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Wed 30th Sep 2015 - Propel Wednesday News Briefing

Story of the Day:

Starbucks franchisee raises £5.6m growth capital to expand estate to 100 UK sites: Starbucks’ first franchisee 23.5 Degrees has raised £5.6m growth capital from Connection Capital. 23.5 Degrees was launched in 2012 in response to Starbucks’ strategic decision to build its UK business through franchising, and currently operates 13 stores across six UK counties. Connection Capital’s investment will provide working capital for the roll-out of new stores, enabling 23.5 Degrees to extend its reach into additional regions in the UK. The cash will also facilitate the raising of debt finance from the Royal Bank of Scotland, which will be used to open 16 further sites. With Connection Capital’s investment, 23.5 Degrees remains on track to achieve its goal of opening 100 stores over the next five years. The investment broke new ground for Connection Capital with it being the largest private equity investment to date and the fastest fundraise with £5.6m raised in just six days. Connection Capital investment director Pascal Wittet said: “This is an attractive opportunity to invest in an ambitious UK company, backed by a world class international brand. The energy, drive and experience of the management team, the strong relationship with Starbucks, and the continued potential for growth in the UK coffee market, made this a really exciting deal to present to our investors.”

Industry News:

Stonegate acquisition of TCG follows four-year pursuit: The acquisition of 53 Tattershall Castle Group (TCG) sites yesterday (Tuesday, 29 September) by Stonegate Pub Company came after a four-year pursuit of the company in tandem with its advisers Sapient Corporate Finance. The sites acquired by Stonegate are the core of the TCG estate, which has been reduced in size by management from 143 pubs in 2009 to 62 today. The acquisition forms part of Stonegate’s strategy over the last four years to consolidate the town centre pub market and it now owns 665 pubs. Well-known sites within the TCG portfolio include the Tattershall Castle flagship floating bar on the Thames, the St James Tavern just off Piccadilly Circus and the Duke of Wellington in Soho. Ian Payne, executive chairman of Stonegate, said: “Sapient’s determination and pursuit of the transaction through several changes of TCG ownership was critical to getting the transaction done.” Sapient has advised on mergers and acquisitions in the pubs, bars and brewing sectors worth in excess of £2bn in the past five years, including the sale of Meantime Brewing Company to SABMiller in June and the sale of 158 Punch pubs to NewRiver Retail in August.

Asahi buys Australian craft brewer: Asahi Holdings (Australia) has acquired Australian craft brewer Mountain Goat Beer. Owners Cam Hines and Dave Bonighton said: “Over the past 18 years we’ve been on a determined exploration of good beer. A lot has changed since 1997. Back then we knew that Australian beer lovers deserved more than just bland, yellow fizzy lager, but it was so difficult to find. It’s the very reason we started the brewery. We are so proud that our loyal supporters believed in us and proved us right, and we’re genuinely excited about how the Australian craft beer scene is growing. We’ve been contract partners with Asahi for three years now, and with their expert help our beer has grown in demand, expanded nationally, and found a special place with beer lovers. We are confident that with Asahi on board, we will be able to convert many more people to craft beer than we could do on our own.”

Greene King celebrates unique role of pub in new TV advertising campaign for IPA: A new Greene King IPA television advertising campaign that began airing yesterday (Tuesday, 29 September) will celebrate the unique spirit of the pub. “To The Pub” is an innovative campaign from Greene King IPA that celebrates Great British pubs and the individual spirit, community and authentic moments that happen in them every day. To bring this campaign to life, Greene King IPA handed control of its advertising to 40 pubs up and down the country and equipped each publican with a video camera. These publicans and their customers captured some incredible moments on film as they happened, from once-in-a-lifetime occasions and intimate conversations to traditional pub quizzes and darts competitions. Chris Houlton, managing director, Greene King brewing and brands, said: “Our ‘To The Pub’ campaign highlights the important social role that pubs play in communities across Britain by capturing just some of the real, intimate and funny moments that happen in pubs every day, filmed by the people who helped to make those moments happen. Our campaign invests in bringing the pub and the value it has within the community to the attention of a national audience. It has been a monumental team effort to create this campaign and we could not be happier with the results.”

Burger King set to add 384 sites in France with Quick rebrand: The majority shareholder of Burger King restaurants in France has said it is in exclusive talks to buy the 509 outlets of French fast-food rival Quick. The Bertrand group said it intended to rebrand all of Quick’s 384 outlets in mainland France in the deal, which would make Burger King the number two fast-food restaurant after McDonald’s. “In France, Quick restaurants would progressively move under the Burger King banner,” the Bertrand group said. “The Quick brand would be maintained in Belgium, Luxembourg and outside Europe.” The deal with Quick’s owners Qualium Investissement could be finalised by the end of the year providing it gains approval from staff representatives and competition authorities, Bertrand said.

The Beer Academy accredits 50-plus Beer Stewards:
The Beer Academy has accredited more than 50 Beer Stewards from 11 countries in the three months since the launch of its innovative e-learning qualification. With many more staff from pubs, bars and brewers registered for the entry-level online course, there are high hopes that more than 200 people will achieve Beer Steward accreditation by the end of 2015. The Beer Steward is the first online training programme from leading global beer education body the Beer Academy, and has been developed to meet the growing need to equip front-of-house staff around the world with practical beer knowledge early in their careers. The course is made up of eight e-learning modules that candidates can work through at their own pace and at times to suit them. It covers cask, keg and bottled beers and looks at beer styles from around the world.

MatchPint partners NFL for on-trade promotion: MatchPint, the marketing platform for pubs and bars, has launched a partnership with the NFL in the UK on-trade. The partnership, which builds on the growing interest in American football amongst UK pub goers, will see 100 pubs and bars selected as the best places to watch the NFL. These venues will receive substantial marketing support from both MatchPint and the NFL in order to grow their American football fan base, with a particular focus on increasing footfall on Sunday evenings. Participating venues will be promoted across the NFL UK’s marketing channels and will receive exclusive point of sale and merchandise to be used in giveaways via the MatchPint app.

Rick Stein launches academy in Cornwall: Chef-entrepreneur Rick Stein has launched an academy to train and develop chefs and hospitality professionals in Cornwall. Stein has joined forces with Truro and Penwith College and the Chef’s Forum for the project. The Rick Stein Academy will work with young people through school activities, careers events and work experience to inspire and encourage them to develop a career in hospitality. The academy will also train full-time students at Truro and Penwith College as well as apprentices with The Rick Stein Group, developing their knowledge and skills with supplier visits, masterclasses and placements. Stein told the Western Morning News: “There is no substitute for learning while working as you quickly develop the skills you need to progress in this fast paced industry. We’re proud to support this academy and work with those who are passionate about great food and making people smile.” Since opening The Seafood Restaurant in Padstow in 1975, Stein and wife Jill have expanded the business to include ten restaurants, boutique bedrooms, shops and a cookery school.

Company News:

Moose Coffee opens new bar and restaurant concept in Liverpool offering city’s first poutinerie: Moose Coffee, the American diner-influenced cafe company, has opened a new bar and restaurant concept in Liverpool offering the city’s first poutinerie. The company has launched Moose and Moonshine in the Federation House building in Hope Street – its fourth site. Moose’s Harry van Breemen told the Liverpool Echo: “It was a difficult job as we wanted to retain a Moose feel but at the same time add a more sophisticated look and ambiance. It definitely says Moose with a bit of French Napoleonic decadence! Hope Street was an obvious choice for us as it’s the cultural heart of the city and we feel we are a good fit for the area. We still offer the classics from our Moose menu for breakfast/brunch but flips into our Moonshine menu in the evening. We are the city’s first poutinerie, a Canadian classic of chips, gravy and cheese curds with our own Moonshine twist. This is also our first bar, and we have a great team who have designed a couple of signature cocktails that are really good, my favourite being the Moose maple and bacon old fashioned.” Moose, which was founded in 2006, operates coffee shops in Dale Street, Liverpool, and in Manchester and Crosby, the latter of which is currently closed for a refurbishment.

Jamie’s Italian reports sales rise, pre-tax profits down: Accounts for Jamie’s Italian show a rise in turnover of 7% in 2014 to £106.9m with underlying earnings up 0.3% to £12.3m in the context of “increased competition and heavy discounting by high street brands”, The Times has reported. Pre-tax profits dropped from £5.6m to £3.9m because of increased opening costs. The company, which has 39 sites, thinks there’s capacity for 45 to 50 venues in the UK but scope for “many more” Trattorias. Elsewhere in the Jamie Oliver business, there was a £7.2m hit from the closure of two of his three Recipease cookery schools with cafes.

Giraffe opens third site in Birmingham: Giraffe, the brand owned by Tesco, has launched its third restaurant in Birmingham. The company has opened a 120-seat venue on the first floor of the Grand Central shopping centre, creating more than 40 jobs. Co-founder Andrew Jacobs said: “This is our third restaurant in this busy and wonderful city and we are delighted to be able to bring the colour and adventure of our extensive menu to this magnificent new station which promises to be an experience for all travellers.” The company’s two other restaurants in the city are at Birmingham Airport and in Solihull.

Marston’s to convert Greene King competition acquisition to Generous George brand: Marston’s is to convert a Greene King pub, sold to meet competition concerns in the wake of its acquisition of Sprit, to its fledgling Generous George brand. The Sunnyside Inn in Boughton Green Road – run under the Hungry Horse brand – will close at the weekend then become a Marston’s Generous George pub when it relaunches on 11 November. A spokeswoman for the pub said: “The look and feel of the pub will be completely different, so regulars can expect a fresh new look. There’ll be a pizza kitchen which will serve up a range of mouth-watering freshly baked pizzas, alongside Generous George favourites like burgers, bagels, George’s Chicken Shack and sweet treats to finish.”

Stonegate launches accelerator event for its top talent: Stonegate Pub Company has this week introduced a new style of career development event that is expected to accelerate promotions within the business. The company organised a fun “speed dating” style interview event for its employees currently on the “Accelerator” career development programme. The event, which took place at the Red Lion in Luton, was devised by the HR team to offer future general managers within the business the opportunity to meet and get to know senior management and directors. Similarly, senior operators and directors were able to engage with the participants, understand their strengths and interests and identify suitable businesses for them to manage going forward. The “Accelerator” programme is designed for deputy managers to progress to the next stage of his or her career and take on a general manager role. The course, which takes six months, focuses on a number of important skills required for the general manager role including leadership, financial and personal finance acumen and values driven performance. With each interview lasting just five minutes, candidates rotated around meeting various directors.

Meat & Shake lines up third opening, this time in Watford: Meat & Shake, the London smokehouse restaurant group, is set to open its third site in mid-October in Watford. After the success of the launch in Ealing this August, this new site is set to take centre stage as the company’s biggest and flagship store. Located in the Intu Watford shopping centre, the venue will seat 140 covers across 3,200 square foot. Faraz Ahmad, owner of Meat & Shake, said: “This is a particularly exciting and busy time for us. After the success of our first restaurant (in Tooting), we’ve had lots of opportunities to open more, but we have been careful in making sure we’ve picked the right site for us. Operationally, opening up two sites in close proximity will be a challenge but I think we’ll be up to the task.”

CAU to open 13th site in Didsbury Village on site of former Zizzi restaurant next month: CAU, the Argentinian-inspired restaurant brand owned by Gaucho, will open its 13th site in Didsbury Village, Manchester, next month. The company is launching the 110-seat venue on the site of the former Zizzi restaurant in Wilmslow Road. The restaurant will feature an open plan kitchen and a traditional asado grill located in a large partially covered and heated garden that can seat 50 people for year-round al-fresco dining. The design will include corrugated booth seating and sky and grass imagery. The venue is the group’s fifth opening so far this year with plans to launch further sites in Bath and Birmingham in the coming months. Marketing director Charley Springall told the Manchester Evening News: “This year we have opened in Wilmslow and Liverpool, and our customers have totally embraced who we are and what we bring to the high street.”

Carluccio’s eyes November opening in Beverley: Carluccio’s is to open in Beverley in November after work started on a £750,000 shop conversion. The former Burton menswear store, on the corner of the town’s marketplace, is being converted into an 89-seat Carluccio’s restaurant, creating 35 jobs. It will also have tables and chairs outside for 24 diners, following the popular alfresco dining trend that has developed in other parts of the town centre. Simon Kossoff, chairman of Carluccio’s, said: “We’re very happy to have received the go-ahead to start work at the former Burton store in Beverley.”

Itsu lodges plans for first south west site in Bath: Itsu, the chain of Japanese-inspired fast food shops and restaurants, is looking to expand into the south west of England with a site in Bath. The company, established by Julian Metcalfe – co-founder of Pret A Manger – has lodged plans to move to the city, reports the Bath Chronicle. It has applied to Bath and North East Somerset Council to convert the former Holland & Barrett store in Stall Street into an Asian fast food restaurant. The venue would seat up to 38 diners but Itsu said in the application it anticipates up to 70% of food bought would be consumed off-site. If approved, the Bath store would be the company’s sixth regional site. It has over 50 venues in London.

McDonald’s to serve first 100% organic beef burger in Germany: McDonald’s will offer its first 100% organic beef hamburger for a limited time in Germany. From tomorrow (Thursday, 1 October) to 18 November, McDonald’s will offer “McB” burgers, made with organic beef sourced from organic farms in Germany and Austria. In Germany, beef certified as “organic” must come from cattle that eat organically grown feed and graze on pasture where synthetic chemical fertilisers and pesticides are not used. “We have made a great effort to secure sufficient quantities of meat which satisfies the organic requirements and our own quality claims,” said Holger Beeck, chief executive of McDonald’s Germany.

Little Britain Pub Company opens fourth site: Leicestershire-based Little Britain Pub Company has opened its fourth site. The company has reopened The Crown Inn in Old Dalby, which had been closed for 18 months, following an extensive refurbishment. It said on its website: “If the village had a heart, it would be the pub. Kids, muddy boots and dogs welcome. Join us for a cosy drink in winter by our log fires or a refreshing drink in our garden in summer. Proper grub is available seven days a week. We look forward to welcoming you.” Little Britain Pub Company, which was formed in 2009, also runs The Windmill Inn in Wymeswold, The Bluebell Inn in Rothley and The Curzon Arms in Woodhouse Eaves.
 
Nando’s first business to open in Southampton’s new art complex: Nando’s has become the first business to open in Southampton’s new arts complex, a £25m development in Guildhall Square. It is the first company to set up home in the new cultural quarter, which will provide facilities for City Eye, the John Hansard Gallery and the Nuffield along with restaurants, bars and posh apartments. The whole project is expected to create more than 300 jobs. The 106-seat restaurant is the city’s second outlet following one being established in the nearby WestQuay shopping centre. The walls are decked with a collection of African art – some of 5,000 pieces on display at its restaurants nationally. Restaurant regional director Grant Read said: “We are delighted to finally open the doors in Southampton. The Arts Quarter on Guildhall Square is a great location and will offer locals and visitors a fantastic Nandos experience.”

Faborjé to debut in Watford in mid-October: Faborjé, a brand new restaurant and bar concept, is to take a 7,000 square foot debut site in the UK located at 46 The Parade in Watford. Faborjé will be opening mid-October and features a ground floor with a raised ground floor level for dining. It offers fresh and locally sourced produce in addition to entertainment whilst dining. Nightclubs Twisted Monkey and Hydeout, owned by REL Leisure, are opening at 46 The Parade adjacent to new restaurant Faborjé. On basement level, Hydeout will be launching in October, joining the recently opened Twisted Monkey on the ground floor. The combined site is spread over 22,000 square foot in total. Meat and Shake, is taking a 2,600 square foot site split over ground floor and mezzanine levels. Located at 127 High Street Watford, it will have space for 150 covers and is due to open in early October. Henry Wilson, Leasing Agent at Shelley Sandzer, said: “We are very happy to have acted as advisors and help source the perfect sites in Watford for each of the brands’ individual requirements.”

Bristol-based Scarlett Pub Company set to open second site in city: Bristol-based Scarlett Pub Company is set to open its second site in the city. The company, owned by Alex Major, has taken over the Hophouse in the suburb of Clifton Village. It is refurbishing the pub, which will include a new fine-dining restaurant upstairs, and it will reopen in mid-October under a new and closely guarded name focusing on UK craft beer and locally-sourced food. Major told the Bristol Post: “I think it’s a great site. The thought process was that if we were going to take on another pub it would need to be Clifton. I then wanted a free house and the Hophouse site is the biggest so that had to be it. Beer fans will be able to choose from what we’re confident will be the widest array of beers in the village, but maybe most exciting for us will be taking the local suppliers we’ve built relationships with and creating an innovative fine dining menu for the restaurant upstairs.” Scarlett Pub Company also runs the Famous Royal Navy Volunteer in King Street, which opened in July 2013.

Mark McQuater – we’ve identified 40 towns for Revolucion de Cuba: Revolution Bars Group chief executive Mark McQuater has told Propel the company has identified 40 towns where it would like to open a Revolucion de Cuba site. The company has five sites at the moment with openings set for Milton Keynes, Leeds and Nottingham before Christmas, with an additional opening set for Stafford in the current financial year. The Nottingham opening, in a 6,000 square foot site, comes in a town where the company already operates two Revolution vodka bars. McQuater said: “There’s a lot to go for with Revolucion de Cuba. Since we became publicly listed our profile has gone up – we’ve seen more property deals come to us.” Revolucion de Cuba has a 62% female base and McQuater reported the two brands can trade in the same towns alongside each other. “In Glasgow, we’re looking for a site for each brand,” he said. McQuater said food is also a “growth area” with the company increasing investment in skills levels, adding specials and launching a brunch offer at weekends. He reported the company will have a “fully invested” estate by the third quarter of this year after the completion of a plan called “Invigoration” that seeks to upgrade “the corners of the business”. He added: “We’ve moved Revolution into wider, more premium space – and spend per drink and food spend have gone up. We’re really confident about growing the business going forward.”

Douglas Jack issues ‘Buy’ note on Revolution Bars Group:
Numis Securities leisure analyst Douglas Jack has issued a ‘Buy’ note on Revolution Bars Group, with a price target of 265p. He said: “Full year Ebitda rose 11% to £14.6m (we forecast £14.5m) and profit-before-tax rose 13% to £8.3m, in line. With like-for-like sales continuing to grow at 3% in early 2016E, further extending the company’s sector outperformance, we are upgrading our 2017E forecasts by 4% to reflect accelerating expansion. In our view, 6x EV/Ebitda is too low for the company with the highest returns in the quoted licensed retail sector. Like-for-like sales rose by 3.0% in 2015 versus 3.0% comparables (with like-for-like sales positive for food, drink and both brands), ahead of a 0.9% increase for the Coffer Peach Tracker’s pub constituents over the same period. The company’s like-for-like sales growth has continued at 3% in early 2016E (whereas the sector was flat). In 2016E, we forecast 2.5% like-for-like sales, supported by recent new menus (including specials, weekend brunch, and a new range of blended frozen cocktails), further differentiating its offer. Site Ebitda margins rose by 170bps (ahead), with gross margins up 60bps (in line), and property/operating costs (ex-staff) down 110bps (ahead). Ebit margins were up 70bps (ahead), following the depreciation charge rate (up 30bps) and central costs (up 70bps) rising more than we expected, due to investment in central infrastructure to facilitate faster expansion. Both these charge rates should fall as the estate grows; yet our forecasts assume just 10bps Ebit margin growth in 2016E. The company is resuming expansion, targeting the opening of five sites (three in half one; two in half two) in 2016E (previous guidance was for four new sites in 2016E), of which the incremental space should equate to two large (7,500-plus square foot) and three standard (4,500-plus square foot) units, with four being Revolucion de Cuba bars. The site pipeline is growing, with the company intending to maintain its circa 40% cash return track record. Due to the acceleration in expansion, and average pre-opening costs of £0.1-£0.2m per site, we are downgrading 2016E profit-before-tax by 1% (from £9.0m to £8.9m), but upgrading 2017E by 4% (from £10.4m to £10.8m). Revolution Bar Group’s maiden results beat Ebitda expectations, despite the cost of extra investment to drive future growth. The site pipeline has grown since listing, and additional new sites should drive operational gearing benefits. The company is debt and pension-deficit free, and our forecasts anticipate almost 50% self-financed profit-before-tax growth over the three next years. Given this, the valuation is far too low, in our view.”

Manicomio restaurant owners open third site: Andrew and Ninai Zarach, who own the London-based Manicomio restaurants in Chelsea and the City, have opened their third site in the capital. The duo has launched Canto Corvino, a 140-cover modern Italian restaurant and bar in the heart of Spitalfields in Artillery Lane. Canto Corvino, meaning song of the raven – a reference to the road’s former name, Raven’s Row – is open seven days a week, serving breakfast, lunch, dinner and weekend brunch, reports Foodepedia. The restaurant’s design draws on the warehouse aesthetic and trading heritage of the Spitalfields area. The main restaurant dining area features a show kitchen allowing diners to view the chefs at work while the seating in the dining area includes stained oak top tables and a banquette. The menu includes chilli and tomato arancini, pork T-bone, onion squash, salsa verde and burnt plums, and salted chocolate delizia.

UK Hotel of the Year 2016 goes on the market for £1.5m: Welsh country hotel and restaurant Plas Bodegroes, which was last week named UK Hotel of the Year 2016 in the Sawday’s British Hotel awards, has been put up for sale for £1.5m. The property in Pwllhelim, Gwynedd, which is described as a “restaurant with rooms”, is being marketed by Christie + Co. It has been put up for sale because owners Chris and Gunna Chown want to retire, reports the Daily Post. The grade II-listed Georgian property, which is set within about five acres of grounds, has ten five-star individually designed en-suite letting bedrooms alongside a Michelin-starred restaurant. The sale also includes a detached and secluded three-bedroom owner’s cottage. Keith Stringer, who is handling the sale, said: “Plas Bodegroes would be an ideal acquisition for an experienced and dynamic restaurateur to build on the phenomenal success and reputation of the current owners, or alternatively as a first class addition to an existing company’s portfolio.”

Gordon Ramsay opens second restaurant in France serving range of English wine:
Gordon Ramsay Group has opened its second restaurant in France, serving a range of English wine. The company has launched Le Pressoir d’Argent, a fine dining restaurant at the five-star Grand Hôtel de Bordeaux & Spa in Bordeaux. As well as serving English sparkling wines – such as Gusbourne Estate, Coates & Seely, Ridgeview and Cornwall’s Camel Valley – the food also includes a nod towards British produce including Scottish venison served with local Landes foie gras. Despite the English touch, Ramsay said the wine list “is mainly from Bordeaux”. Le Pressoir d’Argent is Ramsay’s second restaurant in France and the first in Bordeaux. The new venture is part of the group’s exclusive French partnership with the FIB Group (Financière Immobilière Bordelaise). FIB Group also owns The Waldorf Astoria Trianon Palace in Versailles where Gordon Ramsay Group has, for the past seven years, operated a two Michelin-starred restaurant.

Prezzo to open new site at Intu Lakeside next week: Prezzo will open a new restaurant at the Intu Lakeside shopping centre in Thurrock, Essex, next Tuesday (9 October). The company has invested £750,000 developing the venue in The Boardwalk, which is on the site of the former Spur restaurant, creating 30 jobs. The restaurant, which features an open kitchen and bar area, will have seating for 160 guests – 100 in the main restaurant and 60 in two outside areas. Manager Edita Sabiauskaite told Your Thurrock: “Prezzo will serve the highest quality food in comfortable and stylish surroundings. I am confident that it will prove popular and be a great addition to Lakeside.”

Plans lodged for micro-brewery, bar and restaurant in Shepton Mallet: The owner of the former theatre in Shepton Mallet, Somerset, has lodged plans to turn part of the site into a micro-brewery, bar and restaurant. Kevin Newton wants to redevelop the prime site in the town centre, currently called the Academy and commonly known as the Amulet, reports the Shepton Mallet Journal. The scheme would see the Shepton Brewing Company move into the ground floor of the building, in the space initially put aside for JD Wetherspoon, which last year withdrew interest in favour of opening in nearby Wells. Newton received planning consent in 2011 for change of use to convert part of the site into a public house. It was put up for let after JD Wetherspoon pulled out of negotiations.

Scotland’s longest running nightclub goes on the market: Scotland’s longest running nightclub, Club de Mar in Ayr, has been put on the market. The lease of the club, owned by Debbie Cairns and her brothers Jimmy and Justin Horne, is being sold. Its bosses told the Ayrshire Post the town’s dwindling trade was forcing them to step aside after 25 years but they will continue to run the club while searching for a new tenant. Cairns said: “We’re conscious of the fact we’ve had a great run but perhaps it now needs someone younger with a fresh outlook. We’re the longest-running nightclub in the country and a bit of a Scottish Stringfellows so this has not been an easy decision. But there’s no getting away from the fact that Ayr is a far harder place to be these days. There are a number of factors at play. You have night buses to Glasgow and the rapid growth of Prestwick as just two examples. Licensing laws have also changed, allowing bars to open until 2am which encroaches on nightclub hours.” Club de Mar, which employs 65 staff, opened in Arthur Street in December 1989 and has played host to The Drifters, Showaddywaddy, Edwin Starr and the Bay City Rollers.

Go-ahead given for conversion of Bromley town hall to boutique hotel and two restaurants:
Bromley’s old town hall is to be converted into a boutique hotel and restaurants after Bromley Council gave the new development planning permission. The 94-bedroom hotel will retain many of the original features of the grade II-listed building, which was built in 1907. The application by Cathedral Hotels also includes plans for two independent restaurants and a five-floor block of 53 flats on the site of the South Street car park. Peter Morgan, Bromley Council’s executive councillor for renewal and recreation, said: “Bromley has lacked a high quality hotel in the heart of the town, which is capable of holding conferences and the like, and this gap in the market is being filled.”

Mixed-use leisure scheme featuring hotel and six restaurants launches in Chesterfield: A mixed-use leisure scheme featuring a hotel and six restaurants has been launched in Chesterfield, Derbyshire. The Chesterfield Elder Way development is on the site of the former Co-op department store in the town centre. It comprises six new ground floor restaurant units ranging from 3,305 square foot to 3,916 square foot, a hotel extending circa 40,000 square foot and a 16,284 square foot health and fitness unit. Developer Jomast Developments has appointed Savills and West Mark Estates as letting agents. Jomast Developments development director Adam Herald said: “This is an exciting opportunity to create a dominant and fully integrated leisure scheme in the heart of Chesterfield town centre which is currently lacking in national restaurant, hotel and gym operators. It also provides the opportunity to bring back to life this prominent and central former department store.”

Speaker programme for Propel Multi Club Conference unveiled: The full speaker programme for the Propel Multi Club Conference on Thursday, 5 November at the Lancaster, London, the best-attended conference series in the sector, has been unveiled. Ian King, presenter of the Sky News show Ian King Live, and former Business and City editor of The Times, looks at the key economic trends over the past 12 months and the 12 months ahead and gives his views on their impact on the hospitality sector. Peter Hansen, founder of leading mergers and acquisitions advisory Sapient Corporate Finance, which has advised on sector transactions worth more than £2bn in the past five years, looks at the key sector trends in 2015 for those buying and selling businesses. Andrew Ball, of accountancy firm haysmacintyre, offers his top tips on tax minimisation for multi-site operators. Paul Harbottle, commercial director of Enterprise Inns, talks about building an 800-strong managed pub estate and investment and progress in the leased and tenanted part of the business. Toby Smith, chief executive of Novus Leisure, explains how the company is evolving its food, drink and entertainment offer, along with digital capability, to stay at the forefront of the late-night market in London and the regions. Martin Wolstencroft, founder of Arc Inspirations, arguably Yorkshire’s most successful independent bar and restaurant operator, talks about running multiple concepts, overcoming challenges, best-in-class profit conversion, innovation and expanding over the Pennines in the company’s 15th year. Scott Shaw, founder and chairman of marketing and information analysis business Fishbowl, explains how US restaurant businesses are using guest information to drive marketing and sales. He is joined by data expert Mike Lukianoff, founder of Czar Metrics, now owned by Fishbowl, who will talk about the ground-breaking work his company is doing in the US with a host of well-known restaurant brands, using data to shape menu and price engineering, media efficiency and trade area analytics. Nick Collins, managing director of Loungers, talks about evolving the brand, maintaining company culture, fulfilling growth ambitions, new trading locations and stepping into the shoes of founder Alex Reilley. Kris Gumbrell and Simon Bunn, co-founders of Brewhouse & Kitchen, talk about how they have developed the UK’s largest brewpub chain, food quality, recruiting brewers, brewing experiences, EIS funding and the market potential for the company. Ann Elliott, chief executive of leading sector public relations and marketing firm Elliotts, presents the findings of a survey of senior industry executives on the subject of “outstanding leadership”. Elliotts strategy director James Hacon talks to former Spirit chief executive Mike Tye, Thorley Taverns operations director Phil Thorley, Ego Restaurants chief executive James Horler and Ann Elliott about the principles of high quality leadership. Multi-site pub, restaurant and foodservice operators can claim up to two free places by emailing Adam Dickinson on adam.dickinson@proplinfo.com

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