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Tue 9th Jan 2018 - Propel Tuesday News Briefing

Story of the Day:

Hospitality sector continues to buck trend with 4.7% rise in December as consumer spending hits five-year low: Consumer spending in December at hotels, restaurants and bars continued to buck the trend with a 4.7% rise, according to the latest data from Visa. The company’s Consumer Spending Index compiled by Markit showed 2017 was the worst year for consumer spending since 2012. On an annual basis, total expenditure fell 1%, which was similar to the 0.9% reduction seen in November. However, the hospitality sector showed more solid signs with the 4.7% rise in December being a five-month high. This followed a 4.1% rise in November and was the best-performing of the report’s eight broad categories. The only other sectors to show growth were miscellaneous goods and services, which includes jewellery, hair and beauty (1.1%) and food, beverages and tobacco (0.4%). The overall reduction in household expenditure was driven by lower spending in face-to-face categories as e-commerce saw a further increase in spend at the end of 2017. On an annual basis, expenditure through face-to-face channels fell 2.7% in December. Although this marked an improvement from the 3.5% reduction in November, it extended the current period of decline to eight months. Spending volumes meanwhile continued to rise across e-commerce categories, rising by 2.0% on the year. However, the rate of expansion was softer than seen in November (+2.4%), and weaker than the average seen over the past few years. The other five of the eight broad spending categories registered lower figures in December, with the steepest fall in transport and communication (4.4% year-on-year), followed by household goods (3.4%), health and education (2.8%), clothing and footwear (2.4%) and recreation and culture (1.8%). Visa chief commercial officer Mark Antipof said: “Christmas rounded off a lean year for retailers, with consumer spending seeing its first consistent 12-month decline since 2012. December’s consumer spending figures confirm our earlier prediction that the UK would see its first fall in overall Christmas spending in five years. This result has bucked the trend of the previous four years, which saw annual consumer spending rise by an average of 1.7%. Hotels and restaurants were again a bright spot in December’s results. Consumers have been opting to spend on UK staycations as opposed to physical items and trips abroad.”

Industry News:

Propel Multi Club Conference opens for bookings, Bob Ivell to discuss progress of M&B evolution with Paul Charity: The first Propel Multi Club Conference of 2018 is open for bookings. The full-day event takes place on Wednesday, 7 March at the Grange Hotel in St Paul’s, London. Bob Ivell, chairman of Mitchells & Butlers, whose brand portfolio includes Miller & Carter, Harvester, All Bar One and Toby Carvery, will talk to Propel managing director Paul Charity about progress across the company’s estate as it evolves its offer. Multi-site operators of pubs, restaurants and foodservice outlets can book up to two free places by emailing Anne Steele at anne.steele@propelinfo.com

Supply Chain Masterclass opens for bookings: Supply Chain Masterclass, which will look at how to achieve best-in-class supply chain efficiency, is open for bookings. The one-day event, launched by Propel in partnership with Food Partners founder and managing director Campbell Askwith, will take place in the Fifth Floor State Rooms at 30 Euston Square, London, on Wednesday, 21 February. The event will pose the question: “Who should be responsible for a restaurant, pub or hotel group’s purchasing strategy?” Speakers will include Leon French, category procurement director at Brakes, who will look at the real impact of Brexit and other material factors that have influenced inflation during the past 18 months and provide a view into the future. Former Intertain chief operating officer and now sector non-executive director Simon Kaye will discuss the opportunities to speedily challenge practice and deliver projects and value by thinking laterally. Jeremy Ward, former chief information officer of Kempinski Hotels and chief operating officer of Iris, will discuss the many mistakes he has seen companies make in being sold the wrong system and will advise how to choose and make the most of the systems you have. Tickets are £295 for Propel premium members and £345 for others. To book, email Anne Steele on anne.steele@propelinfo.com or call 01444 817691

Investment into UK hotels reaches 51% above ten-year average to hit £5.4bn in 2017: Investment into the UK hotel market reached £5.4bn across 219 deals in 2017 – 51% above the ten-year average of £3.6bn, according to figures from agent Savills. This total represented an increase of 32% from 2016, in which levels totalled £4.1bn. In 2017, Savills said the market was driven by an increase in activity from overseas investors, a greater sense of political and economic stability, and the sale of several large portfolios in the second half of the year. According to the company, 60% of the transactions by value were individual sales, representing £3.2bn of the total. It said the high level of individual transactions could be attributed to the break up of larger portfolios that were bought in 2014 and 2015. Savills noted average price per key has risen from £104,255 to £145,303 during the past 12 months as investment volumes have increased. Head of UK hotel transactions Martin Rogers said: “Last year was a fantastic one for the UK hotels market as appetite for assets came from both domestic and overseas sources. The popularity of the UK has been boosted in 2017 by the rise of the staycation and stability following the EU referendum in 2016. We expect this popularity to continue as hotels move further into the mainstream.” The UK regions accounted for 58% (£3.1bn) of transactions by value, with London accounting for 42% (£2.3bn). International buyers accounted for £2.4bn (44%) of investment into the UK hotel market, with the group being particularly active in the first nine months of the year. Savills said the most active geographies have been the US (£840m), Sweden (£680m), boosted by Pandox’s Jurys Inn portfolio acquisition, and Singapore (£382m). UK domestic buyers had a slow start to the year but activity picked up in the last quarter and the group accounted for £3bn (56%) of total investment in 2017. Savills head of global hotels George Nicholas said: “The UK hotel market has benefited from considerable cross-border investment in 2017. A number of countries including South Africa and Sweden have considerably increased their presence in the market as UK hotel assets continue to provide long-term security, an attractive quality for overseas investors.”

UK hospitality industry faces ‘dire’ skills shortage as 375,000 positions need to be filled: The UK’s hospitality industry is facing a “dire” skills shortage in 2018, with up to 375,000 positions needing to be filled, according to new research. In bars, pubs and clubs alone, more than 125,000 roles will need to be filled, research by the University of Cambridge and Sussex-based recruitment firm SkillSnap revealed. The figure is even higher for restaurants and cafes, where almost 250,000 positions need to be recruited. The crisis has been accelerated by “high staff turnover and expected freedom of movement restrictions anticipated by Brexit”. Skillsnap founder Ben Aymé said: “It’s a major crisis for small independents and large hospitality chains alike.”

Industry campaign to evolve in response to beer duty threat: Industry campaign There’s A Beer For That is evolving, with a revised emphasis to address one of the trades most urgent threats. The new campaign will consist of consumer and trade-facing initiatives highlighting the many positive aspects of beer and pubs, and raise awareness of the threat posed to the industry as a result of planned year-on-year beer duty increases. The industry will continue to work together and fund the programme, following the model created by There’s A Beer For That. Programme director David Cunningham said: “One of the biggest challenges facing the beer and pub industry right now is the negative impact on consumers and retailers high duty is having on beer prices, with recent Retail Price Index (and other) increases having a projected cumulative cost impact of £430m by 2020. While exact details of the new campaign are still to be finalised, it is expected to focus on two key messages. Firstly, it will promote the positive, multi-faceted story of beer and pubs and secondly it will raise awareness of the threat facing the great British tradition of having a beer with family and friends in the local pub as well as the negative impact this could have, in a post-Brexit Britain, on pubs, jobs, the economy, society and the sense of community. It is right that we react to the changing issues and threats the industry faces and, having reviewed the campaign objectives in the context of the historic and future planned duty increases that have devastated the beer and pub industry, we must turn our attention to addressing these threats.”

Extending licensing hours for royal wedding weekend a ‘sensible step’, says ALMR: The Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) has said the government’s proposal to extend licensing hours for the weekend of the royal wedding is a “sensible step”. ALMR chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “Pubs are at the heart of communities and many people will want to celebrate the special occasion in their local, as they have done for the Queen’s Jubilee or previous royal weddings. Extended trading for the wedding will provide a welcome boost to the UK’s pubs, restaurants, hotels and bars, so a proposal to extend trading hours is a sensible step by the government and should provide customers and businesses with a chance to celebrate.” The wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will take place on Saturday, 19 May.

Company News:

Ossett Brewery reports turnover rise: Ossett Brewery Pub Company has reported turnover increased to £6,801,561 for the year ending 31 March 2017, compared with £6,671,360 the previous year. Pre-tax profit fell to £376,119 compared with £542,497 the year before, according to accounts filed at Companies House. Gross profit margin fell slightly to 58.1% compared with 58.3% the year before. The company stated: “The directors are pleased with the growth in turnover during the year, which has been achieved by increased sales within the existing pub estate. The market place continues to be very competitive but continuing supplier agreements have maintained gross profit margins. Any new expansion plans will only be considered if there is a low risk associated with the development and low investment levels. The business will continue to try to save costs and protect margin as it is likely trading conditions will continue to be challenging for the foreseeable future.” Ossett Brewery Pub Company currently operates 25 sites.

Manorview pays out more than £80,000 in first profit-share: Scottish hospitality group Manorview has paid out more than £80,000 in the first payment from its HeartCount Fund that shares a proportion of the group’s profits with its workforce. Under the scheme announced for the company’s financial year to 31 March 2018 and launched in August, Manorview committed to allocating 10% of its pre-tax profits to the HeartCount Fund. The group achieved a record pre-tax profit for the first six months of the year, which has led to £82,680 to be paid across qualifying team members. Total turnover for the year to 31 March 2016 for the group was £15.8m. To qualify for the payout, staff must be in continuous employment for 12 months with the fund distributed in proportion to an employee’s earnings. The first payments will be made this month, with a further payout this summer based on full-year results. In total, 311 Manorview staff qualified for the payout from a workforce of almost 600. Manorview was founded by Steve Graham in 2007 and has grown to five pubs, two nightclubs and nine hotels. Graham said: “My goal is to inspire a team who see long-term career opportunities at Manorview and are proud to be a part of our growth.” In September, Manorview also launched dedicated employee app Iris, which incorporates a rewards system.

FullClear closes crowdfunding campaign after raising £320,000, new operators to trial product: Beer line-cleaner business FullClear has closed its fund-raise on crowdfunding platform Crowdcube. The company offered a 12.82% in a bid to raise £250,000 to help fund its next stage of growth. In total, the campaign raised £324,750 from 373 investors and the campaign has now closed. The largest investment was £25,000. FullClear will use the investment to further its expansion in the UK and globally alongside building its sales and marketing capabilities. The company has also signed up new operators to trial its scientifically formulated beer line-cleaning solution, including Robinsons, which will trial FullClear at 260 pubs, Wadworth, which will operate the trial at more than 200 pubs, and Scottish brewer and retailer BrewDog. The company said sales were projected to grow 42% in January but, thanks to exposure and new subscriptions following the Crowdcube campaign, this month will see more than 50% growth in subscription sales. FullClear said it would also cross-promote products and services with hospitality payment app Zapaygo, which is also funding on Crowdcube. FullClear is non-corrosive, non-toxic and non-hazardous, allowing safe, monthly beer line-cleaning, the company said. FullClear also has an exclusive partnership with beer quality and waste management systems company Vianet, allowing operators “total oversight over their line-cleaning processes”. Other operators FullClear already works with include Admiral Taverns, Brakspear, Burning Night Group, Hawthorn Leisure and Tokyo Industries, while it has also started pilots with Shepherd Neame and Ei Group.

Amber Taverns acquires Ripley pub off £375,000 asking price: Community pub operator Amber Taverns has acquired Thr3 Bar in Ripley, Derbyshire, off an asking price of £375,000. The company has bought the two-storey property from local businessman Bob Dunn through agent Christie & Co. The pub features an open-plan ground-floor trading area with a horseshoe-shaped bar, raised seating area and dance floor. There is also a first-floor function room that can accommodate 65 covers and five-bedroom owners’ accommodation. Amber Taverns will undertake a comprehensive refurbishment of the property and plans to reopen the venue in early summer. Amber Taverns owns about 135 pubs across the north, Midlands and Wales.

India-based fine-dining restaurant Chokhi Dhani to make UK debut next month, in Battersea: India-based fine-dining restaurant Chokhi Dhani is to make its UK debut next month, in London. The restaurant in Riverside Walk, Battersea, is the brainchild of chef, hotelier and entrepreneur Kriti Vaswani who is following in the footsteps of her father, Gul Vaswani, who launched the first Chokhi Dhani venue in Jaipur, Rajasthan, in 1990. As well as highlighting dishes from the state, Chokhi Dhani London will feature dishes from across the subcontinent. Overseeing this menu will be Vishnu Natarajan, former executive head chef at Carom in Soho, who will work alongside Bhagwan Singh, an expert on Rajasthani cuisine, senior sous chef Mohammed Naseem Qureshi and pastry chef Rakesh Sharma. The venue will feature a street food concept on the ground floor with a luxury dining room upstairs. Among the handmade bespoke artwork will be a life-size bronze elephant.

Polpo closes Bristol site: London-based restaurant company Polpo has closed its Bristol site. The company has shut the venue in Whiteladies Road fewer than 18 months after it opened. Since the Bristol launch in August 2016 an Exeter site opened last year, although a planned Oxford opening has been delayed. Based on the back bars of Venice, Polpo was founded by Richard Beatty and Russell Norman. Managing director Scott Macdonald told the Bristol Post: “I will be making an announcement soon but it’s too premature for me to comment at this stage.” Beatty and Norman also operate Spuntino, which has a venue at Cargo 2 in Wapping Wharf in Bristol as well as in Soho.

Zing Zing extends £500,000 crowdfunding campaign as it passes 150% mark: Zing Zing, the London-based Chinese takeaway company that has Jamie Barber and Maurice Abboudi as advisors, has extended its £500,000 campaign on crowdfunding platform Crowdcube. The group, which has four stores in the capital and was founded by Josh Magidson, who sold his startup business to Just Eat in 2010, has already raised £778,010 from 621 investors in return for an equity stake of 11.54%. The extension means the campaign now has 16 days remaining. Zing Zing, which is valued at £5.85m, has now secured more than £2m following a £1.6m fund-raise last year. Magidson aims to have 28 takeaways operating by 2021 with a target of £33m in sales. He told investors on Crowdcube: “Since late December, I have received a large amount of requests from potential investors to extend the pitch deadline for a short amount of time. Many have found the festive period and holidays have disrupted their investment timetable. This includes a few large investors from our previous round. With this in mind we have decided to extend the round for at least another week and at a maximum two weeks after the deadline (although management will be looking to close the round as soon as possible).” Earlier this month, Magidson reported record trading on New Year’s Day, with 880 orders taking circa £18,000. Its Crowdcube pitch states: “Our revenue in 2016 was £1.23m with Ebitda of minus £300,000 (including a £93,000 spend from our last Crowdcube raise). We have seen sales grow by 75% to October and are profitable at a store level since October.”

100% of BrewDog staff achieve beer server cicerone qualification: Scottish brewer and retailer BrewDog has said all 700 of its staff have achieved the Certified Beer Server (CBS) qualification after passing the first stage of the Cicerone Certification programme. The programme has become the industry standard for identifying those with significant knowledge and professional skills in beer sales and service. #CBSTarget100 was developed by BrewDog last year and comprises a cicerone syllabus for all staff, a training schedule, staff incentives for passing each level of the programme’s exams, and a means of tracking the progress of every employee. Each BrewDog employee who passes CBS receives an increase in pay, which is further increased for every additional tier of the programme they pass. BrewDog is currently finalising a proposal to enrol thousands of its 65,000-plus Equity for Punks investors to the CBS exam in what it is calling #CBS1000. The company also plans to help up to 200 staff level up to the second tier of the Cicerone Certification programme – Certified Cicerone. Currently, 62% of all certified cicerones in the UK work at BrewDog. Co-founder James Watt was Europe’s first master cicerone, the highest attainable level in the programme. Only 13 individuals have passed the master cicerone exam to date, with two of them working at BrewDog – the other being product marketing manager Rob MacKay. Watt said: “Our goal has always been to make others as passionate about great beer as we are. To fulfil this, we’ve invested in developing the most knowledgeable staff ever assembled by a brewery or retail business in Europe. The Certified Beer Server qualification sets a very high baseline level of beer knowledge across the board, and we’re very proud to be the first to achieve 100% accreditation across the business.”

Moody Burgers closes crowdfunding campaign after raising £150,000 to expand across UK: Burger restaurant and delivery concept Moody Burgers has closed its fund-raise on crowdfunding platform Crowdcube to expand across the UK. The company, which currently operates two sites – in Swindon and Worcester – was offering a 25% equity stake in return for the investment. In total, 227 investors pledged £170,170 and the campaign has now closed. The largest investment was £20,000. Moody Burgers launched last year delivering Californian-inspired burgers. The funds will be used to build sites and invest in marketing activity to help grow its brand and sales a “lot quicker”. The company opened its first site in Swindon in September 2016, followed by the Worcester outlet in March last year. It quickly outgrew its Swindon site and moved to a new 80-cover venue in the Wiltshire town in September that also offers 50 cocktails and craft beers. Moody Burgers said that since relocating, deliveries had risen 20%. Moody Burgers has generated sales to date through its website of £200,000 and delivered more than 25,000 burgers. Operations manager Rich Leftwich said: “Our new, larger site in Swindon has added even more income streams and profitability to this business. The growth potential to add new stores is significant and we have a pipeline of potential properties and are ready to go.” Moody Burgers’ menu features 13 burgers as well as loaded fries, sides, wings and shakes.

New health food cafe concept Koox to launch in Bloomsbury: New health food cafe concept Koox is to launch in Bloomsbury, west London. Director and owner Nabil Duval has signed a 15-year lease with landlord The Bedford Estates for a 1,700 square foot site set over two levels in Store Street. Koox will offer freshly made, seasonal, health-conscious dishes to eat in or take away. Store Street is adjacent to Tottenham Court Road, whose enlarged tube station will include the Elizabeth Line, or Crossrail, from late 2018. Duval said: “Store Street and Bloomsbury provide an ideal location for our new cafe. The close proximity to the hustle and bustle of the West End and the commercial vibrancy of the City makes it an exciting place to be. We’ll attract local residents and students from the nearby universities as well as those who work in and visit the street. We want customers to enjoy our new health food concept for takeaway or eat-in and expect to trade really well.”

Mosaic Pub & Dining sees plans rejected for temporary ice rink at Birmingham site: Mosaic Pub & Dining, the former City Pub EIS fund, has had its plans to erect a temporary outdoor ice skating rink in the beer garden of a Birmingham pub rejected by the city council. The company proposed to create a plastic ice rink spanning almost 1,500 square feet, which would have operated from 10am to 10pm daily, at The Distillery in Sheepcote Street. Skate hire and changing facilities were to be located within one of the arches of the grade II-listed Roundhouse. However, the city council said the noise associated with the development could have an impact on nearby occupiers and refused the application, reports Insider Media.

New Ascot Brewing Company owners increase equity offer as £200,000 crowdfunding campaign passes 50% mark: The new owners of Ascot Brewing Company have increased the equity stake in their £200,000 crowdfunding campaign to ramp up brewing capacity and sales. The Surrey-based micro-brewer was acquired by local businessmen Chris Davies and Mike Neame earlier this year. They are now offering a 33.33% equity stake instead of the initial 25.54%. The campaign has passed the 50% mark and so far 276 investors have raised £108,250 with 18 days remaining. The pitch states: “Ascot Brewing Company was founded in 2007 focusing on cask ale and local pub trade. Seeing an unlocked potential in the brand, we acquired the brewery in early 2017 and have already taken steps to grow its sales to existing customers such as JD Wetherspoon, Co-op, Budgens and Waitrose as well as to new pubs, hotels and national retailers. We have relaunched with new branding and expanded the team, including the recruitment of award-winning head brewer John Willatts. We have focused on key accounts such as Co-op leading to an extended range and listings, as well as new relationships with wholesalers to expand reach across the country. We believe this is just the beginning. We plan to increase brewing capacity to meet demand; build the team focusing on UK sales and export; roll out contactless NFC ‘smart pump clip’ technology; expand sales channels with an on-site shop and online sales; increase attendance at trade and consumer events with our horsebox taproom; and develop new products and formats including lager, keg, cans and new bottles. Ascot Brewing Company has ambitious goals to increase sales from the current £102,000 per annum (Ebitda minus £20,000 to year-end June 2017).”

Unique Hospitality Management launches vegan menu across pub portfolio: Pub company Unique Hospitality Management has launched a vegan menu across its portfolio of gastro-pubs. The company has introduced the menu, featuring nine plant-based dishes, in response to an “ever-evolving dining culture and growing demand from vegans and vegetarians”. Managing director Andrew Coath said: “We pride ourselves on being a ‘pub for everyone’ so introducing a vegan menu made perfect sense and we’re looking forward to offering new healthy options to our guests, particularly following the festive period where many of us have possibly overindulged. We’ve put a positive spin on what is usually Dry January for most as we launch our vegan menu in Veganuary.” Unique Hospitality Management operates nine pubs within Epic Pubs, Heroic Pubs and Aspley Pubs. They are The Golden Ball in Maidenhead, Berkshire; 185 Watling Street in Towcester, Northamptonshire; The Imperial Arms in London; The Fox Inn in Boars Hill, Oxfordshire; Mill Street Pub & Kitchen in Oakham, Rutland; the Knife & Cleaver in Houghton Conquest, Bedfordshire; The Anchor in Aspley Guise, Bedfordshire; The Wheatsheaf Pub & Kitchen in Bow Brickhill, Buckinghamshire; and The Three Locks in Stoke Hammond, Buckinghamshire. 

JD Wetherspoon closes Canterbury pub to add 13-bedroom hotel: JD Wetherspoon has closed The Thomas Ingoldsby pub in Canterbury, Kent, to add a 13-bedroom hotel as part of a £1.5m investment. The Burgate pub, which will be closed for almost five months, will also have a new bar built. Staff areas will also be improved. Wetherspoon spokesman Eddie Gershon told Kent Live: “The Thomas Ingoldsby is an extremely busy and popular pub. We believe the addition of a 13-bedroom hotel will prove to be a great addition to the pub as well as an asset to Canterbury itself. It highlights our commitment to the pub and the town and hopefully the development scheme will act as a catalyst for further business investment in Canterbury. During the development work the pub’s staff will be relocated to other Wetherspoon pubs.” The pub is set to reopen on Tuesday, 29 May.

Nottinghamshire-based Dessert Haven starts expansion with second site: Nottinghamshire-based Dessert Haven has started expansion by opening a second site in Beeston only months after the brand made its debut in Long Eaton. While the Long Eaton branch will remain a takeaway-only site, the new restaurant has space for 25 people to eat in and offers additional items that “don’t travel well” such as crepes and coffee. Other items on the menu include gelato, fudge cake, cheesecake, sundaes, and old-school puddings such as jam roly poly and apple crumble. Co-founders Shafiq Rahman and Moreen Shafiqs chose Beeston because of its large student population and the volume of orders they were receiving from the town. Rahman told the Nottingham Post: “The business took off really well, everybody loves desserts. We got a lot of calls for delivery to Beeston so we came here to look for a base. I think it will be great for the area.”

Owner of Leicestershire hotel in administration plans to reopen this week under new management company: The owner of a Leicestershire hotel that has gone into administration has said he wants to reopen the hotel this week under a new management company. The Scalford Hall Hotel, near Melton Mowbray, was closed last week when administrators from Portland Business & Financial Solutions were called in. Owner Colin Warburg took over the 81-bedroom hotel in 2014 when he bought it out of administration, saving 50 jobs in the process. He told the Melton Times he plans to reopen the hotel this week under a new management company and re-employ all 35 staff.

Handful of tickets left for Restaurant Marketer & Innovator series this month, largest sector marketing event in the UK by attendance: A handful of tickets are left for Restaurant Marketer & Innovator, the most comprehensive marketing series the sector has seen. The event has now become the best-attended marketing event in the UK with more than 600 people from nine different European countries booked to attend. Propel will stage the two-day event in partnership with Think Hospitality on Wednesday, 17 January and Thursday, 18 January at One Moorgate Place in London. An array of marketers from agencies and early-stage, growing and rejuvenating brands will take to the stage to share their strategies and winning tactics. Companies and brands attending include Novus, Signature Pubs, Cafe Rouge, Wagamama, Brasserie Bar Co, Las Iguanas, YO! Sushi, Fuller’s, ASK Italian, Mitchells & Butlers, G1 Group, Costa Coffee, Ei Group, Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group, Brewhouse & Kitchen, Stonegate Pub Company, Be At One, Revolution Bars Group, Cabana, Thai Leisure Group, New World Trading Company, Pho, Maxwell’s Group, Gather & Gather, Oakman Inns and Restaurants, The Breakfast Club, The Coaching Inn Group, Gail’s Bakery, Gordon Ramsay Restaurants, K10, Giggling Squid, San Carlo Group, Ennismore, TLC Inns, Polpo, FrogPubs, The Real Eating Company, Claus Meyer Holding, VIP Pizza, 200 Degrees, Coppa Club, Snug Bars, Albion & East, Pint Shop, True North Brew Co, Darwin & Wallace, Chit Chaat Chai, BabaBoom, Electric Star and Eat Poke. For full details of the two days, co-ordinated by James Hacon and Ann Elliott respectively, click here. Conference prices for two days are £525 plus VAT for operators and £795 plus VAT for suppliers. Companies buying two tickets will receive a third free. A one-day rate of £345 plus VAT is available to operators only. For more information and to book, call Jo Charity on 01444 810304 or email jo.charity@propelinfo.com or Anne Steele on 01444 817691 or anne.steele@propelinfo.com. Please note the Boot Camp on Tuesday, 16 January will now take place on the tenth floor of the Blue Fin Building in Southwark Street, London.

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