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Wed 5th Aug 2015 - Propel Wednesday News Briefing

Story of the Day:

BBPA chief executive – we’ll see more managed pubs and shorter agreements in the tenanted sector: British Beer and Pub Association chief executive Brigid Simmonds has forecast tenanted pub companies running more pubs themselves as managed sites – and shorter leases – as the search begins for the first £130,000-a-year Pubs Code Adjudicator, who will oversee statutory regulation of the companies. Simmonds said: “It is important that the adjudicator is independent and has the right skills, as detailed in the appointment brief, in UK law, and specifically property, contract and commercial law and an understanding of property valuation. I see it as less important that they have an understanding of the pub and brewing industry or specifically, valuation of pubs. I hope the adjudicator will recognise the huge amount of work that has already been done and draw lessons from the ongoing self-regulatory structures, Pubs Independent Rent Review Scheme and Pubs Independent Conciliation and Arbitration Service, which will remain in place for smaller companies and I look forward to working with whoever takes on this new role. It is interesting to watch how individual companies are responding to Market Rent Only and how the industry will change over time. It has been apparent for some time that there are fewer long leases, not least because of the economic climate. I think we will see more managed pubs and shorter agreements. I really hope that opportunities will still be there for entrepreneurs to take advantage of the low-cost option to run your own business which is why the tie works so well.”

Industry News:

Stephen Thomas to present at Bar and Nightclub Conference: Stephen Thomas, chief executive of Exeat Leisure and the man who built Luminar into the UK’s largest nightclub company, is to present at the Bar and Nightclub Conference, which is being held on Tuesday, 27 October at Bafta Piccadilly. He will outline his views on the future of UK bars and nightclubs in the digital age. The conference, the first stand-alone event for this part of the market, examines the key issues affecting the markets with contributions from key figures within the sector. Tickets are free for operators and cost £145 for Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) supplier members and £195 for ALMR non-suppliers. Tickets can be booked by emailing Jo Charity on

Morgan Stanley – Chipotle’s ‘nearest’ competitor is Pret A Manger: A report by Morgan Stanley has found Chipotle’s “nearest” competitor in the US, in literal terms, is Pret A Manger – the UK firm has nearly all of its 60 US sites located within half a mile of a Chipotle, far higher than any other brand. Pret A Manger recently told The Wall Street Journal it “sees an enormous opportunity in the US” and plans to expand into new cities. Fast-casual chains like Nando’s, Roti Mediterranean Grill, and Mendocino Farms also ranked highly as competitors. The average check at Chipotle is about $12, nearly twice as much as the $6 spent at McDonald’s, according to Technomic. Chipotle’s densest market, Washington metro, has an average household income of $104,000, about twice the US national average.

Domino’s Pizza opens its 12,000th global store: Domino’s Pizza opened its 12,000th site in the world yesterday (Tuesday, 4 August), located in Oklahoma City. Patrick Doyle, Domino’s president, said: “We’ve been opening new stores around the world at a steady clip – building beautiful and customer-friendly pizza theatres with our new image – and the 12,000th store in Oklahoma exemplifies our brand to a tee.” Domino’s operates in more than 80 international markets and had global retail sales of more than $8.9bn in 2014, comprised of more than $4.1bn in the US and nearly $4.8bn internationally. Domino’s has opened more than 3,000 net stores around the globe since March 2010.

Finance Kitchen plans finance initiative: London restaurant finance specialists Finance Kitchen are looking to launch a new initiative #dragonskitchen. Founder Ian Woodley said: “We are looking to collate the ultimate list of food and beverage based angel investors. SEIS and EIS investments are being made all of the time in the sector but the route to investment can be pretty random – we are trying to achieve a greater degree of certainty. The crowdfunding platforms have done a great job in promoting food and drink based investment opportunities to the masses but they often prefer an anchor investor to be involved, one who brings more than just money to the project. We need to identify these key dragons – there is no reason why food and drink investment shouldn’t stand toe to toe with tech.”

Proposals for new hot food takeaway recommended for refusal in Gateshead following introduction of planning guidance to help combat obesity: Proposals for a new hot food takeaway in Gateshead have been recommended for refusal following the introduction of planning guidance to help combat obesity. Gateshead Council recently introduced guidelines where no new hot food takeaways are allowed to open in the borough while obesity levels remain at 61%. The first application contrary to the guidance is due to go before the planning committee today (Wednesday, 5 August) with Si Wen Lu lodging proposals to convert the Old Cannon pub at Sheriffs Highway into a takeaway. The application is recommended for refusal because the council said there are already too many hot food takeaways in the borough. Cabinet member for health and wellbeing Cllr Catherine Donovan told Chronicle Live: “Due to the above average rates of obesity in Gateshead, we recently changed our planning policy so planning permission for new hot food takeaways will be refused in wards where children’s obesity levels exceed 10%, or where there is a higher proportion of hot food takeaways per head of population than the national average.” Lu’s agent said the application was submitted before realising the council’s new guidelines had come into force but it would still be possible to open a restaurant at the site. Currently obesity levels in Gateshead are such that in principle no planning permission for new hot food takeaways would be granted. As and when obesity levels change there may be wards that become suitable, but other factors would need to be taken into consideration, such as the current number of takeaways per 1,000 population. Figures show there are 206 takeaways in Gateshead.

Legal update: Law firm John Gaunt has produced a useful monthly legal update. It can be accessed here 

Company News:

Live Nation buys MAMA & Company: LN-Gaiety Holdings, a joint venture between Live Nation and Gaiety Investments, has completed the acquisition of venue and festival operator MAMA & Company from private equity firm LDC. MAMA’s venue portfolio includes The Forum in Kentish Town, Camden’s The Jazz Cafe and Barfly, The Garage, The Borderline and Hoxton Square Bar and Kitchen, all in London, along with Manchester Ritz, Birmingham’s The Institute and Arts Club Liverpool. It sold Edinburgh Picture House to JD Wetherspoon in late 2013. The firm also promotes festivals including Love Box and Citadel in Victoria Park, London, and industry showcase festival and conference The Great Escape. “We are delighted to be welcoming new venues, and some that we have previously managed, into the group. Likewise MAMA have made great strides with their festivals and the creativity they have demonstrated will be complimentary to LN-Gaiety’s existing portfolio”, said Paul Latham, Live Nation’s chief operating officer UK and Ireland. The deal comes less than three years since LDC backed the buyout of MAMA & Company, which was previously HMV’s live music division. During LDC’s tenure, MAMA & Company has increased turnover to £28m for the financial year ending April 2015.

Former BrewDog executive Hickson to open second craft beer shop: Former BrewDog executive James Hickson, who oversaw the company’s new site acquisitions, is opening his second We Brought Beer shop – on St John’s Hill in London’s Clapham. The concept offers more than 400 craft beers from the UK and around the world, with a beer garden, growlers, home-brew kits and ingredients, bottles, and a private tasting room. Tastings and events are commonplace and hugely popular. Hickson said more women than ever are now drinking craft beer – he reports the ratio of customers at We Brought Beer is about 45:55 women to men. About 70% of customers are between the ages of 29 and 40, many of them pushing prams. Craft beer in cans is becoming increasingly popular – Hickson now stocks over 50 different canned beers, compared with just 12 when he opened up. The private tasting room at Clapham will provide the opportunity to offer smaller bespoke tastings, home-brew demos and classes, cooking with beer classes, book launches as well as the launch of the much anticipated WBB home-brew club. Hickson added: “Being able to open a site within a year of opening the first is incredible and shows just how much people are embracing the craft beer movement. The days of mass produced bland beers seem very much numbered, as they are replaced by an avalanche of exciting new brewers offering a mind-blowing choice of beers. We love being able to help people onto their craft beer journey and we can’t wait to get stuck into a new area of South London. We’ve got ambitious plans to grow the business too, so watch this space.” We Brought Beer in Clapham opens at the beginning of September.

Tortilla lines up 23rd site for Cardiff: Burrito brand Tortilla will open its 23rd restaurant and first in Wales this September on Caroline Street in Cardiff. Richard Morris, managing director of Tortilla, said: “Cardiff is a fantastic city and we are incredibly exited to be opening our first restaurant in Wales. This is the beginning of a long line of openings for us this year in some exciting locations around the country and we can’t wait to start in Cardiff bringing our delicious burritos and tacos to the city just in time for the Rugby World Cup.” Tortilla was established in London in 2007 by Brandon Stephens and his wife Jen who hail from San Francisco. In its latest accounts, the business reported sales of £9.9m.

Wild Beer Co names September for launch of first bar and restaurant: Somerset-based brewer Wild Beer Co has named September for the launch of its first bar and restaurant specialising in real ale. The company is opening Wild Beer at Jessop House – named after the three-storey building its based – in Cambray Place, Cheltenham. Wild Beer at Jessop House will serve the brewer’s own beers, plus a selection of other ales from across the UK. The food menu is still being developed but will include home-cured meats and cheeses from the dairy farm where the brewery is based. Co-founder Andrew Cooper, who launched Wild Beer Co with friend Brett Ellis, told the Gloucestershire Echo they chose Jessop House because it was “the right time, the right place, the right price”. He said: “We’re looking to make somewhere that’s really focused on great food and drink, and we want people to come and get to taste and try our beers but also try other great products. We think there’s a suitable demographic in Cheltenham who will like the sort of things we do.” Wild Beer Co was founded two-and-a-half years ago and currently distributes its beers and ales across the UK.

JD Wetherspoon begins £2.8m investment in Grimsby to create company’s third largest hotel: JD Wetherspoon has begun work on a £2.8m investment at its Yarborough Hotel, in Bethlehem Street, Grimsby, a pub that it has operated for the past 18 years, to create a 36-bedroom hotel on the upper floors of the building. Once completed in March 2016, the building will become JD Wetherspoon’s third largest hotel. A total of 15 new jobs for local people will be created in the hotel, while an additional ten jobs are expected to be created in the pub downstairs to meet an anticipated surge in custom. Joe Sanderson, area manager of JD Wetherspoon, said the hotel will become a “fantastic addition to the town”. “We got the go-ahead about a month back and work has officially started this week,” he said. “The £2.8m has come from the central reinvestment pot at JD Wetherspoon. The company has been making massive moves in our plans for more hotels. What we are finding is that a lot of our pubs have empty spaces above them. We get a good return on these hotels so the investment is definitely worth putting in.”

Whitbread adds two more pubs to Whitbread Inns segment: Whitbread has added two sites to its fledgling pub brand Whitbread Inns, with a total of 13 sites now operating under the format, which has seen conversions to a traditional pub format from sites previously trading as Beefeater Grills, Brewers Fayre and Table Table. Whitbread Inns offers seasonal cask ales and “quality, good value” food. The two news pubs are: The Beaches, Wrexham and the Treacle Mine in Polegate, East Sussex – both formerly Table Table sites. Existing sites are: The Bridgewater Arms, Shrewsbury; Butlers Leap, Rugby; The Carclaze, Carclaze; The George & Dragon, Marlow; The Globe, Christchurch; The Hobbs Boat, Lympsham; The Heath, Southampton; Liskeard Tavern, Liskeard; The May Tree, Helston; The Roundstone, Littlehampton; and The Warrener, Thetford. Whitbread Inns was launched in early 2014. At the time Matt Kenley, regional manager for Whitbread Inns, said: “We’ve really challenged our thinking with Whitbread Inns. We recognise that sometimes a national brand isn’t what’s needed. We’ve created a fun and inclusive local business whilst retaining the support and security of a big international company.”

Kent multi-site operators set to double estate with third and fourth venues: Kent multi-site operators Trevor and Sarah Crysell are set to double their estate by opening their third and fourth venues in the county. The couple, which own Oliver Stores and Olive Brasserie, is opening its new restaurant Graze in Tonbridge on Monday in the former Castle pub in the High Street. They are expected to follow that up by launching an Olive Stores cafe and deli in the autumn in Goudhurst High Street. Graze will offer traditional British favourites with a modern twist as well as the likes of American pancakes with blueberries and Asian sushi salad with sesame crusted salmon and wild boar pappardelle. The restaurant will also have vegetarian and gluten-free options and open early mornings for takeaway espresso and artisanal pastries. Trevor Crysell told the Kent & Sussex Courier: “Tonbridge has never experienced a restaurant like Graze, it’s different, it’s fun and it’s social. We used our experience serving the local community at Olive Brasserie to develop Graze, a truly unique and modern eating and meeting place.” The Crysells opened Olive Stores, a cafe, deli and produce shop in Brenchley in 2011 before beginning to expand with Olive Brasserie at the Hop Farm, Paddock Wood, in 2013.

Arc Inspirations to open Kith & Kiln in September: Yorkshire bar and restaurant company Arc Inspirations is to convert its Zed Bar site in Chapel Allerton into a new concept, Kith & Kiln, which will open in September. The new-look bar will be unveiled in early September, boasting an outside area with heated terrace and retractable awning. Martin Wolstencroft, managing director of Arc Inspirations, said: “We have thought long and hard about the revamp of Zed – it was one of the first bars we opened outside of Headingley and plays an important role in our history and heritage. That said, we have worked hard with our architects and designers to create something totally new and unique to the area, whilst ensuring Kith & Kiln will offer a welcoming, inclusive atmosphere, offering exceptional food and drinks.” Zed Bar will close on 17 August so refurbishment work can begin.

Burger Craft marks new opening with burger giveaway: Burger Craft, the award-winning burger concept housed in traditional London pubs, will give away 50 free burgers every day next week at its newest burger kitchen in Docklands. To celebrate its newest kitchen opening, Burger Craft at The Great Eastern pub will give away 250 burgers during its official opening week between Monday 10-Friday 14 August. The first 50 customers that walk into the pub during noon-3pm and 5pm-9pm every day and announce “I’d love a Juicy Bastard” will receive Burger Craft’s award-winning signature burger for absolutely nothing. The Juicy Bastard, which features 28 day dry-aged double beef patties, double American-style cheese and a smokey BBQ sauce, was voted one of the top five burgers in London by Twenty Something London. Burger Craft, which is operated by Pub group Pub Love, soft-launched in the Great Eastern pub last week making it the company’s fifth London burger kitchen opening in the last 18 months.

Benugo launching new Barbican Centre site today: Benugo, the cafe-deli, high street and restaurant operator, is launching a new site at the Barbican Centre in London today (Wednesday, 5 August). The company is opening Barbican Kitchen on the ground floor of the building in Silk Street. The menu will feature pizzas, hot and cold specials, and an extensive grab and go range that will change seasonally with added specials on a daily basis. There is a deli bar with salads and sandwiches, a bakery table with Benugo’s own recipe cakes – much of it baked on site – and the venue will also serve the company’s award-winning blend of coffee. Barbican Kitchen will be open from Monday to Saturday from 9am-8pm and Sundays between 10am-8pm. Last week the company reported turnover rose to £81,081,000 in the year to 26 December 2014, up from £70,070,000 the year before while pre-tax profit climbed to 6,005,000 from £4,886,000 the previous year.

Filmore & Union to launch eighth site on Monday: Yorkshire based healthy eating company Filmore & Union will launch its eighth restaurant and bar in Ilkley on Monday at the former Martha & Vincent site on The Grove. The newest addition to Ilkley’s dining scene is the first Filmore & Union to open since the company successfully raised £931,960 from its crowdfunding campaign, which ended last week after it overfunded its £500,000 target by 86%. Filmore & Union Ilkley, a 1,200 sq ft site, is expected to cost the company approximately £100,000 and will have 54 covers in total including an outside dining area and feature the first ever Filmore cocktail bar. Founder and director Adele Carnell said, “We’ve been wanting to open a Filmore in Ilkley for a long time now, it was just a case of finding the perfect site. Now we’ve found it we can’t wait to finally open our doors to Ilkley residents and tourists! We’re looking forward to getting involved with as many community events as possible and forming strong partnerships with local businesses.” The healthy eating brand was founded in 2011 by Carnell, a former wellness clinic owner, and Will Pugh, a Michelin trained chef, who were frustrated at the lack of healthy, unprocessed food on the high street.

FrogPubs begins distribution in French off-trade after €600,000 investment in production capacity: The 11-strong Paris-based FrogPubs chain of bars, restaurants and microbreweries has begun selling its FrogBeer in the 36 shops operated by the Le Repaire de Bacchus chain of wine cellars in Paris. The five selected beers, including three award-winners, from the FrogPubs range of over 15 diverse styles, will be sold for €3.50 in 33cl bottles. One of the strategic objectives of the FrogPubs group, which was created in 1993 by Englishman Paul Chantler, is the sale of FrogBeer’s award-winning craft beers through a targeted distribution network. In 2013, the group took its first step towards achieving this by setting up its production brewery in the Parisian suburb of Saint-Denis. The FrogBeer brewery has benefitted from a €600,000 investment to increase the company’s production volume – now 10,000HL annually, and set to grow through the upcoming investment in a new brewhouse and greater fermentation capacity. Chantler said: “We are very happy to be working with Le Repaire de Bacchus as we begin to build our external distribution network. FrogPubs and Le Repaire de Bacchus share the same values: the quality of the products we choose to sell and the high level of care we take of our customers. This distribution will be the first step in our mission of making our craft beers, brewed with passion and rigor since 1993, accessible to a wider audience.”

House of Ho lines up second site: Modern Vietnamese restaurant The House of Ho is to open a second London site at the southern tip of Charlotte Street, Fitzrovia, this autumn. The new 6,000 sq ft flagship restaurant will operate on the site that was trading as Bam-Bou. The first House of Ho restaurant on Old Compton Street in Soho will continue to trade as usual, but will be rebranded later this year ahead of a roll out of the “Ho” modern Vietnamese eating concept, commencing in 2016. Jeff Lim, chief operating officer of The House of Ho, said: “We are delighted to be acquiring such a prestigious five storey building on Percy Street in the heart of Fitzrovia. We have big plans for this flagship site and will be making further announcements about the new House of Ho and the roll-out of ‘Ho’ later this summer.”

Inverness-based Black Isle Brewery lodges proposals for first bar complete with hostel and rooftop beer garden, plans to open more sites: Inverness-based Black Isle Brewery has lodged proposals for its first bar complete with hostel and rooftop beer garden in the city – and is already planning to open more sites. The company has applied to Highland Council to convert the former Caring and Sharing charity shop in Church Street. It plans to use the ground floor of the building as a bar with the two upper floors housing a 48-bed hostel. The beer garden would be on a flat roof of the ground floor section and feature a canopy. The bar would stock the company’s award-winning organic beers and a selection of independent beers from around the UK and overseas. David Gladwin from Black Isle Brewery told the Press and Journal: “We are starting in Inverness, of course, because it is our home town and we love it but we will soon open more bars across Scotland and further south of the border. We believe there is a demand in Inverness for an independent beer bar that really focuses on quality craft beer first and foremost. We believe people staying at the Black Isle Hostel will be natural customers for our bar below.”

New high-end bar, restaurant and entertainment venue on site of Gloucester Jumpin’ Jaks receives approval but denied late night licence: A new high-end bar, restaurant and entertainment venue proposed at the former Jumpin’ Jaks site in Gloucester has been approved – but denied a late-night licence. Supreme Service has been given the go-ahead from Gloucester City Council to redevelop the 800-capacity building in Brunswick Street that has been empty for a decade. Its proposal includes a high-end pub with two bars over two floors as well as a late-night venue area and restaurant complete with two more bars, a stage, booth seating and a dance floor. There would also be an outside area for guests to drink and eat and Supreme Service claims it will cater for older generations, reports the Gloucester Citizen. Speaking for Supreme Service, Keith Reynolds, said: “This is not a nightclub, but a bar and restaurant and entertainment venue. We do not want young people in our club. We think it will attract a new clientele and better people into Gloucester.” But the council’s licensing committee denied the company’s application to stay open and sell alcohol until 2.30am from Mondays to Saturdays and 2am on Sundays even though it proposed an over 21s policy on Saturday nights. Instead the venue can operate until midnight daily after the council heard complaints from residents, many of whom have recently moved into new homes in adjacent Kiln Close.
Nick Batram – Just Eat numbers are impressive: Peel Hunt leisure analyst Nick Batram has hailed impressive first half results at Just Eat – but warned of increased competition. He said: “Just Eat continues to deliver impressive numbers and management deserve much credit for this. In the near future, we see no reason why the positive momentum shouldn’t continue. However, there are some big players moving into the takeaway delivery market and the risk is that longer-term margins might not be as robust as they appear now. Just Eat trades on a multiple (31x 2016 Ebitda) that allows no room for the slightest of disappointments. The increase in IT investment is paying off for the Group and is driven both by business-to-business customer requirements and by the consumer proposition. Over 60% of orders are now taken via a mobile while in the UK 38% of orders are via the app. This technology investment is aimed at improving the returns from the existing business, but also a recognition that competition from alternative models is increasing.”

Diageo defers £1bn Scotch whisky investment: Diageo has deferred its £1bn Scotch whisky investment plans due to decline in its Scotch portfolio sales. Diageo chief executive Ivan Menezes said the company, considering these challenges in the Scotch sector, plans to defer its plans, initially proposed in 2012, of more than $1.6bn investment to expand production in Scotland over a period of five years. Diageo chief financial officer Deirdre Mahlan said: “We have slowed the rate of our expansion but our underlying optimism in the category and our brands is not diminished. It’s true we slowed down the distillery expansions due to interruption in the category, so we do not have excess capacity. But the plans have not been cancelled, they have been rephased.”

Britannia Hotels buys Eastbourne site off £5.5m guide price: Britannia Hotels has secured the freehold interest of The Cavendish Hotel in Eastbourne for an undisclosed sum off a guide price of £5.5m through agent Christie + Co. The Cavendish is a profitable four-star hotel located on Grand Parade with sea views across the 4.5-mile long seafront. The hotel has 119 bedrooms and a private car park. Simon Stevens, director at Christie + Co’s head office, said: “The property attracted a great deal of interest resulting in a competitive bidding process with a deal ultimately being completed by Britannia Hotels. This encouraging interest underpins buyers’ enthusiasm for profitable businesses in prominent locations.” Britannia Hotels was founded in 1976 and now operates 51 hotels and Pontins holiday parks.

Personal recommendations still driving choice when it comes to eating out, new survey reveals: Personal recommendations are still driving choice when it comes to eating out with a new survey revealing that 80% see word of mouth as the greatest influence. This was four times more than social media and twice as influential as a previous experience, special offers/vouchers or TripAdvisor. The research, carried out by guest management expert HospitalityGEM, also showed 56% of consumers eating out locally opt to visit somewhere they previously had a great experience but when it comes to visiting a town or city for the first time, 71% would seek somewhere they had never heard of. When deliberating over where to eat out, 60% spend ten-15 minutes consulting with others, 27% take up to an hour while 13% prefer to decide in a couple of minutes based on perceptions they already have. The research also showed three quarters (75%) would be “very likely” to stay longer than planned if they were having a great meal experience, while just 5% responded “not very likely”. In restaurants, guests are least tolerant of food not being up to scratch (81%) but this figure dropped to 58% for pubs and 43% for coffee shops. Poor organisation and timing was also significant – in coffee shops, 42% thought this was the most important factor, followed by 30% for pubs and just 13% for restaurants. However, just 6% felt that in restaurants they would be least tolerant of a robotic service style, which rose to 12% for pubs and 15% for coffee shops. Managing director of HospitalityGEM Steven Pike said: “Remarkably, despite all the fuss surrounding social media, four times as many respondents felt they were influenced by face-to-face discussions, which demonstrates how vital it is for operators to manage the guest experience to ensure consistent delivery of their offering. Operators also cannot ignore the impact first impressions have on consumers, and especially among those looking to experience something new. Maximising the guest experience is not solely about the quality of the product offering. It is also about the organisation, timing and how a team engage with the customer, which must all work seamlessly in harmony with an operators brand values. Three quarters of those surveyed said they would stay longer and spend more if the service was good – so who says service is not about sales?”

£100m Salterns Marina plan includes rooftop restaurant: Salterns Marina in Poole is set for a £100m facelift that will include a luxury hotel, apartments and a rooftop restaurant. Plans have been submitted to regenerate and improve the facilities, including construction of a hotel with spa, on the site of the current hotel. 73 apartments will also be built, while berthing and marina facilities will be reconfigured to give Poole a “world-class” marina. The development is spearheaded by property specialist Richard Carr, who is acting on behalf of Salterns Marina. He said: “The directors of Salterns Marina are very aware that the Marina facilities are now over 40 years old and that the hotel is even older. They believe that the time has come to give Poole a world-class marina, a new hotel, spa and a high quality restaurant overlooking our magnificent harbour. The timing is perfect especially with Rick Stein’s restaurant coming to Sandbanks in the near future.”
Technomic and Propel partner for UK and US foodservice trends and direction conference: Insights and research firm Technomic is partnering Propel for a full-day conference looking at UK and US foodservice trends and perspectives. The event is on Friday, 18 September at One Moorgate Place in London and attendees will also get a free copy of Technomic’s Top 500 US Chain Restaurant Report and the UK’s leading 100 foodservice brands worth a combined £800. Technomic’s vice-president Dave Henkes will give an industry update on UK foodservice and compare it with the US as well as providing forecasts and beverage trends in both markets. Fellow vice-president Darren Tristano will examine best practice in menu, concept and service among growth concepts as well as looking at consumer demands. Technomic’s Patrick Noone will provide insights on current UK trending menu flavours and preparations and consumer priorities and attitudes. Paul Damico, group president of Focus Brands – which operates several fast-food concepts in the US including Schlotzsky’s Bakery & Café and Moe’s Southwest Grill – will share best practices around creating a unique positioning, culture and growth strategy. Propel managing director Paul Charity will also lead a discussion of senior executives about current consumer trends, menu and beverage trends. Those taking part are: Jon Yantin, commercial director of the ONE Group, Chris Gerard, founder of Innventure, James Nye, managing director of Anglian Country Inns and Ben Levick, director of operations, TCG Group. Tickets are priced at the two-week early-bird rate of £295 plus VAT for operators and £495 plus VAT for suppliers and are available by emailing

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