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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Tue 8th Dec 2015 - Propel Tuesday News Briefing

Story of the Day:

Albert’s Schloss hits sales of more than £300,000 per week, London site sought: Albert’s Schloss, the new £3.5m bar and restaurant in Manchester opened by Mission Mars, the joint venture between The Trof Group founders Adelaide Winter and Joel Wilkinson and Revolution Bar founders Roy Ellis and Neil Macleod, has reported sales of more than £300,000 per week since opening. The success of the venue, which occupies 28,000 square foot of space, means the company is now looking for a prime London site to expand the concept. The opening in Manchester completed the transformation of the grade II-listed building, which is also home to the widely acclaimed Albert Hall, a 2,800 capacity live concert venue. The “Schloss”, a Bavarian term for “Chateau or country retreat”, is home to Manchester’s first Tankovna or “tank bar” and ten other central European house pours justify the title as a “Bier Palace”. More than 5,000 pints are being consumed each week – the most volume of any Tankovna outside of the Czech Republic. One feature is the on-site bakery serving freshly made pretzels, doughnuts and sourdoughs every day – over 200 items are baked daily. Ellis, chief executive of Mission Mars, said: “We are delighted by the positive customer response, this is real reflection of the attention to detail we have put into this project, which in turn is a reflection of our people and our passion.” Wilkinson, president of Mission Mars, added: “New sites of similar distinction, size and potential are being sought after the Manchester venue generated in excess of £300,000 of weekly turnover (excluding ticket sales). If we are to achieve our mission to bring the greatest bars and venues to the world then where better to start than in one of the world’s finest capital cities?”

The Sky and Propel Christmas Advent Calendar competition:

Win two Barclays Premier League football match tickets in Sky and Propel Christmas Advent Calendar competition: Two tickets to a Barclays Premier League football match of the winner’s choice (see terms and conditions here) are up for grabs in today’s Sky and Propel Christmas Advent Calendar competition. To be in with a chance of winning, answer the following question: Against which nation does England’s cricket team compete with for the Ashes? a) India b) Australia c) South Africa. Once you have chosen your answer, you can enter by clicking here. We will announce the winner in tomorrow’s newsletter along with providing the next question and the prize on offer. Congratulations to Shaun Bacon from the Barley Mow in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, who was yesterday’s winner of a M&S Christmas hamper worth £100. Sky has partnered with Propel to give away a fabulous prize each working day until 22 December. Prizes still up for grabs include a free 12 months’ Sky subscription for a licensed venue, tickets to a rugby league match, an NFL match at Wembley and the 2016 British Grand Prix as well as more Barclays Premier League football tickets. There are also further M&S Christmas hampers worth £100 as well as 46-inch HD Smart televisions to be won. Good luck!

Industry News:

Camden votes to introduce the Late Night Levy: Camden voted last night to adopt the Late Night Levy for premises which operate between 12 midnight and 6am. The levy will operate with limited exemptions. As a result of the latest consultation a discount of 30% is to be applied to premises within BID areas and premises with a non-domestic rateable value of £12,000 or less. In relation to New Year’s Eve a general exception was made. John Gaunt partner Michelle Hazlewood attended the meeting and made submissions to the sub committee as to the benefits of further exemptions, particularly for hotels providing overnight accommodation and the unintended consequences of the levy. Following on from her comments, some councillors felt the economic cost to business should be assessed, along with the potential cost to individuals who may loose contractual hours if the levy was adopted with one Councillor suggesting that an economic assessment should be undertaken to identify the aforementioned impacts. Hazlewood said: “Although the levy was voted in, I believe our submission raised the unintended consequences of the adoption of the levy and widened the debate from just financial returns for the borough and financial impacts on the operators.” The levy is to be introduced on the 28th April 2016.

Prestige Purchase and CGA to launch Foodservice Price Index: Foodservice operators will be able to access more relevant information on food price trends from this month, thanks to a new joint venture from Prestige Purchasing and CGA Strategy, the business intelligence and networking platform. The Foodservice Price Index (FPI) has been developed as a more accurate and relevant alternative to the government’s Consumer Price Index (CPI), which until now has been the only inflation index available to food purchasing professionals to measure success. The FPI has now revealed the deflationary trends in recent CPI statistics are only partially reflected in the foodservice market. David Read, chief executive of Prestige Purchasing, said: “While the CPI data is relevant for consumers and retail supermarkets, it doesn’t reflect prices on offer to caterers. Buyers who rely on CPI may be acting in an ill-informed manner when negotiating with suppliers. This is because the CPI is calculated using supermarket selling prices instead of foodservice wholesale prices, and we now know that these market movements are distinctly different.” Phil Tate, chief executive of CGA Strategy, added: “We’ve been through 101 million rows of historical data points from wholesalers from the last 24 months and compared them to CPI. There is a clear difference in trends between the two sectors, which is mainly due to the on-going supermarket price war, generated by the increase in discounters, convenience and online. This is creating a major drag on prices, which is not the situation in the foodservice wholesale market. When we spoke to Prestige Purchasing about this, we were excited about working together to create a more accurate and relevant toolbox for the foodservice world.” Like the CPI, the FPI will be based on a basket of goods but gathered from wholesalers rather than retailers, which includes hot beverages, bread, cereal, fish, food products, fruit, meat, milk, cheese, eggs, oils and fats, soft drinks, sugar, jam, syrups, chocolate, confectionary and vegetables. It will show price fluctuations across each of these categories, as well as for the whole basket.

New AB InBev distribution incentive causes alarm among craft brewers: Anheuser-Busch InBev has launched a new plan to reverse declining volumes in the US by rewarding distributors who focus on brands like Budweiser and Bud Light, The Wall Street Journal has reported. But the move is raising alarm among craft brewers who worry it will make it harder to get shelf space for their IPAs and porters. The world’s largest brewer last month introduced a new incentive program that could offer some independent distributors in the US annual reimbursements of as much as $1.5m if 98% of the beers they sell are AB InBev brands, according to two distributors who requested confidentiality because they were asked not to discuss the plan. Distributors whose sales volumes are 95% made up of AB InBev brands would be eligible to have the brewer cover as much as half of their contractual marketing support for those brands, which includes retail promotion and display costs. AB InBev, which introduced the plan at a meeting of distributors in St Louis, estimates participating distributors would receive an average annual benefit of $200,000 each.

Cote boss – ‘every pub and restaurant owner would like a VAT cut’: Alex Scrimgeour, the chief executive of French brasserie Cote, has joined the list of industry leaders clamouring for a reduction in the rate of VAT. All food and drink sold in pubs and restaurants is subject to 20% VAT while supermarkets pay no VAT on food they sell. Critics argue this means they can subsidise sales of alcohol, allowing them to undercut pub prices at a time when the pub industry is going through difficult times. Now Scrimgeour has joined other voices including JD Wetherspoon founder Tim Martin in calling for a cut in VAT. He told the Daily Telegraph: “Free-market economics are what they are, and businesses have to adapt to survive. However, every pub and restaurant owner in the country would welcome a more attractive rate of VAT to take some pressure off. The shortfall would be made up by raising VAT for supermarkets. It’s currently one rule for them and another for us.” Scrimgeour is now exploring other opportunities for Cote, which could see part of the business move away from restaurants. He added: “We’re going to try and piggy-back off our reputation for value and consistency. That’s all I’ll say.”

Dartmoor Hill ponies’ meat goes on sale for the first time: Meat from Dartmoor Hill ponies has gone on sale in the UK for the first time at a farmers’ market and local restaurant in a controversial bid to conserve the breed. The scheme is the brainchild of farmer Charlotte Faulkner, who set up the Dartmoor Hill Pony Association to further knowledge and support of the hardy little beasts. Now shoppers at Tavistock farmers’ market in Devon can buy the unusual delicacy, which is also being sold at a local restaurant, and pony sausages are even available to buy online.

Eating out once a month is key to happiness for over 55s, new research reveals: Monthly pub lunches could be a cost-efficient way of keeping people cheerful into their fifties and beyond, a new study has revealed. Dining out was one of the activities highlighted as increasing contentment in a study of 1,006 people by retirement planning company Age Partnership, which took into account those relying on a state pension could realistically afford. The three most affordable options are eating out once a month, going on a monthly organised day trip and being in a club – all costing less than 5% of the new maximum state pension. The company’s research revealed where money was no object, the most effective happiness promoter for the over 55s was going on holiday with 76% responding it would have a significant effect on their happiness. Simon Chalk, of Age Partnership, said: “Counter to the old adage, many over 55s feel that money can buy happiness, at least to a certain extent. However, many are unable to afford the additions to their lifestyle that would inspire this positivity. Our research shows that over 55s’ happiness would be significantly boosted by going on holiday, or buying a dog or cat. However, with the state pension fairly low, and many older people getting by on a smaller than pension pot, a lack of available funds is holding back the quality of life for many.”

Chameleon Pub and Dining hit by north west floods: Chameleon Pub and Dining, led by Phil Strong, has reported that flooding and bad weather led to power loss at two sites in Lancaster. Of its Greaves Park venue, the company stated: “It’s been a tough couple of days for our region with severe flooding and lengthy power cuts. Our power failed on Saturday night and our focus rapidly changed from customer celebration to customer safety. We’re pleased to say that we evacuated the building quickly and everyone involved left safe and sound. With power now restored, the clean-up has begun. Our suppliers are slowly getting back to normal and roads are becoming more accessible.” Strong told Propel: “Thank goodness for insurance.”

Company News:

Admiral Taverns boss – we will start to trial new operating templates in the next 12 to 18 months: Admiral Taverns chief executive Kevin Georgel has told Propel that Admiral will begin to trial new operating templates with a minority of its pubs in the next 12 to 18 months. Georgel stressed its current traditional tenanted model will remain in place for the vast majority of its 858 core pubs, but a minority may be suited to other operating templates. He said: “We’re going to remain very committed to the tenanted model on the whole. Having said that, we are trying to optimise our performance and we’ll look at alternative models for a minority of sites – we have lot of respect for the Amber Taverns model and the Marston’s franchise model is working very well.” Georgel told Propel the company had just under 100 pubs on top of its 858 core estate that it will be looking to sell. The core estate is performing in line with the broader beer market – and outperformed it in August and October. Capex for the current financial year is expected to be in line with last year at about £6m. Current average length of tenure for its licensees is just under five years. Admiral has repaid loan notes supplied by owner Cerberus and has £100m of external debt. Georgel said the company had a long-term aim of expanding its estate to circa 1,500 pubs and Cerberus is committed to ownership of Admiral on a long-term basis.

Abokado strengthens management team as it plans continued growth outside of lunch: Abokado, the healthy eating chain, has announced it has further strengthened its management team with the hire of two operations managers. This investment is to support new store openings and builds on the management hires made earlier this year. Abokado also announced the focus on growing sales outside of the key lunch period continues to pay off. More than 40% of customer visits are now outside of lunch with both breakfast and evenings showing significant increases on the previous year. This is also driving an increased frequency of visits with almost 80% of customers visiting an Abokado at least once per week and 60% more than two to three times per week. Founder Mark Lilley said: “Attracting the best talent into our business is key to us achieving our ambitious growth plans. We’re delighted to welcome these experienced individuals to the Abokado family. It’s also great to see our focus on breakfast and evenings really beginning to pay off and our wonderful customers becoming ever more attached to our brand.”

Details of Jongleurs administration emerge: Details have emerged on the administration of the Jongleurs comedy club chain with Companies House documents pointing to bad debt, creditor pressures and cash flow difficulties for the insolvency. Administrators from Cirrus Professional Services were called in to Jongleurs Comedy Live on 9 September 2015. The business was bought by Jongleurs Corporate on the same day, with 11 staff transferred via TUPE. The administration was triggered by a trading loss of £70,000 in the 12 months to 31 December 2014, caused by the opening of five new venues to replace those closed a year earlier. About £200,000 was invested in the opening, which was not sufficient to cover losses and payments to comedians and HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). A further £100,000 was invested in the business between January and February 2015, but after breaching a payment order with HMRC in May, the body warned it would take action against Jongleurs. A winding-up petition was eventually lodged by HMRC on 27 August in a bid to recover £238,560 from the company, with administrators being called in two weeks later. The debt to unsecured creditors, including HMRC, is expected to total £546,231, with claims of £452,761 received at the time the report was signed off (5 November 2015). Among those listed by administrators as being owed money is a string of comedians. Director Muhammad Anas has promised any outstanding fees will be “sorted within six months”. Jongleurs Corporate has clubs in Bristol, Leeds, Glasgow, Portsmouth, Nottingham, London, Cardiff and Southampton. Walkabout owner Intertain also runs venues in Birmingham, Camden, Reading and Cardiff as part of a franchise agreement. They were not affected by the administration. Anas told Business Insider, Jongleurs Corporate is now poised to embark on a UK-wide expansion.

Urban Pubs and Bars to open Westfield pop-up on 14 December: Urban Pubs and Bar are to open The Bat and Ball, its 12,000 square foot year-long pop-up bar and cafe on Monday, 14 December at Westfield, Stratford City. The company said it is receiving “some off-beat” help from its DPP (Director of Ping Pong) Ed Turner, previously head of Geronimo Inns. The Bat and Ball will feature a whole floor of ping pong tables, VIP ping pong rooms for private hire and a lounge bar and deli. During the day The Bat and Ball will cater to shoppers and families serving up coffee, pizzas and artisan deli snacks. By evening the space will transform into a lively bar for groups to share jugs of premium cocktails, craft beers and food boards accompanied by live DJ sets. Nick Pring, co-founder of Urban Pubs and Bars, said: “The Bat and Ball is a brand new space that gives Westfield a unique destination venue, for families, shoppers and groups of friends late into the evenings. I think the interior is stunning, boasting a relaxed and informal vibe, working in tandem with our signature premium quality drinks and food selection. Ping pong – you can’t go wrong – this will be a smash.” The drinks list includes a range of cocktails “for the well-heeled”, draught beers including some from the local Trumans brewery and a range of 40 bottled craft beers for hipsters. Wines will be supplied by Cave de Pyrennes. To accompany their drink customers can choose from a wide range of bar snack food including sage and onion sausage rolls and roasted red pepper hummus with pitta bread or from a selection of cakes on display on the deli counter. Lunchtime options will range from sourdough toasties including the Breakfast Toastie, filled with sweet cured bacon, egg, gruyere and brown sauce, to wraps with fillings including chorizo, chipotle and roasted red peppers. For those looking for something a little lighter there will also be a selection of salads on offer including a roasted Mediterranean vegetables, quinoa, rosemary, confit garlic and shaved parmesan salad. Also on the menu will be a range of homemade artisan pizzas, sharing platters including The Meaty, which offers baby back ribs, sweet n smoky chicken wings, barbecue pulled pork, barbecue beans, potato wedges, buckets such as hot wings in hot sauce and a blue cheese dip and side dishes including nachos. Dessert options include a chocolate brownie with hot chocolate sauce and vanilla ice cream and three ice cream sundaes to choose from including honeycomb, salted caramel ice cream, caramel sauce and whipped cream.

Foodco reveals plans to start rolling out high end cafe Jamaica Blue as pilot site celebrates first birthday:
Foodco has revealed plans to start rolling out its high end cafe franchise Jamaica Blue across the country as its inaugural site celebrates its first birthday today (Tuesday, 8 December). The pilot UK store opened last year in Cambridge’s Lion Yard shopping centre, serving contemporary dishes, with a twist. The store has continued to see sales growth helped by the menu changing seasonally and it has also now introduced daily specials. Foodco UK general manager Lisa Brook said: “We are delighted that our first UK Jamaica Blue store continues to be such a success. It has enjoyed a fantastic first year of trading and we are excited for what the next year will bring, not only for our Cambridge store, but also for our expansion across the UK. We are currently in the planning phase of potentially opening four new stores in the UK in 2016, so there’s lots of exciting opportunities coming up for us next year. Our aim is that one day Jamaica Blue will become as recognised in the UK as it is in Australia – so we are definitely the ones to watch.” The Jamaica Blue franchise is owned by Foodco and is one of Australia’s most successful franchise companies. There are also a number of Jamaica Blue stores based in New Zealand, Dubai and China. The name of the franchise originates from the Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee, which is served in all stores.

Simon French issues ‘Buy’ note on Whitbread shares: Cenkos Leisure analyst Simon French, issuing a ‘Buy’ note, has predicted 4.5% like-for-likes at Premier Inn, 4% at Costa Coffee and flat results at pub restaurants in the last 11 weeks when Whitbread issues a trading update on Thursday (10 December). He said: “The Harrison era is over with Alison Brittain now chief executive but we don’t expect any pronouncement on strategy until next April’s prelims. The risk therefore is that the share could drag but we believe a reiteration of FY expectations (Consensus: £546m profit before tax/Cenkos: £545m profit before tax) will provide support for a stock that has materially underperformed in recent weeks. Trading on a CY 2016E adjusted EV/Ebitdar of 11.0x and a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.8x we do not think the stock is particularly expensive.”

Red Kiosk Company offers two phone boxes in Plymouth for rent as food and drink pods:
Red Kiosk Company, the Brighton-based concept that operates food and drink pods out of unused BT phone boxes, has made two available for rent in Plymouth. The company is letting the boxes on the Barbican outside The Navy Pub having received consent to modify the grade II-listed booths last year. Brighton architect Miles Broe told the Western Morning News a phone box business would suit commuters. He said: “You can order from the coffee kiosk on your mobile and then pick it up as you go past. We won’t have people sitting outside the phone box drinking coffee.” A statement published on Stiles Harold Williams’ website, the property firm letting the two phone boxes on the Barbican, said: “The Red Kiosk Company has secured 400 iconic red telephone boxes direct from BT, to offer to independent and national retailers. Having opened their first two self-contained food and beverage kiosks in Brighton, Red Box are now ready to roll the format out countrywide. All boxes are in busy city and town districts, or close to public parks, attractions and mainline railway stations.”

Award-winning Liverpool mulit-siters open fourth restaurant: The team who won an award for England’s best pizza in October have opened a fourth site, Crust, in Bold Street, Liverpool. Crust, which has launched in the unit formerly occupied by House, focuses on serving up three classics – pizza, pasta, and beer. It occupies two floors and offers more than 130 covers. It has more than 50 varieties of pizza cooked in a wood-fire pizza oven in the open kitchen, 15 handmade pasta dishes plus a selection of burgers off the grill. There is a choice of more than 30 beers. Co-owner Paolo Cillo told the Liverpool Echo: “Italian cuisine is really booming in Liverpool at the moment, so we’re really excited to add Crust to the mix. We have kept things simple with Crust – it’s all about focusing on Italy’s two star dishes, pizza and pasta. The setting, although influenced by rustic Italy, is vibrant, casual and little bit quirky, so that’s where the decision to make beer the beverage of choice fits in.” Crust comes from the team behind Il Forno restaurant, Liverpool One grillhouse Manzo, and Paolo & Donato’s Italian Deli in Williamson Square. In October, Il Forno was named England’s best pizza restaurant at the English Italian Awards 2015. Manzo was a finalist in the best pasta category. Crust also offers a takeaway service.

Geronimo Inns relaunching The Clarence after £1.3m investment: Geronimo Inns is relaunching The Clarence in Whitehall this month following a £1.3m refurbishment, with the introduction of a new dining space – the Tin Belly Dining Room. On the first floor, The Tin Belly Dining Room now takes up the space above the pub entrance and has seating for up to 40 and 60 standing, so-called because of near-neighbours The Blues and Royals Calvary Regiment nicknamed “the tin bellies” due to the metal breastplates worn. It joins the fully refurbished Bulldog Bar, named after Winston Churchill’s favourite dog, a private space lending itself to all manner of business and social functions and gatherings. It can seat up to 40 or 60 standing. The menu remains classically British all using top-quality seasonal ingredients and includes toad in the hole, Lancashire bomb mash, cider onion gravy and buttered spinach alongside smoked haddock and prawn pie. The pub will also introduce a traditional daily changing gueridon service, cooked, finished and presented to the customer. The drinks offer includes 12 cask ales featuring Young’s Bitter, London craft beers and an extensive wine list. Retail director Patrick Dardis said: “We’re excited that The Clarence refurbishment will soon be completed and are positive that our customers will love the changes that have been made. The private dining rooms will be the perfect location for Christmas get-togethers and we are confident it will be a welcome addition to the Whitehall area.”

Five Guys opens new restaurant in Liverpool: Five Guys has opened a new restaurant in Liverpool city centre. The company has moved into the old Rat and Parrot building in Queen Square, which is being refurbished to turn it into a retail and leisure hub. Five Guys has launched its 31st UK restaurant in a 3,850 square foot unit on the ground floor of the 14,500 square foot building and joins Nando’s, La Tasca, the brand owned by Casual Dining Group, and Buffalo Jacks. Five Guys UK chief executive John Eckbert told the Liverpool Echo: “Five Guys is thrilled to be launching at Queen Square, Liverpool. The city offers a vibrant mix of shops and leisure facilities, which we are proud to be a part of. The new Five Guys restaurant will provide 70 new jobs to the local area.” The company, founded by Jerry Murrell in the US in 1986, has two other restaurants in the north west of England – both in Manchester.

Boston Tea Party to open second Bath site on Saturday: Boston Tea Party will open its second site in Bath on Saturday (12 December) to meet growing demand in the city. The company is launching the outlet in Alfred Street, where it has restored a grade II-listed building opposite the Bath Assembly Rooms, creating 39 jobs. The 130-seated restaurant will be the company’s 17th outlet and complement the existing Boston Tea Party in Bath, based in Kingsmead Square. Managing Director Sam Roberts said: “We love Bath – our Kingsmead Square venue was one of our first ever cafes – and we’ve been keen to open a second cafe-bar in the city for a while, so we can cater for even more customers, from a venue with more inside space to benefit families with pushchairs and young children. We found the perfect location in this stunning former house on Alfred Street, and have been working hard to restore the historic building so it will be open in time to serve the Christmas shoppers flocking to Bath’s busy city centre.” Boston Tea Party plans to strengthen its portfolio by open further new cafe-bars in the south west and Midlands during 2016.

JD Wetherspoon public relations consultant named in ‘Power Book’: Sector media relations consultant Eddie Gershon has been named in the PR Week Power Book 2016 – the guide to the UK’s most influential communications professionals. Gershon, who runs the eponymous Gershon Media Relations, is described as “a no-nonsense, efficient and affable comms man”. His clients include JD Wetherspoon, Prezzo, Welcome Break and VAT Club JB.

New bar specialising in craft beer opening in Northampton on Friday:
A new bar specialising in craft beer is opening in Northampton on Friday (11 December). Bar Hygge is being launched in Guildhall Road as the latest new initiative by the Royal & Derngate theatre and filmhouse. It will serve draught and bottled craft beers, along with local spirits and wines and a selection of meats and cheeses. Taking inspiration from contemporary Danish design, the bar offers table service and will be available to both theatre-goers and the general public with entrances from both Guildhall Road and the Royal & Derngate foyer. The bar will be open from 5pm to midnight, Monday to Saturday, regardless of what is on at the theatre or filmhouse. Royal & Derngate chief executive Martin Sutherland told the Northampton Herald & Post: “The success of the Errol Flynn Filmhouse has proved that there is an appetite for a wider variety of leisure and cultural activities in the town centre. I hope that this new development will make a positive contribution to the night-time economy, offering a welcoming environment for people to enjoy a few drinks with friends and colleagues in the Cultural Quarter.”

Harviestoun reports record sales: Harviestoun Brewery has reported sales have reached their highest point in the company’s 32-year history. Driven by the rapid growth of its multi-award-winning craft lager Schiehallion in the high end on-trade and new beers such as Broken Dial Amber, the company has achieved an increase in turnover of over 50% in the past two years and has had its most profitable year to date. Toby Knowles, managing director, said: “We’re delighted with the trading performance of the company. We continue to see strong growth year-on-year, driven by our strong positioning across the premium UK market and by our new business development in export, where we now work in over 18 countries. We have recently doubled our sales team to build on this success and to enable us to support our customers more effectively. Innovation also remains a key focus and we will be investing significantly in the coming year, both in equipment for the brewery and by launching several new beers and formats. These include; a full-bodied IPA, a raspberry-infused porter and a red ale. We will also be putting key brands from our core range into 330ml can for the first time next spring and have also recently secured a further long term contract with our partner Highland Park. This will enable us to continue to develop and expand our award-winning Ola Dubh barrel-aged portfolio.”

Enterprise couple take on second Derby pub after £160,000 refurbishment: Enterprise Inns’ £160,000 investment in The James Wyatt in Derby has led to Russell and Jan Doherty opening their second pub with the company. For more than four years, the couple have been running The Navigation Inn, another Enterprise site in the city. The Dohertys met in Spain and ran a bar there together. Their latest venture, in Keldholme Lane, Alvaston, has undergone an internal and external refurbishment, including a revived garden area complete with outdoor screen, complete redecoration, and a new bar and kitchen, which will offer a basic pub menu and Sunday lunch. Enterprise regional manager Ashley Lovett said: “We’re thrilled to be extending our working partnership with Russell and Jan, who are very experienced in the pub sector, and already do a fantastic job at The Navigation. The James Wyatt has been well-established in the community for years, but it’s now of a much higher standard. As well as investment, we set out to find the perfect partner to help us revive the pub. Russell and Jan are just the fit, given their local knowledge and existing relationships.”

Costa launches first food-led concept store: Whitbread-owned Costa Coffee has launched its first food-led concept store Costa Fresco. The company has opened the site in Tottenham Court Road, London, offering freshly baked oven-fresh food. The menu features handcrafted ciabattas and pastries, cookies and fresh fruit juices as well as coffee. The Costa Fresco concept is inspired by the Costa brothers Sergio and Bruno’s Italian passion and respect for tasty handcrafted food. When they opened their first store in London over 40 years ago, they used to offer their customers freshly baked pastries each morning with their famous Mocha Italia blend, which Costa still serves today. Costa’s global brand and innovation director Carol Welch described the new store as “a fusion of London’s handcrafted bakeries brought to life by our heritage, Italian passion and gusto for vibrant ingredients and genuinely good food”. She added: “The opening of Costa Fresco is a reflection of exciting things to come from Costa. We are committed to continuing to innovate and delight our customers with what they want – quality food, alongside irresistible coffee in a warm, welcoming environment.” The store is open from 6.30am-8pm Monday to Friday, 7.30am-7.30pm on Saturdays and 8am-7.30pm on Sundays.

GODO to launch in London this month: Italian delivery food brand GODO is set to launch in the City, Mayfair and Canary Wharf this month. Born from a love of perfectly prepared, artisanal Italian fare, GODO, which translates to “enjoy with pleasure,” is on a mission to deliver top quality Italian pasta-based meals to Londoners in a unique and highly engaging way. GODO is the brainchild of entrepreneurs Amin Bouafsoun and Simone Sajeva, who developed the idea after working in the City and finding themselves with limited options for affordable, premium quality food. Despite there being plenty of options available, the pair felt that what was affordable was lacking in individuality, whereas high-quality ordering services came at too high a cost. GODO aims to solve this by offering authentic, passionate flavours of Italy at a competitive price, through a simple two-step app process. GODO’s philosophy is to “deliver emotion”, which begins from sourcing the best and most authentic ingredients. Michelin star chef, Tommaso Arrigoni, has experimented with each recipe to create delicious Italian dishes perfect for transport. Packaging the pasta in elegant, custom-made glass jars developed by food technology experts, GODO ensure each order is delivered at optimum temperature and texture. Orders will be delivered by Italian “brand presenters” driving a customised Fiat 500 or Vespa supplied by Piaggio wearing bespoke Italian motorbike clothing label, Dainese and Italian fashion brand, Conte of Florence. GODO is committed to sustainability and offer a collection upon re-order service for their luxury glass jars, which will then be recycled.

Propel and Thinking Drinkers launch second Craft Beer Retail Study Tour: Propel is launching its second Craft Beer Retail Study Tour on Thursday, 28 January in London, this time focusing on south London. The tour, led by Thinking Drinkers, award-winning beer writers Ben McFarland and Tom Sandham, will visit seven of London’s leading craft beer retailers in an eight-hour tour. McFarland and Sandham will provide the latest craft beer facts and figures, market segmentation analysis, and spot up-and-coming trends. Site visits will include Q&A sessions with London’s leading retailers, looking at award-winning sites, a hybrid bottle shop and bar, beer-centric retail, mobile canning, beer sourcing, direct sourcing, menus, brewing on-site and a host of other issues. The day includes lunch and breakfast and travel between venues by coach. Tickets are £345 for Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) members and £395 for non-ALMR members. Email to book or to obtain further details.

Final panel line-up confirmed for Propel and Elliotts Advanced Marketing Masterclass: The final panel line-up for the inaugural Advanced Marketing Masterclass has been confirmed. Elliotts strategy and development director James Hacon will leads a discussion with newly appointed Thai Leisure Group marketing director Iain White-Duncan, ETM Group group marketing manager Zoe Knowles and Greene King partnership director Russell Danks about where they see success, their plans for the future and other topics discussed throughout the day. Propel is partnering leading sector public relations and marketing firm Elliotts for the event, which takes place on Thursday, 14 January at One Moorgate Place in London. The day will provide an insight into all aspects of marketing including contributions from Novus Leisure and Brazilian barbecue restaurant Cabana about some of the marketing initiatives they have used to improve results for their business. It will also include the best ways to recognise and tell a brand’s story to maximise its PR or social media potential and how to develop and deliver effective digital initiatives. There will also be the latest insight into consumers’ behaviour to help companies develop marketing strategies around their customers as well as how to brief and work with an agency effectively. Tickets are priced at £295 for Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) members and £345 for non-ALMR members and are available by emailing Adam Dickinson on

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

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