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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Fri 29th Apr 2016 - Propel Friday News Briefing

Story of the Day:

Downing seeks to plug crowdfunding investment confidence and due diligence by launching underwritten bonds: Investment firm Downing, which has investments of circa £100m in the licensed leisure sector, is to plug a gap in investment confidence and due diligence in the crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending arena by launching underwritten bonds. Writing in Propel Friday Opinion, Downing’s head of licence leisure Steve Kenee stated: “Setting the bar too high too early can prevent the business from raising funds in the future. Once investors have invested at a certain value, if you want to raise further funds then the business will need to be worth more than it was when you raised the last round. Otherwise your existing investors will see a reduction in their value when their share of the business is diluted (as dilution without growth equals a loss in value). Again, this is potentially a bigger issue for businesses factoring-in tomorrow’s worth into today’s value as, the main issue facing growing companies is not that they aren’t moving towards their target, it’s that they nearly always need more capital to get there than they initially believed. And, if it transpires that more capital is required than initially expected to get to the same place, then by definition the initial round was overpriced. In these situations, the best outcome is that your initial investors will see the value of their investment fall when further investment is required and the worst is that it may not be possible to raise further funds at all. Putting the issue of high valuations to one side, we recognise that securing funding for small business growth via traditional channels is incredibly difficult and is why we are seeing such a growth in alternative financing such as peer-to-peer and crowdfunding. Whilst we see this as a good thing, we also have some serious concerns over a lack of credible due diligence and post investment oversight/governance, which we believe will result in a number of high profile losses, which could tarnish the sector and overshadow all the good work it has achieved. It is for this reason that we decided to enter the market and launch Downing Crowd ( Downing Crowd aims to offer a more professionalised approach to the crowdfunding model. We will initially be focusing on raising bonds for more mature businesses, with assets in place and an established track record. We believe this will be attractive for crowd lenders and investors as it will give them a choice to use a platform managed by professional investors with a track record and reliable back catalogue of successful exits and we believe it will be attractive to borrowers as a) they will get access to a professional support network as well as funding, and b) we will underwrite the bonds thereby removing the risk that the fundraise will be unsuccessful. Our first £3.2m bond sold out well ahead of the closing date and we are about to launch a number of others, including at least one in the licensed sector.” (See Propel Friday Opinion for the full article)

Industry News:

Operators and Investors Dinner open for bookings: The annual Operators and Investors Dinner is now open for bookings. The event takes place on Monday, 6 June at the Banking Hall in London, starting at 7pm. The popular event is in its third year and allows operators and investors in the sector to extend their networks of contacts. Propel managing director Paul Charity said: “We have seen great demand for places in previous years and have added to the event’s capacity this year to accommodate more of those who would like to attend.” Tickets are £110 plus VAT each – email to book a place. 
NPD Group’s Cyril Lavenant to present at Propel July conference: The Propel Multi Club Conference on Thursday, 7 July at the Oxford Belfry, just off the M40, is 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. Cyril Lavenant, of NPD Group, will provide insights on the current state of the UK foodservice market, how the UK compares with the US and Europe, and predicts future progress. Operators of multi-site pub, restaurant and foodservice companies can claim up to two free places by emailing Jo Charity on

CDG Leisure embarks on campaign to address challenge of increasing fixed property costs facing London’s restaurant sector: Agent CDG Leisure is embarking on a campaign in a bid to address the ongoing challenge of increasing fixed property costs facing London’s restaurant sector. The company is asking operators to complete a survey to “help us strengthen the message of this campaign”. It said: “We fear that the variety of operators that has made London such an interesting city to live and work in may be lost as rents continue to rise and as rates increase in 2017.” Participants who complete the survey will be entered into a prize draw to win a Livescribe Notebook and smart pen.

Former McDonald’s boss predicts $15 per hour minimum wage in US will trigger ‘massive lay-offs and increase in self-service kiosks’: Former McDonald’s chief executive Ed Rensi has predicted raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour across the US would cost people entry-level jobs. In a column for Forbes, Rensi said the increased wage would not be detrimental to the company but would wipe out thousands of job opportunities. He wrote: “I can assure you that a $15 minimum wage won’t spell the end of the brand. However it will mean wiping out thousands of entry-level opportunities for people without many other options.” Rensi said an average McDonald’s franchise would make $2.6m in annual revenue leaving it with $156,000 profit after deducting operating costs and fees. If a worker were to make $15 per hour it would erase three quarters of a franchise’s profitability. Rather than raise prices, McDonald’s is more likely to replace people with self-service computer kiosks so it does not have to pay the high wage. In 2011, McDonald’s ordered more than 7,000 kiosks to replace employees in European countries where costs are higher. Rensi added: “You’ll see their legacy every time you visit the Golden Arches, where ‘would you like fries with that’ is a button on a computer screen rather than a phrase spoken by an employee in their first job.” Rensi started his career at McDonald’s in 1966 as a grill man and manager trainee. He subsequently went on to hold nearly every position in the restaurant and field offices, before working his way up the corporate ladder. He became president in 1991, a position he held for 14 years.

FSA – quarter of people with food allergies have suffered reaction while dining out: A quarter of people with food allergies have suffered a reaction while dining out in the past year, and 56% have felt like an “inconvenience” when warning restaurant staff about their risk, a new survey has found. More than two-thirds of allergic consumers (69%) said restaurant staff did not understand the severity of the situation and how easily a mistake could cause a reaction, according to the poll for the Food Standards Agency (FSA) to coincide with Allergy Awareness Week. Of the one in four people (25%) with a food allergy who have suffered a reaction while eating out in a restaurant or cafe since new allergen labelling legislation was introduced in December 2014, one in five needed to go to hospital. More than half of allergic diners said eating out had improved since the legislation was introduced and 52% felt more confident. The EU Food Information for Consumers legislation requires food businesses to make information available to consumers on 14 allergens, ranging from peanuts and gluten to mustard and celery. About two million people in the UK suffer from allergies, including 2% of adults and 8% of children. Dr Chun-Han Chan, food allergy expert at the FSA, said: “It’s been more than a year since the introduction of this legislation and we’re pleased to see real progress in how food businesses provide information on allergens to their customers. However, our survey has found that this isn’t true for everyone, and that many establishments aren’t yet providing the information that their customers need. The number of people suffering from food allergies and intolerances has increased in the last decade, so it’s clear that it is not something businesses can ignore. Allergies can be fatal, and this is why it is vital food businesses give their customers information they can trust.”
Celebrity London nightclub wins trademark row with Scottish government’s red meat promotion body: Celebrity London nightclub The Scotch of St James has won its legal battle with the Scottish government’s red meat promotion body over a naming row. Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) became involved in a dispute with the Westminster nightspot after trying to register its brand “The Scotch Kitchen”. QMS angered the club’s owner Tim Lalic by applying to trademark the name “Scotch Kitchen” for a range of goods and services including the “provision of food and drink in restaurants”, reports The Scotsman. He said the name was too similar to that of the club’s trademark “The Scotch” and could damage his business if it was set up as a restaurant. The UK Intellectual Property Office, which rules over trademark disputes, has ruled in Lalic’s favour and ordered QMS to pay him £600 in costs. QMS currently uses the name “The Scotch Kitchen” on a consumer website that offers recipes for red meat dishes. The body is responsible for helping the Scottish red meat sector improve its efficiency and profitability, and markets Scotch beef and Scotch lamb brands in the UK and abroad. The Scotch of St James, which played host to artists such as The Beatles, Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix, closed in the mid-1980s but was restored and reopened in January 2012. Since then it has attracted names such as supermodel Kate Moss, pop stars Rihanna and Harry Styles, and actress Scarlett Johansson.
AB InBev – acquisitions likely to be within the beer sector: Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev), the world’s largest brewer that is set to buy nearest rival SABMiller, believes future acquisitions are more likely to be in beer rather than branching out into other beverages, its chief executive has stated. Analysts and investors are already speculating on AB InBev’s next potential target – with possibilities ranging from spirits company Diageo, unlisted French wine and beer group Castel, which has a large African presence, and Coca-Cola. “We’ve always done it within beer,” chief executive Carlos Brito told the company’s annual meeting. “We don’t believe in going too much outside beer. That makes the likelihood of success in integration higher.” The comments from Brito suggested future deals were possible but that candidates were more likely to be drawn from closer to its core business, reports Reuters. AB InBev, which makes Budweiser, Stella Artois and Corona, expects to seal its $100bn-plus acquisition of SABMiller in the second half of the year.

Company News:

Luke Johnson – ‘I anticipate measured growth for Lussmanns’: Sector investor Luke Johnson has told Propel he anticipates “measured growth” of Hertfordshire-based Lussmanns Fish & Grill after acquiring a stake in the company. Lussmanns, led by Andrei Lussmann, is opening a fourth site in Hitchin in June and planning a fifth restaurant later this year. Johnson said he expects the company, which was launched 14 years ago in a new defunct site in North Kensington, to focus its expansion on Hertfordshire and its adjacent counties to the north of London. He added: “I’ve known Andrei a little while and I like his offering. I think it’s one step at a time in terms of growth. It’s geographically-focused and has a good quality offering. That means measured growth. It means finding the right sites in that general area, where Lussmanns has good brand recognition. I think you are looking at those adjacent counties to the north of London where a neighbourhood brand like Lussmanns can grow.” The stake in Lussmanns is the third major investment in less than a month by Johnson, following on from the acquisition of Brighton Pier through Eclectic Bar Group, now renamed Brighton Pier Group, and the purchase of a minority stake in Gaucho Group.

Deltic Group to invest £2m in the Midlands with two new Pryzms: Leading club and bar operator The Deltic Group is investing more than £2m in the Midlands and creating 170 jobs. The company will open its first club in Birmingham, the former Gatecrasher site, on Friday, 17 June, followed by Nottingham, converting its Oceania, on Friday, 1 July. Both venues will become Pryzm, bringing the total number across the UK to seven. The site includes a room called Curve – a more intimate space with DJs playing the latest R&B chart tracks – and a disco room called Vinyl that will feature a flashing dance floor. Birmingham will have 45 pre-bookable booths and will also be the first Pryzm in the UK to offer a private party room. Nottingham will have 33 booths, a tiki cocktail bar named Lua Lalai and a bierkeller, serving a range of craft and draught beers from around the world. Deltic’s chief financial officer Russell Margerrison said: “The Midlands is an important region for our business and we’re delighted to be opening a club in the heart of Birmingham’s party district in Broad Street. The investment signals our confidence in these two major cities that enjoy a thriving nightlife and are home to leading universities.”
OHH Pub Company acquires Punch site for fifth venue: OHH Pub Company, led by Mark Warburton and based in the West Country, has acquired its fifth site. The company has bought the freehold of The Rising Sun in the village of Backwell in Somerset from Punch. The pub will now undergo an extensive refurbishment to enable it to offer a “cosy sofa area and up to 70 covers of open plan dining in a relaxed pub environment”. There will also be up to six en-suite bedrooms and the site is expected to open in July. Warburton told Propel: “I am looking forward to bringing a taste of the OHH Pub Company to the area. The site will be the perfect fit to our growing estate of great inns offering real ales, an extensive wine list and an extensive menu in a relaxed environment, whilst accommodating those who wish to spend the night with us.” Last week, the company opened its fourth site – The George Inn in Braunton, Devon. It has a 60-cover open plan trading area plus large drinking lounge and five boutique en-suite bedrooms. Warburton added: “The pub has had a fantastic first week, exceeding expectations.”

West Berkshire Brewery passes £1m mark in crowdfunding campaign: West Berkshire Brewery (WBB) has passed the £1m mark in its £1.5m fund-raise on crowdfunding campaign Seedrs to pave the way for a new brewery, visitor centre and its first pub. The company, led by beer and pub entrepreneur David Bruce, is offering an equity stake of 17.59% in return for the investment. So far, 233 investors have pledged £1,030,707 with 33 days remaining. WBB said it would use the proceeds for several landmark projects, enabling it to maintain and accelerate its current growth trajectory, as it responds to continuing strong demand for its beers beyond its Thames Valley heartland. The funds will pave the way for the construction of a larger brewery. It will also fund its first pub as well as fuelling a new range of craft beers under its Renegade Brewery label, which will sit alongside its traditional range of English ales, including flagship bitter Good Old Boy. The company has identified a new brewery site close to its current location in the village of Yattendon, Berkshire. The new site will deliver a brewery with ten times the brewing capacity of WBB’s existing facility as well as a state-of-the-art bottling, canning and kegging line, plus a visitor centre and on-site restaurant. Founded by Dave and Helen Maggs in 1995, the business has annual sales of about £2m. 

New turkey-led restaurant concept Strut & Cluck to open in Shoreditch in June: A new restaurant concept Strut & Cluck, with turkey as the hero ingredient, will open in Shoreditch, east London, in June. Husband and wife Amir and Limor Chen are launching the venue in Commercial Street, serving dishes inspired by eastern Mediterranean home cooking, with free-range turkey meat served in new ways alongside seasonal ingredients. With 75 covers, the restaurant will be divided into several spaces, including a central bar for 12 diners, clad in tiles resembling the vivid feather formations of a strutting turkey. The largest seating area is designed to evoke an outside terrace, filled with hanging baskets and lanterns. There is a private dining room for eight guests inspired by the Bauhaus architectural style prevalent in the city of Tel Aviv, with period pieces and decorations from the founders’ own collection. Dishes will include Josper-grilled turkey drumstick marinated in the family spice blend with roasted vegetables and herbs, and slow-roast turkey thigh on a bed of caramelised red onions and sweet potatoes. There will also be a selection of cocktails and craft beers. 

Esquires Coffee appoints UK head of acquisitions: Franchised coffee company Esquires Coffee has appointed Cameron Lawrence as its UK head of acquisitions as part of its expansion plans. In addition to focusing on new property acquisitions, Lawrence will identify multi and single unit property, retail and leasehold acquisitions. He will also be assisting with the roll-out of the company’s conversion strategy, designed to bring existing coffee operations under its brand banner. The company said: “Cameron comes with a wealth of experience working within the UK commercial property market, most notably as head of acquisitions for Vodafone where he worked to secure 100 locations for the firm in a relatively short space of time. We believe Cameron will be an invaluable asset to Esquires in this period of expansion, and with Cameron’s assistance we will be able to secure fantastic sites in existing and upcoming locations throughout the UK.”

Good & Proper Tea Company opens second London site: The Good & Proper Tea Company, which started as a mobile bar touring the festival circuit, has opened its second permanent London site – in Leather Lane, Clerkenwell. The company raised almost £185,000 on crowdfunding platform Crowdcube to enable it to open its first tea bar and shop at The Bower in Old Street. The company sources teas from around the world and custom-brews them to bring out the “best possible flavour”. The new 28-cover restaurant also offers a sweet and savoury crumpet menu, with toppings such as lime curd, Marmite and cheese, and smoked salmon and cream cheese. The venue also serves healthy breakfasts, soups and lunches, desserts and a selection of cakes, as well as a monthly rotating filter coffee. All crumpets, jam, soup, bread and cakes are made on-site. Good & Proper Tea founder Emilie Holmes said: “There are so many great cafes in London, all serving delicious variations on the same things. We didn’t want to serve yet another sandwich or yogurt pot but instead wanted to match our tea with food that was both different and also tea ‘ownable’.” The venue is open Monday to Friday, from 8am to 6pm, with a full selection of teas, tea paraphernalia and ceramics available to buy online.

Nottingham vegetarian and vegan cafe owner acquires pub in city: The owner of the Nottingham vegetarian and vegan Alley Cafe And Bar has acquired a pub in the city. Benjamin Rose has taken on the lease of the Old Angel Inn, which he will reopen at the end of next month as an organic gastro-pub and live music venue with a micro-brewery. It will be called The Angel Micro-Brewery, serving food made from organic locally sourced produce in the open kitchen. There will also be a large selection of organic wines. Future plans also involve setting up a micro garden where the pub will grow its own vegetables, fruit and herbs to ensure sustainability. Rose told the Nottingham Post: “Taking over such a recognised Nottingham venue is an honour and an absolute challenge at the same time. We have so many great plans for the building and it will continue to develop in so many different directions.” Associate solicitor at Fraser Brown Solicitors Joanne Ellis, who secured the lease, added: “It’s very exciting to see one of Nottingham’s most popular establishments being revitalised with a modern, fresh and ethical approach, whilst still retaining its roots as a music venue.” Rose launched the Alley Cafe and Bar 16 years ago.
McDonald’s shortlisted for franchise awards, tests preservative-free Chicken McNuggets: McDonald’s has been shortlisted for two categories at the 2016 HSBC Franchisor of the Year Awards, organised by the British Franchise Association (BFA). The company is a finalist in the “Franchisor of the Year” and “Award for Innovation” categories. McDonald’s has 151 franchisees in the UK, overseeing 880 outlets between them. The Award for Innovation nomination is for McDonald’s UK’s “Experience of the Future” programme, which is rolling out digital ordering kiosks, tailored refurbishments and table service. The three-year programme has already led to converted restaurants enjoying levels of growth significantly above the comparable market, the company said. McDonald’s UK head of franchising Gareth Pearson said: “As an established franchisor that this year celebrates 30 years of franchising in the UK and 25 years’ membership of the BFA, I feel proud that McDonald’s and our franchisees have been recognised.” The winners will be announced on Thursday, 23 June in Nottingham. Meanwhile, McDonald’s is testing a “cleaner” version of its Chicken McNuggets in 140 US stores in Washington state and Oregon. The company hopes to expand the recipe nationwide in time for the Olympic Games in August. Crain’s reports the new recipe contains ingredients “more recognisable to consumers, such as lemon juice solids and rice starch”, although McDonald’s has yet to provide an ingredients list.
YO! Sushi to make Newcastle city centre return next month: YO! Sushi is to make its return to Newcastle city centre next month. The company has been on the lookout for a standalone site since moving out of Fenwick’s department store to make way for a revamp of its food court. Now YO! Sushi is opening a restaurant in Grainger Street on Thursday, 12 May in the former Fat Face clothing store, reports Chronicle Live. The restaurant will seat 69 diners, most of whom will be sat on stools at a conveyor belt, on which food is transported from the open kitchen. It will feature YO! Sushi’s newly launched 100-dish menu, with highlights including okonomiyaki (a popular Tokyo street food consisting of batter and cabbage served with a variety of toppings), clam miso soup, and Buta No Kakuno (slow-braised pork belly and daikon in a sweet soy sauce with rice). Founded in 1997, YO! Sushi was the first restaurant to bring the concept of a Japanese “kaiten” sushi bar that delivers food via a conveyor belt to the UK. It has grown to a 92-strong group of restaurants worldwide, including 74 in the UK.
Enoteca Da Luca opens Bower venue, fifth London site: Enoteca Da Luca, the central London Italian restaurant chain, has opened its fifth site in the capital at The Bower in Old Street. Max Sali, formerly of Locanda Locatelli and Tinello, which he opened with his brother, is running front-of-house, while head chef Claudio Illuminati hails from Tom Aikens and Zafferano, Hot Dinners reports. In Italy, enotecas are local hubs serving the best ingredients and wine from the region. An Enoteca Da Luca spokesman said the restaurant liked to keep its menus simple, focusing on “the finest ingredients from Italy” and “inspired by seasonal produce and the most delicious meats, cheeses and Italian specialities”. Dishes include carbonara with grated egg and ginger and an orange infused rabbit ragu. The spokesman added: “Our philosophy is ‘piccolo e bello’ – small menu, small plates to share, and the small details. Unlike our menu, our wine list is extensive. You’ll find wines for every occasion and mood from the littlest to the largest Italian producers, as well as the some our favourites from the rest of the world.” Enoteca Da Luca’s other restaurants are in Watling Street, near St Paul’s; Lansdown Row in Mayfair; Devonshire Square in Spitalfields; and Basinghall Street in the City.

Tavistock Hospitality invests £125,000 to add boutique B&B to Sonnet 43 pub in Sunderland: North east leisure operator Tavistock Hospitality has invested £125,000 to add a luxury bed and breakfast to its Sonnet 43 venue, the Three Horseshoes Hotel, in Sunderland. Tavistock bought the Three Horseshoes in Washington Road last year and invested £75,000 to transform it into a brewery tap for its Sonnet 43 Brew House. The pub reopened in January and Tavistock has now invested a further £125,000 to convert all seven upstairs bedrooms into a boutique B&B. Work is expected to be complete by mid-May, with fixtures and fittings paying a tribute to Sunderland’s industrial past. Tavistock Hospitality operations director Jonathan Graham told Chronicle Live: “While we focused our initial efforts on transforming the downstairs area into a bar and restaurant, we are keen to get the entire site operational as soon as possible. We are confident that a combination of tailored design, reasonable rates and the availability of high-quality food and drink downstairs will appeal, particularly to the corporate market.” Tavistock Hospitality operates four Sonnet 43 pubs and plans to build a 12-strong estate.

Yum Brands promotes David Gibbs to president and chief financial officer, Pizza Hut hails ‘sensory’ advert success: Yum Brands has promoted company veteran David Gibbs to president and chief financial officer. Gibbs was chief executive of Pizza Hut and takes over from David Russell, who had been interim chief financial officer since Pat Grismer left the company in February. Gibbs is a 27-year veteran of Louisville-based Yum Brands, which also operates KFC and Taco Bell. He takes up his position at a crucial time for the company, which is spinning-off its primarily company-owned China business, which will then operate as a franchisee of Yum Brands. Yum said Gibbs’ promotion ensured a “smooth transition of executive leadership” in advance of the spin-off. Gibbs said: “This is a pivotal and exciting time as we transform Yum Brands into two powerful, independent companies with unique investment profiles, capital structures and compelling growth potential.” Meanwhile, Pizza Hut hopes to roll-out further “sensory” mobile adverts after the success of its mobile-first technology to promote cheesy bite pizzas. The advert invited users to touch the screen and “pull” a section of cheese-filled crust, which then stretched to a thread of cheese. Pizza Hut UK & Ireland head of digital May Pan told The Drum: “We have seen brand uplift towards our cheesy bite pizzas that is well above IAB standard benchmarks. We’ve also had some really good consumer feedback, with a 50% engagement rate.”

Cote set to open site in Worcester: French brasserie Cote is set to open a restaurant in Worcester. The company has acquired the site of the former Edwards Bar and Kitchen in High Street, which launched in December 2014. A Cote spokesman told the Worcester News contracts had been exchanged but said it was in the “planning stages” regarding a new restaurant. Subject to planning permission, the site, which would be the company’s first in Worcestershire, is expected to open in the autumn. Paul Owens, a director at Edwards Bar and Kitchen, said: “We had some good times in there. It is mixed emotions about leaving, but it is one of those things. A business decision.” Cote currently has 74 sites in the UK.

MasterChef winner launches first restaurant: MasterChef winner Shelina Permalloo has launched her first restaurant. Permalloo, who won the BBC competition in 2012, has opened Mauritian street kitchen concept Lakaz Maman in Bedford Place, Southampton. Her MasterChef trophy has taken pride of place in the restaurant. She told the Daily Echo: “There’s so much emphasis on the food scene in London but being from Hampshire there’s so much to celebrate, I wanted to come home and do something special in the city. Mauritian food isn’t a familiar cuisine in the UK and I wanted to showcase my heritage by doing the first modern mainstream Mauritian restaurant in the UK.”

New piri piri concept Frango’s launches in Middlesbrough: A new piri piri concept that brings a unique twist to the popular Portuguese cuisine has opened in Middlesbrough. Frango’s, a 130-cover restaurant that specialises in piri piri dishes with an African and Portuguese flavour, has opened in Linthorpe Road, creating 30 jobs following a £50,000 investment. The project is the brainchild of restaurateur Eddie De Melo, who was born in Mozambique, brought up in Brazil and moved to South Africa. He has been in the restaurant business for more than 20 years. He told “I bring with me a unique insight into Portuguese cuisine and my experience of African atmosphere, which has influenced things such as including a space for customers to put their names on the menus. No matter where I have lived throughout my life, I have learned there is nothing more important than the best, traceable ingredients, and that is why we stress the need for the freshest produce, like our British chicken.”
Aberdeenshire restaurateurs sell Hornblowers business: Aberdeenshire restaurateurs Alex and Ruth Grahame have sold their Gourdon business Hornblowers just months after axing plans to open a bistro-style restaurant and takeaway in Aberdeen. The new owners are Ewen Lovie and Noel Brown, who have renamed the restaurant The Quayside. Lovie has previously worked for The Restaurant Group including its Frankie & Benny’s and Chiquito brands, as well as at Cafe Society and Nero in Aberdeen. Brown has worked for bar operator Belhaven in Aberdeen pub The Globe Inn. Lovie told The Press and Journal: “We haven’t changed anything except for the name as the previous owners ran such a good operation. We aim to keep running it to the high standards they achieved.” The Grahames, who had run the business since 2011, revealed last year they were seeking a buyer for Hornblowers. They obtained planning consent for a bistro-style restaurant and takeaway on the former site of Jimmy Chung’s beachside restaurant in Aberdeen but pulled out of the move earlier this year, blaming “issues” with the developer and a drawn-out council planning approval process.

Cleethorpes bar and restaurant owner gets go-ahead for new venture: Cleethorpes bar and restaurant owner Brett Smith has been given the go-ahead for a new venture in the Lincolnshire town. Smith, who owns People Bar and Kitchen in Cambridge Street, has had his plans to convert a former phone and repair shop in the same road into a restaurant approved by North East Lincolnshire Council. He said the proposed restaurant, which would create up to seven jobs, would be a completely separate entity, with a different team behind it. Smith told the Grimsby Telegraph: “We’re really excited to get things up and running and once again bring something new and fresh to the area.” 

Burning Night Group reveals more details about planned Bierkeller in Nottingham: Burning Night Group has revealed more details about its planned Bierkeller site in Nottingham. The company is investing £2.1m converting the former Walkabout site in Friar Lane, which is expected to open in September, creating 100 jobs. As with the brand’s other four sites, the new development will include three bars in one venue – the Around The World Bar, Shooters Bar and The Bierkeller. The Around The World Bar will offer more than 100 different bottled beers and ciders from across the globe as well as a focus on real ales and craft beers and an American/European-inspired food menu. The Shooters Bar will show three live sporting games at once and have 20-plus 55-inch LCD screens and a six-metre by four-metre LED screen, which the company believes will be the biggest screen in any bar in the UK. The fit-out will also include pool tables, table tennis tables, gaming machines and a dartboard. The food and drink offering will encompass an American-style food menu and a large range of bottled/draught beer and cider as well as a craft beer wall. The Bavarian Bierkeller bar will have long bench seating and steins served by waiting staff in traditional dress. The food offering will include a range of German sausages served individually or on sharing plates, and burgers. Drinks options will include a large range of German beer and cider with stein cocktails. Rebecca Moran, operations director, told The Business Desk: “The complex will be a completely new offering for the city centre and the ultimate destination for all types of social occasion.” Burning Night Group has Bierkellers in Liverpool, Leeds, Cardiff, and Manchester and last week submitted a licence for its proposed site in Birmingham.

Strongbow named official partner of Team GB: Heineken’s cider brand Strongbow has been named official partner of Team GB for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Heineken has signed an exclusive agreement with the British Olympic Association (BOA) and, building on the feel-good factor from London 2012, aims to “unify the nation to support Team GB” via a “Supporting the Supporters” campaign. The sponsorship will be accompanied by a multimillion-pound media campaign. Heineken marketing director Cindy Tervoort said: “We want to bring back the excitement we all felt during London 2012 and rally the nation to get behind Team GB. The pride and enthusiasm we experienced as a nation in 2012 was incredibly special, and we anticipate our campaign will help the nation feel it once again. We know how important the Olympics are for them, and our marketing will firmly position ourselves as supporting the supporters.” BOA chief executive Bill Sweeney said: “The fans made the difference in 2012 and with the team competing some 6,000 miles away in Rio, we want to make sure they know they have the whole nation behind them all over again. Strongbow’s commitment to supporting the supporters and celebrating success is a great way of embracing that passion for our Olympians.”
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 members and £345 plus VAT for non-members. To book email

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