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Thu 22nd Jun 2017 - Update: Carluccio’s ends US foray, Bitters ‘n’ Twisted results
Carluccio’s quits US market: Carluccio’s has closed its two locations in Greater Washington, calling an end to its plans to expand in the US. “After a careful review of our US performance we have decided to close our two restaurants in the area,” a Carluccio’s spokesperson said. “While trading was encouraging, the competitive nature of the US market meant margins were lower than anticipated and lower than other markets.” The company closed its Old Town Alexandria and Rockville locations this week. “We are disappointed to learn about the closing of Carluccio’s US locations,” said Jill McCarthy, director of marketing at Pike & Rose, the development that’s home to Carluccio’s Rockville restaurant. Carluccio’s opened at the high-profile corner of S. Union and King streets in Alexandria, its first-ever US location, in June 2015. In February 2016, it opened at Pike & Rose. The company has more than 80 restaurants in the United Kingdom, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates. Carluccio’s departure from the US market laves YO! Sushi, Wagamama, Caffe Nero, Pret A Manger, Wasabi, Nando’s, D&D London and Soho House still looking to expand in the US.

Midlands operator Bitters ‘n’ Twisted reports turnover boost: Birmingham-based multiple operator Bitters ‘n’ Twisted Venues has reported a 13.2% rise in turnover to £7.8m for the year ending 31 August 2016 across its ten venues. Ebitda was in line with the previous year at £1.16m. Removing the effect of the two new openings in the period, like-for-like sales in the period increased 8.2%. Matt Scriven, managing director of Bitters ‘n Twisted Venues, said: “The 12 month period to August 2016 saw investment take place in two new openings, Buffalo & Rye in Birmingham city centre and a Bodega Cantina in Leicester, which has held back profit growth in the period. Both sites have gotten off to a solid if unspectacular start which seems to be the name of the game these days against a backdrop of ever stiffer competition, increasing customer demands and competition for good quality hospitality staff.” Since the end of the period a new Bodega Cantina has opened in Derby in April 2017 and a fifth Bodega Cantina is planned for north Birmingham in the suburb of Sutton Coldfield for September 2017. A significant rent increase at The New Inn in Harborne by the landlord Marston’s as well as a 160% increase in the site’s rateable value has ultimately led to a decision to vacate that site which will happen on 31 August 2017, the company said. It is understood that Marston’s is planning to refurbish and re-open the venue under the Revere brand later in the year. 

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