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Wed 6th Jul 2016 - Propel Wednesday News Briefing

Story of the Day:

Pay differentials double cost of NLW to hospitality industry to £700m: Pay differentials have led to the cost of the National Living Wage (NLW) to the hospitality industry almost doubling original expectations – at £700m, according to new research. Analysis by S4Labour, the online labour-scheduling management system from Catton Hospitality, has showed in the three months following the implementation of the NLW, the average hourly pay rate for under-25s has already risen by 5p an hour, while the average pay rate for those who were already above the NLW has increased by 23p per hour. The research, which was calculated from data from more than 20,000 staff, has almost doubled the predicted legislative cost increase of £372m. The cost of the increase in wages is now £700m, which was down to the following: the pay differentials (the extra pay for those rewarded for additional skills or responsibility) for those above the NLW are partly maintained; some operators choosing to pay the NLW for some members of staff even though not required by law; and wages being increased for the better team members who are under-25. Catton Hospitality chief executive Alastair Scott said: “When we did our original calculations on the effect of the NLW we did not try to assess the impact of pay differentials. Our current research and analysis shows that even in the first three months since the introduction of the NLW, pay differentials have had as much of an impact as the NLW itself. We would expect those pay differentials to increase over time and also for some impact to take place for salaried staff, which we have not assessed at present. Productivity is clearly a key focus for the UK economy and the cost of the NLW requires the hospitality industry to give this discipline increasing focus. The priority for all operators is to create a happy, hard-working, service-focused team and deployment is a key tool in this armoury.”

Industry News:

Propel partners insights firm Horizons for Casual Dining Study Tour: Propel is partnering with insights firm Horizons for the first Casual Dining Study Tour. The “food of the world” study tour takes place on Wednesday, 7 September and features a full-day tour, on foot, around Shoreditch and Spitalfields sampling the casual dining scene in an area packed with innovation. The tour, which runs from 10am to 4pm, will visit Dishoom (Bombay-style street food with vintage decor and upscale touches), Porky’s BBQ (a taste of Memphis with fuss-free food and authentic slow-cooked meat), GB Pizza Co (wood-fired pizzas topped with seasonal British ingredients served in a cool, casual environment), The Real Greek (healthy seasonal menus and meze sharing platters), Leon (Mediterranean flavours packed with variety and natural healthiness), Wahaca (Mexican market eating from little treats to long-marinated pork and zingy salsa), Byron (better burgers – a simple thing done well), The Breakfast Club (traditional dishes and unusual offerings), Galvin Brothers’ HOP (craft beer, classic pub dishes and premium hotdogs), and Comptoir Libanais (wholesome, healthy Lebanese food in a souk-like setting). Tickets are £345 plus VAT for ALMR members and £395 plus VAT for non-ALMR members. To book your place, call Jo Charity on 01444 810304 or email

Just Eat to begin robot delivery trial: Customers who order takeaway food using Just Eat could soon find their food being delivered by robots following the launch of a ground-breaking trial. The company has partnered with Starship Technologies to trial self-driving delivery robots on the streets of London. Just Eat and Starship Technologies’ testing programme is expected to begin within the next few months and further details of the restaurants taking part in the trial will be announced shortly. Starship Technologies, established in 2014 by the co-founders of Skype, has developed the robots to deliver food, packages and goods to consumers within a short radius of their point of origin. Customers will be sent a secure code to access their meals from the robots once they arrive. Fernando Fanton, chief product and technology officer at Just Eat, said: “This is another example of how we are pushing technology boundaries to provide our customers and restaurant partners with more choice and flexibility. We’ve always been committed to offering our customers new ways to order and pay for their food and now we’re right at the heart of a new way of delivering food, which is as exciting for us as it will be for those who find a robot on their doorstep.” The robots are designed to drive autonomously while being monitored by human operators in control centres who can take over at any time. Introduced to European and US cities since the end of last year, the robots have already driven close to 5,000 miles and met more than 400,000 people without a single accident, using cameras, sensors and other technology to navigate their way through urban streets. The trials announced today come as Just Eat is preparing to enhance the customer experience further by launching an industry-first, group-ordering experience on Apple TV, and its first smart TV app, initially with Amazon Fire TV.

Premium ready meal company using recipes from restaurants and chefs launches £100,000 crowdfunding campaign: Crowd Cook, which produces premium ready meals using recipes from restaurants and chefs, has launched a £100,000 fund-raise on crowdfunding platform Crowdcube to complete its commercial kitchen and establish online channel sales. The company, founded by Richard Counsell and with Michelin-starred Josh Eggleton as head chef, is offering a 20% equity stake in return for the investment. The pitch states: “We’re based on a family farm in Somerset and produce premium ‘ready meals’ using recipes licensed from well-known local restaurants and popular food bloggers. Our recipe for success is simple. For chefs, we create a new revenue stream and extend their brand to a much wider audience. For consumers, Crowd Cook means easy to cook, delicious meals designed by chefs at local restaurants they already know and love. Finally, UK retailers can sell an innovative new local brand to local consumers. We are aiming for more than 50 local and regional stockists in the next 12 months. Anyone in mainland UK will be able to visit the website and buy meals made with recipes from their favourite restaurants. They pay with a card or Paypal and we deliver to their home in insulated boxes overnight, using couriers. We will also have brand ambassadors. These are local mums and others looking to earn extra money whilst working flexibly from home. They can generate orders locally, via their social network and fundraisers. They will earn 15 to 20% commission from every sale, with goods shipped direct to customers. The seed investment will enable us to complete the commercial kitchen, begin sales to retailers and direct to consumers online, and continue to sign up more of the UK’s best restaurants to Crowd Cook.”

Kent hotel reports post-Brexit surge in overseas booking enquiries: Owner James Thomas said there had been a surge in overseas booking enquiries at the Royal Harbour Hotel in Ramsgate, Kent, following the EU referendum result. He said that within days of the Brexit vote, the 27-room boutique hotel in Nelson Crescent, which overlooks Ramsgate harbour, had been inundated with enquiries from overseas visitors attracted by a fall in the value of sterling. Thomas said: “We’ve always enjoyed a good number of guests from abroad, but have experienced nothing like this before. We are also taking bookings for later in the year from Brits to enjoy a ‘staycation’ rather than travelling abroad for a European city break. If repeated around the country, this tendency is good news indeed for local businesses and the UK economy as a whole.” Thomas added that the surge in bookings revealed how price-sensitive the tourist market is and claimed this justified the industry’s call to lower the UK’s 20% VAT rate on hospitality, which is double that of France.

BHA to launch new good hygiene practice guide on Monday, first update for 20 years: The British Hospitality Association (BHA) will launch its new guide to good hygiene practice in the catering industry on Monday (11 July). The Industry Guide to Good Hygiene Practice: Catering 2016, which is recognised by the Food Standards Agency and Food Standards Scotland, will help businesses serve food that is safe to eat. The 70-page A4 guide is the first update to the guidelines for 20 years. There will also be an interactive app that will allow users to search the guide by topics. The guide includes the requirements of “how to comply with the law”, guidance to achieving the top score in the respective national hygiene ratings scheme, requirements for premises and equipment, food hygiene and safety procedures, and advice on how to comply with the allergen requirements of the Food Information for Consumers Regulation 2014. Recent high-profile food hygiene cases have put the issue of food safety firmly in the spotlight, none more so than that of Mohammed Zaman, who was jailed for six years after being found guilty of manslaughter by gross negligence following the death of a diner from a severe peanut allergy in his restaurant. Professor Lisa Ackerley, BHA food expert and chartered environmental health practitioner, said: “This long-awaited guide provides an essential standard for food safety to help food businesses understand what is required of them, and will help drive improved consistency of enforcement and third-party inspections in the catering industry. Finally we have a level playing field for all.” The guide is available to pre-order in hard copy, as a downloadable PDF, and via the BHA interactive app by registering at the BHA website.

McDonald’s wins EU ‘Mac’ trademark ruling: McDonald’s has won a case that could stop another company using the “Mc” or “Mac” prefix on its food and drink. A European court upheld a 2013 ruling that said the MacCoffee trademark of a Singaporean company, Future Enterprises, was invalid. It said MacCoffee unfairly benefited from the branding of the US burger giant. The move could make it tricky for any other company to use the “Mac” or “Mc” prefix for food or beverages, reports the BBC. The court agreed with McDonald’s that MacCoffee’s branding would be wrongly linked to that of the US burger giant. It said the use of “Mac” by Future Enterprises in its products would “associate that trademark with the McDonald’s ‘Mc’ family of trademarks and mentally establish a link between the trademarks at issue”. The judgment said members of the public could establish a link between the trademarks of the two businesses and could “transfer the image of the McDonald’s trademarks to the goods covered by MacCoffee”. The MacCoffee trademark was registered in 2010 by the European Union Intellectual Property Office but MacDonald’s applied to have the trademark named invalid on the basis of the similarity to its main EU trademark and 12 other trademarks McDonald’s uses in the jurisdiction. MacCoffee still sells its products in some EU cities and the judgment does not prevent it from doing so, but McDonald’s may take steps to prevent it doing so, said Chris McLeod, director at The Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys. He added: “They’ve [successfully] applied to knock it off the register and that opens the door for a claim or request to cease the use of the prefixes.”

Company News:

Oakman Inns and Restaurants reports 5.1% like-for-like sales growth in quarter one: Oakman Inns and Restaurants has reported 5.1% like-for-like sales growth in quarter one of its current financial year. Chief executive Peter Borg-Neal said: “We are very pleased with our like-for-like growth in Q1 of 5.1%. Our moving annual total of like-for-like growth now sits at 6.1%. The rate of growth has been slower in recent weeks at about 2%. We had expected some fall-off as major sporting tournaments are negative for us but we, like most people, didn’t anticipate the result of the EU referendum. I think it would be foolhardy to claim the prevalent uncertainty in the economy is of no concern. Certainly, we believe the economy will slow and there is a chance of recession. However, we have no London exposure and our focus on the prosperous south east provides a degree of reassurance. As ever, when the economy wobbles, the battle for market share tends to intensify. However, we have a robust strategy, excellent people and, importantly, the momentum of strong current performance. We will not be slowing our plans for growth and we have agreed terms for two more sites in Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire. These are in addition to the site we have previously acquired in Amersham. We already have an impressive pipeline to work with and expect to agree deals on some additional sites by the end of the summer. The first Hunky Dory Pub that Oakman will operate for Enterprise Inns will open in Solihull next month and will become the third site in the fledgling Beech House brand.”

Inn Collection Group to open multimillion-pound site in Blyth next week: North east hospitality company Inn Collection Group (ICG), which is backed by private equity firm Kings Park Capital, will open the multimillion-pound The Commissioners Quay Inn in Blyth next Friday (15 July). The pub in Quay Road has been developed by Arch, which has been established by Northumberland County Council as an arms-length development company to drive business growth in the region, as part of the second phase of its investment at Commissioners Quay. The four-storey building features 40 bedrooms across three floors providing sea views while a ground-floor bar and eatery area overlooking the river will provide covers for up to 265 diners inside with a further 100 covers outside and offer informal meeting spaces. The Commissioners Quay Inn will operate on the ICG model of “providing value-for-money accommodation, quality beverages including local real ales, and homemade pub fare served all day, 365 days a year”. ICG chief executive Keith Liddell said: “This is a pinnacle moment for us and a very proud day for Blyth. The Commissioners Quay Inn is a true legacy for the town and will be a mainstay place to eat and drink for people living here and the surrounding areas. The addition of The Commissioners Quay Inn to Blyth fills a gap in the market for much-needed tourist and corporate accommodation and will help draw in vital visitor spend. But just as importantly The Commissioners Quay Inn will provide the community here with an exciting new place to eat, dine and meet with their family, friends and colleagues in a location that is absolutely unique. The inn certainly is a jewel in the crown for the Inn Collection Group.”

M&B converts Crown Carvery site near Grimsby to Sizzling Pizza & Carvery brand: Mitchells & Butlers has converted its Crown Carvery site in Holton-le-Clay, near Grimsby, to its Sizzling Pizza & Carvery brand. The company has reopened the Jug And Bottle, creating 15 additional jobs, following a 14-day refurbishment as part of a review of its estate. The pub, just off the A16, now has an Italian-infused interior, with 16 fresh homemade stonebaked pizzas as well as a carvery on the menu. It also features an unlimited salad bar, burger shack, improved drinks selection, and slush puppy and ice cream machine. Manager Fiona Laws told the Grimsby Telegraph: “We have focused a lot more on being a community hub. People are loving the fresh pizzas and now there is a lot more choice for people to go for.” Mitchells & Butlers currently operates 22 Sizzling Pizza & Carvery sites.

New concept based on the best of British food launches in Carlisle: A new concept based on the best of traditional British food has launched in Carlisle. The Old Bank City Pub and Chop House in Fisher Street features a menu packed with British classics. The former bank building retains some original features, including a vault and safe door. The restaurant’s logo features a pig wearing a top hat, representing a banker. The lunchtime menu includes slow-braised meat, including briskets and belly pork. The dinner menu features steak, fish pie, and ham, egg and chips but cooked in a “21st century way”. Desserts include treacle tart and bakewell tart, while the venue offers craft ales and wines from around the world. The concept is the brainchild of Matt Rayson, who told the News & Star: “It’s casual dining as opposed to special-occasion dining. We are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The toilets are very quirky. The women’s toilets are decorated with vintage Vogue magazines and the men’s with superhero comics.”

Three Michelin-starred chef Eneko Atxa to open Basque restaurant on 1 September with soft launch throughout August: Three Michelin-starred chef Eneko Atxa will open an informal Basque restaurant in One Aldwych hotel, Covent Garden, on 1 September following a soft launch throughout August. During the soft launch period, Eneko at One Aldwych will offer 50% off food. Renowned for his three Michelin-starred Azurmendi restaurant in Bilbao, Spain, Atxa will head in a new direction with his 110-cover restaurant and 35-cover wine bar. The new venue will offer a simpler, more relaxed culinary concept deeply rooted in traditional Basque cooking. Starters will feature the Txerri Boda Pork Festival (Iberico ham and mushroom duxelle in milk bread, suckling pig brioche and pigs trotter bocata). Main courses will include Basque-style hake tempura with red pepper sauce and parsley emulsion, while dressed beetroot tartar will be one of the vegetarian options. The dessert list will offer Atxa’s signature rice pudding lollipops with crisp white and dark chocolate hazelnut coating. The wine bar will feature a carefully crafted Spanish list, including the house Gorka Izagirre Txakoli from Atxa’s own vineyard. A bar menu with a selection of Basque-inspired dishes will also be available.

Pubco’s plans approved to turn Leicester’s oldest house into bar and restaurant: A pubco’s plans to turn Leicester’s oldest house into a bar and restaurant have been approved. 006pubco, which also runs Taps bar in nearby Guildhall Lane, had already agreed a 25-year lease with Leicester City Council for 15th century Wygston’s House in Applegate. Now permission has been approved to change the registered use of the grade II-listed premises from a museum. However, the new venue cannot operate between midnight and 7.30am. Geoff Thornton, 006pubcodirector, told the Leicester Mercury: “Wygston’s House is going to be a family-friendly destination for dinner or a drink, but we also hope to serve breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea and plan to host wedding receptions and private functions. As we did at Taps, our intention is to carry out a sympathetic conversion.” The timber-framed hall at the heart of the building dates to the 1490s.

McGettigan’s makes UK debut with Fulham bar opening: Global bar operator McGettigan’s has opened a venue in Fulham, its first site in the UK. The company bought the leasehold for Irish theme bar Brogan’s from Rainforest Café and Waxy O’Connor operator Glendola Leisure. The three-storey venue in Fulham Broadway offers live music and screens all major sporting events. It also offers a mix of “traditional Irish dishes, pub-grub classics and local favourites”. McGettigan’s opened its first bar in Dublin in the 1960s and now operates 11 venues in Ireland, with others in the Middle East, Singapore and New York. McGettigan’s brands itself “The Modern Irish Experience”, reflecting modern Irish food, culture, sports and music to bring a “real flavour of Ireland to a global market”. McGettigan Group chief executive Dennis McGettigan said: “It’s all about excellent food, beverages, service, entertainment and sport, mixed in with interactive feedback with our customers through social media.”

Venners launches stand-alone consultancy practice: Stocktaking and audit expert Venners has launched a stand-alone consultancy practice in its 120th year of business. The consultancy aims to help companies across the hospitality sector maximise profits and optimise controls with a unique style of “forensic analysis” through its team of ten senior consultants. Venners has been delivering auditing solutions and services in hotels, pubs, restaurants and catering services since 1896, but said economic demands, complex operations, and legislative changes had encouraged businesses to take a more proactive approach to profit and control. The new consultancy scrutinises operations and analyses data to identify opportunities and solutions that result in hospitality businesses being managed more efficiently. Managing director Trevor Heyburn said: “We’ve worked with international hostels, five-star hotels, restaurants, race tracks and major holiday parks as well as many smaller businesses on a project basis. Evidence showed us that even in the largest of organisations, external expertise was essential to maximise the opportunities. Over the fullness of time, Venners Consultancy has come into its own and is now a stand-alone service.”

New York-inspired cocktail bar concept set to open in Plymouth this month: A New York-inspired cocktail bar concept is set to open in Plymouth this month. Heather Crabb and Pete Hancock are launching The Manhattan Cocktail Bar in North Hill on the site of former student haunt Odd Bar. The building is being transformed into a 1930s Manhattan-style speakeasy, with a bespoke seating area, high stools, new bar and outside decking. Crabb said the venue would create a “grown-up and chilled space” for the over-25s market. She told the Plymouth Herald: “We took a spur of the moment trip to New York and just fell in love with it, hence the branding reflects the New York style. We’ll also be offering lighter bites and nibbles in the city’s style. This will be an alternative to the same old places and we won’t be doing the same old cocktails. People will be able to sample drinks they’ve never heard of.”

Easyhotel sells leasehold of restaurant space at forthcoming Liverpool site for £600,000: Easyhotel, the owner, developer, operator and franchisor of “super budget” branded hotels, has disposed of its restaurant space at its forthcoming site in Castle Street, Liverpool, under a 125-year leasehold agreement for £600,000. The space, which is currently a restaurant operated by a third party, comprises the ground floor of the building and portions of the basement. It has been sold to Rocket & Ruby Properties, which owns the restaurant. EasyHotel acquired the freehold of the six-storey office building in April last year for £1.3m. Refurbishment work to convert the upper floors into a 79-bedroom hotel has started, with an expected opening in January 2017. Chief executive Guy Parsons told Alliance News: “Our strategy is focused on the ownership of high-quality hotel assets and this transaction enables us to recycle capital through the disposal of surplus assets, the proceeds of which can be reinvested in future owned hotel projects to maximise shareholder returns.”

Joule’s set to reopen Ludlow’s oldest pub: Shropshire brewer and retailer Joule’s will reopen Ludlow’s oldest pub, The Rose and Crown, on Monday, 18 July following a major refurbishment. Joule’s acquired the pub in its Shropshire heartland in 2013 and a team of craftsmen have carefully restored the venue. Commissioned stained glass windows have also been added as well as the “Mouse Bar”, which has been created using recycled timbers and twinned with the “Mouseroom” at The Brewery pub in Market Drayton. The pub will offer a large selection of real ales and home-cooked food. Joule’s managing director Steve Nuttall said: “We’re proud to have so many craftsmen who contribute to all our pubs and have such joy in their work. Our philosophy is to allow our whole team a great deal of latitude in how they interpret our ideas. Our projects are very much a group effort – we don’t have any designers, each of our tradesmen put their own ideas into the work. I hope people will see the care and research that has gone into this refurbishment.”

Leon site named best airport fast food outlet in world: A Leon site has been named best airport fast food outlet in the world at the international FAB (Food & Beverage) awards. The natural fast food brand’s Heathrow Terminal 2 site saw off competition from fast food stores in airports from Washington DC and Houston to Bangalore, Hong Kong and Sydney to win the prize at the awards, held in Switzerland. Leon managing director John Upton said: “At Leon we want to help everyone to eat and live well. We aim to be where people need and want us, especially airports, because that is where Leon’s magical menu and big, warm welcome can bring a smile to your face as you head off on your travels.” The Heathrow site is run by HMS Host, which is part of the Autogrill Group. Autogrill Group chief marketing officer Ezio Balarini said: “We’re very satisfied to see that this year’s FAB awards has recognised the passion and enthusiasm which we foster, through our offer, a food culture in touch with new modes of travelling.” The FABs, which are organised by the Moodie Davitt Report and the Foodie Report, took place in Geneva.

Restaurant owners lodge plans for healthy cafe concept in Workington: The owners of Henry’s Bar and Grill restaurant in Workington have lodged plans to open a healthy cafe concept in the Cumbrian town. Ashleigh Ridings and Paul McGee have applied to Allerdale Borough Council to launch The Hungry Caterpillar in Finkle Street on the site of the former Craig Travel premises. The cafe, set to open in August, will offer a range of items, including salads, wraps, bagels, protein shakes and salads. Ridings said she wanted to use the cafe to help educate customers about healthy food. It would employ five staff, while an NVQ student with an interest in nutrition would also be offered the chance to help out. Ridings told the Times & Star: “We’ve got a lot of places doing pub food but this will give people a bit of variety. Once you find something you’re passionate about, it comes naturally.”

Stevie Parle protégé Alex Jackson opens first restaurant: Alex Jackson, a protégé of Stevie Parle, has opened his first restaurant – Sardine – in Old Street, east London. The restaurant offers wood-fired dishes inspired by Provence and Languedoc, the islands of Corsica, Sardinia and Sicily, Italy’s Amalfi Coast and Spain’s coastal Catalonia area. Ingredients are sourced from France, the Basque country and Italy apart from meat and fish, which are sourced in the UK. Sardine’s centrepiece is a large communal table, where food such as lamb à la ficelle (whole leg of lamb tied on string and cooked over an open fire) will be served. Parle is involved in the operational support and management of the restaurant. He said: “Alex is a rare talent. A cook so at ease and naturally skilled he knows he doesn’t have to overcomplicate things.” Jackson began his career at The Dock Kitchen in Ladbroke Grove before moving to Rotorino in Dalston, which won a Michelin Bib Gourmand. He then headed to Mons Cheesemongers to learn more about the craft of the affineur.

M&B wins Good Egg Award for animal welfare commitment: Mitchells & Butlers has been presented with its first Good Egg Award in recognition of the company’s commitment to sourcing cage-free eggs. The presentation was made at the Good Farm Animal Welfare Awards run by Compassion in World Farming (CIWF), which celebrate the commitment of food businesses to improve animal welfare standards. The Good Egg Award recognises a company’s commitment to using free-range eggs across its whole business by 2017. The majority of Mitchells & Butlers’ estate already uses free-range eggs, with only a small number of Orchid conversions to be added in the coming months. Other foodservice recipients this year include McDonald’s, Pret A Manger, better burger brand Five Guys, and Gourmet Burger Kitchen. Mitchells & Butlers director of food trading David Gallacher said: “We are extremely proud of this achievement and pleased to have the company’s hard work and that of our egg suppliers recognised in helping to drive the successful implementation and management of our free-range egg supplies.” Dr Tracey Jones, CIWF director of food business, added: “We congratulate M&B on its achievement and encourage other foodservice companies to follow its lead.”

Gail’s Bakery pledges 10,000 breakfasts to help hungry schoolchildren: Gail’s Artisan Bakery, which is backed by sector investor Luke Johnson, is asking customers to help raise at least 10,000 breakfasts for hungry schoolchildren. Every day, 500,000 children in the UK are going to school too hungry to learn, the company said, and this year Gail’s is dedicating its annual street party to provide children with a nourishing start to the day. 22p is the cost of one breakfast for kids at school who need it most and Gail’s Bakery, along with 20 UK food and craft producers, will donate at least 22p from every item sold at the street party to Magic Breakfast, the charity that provides kids with healthy breakfasts. Londoners visiting the event, which takes place outside Gail’s original shop in Hampstead High Street from 11am to 5pm, will be asked to get involved too – with the help of a giant, live-illustrated map – by donating breakfasts for kids in their boroughs. The street party, now in its 11th year, is a celebration of craftsmanship. Companies hosting stalls will include Buchanan’s Cheesemonger, Cobble Lane Cured Meats, East London Liquor Company, London Beer Factory, Hampson Woods, PurEarth, and Pate Moi. Gail’s own products will be available on the day, with a sausage roll station and other fresh-baked sweets, savouries and breads. Gail’s founder Tom Molnar said: “No child should go without breakfast and we are humbled by the impact Magic Breakfast has in schools across London. The Gail’s Street Party, as well as being great fun, allows us all to help kids learn better by having healthy breakfasts.”

Rök opens smokehouse restaurant in Islington, second London site: London-based smokehouse restaurant Rök has opened its second site in the capital, this time in Islington. Rök, which launched in Shoreditch, has opened a 60-seat venue in Upper Street and is influenced by the “old cooking techniques of northern Europe”, specialising in “brined and cured British meats cooked on fire and served alongside fermented and preserved seasonal UK produce”. Main dishes on the seasonal menu come with a choice of pickle and include pigeon with Jerusalem artichoke and Muscat grapes; duck with lingonberry bacon jam; kid goat with celery relish, burnt leek and capers; and pork with granny smith and caraway kraut. Desserts include birch syrup chocolate pudding with smoked beetroot ice cream; and lost bread with white chocolate ice cream and blood orange rhubarb jam. The bar offers cocktails and a larger wine list than the Shoreditch site, with a focus on biodynamic and minimum intervention wines. Rök Islington is open daily from midday to midnight.

Krispy Kreme to open two new sites in Glasgow: Krispy Kreme is set to open two new sites in Glasgow this summer – in the Buchanan Galleries and Silverburn shopping centres. Buchanan Galleries will host a sit-down store, while the Silverburn site will feature a takeaway counter. Doughnuts for each store will be delivered each morning from the company’s Hotlight site at Intu Braehead, the company’s largest UK outlet, which opened in Glasgow in December. Krispy Kreme chief marketing officer Judith Denby told Herald Scotland: “We are hugely excited to be expanding in Scotland due to the fantastic reaction we have received at our stores in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Dundee.” In May, it was reported Krispy Kreme was going to open a site at Glasgow Central train station after posters appeared in the windows of an empty unit in the transport hub stating: “Krispy Kreme – coming soon!” The site has yet to open. Krispy Kreme UK entered the market in October 2003 in London and currently operates more than 70 stores across Britain.

Torquay-based bar operators to open bierkeller: Torquay-based bar operators Ashley Sims and Keith Byron will open a German-themed venue in the Devon town. Sims and Byron, who run the Apple and Parrot, are launching The Bier Keller next month just off Fleet Street on the site of the former Blu Cargo bar. The duo said having transformed the fortunes of the Apple and Parrot they were keen to start expanding their portfolio. Sims told the Torquay Herald Express: “I initially lost interest in this project once I found out licensing didn’t want a ‘stand up to drink’ establishment. They wanted a sit-down, mainly eating venue. But it was fellow local businessman Micky Sheehan’s idea to create the German-themed bar. When I told him about the licensing criteria, he said ‘that place is crying out to be a keller, I’ve seen them in Bristol and Cheltenham and they are the next big thing’. Work commences now and The Bier Keller will open in August.”

Five Guys to open in Watford next month: Better burger brand Five Guys will open a restaurant in Watford next month. The company will launch the venue in High Street on Monday, 1 August in the grade II-listed building previously occupied by Que Pasa, reports the Watford Observer. Founded by the Murrell family in Arlington, Virginia, in 1986 and named after the five brothers who worked together to make the chain an international success, the brand has 46 restaurants in the UK, having opened its first in Covent Garden in 2013.

Morales to open Peruvian restaurant Casita Andina in Soho this month: Ceviche founder Martin Morales will open his new restaurant, Casita Andina, in Soho on Peruvian Independence Day (Thursday, 28 July). The new venue in Great Windmill Street will offer a “unique insight into the Peruvian Andes through its food, art and traditions”. Casita Andina has been inspired by Peruvian “picanterias” – family-run restaurants that serve the local community and travellers. It will have 58 covers set across two floors, with Peruvian art and textiles throughout. There will be a ceviche counter on the ground floor, alongside a takeaway area and pisco bar. The upper floor will be a 30-seat dining room leading to an open air patio seating eight. The kitchen will be headed by executive chef Vitelio Reyes, formerly of Michelin-starred Lima London. The lunchtime menu will feature five snacks, five hot dishes, five cold dishes and two desserts. Dishes on the dinner menu will include pork tamale with salsa criolla, rocoto chilli with skate stuffing, and crispy aubergine with uchucuta herbs. Morales operates Peruvian restaurants Ceviche Soho, Michelin-Guide listed Andina in Shoreditch, and Ceviche Old St. He is also an author and appears regularly on TV cooking shows.

Patisserie Valerie opens site in Bury shopping centre: Patisserie Valerie, the company that has sector investor Luke Johnson as executive chairman, has opened a site in Bury, Greater Manchester. The company has opened the cafe at the Millgate Shopping Centre as part of plans to grow in the north west of England. It offers the brand’s patisserie and cake range, all hand-made on-site. Patisserie Valerie, launched in 1926 in Soho, London, by Belgian-born Madame Valerie, has about 130 sites throughout the UK.

Tattu team set to launch casual dining concept Show Me in Manchester: Adam and Drew Jones, the brothers who operate Chinese restaurant Tattu in Spinningfields, Manchester, plan to open new casual dining concept Show Me in the city’s Northern Quarter. Show Me would be sited on the ground floor and basement of Cheetwood House in Newton Street, according to documents lodged with the council, with proposed opening hours of 8am to 2.30am. Adam Jones told the Manchester Evening News: “The concept is still in the early stages of development but we believe it will sit perfectly with the vibrancy and personality of the Northern Quarter. The public gives a lot of support to independent outlets based there and we hope to bring something new and exciting to the fold.” The brothers also operate gourmet hotdog and pizza bar Dogs ‘n’ Dough in Cross Street, Manchester, and recently announced plans to open a second Tattu site, this time in Leeds.

Full speaker schedule for Bar and Nightclub Conference revealed: The full speaker schedule for this year’s Bar and Nightclub Conference, organised by the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) and Propel, has been revealed. It takes place on Tuesday, 11 October at Bafta, Piccadilly, and follows the successful launch of the event last year. ALMR chief executive Kate Nicholls will provide an update on political and regulatory developments. Phil Tate, chief executive of CGA Strategy, which has retailer specialist CGA Peach as a division, reveals details of new research of usage, areas of growth, food and drink trends, and evolution within the UK bar and nightclub market. Toby Smith, chief executive of bar, nightclub and restaurant operator Novus Leisure, will talk about how the company is meeting the needs of customers in London’s evolving bar and nightclub scene, including offer evolution and social media developments. Luke Johnson, sector investor and executive chairman of Brighton Pier Company and investor in Grand Union Group, will speak about his career in the late-night sector starting at Oxford University, set out his reasons for investing in the sector, evolving the offer at the company, and his perspective on the future for the bar and nightclub sector. Serial sector entrepreneur Roy Ellis will talk about the launch of the ground-breaking Albert’s Schloss concept in Manchester a year ago, its USPs, versatility, first-year performance and roll-out potential – and set out the scope of the involvement of his Mission Mars business in Manchester’s late-night scene. Jimmy Bernstein will talk about his 14-strong US bar and live music concept Howl at the Moon. Bernstein was the keynote speaker at this year’s Bar and Nightclub Convention in Las Vegas. Howl at the Moon has sites in key US cities, including Chicago, New York and Orlando, Florida – the company has also licensed the concept to Norwegian Cruise Line, which operates it on four ships. 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. Leading licensing barrister Philip Kolvin QC will provide a personal perspective on the key legal issues and developments facing bar and nightclub operators in the current climate. There will also be a panel hosted by Nicholls with Alan Miller, chairman of the Night Time Industries Association, Mick McDonnell, national co-ordinator of Best Bar None, Paddy Whur, of Woods Whur, Peter Marks, chief executive of Deltic Group, and Richard Stringer, chief executive of Kornicis, about the challenges, opportunities and threats to the bar and nightclub sector. Tickets are priced £95 for operators who are ALMR members and £145 for non-ALMR members. 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

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