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Wed 21st Oct 2015 - Propel Wednesday News Briefing

Story of the Day:

Andy Harrison – Costa pulling away from the competition because of its customer experience and value for money: Whitbread chief executive Andy Harrison has said Costa is continuing to pull away from the competition because it offers great customer experience and value for money. Costa’s price for a 16oz cappuccino or latte has remained at £2.45 since 2011 while rivals Starbucks and Caffe Nero had both raised its prices from £2.50 to £2.60 and £2.75 respectively. Harrison added the brand has strengthened its position in the market and continues to win consumers’ hearts. According to the latest YouGov poll, 38% of people said Costa would be their first choice ahead of Starbucks on 17% and Caffe Nero on 12%. In 2008, 22% said Costa was their favourite, putting it behind Starbucks on 31% while Caffe Nero was 11%. Speaking at a presentation of the company’s first half results yesterday (Tuesday, 20 October) when the brand reported sales growth of 16.2% and an increase in like-for-like sales of 4.4%, Harrison said Costa had not raised its prices since VAT went up to 20% in 2011. He added: “We are continuing to pull away from the competition and that’s because we are delivering a great customer experience and value for money. But we are not complacent here. We must continue improving our customer experience and value for money. We shall continue to put the customer at the heart of everything we do.” The company’s Costa investments effectively earn their money back in two years with the rate of return increasing 6.2% to 48.2% since 2014/15. Its Coffee Club saw a year-on-year increase of 9.5% to 2.7 million users. Harrison also said Costa is aiming to have a 2,500-strong estate in the UK by 2020. He added there was continuing growth opportunities for the brand, particularly in retail parks and drive-thru stores and transactional growth was driving like-for-like sales in the UK. Costa currently has about 2,000 outlets in the UK with 220 new sites planned to open this year. It has almost completed rebranding in Poland while the company is “making progress” in France where it has opened its first store outside Paris in Lille. Costa is also proposing 50 new stores in Asia this year. It also plans to have 8,000 Costa Express units in place by 2020 compared to the current figure of 4,708.

Industry News:

Starbucks tax case ruling due today: The FT has claimed Starbucks and Fiat face tens of millions of euros in tax repayments when the EU issues a landmark decision today (Wednesday, 21 October) on tax avoidance by multinational companies. One senior EU official involved in the cases said Fiat and Starbucks were only “the tip of the iceberg”. The cases focus on tax rulings – sometimes called “comfort letters” –issued by governments to thousands of companies across the continent seeking to determine in which jurisdiction they can pay the lowest tax. Competition commissioner Magrethe Vestager’s decision is expected today and will signal that tax rulings issued to Starbucks by the Netherlands and to Fiat by Luxembourg amounted to illegal state aid. The commission has demanded almost all EU member states hand over their tax rulings for examination. People close to the Starbucks case estimate the company will be adjudged to owe a sum of less than €30m. The commission is likely to rule that Starbucks Manufacturing BV was paying an effective rate of 2.5%, rather than the full Dutch corporate tax rate of 25%.

Asda changes tack to win back customers: Asda is to scrap the expansion of its click-and-collect service and put the brakes on the roll-out of small stores as it seeks to revive flagging sales. Asda, which vies with rival J Sainsbury to be Britain’s second-biggest supermarket chain after Tesco, said it would abandon its business-to-business division and not expand its click-and-collect service in London Underground stations, with the loss of 29 jobs. It will also slow the pace of expansion of small convenience stores in London and put back plans for 1,000 click-and-collect locations across the UK by 2018. Instead, it will refurbish 95 large stores – about a third of its hypermarket estate. It will also conduct a review of its product ranges, pricing and quality, in an attempt to win back business from the German no-frills discounters Aldi and Lidl, which are gaining sales, both in its northern heartland, and increasingly, across the UK.

Art’otel first signing for Battersea power station: Amsterdam-based Art’otel has become the first signing for Battersea Power Station. It will open a 160-room hotel in 2019 with a rooftop dining room. Joanne Skilton, head of leasing at Battersea Power Station Development Company, said: “We expect it to be one of those places that when you arrive in London you want to be seen having dinner in.” She said Art’otel, which already has six hotels in Germany, Hungary and Holland and is planning another in London in Hoxton, was the outstanding hotelier of the 15 that made the long-list following an “overwhelming” response from companies all over the world. Room rates have not yet been set but in Amsterdam they start from about €250 (£180) a night.

Yum! Brands to de-merge its China business: Yum! Brands is spinning off its China business, following disappointing sales in the country. The company, owner of KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, plans to split into two separate publicly traded companies. Yum! currently has some 6,900 restaurants in China, but hopes to grow to about 20,000 as more and more of the country’s middle class discover its fast food joints. Sales have been struggling in China following a meat safety scandal, growing far less than expected, and the company recently cut its earnings outlook for the year. Yum! is hoping that spinning off a China-focused arm will improve its results in the region. Following the separation, each standalone company will be able to intensify focus on its distinct commercial priorities, allocate its own resources to meet the needs of its business, and pursue distinct capital structures and capital allocation strategies. This will provide a clear investment thesis and visibility to attract a long-term investor base suited to each business. The new company, Yum! China will be led by Micky Pant. Greg Creed will remain at the helm of Yum!

Redzepi to open bookings for Noma Australia next week costing $485 a head:
Danish chef Rene Redzepi, whose Copenhagen restaurant Noma has been named the world’s best restaurant four times in the last five years, will open bookings for its ten-week stint in Australia next week. The entire restaurant is being brought to Barangaroo in Sydney from 16 January to 2 April in collaboration with Tourism Australia and Lendlease. Diners will have to pay $485 at the time of booking, which opens from 10am on Friday, 30 October, reports the Daily Mail. Customers can also choose to pay extra for an all-Australian beverage pairing as well as a short wine list. The menu is still being finalised but photos on Redzepi’s social media account include crocodile fat and tail, mud clams and green ants. The restaurant will be open five days a week while its Copenhagen venue, which was launched in 2003, will be closed during the period. Earlier this year Redzepi moved the entire restaurant to Tokyo’s Mandarin Oriental for several weeks.

Company News:

Starbucks opens flagship Covent Garden site: Starbucks has opened a flagship site in Covent Garden’s Upper St Martin’s Lane. “The store is a platform of connection,” said Ad de Hond, Starbucks vice president of design. “Everything in the store is visible – the way we make our coffees, the way we prepare and present our food, and the way we interact with our customers.” There is no queue at a cash register at the site – instead, customers will be greeted by a host, who will invite them to sit down and relax or quickly get coffee for take-away. “The special thing is that we moved our partners from behind the bar into the store,” said de Hond. “Customers can order wherever and whenever they want through handheld devices. We hope to reduce the idea of standing in line.” An open kitchen will offer a menu of freshly prepared food for breakfast, lunch and evenings. Floor-to-ceiling walls of glass visually link the interior to the street outside. Inspired by the Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room, the store immerses customers in the world of coffee. All baristas are certified Coffee Masters, who handcraft espresso beverages from a manual Black Eagle espresso machine. Upper St Martin’s Lane will also serve specialty beverages such as Shakerato, Sparkling Mint Espresso, and flights of coffee to allow customers to do side-by-side tastings of coffees from around the world. The store also takes design cues from Orion House Tower above, a 16-story postmodern high-rise of glass and steel that is home to Orion Publishing. High tech features include wireless charging and communication through digital menu boards and wall projections. The Upper St Martin’s Lane store is the UK’s second Starbucks Evenings location, serving a curated menu of wine and craft beer after 4pm.

Casual Dining Group completes refurbishment of two-thirds of Cafe Rouge estate with flagship site: Casual Dining Group has now completed refurbishments across two-thirds of its Cafe Rouge sites, with an investment of £500,000 in its flagship 182-cover site opposite St Paul’s Cathedral, the largest single scheme to be undertaken. Cafe Rouge has launched its “Best of the Best” menu, which is available at every one of the company’s UK bistros featuring a “carefully-curated selection of freshly-cooked French food”. Cafe Rouge brand director Georgia Hall said: “The ‘Best of the Best’ menu is a reflection of the brand’s finest moments over the past 26 years with an added contemporary spin. Our executive chef Duncan McEwan has blended the beloved recipes of our long-standing customers with new and classic French influences. What’s more, he has ensured that the new menu meets the needs of today’s diners, with an extended selection of vegetarian and made without gluten options. Over two thirds of Cafe Rouge bistros have now been rejuvenated with classic and authentic interiors to complement our delicious food and wine. With its iconic location and grand scale, St Paul’s was a unique opportunity to really push the boat out and create a flagship bistro that tells the story of our sumptuous brand.”

McDonald’s Northern Ireland performing above UK average, not concerned about National Living Wage: McDonald’s UK senior vice-president Richard Forte has reported the company’s 27 stores in Northern Ireland, with plans for another four in the near future, are performing slightly ahead of its average across the UK. On the issue of staff pay, Northern Ireland franchisee Des Lamph, who has nine sites in the province and employs 800 staff, said: “I think there is a misconception that McDonald’s don’t pay well. You would find, even around this restaurant, we pay well above the minimum wage.” Lamph said he wasn’t concerned about the introduction of the new National Living Wage of £7.20 an hour, which comes into effect in April. “Everyone I employ – those over 21 – are on wages well above that level,” he added.

New World Trading Company names November for Botanist opening in Marlow: New World Trading Company will open its new Botanist site in Marlow, Buckinghamshire, on Monday, 30 November. The cocktail bar and restaurant is opening in West Street on the site of the former Living in Store shop, creating 45 jobs. It will serve botanical cocktails, craft beers and ales along with deli and rotisserie-inspired food and features live music seven days a week. New World Trading Company managing director Chris Hill told the Bucks Free Press: “We are excited to be opening the Botanist in a community which has such a passion for food and drink. We are looking forward to immersing ourselves in village life.”

JD Wetherspoon set to get go-ahead for controversial Leeds arterial road pub:
A controversial plan by JD Wetherspoon to redevelop a prominent Leeds landmark built more than 100 years ago on one of the city’s main arterial roads has been recommended for approval. The company is seeking permission to open a pub at the Elinor Lupton Centre, a grade II-listed building on the A660 road out to Headingley from the city centre. The scheme is expected to create about 50 jobs. The site has been vacant for more than eight years and marketed for sale during this period. JD Wetherspoon’s plans have attracted fierce opposition, with about 100 letters of objection received by Leeds City Council from locals and community groups. Chief among the complaints are fears about late-night noise, anti-social behaviour and the belief that Headingley’s bar market is already oversaturated. In a “finely balanced” application, these concerns and the use of the out-of-town site for a city centre purpose are, however, outweighed by factors in favour of the project, according to a report to be scrutinised by councillors tomorrow (Thursday, 22 October).

Former policeman opens Chelmsford’s first self-serve bar: The first self-service bar in Chelmsford opened at the weekend after a soft launch on Friday. Liaison Bar in Tindall Street allows customers to order food and self-serve drinks at their tables. Drinkers can also access Facebook, Twitter and YouTube via apps on table-top tablets. Owner Kevin Christou served for 19 years as a detective in the Metropolitan Police, before moving to Chelmsford with partner Debbie Mark to open the bar.

Caffe Nero hires PR agency to raise awareness of hot food range: Brand PR agency Launch PR has been hired to help raise awareness of Caffe Nero’s first hot-food range in the UK, PR Week has reported. The Launch PR team will be led by director Niki Wheeler on the two-month project. There was no competitive pitch. Launch was appointed following a recommendation.

Tasty set to open Wildwood in Kingston:
Tasty is lining up a Wildwood opening in Kingston upon Thames, Surrey. The new 3,500 square foot unit on the High Street is due to open mid-November. The company has signed as a 25-year lease, with a rent of £125,000 per annum. London-based Restaurant Property advised Wildwood on this latest opening. The leisure specialist was also involved in the new Wildwood restaurant at Port Solent near Portsmouth, which is due to open in early November, this time acting for landlord CBRE. Other Wildwood sites are due to open in Brentwood, Essex, and Whiteley Shopping Centre in Fareham, Hampshire, in mid-November. David Rawlinson, founder and director of Restaurant Property, said: “Kingston has been on Wildwood’s requirements list for a long time and we are thrilled to have secured such a prime spot in the town for our clients.”

Enterprise Inns reopens fire-destroyed pub after £1.2m rebuild: Enterprise Inns’ historic Tayleur Arms pub in Shropshire has completed its £1.2m rise from the ashes. The Longdon-upon-Tern pub, near Telford, was destroyed by fire a year-and-a-half-ago. Publicans Richard and Eve Harvey, who ran the original Tayleur Arms, reopened the pub on Monday. The shape of the building has been altered as part of the rebuild, allowing for a large car park and outdoor area. Inside, it offers ample space to cater for family dining and groups, with more than 100 covers spread across two separate dining areas. There is also a dedicated bar area for customers who would prefer to drink, but not eat. The Harveys have introduced a new menu, with many dishes featuring locally sourced produce from across Shropshire, and they will be serving wine from Telford’s Rodington Vineyard.

Das Kino team in Nottingham to open Hockley Arts Club: The team behind Nottingham bar Das Kino is to open The Hockley Arts Club, housed in the Victorian grade II-listed building that were previously offices of George Wigley & Son’s silk merchants and importers. The Hockley Arts Club, due to open in November, will consist of four floors. The ground floor will house mid-century furniture, Scandinavian wood panelling and feature an imposing back bar stocked with glass vitrines of unusual aged liquors. The story of the building unfolds heading upstairs to the first floor, which has the intimate feel of an exclusive members’ club. Finally, the kitsch Electric Garden lies waiting in the loft space enticing guests with its vibrant lighting, an outdoor meets indoor space. General manager Adam Sumner said: “I have seen The Hockley Arts Club evolve from its conception. With such interesting local history and stunning Victorian architecture, it is impossible not to be creatively inspired along the way. We are also ensuring we preserve the beautiful nature of this building. The menu will include a vast array of small plates designed for sharing and casual eating with the finest, fresh, locally sourced ingredients.”

Laughterhouse Comedy to open second comedy club in Liverpool: Laughterhouse Comedy is to open a new comedy club in Liverpool in November. Laughterhouse hosts the comedy clubs at The Slaughter House and Philharmonic Hall and has converted music club Eric’s in Mathew Street into a purpose-built 200-seater comedy venue. Laughterhouse Mathew Street has partnered with Olive and Piccolino to offer dining options. Laughterhouse Mathew Street will open on Friday, 27 November. Laughterhouse Comedy owner Paula Harrington said: “We are delighted to be opening a purpose built comedy venue on the world famous Mathew Street. We believe this space could become one of the finest comedy rooms in the UK and it is a perfect sister venue to our successful Slaughter House venue.”

McDonald’s and Starbucks sign Climate Pledge: McDonald’s and Starbucks are part of a large group of US companies that have signed the American Business Act on Climate Pledge. The 81 businesses that signed the pledge include a who’s-who of American companies, including Coca Cola, Target, IBM, Facebook and Google. McDonald’s and Starbucks are the two most recognisable names in the restaurant business. The companies vowed to make changes to their supply chains and to reduce energy use inside their restaurants as part of the initiative.

Polpo to open new Brighton site in mid-November: Polpo, led by Russell Norman, will open its new Brighton site, the first outside London, in mid-November – it is due to open in New Road. Norman has been visiting Brighton since he was a child and searched for the right site in the city for two years. He believes the bohemian, romantic city and its theatre-populated New Road are the perfect fit for the sophisticated clientele attracted to Polpo. He told the Argus: “As an adult I’ve loved Brighton for its uncompromising bohemian identity. It’s a place driven by culture as well as commerce and I’m delighted Polpo will be part of this community.”

Blue Monkey Brewery to open new pub with focus on coffee and beer: Blue Monkey Brewery is to open a sixth pub, Coffee Grinder, in Nottingham’s Front Street with a focus on gourmet coffee and beer. The Coffee Grinder will have six hand-pull real ales, five of which will be Blue Monkey brews with a guest ale, as well as two lagers and two ciders on keg. There will also be a selection of bottled beers. It will also serve traditional pub grub such as sandwiches, burgers, salads, snacks and “lots of nice cakes” to go with its Arabica coffee.

Mitchells & Butlers to open new Miller & Carter site in Coventry next month:
Mitchells & Butlers will open a new Miller & Carter steakhouse in Coventry next month. The company is launching the restaurant in Kenpas Highway on Thursday, 26 November, reports the Coventry Telegraph. The brand, which specialises in 28-day aged British steaks and is known for its swanky chairs and tables and bull imagery on the walls, has 38 sites throughout England and Scotland. Earlier this year, Miller & Carter was awarded Best Sirloin Steak in England for 2015 by industry body the English Beef and Lamb Executive.

HonestBrew raises £400,000 on Crowdcube: Craft beer delivery service HonestBrew has finished its equity crowdfunding campaign on Crowdcube, having raised £100,000 more than its original £300,000 target with support from nearly 450 backers. HonestBrew’s founder Andrew Reeve said: “The funds will allow us to continue to scale – we’ll be able to extend our marketing activity to find more craft beer fans who love our product. We also have a number of technology plans including improving both the back end functionality and the experience our customers have when they use HonestBrew. We’re also keen to bring more exclusive beers to the UK – beers that have never been available in the UK before. We have some other cheeky developments which we can’t share yet but keep an eye out to see what’s happening first.”

Archie’s Burgers and Shakes opens third site: Archie’s Burgers and Shakes has opened its third site and first outside of Manchester, located in Liverpool’s Ranelagh Street. Owners of Archie’s The Rafiq brothers said: “When we decided we wanted to expand our offering and move out of Manchester for the first time, we knew straight away that a Liverpool location was the obvious next step for Archie’s. The city’s food and drink scene continues to thrive and I’m sure that Archie’s will be a popular addition to its already eclectic restaurant catalogue. Our new eatery mirrors the instantly recognisable and quirky interior style of the original Archie’s restaurants, with its pink and white colour scheme and classic diner-inspired furnishings. The venue will also be set over two floors so it’s our biggest site yet, making it the perfect location from which to operate both our take-out and table service facilities.”

CPL Training chosen as qualifications provider by Springboard:
CPL Training has been selected as a national qualifications training provider by The Springboard Charity for the Diageo Learning for Life programme. CPL Training has been appointed to train face-to-face national qualifications as part of The Springboard Charity’s delivery of the courses in the UK. The Diageo Learning for Life: Hospitality and Bartending Course involves unemployed young people taking part in a six-week course comprising of four weeks classroom-based practical training and a two-week work placement with a local business in their area. Daniel Davies, chief executive of CPL Training Group, said: “The value of training for unemployed young people establishing themselves in a career cannot be underestimated and CPL Training is a huge advocate of this, supporting several youngsters as well as organisations such as Perceptions of which we are founding partners. The work that The Springboard Charity do to give young people a great start in life and the quality of the programme they operate for Diageo is impressive and we are delighted to be a part of that alongside them.”

Greene King releases 26 short films starring the pub: Greene King’s IPA brand has released 26 films made by and starring British pubs on a new website www.tothepub.tv  as part of its ongoing “To The Pub” campaign, which is a move by the leading cask ale brand to champion the valuable and often unsung role that the pub plays in its community. To bring this campaign to life, Greene King IPA handed control of its advertising to 50 pubs and gave each publican a GoPro video camera to tell the story of their pub in their own words. These publicans and hundreds of pub goers captured heart-warming, unexpected and funny moments on film that give incredible insight into the role of the pub within its community. The release of 26 new films on the “To The Pub” website together show why pubs play such a significant role in British culture, and the value they have in the lives of people that frequent them, and include films by former Hell’s Angels haunt The Hawley Arms, Camden, and Nottingham’s Ye Olde Trip To Jerusalem, purported to be Britain’s oldest pub dating back to 1189AD. Chris Houlton, managing director, Greene King brewing and brands, said: “This campaign captures the relationship between a pub and its community and invests in bringing this to national attention with adverts that build emotional affinity for the pub among a broad audience. Our first run of ‘To The Pub’ adverts reached 3.65 million people and our research shows that 84% of consumers liked the films and felt that they portrayed an authentic pub atmosphere. Our investment in the pub through this campaign continues with the online release of these new films alongside social media activity and targeted regional advertising, which will reach almost 20 million people with the message that the pub is an unrivalled national and community institution that can and does play a vital, valued and incredibly diverse role in modern British social life.”

Douglas Jack – ‘it was a good Rugby World Cup for pubs’: Numis Securities leisure analyst Douglas Jack has hailed a good “rugby World Cup for pubs”. He said: “After months of relatively subdued trading, pub like-for-like sales have picked up considerably during the Rugby World Cup. This is a short-term momentum boost for wet-led pubs. Over the long-term, we expect eating out to outperform drinking out. The overall winner in 2016 is again likely to be Domino’s Pizza (Buy; target price 1,100p), in our view. The pubs constituent of the Coffer Peach Business Tracker has averaged 0.8% like-for-like sales growth (London 2.5%; ex-London 0.3%) over the year to September. This index has been heavily influenced by its largest constituent, Mitchells and Butlers, which has struggled to generate like-for-like sales growth since April. However, trading has been strong on the days of England’s crucial games against Wales and Australia, when bars’ average drinks takings were more than £1,000 up on an average Saturday, according to CGA Peach. Within a three-mile radius of Twickenham, bars’ uplift was £6,000-plus on both occasions. In Cardiff, drink sales at least tripled relative to an average Saturday on the days of Wales’ first two home games. Gloucester, Leeds, Birmingham, Newcastle and Milton Keynes all experienced surges as a result of hosting games. One in six British consumers opted to watch a fixture on one of the tournament’s first two weekends in pubs, bars or restaurants, with England versus Wales the most popular game, according to CGA Peach. The Coffer Peach Business Tracker has indicated that managed pub like-for-like sales were up 9.0% in the week beginning 28 September, ahead of a 2.7% increase for restaurants that week. Over the long-term, we continue to expect demand for eating out to outpace drinking out. However, over the medium-term, excluding major sporting events, we expect improving consumer cash flow to limit the gap between eating out and drinking out growth, through reducing the impact of drinking out’s relative value disadvantage. The gap in growth has already narrowed from 3.5% (4.6% food; 0.9% drink) during 2000-2014, to 0.4% (2.0% food; 1.6% drink) in half one 2015. Investor interest should soon shift towards Christmas bookings and the potential to raise prices, particularly on food, in 2016. Euro 2016, the Olympics, a weaker cinema release schedule (and the release of 2015’s films on TV) are likely to heighten television viewing in 2016. The challenge for the sector will be moving this viewing out of the home. Our preferred stock in the sector remains Domino’s Pizza.”

Buffet brand Tangs to open second restaurant: Slough-based world buffet brand Tangs is set to open a second site, this time located in a Southend shopping centre, filling a space that has been empty for almost a decade. Tangs has permission to open a branch above Metrobank in the Victoria Shopping Centre. The restaurant will boast over 100 dishes, with cuisine ranging from China, Japan, India, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. The first floor unit has been vacant since the centre’s redevelopment in 2008, and represents a boost to the shopping centre, which had 26 empty units last September. Tangs, which is understood to be opening before Christmas, will have an entrance and waiting room downstairs, accessed next to Metrobank. In their planning statement, Tang’s consultants GL Hearne pointed out that there are only two restaurants in the centre – Wimpy and the Victoria Cafe. Ryan McTeggart, from the firm, wrote: “It could therefore be argued this section of Southend town centre has a limited provision of restaurants, notwithstanding the offer in the remainder of the centre. It is considered an A3 use of this site would benefit the High Street through diversification of the current town centre uses and assisting with attracting footfall.”

Prime Burger opens at Euston: Street food brand Prime Burger has opened a new site within Euston Station’s food court, offering an eight-minute food guarantee – with refund if the target is not hit. The brand’s first restaurant is located at St Pancras International, with plans to open another Prime Burger at Excel London soon. This launch is a result of Network Rail’s initiative that aims to increase artisan eateries across its stations. Prime Burger offers a range of food from “London’s first Truffle Burger”, to an extra spicy chilli burger known as “Crazy Larry”, as well as serving frozen custard, milkshakes and sides. Founders of Prime Burger Robert Tame and Sam Steele began serving premium street food at events such as the 2012 Olympics, the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, and at festivals Glastonbury, Isle of Wight and Bestival.

Speaker programme for Propel Multi Club Conference: 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.

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