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Tue 11th Oct 2016 - Update: K10, JW Lees and Peel Hotels
K10 named as the world’s most innovative restaurant operator: London-based sushi concept K10 has been named the world’s most innovative restaurant operator, in part for hatching a secondary concept featuring beer and buns. K10 was named the winner in the Innovation category of the Global Restaurant Leadership Conference Awards of Distinction. The reliance on conveyors helps the concept serve 800 covers per day during its three hours of operation. Six hundred of those orders are for takeout. K10 has spun off a secondary concept called Beer & Buns, which features brews, soft Asian buns and chicken wings. It was designed to feel like a speakeasy, “almost a dive bar,” explained Darren Tristano, president of Technomic and an announcer of the Awards of Distinction winners. Starbucks was named the winner in the growth category of the awards, a reflection of its growth by more than 2,100 restaurants in 2015. Firehouse Subs, the US-based sub chain, was the first-place finisher in the Community Service program for its support of firefighters. Cravia, a Dubai-based multiconcept operator, was chosen as the Partnership award winner. The company operates such brands as Cinnabon, America’s Best Coffee and Carvel. The award winners were announced during the Global Restaurant Leadership Conference, a first-of-its-kind event being held this week in Dubai. The meeting has pulled together circa 800 restaurant operators – franchisees as well as franchisors – from throughout the world. The GRLC is presented by Winsight Media, the parent company of Technomic. The Awards of Distinction winners were nominated by peers and selected by a committee that included Technomic executives and representatives of the supplier community. Propel is Technomic’s UK media partner. 

JW Lees buys one of the oldest pubs in Wales: North west brewer and retailer JW Lees has bought The Groes Inn which overlooks the Conwy Estuary in North Wales and is close to Surf Snowdonia. The Groes Inn is one of the oldest pubs in Wales and has been owned by the Humphreys family for the last 30 years. The purchase follows successful JW Lees managed pub developments in North Wales by JW Lees of the Anglesey Arms in Menai Bridge and the Trearddur Bay Hotel on Holy Island. The Groes Inn is a traditional coaching inn with 14 bedrooms and is renowned for its cask ales and freshly prepared food. JW Lees’s history in North Wales goes back over a century since Dr Williams Jones of Anglesey was the father of Dick Lees-Jones (1891-1978), the previous chairman of JW Lees and father of Richard and Christopher Lees-Jones, the current chairman and vice chairman of JW Lees. Managing director William Lees-Jones said: “We are proud to be the new custodians of The Groes Inn and we think that it will sit well within our Managed House estate. We remain hungry for acquisitions of both managed and tenanted pubs as well as hotels in the north west.”

Peel Hotels reports turnover and profit boost: Peel Hotels has reported that in the 28 weeks to 14 August 2016 hotel revenues increased 1.8% to £9,115,526 (2015: £8,951,062). Hotel gross profit before depreciation and group administration increased 2.7% to £1,771,160 (2015: £1,724,721). Over the same period Ebitda (earnings before interest, tax and depreciation) increased 4.2% to £1,394,871 (2015: £1,338,073) and operating profit increased 9.1% to £880,119 (2015: £806,605). Revpar (accommodation revenue per available room) increased 2.9% with occupancy down 2.3% and average room rate up 5.3%. Profit before tax was £592,807 compared to a profit of £497,429 last year; an increase of 19.2%. Chairman Robert Peel said: “Our challenge is to control our overall costs of doing business in line with modest overall turnover growth. Revpar growth is key to increasing our profits and we have made solid progress in this area albeit at the expense of volume. It is difficult to be certain post Brexit but a low pound certainly should encourage incoming volume as well as serving as an incentive for British residents to spend more of their leisure time at home. Net debt continues to fall with the consequential reduction of finance costs on an ongoing basis. We look forward to another year of progress.”

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