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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Wed 24th Jun 2015 - Update: Vapiano UK results, BrewDog distillery, marketing innovation
Vapiano UK turnover nears £10m: Vapiano has reported that turnover in the UK rose to £9,160,629 in the year to 31 December 2014, up from £7,532,648 the year before. The company reported a pre-tax loss of £316,148 compared to a profit of £76,778 the year before. It stated: “The loss recorded in 2014 is essentially negatively affected by the pre-opening costs of the third restaurant in Wardour Street, London. The turnover connected to the two old locations rose by 21.6%. This leads is to think that 2014 is just a contingent situation and we are confident that the year ended 31 December 2015 will again register a positive result.” Gross profit margin dipped to 41% in 2014 compared to 45% the year before.

Brewdog reveals more detail on distilling plan:
Scottish brewer and retailer Brewdog has provide more detail on its plan to produce whisky, gin and vodka at its Ellon brewing base. The company said that unveiling the plan at its recent Annual General Meeting produced the biggest “collective intakes of breath” on the day. Of its distillery plan, the company added: “The UK has such a storied history of spirit-making that is has long been something we have wanted to adopt. With our recently-announced brewery expansion, we finally have the capacity to make this happen, and we have earmarked a dedicated area in our Ellon HQ to be converted into a BrewDog craft distillery. Headed up by Steven Kersley, this is a team that is going to shape a very exciting future for BrewDog – and it all starts with some artisan German coppersmiths near the Swiss border.From their workshop on the shores of Lake Constance, the master craftsmen at Arnold Holstein GmbH are set to construct two 3,000 litre copper pot stills, an additional 600 litre copper gin still and a 20m tall copper column still (allowing the production of neutral spirit for vodka and gin). From these hand-made stills, we intend to produce a home-grown vodka that will really make the big players sit up and take notice, as well as a BrewDog gin for which we have already begun trials on a number of different botanicals.The four stills are all designed specifically for our needs and on them we will be able to produce pretty much any spirit known to man. But our first goal is to focus on the triumvirate of whisky, gin and vodka (we wouldn’t be a true Scottish company if we didn’t stay close to our roots and produce the first of these). Our spirits will be made in the BrewDog way; pushing the definitions and boundaries at every stage, revolutionising the craft distilling scene in the UK. Flexibility is very important for us, and the design of our stills will allow for that. Experimentation is also key – with raw materials, with expressions, and with casks. It’s going to be a fantastic project; our intention is nothing short of going from grain to glass – and our incredible team of brewers will be central to this. They will supply the wash that we will use as the base for our spirits – the most important step of all, that initial building block. Distillation is the natural progression for us; the logical next step for BrewDog. As we grow as a company, we can use the knowledge and resources of our amazing brewteam to add another string to our bow – and not just in a specified part of the alcohol spectrum; across the whole category. There are a lot of people in our team that love Scotch whisky, that love rum, gin, tequila or vodka. With that groundswell of enthusiasm and the skill of Steven and his distillation team, we have every opportunity to make as big an impact on the spirits industry as we did on the beer industry.”

Diageo trials sensor driven digital posters for Pimm’s brand in London:
Drinks company Diageo is trialling sensor driven digital posters in London that direct people to the best place in the area to enjoy its Pimm’s brand. The innovative campaign sees posters, which are located around popular transport networks, activate at 16 degrees Celsius, displaying where people can get Pimm’s – and quickly. A network has been installed in participating pubs and bars that measures how busy each outlet is through counting the number of smartphones present there by using “non-personal, anonymised data”. This is remeasured every five minutes so if a venue becomes full, it is removed from the list and the advert redirects customers to an alternative. This is combined with local weather conditions to ensure tailored information is displayed on each poster. Jonathan Ansell, new technology and media innovation manager from Diageo, told Spirit Business: “We’re really excited about this trial which marks both a unique partnership with some of our customers and innovative use of footfall and thermal sensors in an out-of-home campaign. We’ve chosen transport networks to try to win that vital first drink of the night. When the sun is shining, we know our consumers enjoy a Pimm’s and find somewhere with the space to do – and we’re using technology to help them do just that.” Diageo has teamed up with technology company Lighthouse, data specialists Liveposter, communications agency Posterscope and advertising firm Clear Channel to deliver the project. The trial will run until early July, and is being run in eight Taylor Walker pubs in Victoria and The Metro restaurant and bar in Clapham.

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