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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Fri 18th Mar 2016 - Whitbread to scrap Taybarns, London Fields hits market
Whitbread to scrap all-you-can-eat Taybarns brand: Whitbread is to scrap its all-you-can-eat buffet brand Taybarns and convert the existing sites to its new Brewers Fayre format. A Whitbread spokesman told The Shields Gazette: “Whitbread is delighted to announce that following a strategic review of the Taybarns and Brewers Fayre businesses, we have decided to invest into the Taybarns restaurant estate and convert each site to the new Brewers Fayre restaurant format. This is a reflection of not only the quality of the sites but also a reflection of the quality of the teams that work so hard in each of our Taybarns Restaurants. We are confident our guests will enjoy all the benefits of our great value food and drink offer at our new Brewers Fayre formats. More details, including timescales for conversion to Brewers Fayre, will follow at a later date.” Taybarns, founded in 2008, proved extremely popular at first, with customers paying a set price on arrival and helping themselves from a number of themed counters, eating as much as they liked. In 2009, there was a proposal for 30 Brewers Fayre restaurants to convert. However, that did not materialise, and the business continued to operate from seven branches in South Shields, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Barnsley, Coventry, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Swansea and Wigan. They will now all become a Brewers Fayre, which provides its customers with traditional pub food. It currently has 159 branches in the UK. It is understood the changes are proposed to take place this summer. Taybarns featured a 30-metre food server and sales were reported to be very strong after opening but cratered in year two. The news of Taybarns’ demise comes as sector investor Luke Johnson looks to withdraw from the eat-all-you-like buffet market – Red Hot World Buffet sites are reported to be on the market for circa £5.5m. The buffet market has seen a surge in supply in the last 18 months, with Red Hot World Buffet’s site in Nottingham seeing a number of new competitors in a market segment that needs volume to ensure the quality of food served.

London Fields Brewery on the market through Davis Coffer Lyons: Agent Davis Coffer Lyons has been instructed to sell London Fields Brewery, located in east London. Dubbed “Britain’s most fashionable brewery”, London Fields Brewery in Hackney, which launched in 2011 provides homegrown, handcrafted craft beers alongside the ever increasing amount of craft products. It resides within five arches in Walburton Street, which conduct three individual operations: London Fields Brewery; The Brewhouse Venue; and Taproom. The wholesale business is concerned with the production, sales and delivery of beer to wholesale clients; and the retail is concerned with the on-site retail operations, which consist of the Brewhouse Venue, Taproom and Brew tours, school and store. Paul Tallentyre, executive director, pubs and bars at Davis Coffer Lyons, said: “This is a unique opportunity to acquire a major player within the London craft beer scene. London Fields Brewery is a popular and expanding brewery located in one of the most culturally vibrant areas of London. The high profile beer brands and well-regarded products made on site have evoked strong customer loyalty. London Fields Brewery is a developing business with a strong turnover and unique business model in the craft beer industry due to on-site 500 capacity venue. There is a professional management team in place, and the business is ideally poised to fulfil currently untapped export demand for high quality craft beer products, with enquiries already received from all over the world.” Offers are invited for the business in its entirety or a potential share sale, joint venture for the right partners.

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