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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Thu 28th Apr 2016 - ALMR extends casual dining reach, employment minister argues Brexit case
ALMR extends casual dining reach with Bill’s and Pizza Hut joining: The Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) has extended its casual dining membership with Bill’s and Pizza Hut joining. The new arrivals from the casual dining sector join Carluccio’s and YO! Sushi as members among other key casual dining operators. The ALMR already represents nearly all the major managed operators, including Mitchells & Butlers and JD Wetherspoon. The expansion of the membership base has rounded off a very successful 12 months for the ALMR. Speaking at today’s (Thursday, 28 April) ALMR Spring Conference in London, ALMR chief executive Kate Nicholls highlighted the success of the association’s lobbying and its expansion to cement its reputation as the premier voice for UK licensed hospitality. Nicholls said: “The past 12 months have been a period of fantastic progress for the ALMR as we look to cement ourselves as the leading voice for all of licensed hospitality. We have been hard at work with our primary aim – which is to fight for a fairer, more flexible deal for pubs and bars – and we have seen some significant gains. The ALMR has been at the forefront of the campaign to reform business rates and this year we have seen the government take notice, saving an average of £600 per pub. We have successfully campaigned for cuts to National Insurance contributions, new planning guidance for live music venues and successfully pushed back on EU proposals for menu labelling, restaurant charges and licensing restrictions. Our work over the past year has saved the industry in the region of £184m and we are in a strong position to achieve even more. We continue to press for a free, fair and flexible market to allow our members’ businesses to achieve their full potential. Our agenda for the coming year includes jobs taxes – including changes to the living wage and apprenticeship levy – commercial rents and rates and tackling the barriers to improved productivity. With an ever increasing and disproportionate tax burden, the positive growth the sector has achieved over recent years could be threatened and we need a stable and supportive regulatory environment to sustain investment. In addition, we will be acting as the voice of the operator with the London Night Time Commission, in Europe and on a number of task forces. We have seen a number of high-profile businesses join, including Bill’s, Maxwell’s and Pizza Hut and we are in great shape to continue our expansion. This has been a very successful 12 months for the ALMR and we are looking forward to working with our members to achieve even more.”

Employment minister argues Brexit case to hospitality sector: Employment minister Priti Patel has argued the case to hospitality companies for leaving the European Union. Speaking at the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) spring conference in London today (Thursday, 28 April), Patel argued the economic benefits of “standing tall as a free, independent and sovereign country”. She said: “The UK has not managed to block a single proposal from becoming law through the EU Council, costing this country £2.4bn each year. Not only does this undermine our democracy as we are unable to hold European decision-makers to account, it has devastating consequences for our economy. In 2005, the Treasury estimated the costs of the ‘single market’ could be over £125bn per year, the equivalent of 7% of GDP, £4,639 per household, or £23,236 per company. Other research shows that while every single business is bound to the EU’s ever-increasing rulebook, the percentage of businesses exporting to the EU are 6% and 12.5% of the British economy exports to the EU. By getting rid of some of the EU rules that make it so difficult to create employment, we could deliver a £4.3bn boost to our economy and 60,000 new jobs. Cutting EU red tape on business – starting with small and medium-sized businesses business – will be a valuable boost to productivity, growth and job creation. History also tells us that the prosperity of our businesses cannot be left in the hands of the EU. Last year, they turned their fire on small-scale cider producers demanding the removal of tax exemptions. Your business and interests could be next. Voting to leave the EU will also give us back control over our borders and our immigration policy. This does not mean we will close our borders – I know how important migrant labour is for your businesses and the hospitality, leisure and retail sector – but it means we can put in place robust controls that enable us to bring in the brightest and the best from around the world and recruit to fill shortages in the labour market. Our choice on 23 June is a clear one. We can choose to remain in an unaccountable, unreformed EU that damages British business, takes our money, and puts our future prosperity at risk. Or we can vote for a positive and secure future as a free, independent and sovereign country, where we can spend our own money on our own priorities, make our own laws, take an axe to EU red tape to free enterprise, and make the most of the potential and talent that our great country has to offer.”

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