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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Mon 18th Apr 2016 - Propel Monday News Briefing

Story of the Day:

London-based dating app with cocktail twist launches crowdfunding campaign: Rendeevoo, the London-based dating app with a cocktail twist, has launched a fund-raise on crowdfunding platform Seedrs as it aims to lay the foundations for aggressive expansion. The company, co-founded by George Christoforakis and Jorn Vanysacker, is seeking £50,000 in return for a 3.3% equity stake. Users browse the profiles, find someone they like, and then “place an order” by choosing where they want the date to take place and when. Then, they pay for one cocktail at one of the bars or cafes the app has partnered with. When the chosen date also pays for their drink, the transactions are processed and the date is a go. The pitch states: “As of February, we feel that Rendeevoo is a well-polished product with a validated user interface, and with more than 20 cafes, cocktail and wine bars on board. We take a 50% commission on each booking from our partnering venues, so the app is always free to use for the end-consumer. Our immediate plan is to further solidify our presence throughout London within 2016, and lay the foundations for an aggressive international expansion. In the near future, we are going to introduce more activities in the app next to cocktails, wine, and coffee or tea that exist today; those being theatres and cinemas, fitness and dance clubs, galleries, as well as restaurants and pop-ups. We intend to use the proceeds of this round over the coming six months to commercially optimise our service. This will make us investment-ready for a more substantial round where we will aim to raise between £500,000 and £800,000 from angel investors and institutions with whom we already have active relationships with.”

Industry News:

Propel Multi Club Conference and summer party open for bookings: The Propel Multi Club Conference on Thursday, 7 July at the Oxford Belfry, just off the M40, is now open for bookings. The event features a full-day conference followed by Propel’s summer party, which this year includes an early evening paint-balling expedition followed by a barbecue and karaoke at the hotel. The first speaker to be unveiled is Paul Chantler, founder of 13-strong French brewpub and better burger business FrogPubs. Chantler will talk about selling cask ale in France, entering the better burger market, the French labour market, the importance of food in the French market and breaking into the French off-trade. Operators of multi-site pub, restaurant and foodservice companies can claim up to two free places by emailing Anne Steele on
New benefit for Propel Premium subscribers: Propel Premium subscribers are to receive a new benefit this week – a copy of the Propel Blue Book guide to sector turnover and profitability. The Blue Book lists and ranks 200 sector companies by turnover, profitability and profit conversion. It also provides a five-year overview of profitability and directors’ salaries. Meanwhile, the next audio recording, to be sent to Propel Premium subscribers on Friday (22 April), will feature Just Eat’s chief operating officer Adrian Blair giving his overview of the company’s progress and the takeaway market. Operators, drinks companies, law firms, accountants, distributors and marketing firms are among the first companies that have signed up to receive the Propel Premium subscription service. The current free service to all existing readers remains the same, but readers can opt to upgrade to receive the Propel Premium service. Propel Premium subscribers will be able to receive the Morning Newsletter, which is sent at 6.30am each weekday, 12 hours earlier at 6.30pm the day before. Subscribers will also receive a copy of the Propel database of 500 multi-site companies, which will be updated every six months, and receive a digital version of Propel Quarterly magazine a week before publication. For operators, annual subscription costs £345 plus VAT, with an extra £50 per additional subscriber at each company. For suppliers, annual subscription costs £445 plus VAT, with an extra £50 per additional subscriber at each company. To subscribe to the Propel Premium service, email
Licensees could lose premises licence even if not prosecuted for offence concerned following landmark High Court ruling: Licensees could end up losing their premises licence even if they have not been prosecuted for the offence concerned following a landmark High Court ruling. It follows a case concerning the owner of Zara’s restaurant in the East Lindsey area of Lincolnshire. The owner appealed to magistrates after having their premises licence revoked following a raid by immigration authorities that discovered an illegal worker was being employed. The owner successfully argued to the district magistrate since they had not been prosecuted for the offence and given a civil penalty, the “crime prevention objective had not been engaged”. This was despite it being established the restaurant owner had employed the illegal worker without paperwork showing a right to work in the UK, had paid them cash in hand, paid them less than the minimum wage, did not keep or maintain PAYE records and that, while they had deducted tax from the worker’s salary, they failed to account to HMRC for the tax deducted. The licensing authority appealed and argued it was not necessary for a crime to have been reported, a prosecution made, or established in a court of law in order for the “crime prevention objective to be engaged”. It said the licensing objectives are prospective, and are concerned with the avoidance of harm in the future. The High Court accepted all of the authority’s arguments. In its view, there was clear evidence “of the commission of criminal offences, both in relation to the non-payment of the minimum wage and also tax evasion”. As for the offence of knowingly employing an illegal worker, it was considered that, based on the fact the employee could not provide the requisite paperwork, a national insurance number or a tax code, the clear inference was the restaurant owner well knew they were employing an illegal worker. It therefore reinstated the decision to revoke the premises licence. 
Restaurant like-for-likes in US fall 0.7% in March, second decline in three months: Restaurant like-for-like sales in the US fell in March – the second decline in the past three months. The Restaurant Industry Snapshot by data company TDn2K’s, which is based on weekly sales from more than 24,000 restaurants across more than 120 brands, representing $61bn in annual revenue, showed like-for-likes for the month declined 0.7%. It was the second worst month since February 2014 – only January this year was slightly weaker when like-for-likes fell 0.8%. Victor Fernandez, executive director of insights and knowledge for TDn2K, told Nation’s Restaurant News: “Although weather continued to be a factor in some regions of the country, the slowdown in restaurant sales appears to go beyond just that. It also goes beyond just a few brands or regions having a tough time.” With sales falling in two of the first three months, the first quarter of 2016 broke the streak of seven consecutive quarters of positive like-for-like sales. They declined 0.4% during the quarter, a 0.8% drop from the fourth quarter of 2015. Of the restaurant brands tracked, half reported negative like-for-like sales during the first quarter, up from 40% in the previous quarter. Additionally, more than 60% reported data showing their like-for-like sales growth worsening in the first quarter compared with the previous quarter. Seven of the country’s 11 regions posted negative like-for-like sales in the first quarter.
No action against Croydon nightclub that police submitted 404 pages of evidence against: The hearing into the premises licence for Dice Bar nightclub in Croydon, in which police submitted 404 pages of evidence in an effort to make the venue shut at midnight, has resolved to take no action. Sgt Michael Emery, the borough’s licensing officer and author of the Metropolitan Police report, claimed the problems associated with Dice Bar were symptomatic of “very high levels of drunkenness”, and the club had become a “burden on police resources”. Sgt Emery said incidents linked to the club had increased from 19 in 2013 to 88 in 2015. However, analysis of the files raised questions about the evidence used to support the closure notice and whether the use of the power was lawful. Dice Bar owner Roy Seda said police had “thrown everything at him”. In his official statement to the committee, Seda said: “The papers from the police show 27 arrests, which calculates to 0.045% of our customers that were arrested. Not one incident is of a very serious nature.”
Luke Johnson – buying Brighton Pier is a ‘one-off’: Sector investor Luke Johnson has told the Mail on Sunday that buying Brighton Pier is a “one-off”. Since the purchase of the pier through Eclectic Bar Group, he reported fielding calls from other pier owners offering to sell all or part of their attractions. “The staycation is really growing,” he said. “Holidays in the UK are up 15% on last year and lots of resorts are improving, investing and becoming more commercial. We’re looking at a lot of strategic options and would look to raise funds on a case-by-case basis. We’d only do something if it made sound economic sense. There are quite a lot of smaller theme parks and visitor attractions that we might be interested in, but we are running a business.” There are 58 piers in the UK, the National Piers Society said, with 41 more on its “lost” list. “Brighton Pier is one of a kind and it is a very profitable company,” Johnson said. “There are many other piers out there that would need a lot of either taxpayer or private investment and that’s not something we would be interested in.”
World’s cheapest Michelin-starred restaurant to expand into US: The world’s cheapest Michelin–starred restaurant is to expand to the US. Mak Kwai Pui, who operates the Hong-Kong based Tim Ho Wan, where every dish is under $5, is to open in New York in September. In March, he opened the second Australian Tim Ho Wan in Melbourne. Next month, he will open the third location in Thailand, and in the summer, he will expand to South Korea. In September, Mak Kwai Pui will open a Tim Ho Wan in the former Spice space on 10th Street and Fourth Avenue in New York’s East Village. In 2009, the original 24-seat dim sum venue in Hong Kong’s Kowloon area was branded the cheapest Michelin-starred restaurant in the world. On an average day the wait to enter the 32-seat restaurant is up to three hours. The New York Tim Ho Wan will also have a licence to serve alcohol. The menu is set to expand to include “high quality beef dishes” to appeal to US tastes, Mak told the Village Voice.
JD Wetherspoon boss addresses pro-Brexit rally in Plymouth: JD Wetherspoon founder Tim Martin has addressed a pro-Brexit rally in Plymouth. Martin said: “I think it’s very important for people in this country to be able to have a properly functioning democracy. My experience is that MPs are as accessible as they reasonably can be. As time goes by, the lack of democracy in Europe will cause economic problems. It’s already doing so in Greece and Portugal. I think that’s very serious for the future of humanity.” Martin said he believed the EU was an autocratic club that was difficult to change. He added: “The classic example was when the prime minister wanted to reduce VAT on tampons and he had to beg an unelected person in Brussels. The British working person is best looked after by democracy and future prosperity. The problem with staying in the EU is that you don’t know where it’s going to go. If we leave we do know where it’s going to go because we will be in charge.” He said the European Parliament was not democratic. “It’s token democracy,” Martin added. “The European Commission frames the laws and they are not sackable by the public.” Cornish restaurateur Melanie Evans also spoke in favour of leaving Europe. She said: “Talking to businesses in Cornwall has shown a groundswell of opinion that we should leave.” She added some of the money now paid into the EU could be diverted to support the Cornish tourism and hospitality industries.

Company News:

Moleface Pub Co owner to start expanding fish and chip restaurant concept: Moleface Pub Co owner Jon Molnar is to start expanding his fish and chip restaurant concept The Cod’s Scallops with a second site in Nottinghamshire. Molnar, who launched the concept in Wollaton in 2011, is opening the new venue in Carrington, creating 15 jobs. The Cod’s Scallops will take over the ground floor of the former Rasberry Interiors furniture shop in Mansfield Road and will feature a restaurant, takeaway and fresh fish counter. He told the Nottingham Post: “At the moment we’re getting around 1,500 people a week (at the first site). We’ve had people travel from Derby, people drive from Leicester, even some people come from Sheffield. Sat Bains is a regular customer; you can’t get more of a compliment to have one of the best chefs part of your takeaway. We would like to be open in mid-July – if we’re slightly earlier, then that’s great.” Molnar founded Moleface Pub Co in 2007, which has four sites in Nottinghamshire.
FrogPubs acquires 13th site: FrogPubs, the operator of English brewpubs and restaurants in France, led by Paul Chantler, has bought its 13th venue, the Chesterfield Café in Paris. Located in Rue Montmartre in central Paris, Chesterfield Café, formerly the French Beer Factory, features a bar, restaurant and nightclub built across three floors. FrogPubs will continue to operate the venue as Chesterfield Café before evolving it into a FrogPub later in the year. As with its other sites, the new venue will offer the three key Frog ingredients – American barbecue and soul food, burgers and artisan craft beers. Chantler said: “A little over a year after the acquisition of Kitty O’Shea’s Paris (now Frog Hop House), this new opening demonstrates the success of our concept in the capital, offering an authentic menu prepared fresh from high-quality ingredients in the friendly atmosphere of an Anglo-Saxon pub. It also attests to the enthusiasm of a growing audience for our beers, which we’ve brewed locally for 23 years respecting traditional artisan methods. We’re also delighted to renew our partnership with BNP Paribas, who are joining us on this journey with their valuable financial support.”
Steakout Meat House secures first sites outside London: London-based steak house Steakout Meat House, which is currently undertaking a £400,000 fund-raise on crowdfunding platform Crowdcube, has secured its first sites outside the capital. The eight-strong company, launched in 2008 by Kaysor Ali, is set to open franchise sites in Ilford, Essex, and in Birmingham. It stated: “We’re thrilled to announce that we’re opening two new restaurants. That’s three (including a flagship site in Stratford) for the next financial year so far, putting us ahead of our estimates. These are in central locations in Ilford and Birmingham and following their fit-out will be opening in the coming months. Both sites will be franchised.” Steakout Meat House is offering a 9.09% equity stake in return for the £400,000 investment it is seeking. So far, 48 investors have pledged £87,070 with 19 days remaining. The largest investment to date is £45,000. Having rebranded the business in 2013, and grown from two restaurants, it wants to “take advantage of the continued growth in casual dining across the UK”. The pitch states: “Our company earns a stable cash flow from franchise royalties and meat sales to stores, and we regard our 15% net profit (Ebitda) margin as very healthy for a company of our size in the food sector. The proceeds from this fund-raising will help greatly to speed up our expansion. Aside from the upgrade to our meat cutting facility, we plan to invest in a new flagship store in Stratford that we’ve managed to secure. The construction of this store has begun already, funded out of company profits. In addition, we want to invest to build up our management team in the areas of franchising and operations to enable rapid growth.” The company forecasts sales of £1,238,292 in its current financial year, rising to £2,271,590 in 2017, £4,553,777 in 2018 and £7,813,483 the following year. 
Hakkasan unveils new board directors after resignation of chairman: Hakkasan Group has announced additions to its board of directors – a new chairman, Khalifa Bin Butti, and three new directors, former Senator Norm Coleman, Hani Buttikhi and Ramez Attieh. They will serve alongside current board director Neil Moffitt, who also continues as chief executive. The announcement follows the resignation of Hakkasan Group chairman Khadem al-Qubaisi, with the new appointments taking effect immediately. Commenting on his appointment to Hakkasan Group, Bin Butti said: “I am excited to become chairman of Hakkasan Group’s board of directors and to work alongside Neil and my fellow board members to steer the group through an upcoming period of planned ambitious growth. I would also like to take this opportunity to state that, contrary to recent media reports, the shareholders have no intention of selling Hakkasan Group and are committed to supporting the executive team as they continue to expand into new markets and brands.” Moffitt said: “I’m happy to be joined on the board by world-class business people who, I’m sure, will add a huge amount of value in guiding Hakkasan Group’s global expansion, as we continue to implement our growth strategy.” Founded in the UK, Hakkasan Group is headquartered in both London and the US with more than 50 venues across the US, Europe, Middle East, and Asia. Its stable of brands also includes restaurants Hakkasan, Yauatcha, Herringbone, Searsucker, HKK and Sake no Hana.
Gusto opens £1m Lytham St Annes site: Gusto, the Italian restaurant brand operated by Living Ventures, has opened its £1m site in Lytham St Annes, Lancashire. The 4,000 square foot venue in Dicconson Terrace is on the site of a grade II-listed former doctor’s surgery. The 130-cover restaurant also features an outdoor terrace seating 40 diners, while the opening has created 60 jobs. Gusto managing director Sue Crimes said: “Lancashire’s restaurant scene is in a period of enormous growth and we felt the time was right to bring Gusto to Lytham.” Gusto, which opened its first site in Alderley Edge in Cheshire in 2005, has 12 other sites across the UK, with openings planned in Birmingham, Leamington Spa, and York.
Five Guys to open first venue in France this summer, second Paris site to follow: Better burger brand Five Guys will open its first site in France this summer. The restaurant will launch at a 310 square metre site in Cour Saint-Émilion, Paris, while Five Guys will open a second site in the city – at the Gard du Nord train station – in the summer of 2017. Maxime Lestringant, head of Five Guys France, said: “We have the weapons to succeed in a buoyant French market with high demand and ideal locations to be presented in the best way possible.” Five Guys has 1,300 restaurants and employs 40,000 staff across the US, Canada and the UK. Lestringant said: “The French market has been in the viewfinder since 2014. It represents a transition between England and Europe.”
Purecraft Bar and Kitchen opens second site in Nottingham: Purecraft Bar and Kitchen, which opened its first venue in Birmingham in 2014, has opened its second site in Nottingham. The company has opened the venue in the former HSBC branch in St Peter’s Gate following a £500,000 refurbishment, creating more than 25 jobs. Purecraft’s three directors are former Michelin-starred Dorchester chef Andreas Antona, co-founder of Purity Brewing Co Paul Halsey, and Martin Hilton, a former director at Mitchells & Butlers. The venue offers beers from Purity brewery – a sister company of Purecraft – as well as many others from around the world. Dishes include braised lamb shoulder and lamb faggot with beer-braised onions, minted peas and potato puree. Antona told The Business Desk: “Nottingham is a dynamic city with plenty going on in the food and drink scene. As a (company) that’s as serious about food as we are about beer, we’re confident that we’re bringing something different to the area. We’re really looking forward to sharing our passion for great food and beer with the food and drink lovers in the city.” Hilton previously said Purecraft was looking to expand to six or seven sites across the UK and was eyeing cities such as Leeds, Manchester and London.
M&B to launch All Bar One Aberdeen city centre venue in summer 2017, fourth Scottish site: Mitchells & Butlers will open an All Bar One venue at Marischal Square, Aberdeen, in the summer of 2017, its fourth site in Scotland. The £107m Marischal Square project is at a key location in Aberdeen city centre and All Bar One will occupy a 6,000 square foot prime site, joining a 126-bedroom Residence Inn by Marriot on the development’s client list. Aberdeen City Council leader Jenny Laing said: “All Bar One is one of Britain’s best-loved brands and its commitment to Aberdeen’s city centre regeneration programme is testament to its confidence in the area and the strategic value it places on our economy.” All Bar One operates 50 venues across the UK, including two sites in Edinburgh and one in Glasgow. Mark Millett, retail director for the All Bar One brand, said: “We are delighted that development work on our new bar/restaurant will begin shortly and we anticipate we will be opening the new All Bar One at the end of August 2017.” The Marischal Square development is more than halfway into its 116-week construction programme. 
Gresham Collective to reopen 300-year-old Camden pub this month under original name: London-based multiple operator Gresham Collective will reopen a 300-year-old Camden pub under its original name this month. The company, led by Will Clayton, acquired the historic Load of Hay in Haverstock Hill, which had been operating as gastro-pub The Hill Bar & Brasserie for more than ten years, last summer. It is now refurbishing the listed property ahead of reopening at the end of the month. The company told the Camden New Journal: “We are a craft beer bar and kitchen. Our emphasis is on quality fresh food and interesting drinks served in a relaxed environment.” The Load of Hay, which opened in 1721, was rebuilt in 1863. From 1965 until 1974, it was called the Noble Art in honour of the Belsize boxing club and gym behind the building. Gresham Collective also runs the Cork and Bottle in Leicester Square and the Pride of Paddington in west London, a traditional-style pub with bedrooms above.
Joe’s Kitchen and Loungers line up York sites: Joe’s Kitchen, which is owned by The Restaurant Group, and Loungers are lining up sites in York. The Restaurant Group has applied to the city council for a licence to open Joe’s Kitchen – its first in Yorkshire – on the former Café Rouge site in Coney Street. It wants to open the restaurant daily from 8am to 12.30am, with alcohol sales running from 10am to midnight, reports York Mix. Joe’s Kitchen currently has 12 sites, including at Manchester Airport and the Victoria Centre in Nottingham. Meanwhile, Loungers is set to bring its Cosy Club brand to the city. It has applied for a licence to open the venue inside the 1911 York building on the site of the former Macdonalds Furniture store. It wants to open the site from 8am daily, closing at midnight from Sunday to Wednesday, with a 12.30am finish between Thursday and Saturday. Alcohol would be served from 10am to half an hour before closing time. Loungers currently operates 13 Cosy Clubs, including in Bath, Cardiff, Leicester and Manchester, with its 14th opening this week in Derby.
Greene King submits plan for new-build Farmhouse Inns site in Nottingham: Greene King has submitted a planning application to build a £3m Farmhouse Inns at a Nottingham business park. A Farmhouse Inns spokesperson said: “We can confirm that a planning application has been submitted for Woodford Park and we are excited at the prospect of introducing a new family friendly pub restaurant to the area, which we hope will be welcomed by local people. We believe it could become an important part of the community as well as bring local employment opportunities with the prospect of up to around 80 full and part-time jobs.”
JD Wetherspoon to appeal Welwyn Garden City rejection: JD Wetherspoon will appeal a decision to reject its plans for a Welwyn Garden City pub. The company wanted to redevelop a 1920s house in Parkway into a venue, but had planning permission unanimously rejected by Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council in November. However, a JD Wetherspoon spokesman has told the Welwyn Hatfield Times an appeal for the site will be submitted “imminently”. When lodged, it will then be referred to the Planning Inspectorate, the body that deals with planning appeals. The Welwyn Garden City Society opposed the plans, and chairman Shaun O’Reilly said he was “staggered” at JD Wetherspoon’s “incredible” decision not to accept the council’s verdict. He added: “They got such a resounding vote against it I’m surprised that they are putting any effort or money behind any appeal. Frankly, it’s quite incredible.” However, Longcroft Lane resident Gavin Meaden, an engineer, said he would like a Welwyn Garden City JD Wetherspoon pub, regardless of whether it is in Parkway or closer to the town centre. “I think they bring the sort of pub that we don’t currently have,” he added.
Ceviche founder to launch gluten-free Peruvian restaurant in Soho: Martin Morales, who pioneered Peruvian food in London when he launched Ceviche in 2012, will open another concept in Soho – a traditional Andes picanteria with every dish gluten-free. Morales has branded Casita Andina “London’s most traditional Peruvian restaurant yet”. It will offer food from the Andes inspired by his grandmother, who lives on the mountain range, and be fitted out to look like a traditional house from the area. Morales told the Evening Standard: “It will serve warming food for the soul, with plates designed for sharing, and will be cosy with lots of character.” Dishes will include lamb loin served with maca, mushrooms and crushed corn nuts, and chupe – a fish stew made with king prawns, coriander and quinoa. The restaurant will import chocolate from Peru for desserts, although 90% of produce will be sourced from within the UK. Morales said: “It’s Peruvian cooking but there will be elements of fusion because there’s no point in pretending we’re not a London restaurant.” Casita Andina will feature a ceviche counter and a bar specialising in pisco, Peru’s national spirit, as well as an open-air patio. It is due to open in July and will be Morales’ fourth restaurant following Ceviche in Soho, Andina in Shoreditch, and a second Ceviche near Old Street.
Swindon restaurateur in £1m spend to convert nightclub into mega venue: Restaurateur Alan Mok is to relocate his two Swindon restaurants into one mega-site at a former nightclub in Old Town. Mok, who owns Le Rendezvous in Haydon Street and Swindon Rendezvous in Theatre Square, will resite the restaurants at the former Studio nightclub in Hooper’s Place. He is investing more than £1m to transform the site into an ultra-modern, 250-cover restaurant with a private function room. Interior design features will include computer-operated mood lighting, an ample bar and booths to give it a “London feel”. Mok told the Swindon Advertiser: “We are not going to change how we operate as a restaurant, we are just going to bring something a lot bigger. I looked at this building and thought it had so much potential. I am never going to get this size building in a prime location in Old Town again. I also want to bring something new to Swindon. I want to make it a hub – an eating and entertainment centre. Swindon is really growing and I think this is the right time.”
Peterborough chef launches fine dining concept in city centre: Lee Clarke, former head chef of Clarkes in Peterborough, which won a Michelin Three Forks Award, has opened his own fine dining concept in the city centre. Prévost, which has just opened in a 16th century mews in Priestgate, is set in the former Flyers Club, with ingredients sourced as locally as possible, including beef aged by a butcher in Stilton and wild mushrooms foraged from nearby woods. Clarke told the Peterborough Telegraph: “Prévost is right in the heart of the city and I can’t wait to share the different tastes we have created in the kitchen with the people of Peterborough. I want the Prévost experience to have an air of fine dining but without the formality; diners can expect an exploration of taste that’s quintessentially British but full of surprises.” The 28-cover restaurant is open plan, with an open kitchen, but also has a private dining room upstairs and an after-dinner snug. It will offer three, five and nine-course meals, with dishes including pig, lobster and monk’s beard, brown trout and asparagus, and yogurt and plums with lavender caramel.
Interbev launches brand management and distribution business, reveals first UK deals: Interbev has launched an international brand management and distribution business, Interbev Brands, and announced its first UK brand partners for distribution – Spanish beer Moritz, German pilsener Karlsbrau UrPils, and Scotch whisky LABEL 5. Interbev delivers multi-channel distribution to consumers, the trade, international distributors and importers in more than 25 markets. It said Interbev Brands had been created to give brand partners a model that offered multi-channel distribution in the UK directly to consumers and the trade through its own fulfillment businesses, and internationally through its network of distributor partners. Interbev said the new business also provided brand strategy and marketing expertise. Interbev founder and owner Steve Brogan said: “Our business was established in 2008 to sell and distribute international drinks brands around the world and we have widespread experience in adapting to the changing dynamics of the market globally. Expanding our business offer to include exclusive brand management was a natural evolution.” 
Bid launched to build community-owned distillery: A whisky firm has launched a community share offer in a bid to build the first community-owned distillery in Scotland. Glenwyvis Distillery Community Benefit Society plans to raise £1.5m to develop a new distillery in Dingwall. It is about 90 years since the last distillery closed in the Highland town. The whisky company, in conjunction with the organisation Community Shares Scotland (CSS), is offering investment opportunities from £250 to locals living in all IV postcode areas. The developers said they hoped this would ensure a high level of local ownership of the distillery. Shares are also open to whisky lovers worldwide with investment opportunities of up to £100,000. Helicopter pilot and farmer John F Mckenzie is behind the plans to resurrect whisky production in the town. 
Propel partners with Professor Chris Edger to launch new Brands Masterclass: Propel has partnered with the UK’s leading thinker and teacher on multi-site foodservice management Professor Chris Edger to launch a new Brands Masterclass to help create and evolve powerful brands. The event takes place on Friday, 10 June in the Chartered Accounts Hall at One Moorgate Place in London. Led by Edger, the all-day masterclass will showcase the advice of contemporary brand experts, who will address each aspect of a foodservice brand’s marketing mix. Each expert will deal with a specific dimension of brand longevity and success, making this programme an absolute must for UK foodservice brand leaders in 2016. The day will be split into three sessions to help delegates ensure their brands are evolved effectively to ensure long-term sustainability and success. Session one will cover leadership, proposition and product and will see Edger drawing on material from his newly-published book, co-written with Tony Hughes, senior independent director of The Restaurant Group, examining the leadership lifecycles of sustainable food brands. The session also features leading brands consultant Ian Dunstall on how to effectively differentiate a brand and its proposition while Chris Gerard, founder of gastro-pub business Innventure, will explain how to create and evolve a compelling food and beverage offer. Session two will cover environment, estate and employer branding with Dan Einzig, founder of leading restaurant and brand design agency Mystery, looking at site design and creating a brand identity while insights firm CACI will explore how operators create a high quality estate. Former Orchid Group chief executive Rufus Hall will talk about creating a people-centric culture and the benefits of having an outstanding team ethos. The final session will look at execution and marketing with Dr Clinton Bantock, associate professor of the Academy of Multi-Unit Leadership, sharing how to achieve operational excellence while James Hacon, managing director of Elliotts, will look at examples of memorable marketing campaigns and the importance of rewarding loyal customers. Tickets are £295 plus VAT for Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) members and £345 plus VAT for non-members. To book email

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