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Wed 26th Aug 2015 - Propel Wednesday News Briefing

Story of the Day:

Greene King Leisure Spend Tracker – households boost eating out spend in July by 11% year-on-year: Household spend on out-of-home leisure increased by 2% year-on-year in July, representing a relatively strong performance given inclement weather during July, which was cooler than both June and the same month a year prior, the latest Greene King Leisure Spend Tracker has found. In July, the average British household spend on eating out increased 11%, due to eating out being seen as a family friendly activity and a way to keep children entertained in poor weather. Year-on-year, family households reduced their total leisure spend by 4% as many households may have looked to constrain spending in the run-up to the holidays to mitigate some of the financial pressure they bring. Year-on-year, households in London and the south east reduced total leisure spending by 2% while throughout the rest of Great Britain, household spend increased by 4%. Fiona Gunn, Greene King’s marketing director, said: “Strong year-on-year growth of 11% shows that poor weather failed to dampen the appetite for eating out among British households in July, but did limit the appeal of drinking out and other leisure, which both saw similar declines in spending of 4%. Despite a mixed picture, modest growth in overall leisure spending mirrors the ongoing resilience in consumer confidence despite underlying sources of uncertainty at home and abroad.” Almost half of Britain’s adults are planning to watch the Rugby World Cup tournament, with the pub the second most popular place to view it after the home, the Tracker found. The Tracker discovered rugby is the second most popular sport to watch at a pub or bar, following football. The report found those who play sport are much more likely to follow the tournament’s progress with twice as many likely to watch a game live at a stadium compared to those who do not participate in sporting activities.

Industry News:

L’Enclume secures top spot in Good Food Guide for third year running: L’Enclume, the Cumbrian restaurant run by Simon Rogan, has secured top spot in the Good Food Guide, published by Waitrose, for the third year running. The venue, located in the historic village of Cartmel, has also achieved four years of “perfect ten scores”. Waitrose has also announced the Editors’ Awards from The 2016 Good Food Guide. Chef of the Year is Robin Gill from The Dairy and The Manor, Clapham, London; Restaurant of the Year went to the Ox in Belfast and Best New Restaurant Entry is Lake Road Kitchen in Ambleside, Cumbria. The guide also highlights Britain’s best pubs. Along with highlighting the top 50 public houses with the Freemasons at Wiswell in Lancashire earning top spot, the editors of the guide have awarded Best New Pub Entry to The Lickfold Inn in Lickfold, West Sussex. The guide, now in its 65th year, recognises the best restaurants and eateries across Britain and for the first time it includes a cafe in a caravan park – The Marram Grass Café, run by brothers Liam and Ellis Barrie on their parents’ White Lodge Caravan Park in Newborough on the Isle of Anglesey.

Harry Ramsden’s returns to Saudi Arabia after decade-long absence: Following an absence of almost a decade, Harry Ramsden’s, the fish and chip brand led by Joe Teixeira, is set to open its doors in Saudi Arabia, after securing a master franchise agreement with HAAB Group, a business operating across multiple sectors including hospitality, throughout the Middle East. Under the terms of the franchise agreement, three new restaurants will initially open across the Kingdom, with the first expected to be unveiled in Jeddah before the end of the year. HAAB Group chief executive Ahmed Alamoudi said: “We are delighted to announce the return of Harry Ramsden’s to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Our group is more familiar than most with the brand, since it was members of our executive board, with over 20 years’ experience in the hospitality sector, which were responsible for initially introducing the concept to Saudi Arabia a number of years ago. We have been most impressed with the successful repositioning of the brand in recent times and know from our own experience that there is a huge appetite for its offering across the kingdom, so we are entering into this new partnership with great confidence.” This latest agreement is the brand’s sixth major franchise signing in recent times. 18 openings across the Welcome Break network have taken place and new outlets are also trading well in Yorkshire, Scotland and Sussex. Internationally, the brand’s newest outlet is scheduled to open in Qatar later this year.

Boutique Bar Show returns next month: The Boutique Bar Show will return next month, on 22 and 23 September, with a record number of exhibitors and held at the quirky London Art House in Islington. The event is described as an “intimate drinks exhibition” promoting new and up-and-coming brands. Organiser Andrew Scutts said: “This year really reflects the growing trend in new UK-based producers, from new distilleries such as Silent Pool Distillers and Poetic License to entrepreneurial bars and bartenders creating new products such as Pococello and Bermondsey Tonic Water. There is a great selection of home grown talent in 2015.” Guest speakers are covering a wide variety of topics at this year’s event including management development, digital marketing workshops, Aroma Academy sessions, cocktail presentations and “meet the maker” tasting sessions.

Company Watch – half of UK nightclubs in danger zone, dating apps blamed for decline in nightclub usage: More than half of nightclub businesses in the UK are financially vulnerable, according to the findings of a report by corporate health monitor Company Watch. About 930 nightclub businesses have sufficient data in the public domain for Company Watch to produce an H-Score, which is its unique measure of a firm’s financial health based on a score from zero to 100. Firms with the highest H-Scores are financially the most robust. However, firms with an H-Score of 25 or less fall into the Company Watch “warning area”, meaning they are at much greater risk of failing or needing refinancing. Of the 930 nightclub businesses allocated an H-Score, 502 (54%) are in the “warning area”. A total of 312 scored ten or lower. However, 176 nightclub businesses were ranked in the top quartile (H-Scores of 75 to 100). Denis Baker, managing director of Company Watch, said: “We were surprised to note that just over half of the nightclub firms in the UK are in our warning area, making it one of the country’s more vulnerable sectors.” Company Watch said one of the main reasons for the decline in nightclubs is the rise in dating apps such as Tinder, meaning fewer people are visiting clubs to seek romance.

Cowes residents try to block Costa Coffee, citing Totnes, Devon, success: More than 500 residents have now shown their support for a campaign to stop Costa Coffee expanding to Cowes on the Isle of Wight, following the lead of Totnes, Devon, in citing the threat to independent coffee shops. A planning application has been lodged with Isle of Wight Council to redevelop the former Baileys Stores premises on 112 High Street, Cowes. However, local residents and businesses are against the introduction of a coffee shop chain when there are so many independent businesses where you can buy coffee. A Facebook page was created over the weekend and has now attracted over 500 “likes”. The group is citing a case in Totnes, where the residents of the extremely progressive town fought the coffee giant and won.

Food tour launches in Glasgow:
A food tour has been launched showcasing some of the best places to eat in Glasgow. American born Madeline Miller, who moved to the city in 2004 for a PR and marketing job, has started the Wee Food Tour in conjunction with six independent restaurants and stores. She has teamed up with Ubiquitous Chip, George Mewes cheese shop, the University Cafe in the West End, Glickman’s Confectionery near the Barras, Guido’s Coronation Cafe at Gallowgate and Cafe Gandolfi in Merchant City for the tour that has the motto: Let Glasgow Nourish. The menu includes different types of haggis, stovies, edible flowers and there’s also a chance to try the deep fried Mars bar, sweets and a variety of cheeses. Miller told the Evening Times: “Every major city in the world has food tours. I thought if someone else doesn’t do it and I have the chance to do it so I’m going to give it a go.”

Company News:

Artigiano set to launch pizza and beer restaurant concept Base and Barley in Exeter: Artigiano, which runs coffee bars that transform into wine bars in the evenings, is set to launch a pizza and beer restaurant concept called Base and Barley in Exeter. The company has lodged plans with Exeter City Council to open the venue on the bottom of the Portland House student accommodation block in Longbrook Street. The change of use application, submitted by Hooperberg Creative Collective on behalf of Artigiano, said the venue would be called Base and Barley with the tagline “Authentic Pizza – Craft Beer”, reports the Exeter Express and Echo. The site would have more than 130 covers, with 103 in the restaurant area and 32 in the bar, and would create eight full-time and 12 part-time jobs. It would open between 11am to midnight Monday to Saturday and 11am to 10pm on Sundays. Artigiano already has a coffee shop/restaurant in Exeter High Street and will be opening a two-floor craft beer bar and restaurant in the terrace area of the multi-million pound Guildhall shopping centre redevelopment in the city.

Whiting & Hammond breaks first week company trading record: Gastro-pub operator Whiting & Hammond has broken its company record for first week takings at its new pub, The Blue Ball, Walton on the Hill in Surrey, a Star Pubs & Bars site. Brian Whiting told Propel: “It was a fantastic start with the site taking £39,000 net (that was with missing the Monday lunch trade the day we opened, so not quite a full week) – this was split 50-50 with food and drink. The locals have been blown away with the transformation of the old pub that had been closed for three years and one week – the feedback has been excellent. Martin Slocombe, the general manager, has got his new team right on the ball, they have had no time to bed in as it’s been none stop from the minute we opened the door. The pub has continued to trade well above expectations moving into its second week.”

Eric Yu partners to launch new wine and cocktail bar in Soho: Eric Yu, founder of the bar, nightclub and restaurant operator Breakfast Group, is to launch a new wine and cocktail bar in Soho in partnership with two other leading industry names. Yu has teamed up with Martin Malley, owner of Planet of the Grapes; and Luca Cordiglieri, formerly bar manager at China Tang at The Dorchester and currently UK Bartenders’ Guild president, to open 68 and Boston in Greek Street at the end of September. The downstairs all-day wine bar will feature a main list of quality wines and a late night cocktail bar upstairs will offer classics and originals. A neighbouring restaurant will create a bespoke menu of bar food. Yu, whose other West End outlets include Opium and The Social, said: “We have named the wine bar ‘68’. There are 67 wine producing nations in the world. We want to encourage people to choose their wines adventurously and try regions and grape varieties that are unfamiliar to them, and so 68 will stretch their horizons that bit further. Upstairs, ‘Boston’ will be a loungy, late night destination with an authentic cocktail bar ambience.”

Former Oceania nightclub in Birmingham to close for good after double shooting: Electric, the Birmingham nightclub operated by veteran Steve Thomas that previously traded as Oceania, has now closed for good after two men were shot in the legs and a third was stabbed during disorder on the dance floor. West Midlands Police applied for an expedited review of Electric, in Hurst Street, after an “urban and grime” event descended into violence in the early hours of Saturday, 25 July. Landlord Dooba Investments was able to hang on to a 10pm licence after it told licensing chiefs it planned to find an alternative uses for the 1,600 capacity club. Police were only alerted to the serious disorder by hospital medics who treated two men for gunshot wounds to the legs at 3.50am on July 25. Ben Williams, on behalf of Dooba Investments, said his client had torn up a 15-year lease with the club operator and had removed the Designated Premises Supervisor. He added: “Nobody here today is playing down what happened. The landlord picked the best operator available when the licence was applied for 12 months ago. They were very experienced, but have taken on events that they simply could not run properly. Following last month’s events the landlord immediately tore up a 15-year lease with the operator and has entered into a dialogue with police. What they have done is something rather novel. They do not know what is going to be in there in the future at this stage, but what they can tell you is that it will not be a nightclub. This is about changing it completely.”

The Boozy Cow lines up Dundee and Stirling sites:
Scotland bar and restaurant operator Speratus Group is lining up two more sites for its fledgling burger bar concept The Boozy Cow. The company, launched in 2009 by Garreth Wood, is on the verge of opening venues in Dundee and Stirling for the brand, which already has outlets in Aberdeen and Edinburgh. Wood told The Courier: “We are very excited about the brand, so much so we’re expanding into other cities in Scotland. In Stirling and Dundee, we have locations that we have identified and we’re well down the line of negotiating, and that’s something we are looking forward to. We’ve spent a lot of time identifying locations which would work and we love the two cities. They are both very different but we think we have a unique offering and, with our charity angle, I think it’s a concept that’s very attractive for people to try.” This year the brand announced it would begin donating all its profits to charity once it is “fully operational” and hopes to be able to donate £1m by 2018.

Prezzo secures site in Essex town of Wickford: Prezzo has secured a site in the Essex town of Wickford, which has population of 32,000. It is opening in the former Bar Plazma site in the High Street, which the owners put up for sale last November. Prezzo is set to spend £600,000 refurbishing the building, creating 20 jobs. There will be seating for 100 people inside and 20 outside. Work is set to start on 7 September with the opening expected in November.

Former Cinnamon Club managing director opens Indian restaurant to accompany Canary Wharf bar: Rohit Chugh, the former managing director of the Cinnamon Club, has opened an Indian restaurant to accompany his Toddy Shop bar in Canary Wharf. Chugh has launched Chai Ki, who serves home-style, sharing, contemporary dishes in the North Dock in Crossrail Place. The venue features a rooftop garden, providing views out across London and the docks, while inside the walls are adorned with Chugh’s childhood memories – scooter headlights, railway luggage racks and exposed structure steel. The menu is a mix of small, sharing plates and larger plates with signature dishes including Goan prawns served with coconut rice, chicken pear chaat, and Fish Kuzhambu, which is grilled salmon, Byadagi red chilli, mustard seeds, star anise, coconut and fennel beetroot aloo. The Toddy Shop features spice-infused cocktails served alongside London craft beers and the bar’s own infused Pilsner. Chugh also owns Indian street food restaurant Roti Chai, which opened last year in Marylebone.

Big Easy set for October opening in Canary Wharf: US barbecue company Big Easy, led by Noel D’arcy, is to open in Canary Wharf’s Crossrail Place after months of speculation on Friday, 30 October. The restaurant has received plenty of affirmation through Twitter that a venue in the financial district was a good idea after receiving daily queries about when it was going to open. The smokers were delivered overnight recently, launching further speculation over the opening date, but it was confirmed on Monday through its Twitter feed. Big Easy is spending £3m on its new 11,000 sq ft restaurant in Canary Wharf, which is projected to produce £10.5m of annual sales. Big Easy has reported its three existing sites, including one in Covent Garden and one on the Kings Road, are set to turn over £13,282,000 this year. The company withdrew a £3m mini-bond offer on Crowdcube in April after receiving approaches from investors.

Michelin-starred restaurant in Birmingham set to relocate to bigger premises: Michelin-starred Birmingham restaurant Adam’s has been given the green light by city council planners to relocate to the Colmore business district. The restaurant launched more than two years ago at a “pop up” venue on Bennetts Hill and its new home will provide additional seating, a private dining room and a chef’s table. An application to move Adam’s from its current home off New Street was lodged by holding company GS Fine Food & Hospitality in May 2015. The restaurant was first opened in a former sandwich shop by chef Adam Stokes and his wife Natasha in spring 2013. Within six months it had been awarded a Michelin star, the fourth Birmingham venue to hold the prestigious title. Its new home at New Oxford House, 16 Waterloo Street, is a former three-storey office block and will be converted to provide 6,135 sq ft of space. The restaurant will comprise a bar, a dining area with space for 38 customers and a private dining area with 14 covers. The ground floor will house the kitchen, with a dry store and staff facilities in the basement. Its current Bennetts Hill venue has the capacity for just 25 guests.

Former Surya Hotels director of operations to launch first restaurant: Gez Chetal, the former director of operations at Suffolk-based Surya Hotels, is to open his first restaurant concept where diners will cook their own meals at the table on hot stones. Chetal is launching Hot Rocks @ Mojitos in King’s Lynn, Norfolk, on Thursday, 17 September on the site formerly occupied by The Thai Orchid, creating up to ten jobs. The restaurant, which Chetal hopes will be the first of six in East Anglia, will seat up to 100 people and have a Latino theme. He told the Lynn News: “We are having an open kitchen, so that people can see their food being prepared and the rocks coming out to the table with the dishes. It’s going to be very competitive. There will be unlimited starters, with items such as bread, olives, prawns and hummus, and then there will be unlimited meats plus unlimited wine, for an all-inclusive price.”

Nando’s set to open in Huntingdon next month: Nando’s is to open a new site in Huntingdon’s Towerfields Leisure Park on Wednesday, 2 September, converting a former Blockbuster store. Planning permission was granted by Huntingdon District Council to allow Nando’s to change the shop front, put up signs and install an outside seating area, comprising of five tables and 20 chairs. Towerfields is already home to a number of restaurants, as well as a cinema and a gym. The restaurant will create 40 part-time and full-time jobs.

Compass Hospitality acquires three Big Sleep Hotels sites:
Compass Hospitality has acquired The Big Sleep Hotels’ portfolio of three hotels, located in Cardiff, Cheltenham and Eastbourne. Compass will manage the hotels, adding to its current UK properties in Shrewsbury and Halifax. In total the group has a portfolio of 49 hotels located in Thailand, Malaysia and the UK. Compass Hospitality’s president and chief executive Harmil Singh said, “We are very pleased with the portfolio acquisition of these three well located and profitable hotels. We will continue to seek out acquisitions and opportunities to grow our presence in the UK.”

Former McDonald’s managers take on Star Pubs & Bars site: Former McDonald’s managers Stuart and Melanie Blackledge are taking on their first pub in Accrington, Lancashire. The couple will be the licensees at the Hyndburn Restaurant & Bar, a Star Pubs & Bars site, which will reopen on 30 September after being closed for a year. Together with Star Pubs & Bars, work has started on a £340,000 refurbishment to transform the venue, formerly known as The Hyndburn Bridge, into a family-friendly pub serving home-cooked food and freshly made pizzas, creating about 30 jobs. The revamp includes the installation of a theatre-style pizza preparation area so customers can see their pizzas being made, and a deli counter to showcase some of the products available in the range of tasting platters on the menu. A new drinking area will feature high butchers block tables and seating and the rear room will become a multifunctional area, doubling as both dining area with party table and a function room. The couple has run a deli in Blackburn for the past eight years and between them have over 25 years of experience at McDonald’s with Stuart Blackledge having been a general manager.

Greene King opens Hungry Horse in Hinckley: Greene King has launched a Hungry Horse pub-restaurant on the Sketchley Brook development in Hinckley, Leicestershire. The company has opened The Hansom Cab, named after the horse-drawn carriage invented in the town, off Brookfield Road. The left-hand bar area boasts its own big screen for sport and major events and can be discreetly screened off with sliding doors while speakers are set into the ceiling meaning the sound doesn’t travel to disturb diners when televised events or entertainment is taking place. A Greene King spokesman said: “We are delighted to bring our Hungry Horse concept to Hinckley and look forward to welcoming people through our doors.” The 120-acre Sketchley Brook scheme between the Ashby Canal and Hinckley railway station, which has been under construction since autumn 2012, will eventually include 350 homes, a retail and leisure centre, and 34 acres of industrial units providing 2,000 new jobs.

Artist Residence opens new all-day dining venture at Pimlico hotel: Artist Residence, the boutique hotel, restaurant and bar operator, has opened a new all-day dining venture, Cambridge Street Café, in Pimlico, London. The company, founded by Charlie Newbury and Justin Salisbury, has opened the site on the ground floor of its hotel in Cambridge Street. The venue features an open kitchen looking out onto a copper topped bar, with stools, banquettes and schoolhouse chairs. Limited edition art work from Miles Alridge, Tommy Clarke and Harland Miller decorates the walls as well as a large scale pin board made from bedsprings that will be covered in recipes, notes and photography curated by Newbury and Salisbury. The menu includes banana pancakes with bacon and maple syrup for breakfast, soft shell crab burgers at lunch and pan-fried sea bass with fregola and coriander in the evening. Artist Residence has sites in London, Brighton and Penzance in Cornwall.

Southampton-based independent coffee house launches pop-up site: Southampton-based independent coffee house Mettricks Tea and Coffee has opened a new pop-up site in the city – its second site. The company, founded by Spencer Bowman, has launched the venue just yards from the medieval Bargate monument that may become a permanent fixture on Above Bar if it is successful. Bowman told the Daily Echo the new venue would “fulfil the demand for better tea and coffee that exists in the city centre”. He added: “We are calling time on bitter, burnt coffee, scalded milk and the proliferation of characterless chain outlets that make every shopping centre and high street identical – we believe that Sotonians deserve better.” Mettricks Tea and Coffee opened its first outlet in the High Street two years ago. As well as serving tea, coffee and food during the day, the venue services bottled Hampshire real ales from Bowman, Ringwood, Itchen and Vibrant Forest breweries.
 
Former cafe manager launches Cardiff’s first 100% vegan cafe: A former cafe manager has opened Cardiff’s first 100% vegan cafe with the help of £6,000 raised from a crowdfunding campaign. Adam El Tagoury, who was manager at Cafe Atma in the city before it closed, has launched Anna-Loka in Albany Road. The venue serves a full menu of vegan alternatives to classic dishes including custom-made pizzas, pancakes, doughnuts and smoky, crispy vegan rashers. Among the drinks available is Kombucha, an alcohol-free, fermented tea that tastes like something between sparkling apple cider and champagne. El Tagoury said he was inspired to launch the cafe after becoming a vegan 18 months ago after travelling around India. He added: “I decided to open Anna-Loka because I noticed a gap for a 100% vegan cafe, especially after Cafe Atma closed on Crwys Road, which I was the manager of. The cafe has very modern edge and industrial feel with carvings and sculptures on the walls and a corrugated tin ceiling.”

Bubbleology signs with Deliveroo: Bubbleology, the London bubble tea bars operator in London, is now available to order via Deliveroo in Notting Hill, South Kensington, Soho and Angel. City dwellers can now get their Bubbleology fix delivered straight to them, with flavours such as mango, passion fruit, white peach and lychee all available with tapioca and/or popping boba. For those wanting something to satisfy their sweet tooth, options include cookies and cream, banoffee pie and teana-colada. Bubbleology also has macaroons on offer to accompany the teas. Bubbleology tea is the name given to the wide variety of refreshing flavoured fruit and milk teas that are served all year round, ice cold or piping hot. The drinks contain chewy tapioca balls (Boba’s) that are sucked up through a special extra-large straw. Boba’s are 100% natural tapioca derived from the cassava plant.

Scotland’s KFC franchise owner fined £3,200 after live beetles found at Dundee restaurant: The owner of KFC’s franchise in Scotland has been fined £3,200 for a series of hygiene failures — after food safety inspectors found live beetles in its Dundee restaurant. Scotco Eastern, based in Aberdeen, admitted failing to meet food safety regulations at the site in the city centre, reports The Courier. Dundee Sheriff Court heard how a customer reporting the dirty conditions at the restaurant led to an inspection by food standards inspectors last September. They found live beetles and larvae on the floor under the dessert preparation area, other floors in the kitchen and counter areas covered in grease and food debris and a water pipe leaking into a dirty basin at the hand wash area. Scotco Eastern, which holds the franchise for all of the KFC outlets in Scotland, said all of the issues related to floor surfaces and not food preparation surfaces. It added a new manager and team leaders are in place, and the branch is in line for a complete refurbishment. Sheriff George Way fined the company £3,200 which it must pay within 28 days.

TCG to kick off ‘Proud of Our Ale’ festival with beer drinking world record attempt: Managed pub and bar group TCG is kicking off its fifth annual “Proud of Our Ale” festival with an attempt to break the world record for having the most people drinking the same beer at the same time. The festival starts on Friday, 18 September and TCG is inviting customers into its 40 participating pubs and bars at 7pm that evening to enjoy a free pint of Hobgoblin and beat the current record of 714 people, set in Mexico last year. Participants register on the Proud of our Ale Facebook page to take part in the record attempt, which takes place one hour before England take on Fiji to kick off the Rugby World Cup. The festival, which runs through to 31 October, coincides with Cask Ale Week, the celebration of cask ale that runs nationally from 24 September to 4 October.

Speaker programme confirmed for The Bar and Nightclub Conference:
The full speaker programme has been confirmed for The Bar and Nightclub Conference, which is being held on Tuesday, 27 October at Bafta Piccadilly. Speakers are: Kate Nicholls, chief executive of the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR), Phil Tate, chief executive of CGA Strategy, Simon Chaplin, director and head of leisure and development at Christie + Co, Trevor Watson, executive director of Davis Coffer Lyons, Graeme Bunn, director of Fleurets, Glendola Leisure managing director Alex Salussolia, Riz Shaikh, co-founder of the Columbo Group, David Henkes, vice-president of Technomic, Peter Marks, chief executive of Deltic Group, Exeat Leisure founder Stephen Thomas, Tokyo Industries founder Aaron Mellor, Reuben Harley, chief executive of Eclectic, Alex Hazzard, co-founder of the Burning Night Group, leading licensing barrister Philip Kolvin QC, Luke Johnson, of Risk Capital Partners and Adam Marshall, founder of Grand Union Group. The conference, the first stand-alone event for this part of the market, examines the key issues affecting the market with contributions from key figures within the sector. Tickets are free for operators and cost £145 for ALMR supplier members and £195 for ALMR non-suppliers. Tickets can be booked by emailing Jo Charity on jo.charity@propelinfo.com

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 £295 plus VAT for operators and £495 plus VAT for suppliers and are available by emailing adam.dickinson@propelinfo.com

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