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Fri 6th Nov 2015 - Propel Friday News Briefing

Story of the Day:

Just Eat – major brands will benefit from working with us: Online takeaway business Just Eat’s chief operating officer Adrian Blair has argued that major brands will benefit enormously from working with it. So far, the company has focused on building a network of 59,000 independent restaurants. Writing for Propel Friday Opinion, he stated: “Just Eat gets over 700,000 visits a day to our apps and website in the UK alone (about 10x the footfall at Westfield London). It is essentially a busy digital high street, exclusively for restaurants. The vast majority of these visits occur at dinner time. In other words, people are not researching a future purchase – they are hungry and choosing what to eat right now. Only brands visible on the Just Eat digital high street are part of the consideration set for these consumers – and many of those that do feature find it their largest source of new customers. Just Eat is now a mainstream consumer brand, used by one in ten adults in the UK. Contrary to the perception of some, they are not “downmarket” – over half of Just Eat users are A / B / C1s. People from social grade A (“high managerial or professional”) alone spend over £200m on Just Eat each year. 80% of target consumers see us as a mass market consumer brand, and brand affinity is one of the main reasons people use the service. Because of this, our restaurants range from quick service to Michelin Star. Whatever demographic a brand serves, a sizeable chunk of them will be using Just Eat. Seven out of ten customers who visit Just Eat don’t order through us. They use our site as a directory to browse menus and make their offline dining decision. Then they visit the restaurant in person, or call. We only charge our commission on orders directly placed through our products. That rate itself is far lower than other high footfall environments (many airports charge over 30%). And of course digital is an inherently high margin channel, with lower cost to serve and higher average order sizes than offline channels. All of that adds up to margin improvement as well as top line growth for brands on Just Eat. The defining feature of Just Eat at the moment is growth. Many of our 15 markets are expanding by over 100% year-on-year, some by over 200%. Customer growth is increasing far faster than the number of outlets – meaning the revenue each restaurant makes is constantly rising. So although the case for listing on Just Eat is strong today, it will only become more compelling over the years to come.” See Propel Friday Opinion for the full article.

Industry News:

ALMR National Restaurant Association Study Tour to Chicago opens for bookings: The Propel and Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) 2016 Chicago Study Tour is now open for bookings. The trip, sponsored by CPL Training and Sky, takes place between Thursday, 19 May and Monday, 23 May 2016. The National Restaurant Association (NRA) draws 58,000-plus industry professionals from all 50 states and 100 countries, seeking the newest innovations and up-to-the-minute information about trends and issues. The ALMR trip provides: insights from industry experts on the rise in fast-casual dining, social media, new and emerging brands, menu development, staff management and a host of other issues – with 70 free education sessions at the NRA show. It also involves two tours of Chicago’s hottest concepts and a market overview briefing sessions from US experts. Paul Charity, managing director of Propel Info, said: “The NRA show combined with our tour of Chicago is a fantastic opportunity to find fresh inspiration and understand the emerging trends shaping the fast-changing US market.” To get more information or to book, email

Pub is The Hub launches in Devon: Pub is The Hub, the scheme that helps rural pubs branch out into new services for their communities, has launched in Devon. The initiative was launched in Kingsteignton in partnership with Devon Communities Together. Pub is The Hub will work with rural pubs in the county to encourage them to take up additional local services that are cut in their community such as post offices, shops, and cash point machines. Tom Haywood, licensee at the Union Inn in Denbury, was at the launch and explained how he is developing a small shop and post office following the retirement of the local postmaster. Pub is The Hub chief executive John Longden said his team would provide advice, support and, if appropriate, funding for pub operators and owners who are considering a diversification scheme and urged them to contact the organisation. Devon Communities Together chief executive Elaine Cook said in light of all possible cuts in services suggested in Devon County Council’s “Tough Choices” paper, the initiative “could not be more timely”. Pub is The Hub, which was founded in 2001 by HRH the Prince of Wales, encourages local authorities, communities, licensees, pub owners and breweries to work together to support, retain and locate services within rural pubs. The launch of the scheme in Devon is also being backed by the Big Lottery Fund, which has had an association with Pub is The Hub since 2011.

Rick Stein Group joins Hospitality Action’s Employee Assistance programme: The Rick Stein Group is the 80th company to join Hospitality Action’s Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) joining, among others, Wagamama, Soho House Group and Whitbread. Over 90,000 employees across the UK are now able to access specialist support 24/7 for 365 days a year. Recent research indicates that almost half of workers in the hospitality industry (44.9%) have taken time off due to stress. This coupled with concerns about skills shortages, has highlighted the increasingly important role benefits such as EAPs, play in attracting and retaining the best people. Hospitality Action’s EAP is a cost effective workplace programme designed to support employees to identify and resolve concerns and issues that may affect job performance, with the added benefit to employers of improved retention, employee loyalty and productivity. Michael Rabone, head of human resources for the Rick Stein Group, added: “As our family business grows, our top priority is to support and take care of our people by providing useful benefits that meet individual needs. We have great admiration for Hospitality Action and its Employee Assistance Programme, it’s an incredibly important charity going above and beyond to support hospitality industry professionals during any time of need. We are also very excited about reciprocating this support with plenty of charitable activity in years to come.”

Harden’s guide reports record-breaking year for London restaurant openings: The 2016 edition of Harden’s London Restaurants has reported another record-breaking year for restaurant openings in the capital. According to the guide published yesterday (Thursday, 5 November), 179 restaurants have opened this year, above last year’s 148 and the pre economic crisis peak of 158 in 2008. The number of closures rose slightly, from 47 to 56, but the ratio of openings to closures was the second highest for 25 years. Nearly one in ten new eateries in the past year are Japanese. The guide’s co-founder Peter Harden said the combination of London’s increasing size and wealth, and a sector that is becoming easier to break into was behind the record number of openings. He added the London market is well established, so “you have a huge number of people who are willing to invest”. He said: “If you have a good idea, you can see a route all the way from pop-up to private-equity sellout. Previous generations didn’t really have that.” As last year, The Wolseley, The Delaunay and The Square were judged the best restaurants for doing business. In the Square Mile, the best choices were City Social, Galvin La Chapelle and L’Anima. When it came to “top gastronomic experience”, Michel Roux’s Le Gavroche was voted number one, displacing The Ledbury in Notting Hill. The guide’s ratings were determined using the views submitted in 60,000 reports.

Company News:

Owners of Brighton-based Indian restaurant Chilli Pickle in talks with investors: The owners of Brighton-based Indian restaurant Chilli Pickle have told Propel they are ready to start expanding the concept. Alun and Dawn Sperring, who started the business in 2007, said they are speaking with potential investors with view to opening more sites. “We are at a point now where we have created what we are,” said Alun. “Our identity has been formed and we have something special – the time is now right to grow. It won’t work in every city but we don’t have a pre-defined idea of what kind of venue we want – we can have more than one template as we can morph into different spaces. We will need to make sure the kitchen space can include a tandoor oven and a grill, but otherwise different spaces can be adapted.” Chilli Pickle’s current 115-cover site is on the ground floor of the Myhotel in the North Laines area of Brighton. It relocated there in 2011 having outgrown its 45-cover original home nearby. One of its flagship dishes is oxtail madras, which hit the headlines in 2008 when Alun adapted the dish to win an award for Britain’s hottest curry. He added: “We try out new dishes all the time and while we also cater for those who just want a bottle of Cobra and a chicken curry, we make sure it is a chicken curry that we really think is great.” Last year, it launched a delivery service called the Chilli Pickle Canteen and has recently introduced a pre-theatre menu at the restaurant. “We have a Thali offer, which is a set meal of ten items,” said Dawn. “It is working well and helps us with the quieter times on Sundays to Thursdays.” Observers have compared the award-winning Chilli Pickle to an Indian version of Wagamama.

Coal Grill & Bar operator reports turnover passes £10m: Charterhouse Leisure, which trades as Coal Grill & Bar, has reported turnover passed £10m in the year ended 28 February 2015. The company saw turnover of £10,218,000, compared to £8,435,000 the previous year, according to accounts filed with Companies House while Ebitda for the year increased 21% to £854,000 from £708,000. It made a pre-tax loss of £362,000, compared to a pre-tax profit of £221,000 the previous year. The company stated: “In addition to the existing restaurants in Basingstoke, Meadowhall, Bristol (Cabot Circus), Bristol (Severn Shed), Exeter and Milton Keynes, four further restaurants were opened during the financial year in Cheshire Oaks, Gloucester Quays, Telford and Swindon, taking the group to a total of ten sites trading at the year end. The group has delivered another strong financial performance, reflecting the hard work and commitment of the management and staff teams. Total revenue increased by 21% from £8.5m to £10.2m and same store sales were positive against last year. Since the year-end, the group has agreed further facilities with its investors and bankers, which will enable it to open new restaurants over the next few years.”

Costa breaks ground on new £36m roastery in Essex: Whitbread-owned Costa Coffee has broken ground on its new £36m roastery in Basildon, Essex. Managing director Christopher Rogers formally kicked off construction of the facility – which will be called Paradise Street – with Basildon mayor councillor Don Morris and local Costa staff. The former Visteon site in Prologis Park in Christopher Martin Road will now be transformed into a state-of-the-art roastery, supporting Costa’s national and international growth – roasting up to 45,000 tonnes of coffee every year. Rogers said: “This is an important milestone in a truly exciting project for both Costa and Basildon. We are taking great pride in our new roastery – ensuring we deliver the very best facility in the world to meet customer demand in the long-term and support our growth. I am therefore delighted to announce the new roastery will be called Paradise Street, named after our original Old Paradise Street roastery in Lambeth, London. As a British-grown company, it is fantastic to be basing our operations right here in the UK. Our heritage is the lifeblood of our business and Paradise Street will be a new chapter in our rich history.” The new roastery is an extension of Costa’s current and original roastery on Old Paradise Street in Lambeth – which has been roasting coffee for over 30 years. Once the new roastery is completed in early 2017, Essex will be integral to Costa’s global business – with its raw beans being imported from around the world to Tilbury Docks, just 14 miles from the site of Paradise Street.

BrewDog co-founder publishes first book: James Watt, the co-founder of Scottish retailer and brewer BrewDog, has launched his first book. Watt has published Business For Punks to inspire entrepreneurs to challenge traditional business “rules”. The book documents the philosophy behind BrewDog’s success, charting Watt’s journey from a law and economics graduate, through his years as a sea captain to being at the helm of BrewDog. Citing the rough seas of the north Atlantic as instrumental in developing his approach to business, Watt exhorts budding entrepreneurs to practice radical and steadfast self-belief in their pursuit of success. Business For Punks tackles issues aspiring entrepreneurs will face, from managing cashflow, marketing, developing a sustainable brand and the “pointlessness of a business plan”. It includes examples from BrewDog’s own story and lays out the foundations for success on one’s own terms. Watt said: “Business For Punks is a book for people who hate business. It is about adopting a DIY punk approach, and encouraging the next generation to break free from the mundane, risk-averse, colourless template they’ve picked up in business school. The old principles no longer apply.” Since being formed eight years ago, BrewDog has grown to employing over 500 people across ten countries and four continents. Business for Punks is published by Portfolio Penguin.

Pub People takes on third Star Pubs & Bars site: East Midlands-based pub operator Pub People has taken on The Three Horseshoes in East Leake, near Loughborough – its third site with Star Pubs & Bars. Together they are undertaking a major £260,000 refurbishment of the pub to broaden its appeal. The pub is currently closed and will reopen at the end of November, creating 12 jobs. The interior is being opened up to improve the flow between the bar, lounge and restaurant areas, allowing customers to eat and drink anywhere in the pub. The exterior will benefit from smarter entrances, a complete redecoration and new signage, and an upgraded patio to allow for al-fresco drinking and dining. The offer will be focused on quality fresh home cooked food with good quality cask ales and wine and premium Heineken drinks. Pub People operations director Andrew Crawford said: “We’re looking forward to opening the Three Horseshoes and, with the help of Star Pub & Bars’ investment, creating a great family friendly pub that the village can be proud of.” The Pub People operates 55 pubs including two others with Star Pubs & Bars – The Waggon & Horses in Redhill, Nottinghamshire, and The King Alfred in Alfreton, Derbyshire.

Coffee#1 to open 57th site in Newport next Thursday: Coffee#1, the coffee shop brand owned by Cardiff-based brewer and retailer SA Brain, will open its 57th site in Newport next Thursday (12 November). The company is opening the branch at the new Friars Walk shopping centre, creating nine jobs. Operations manager Jo Hamilton-Welsman said: “We are delighted to be a part of Friars Walk; it is an exciting new development in a city where Coffee#1 is well established. Our simple strategy for driving the business, focusing on serving the best coffee and giving our customers what they want, has produced robust like-for-like sales growth which has resulted in an accelerated roll-out programme for this financial year.”

Pieminister granted permission to open biggest site to date in Nottingham: Pieminister, the award-winning gourmet pie company, has been given permission to open a new site in Nottingham. The brand, which started life in a Bristol flat more than a decade ago and now has 14 restaurants, cafes and pubs across England, is poised to launch its largest venue to date after receiving the go-ahead from Nottingham City Council, reports Insider Media. It plans to invest £300,000 in redeveloping a vacant grade II-listed building in Long Row that was previously occupied by Boots into a gourmet pie and mash shop, creating 30 jobs. The outlet will provide space for 146 diners and at 3,185 square foot would become the largest Pieminister restaurant in terms of size and investment. A statement prepared by RR Planning on behalf of the company said the venue would be a “unique offer” for Nottingham city centre and will add to its “vitality and viability as a destination for shoppers and tourists”. Pieminister operates restaurants in Bristol, Cardiff, Leeds and Manchester, with cafes in Bristol, London, Trentham and Oxford. It also has pie pubs in London and at Bradford Brewery.

Open House set to open second site in King’s Cross: London-based restaurant group Open House is set to open its second site. The company is opening pub, dining room and bar The Lighterman in Granary Square, King’s Cross, in early 2016. The brand new standalone building that spans the entire eastern side of the square will offer all-day drinking and dining across three floors, with outside seating overlooking both Regent’s Canal and Granary Square. The ground floor, with seating directly onto Granary Square, will serve everything from breakfast through to dinner, with views into the kitchen featuring a pizza oven. The top floor has panoramic views across the square and canal, with its own wraparound terrace and will host a more formal dining experience. There is also a canal-side bar with al-fresco terrace. Executive chef Diego Cardoso, who joined Open House in 2014 to launch its first restaurant and bar, Percy & Founders, Fitzrovia, in the spring, will oversee the modern British all-day menu. The extensive drinks menu will include draught and bottled beers, craft ales and seasonal cocktails, together with a wine list. The venue is named after the Victorian-era workers who operated “lighter”, flat-bottomed, goods barges on the River Thames and London’s canals.

Inamo to relocate St James’ restaurant to Covent Garden: London-based futuristic restaurant brand Inamo is to relocate its St James’ restaurant to Covent Garden. The Oriental fusion brand, where guests order from illustrated menus projected onto their tables, is moving because the site is being redeveloped as part of a new shopping centre in Regent Street. The restaurant will close on Saturday, 5 December with the new venue, which is in the heart of Covent Garden, scheduled to open in January. Marketing director Noel Hunwick said: “This is a high traffic location for us to host Londoners and international tourists, and the layout will work really well in delivering the full Inamo experience.” Inamo also operates at Wardour Street, Soho.

St Austell Brewery launches training academy for hospitality businesses across south west: St Austell Brewery has expanded its staff training academy to benefit other hospitality businesses across the south west. The company has opened a training and development centre called Academy 1851 at its base in Cornwall to offer a range of practical training courses at varying levels for the licensed hospitality industry in the region to access. Courses ranging from specialist barista training and cellar management to food hygiene and advanced wines and spirits are available, and can be delivered on site at the customer’s premises in some cases. St Austell Brewery people director Jackie Scarfe said: “St Austell Brewery has achieved incredible growth over the years, and we firmly believe that our success is due in large part to investing in our workforce, as by giving staff the very best training available, they grow along with the business. The facility will enable those working in pubs, hotels, restaurants and bars across the region to take advantage of the expertise, knowledge and experience we have accrued over the years.” Academy 1851 takes its name from the year St Austell Brewery was founded. It owns 167 pubs and inns across the south west and employs over 1,000 people.

Liverpool-based Red & Blue Restaurants to convert building housing The Cabin Club into bar and restaurant: Liverpool-based Red & Blue Restaurants is to convert the building housing the iconic The Cabin Club into a bar and restaurant after acquiring the site. The company is investing £700,000 converting the Havelock Building into the as yet unnamed concept, which will open in the new year, creating about 60 jobs. Running from Bold Street to Wood Street, the Havelock Building housed The Cabin Club on the top floor, which was a popular destination for clubbers before its closure. The Cabin Club is claimed to have been the inspiration for The Beatles’ song Don’t Bother Me. Written by George Harrison while on tour with the band in 1963, the title was said to have come about after he was harassed by reporters and photographers on his way into the nightclub. Jonathan Poole from Red & Blue Restaurants told the Liverpool Echo: “We have always loved Bold Street and think that The Cabin with all its history and landmark location could have a new life as a restaurant and bar.” Red & Blue Restaurants also runs the Salt House Tapas, Bacaro and Hanover Street Social restaurants in the city.

London-based Zebrano Group expands into City with new fine dining concept: London-based Zebrano Group has expanded into the City by opening its third site with a new fine dining concept. The company has launched restaurant, bar and nightclub Zebrano in the City at Dukes House in Houndsditch. The two-floor venue in the shadow of the Gherkin spans over 6,000 square feet and offers drinking, dining and dancing all under one roof. The top floor houses a fine dining experience and private dining room for ten people. Executive chef Chris MacCormick has created a menu that merges both European and Asian flavours. The ground floor has more of a late-night lounge ambience, serving smaller sharing dishes and cocktails. Renowned DJ’s and live acts will perform downstairs throughout the night. Zebrano is also the only restaurant to collaborate with Taittinger Champagne on a Chef’s Table concept for up to eight people. The company, formed by the founder of Seymour-Valentine Coffee Cevat Riza and former head of hospitality for JP Morgan Don Cameron, opened Zebrano Carnaby in 2004 followed by Zebrano Soho in Greek Street in 2008.

Sager + Wilde converts wine bar in Bethnal Green into restaurant: Husband and wife duo Michael and Charlotte Sager-Wilde have converted their wine bar in Bethnal Green, east London, into a restaurant. The couple opened Mission under the railway arches in Paradise Row last September, a year after launching their first wine bar in Hoxton. Now they have converted the site into what it was always meant to be – a fully-fledged restaurant. Leading the kitchen is Australian chef Sebastien Myers, who was previously head chef at Chiltern Firehouse. The menu is based around seasonal ingredients and takes inspiration from Myers’ travels across Asia, Australia, Scandinavia and the Middle East. Michael Sager-Wilde told the Evening Standard: “After opening Sager + Wilde we knew we didn’t want another wine bar. What would be the point in that when we think our original is one of the best in the world? When we opened we didn’t have a chef and we don’t have so many contacts in the restaurant world like we do with wine, so it took a long time to find the right people. In the meantime we were hearing from a lot of customers that the wine was excellent but the food and service was not on par, so we played it down until we could do it properly.”

Meantime launches ‘Make Time for It’ creative platform: Meantime Brewing Company has launched a new creative platform for the next 12 months that will celebrate the inherent craft of the London brewer. The company has started “Make Time for It”, which is centred around one of Meantime’s founding principles, something it refers to as the fifth ingredient in its beer – time. The campaign launches with an exclusive partnership with London-based craftsmen Brompton Bicycle – makers of the iconic Brompton folding bike. Meantime will visit the Brompton factory in west London before returning to the brewery in Greenwich to create a unique beer that reflects Brompton’s personality and ethos. The Brompton team of designers and brazers will also visit the Meantime brewery before designing and building the ultimate city bike encapsulating the spirit of Meantime. Both of the specially crafted products will be unveiled at an exclusive event at the Brompton Junction store in Covent Garden on Thursday, 3 December where consumers will be able to enter a draw to win a Brompton-Meantime bike and the beer. The beer will also be available for sale in the Meantime Tasting Room’s shop at the brewery and the bike will be on display at the Brompton Junction store in Covent Garden. Meantime Brewing Company marketing director Rich Myers said: “From day one, time has been at the heart of Meantime – we’re based in Greenwich, the universal home of time, it’s in our name, but most importantly it’s in our beer. We’re bringing ‘Make Time for It’ to life through partnerships with other brands who share our values and take pride in their British crafted products.”

Bristol entrepreneurs to open multi-site venue:
Bristol entrepreneurs Jamie Pike and James Dingle are set to open a bakery, bar, cafe, restaurant, bar, theatre and live music venue – all in one building. The duo, which operates The Canteen bar, No 1 Harbourside restaurant and the Harbourside Market, are opening the Old Market Assembly in December. They have teamed up with the Wardrobe Theatre to take over the former Empire Theatre and Flamingo nightclub in the city’s Old Market area for the venture. The venue will house a restaurant, bar, cafe and bakery while located at the back of the ground floor will be a 100-seat studio, which will host in-house produced shows or visiting companies. Pike told the Bristol Post: “Creating a melting pot venue of what was once a fairground, then a bank, then a nightclub, the Old Market Assembly together with the Wardrobe Theatre is hoping to honour the long theatrical legacy of Old Market while celebrating its diverse communities and creating space for subversion.” The duo opened The Canteen in 2009 before launching No 1 Harbourside a year later. They also run the Harbourside Market every weekend, which features about 40 stalls.

Birmingham strip club to close and relaunch as burlesque venue: Birmingham strip club Medusa is to close and relaunch as a burlesque venue in a bid to attract more female customers. The club, owned by Cas Carrington, will shut its Suffolk Street Queensway venue and reopen as Medusa Lodge in nearby Hurst Street on the site of the former Route 2 club in February. Carrington said she was keen to attract more women to the new venue with the trend moving away from traditional lap dancing. The new venue, in the city’s gay quarter, will be decorated in 1920s style, with black velvet and purple glass. Carrington told the Birmingham Mail: “We are going to focus a lot more on burlesque. I think a lot of people are getting a bit bored of lap dancing. I have a club in Stratford-on-Avon and female clientele is 50%.” Carrington said the new Medusa would still offer lap dancing in more discreet parts of the club. She has been forced to move with the owners of the current base Birmingham Properties Group planning to turn it into a restaurant as part of a wider scheme above it that has created new student flats. The restaurant operator is not yet known.

Collyer issues ‘Buy’ note on Enterprise Inns as company enters brave new world: Deutsche Bank leisure analyst Geof Collyer has issued a ‘Buy’ note on Enterprise Inns as the company enters a brave new world. He said: “Over the next five years, Enterprise Inns’ management will be embarking upon one of the most ambitious corporate repositioning strategies we have seen in the pub sector over the past two decades, moving from one to three different business units. The plan is not without execution risk. However, we believe that the estate will be of better quality after the restructuring and that shareholders’ interests will be significantly enhanced by the clearer understanding of where value lies within the portfolio. We have moved away from a net asset value-based target price to one based on a sum-of-the-pubs analysis, which is more representative of the new group structure. There is 44% upside to our new target price (150p).”

Mitchells & Butlers rebrands former Orchid site in Radcliffe as Toby Carvery:
Mitchells & Butlers has rebranded a former Orchid site in Radcliffe, Greater Manchester, as a Toby Carvery. The company closed the Ainsworth Arms for a four-week refurbishment and has reopened it as Toby Carvery Ainsworth, creating 30 jobs. The venue offers seating for over 145 people in the restaurant, with an additional 45 in a designated bar area. General manager Daniel Watson told the Manchester Evening News: “Toby Carvery is known across the UK for its great value for money offering and we’re delighted to be bringing our famous four roast carvery to Ainsworth.” The venue has been refurbished as part of Mitchells & Butlers’ acquisition of 173 Orchid sites in 2014.

Roomzzz submits plans for £10m riverside aparthotel in York: Aparthotel group Roomzzz has submitted plans for a £10m 109-bedroom riverside aparthotel in York. The company has applied to City of York Council to build the five-storey, four-star hotel at the site of the former Parkside Commercial Centre in Terry Avenue, creating 20 jobs. Subject to planning approval, Roomzzz said it hopes to have the L-shaped aparthotel open by the end of 2016. The plans include a raised ground floor to mitigate flooding concerns, and undercroft parking for 21 vehicles. Head of Roomzzz Mark Walton told the York Press: “York is a vibrant destination city with lots going on, which fits perfectly into the Roomzzz family. Riverside locations like this come up once in a million so we were sold on the site as soon as we saw it.” Established in 2006, Roomzzz combines fully equipped apartments with the same offering as a modern hotel, including a 24-hour concierge. It has sites in Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and Chester and last month submitted plans for a 103-bedroom hotel at the Great Yorkshire Showground in Harrogate.

Enterprise Inns signs food supplier partnership with Booker Wholesale and Makro: Enterprise Inns’ publicans are set to benefit from a new partnership that sees Booker Wholesale and Makro become its food supplier. The pub company has partnered with the wholesaler, which will offer a wide choice of ingredients and non-food products, as well as support, to all Enterprise publicans in England and Wales. By visiting one of 200 branches or via online ordering, publicans can select from thousands of items to suit all tastes, budgets and businesses. Food products include fresh meat – which can be cut and packed the way publicans prefer through a butchery service – fruit, vegetables, crisps and snacks, bakery and delicatessen, frozen food and dairy. Catering utensils and disposables are also available, along with cleaning and hygiene products. Booker Wholesale and Makro offer recipes with cost-per-portion, suggested selling prices, and gross profit calculations. It also has a dedicated team of catering development managers on hand to provide menu advice and support through other offers, including free delivery for tobacco products and on all orders over £100 excluding VAT as well as free used cooking oil collection. Enterprise sales and marketing director James Armitage said: “We’re delighted to have Booker Wholesale and Makro on board to bolster our foodservice offering alongside our other providers. All Enterprise publicans can take advantage of its services and offers.” Booker and Makro will also be present at all six 2016 Enterpriselive trade shows, which will be staged at venues including London’s Olympia; Elland Road, Leeds; and Coventry’s Ricoh Arena; between 23 February and 10 March.

High profile Salford Quays Indian falls into administration:
High profile Indian restaurant Shahi Masala (UK) in Salford Quays, located near Manchester United’s Old Trafford stadium, has fallen into administration. The restaurant started trading in 2013 after entering a ten-year lease for large premises at Capital Quay. Earlier this year the company was hit by an unexpected demand for management charges from its landlord before its cashflow problems were compounded when bailiffs attended the premises to recover unpaid business rates that Shahi Masala’s director thought were in the process of being appealed by its professional adviser. Following an assessment of its options with insolvency specialist Refresh Recovery, the business was placed into administration and a buyer is now being sought. While the sale process is being pursued, Refresh Recovery has granted a licence to Curry on the Quays, a business owned by the daughter of Shahi Masala’s director, to trade the restaurant.

Chapel Down reports ‘highly successful’ harvest:
Chapel Down has reported another “highly successful” harvest with the last fruit arriving at its winery in Tenterden, Kent, at the end of October. It said the quality of the fruit this year has been excellent and 2015 produced yields in line with expectations giving it the second largest harvest it has received following on from a “wonderful 2014”. Chief executive Frazer Thompson said: “We are delighted with both the quality and quantity of the fruit we have to work with from this year’s harvest. It’s been another outstanding year and we’re excited about the potential of the wines we can create from this vintage. It follows a record-breaking 2014 harvest and will really help Chapel Down continue to surprise and delight its customers and keep the development and momentum moving forward. These are exciting times for English wines and Chapel Down in particular.”

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