Sticks ‘n’ Sushi to open first UK site outside London and expand into Germany: The Danish-owned Japanese restaurant brand Sticks ‘n’ Sushi is to open its first UK site outside the M25 in Cambridge in March next year. The company, which has four restaurants in London, is also looking to open in Oxford and is considering a site in Guildford in Surrey. Chief executive Kim Rahbek Hansen added the company will launch in the German market by opening in Berlin in 2016 and hopes to follow that up with sites in Hamburg and Munich over the next “four or five years”. He told a forum held by BDO, Fourth and Barclays in London yesterday (Thursday, 9 July): “We also want to expand in London because there are so many opportunities there. The problem though is the rents are three or four times more there so that has led to a slight change in our strategy and we are looking at sites outside the M25. We have signed to open in Cambridge next March and want to follow that up with one in Oxford. We have also looked at Guildford, which we think could be a good market for us.” Hansen said the company would not expand “quickly” and would do it “one restaurant at a time”. He added: “I said in 1996 I wanted to open a restaurant in London and that’s what we did – although it took until 2012. Our key way of thinking is growing up rather than to grow. Now we have more experience we can start to speed up our expansion plans. We work fast with slow food. What we make sure we do well is create a good atmosphere. That is very important in this business.” Hansen also told the forum the company’s breakfast menu, which it launched about six months ago, had not “taken” off but it was an idea it would persevere with. “We have to think radically in this industry,” he added. “You never know what is around the corner.” Sticks ‘n’ Sushi, which was founded in 1994 by Hansen, his brother Jens and Thor Andersen, has 16 sites in total, including four in London at Wimbledon, Covent Garden, Greenwich and Canary Wharf, which was the latest to open in May.
Over 65s spending most on hospitality and leisure activities but some businesses potentially missing out says Barclays survey: The over 65s are spending more money on hospitality and leisure activities than any other age group – and some businesses are potentially missing out – a survey by Barclays has revealed. They spend an average of £3,372 a year, compared to £2,486 across all other age groups. That is one fifth of the total UK income in the hospitality and leisure industry. The results, which were shared at a forum held by BDO, Fourth and Barclays in London yesterday (Thursday, 9 July), also revealed the sector could be missing out on a further £16bn by underestimating the spending power of the over 65s age group. Head of hospitality and leisure at Barclays Mike Saul said: “The over 65s are much more ‘tech savvy’ than most people think. This is a big demographic yet the survey showed only 5% of businesses see them as the most important age group. Operators need to recognise that this is a very important market. Over 65s are looking for more leisure opportunities particularly in the food and drink area They will look at websites to do their research and they have the money to spend. They are also the age group that are most loyal to a brand but the survey also shows they need to be engaged on a regular basis.” The research covered a sample of 564 UK hospitality and leisure businesses as well as 1,100 consumers.