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Thu 24th Sep 2015 - Propel Thursday News Briefing

Story of the Day:

BBPA – alcohol consumption in the UK 19% lower than 2004 peak: UK alcohol consumption remained stable in 2014 and is now 19% lower than its peak level in 2004, with the UK now ranked 19th in EU per capita alcohol consumption, according to the latest annual Statistical Handbook from the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA). A comprehensive section on taxation shows the sector remains a very healthy source of tax revenues for the Treasury, despite recent cuts in duty. In 2014/15, government tax receipts from alcohol sales (made up of excise duties and VAT) reached a new high, of £18.4bn. At £6.2bn, revenues from beer made up 34% of the total. Despite recent tax cuts, the BBPA said there is still huge scope to cut beer duties in the UK, as the Handbook reports the duty paid on each UK pint remains the second highest in the EU at 52.2p, trailing only Finland at 64.6p. The duty rate in the UK is now an astonishing 14 times that in Europe’s largest beer market, Germany. The hospitality sector remains a key economic sector for jobs and the economy – employment in the sector grew by over 9%, or 151,000 new jobs, in 2014. The number of breweries increased to 1,700 in 2014 from just 500 in 2000. The BBPA also reports the first annual rise in UK beer sales since 2004, with sales up 1.3% in 2014. Other developments mark the continuation of long-term trends in the sector. For the first time on record, in 2014 beer sales in the off-trade (50.5%) exceeded those in the on-trade (49.5%). Looking at all alcohol, just 32.6% of sales were made through the on-trade, the lowest proportion on record. Figures also show the continuing decline in indicators of the harmful use of alcohol. The proportion of young people (11-15) that have tried alcohol fell from 20% in 2007 to just 8% in 2014. BBPA chief executive Brigid Simmonds said: “It’s great to see beer putting in such a solid performance in 2014, while at the same time, the trends in alcohol harm are coming down. Our comprehensive Statistical Handbook also shows that with the right policies for the hospitality sector, there is huge scope for growing the economy, creating new jobs and careers.”

Industry News:

Sector companies invited to benchmark themselves: More than 70 companies took part in the first sector Benchmarking Survey last year, conducted by Propel in partnership with accountants haysmacintyre. All contributions are confidential and go to haysmacintyre without being seen by Propel. Companies are invited to take part in this year’s survey by clicking through on the link below (it should take about 15 minutes to complete) – all contributors receive a copy as soon as it’s published: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/NDKR88G Deadline for inclusion has been extended to tomorrow (Friday, 25 September).

PizzaExpress continues ‘localist’ decor with tribute to The Jam in Woking: PizzaExpress has continued its current “localist” refurbishment, referencing local well-known figures and themes, with a tribute to The Jam at its Woking site. An “iconic” Union flag wall graphic, a bronze mirror stencil of the three band members and framed prints of their songs and lyrics can be found at the Goldsworth Road restaurant. The Jam rose to fame after their debut studio album In The City was released in 1977, and in the space of six short years they racked up 18 consecutive UK top 40 singles and more than 14 million album sales.

Vapiano steps up search for UK sites with Propel advert: Vapiano has stepped up its search for UK sites by advertising its requirement to Propel’s 11,600-strong database of readers. The company, which has three UK sites and a fourth site due to open in Manchester’s Corn Exchange, is looking for A3 sites offering 8,000 to 10,000 sq ft of space over two floors. The company’s targets include 22 London locations, major shopping centres and ten key cities – Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Nottingham. Contract Rob Wickenden on (07584) 260763 or email him on r.wickenden@vapiano.eu with suitable sites.

Square Pie reduces mini-bond target to £450,000 on Crowdcube: Gourmet pie company Square Pie, led by Martin Dewey, has reduced its mini-bond target on crowdfunding platform Crowdcube to £450,000. The company initially tried to raise £750,000 by offering 8% over four years to those who invested. However, yesterday (Wednesday, 23 September), it reduced that target with 18 days remaining having extended the offer for another 45 days last month. So far it has seen 242 investors pledge £459,500 with the largest investment to date being £10,000. Square Pie has been given a Probability of Default of 0.7% by Moody’s Analytics tool based on historic accounts. This compares to a 3.3% average for the bonds listed on Crowdcube so far. As reported by Propel earlier this week, the company is opening its first site outside London today (Thursday, 24 September) at the Grand Central shopping centre in Birmingham.

Company News:

Revolution Bars Group claims first to market with blended cocktails: Revolution vodka bar operator Revolution Bars Group is claiming to be first to market with a unique new range of blended frozen cocktails. Blended cocktails are fruit-based crushed ice drinks with distinctive cocktail-based recipes. Revolution Bars claims a leading market position in the premium cocktail market across the UK and its entry into blended cocktails takes the company into a new sub-sector, with another drinks range that is both at a premium price point and very appealing to Revolution’s customers as it follows the trend into iced drinks. Previously, there have been high barriers to entry for national bar chains to offer blended drinks because they require significant amounts of new equipment, substantial training and a bar set up geared to the complex recipes. The company stated: “However, following significant commitment to product innovation, equipment and training over recent months, Revolution’s level of operational knowledge of premium cocktail preparation and recipes as well as exceptional bartending skills, bar set up and unique Revolution flavoured products have all enabled the company to launch this exciting range of blended cocktails.” Mark McQuater, chief executive of Revolution Bars, said: “We are extremely excited for Revolution to be the first premium bar operator to bring a blended cocktail menu to the high street across the UK. We excel in this area of the market and cocktail sales are our leading drinks category. This launch extends our unique and premium range into a new, growing and fashionable area.”

Richoux Group to focus on expanding its ‘crown jewel’ Richoux brand: Richoux Group, led by Ed Standring, is to focus on expanding its Richoux “crown jewel” restaurant brand as the company, which has 19 venues, continues to target a portfolio of 30-plus sites. The company, which also operates the Dean’s Diner, Villagio and Zippers brands, has already identified potential sites in London for the French brasserie concept, which currently has five sites – all in the capital. Following the announcement of the company’s half one results for 2015, which saw turnover up 0.3% to £6.7m and profit after tax increase 101.3% to £320,000, Standring told Propel it would be concentrating on expanding Richoux. He added: “Richoux is the one we want to add to – it’s our crown jewel. We opened the site recently in Gloucester Road, which was the first in the four years I’ve been here. The model is London-based and we are looking at a couple of sites there at the moment and they are similar to the ones we already have. It’s a great brand. Our latest restaurant is in a fantastic location and we are looking at where it would work in other parts of London.” Standring said the company would review how its Richoux franchised operation does in the Middle East “before deciding on further opportunities abroad”. Dean’s Diner, its American diner brand, is due to open two more sites in Bromley, Kent, and Yate, Gloucestershire, in 2016, which will take the total to ten and Standring said there was scope for further openings. He added: “You only have to look at our main competitor that now has 40 sites – so there is definitely room for Dean’s Diner to expand and push forward. We all know the property market is very competitive and we have to take opportunities as they come. We are in Essex, have made good headway in Kent and we are also moving into the south west.” Standring added Dean’s Diner was the obvious choice for further international opportunities “but remained focused on the UK for now”. He also said he was “very happy” with the performance of its Italian restaurant brand Villagio but there was no immediate plans to add to its five sites.

Coffee#1 opening 56th site in Brecon today as it continues accelerated roll-out programme: Coffee#1, the coffee shop brand owned by Cardiff-based brewer and retailer SA Brain, will open its 56th site today (Thursday, 24 September) as it continues its accelerated roll-out programme. The company is launching the site in Brecon, Wales, bringing the number of openings this financial year to 12. It has converted the former Blockbuster store in the High Street, which has been vacant for more than two years, creating eight jobs. Operations manager Jo Hamilton-Welsman said: “Serving the best coffee has always been a fundamental part of Coffee#1 and at Brecon, we’ll be opening our 56th store with our specialty seasonal coffee, Granja La Esperanza from Colombia. We have a very simple strategy driving the business, to focus on giving our customers what they want, which we are confident will be fully appreciated by the people of Brecon.”

BrewDog passes £1.5m mark on Crowdcube: Scottish brewer and retailer BrewDog has passed the £1.5m mark on crowdfunding platform Crowdcube. Yesterday (Wednesday, 23 September), a total of 395 investors had pledged to invest in a BrewDog mini-bond paying 6.5% interest, offering a total of £1,217,500. Meanwhile, 480 investors have pledged a total investment of £216,730. Total investment mid-morning yesterday stood at £1,534,230.

Abokado opens 26th site, build breakfast and coffee trade: Abokado, the healthy eating chain, has opened its 26th store at Aldersgate in the City. The site is in the 370,000 square foot scheme at 200 Aldersgate which lies opposite the Museum of London. Abokado joins other retailers including Pret A Manger and EAT. This is Abokado’s fourth opening in 2015 as it heads towards 30 sites by March 2016. Abokado also announces continued success in growing its outside-of-lunchtime trade, with particularly strong growth being seen in the mornings. Breakfast sales are now more than 10% of total sales, with breakfast and coffee sales accounting for almost a quarter of all transactions by volume. Founder Mark Lilley said: “We’ve recognised for some time that the most exciting growth within our sector lies outside of the core lunch period. My team have worked incredibly hard over the past couple of years improving our coffee and breakfast offer and as a result we’ve seen strong growth in both of these key areas. Most excitingly, there’s still so much more room for growth. Building our morning trade and coffee business further will remain a key focus for us going forward. Having such a growing volume of visits outside of lunch also means that our customers are becoming even more attached to our brand. Many customers now visit us not only many times in a week, but more than once in a day. This high frequency of visits is enabling us to achieve higher volumes from smaller catchments, which means we can put Abokado stores close to each other. That’s clearly very exciting when we look at the size of our potential market.” Abokado will be launching its Autumn menu, including some first-to-market products, towards the middle of October.

New steakhouse restaurant concept featuring dishes by chefs Anthony Flinn and Jonathan Elvin opening in Leeds tomorrow: A new steakhouse restaurant concept featuring dishes by chefs Anthony Flinn and Jonathan Elvin is opening in Leeds tomorrow (Friday, 25 September). Stockdales of Yorkshire is launching on South Parade on the site of the former Sam’s Chophouse. The 100-seat restaurant features a bar, private dining area for ten guests, a chef’s table and chilled meat cabinet displaying the cuts of meat. Flinn, whose Anthony’s restaurant empire collapsed in 2013 and has since set up his own consultancy company, has created the menu with Elvin, who has trained with Gordon Ramsay at Claridge’s. The menu centres around prime cuts of beef aged for 28 days and seared over coal in the Josper oven. The menu will include rib-eye steak and Wagu beefburgers alongside gin-cured salmon with borage flowers, duck egg and truffle soldiers and a chargrilled Caesar salad. Stockdales of Yorkshire’s manager Rodney Prosper told Bdaily: “We are very excited to be opening Stockdales of Yorkshire in Leeds. We’re proud to bring you a menu that is traditionally British with a twist and are certain the people of Leeds will love the friendly, dining experience we will be offering.”

M&B opens first train station All Bar One site outside London:
Mitchells & Butlers is opening an All Bar One at Birmingham’s New Street Station this week. The new site is the first station location outside of London, and brings the total number of Birmingham sites to five, with 49 nationwide. The 428 square metre, 234-cover bar is open all day from 6am-11pm (9am-11pm on weekends) serving breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as its signature global tapas small plates. Susan Chappell, All Bar One brand operations director, said: “We are delighted to have launched All Bar One within one of the busiest transport hubs. With the multi-million pound Grand Central shopping centre alongside the new station, and thousands of passengers passing through each week, we are confident it will be a hugely successful location for us. Birmingham has become a real focus for the brand and we are proud to be in this landmark development, employing another 50 people from the local area.”

Shepherd Neame refinances debt, hails recovery outside of London: Kent brewer and retailer Shepherd Neame has reported a refinancing of its debt. The company stated: “Since the year-end we have taken advantage of the improved rates available in the market to refinance our medium-term loan facilities and, in line with our strong cash flow and lower debt levels, have created a more flexible debt structure going forward. The five-year term loan and revolving credit facility due to expire in May 2017 have been replaced with a £20m revolving credit facility through to September 2020, with the option to extend by a further £10m during that time, should the need arise. The existing £60m term loan remains unchanged and matures in 2026. Excluding the overdraft, the company now has total medium and long-term committed credit facilities of £80m. The company owns 54 acres of land and buildings on the edge of Faversham as the remaining part of the company’s farming business. During the year planning permission for residential dwellings on ten acres of land on Brogdale Road was achieved and this land is currently being marketed for disposal.” Chief executive Jonathan Neame said: “At last, economic recovery is being felt outside London, and we are now seeing ever-increasing signs of regeneration in our heartland, in particular, in north Kent and the east Kent coastal towns. There is increasing momentum behind the major development zones in our region and over the medium term this could bring greater economic prosperity and new opportunities for us to grow.”

Jonathan Neame – we’re more confident about writing quite large cheques: Shepherd Neame chief executive Jonathan Neame has told Propel the company’s 6.1% like-for-likes sales growth in the year to 27 June is driven by “the confidence to write quite large cheques”. The year saw a record £2.4m investment in the Royal Wells Hotel in Tunbridge Wells. He said: “I think we’re more confident about writing quite large cheques. The consumer is willing to respond when the experience is good. The traditional £50,000 sparkle investment has become a £150,000 to £200,000 re-positioning.” The company refurbished 68 bedrooms across the estate in the year, taking total bedroom stock to 279 with consumers “rediscovering the Kent coast”. Neame said the company had additional opportunities to create as many as 30 bedrooms within the estate in the next two years, subject to planning consent. Neame also hailed the quality of new licensees that the company is welcoming to its tenanted division. “It’s a soft judgment – and a little chicken and egg, but when we provide the right platform for licensees, there’s some great people out there,” he said.

McDonald’s to give away 12 million books with Happy Meals: The estate of Roald Dahl is teaming up with McDonald’s to give millions of books away with Happy Meals. For six weeks from today (Thursday, 24 September), 14 million specially created Roald Dahl books will be free with Happy Meals in the UK. Eight titles have been put together for the promotion, each showcasing extracts from two Dahl books, including Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Families, with tasters of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Fantastic Mr Fox, and Roald Dahl’s Magical Mischief, extracting George’s Marvellous Medicine and Matilda. Abigail Moss, deputy director of the National Literacy Trust, said: “The scale of the campaign will reach millions of children, including many who haven’t owned a book before, inspiring them to enjoy reading and improving their life chances.” McDonald’s has given away more than 22.8 million books through its Happy Readers programme since 2013, with previous titles by Enid Blyton and from Dorling Kindersley’s Amazing World series. Moss added: “Last year when we partnered with McDonald’s on Enid Blyton, we had some absolutely fantastic letters through – one from a grandmother who said she had never read with her grandchildren, but that now she was sitting in McDonald’s reading Blyton’s The Secret Seven, and it was one of the best days of her life. We’re reaching 14 million people, and over the last few years 22.8 million books have been given to children, some of whom will be the one in seven children who don’t own a book.” Moss said the McDonald’s giveaway was also targeting “family time – when the family is at a table, talking”. A survey of more than 3,000 UK parents, children and grandparents released to mark the new partnership between McDonald’s, the National Literacy Trust, Penguin Random House and the Roald Dahl literary estate found although families want to spend more time reading together, a third of parents “say their own busy lives and hectic family schedules, such as after-school activities, get in the way of reading time”.

Red Hot World Buffet markets Christmas offer with free lunches for local businesses: Red Hot World Buffet has offered more than 40 businesses the chance to enjoy a free Christmas lunch at its sites in Leicester and Nottingham. During Christmas last year the brand, which has six venues across the UK, saw three tons of turkey and gammon and 300,000 drinks served up to nearly a quarter of a million diners. Kieron Bailey, general manager at Red Hot World Buffet Nottingham, said: “Christmas is the perfect time for us to show our offering at Red Hot World Buffet. The events we held showed businesses we can accommodate parties large and small, and there’s something for everyone here to enjoy.”

For Your Eyes Only to open fourth lap-dancing club in Newcastle: For Your Eyes Only is set to open its fourth lap-dancing club in Newcastle. A new club, on Grainger Street, will become the city’s second For Your Eyes Only – and the firm’s fourth site in Newcastle – it operates Diamonds on Grey Street, Blue Velvet on Dean Street and a self-titled club at Carliol Square. Glenn Nicie, director of For Your Eyes Only said the venue would create about 100 jobs. He added: “For Your Eyes Only operates a number of high quality table dancing venues in Newcastle city centre. During our 15 years of trading in the city we have never had any issues with any of the local authorities, local residents or businesses. The venue at Grainger Street is located in the basement of the former Lounge nightclub. This area has been licensed as a table-dancing venue since 2008. The licence has been renewed annually without issue. Whilst we have not previously traded from this location the arguments on locality have been dealt with as part of the initial application for the licence and the previous renewal applications.”

Former Gordon Ramsay chef opens first restaurant: Richard Synan, a chef with Gordon Ramsay at Claridge’s, has launched his first restaurant. Synan, who has also worked at Michelin-starred restaurant L’Atelier, has opened The Weaving Shed with wife Natasha in Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire. The site in Lamb’s Yard overlooks the River Avon. He told the Wiltshire Times: “Ever since I started cooking professionally, 12 years ago, I have been looking for this opportunity. My wife and I have been eager to run our own business for five years and when we found this place we fell in love with it straight away – it’s perfect. This has been a year-long journey and hopefully we can sustain it for the future.”

Greene King’s Chef & Brewer brand looks to boost vegetarian offer with customer input: Greene King is looking to increase the vegetarian offer at its 136-strong Chef & Brewer brand with customer input. The brand surveyed 1,500 adults and found 46% of British adults eat less meat than they did ten years ago. According to the survey, the average Brit now has up to two meat-free evening meals per week – and three meat-free lunches. The results have prompted the brand to launch its “Bring it to the Vege-Table” competition, which calls for the public to suggest two new vegetarian dishes, a starter and a main, to feature on the menu next spring. Sally Whittaker, brand director for Chef & Brewer, said: “It’s interesting to see that Brits now eat less meat, but with the wide variety of dishes now available it’s easy to see why. While our vegetarian range is stronger than most, there’s always room for improvement and who better to decide what new dishes should feature on our menu than those who are going to enjoy them – we can’t wait to see what fantastic culinary creations are suggested.” A shortlist of five starters and five mains will go head-to-head in a nationwide public vote to decide which vegetarian dishes will feature on all 136 Chef & Brewer pub menus. The creators of the winning dishes will each be rewarded with a shiny new Le Creuset kitchen set, worth up to £500. Participants can enter before Sunday, 11 October by visiting the Chef & Brewer website.

Leeds Brewery acquires second site in York for latest pub: Leeds Brewery has acquired its second site in York for its latest pub. The company has bought the former family-run Plunkets restaurant in High Petergate, which Leeds Brewery is turning into a food-led pub, reports The Business Desk. The asking price for the lease, business goodwill, fixtures and fittings was £79,500, but the price paid was undisclosed. The property was built in about 1640 and had been home to the restaurant, which closed earlier this year, since 1977. Back in 1968, the Rolling Stones visited the site and signed one of the walls. Leeds Brewery has acquired the business and lease of the site, and has also obtained planning permission to carry out alterations to the building. The company has six other pubs including The Duke of York in King’s Square, York.

Turtle Bay to open Huddersfield site next month: Caribbean restaurant Turtle Bay will launch its new restaurant in Huddersfield on Friday, 30 October. The company is opening the £800,000 venue on the site of the former Cotton Factory cocktail lounge and club in King Street, creating 50 jobs. Founder Ajith Jayawickrema told the Huddersfield Examiner: “I am delighted to be opening our Huddersfield restaurant and am confident that our concept and offering will fit in well with the local student population and residents of Huddersfield and its surrounding areas. Turtle Bay is about great food and good times; it’s as simple as that. I think the restaurant will offer something new and exciting that will appeal to everyone.” Turtle Bay, which was founded in 2011, opened its first restaurant in Yorkshire earlier this month in York and has further sites lined up in Leeds and Harrogate. It has more than 20 venues across the UK.

Meatcure to open third site in Leamington: Gourmet burger restaurant company Meatcure will open its third site in Leamington, Warwickshire, next month. The company, which is run by Rob Martyniak, Sam Rooker-Roberts and Paul Rigby, is opening in Warwick Street on Monday, 5 October, reports the Leamington Courier. The restaurant specialises in burgers and craft beers while other menu items include milkshakes, breakfast muffins, salads and children’s options. It also features upcycled furniture to create a rustic feel. Meatcure opened its first branch in Market Harborough, Leicestershire, last October and followed that with a second site in Leicester city centre in July.

Antic lines up site in South Norwood: Antic London is set for further expansion in the capital after lining up a site in South Norwood. The company, led by Antony Thomas, is hoping to secure a deal for an undisclosed pub as it looks to open two more sites in the Croydon area. Thomas told the Croydon Advertiser: “It is an existing pub so I can’t say anything more until it is announced but we should announce within a couple of months. We have been looking to come for the last couple of years and we have had people from the area contacting us, asking us to come.” Antic owns 35 pubs across London, including The Job Centre, in Deptford, which is on the site of a former Jobcentre Plus.

Wine Inns operating losses increase: Wine Inns, which runs 12 bars and nightclubs in Belfast and is led by Patrick Hunt, has reported turnover dropped to £14,330,610 in 2014, down from £14,874,065 the year before. Operating losses increased marginally to £251,792 compared to £244, 846 the year before. Loses were £244,434, down from £923,381 the year prior when there was a sum of £736,874 written off against fixed assets. A statement said: “The company experienced a challenging year in difficult economic conditions.” Hunt said: “Our customers today haven’t just heard about great bars elsewhere, they have likely been there and experienced them for themselves. Nowadays, the customer rightly expects a lot more from a pub than good drinks – they want beautiful surroundings, exciting food, first-class service and world-class entertainment. It’s not about any one part in isolation – it’s about exceeding your customers’ expectations at every point.”

Restaurateurs launch second site: Simon Rand and Eric Payet, who are behind The Hare Bar and Grill in Lingfield, Surrey, have launched their second venture. The duo has opened La Rive on the site of the former La Capanna Italian restaurant in Cobham High Street. Serving authentically Provencal cuisine, diners are able to choose to enjoy their meal in a selection of difference spaces including the gallery (24 covers), the dining room (60 covers) and the conservatory (44 covers). There is also a heated open air space with 40 covers. The site features a fireplace in the conservatory along with antique mirrors while the walls of the main interior convey a sophisticated yet warm feel alongside rustic textures of brick, wood and stone. Head chef Payet has worked at various London restaurants including Michelin-starred Club Gascon. His menu includes poached fillet of red mullet in saffron, squid ink bow pasta and vegetables confetti and baked lemon tart, blackcurrant and tamarillos sorbet. Rand and Payet launched the Hare Bar and Grill at the end of last year.

Two restaurants and wine and coffee bar open at former West Yorkshire mill: Two restaurants and a wine and coffee bar have opened at a former mill in West Yorkshire following a £750,000 redevelopment. Cinnamon at the Mill, Catch Seafood Restaurant and Vine Wine and Coffee Bar have all moved into Victoria Mills in Greetland, near Halifax. Developer Rosemount Estates has renovated the site to house the companies alongside existing business Andy Thornton, whose management team bought the mill ten years ago. Vine Wine and Coffee Bar serves a range of bespoke and classic cocktails, fine wines and craft beers. The venue transforms from a coffee shop in the day to a bar/lounge in the evening. Indian restaurant Cinnamon at the Mill is the sister site to the Cinnamon Lounge in Rishworth while Catch Seafood Restaurant is the latest venture from Lee Roberts, owner and operator of The Fleece in Barkisland and The Milestone in Ripponden. David Heap, of Walker Singleton, the letting agent for the scheme, told the Huddersfield Examiner: “The development is now fully let which shows that there remains strong demand from successful local businesses for well-located retail and leisure space. Victoria Mills is already a well-known local landmark and these new occupiers bring further benefit to the area.”
 
Catering business wins £200,000 Madame Tussauds contract: An East Anglian catering business has won a three-year contract, worth £200,000 per year, with Madame Tussauds London. Servest Catering will provide breakfast, lunch, afternoon snacks and hospitality services for staff at the tourist attraction. The Bury St Edmunds company was approached by Madame Tussauds in June after notice was given to the incumbent caterer. Servest started providing a full catering service within two weeks. The company said many of the staff are young, aspiring actors and expect a catering offering that matches the high street in terms of quality, variety and price. Peter Gallagher, facilities manager at Madame Tussauds London, said: “We asked Servest to mobilise a full service for us within two weeks, which I thought would be a major challenge for any provider. True to their word, the team had a sandwich and snack service running within 36 hours and a full hot breakfast and lunch service within one week. I have been massively impressed with all the Servest team. Nothing is too much for them and the team at Madame Tussauds London has been pleasantly surprised at the improvements made already. I would thoroughly recommend Servest to any organisation.”

Lodge Coffee Shop opens fifth site, this time in East Grinstead:
Independent coffee shop Lodge Coffee Shop has opened its fifth site, this time in East Grinstead, West Sussex. The company has taken over the coffee shop at the Chequer Mead theatre and arts centre in De La Warr Road. Owner David Martin told the East Grinstead Courier & Observer: “As a small independent chain we take pride in what we serve. There is a fun atmosphere, which is kid friendly and promotes healthy eating. The shop has great potential, and I think people will be surprised with how it looks now as it has a much more modern vibe to it.” Lodge Coffee Shop has four sites in the Sevenoaks area, including at the town’s Stag Theatre.

Enterprise Inns’ new publicans benefitting from 100-day support package: Enterprise Inns’ new publicans are benefitting from an intensive, 100-day support package designed to help them achieve long-term success. The nationwide scheme aims to give new starters the best possible chance of running a successful pub business. The package includes additional cash and stock flow management support, access to 12 months’ marketing support and materials, regional manager support, access to the Enterprise 24-hour property help desk, free pub website, access to food support, free e-learning courses for publicans and their staff and one-year membership of the British Institute of Innkeeping and the Federation of Licensed Victuallers Associations. So far, 276 publicans have either completed their 100-day journeys or are live on the programme. Enterprise sales and marketing director James Armitage said: “Not only is it helping our existing publicans, it means that prospective pub operators can confidently partner with us, whether experienced or inexperienced, safe in the knowledge that they will get the support they need.”

Heineken plans James Bond-based marketing campaign:
Heineken is to unveil a new TV marketing campaign that will feature Daniel Craig as James Bond in a high speed boat chase. In addition, it also announced a digital campaign featuring the world’s first ever selfie from space, dubbed the “Spyfie”. Spectre, the 24th James Bond adventure, will be released in the UK on 26 October and in the US on 6 November. The Heineken advert will be launched mobile-first via Facebook, and will be shown on TV and cinema screens worldwide 24 hours later. Fans will be given access to exclusive Spectre content, through an estimated half a billion Spectre bottles on sale around the world. They simply scan the Heineken logo on special edition Spectre bottles, cans and packs to unlock exclusive content with Daniel Craig, plus behind the scenes footage from five of the movie’s dramatic locations: Mexico City, Rome, London, Austria and Morocco.

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