no new openings in the period which also contributed to the maximising of profits.” Since the year-end, Bodega Cantina has opened in Worcester in November 2014 and Marmalade Bar & Bistro, which is the bar and restaurant operation of The Rep Theatre in Birmingham city centre, opened in February 2015. The company has entered on a new site in Birmingham city centre which is intended to be a diner-style restaurant format but with a strong focus also on bourbon whiskies for the evening trading element. Scriven added: “We continue to recruit and develop the operations team so that current trading levels can be developed further as well as providing the platform for future growth. A finance manager Kirsty Daniels was recruited recently with significant multi-site hospitality experience from her time as a financial controller for Compass Group. We expect recruitment and retention to continue to be challenging as a significant number of new competitors arrive in the Birmingham marketplace to discover for themselves the nature of the historically shallow talent pool in the city.”

Giraffe to open second Glasgow site next month: Giraffe, the brand owned by Tesco, will open it second site in Glasgow on 6 July. It is to open as part of the retail development on 1 West Regent Street. Giraffe will operate from unit 2 on the ground level of the new multi-million pound development, situated next door to the former Odeon cinema, which is also undergoing a major development. Giraffe co-founder Andrew Jacobs said: “Glasgow is a fantastic city and one after my own heart having grown up there. Following our Giraffe Silverburn in 2014 opening, we’ve been busy looking at a city centre location and can’t wait to open the doors.”

Two MasterChef finalists pass crowdfunding target for Asian takeaway brand Hokkei: Two MasterChef finalists have passed their crowdfunding drive on Seedrs. Looking to raise £275,000 in return for 25% of the equity in their takeaway concept, Hokkei, which “flips the traditional Chinese takeaway on its head”, the offer has attracted £308,000 of investment from 218 investors. The business was set up by Dale Will and Larkin Cen, who opened the doors to their first site in Cardiff in November 2014. The company has a pre-money valuation of £825,000. The pitch says: “Hokkei is a modernised and reinvented Asian takeaway with the potential of growing into more than one site through business improvement and product innovation. We found that the market is dominated by independent, family-owned Chinese takeaways and we believe this is largely down to the skill factor required, usually retained by the site’s proprietor. From an original idea early in 2013 Hokkei was tested as a concept in the five-star Celtic Manor resort, fully booked for its sellout four-day pop-up.”

Pasty Presto owner reports success of re-brand: Presto Retail, the operator of Pasto Presto: The Cornish Bakery, founded by Steve Grocutt and operating 21 company-owned outlets, four kiosks and five franchise operations, has reported adjusted Ebitda of £576,000 (2013: £546,000) in the year to 30 November 2014. The adjusted Ebitda figure excludes one-off costs associated with its Winchester site closure and redundancy costs during the year of £51,000 and a one-off premium on lease termination of £35,000. The company carried out a major rebrand rollout during the year, leading to unspecified increases in like-for-like sales. Turnover increased to £7,568,083 (2013: £7,464,234) while pre-tax profit was £69,894 compared to £102,576 the year before. The company has 209 staff.

Whitbread submits £5m Premier Inn plan for Ilfracombe: Whitbread’s Premier Inn brand has submitted a £5m proposal to turn the former Colossus nightclub in Ilfracombe, Devon, into a hotel. A planning application to turn the building into a 66-bedroom hotel as been submitted to North Devon Council. In total, the development would include 32 three-person bedrooms, 30 four-person bedrooms and four wheelchair accessible bedrooms. A restaurant will also be included in the building. John Bates, head of acquisitions for Premier Inns, said: “If approved, our new hotel would deliver £5 million in investment and create 25 new year-round jobs for the local area, as well as attracting new visitors to the town. Ilfracombe would be an excellent location for a new Premier Inn – perfect for a seaside break – and a town we are keen to invest in. We look forward to the council’s decision in the coming months.”

Deltic Group to invest £250,000 to evolve Andover site: Deltic Group, the UK’s largest nightclub operator, previously known as Luminar, is to invest £250,000 into its Andover site Life to transform it into Cameo & Vinyl, creating 12 new jobs. When it re-opens in July, the venue will feature booths and table service along with a premium drinks offer. The makeover will also include a re-style of the smoking terrace with Astroturf and heating lights. Cameo & Vinyl’s general manager Howard Cooper said: “We’re really looking forward to creating a new retro party room and updating the club room Cameo with the latest in sound, lighting, DJ stage and decor to create a place where people can step away from reality and enter a world of fun, laughs and excitement.”

KFC franchisees faces food hygiene charges: Franchisees of a Dundee KFC restaurant are to face charges in court after live beetles and flies were allegedly found in the kitchen and serving areas. Operators of the franchise on the High Street have been charged under food safety and hygiene regulations after an inspection in September last year. Scotco Eastern, based in Aberdeen, has made no plea or declaration. The charges, brought under the Food Safety Regulations of 1995 and the Food Hygiene (Scotland) Regulations 2006, allege that live house flies were found on the front serving counter and in food preparation areas, while live beetle larvae is said to have been found on the floor under the front counter.

Ssoosh lnns looks to expand after re-investing in Leicester city centre site: Leicestershire independent multi-site operator Ssoosh Inns, which operates two Everards sites, has completed a substantial investment into its Leicester city centre venue, The Rutland & Derby – Pub, Kitchen & Garden – to celebrate the fifth anniversary of operating the business. The investment has seen a complete refurbishment of the pub only three years after its last substantial investment. It has included the creation of a new open kitchen as well as a first floor food preparation kitchen, environmentally efficient restrooms and brand new beer dispense. Founder and operations director Sam Hagger said: “Our investment in The Rutland and Derby reinforces our strong commitment to this awesome pub and its team. Five years ago, it had been completely forgotten by the city but the guys here have worked with indefatigable energy to make it one of the best places to eat and drink in the city. Our investment into the pub’s kitchen has allowed us to enhance the pub’s food offer, meeting our guests demand for vibrant, fresh and constantly evolving food.” Ssoosh is currently seeking another pub to add to its ‘Beautiful Pubs’ collection, located within a ten mile radius of its current operations.

Liverpool nightclub ordered to close: A Liverpool city centre nightclub with a violent reputation has been forced to close. Secret in Temple Court was ordered to close its doors for three months by a judge at Liverpool Magistrates’ Court. Police had previously won an interim closure under the Crime and Anti-social Behaviour Act after claiming repeated advice and warnings were ignored by the club’s owners. Liverpool city centre neighbourhood inspector Steve Hardy said: “We are not prepared to let irresponsible club owners, who are a minority here in Liverpool, ruin the city’s reputation as a safe and fun night out by failing to prevent violent incidents at their premises.”

SSP to launch fourth Cabin at Bristol airport: SSP is to open its fourth Cabin bar, this time located at Bristol Airport’s £8.6 million expansion of its main terminal building. The project is the first major expansion of the terminal building since it opened in 2000. The airport has had a master-plan in place for some time as part of its plans to increase passenger numbers from six million to ten million in year. There will also be a new Starbucks located in the terminal extension. The Cabin offers fine wine, craft beers and locally sourced food. The Cabin brand made its debut at Waterloo train station in 2012 when it was owned by Corney & Barrow. Since being acquired by SSP, it has opened at Newcastle International Airport and Stansted. Simon Smith, chief executive UK and Ireland at SSP, said: “Cabin is a brand that works well at any travel location looking to offer customers the chance to relax and watch the world go by in an environment that allows them a moment’s escape from the stress of modern life.”

Bespoke music app wins major award: Soundjack, the interactive music app launched by music specialists Soundnet, has won the Best User Experience Award at the influential Marketing on Mobile (MOMA) awards ceremony held in London. The smart phone app enables customers across the retail and hospitality sectors to choose their own background music within venue. Working with operators, Soundnet produces engaging playlists that fit with the brand or customer profile. The app then enables customers to select their preferences through either a free, or paid for mechanic, thereby offering the potential for increased revenue in-venue.

McDonald’s expands all-day breakfast trial in US from today: McDonald’s is expanding its all-day breakfast trial in the US by taking it to Mississippi and then Tennessee. The company, which started the experiment at 94 restaurants in San Diego this spring, is bringing the menu, where biscuit sandwiches are also available all day to 12 locations to Greenville and Greenwood, Mississippi, from today (Monday, 22 June). It will then roll-out the menu to 132 restaurants in Nashville, Tennessee, in July where breakfast will be available beyond the normal 10.30am finish. McDonald’s marketing director Pam Williams told USA Today: “We’re interested in getting our customer’s perspectives from around the country. It should allow us to get a good understanding of our customers feelings and impressions of how this menu can work.” Of the San Diego trial, Williams added: “We believe that we have customers that are coming in that maybe haven’t been visiting. They’re also visiting more frequently – we’re hearing that in the customer responses. But since this is a test, we are still evaluating all the information.” Restaurant visits by US consumers have been down for lunch and dinner in recent years, but visits at breakfast have been on the rise, according to the market research firm NPD.

‘Cat cafe’ concept set to expand with second London opening: A ‘cat cafe’ concept is set to expand with the opening of its second London venue in October. The Ginger and Tom’s cafe will launch at the site of The Gardens restaurant/bar in Broadhurst Gardens in West Hampstead. The concept, which is the brainchild of Russian-born entrepreneur and animal welfare charity founder Anna Kogan Nasser, sees customers enjoy their cakes and coffee in the company of 15 to 20 cats. Kogan Nasser, from West Hampstead, co-founded the Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium – described as “London’s first cat cafe”, which opened in Shoreditch last year. She is no longer involved in the cafe but has decided to bring the idea to West Hampstead. She told The Ham & High: “The idea will be to create a space that sells nutritious and healthy food with a decor that is very green. It will be a very cosy place with lots of happy cats. I have been around animals my whole life and seen cafes like these all around the world. We will be getting cats from shelters and from responsible breeders. A percentage of profits from the cafe will also be going to charity.” Kogan Nasser is the chief executive and founder of animal welfare charity Big Hearts Foundation, which works to reduce the number of homeless animals and campaigns against animal testing.

Michael Caines “frustrated” by delays to three Michelin star hotel and restaurant plan: Michelin-starred chef Michael Caines has been left “disappointed” after planners delayed a decision on his proposed new hotel and restaurant. Caines unveiled plans at the end of last year to open one of the UK’s most exclusive restaurants after teaming up with a group of investors to purchase the Grade II-listed Courtlands country mansion at Lympstone. He wants to convert it into a 21-bedroom country house hotel and 60-cover restaurant as he seeks a third Michelin star. Planners on East Devon District Council were recommended to approve the plans by officers. But instead they deferred making a decision and instead opted to hold a site meeting before making any decision. A spokesman for Caines said: “Michael is incredibly frustrated and disappointed, but is determined to continue to achieve the purchase and the development of the property.”

Wahaca employs falconer to protect workmen getting its Bristol restaurant ready: Mexican restaurant chain Wahaca has employed a falconer to protect workmen getting its Bristol venue ready to open from being attacked by seagulls. The company, founded by former Masterchef winner Thomasina Miers, is launching the 165-cover restaurant on Clifton Triangle next month. It has employed a falconer to keep seagulls at bay after ventilation workers were constantly attacked by the birds protecting their young – and the problem became so bad work had to stop. A Wahaca spokesman told The Bristol Post: “The attacks, including defecating on the workers, became so severe that work was forced to stop until the problem could be resolved. Wahaca has therefore employed a falconer – who has been there for the last week – to keep the gulls from attacking the workmen and allowing the restaurant opening to stick to schedule.” The Bristol branch is Wahaca’s second outside the south east of England and 16th in total.

Former Burberry stylist opens central London-style cocktail bar in Croydon: Former Burberry stylist Sarah Katchis has opened a cocktail bar called Playground in Croydon. She said: “These sorts of places are only in central London at the moment, I don’t think there’s anywhere like this south of the river. I just wanted to do something new and I wanted to create something new and exciting for Croydon.” The cocktail menu was designed with the help of consultant Bryan Pietersen – the brother of England cricketer Kevin.

Institute of licensing begins licence conditions consultation: The Institute of Licensing (IoL) is consulting members and stakeholders about its draft Guidance on Premises Licence Conditions for the Licensing Act 2003. The project was a response to the legacy of the Licensing Act transition, and the continuing inconsistency in the approach to licence conditions, illustrated through licences overloaded with conditions, together with unenforceable and inappropriate conditions. In undertaking the project, the IoL aims to provide clear guidance to all parties on the proper and effective use of conditions, with guiding principles and precedent conditions designed to provide appropriate wording of conditions that can be individually considered for inclusion on a premises licence where it is appropriate to do so. In order to start the project, we asked for sample conditions and operating schedules, and we received a huge amount of information as a result, for which we are grateful. The depth of work involved in getting to this stage has illustrated to the working group (Myles Bebbington, James Button, Gary Grant and Sue Nelson) the importance of the project and we value your input in helping us to fine-tune and review the final version. James Button, one of the Working Group and Institute President said: “Our aim is to make the drafting and application of conditions easier for practitioners, leading to a degree of clarity and consistency on premises licences and club premises certificates across England and Wales. I would encourage everyone with an interest in this to respond via the online survey which will lead to a practical guide being finalised later in the year.”

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. 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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