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Wed 19th Oct 2016 - Propel Wednesday News Briefing

Story of the Day:

CGA Peach – bar and nightclub operators need to compete with ‘new wave’ events: A substantial number of consumers have turned into “experience junkies” and traditional bar and nightclub operators need to expand their offer to appeal to them, CGA Peach chief executive Phil Tate has argued. Tate said “new wave” events such as festivals, street food markets, ticketed indoor events, and pop-up bars have proved particularly popular with bar and nightclub customers – 67% of late-night consumers have visited one in the past year. New wave events have also proved to have wide demographic appeal, with age groups that have more disposable income, such as the over-35s, visiting in large numbers. Speaking at the Bar and Nightclub Conference – organised by the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers and Propel – Tate said: “Consumers have got so many options on the table at the moment (as) to where they go and how they spend their money. Our consumer is an experience junkie. It’s all about ‘what can I tell my friends that I did on Monday night that will make them jealous?’ This is where the competition that is emerging is getting it right. These new wave venues are setting the benchmark that (traditional venues) need to aspire to. Some 70% of consumers have visited one of these new wave events to replace a big night out. The number of new wave events is growing and the number of consumers attending them is growing, as well as the regularity of attendance. While (traditional venues) are looking at potentially declining footfall, new wave events are benefiting from growth. We are anticipating 1.5 million visitors to Street Feast alone in 2016. That is a huge amount – and this is because they are creating that fear of missing out. No-one wants to be the person in the university refectory who hasn’t been, no-one wants to be the person around the work water cooler who hasn’t been. So they are managing to create that fear of missing out by having a great experience that is driving footfall. The trick has to be about how traditional operators take the elements that are currently happening at new wave events and integrate them into the current offers. I have seen the guys from Deltic Group doing that. I have seen some pop-up bars going into some of their venues at the moment. It comes back to that fear of missing out – giving consumers a reason to go in and something different on a weekly basis.”

Industry News:

More than 300 booked in for Propel Multi Club Conference on Thursday 3 November, extra speaker added: More than 300 attendees have booked in for the Propel Multi Club Conference on Thursday, 3 November at Congress Hall, London. An extra speaker has also been added to the schedule. Steven Pike, managing director of HospitalityGEM (soon to be rebranded as HGEM), will illustrate how guest experience management has evolved in recent years, and will leave the audience with a modern framework that can be applied to their own businesses. Operators of multi-site pub, restaurant and foodservice operators can book up to two free places. Companies already attending include Jamie Oliver Restaurants, Big Easy, Black & Blue Restaurants, Thorley Taverns, Cabana, Urban Pubs and Bars, Wahaca, Grand Union Bars, Thai Leisure Group, Whiting & Hammond, Friska, We Are Bar, Stonegate Pub Company, Chipotle, Carluccio’s, Laine Pub Company, Oak Taverns, Mitchells & Butlers, Casual Dining Group, Busaba Eathai, Pieminister, Sugar Hut Group, Searcys, All Star lanes, Mas Q Menos, Costa Coffee, Wright & Bell, Darwin & Wallace, Snug Bars, Young’s, Maxwells, Punch, Enterprise, Pizza Hut, Vapiano, Chozen Noodle, City Pub Company, Pret A Manger, Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Azzurri Group, Porky’s, Giggling Squid, Smashburger, Apartment Group and SSP. The full speaker schedule can be found here. To book free places, email Anne Steele on

BII People and Training Conference fully booked, waiting list now in operation: The BII’s People and Training Conference on Monday, 21 November at Bafta Piccadilly is now fully booked and a waiting list is being run. The speaker schedule can be found here. Operators can book free places by emailing Anne Steele on Tickets for suppliers cost £149 plus VAT. Bookings have also opened for the National Innovation in Training Awards (NITAs), taking place in the evening at Cafe de Paris. Tickets for the evening event cost £150 plus VAT and can be booked by emailing

Luke Johnson – recruitment in the sector at its most difficult: Sector investor Luke Johnson has claimed recruitment in the sector has become the hardest the sector has ever known. Speaking at the Bar and Nightclub Conference – organised by the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers and Propel – he said: “(Recruiting) is a growing problem. Several companies I am involved with have said to me in recent weeks that they think it is the hardest recruitment and retention market they can remember. I think there is some truth in that. I think we are our own worst enemy because we have expanded and applied capital, and hired and created jobs. I have read that half of all the jobs created since the 2008 financial crisis have been in the greater hospitality industry – and I can believe it. And I think, often, government doesn’t appreciate all we do to address things such as job creation and deal with unemployment. All they ever do is levy more and more tax from us. As Tim Martin, of JD Wetherspoon, has pointed out, something like 45% of his entire revenue goes to the exchequer in one form or another and that’s a ludicrous proportion. There is no other country like that in the world that pours as much towards the government from its licensed trade.”

GK Leisure Spend Tracker reveals importance of Halloween to young pub-goers: The Greene King Leisure Spend Tracker has highlighted the importance of Halloween to youngsters aged 18 to 24 and their desire to celebrate the spooky occasion at the pub. Almost a quarter of young adult respondents confirmed they will celebrate Halloween in their local this year, with nearly two-thirds intending to spend the same or more money than they did last year. The Leisure Spend Tracker data has highlighted the importance of the event for young adults, almost a third of whom celebrate Halloween every year. Rob Rees, Greene King group marketing director, said: “It is great to see Brits getting into the spirit of Halloween again this year, with nearly one-in-five people celebrating the occasion and a further 12% celebrating it most years. Halloween is one of the many important events we celebrate in our pubs, and is particularly popular with young people. However, it’s not just Halloween that young people think the pub should celebrate; more than half of 18 to 24-year-olds, approximately 10% more than the GB average, feel it is important for local pubs to be involved in seasonal events. The data suggests that pubs remain important hubs for local communities and, here at Greene King, we are keen to open our doors to all local communities looking to celebrate key events in the British seasonal calendar!” In September, the average British household spent £205 on out-of-home leisure, a £3 (2%) decrease year-on-year and a £24 (11%) decrease month-on-month. Eating out and drinking out experienced year-on-year increases of £4 (5%) and £4 (9%) respectively. Other leisure areas continued to struggle, with a £12 (15%) decrease in spending year-on-year. Rees added: “The end of the summer holidays has inevitably resulted in a month-on-month contraction in Leisure Spend. However, year-on-year figures for eating and drinking out remain positive, indicating that consumers are continuing to enjoy the extensive options the UK’s casual dining market has to offer.”

Company News:

Platinum Lace involved in £3.7m VAT battle: Platinum Lace, the lap-dancing business owned by Simon Warr, is involved in a £3.7m VAT dispute with HM Revenue & Customs. Accounts filed by the company’s parent Koru (Holdings) state: “The group has recognised a VAT liability amounting to £3,714,852, which is in respect of assessments made by HM Revenue & Customs. The assessments relate to transactions which the director considers are outside the scope of VAT. The group has challenged the assessments and the matter is expected to be subject to review through the judicial process. The director is of the opinion the matter will not be resolved within the next 12 months.”

YO! Sushi to open sixth US site later this month: YO! Sushi will open its sixth restaurant in the US later this month. The new venue will open on Wednesday, 26 October at Seaport Square in Boston, Massachusetts, next to a newly opened Shake Shack. A seventh YO! Sushi site in the US, near Madison Square Park in New York, is also scheduled to open soon. Turnover from YO! Sushi’s operations outside the UK rose to £1,746,209 in the year to 29 November 2015. The company reported that setting up four company-owned restaurants in the US – in Garden State Plaza and Shorthills, New Jersey, International Plaza in Tampa Florida, and University Town Centre in Sarasota, Florida, had resulted in £834,000 of losses.

Greggs trials delivery service: Bakery business Greggs is trialling a delivery service at Cobalt Business Park ahead of plans to roll the scheme out to Newcastle, Manchester and London. The food-on-the-go company has launched Greggs Delivered, with the business park’s 14,000-strong workforce – including staff at Tesco, Newcastle Building Society, Siemens and Fujitsu – able to order sandwiches, salads and sausage rolls for delivery to their offices. The Cobalt Business Park service is set to be the first of a wider roll-out to Quorum Business Park in Newcastle, Manchester and London. Amy Carroll, communications manager at Cobalt Business Park, said: “I am sure Greggs Delivered will provide a popular choice for our businesses catering for meetings and for people who just fancy a team lunch. This service adds to a host of fantastic lunch options staff at the park have to choose from, which include their own canteens, The Village Hotel Starbucks, bar and restaurant, Cobalt Central retailers, the fantastically popular Tasty Thursday pop-up restaurant event, plus a host of outlets locally at Silverlink and Northumberland Park. Staff will be spoilt for choice.”

Marston’s hop garden drives innovation for Kent farmer: A five-year investment project by Marston’s Beer Company to establish its own hop garden in Kent has meant Hayle Farm in Horsmonden is now looking to develop new hop varieties at its farm in the county and expand output. The Marston’s Hop Garden will grow Sovereign hops, a key ingredient for Marston’s in a number of its award-winning beers, and will also trial new hop varieties. The venture is being run by father and son Clive and Richard Edmed. Two acres of land were set aside at the farm, which was previously grazed by sheep, and last year work began to clear and plant 2,500 hop plants on 30 rows of hop trellis. After two years’ growth next year, Marston’s will begin to realise the fruits of its investment with its first full harvest. Marston’s head brewer Patrick McGinty said: “Sovereign is used by Marston’s as a bittering hop for several beers and we’re delighted this long-term partnership brings us one step closer along the supply chain while opening up new opportunities for one of our suppliers.” The Marston’s Hop Garden came about following a meeting with Marston’s director of brewing Emma Gilleland at the Burton brewery, where the Edmeds were attending the English Hops annual general meeting. Hayle Farm consists of 350 acres split between apples, pears, plums, gooseberries, blackcurrants and hops. The hop acreage is currently 65 acres and consists of seven varieties – Goldings, Progress, First Gold, Sovereign, Pilgrim, Endeavour and Target. Hops have been grown at Hayle Farm for about 400 years.

KFC begins trial of breakfast menu at ten UK sites: KFC has started to trial a breakfast menu at ten UK sites. Morning meal choices will feature the Chicken AM – a piece of chicken, smoked bacon, an egg and cheese in a floured bun – for £2.49. Also on offer is a bacon roll, priced £1.75, and a bacon and egg roll for £1.99. The breakfast meal option includes a crispy hash brown and a cup of Seattle’s Best Coffee. The offer has been rolled out in an initial ten restaurants across the UK following a successful trial in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, and will be available every day from 6am to 10.30am. Jack Hinchliffe, head of innovation at KFC UK & Ireland, said: “Following a successful start in Beaconsfield, we are excited to begin rolling out our breakfast menu across the UK. Chicken for breakfast might feel like a novelty, but there’s plenty of evidence it can become a breakfast choice here too.”

BV Restaurant Group launches 900-degree pizza concept PizzaStorm in London: PizzaStorm, a new concept by BV Restaurant Group that cooks its pizzas in 180 seconds in an oven heated to 900 degrees, has launched in London. The 100-cover restaurant has opened in Wandsworth Southside Centre offering “fast, fresh, custom-made, 11-inch, stone-baked pizzas in super-quick time”. The concept offers more than 50 toppings and consumers can craft their own pizza or select from one of six “Hall of Flames” signature pizzas. Those opting to craft their own pizza move along a counter and choose their base sauce, cheese, vegetables and meat toppings, adding the finishing touches via a range of PizzaStorm sauces. The company said no matter how many toppings a person chooses, their pizza will cost less than £9 – to eat in or take away. Sides include guacamole, coleslaw and garlic bread, while desserts include unlimited ice cream with various toppings and sauces. The restaurant also offers Meantime Brewery craft beer, cider, wine, refill sodas and fruit-flavoured waters. BV Restaurant Group also plans to open a PizzaStorm restaurant in Newcastle.

Celebrity chef Tom Kerridge to launch pop-up cinema with comfort food in Marlow: Celebrity chef Tom Kerridge is set to launch a pop-up cinema in Marlow, Buckinghamshire. The Pop Up Picture House will run throughout December in Marlow Town Hall, where movie-goers can eat Kerridge’s comfort food while watching a film in comfortable surroundings. The idea came from a pub conversation when Kerridge and three friends discussed their favourite food and movies. The Pop Up Picture House will screen a wide variety of films, including cult hits, Christmas classics and family favourites. Tickets go on sale from Tuesday, 8 November and include a two-course meal plus an ice-cream from an usher during the film’s interval. The meals will focus on food linked to the theme of the film – for example, lasagne with The Italian Job. There will be Saturday morning screenings and matinee movies for children, while for older viewers there will be a bar with a selection of beers, spirits and wine. Kerridge operates two pubs in Marlow – The Hand And Flowers, which in 2011 became the first pub to be awarded two Michelin stars – and The Coach. In July, it was reported that Kerridge was “in talks” to take over a third pub – O’Donoghues – in the town.

Nottingham-based coffee brand 200 Degrees secures fourth site: Nottingham-based coffee roaster and retailer 200 Degrees has signed the lease for its fourth site. The new coffee shop is at 31 Bond Street in Leeds. A company spokesman said: “Our three existing coffee shops seem to go from strength to strength every week and that’s given us the confidence to look to more cities. We are very pleased to be at the heart of a great city and add to a vibrant coffee scene in Leeds. Independent businesses are thriving here and we can’t wait to get a team of highly-trained baristas serving coffee from our own roast house. We’ll be looking to recruit as soon as possible. We are grateful to Richard Shuttleworth, of Pudney Shuttleworth, and Ben Tebbutt, of FHP, for helping us get this opportunity. Our creative team is working on the interior, which will be very much along the lines of our others but, given this venue has a distinct 1970s vintage, we will be adding a few stylistic nods to the 20th century. We have other prospects under development and aim to open two more in fairly quick succession.”

‘Fast casual lunch’ firm Zucla hits £90,000 crowdfunding target: Zucla, which “creates fresh and healthy tailored lunches cooked in front of you from its Fleet Street theatre kitchen”, has hit its £90,000 target on crowdfunding platform Crowdcube. The company, founded by Dev Shah, is offering a 14.80% equity stake in return for the investment and is raising funds to launch more sites. So far, it has raised £164,880 from 62 investors and is now “overfunding” with 29 days remaining. The largest investment to date is £25,000. Zucla said it had served more than 40,000 lunches since launching in January and seen 14% monthly revenue growth. The pitch states: “Within 12 months of closing this funding round, we aim to open two more sites. With two sites up and running we see sales projections for year-end 2017 of more than £1.1m having served over 200,000 lunches. Our three-year outlook is to create eight sites in total. The funds will be used to open a second site. The third site, and onwards, we aim to fund from retained earnings and either lease financing or bank loans. To date, the directors have invested more than £215,000, plus an interest-free loan of £30,000 from family and lease financing (less than £50,000). Zucla serves “real food” to people who care about what they eat! Fresh, healthy food cooked right in front of you in our theatre kitchen. Each of our dishes can be tailored and served in minutes. Fleet Street London, our first site, is where we offer a large variety from three distinct zones – wok/stir-fry, curry and salads. Customers have thousands of permutations to bespoke their lunch. Zucla aims to create a new segment – fast casual lunch.”

Rub Smokehouse & Bar opens American-style restaurant in Newcastle city centre, third site: Rub Smokehouse & Bar has opened its third American-style restaurant and cocktail bar, this time in Newcastle city centre. The new venue – Rub On The Tyne – has opened in The Gate, creating 60 jobs. Rub Smokehouse & Bar launched in Nottingham and opened a second venue in Birmingham in July. The new 150-cover venue is at the former ASK Italian site, which became available when the Azzurri Group-owned restaurant chose to move to nearby Intu Eldon Square. The concept is the brainchild of Luke Billingham, Sean Singer and Jason Rowe and features “huge plates” of low and slow meat smoked over hickory alongside burgers, desserts and inventions called Epicspecials, including the Burshake – a burger and beer shake with a waffle burger. Doggy bags are given to customers who can’t clear their plates. A large bar offers craft beer and speciality cocktails, including sharers served in tin baths. Rub Smokehouse & Bar general manager James Metcalfe told Chronicle Live: “The venue will be casual and make you feel great. The music will be a little too loud and the atmosphere pumping. We make sure customers have a great time in a great atmosphere they won’t find anywhere else.”

Solita partners with Kozel to launch Czech beer hall in Manchester: Manchester-based burger and steak company Solita has teamed up with Czech beer brand Kozel to launch a beer hall in the city’s Northern Quarter. Solita will transform Montpellier’s, its bar in Back Turner Street that backs on to its burger joint, into a Czech beer hall. It will be the beer brand’s second bar in Manchester, having opened Kozel Lokal at Deansgate street food development B.Eat Street in the summer. Czech and European beer has become increasingly popular in Manchester, with Albert’s Schloss, the £3.5m bar and restaurant concept in Peter Street opened by Mission Mars, the joint venture between The Trof Group founders Adelaide Winter and Joel Wilkinson and Revolution Bars founders Roy Ellis and Neil Macleod, selling more Pilsner Urquell tank beer than anywhere outside the Czech Republic. Newly-opened barbecue concept Smokehouse and Cellar also serves Pilsner Urquell tank beer in the city, while The Oast House in Spinningfields recently became the first Budweiser Budvar Tankové Pivo site outside London. Plans were also revealed last week by Manchester bar operator NoHo for a 300-capacity basement beer hall – Cooper Hall – in Dale Street in the Northern Quarter. Solita, which also owns restaurants in Prestwich, Didsbury and Preston, had operated Montpellier’s under the same name and concept since it acquired the site in February.

Shoreditch bar McQueen launches steak restaurant with Richard Sandiford: Shoreditch bar McQueen has launched a steak restaurant with the menu specially created by Richard Sandiford. The former Hawksmoor head chef will play an integral consultancy role at The Grill At McQueen, encompassing everything from devising the dishes to training the kitchen team. The 50-cover restaurant at the venue in Tabernacle Street takes its cues from the US, with diners able to choose from an extensive selection of steaks. Sandiford said: “I’m really excited to be part of this new venture at McQueen and have created a menu that highlights the very best of the seasonal produce in the UK. Each ingredient comes from suppliers I have worked with over the years, and all are locally sourced – even the bread comes from just around the corner at The Dusty Knuckle Bakery in Hackney.” Earlier this year, McQueen launched “posh dog” pop-up Rockadollar, the brainchild of Sandiford and events manager Emma Jerrard, in its new outdoor space.

Sheffield-based restaurant and bar group Brewkitchen to expand after sealing refinance package: Sheffield-based restaurant and bar group Brewkitchen is set for expansion after sealing a refinance package from Barclays. Founded in 2007, Brewkitchen is headquartered in Eccleshall Road and operates venues including The Graze Inn, The Cricket Inn and Rose Garden Café. The group is an associate business of Thornbridge Brewery, set up by entrepreneur Jim Harrison and Sheffield restaurateurs Richard and Victoria Smith. It also operates LSJ Outside Catering. The new funding consolidates the whole group’s banking with Barclays. Harrison told Insider Media: “We need to continue with our investment programme to ensure our restaurants and bars provide quality produce sourced locally for our customers. Barclays supported our growth with Thornbridge Brewery so we decided to consolidate all our banking with them and the new funding will enable us to continue on our growth journey.” Brewkitchen employs more than 100 staff, with turnover expected to exceed £5m for the year.

Casual organic food concept Flavour Garden to open in Fenchurch Street: Casual organic food concept Flavour Garden is set to launch this month in Fenchurch Street, London, complete with stamp cards that reward customers with special offers, discounts and “random acts of kindness”. The new restaurant will open in New London Street this month, with dishes including raisin and carrot curry, slow-cooked beef in wine gravy, and salmon cakes. There will also be fresh oysters, small snacking dishes and salads, with all ingredients organic, sustainable and ethically sourced. There will also be a range of cold-pressed juices and cocktails, with input from award-winning mixologist Costa Nikolaidis. City workers will be able to relax in one of the upstairs armchairs or the garden-inspired decor of the ground floor, Hot Dinners reports. For those in a rush to get back to their desk, however, the venue will offer self-service checkouts. In the evening, drinks will be brought to consumers’ tables after they have ordered them via electronic screens, while there will also be a self-service wine dispenser.

Italian and Caribbean fusion concept to launch in Lincolnshire: A new Italian and Caribbean fusion restaurant concept is set to launch in Louth, Lincolnshire. The new restaurant, named Mr Two Culture, will open in Aswell Street on the former site of Mollie’s Bar. The concept is the brainchild of Irie White and Neil Crossland. White told the Louth Leader: “Cooking has always been a big passion of mine, having learnt from the age of seven. I have run restaurants in Manby and Grimsby and both were a big success. Then I went out on the road performing music for 18 years. I had a number-one single in Germany. Now I have the opportunity to put two of my favourite things together – food and music.” White said he has devised a range of dishes that combine Caribbean and Italian flavours and will perform live music at the venue on certain nights of the week. Mr Two Culture is due to launch this month and will open five days a week, from midday to midnight.

Multi-site operator Jayne Gillin secures sixth pub: Agent Davis Coffer Lyons has completed the sale of The King Alfred public house in Winchester off an asking price of £99,950. The leasehold pub in Hyde, close to Winchester City Centre, includes five letting bedrooms and is held on the remainder of a Greene King lease. The traditional, two-storey Victorian property will become the sixth pub for local publican Jayne Gillin, who already operates several other pubs in Winchester, including The Mucky Duck; The Corner House; St James’ Tavern; and The Green Man, as well as The Foresters Arms at Frogham in the New Forest. The private vendors, who have operated the King Alfred for 20 years, will continue to operate their remaining pub, The Cricketers, in Easton, on the outskirts of Winchester. Keith Goodwin, associate director of Davis Coffer Lyons, said: “We are delighted that Jayne is taking on The King Alfred. While the pub is already well established, there is an opportunity to develop trade and enhance on the foundations laid by the former owners. Jayne clearly has a great passion for the local area and a talent for invigorating traditional pub properties. We wish her every success.”

Handmade Burger Co opens Bath restaurant, 26th site: Handmade Burger Co has opened its restaurant in Bath city centre, the company’s 26th site in total. To mark the launch, the new restaurant in Upper Borough Walls – on the site of the former Central bar, close to the Roman Baths – is giving away 500 burgers in its opening week. Customers can choose between a cheeseburger or veggie burger as their freebie, with the offer limited to 100 burgers a day. The restaurant will be open daily from 9am and offer alcohol until midnight. Handmade Burger co-founder Chris Sargeant said: “We are really excited to be opening in Upper Borough Walls, which is such a great location in Bath. Our success is driven by a passion for fresh, natural, hand-made burgers as well as genuinely looking after each and every guest. We have had many requests from customers to come to Bath and we are looking forward to bringing more than 40 different hand-made burgers, made from scratch in the restaurant every day.” Earlier this year, Sargeant said the company planned to add 15 sites to its 25-strong portfolio during the next three years. He launched Handmade Burger Co with brother Richard in Birmingham in 2006. There are also openings in the pipeline for Bristol, Bournemouth and the new Grey’s Quarter development in Newcastle.

Former MasterChef contestant transforms her Soho bar into ‘botanical drinking den’: Former MasterChef contestant Bonny Porter is transforming her Soho basement bar Company Below into a “botanical drinking den”. Porter and her team have developed a menu of herbal cocktails and deep-fried bao for the venue in Greek Street. The new cocktail list makes use of house-infused spirits, unusual liqueurs and natural ingredients, including Smoke Without Fire (mezcal, aloe vera, lime, chipotle and rhubarb soda) and Eden’s Apple (white rum, honey, eucalyptus, lemon, and apple cider). Porter has developed a new range of deep-fried bao buns to accompany the cocktails, with fillings including short-rib with pickles and salted chilli mayo. The menu also features Montgomery cheddar churros, and butternut squash and blue cheese arancini, alongside desserts such as bao stuffed with brown butter pecan ice cream, chocolate and praline. Porter said: “We’re a young and creative team at Company Below and we’ve put our heads and hearts together to create the ideal hideaway under the streets of Soho. We can’t wait to see our regulars, and some new faces too, for a well-stirred drink and a bao or two!” Porter, who appeared in the Australian version of MasterChef, lost her hearing as a seven-year-old.

Kaspa’s to open Hull city centre dessert parlour: US-style dessert parlour brand Kaspa’s Desserts is set to open a site in Hull city centre. Work is under way at a site in Paragon Square that was formerly occupied by Go Dutch Pancake House, which closed earlier this year. Kaspa’s dessert parlour is due to open “before Christmas”. Kaspa’s offers a menu featuring shakes, smoothies, cakes and crepes. Dishes, which are also available to take away, include bubblelicious sundaes, mango mania sundaes, white choc indulgence waffles, strawberry indulge crepes and After Eight milkshakes. For healthier options, it also offers protein shakes and gluten-free desserts. A Kaspa’s spokesman told the Hull Daily Mail: “Our mission is to create an environment where enjoying authentic desserts with family, friends and loved ones is an unforgettable experience.” Kathryn Shillito, city centre manager of Hull Business Improvement District, added: “Kaspa’s is a well-established brand that will complement the existing food and beverage businesses and bring something unique.” Kaspa’s currently operates 29 sites in the UK, with another 20 listed on its website as “coming soon”. Its latest venue opened in Liverpool earlier this month.

New fish and chip brand Cod’s Kitchen to launch in Lincolnshire: New fish and chip restaurant Cod’s Kitchen is set to open in Metheringham, Lincolnshire, next month. The 60-cover venue will open in mid-November in the village, south of Lincoln, and will also offer a takeaway service. In addition to locally sourced fish and chips, the restaurant will offer Hereford beef steaks, homemade pies and vegetarian dishes. General manager and head chef Jarrod Sellers has taken a five-year lease on the property, facilitated by commercial estate agents Banks Long & Co. The restaurant is his first business venture having worked for 15 years as a head chef in the hospitality and catering industries and at a private school. Sellers told The Lincolnite: “The takeaway side will boast products of restaurant-standard, while the restaurant will offer a variety of fresh fish dishes and feature a more extensive menu at weekends. We will serve lunch, evening meals and afternoon teas and offer a loyalty card scheme. Metheringham has a good catchment area, which has given us the confidence to create a 60-cover restaurant.”

Italian restaurant concept Milano’s launches at Lancashire stadium and sports village: Italian restaurant concept Milano’s Mediterranean has launched at the multimillion-pound Mill Farm Sports Village in Wesham, near Fylde, Lancashire. The 80-cover restaurant also has space for a further 40 diners under cover outside and features a £12,000 Giotto Cuppone pizza oven, which offers revolving, stone-based pizza. Milano’s Mediterranean has united two of the area’s best-known chefs and restaurateurs, Bevan Middleton and Grant Beech. Milano’s manager Matthew Nicholson, formerly of Gilpin Lodge in the Lake District, told The Gazette: “Milano’s is incredibly versatile, catering for everything from a light bite with friends or work colleagues to a three-course dining experience. We feel the quality of the light, fresh and modern interior design is reminiscent of some of the best restaurants in London or Manchester.” Mill Farm Sports Village, close to Junction 3 of the M55, features the new 6,000-seater stadium that is home to rising football club AFC Fylde, as well as Bradleys Sports Bar, which features 35 television screens across five distinct areas so every type of sport can be followed simultaneously. Aroma Café and Churchill’s conference and event facility are also at the site.

Gourmet Burger kitchen to double in size: Gourmet Burger Kitchen (GBK) is to double in size and create more than 2,500 jobs as part of expansion plans under its new South African owner. GBK was acquired by Famous Brands, which also owns Wimpy, last month for £120m and chief executive Alasdair Murdoch has got the green light to open up to 15 restaurants a year. “We’re opening 12 restaurants this year and will open 12 to 15 per year over the next five years, that’s not too aggressive,” he told the Press Association. The move would see GBK, which currently employs 2,000 people, take on 2,500 more staff and see its store tally double to 150. Murdoch also said he wants to double turnover, which hit £65m last year, by 2021. Industry estimates put the value of the UK burger market at £2.8bn, and a number of US chains, such as Five Guys and Shake Shack, have piled into the so-called “premium” segment of the market recently. However, Murdoch said he relished the challenge that the competition brings and does not believe the UK market has reached saturation. He said: “Competition is good for us. It’s possible that growth might slow, but everyone loves a good burger so I’m not worried.” He also said the company would “fight” for access to a big labour market in light of government pronouncements stipulating that Britain was on course to crash out of the single market and pursue a “hard Brexit”. Murdoch added: “Our workforce is very important for us, and we will fight hard for access to a big labour market.” At the time of the takeover, Famous Brands said fears of a Brexit effect on the eating-out market appeared “negligible”, adding that it would also look to export the GBK brand to South Africa.

Knightsbridge restaurant Zia Teresa to celebrate 60 years by offering 1956 menu at 1956 prices: Family-run Italian restaurant Zia Teresa in Knightsbridge will celebrate its 60th anniversary next month by offering a 1956 menu at 1956 prices. It will also launch a wine bar, Cantinetta Teresa, in the basement of the venue in Hans Street. Diners will be able to enjoy a three-course meal from the restaurant’s anniversary menu for about £4 – from Monday, 31 October to Thursday, 3 November. The anniversary menu, which will be on offer throughout November, is a collection of the restaurant’s longest-standing dishes of the past 60 years. Launched in 1956 by Lorenzo Fraquelli and Simone Lavarini, the restaurant has been passed down through three generations of the Fraquelli family. It is owned by the family under the Metropolitan Restaurants Group brand, which operates three other central London restaurants – Getti Marylebone, Getti Jermyn Street and Assaggetti in Haymarket.

Carlsberg UK launches menu-building app for pub and bar operators: Carlsberg UK has launched a menu-building app designed to help pub and bar operators create drinks lists that engage customers and prompt trade-ups. The Menu Maker app, developed by marketing technology firm MRM, enables Carlsberg UK to work with partner operators to create the right menu for their venue. Operators can insert their own logo and photography, while the menu can feature images, tasting notes and food-matching recommendations. Once an order is placed, the menu can be on display in the venue within 48 hours. Paul Waller, Carlsberg UK director of third-party brands, said: “Menu Maker is a sophisticated, yet simple to use tool that helps operators to better market their drinks offering in-venue. Customers can benefit greatly from this innovation by working with us to maximise their venue’s potential. For example, venues with a cocktail list should consider including product images, while those with a good beer offering should include tasting notes.” Carlsberg UK said it launched Menu Maker following research by its specialist wines and spirits division, Crown Cellars, which showed 41% of wet-led pubs do not have a wine list. The Future of On-Trade Wine Report also revealed that consumers would like more help when navigating wine lists, while millennials would like to see simple, engaging descriptors as they don’t feel there is enough guidance around taste, which discourages them from exploring the wine category.

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