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Wed 22nd Jun 2016 - Propel Wednesday News Briefing

Story of the Day:

Greene King Tracker – more Britons planning a ‘staycation’ in 2016, drinking out increases: More Britons are expected to take a “staycation” in 2016, with the majority planning to dine and drink out during their trip, according to this month’s Greene King Leisure Tracker. Despite ongoing economic and political uncertainty surrounding Britain’s membership of the European Union, British households are optimistic about their holiday plans for the rest of the year, with 71% of adults expecting to take at least one holiday between now and the end of 2016. Most Britons expect to take a “staycation” during the period, continuing a trend that remains popular post-economic crisis. About 85% of British households expect to take at least one domestic holiday between now and the end of the year, a 3% increase on the same figure captured in 2015. Eating out is the activity people are looking forward to most, with 87% of those taking a “staycation” stating they plan to dine out during their trip. Drinking out was the second most popular activity, with 69% overall saying they will enjoy a drink while on their break. Overall, the average British household spent £207 on out-of-home leisure in May – a £7 (3%) decrease year-on-year but a £2 (1%) increase on the previous month. This is likely to have been impacted by half-term falling in June, and was driven exclusively by an £8, or 10%, fall in other leisure spending, with drinking out once again showing resilience with a small £1 (2%), increase year-on-year and £2 (5%) rise month-on-month. Other leisure’s share decreased by 3% in May compared with the previous month, while eating out’s share decreased by 1%. The impact of the Easter school holidays in April saw households with children reduce spending by £30 (12%) month-on-month, while households without children actually increased spending by £13 (7%). Other leisure spending on outdoor activities, such as live sports and other live events, saw small increases due to the slowly improving weather and the start of festival season. Greene King group marketing director Rob Rees said: “On the eve of a momentous decision for the British public, this month’s Greene King Leisure Spend Tracker suggests many households are looking forward to enjoying some well-earned holidays post referendum. Meanwhile, total leisure spending in May has fallen compared with the same period last year, driven mostly by a sizeable reduction in spending on other leisure activities.”

Industry News:

Beer sales up 80% at pubs showing England versus Slovakia match: Pubs showing the England and Slovakia game on Monday night saw an 80% uplift in beer sales versus the same day last year, according to beer quality expert Vianet. The company has partnered with Propel to dig deeper into the impact sporting events have on sales. Analysis by Vianet showed average beer volume on the day was 178.72 pints – an increase in volume on the same day last year of almost 80 pints (79.62 pints). This was a slightly lower growth in percentage terms than the first game of 108% and the lowest uplift in terms of value of the three games to date. This translated into a value per pub showing Euro 2016 above normal trade (at £3.50 per pint) of £278.67 (versus £626.08 for the first game, which was on a Saturday). If this latest performance was replicated in further matches and England were to reach the final, the tournament would deliver at least £3,371 on average per pub. Peak trading time was between 8pm and 9pm with the run rate prior to the match averaging 8.4 pints. The run rate “in match” averaged 30.71 pints and the run rate post-match averaged 9.65 pints. Vianet said while this was a great performance for the day as could perhaps be expected, there was the question of whether trade has just moved from other days – week one showed evidence of this, however overall volumes were still up in the first week. The sample comprised more than 3,000 pubs showing the football, versus more than 3,000 non-sport focused pubs.

Bar and Nightclub Conference open for bookings, John Leslie to present: This year’s Bar and Nightclub Conference, organised by the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) and Propel, is now open for bookings. It takes place on Tuesday, 11 October at Bafta, Piccadilly, and follows the successful launch of the event last year. It will be followed by the Dusk ’til Dawn Awards for bar and nightclub operators at Cafe de Paris in the evening. John Leslie, chief executive of Intertain, will talk about evolving the Walkabout brand and opening new sites, working with new comedy partner Comedy Loft, the regulatory regime, its new Birmingham concept 6 on Broad Street, and the company’s relationship with backer Better Capital. ALMR chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “The conference will highlight the success being achieved by many of our best operators in the late-night segment alongside the challenges the sector faces.” Paul Charity, managing director of Propel, added: “Last year’s event was a big hit, highlighting the importance of bar and nightclub culture in creating a vibrant evening environment in the UK’s town and cities. This year’s event will also feature a host of the UK’s best operators – and offer strategic insights into the key drivers affecting the market.” Tickets are priced at £95 for operators who are ALMR members and £145 for non-ALMR members – there is a £20 early-bird discount for operators booking in June. Supplier tickets are £145 for ALMR supplier members and £195 for suppliers who are not ALMR members. Tickets can be booked by emailing Jo Charity at

Next premium recording to feature Chris Gerard: The next audio recording sent to Propel Premium subscribers next week will feature gastro-pub operator Chris Gerard, who presented at the recent Brands Masterclass. Gerard sets out how he set about moving his burger offer upmarket by improving quality and how his d'Arry’s brand has evolved in the competitive Cambridge market. Propel Premium subscribers also receive 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. 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 Anne Steele on

Meatcure co-founder – ‘we never considered traditional lending because banks are on their backsides’: The co-founder of gourmet burger restaurant company Meatcure, which is running a £350,000 crowdfunding campaign, said it never considered traditional lending because the “banks are on their backsides”. Rob Martyniak and business partner Paul Rigby have turned to Seedrs to raise the money to open a further five restaurants and are offering an 8.56% equity stake in return for the investment. So far, 70 investors have pledged £158,305 with 52 days remaining. Martyniak told The Business Desk: “Why would we try for traditional lending? The banks are on their backsides and although they talk the talk, they’re not really willing to invest in small businesses. We wanted to share our success with our customers. They’re the ones that have supported us and demand we grow. This way we give them the opportunity to join our family and become part of the Meatcure story.” Meatcure opened its first restaurant in Market Harborough, Leicestershire, in 2014, and has since launched sites in Leicester and Leamington Spa. Its fourth will open in Bedford in the next few weeks, while a fifth site has been secured in Hinckley. All the venues to date have been completely funded from the success of the first three restaurants. The duo said they were sticking to the Midlands and surrounding areas as part of their latest expansion plan. Martyniak added: “There are some impressively profitable untapped market towns out there literally crying out for great restaurants to hang out in and food to eat with killer soundtracks.”

Liverpool Football Club joins BHA: The British Hospitality Association (BHA) has announced Liverpool Football Club has become a member of the association. When the world-famous Anfield Stadium isn’t used for football matches, it has long been a hospitality venue, playing host to a busy calendar of corporate events and ceremonies every year as well as being a location of choice for special parties from prom nights to weddings. Whether a football fan or not, Anfield’s facilities always prove a major draw. BHA chief executive Ufi Ibrahim said: “We’re thrilled to welcome Liverpool FC to the BHA, they are our very first football club member and we are proud that one of the finest clubs in the world has seen the benefits BHA membership can bring. Sporting venues are becoming an increasingly significant part of the hospitality scene, combining as they do spectacular venues and great hospitality to provide unforgettable client experiences.”

Company News:

Muriel’s Kitchen to enter grab-and-go-market with brand variant: Casual dining brand Muriel’s Kitchen, which has sites in Richmond, Soho and South Kensington, is to enter the grab-and-go market with its first brand extension – MK by Muriel’s Kitchen. Opening in Putney High Street next month, MK by Muriel’s Kitchen is a quick service, licensed variation of the brand offering a range of freshly prepared healthy dishes, available to take away from breakfast to dinner, at an affordable price. The curated menu focuses on quality, premium and seasonal ingredients, prepared daily using authentic recipes. Breakfast will include tartlets made with Clarence Court eggs; a selection of fresh pastries; breakfast pots such as coconut, chia and quinoa as well as Bircher muesli. For lunch and dinner, expect a range of seasonally changing soups, healthy protein pots, sandwiches and fresh salads. Signature dishes will include Muriel’s beef lasagne, Nana’s recipe fish pie, and handmade scotch eggs. Average spend per head for lunch is expected to be £6.50. Sam Miller, co-founder of Muriel’s Kitchen, said: “We’re delighted to be opening our first grab-and-go outlet in Putney, offering customers home-cooked, healthy and seasonal cuisine to take away. MK by Muriel’s Kitchen will aim to be a community hub, delivering something for everyone from healthy to indulgent items throughout the day. We have ambitious plans to open a further five sites by 2017.” The 1,000 square foot site will be stylistically similar to the restaurants with shelved units, blackboards, Mosaic Del Sur tiled flooring and a marble serving counter. Oak counters will run alongside the windows providing 15 covers, with a further two benches located outside. Muriel’s Kitchen was founded in 2011 by husband and wife team Sam and Charlotte Miller. Charlotte was inspired by her desire to recreate the food of her late grandmother Muriel and what came out of her 1950s kitchen. The ethos behind the concept was to take inspiration from classically British family plates and give them a modern twist. They devised a menu serving a variety of dishes, including healthy, vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options using only the best British ingredients.

Town and Country Inns to start expanding Fleet Street Kitchen concept with Apres conversion in Sutton Coldfield: Town and Country Inns is to start expansion of its steakhouse restaurant concept Fleet Street Kitchen by converting its Apres site in Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands. The company has shut the venue at the Mere Green development and it will now be refurbished ahead of reopening in about a month’s time. Fleet Street Kitchen, which was launched in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter in 2012, offers a menu that features a range of steaks as well as other dishes including the Big Fat Burger with hand-cut chips and slaw. A spokeswoman told the Sutton Coldfield Observer: “Apres has closed for a refurbishment and will reopen as a Fleet Street Kitchen restaurant in about a month. We will still have drinks but it will mainly be about food, with a little bar with mainly wine and cocktails.” Earlier this year, Town and Country Inns revealed it would start expanding Fleet Street Kitchen. As well as the Sutton Coldfield site, it plans to open restaurants in Leamington Spa and Lincoln this year.

Greene King opens 40th Farmhouse Inns site, in Stoke: Greene King has opened its 40th Farmhouse Inns site, in Stoke. The company has launched the £3m Brindley Farm pub in Festival Park, creating 80 jobs. It features a carvery, ice cream parlour and “Cakeaway” service, as well as offering locally brewed ales. The pub’s standard menu runs from 11am until 10pm, while the carvery is open from 11.30am to 9pm each day. Oatcakes and breakfasts are served from 8am until 11am. General manager Sean Kelley told the Stoke Sentinel: “It has been a long journey since we began in April but we’re delighted to be finally open. This is the 40th pub to open with the Farmhouse Inns brand and the first one in the Stoke-on-Trent area. Even though we are a branded restaurant we wanted to embrace the locality so, of course, we are proud to be serving oatcakes.” Farmhouse Inns is an evolution of the 12-strong Cloverleaf carvery business Greene King acquired in 2011 for £55.8m. The company said in December it expected to expand the brand to between 55 and 75 sites.

Brasserie Blanc re-launches Bristol site, bringing end to 20-month rebranding programme: Brasserie Blanc, the French restaurant group led by Raymond Blanc, has re-launched its Bristol venue, the 17th and final site to be transformed during the company’s 20-month rebranding project. The 4,500 square foot venue in the Cabot Circus shopping centre features a 110-cover main brasserie, including a 48-cover mezzanine level. The former grade I-listed Friary Building also houses a bar lounge, as well as an external bar and lounge and dining for up to 148 guests in the Quakers Friars square outside. The venue also features a private dining room for up to 40 guests – the Calefactory – and two event spaces – Bakers Hall (40 to 70 guests) and Cutlers Hall (70 to 120 guests). In a nod to the building’s history, design features include bespoke pew tables and seating. Chief executive Mark Derry said: “We began this project with the aim of refreshing the Brasserie Blanc brand, ensuring the decor complements our menu of honest French cooking. We’ve received fantastic feedback for all our other refurbished brasseries so far and we are excited to reveal our 17th and final stage!”

Bristol-based pop-up restaurant and events company The Chocolate Bear Kitchen passes 50% mark in crowdfunding campaign: Bristol-based pop-up restaurant and events company The Chocolate Bear Kitchen, which provides menus for all diets, has passed the 50% mark in its £35,000 fund-raise on crowdfunding platform Crowdcube to begin expansion. The company, founded by James Gordon, is offering a 12.28% equity stake in return for the investment. So far, 65 investors have pledged £20,110 with nine days remaining. The largest investment to date is £6,000. The pitch states: “With as many as one in five of the UK population having a food intolerance and 12% of Britons following a vegan or vegetarian diet, it’s so difficult to find a place to eat where everybody gets a choice to eat what they want. Our menu is 100% gluten and refined sugar-free and about half of our menu is vegan. Building on our success as a pop-up, we see an eventual commercial preparation site in Bristol followed by expansion across the UK. This investment is planned for us to increase our staffing, improve our marketing strategy and acquire equipment, meaning we will no longer have to pay rental fees and will have the capacity to host even more pop-up events. There is not a restaurant or pop-up company we know of in our local Bristol area that offers a 100% gluten-free menu with a mix of vegan, vegetarian and meat dishes.”

Kelis teams up with Le Bun for pop-up restaurant in Soho: Singer turned cookbook author Kelis will host a pop-up restaurant in London this July as she takes the helm at Le Bun for four nights. The burger restaurant has partnered with the singer, known for her hit Milkshake, to transform Soho’s Leicester House site into a South American-style arepa bun spot on July 6, 7, 13 and 14. Following the pop-up, Kelis’ menu will then transfer to the Standon Calling festival, where she is performing and Le Bun is serving food. The singer, who trained in cooking at the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu school, told the Evening Standard: “I’ve been looking forward to bringing my cooking to London for years. This July I’m over for lots of festivals and it’s the perfect time to finally make this pop-up restaurant dream a reality. The Le Bun guys are the perfect partners and I can’t wait for everyone to have a taste.”

Shoryu Ramen to open fifth London site in Covent Garden next month: Shoryu Ramen Restaurant Group, which specialises in Kyushu cuisine from the southernmost of Japan’s main islands, will launch its fifth London site in Covent Garden next month. The company is opening the venue in Great Queen Street, which will feature a bar and dining area decorated with white tiles and brickwork, on Tuesday, 5 July, reports The Handbook. The menu will include the brand’s signature Hakata tonkotsu ramen, Shoryu buns as well as Gekkeikan Royal Warrant sake and Japanese beers. Formed in 2012, Shoryu Ramen’s other London venues are in Soho, Carnaby, Regent Street and Liverpool Street. The company is also opening its first restaurant outside the capital this summer, in Manchester.

Be At One to open £750,000 site in Nottingham in September: Cocktail bar brand Be At One will open a £750,000 site in Nottingham in September. The company is transforming the former Nirvana nightclub in Victoria Street, which closed earlier this year, creating 15 jobs. It will be the company’s 33rd site as it continues its expansion following the opening of a bar in Birmingham with another in Liverpool due to launch this summer. Co-founder Steve Locke told the Nottingham Post: “Nottingham is great and the Hockley area in particular is fantastic. It’s a really buzzing area but there’s nothing like Be At One there at the moment. In a lot of ways it’s like Birmingham and Manchester as a city, with such a broad range of brands and products. The likes of Five Guys and Red’s True Barbecue are coming to Nottingham as it is one of the first places companies go to when they move out of London.” Be At One, which was founded by Locke, Leigh Miller and Rhys Oldfield in London in 1998, offers a range of more than 150 cocktails. It aims to ensure customers are met with eye contact by a bartender within five seconds, drinks are made in one minute, and change for payment is given in 30 seconds.

New bistro-style concept opens in Stone: A new bistro-style concept has opened in Stone, Staffordshire. Brian Stephenson and Sue Hodgkinson have launched Let’s See in Stafford Street on the site of former Italian restaurant La Dolce Vita, creating 11 jobs. They have invested £100,000 converting the canal-side building, with the menu offering a range of modern dishes from the “traditional to Asian fusion”. It also serves a range of craft beers, wines and cocktails. Stephenson told the Staffordshire Newsletter: “We know Stone is a great location for restaurants and eateries. I was brought up in Stafford so I’m familiar with the area. We’d been looking for the right location for about two years.”

Roosters Piri Piri gets go-ahead to open Exeter city centre site, first venue in south west: Roosters Piri Piri, which operates more than 30 restaurants, mainly in the south of England, has been given the go-ahead to open its latest restaurant and takeaway in Exeter. The venue in Sidwell Street, previously occupied by Korona Deli, is by far the furthest west for the company, with the closest Roosters branch being in Bournemouth. Roosters Piri Piri, founded by Khalid Mirza in 2003, serves halal fried chicken and specialises in “healthy street food from around the world”. It currently has 32 outlets but is planning expansion. On its website, the company states: “Roosters Piri Piri is on a restaurant roll-out strategy and has a requirement for A3 or A5 properties. We are looking for sites in major cities and towns throughout the UK. Ideally properties will be about 1,000 square feet upwards on the ground floor, with associated ancillary space. Leasehold, freehold and future developments will be considered as well as existing businesses.”

Local multi-site operator buys popular Durham pub: Agent Fleurets has sold the New Inn in Durham to local multi-site operator Andrew Ward for an undisclosed sum. Peter Bartley, operations director of agent Bradley Hall, which acted on behalf of the buyer, said: “This is a very prominent and well-known property. It is a popular public house for students and local residents alike and provides a sound investment for my client. It adds to the owner’s growing pub portfolio that includes four others in Durham, including The Elm Tree, The Angel and The John Duck in the centre of town.” Simon Hall, of Fleurets, which handled the sale, said: “The New Inn is a super pub directly opposite the university. We were able to market it confidentially but still received considerable interest, with the first offers coming in within hours of going to the market. The final deal was agreed following a best and final offers process, and the sale was concluded with the minimum of fuss.”

Cardiff-based multi-siters acquire former TCG site The Philharmonic: Cardiff-based multi-site operators Craig Davies and Simon Little have acquired the lease of the former Tattershall Castle Group (TCG) site The Philharmonic. The duo are transforming the late-night venue in the city centre, which spans more than 17,000 square feet, into a “stylish new eaterie and bar” that is due to open in December. They will spend about £750,000 restoring and remodelling the grade II-listed building in St Mary Street into one large integrated venue, rather than four separate ones as it had been in the past. Davies told Wales Online: “It is such a beautiful building and is a venue which is synonymous with Cardiff and its nightlife. Generations of clubbers and music lovers have cherished this bar and we can’t wait to bring it back to life later this year. We have big plans for the refurbishment and want to keep as many of the original Victorian features as possible.” Davies and Little run two other independent city centre venues – Brewhouse, the live music venue situated in the Brewery Quarter, and Retro in Mill Lane. The Philharmonic was sold by the joint administrators of TCG to property investment company Curzon Real Estate for an undisclosed figure in excess of the £650,000 asking price in March.

Cure & Cut deli concept coming to Covent Garden: New deli concept Cure & Cut will launch in Covent Garden next month, specialising in home-smoked pastrami, freshly made sandwiches and seasonal salads. The concept is named after the process of turning beef brisket into pastrami, and chefs at the venue in Monmouth Street will make a lot of produce on-site – curing, spicing and smoking ethically sourced meats and brewing weekly-changing cordials. Cure & Cut is a collaboration between restaurateur Jerome Armit and chef Rufus Wickham. Open daily from 8am to 9pm, the menu will comprise breakfast, salads, sandwiches and desserts. Trademark sandwiches include pastrami on rye (home-smoked, pepper-cured Aberdeen Angus pastrami with pickles and Tewkesbury mustard on honey rye). Salads will be available in three sizes with customers able to order additional toppings. The breakfast menu will feature a signature smoked bacon and cinnamon roll and desserts will include blueberry cheesecake, while craft beer, organic wine and freshly pressed juice will also be on offer. The 30-cover venue will be split across two floors and feature street-level counter seating and tables in the basement. Cure & Cut will also offer grab-and-go options and a local delivery service.

Thai Leisure Group eyes rooftop restaurant for Chaophraya brand at Newcastle city centre dining quarter: Thai Leisure Group has applied for a licence to operate a venue for its high-end Chaophraya brand at Intu Eldon Square’s £25m catering development in Newcastle city centre. In a move that could be signed-off next week, Chaophraya would take over a rooftop unit forming the focal point of the new Grey’s Quarter dining zone. The 5,500 square foot restaurant would feature a gin bar and overlook Grey’s Monument. It would be one of 20 new eateries at Grey’s Quarter when it opens this autumn, Chronicle Live reports. Thai Leisure Group has applied for a premises licence for the venue, with the application due to go before a city council licensing committee next Tuesday (28 June). The company is asking for permission to serve alcohol from 10am until midnight every day. Steps would be taken to ensure procedures were in place to prevent crime and disorder and ensure public safety, such as installing a CCTV system and employing SIA-registered door staff at the premises. Customers would be able to access the restaurant via a scenic lift to the rooftop. Other brands due to open venues at Grey’s Quarter include The Restaurant Group-owned Chiquito and Frankie & Benny’s, Tapas Revolution, Handmade Burger Co, TGI Fridays, Ed’s Diner, The Alchemist, Casual Dining Group-owned Bella Italia and Azzurri Group-owned ASK Italian.

Scotland-based operator Mambo Bars and Clubs to bring Latino brand El Bario to London: Scotland-based operator Mambo Bars and Clubs is to bring its Latino brand El Bario to London. The company is launching the venue in Lewisham – the third for the brand and its first outside Scotland. It will open the bar in High Street on Friday, 8 July, reports Brockley Central blogspot. The company stated: “El Barrio is a Latino bar and club with a unique colourful, tropical and Caribbean style, which started in Edinburgh in 2000, mixing Latin music, chart and party anthems for all people. The home of mojitos and fiesta will keep the Latin and Caribbean flavours seven days a week bringing you salsa lessons, bands and London’s top latin DJs playing Monday to Sunday. Our signature design will have a large floor, VIP seating areas and a magnificent roof terrace.” Mambo Bars and Clubs operates El Bario sites in Edinburgh and Glasgow as well as The Shack nightclub in the Scottish capital.

My Thai to open Manchester restaurant, fifth site and first outside Yorkshire: Established Yorkshire restaurant brand My Thai is set to launch its fifth site and first outside the county. The company, which was founded in Bradford and has two further sites in Leeds and another in York, is set to open its first Manchester branch in John Dalton Street soon, according to its Twitter feed. Diners can look forward to a range of Bangkok-style street food to eat in or take away, with main courses priced around £6.50. The new restaurant will open on the site of Splendid Kitchen – formerly the Splendid Sausage Company – which shut last week, blaming the ongoing Metrolink works nearby for having “blighted” the business, the Manchester Evening News reports. 

100 Restaurant Group opens Islington venue, second London site: Pan-Asian food specialists 100 Restaurant Group, which operates 100 Hoxton in Shoreditch, has opened its second restaurant and bar, this time in Islington. The new venue – 100 Islington – is on the former site of Zilouf’s bar in Upper Street. The kitchen is led by head chef Francis Puyat, with the menu featuring sharing plates with Asian and Middle-Eastern flavours, spices and ingredients. Dishes include courgette and halloumi fritter with preserved lemon yogurt; Singapore soft shell chilli crab; chargrilled lamb belly with aubergine, burnt goats cheese, pine nuts, green tahini and harissa; chilli fried rice with chilli prawn sambal, fried egg and Chinese sausage; and chilli chocolate ganache with spiced nut crumb and chocolate mousse. £5 lunch boxes will also be on offer at the all-day venue as well as a large bar featuring an extensive cocktail list, Hot Dinners reports.

Patisserie Valerie to open its first venue in Doncaster next month: Patisserie Valerie, the company that has sector investor Luke Johnson as executive chairman, will open its first venue in Doncaster next month, at Frenchgate Shopping Centre. The company has taken a 1,900 square foot unit, with the 50-cover site due to open in July. Patisserie Valerie chief executive Paul May said: “We’re excited to open our first cafe in Doncaster and continue to grow our presence in the Yorkshire area. Frenchgate provides an excellent location for us and we hope the people of Doncaster enjoy the new store.” Paul Devlin, of Frenchgate Limited Partnership, added: “The signing of the first Patisserie Valerie in Doncaster further reinforces our appeal and Frenchgate’s status as a quality regional retail and leisure destination.” Patisserie Valerie, launched in 1926 in Soho, London, by Belgian-born Madame Valerie, has about 130 sites throughout the UK. Last month, parent company Patisserie Holdings reported revenues of £35.0m, an increase of £6.1m or 21.1%, for the six months ended 31 March for the brand.

Revolution opens ninth Revolución de Cuba site, eyes tenth: Revolution Bars Group has revealed more details about its latest site opening, a 9,000 square foot Revolución de Cuba in Liverpool. Following a £1.7m investment, the new venue is located in the iconic Albert Docks area of the city. The new Revolución de Cuba is situated in a listed warehouse, which is part of Albert Docks’ designated World Heritage Site. This presented an interesting challenge to the operator’s design team to create a modern, premium bar and dining experience while retaining the features and atmosphere of the original site. The new Revolución de Cuba site is spread over two floors, with a dedicated Havana Bar and outdoor dining area, at a combined size of 9,000 square feet. The ground floor has more than 3,100 square feet available to customers, with an additional 3,500 square feet on the first floor, and 1,000 square feet in the external dining area. Myles Doran, trading director of Revolución de Cuba, said: “We are thrilled to have opened our latest Revolución de Cuba site, which we are sure will build on the success of recent openings in Nottingham, Leeds and Milton Keynes. It’s a fantastic venue located in the iconic Albert Docks, and we are delighted to be part of the city’s famous skyline. Liverpool has incredible hospitality culture but we believe we are bringing something a little bit different to the city. Following on from Liverpool, our expansion plan of the Revolución de Cuba brand continues apace, with our tenth site due to open in Reading in October.”

200 Degrees to launch second Nottingham coffee shop: Nottingham-based specialist coffee roaster and retailer 200 Degrees will open its second coffee shop in the city today (Wednesday, 22 June). The 45-seater venue in Gresham Parade, Carrington Street, is only a 30-second walk from Nottingham railway station and will focus on “adding new takeaway ideas for busy commuters”, while bringing familiar elements from the company’s award-winning debut shop in Flying Horse Walk. 200 degrees co-owner Tom Vincent said: “It’s great to get open and be part of the vibrant redevelopment of this important area in the city. Being pretty much next to the station means there is a need to be properly focused on service for people on the go. We will be open at 6.30am with some new breakfast ideas and a slicker takeaway service. Local independent businesses are thriving and we can’t wait to get our team of highly trained baristas serving coffee roasted here in Nottingham. We’ve got more shops under development and will be opening under the Grand Hotel in Colmore Row, Birmingham, at the end of July.” Vincent set up 200 Degrees in 2012 with friend Rob Darby. The company roasts its own beans, which it supplies to cafes and restaurants around the UK, as well as supplying equipment such as commercial espresso machines.

Greene King and PizzaExpress training company set for management buyout: Lifetime Training, a Bristol-headquartered company which provides training for Greene King and PizzaExpress among others, is set to be bought by its management in a deal backed by private equity firm Silverfleet Capital. Lifetime Training was founded in 1995 by Heather Frankham and provides apprenticeship and recruitment services, as well as self-funded and bespoke training courses. According to its most recent accounts, the company reported a pre-tax profit of £8.8m on turnover of £43.4m in the financial year to 31 July 2015. Lifetime Training chief executive Alex Khan said: “As the market continues to evolve there are exciting opportunities ahead for Lifetime Training. With the experience, strategic direction and active support of the Silverfleet Capital team, we look forward to entering a new phase, which will see us growing our proposition and extending our services and the value we offer to our clients.” Other Lifetime Training clients include Mitchells & Butlers, and Marston’s. Khan said the investment from Silverfleet would enable Lifetime Training to accelerate its organic growth and pursue selected bolt-on acquisitions to expand its service offering to new and existing clients.

Turtle Bay opens Staines restaurant: Caribbean restaurant Turtle Bay has continued its rapid expansion by opening a site in Staines, Surrey. The new venue in High Street features a floating island bar, Caribbean booths and repurposed shipping containers, one of which houses the open kitchen “jerk shack”. The opening of the 228-cover, £800,000 restaurant has created more than 50 jobs, Get Surrey reports. Signature dishes include jerk chicken, jerk prawns, Turtle Bay patties, trini doubles and curried goat. The central bar and indoor veranda-style drinking spaces mean people can order drinks without having to dine. On launch day, customers were given a bill for their drinks only and asked to leave whatever they felt their food was worth. All money raised from the “pay as you feel” donations were matched by Turtle Bay, with the total donated to the Teenage Cancer Trust charity. The company, which is backed by Piper Private Equity, was formed by Las Iguanas co-founder Ajith Jaya-Wickrema in 2010 and has 29 sites across the UK.

New dessert and ice cream cafe concept set to open in Derby next month: A new dessert and ice cream cafe concept is set to open in Derby next month. Hassan Khan is launching Diletto in East Street at the Central Hall development, serving ice cream, sundaes and milkshakes. He has signed a ten-year lease on a unit that has a floor space of almost 2,400 square feet in a deal brokered by agent FHP. Khan told the Derby Telegraph: “We’re very excited to open Diletto in Derby city centre, which will be home to delicious ice cream and desserts. We are looking forward to bringing the taste of our products to Derby.” Darran Severn, of FHP, added: “It’s great to see new businesses coming to Derby, and East Street has proved popular due to the high footfall between the Intu Derby shopping centre and the bus station. With fewer opportunities around, it’s only a matter of time until rents begin to increase.” Diletto will join gym franchise Exercise4Less and furnishings store Ponden Home at Central Hall.

The ONE Group to open first licensed agreement site next month with STK launch in Ibiza: The ONE Group will open its first licensed agreement site when it brings its international steak restaurant brand STK to Ibiza next month. STK Ibiza, based in the Ibiza Corso Hotel & Spa at Marina Botafoch in Ibiza Town, will be split over two floors, catering for 250 guests. It will have two private dining rooms, a main lounge and an ocean view terrace. In addition, the venue will provide a dedicated entrance for VIPs. Diners can expect STK’s signature 28-day custom-aged USDA beef, with nine cuts available as well as a range of side dishes and sauces. STK Ibiza will also feature a Raw Bar offering a variety of seafood, including Norwegian king crab, Japanese oyster shooters and cobia ceviche, alongside a selection of vegetarian and vegan choices. There will also be an extensive drinks and cocktail menu, while the venue will have a series of programmed entertainment, live acts and guest DJs. STK Ibiza also marks The ONE Group’s first licence agreement. Terms of the agreement include a one-time licence fee as well as ongoing royalties based on sales from the restaurant. The ONE Group is planning further STK openings throughout Europe and the US, including Edinburgh and Miami.

Celebrity chef Andrew Nutter opens £1m gastro-pub in Greater Manchester village: Celebrity chef Andrew Nutter has opened a £1m gastro-pub in the village of Birtle in Greater Manchester. Nutter has transformed the former Bird I’th Hand pub, which has been empty for years, into The Bird. The venue in Bury and Rochdale Old Road features seating for 100 upstairs in the area that used to be the landlady’s lodgings, with views across Ashworth Moor, and seating downstairs for 40 plus an additional outside terrace. The menu offers traditional British dishes with a hint of humble origins, such as corned beef, pickled shallots, hash fritters and cheese and onion pie. There is also a selection of local ales. Nutter, who owns fine dining restaurant Nutters in nearby Norden, told the Manchester Evening News: “It’s gone from a real ugly duckling to the way it is now. To watch it grow and evolve with the help of a team of local contractors is such a credit to everyone involved.”

Dip & Flip launches Brixton restaurant, fourth south London site: Dip & Flip, the roast meat sandwich specialists led by Tim Lees, has opened its fourth south London site, this time in Brixton. The new venue in Atlantic Road, on the site formerly occupied by Kaff, has a similar menu to the company’s other sites – in Battersea, Tooting and Wimbledon – but with a few new additions, including the brand’s first cocktail list. The Dip & Flip concept involves shoulder of lamb, topside of beef or chicken served in a freshly baked bread roll with a choice of mint, horseradish cream or garlic lemon mayo sauces. Diners can opt for one, two or all three meats, with either just the meat dipped in gravy or both the meat and roll. The Brixton site also offers the Dip & Flip burger (cheeseburger with either beef or lamb dipped in gravy, plus ketchup, mustard, pickles and slaw), as well as regular burgers, patty melts, a vegetarian sandwich and salads. The venue also offers four draught beers and shakes. Dip & Flip Brixton is open from midday until late.

CH&Co appoints Andrew Atkinson as head of procurement: CH&Co Group has appointed Andrew Atkinson as head of procurement to help deliver strong, effective purchasing support to the group’s businesses and clients as it continues to grow. He joins CH&Co Group from UK Shared Business Services, where he provided procurement functions on behalf of government departments and partnership organisations. Jon Williams, group purchasing director for CH&Co Group, said: “We’re thrilled to welcome Andrew to the procurement team. He has exceptional experience in a diverse range of procurement projects and capabilities that will be invaluable to the team and the business. His proven skills in leadership, strategic planning, operational delivery, supply chain rationalisation and managing client relationships, to name a few, plus his desire to always enable access to the right commodity at the right price will ensure the CH&Co Group procurement function continues to effectively underpin the business.”

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