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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Wed 13th Jan 2016 - Lifestyle Hospitality Group founder steps down after ‘sale’
Lifestyle Hospitality Group founder steps down after ‘sale’: The founder of Tiger Bills operator Lifestyle Hospitality Group, James Eyre, has left the company after the surprise sale of its assets to Raymond Court-Hampton. The move come as a surprise because the company was recently involved in a Crowdcube crowdfunding campaign to raise £500,000 to expand its Burgerfest brand – the campaign was withdrawn last month. A number of the company’s sites have been closed whilst the new owner negotiates with landlords. But a spokesman for Raymond Court-Hampton, the new managing director of Lifestyle Hospitality Group, insisted nearly all the venues would be up and running shortly. He explained that some of them were closed while operations were reviewed and negotiations took place with landlords and licensees but that none of the businesses had ceased trading. The spokesman added: “We expect 90% of the venues to be up and running. 60% of them already are. All the landlords of our sites are fully supportive in the discussions we have had. The intention is to make sure as many jobs as possible are protected. Everybody is up to date with their wages and there are no suppliers who are owed money.” Mambo, Tiger Bills, Fast Eddies Pool Hall and Burgerfest in Torquay, all owned by the Lifestyle Hospitality Group, ceased trading last Wednesday. A Notice of Forfeiture was posted on the window of Tiger Bills, which is below the Queen’s Hotel, by the restaurant’s landlords Antonio and Joanne Toffolo, who also own the basement occupied by Fast Eddies. Toffolo said: “I haven’t been able to get hold of the Lifestyle Hospitality Group and when I went round to the offices they looked like they had all been cleared out. It’s very sad, they had been perfect tenants up until then. I’m owed a quarter’s rent, however if they paid up I’d be happy to have them back. I went in to clear out Tiger Bills after they left and food was left all prepared as if the staff had no idea what was happening. We have had no contact at all from the Lifestyle Hospitality Group.” Lifestyle Hospitality Group operates 12 sites with had turnover of £6.69m in the year to 31 May 2015 and Ebitda of £800,000. It was crowdfunding to invest £3.5m over five years to expand Burgerfest. The pitch stated: “We are forecasting a steady increase in both sales and profits as the business expands. Over the next three years we forecast the following key financial milestones: year ending May 2016 – Turnover £7.91m with pre-tax profits of £791,000; year ending May 2017 – Turnover £12.05m with pre-tax profits of £1.76m; year ending May 2018 – Turnover £15.6m with pre-tax profits of £2.77m.” Prior to forming the Lifestyle Hospitality Group, Eyre was a main board director of Eldridge Pope where he was responsible for the property portfolio as well as mergers and acquisitions.

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