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Tue 13th Feb 2018 - Propel Tuesday News Briefing

Story of the Day:

Red’s True Barbecue closes only London site to ‘consolidate efforts in the regions’: American smokehouse chain Red’s True Barbecue has closed its only London site as it looks to “consolidate its efforts in the regions”. The company invested £1.4m to open the 150-cover restaurant in Great Eastern Street, Shoreditch, in July 2015, intending to use it as a base to grow the brand in the capital and south of England. However, despite the venue remaining profitable, Red’s True Barbecue has taken the decision to shut the site, leaving the company with seven venues. The company stated on its website: “Our initial strategy was to always grow out a London presence with Shoreditch as an operational hub. While, importantly, this restaurant remains profitable, current market forces have made it challenging to support growth of the hub-and-spoke model in the south and it is for this reason we have decided to sadly say goodbye to Red’s Shoreditch. Our heartland, operational and brand strength remains solid in the Midlands, north, north east and north west and we will continue to consolidate our efforts in the regions.” Founders James Douglas and Scott Munro opened the first Red’s True Barbecue in Leeds in 2012 and in 2015 secured a £9m investment deal to support its aggressive roll-out. In March last year, Propel reported Red’s True Barbecue had entered refinancing talks with Santander after breaching its banking facility. Despite the breach, Santander issued a letter of support indicating it intended to “continue to make funding available”. In its latest available accounts, Red’s True Barbecue saw turnover increase 58% to £11,257,416 for the year ending 31 March 2016, compared with £7,121,479 the previous year. Ebitda fell to £561,949 compared with £610,219 the year before. Pre-tax losses increased to £659,853, compared with a loss of £183,037 the previous year. Red’s True Barbecue’s regional sites are in Headingley, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield.

Industry News:

Propel Multi Club Conference open for bookings, two free places for operators: 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. 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. Speakers include Tim Barrett, travel and leisure analyst at Numis, who will examine the unprecedented current cost environment in the foodservice sector and the potential winners and losers. Ian Edward, who is leisure advisor to Canaccord Genuity and sits on the boards of Brasserie Blanc, Seafood Pub Company and Hippo Inns, will set out his views on mergers and acquisitions trends and the ten key challenges and opportunities in the sector. Jon Collins, former chief executive of CGA Group, who has returned to the UK after living in Chicago for two years, will contrast the US and UK markets and offer thoughts on trends and practices over there that could be ripe for adoption over here. Sarah Bridge, former Mail on Sunday leisure correspondent and founder of the aLadyofLeisure.com hospitality website, will offer her top ten moments of hospitality, experienced on her travels in the UK and elsewhere, which could be replicated by UK operators. Iqbal Wahhab, founder of Cinnamon Club and Roast, will talk about the genesis and development of his new US southern barbecue concept Atticus and give his views on how foodservice entrepreneurs can make a difference in their communities. Max Hilton Jenvey, global head of franchise for Chopstix, which has 35 outlets, will set out how the brand has evolved since its unlikely birth at a fish and chip shop in Camden, with a focus on its rapid progress in the past two years following simplification of its cooking process, international expansion and franchising – and future plans for new concepts, a breakfast offer in transport hubs, further product development and European penetration. Alex Salussolia, managing director of Glendola Leisure, will talk about the longevity of the company’s three-strong Waxy O’Connor’s brand, which was conceived 25 years ago and is still winning major awards, and the company’s expansion into restaurant and coffee offerings such as Bar & Beef and Gordon Street Coffee. Paul Wells, chairman of Charles Wells, will talk about making a “sea-change” decision on strategy in selling its Bedford brewery to Marston’s, developing a managed pub estate, partnering great retailers and developing a pub estate in France. 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. Nick Taplin, chief executive of Black and White Hospitality, will explain how the company is developing a 50-strong franchised restaurant estate in partnership with chef Marco Pierre White, its unique brands, its USPs, partnership model and future prospects. Meanwhile, Yasha Estraikh, of Piper, will report on the findings of an exclusive survey of UK foodservice operators, undertaken in partnership with Propel, in relation to the effects of the growth in delivery opportunities on their business.

Derby-based sector meat supplier voluntarily withdraws products following FSA inspections: Derby-based Fairfax Meadow, which supplies meat to a number of operators, has started the voluntary withdrawal of some of its products following unannounced inspections by the Food Standards Agency (FSA). Fairfax Meadow’s customers include Greene King, Boparan-owned Giraffe, Nando’s and JD Wetherspoon. Unannounced inspections led to concerns over procedures and processes Fairfax was using to apply use-by dates on some of its products. An FSA statement read: “Our review is ongoing but the company has acted properly and proportionately in swiftly withdrawing potentially affected products from the market. Fairfax Meadow responded immediately to our concerns and is now changing its procedures. We are satisfied with the changes that are being made and, at present, we are not anticipating the need for enforcement action. Public health remains our top priority and at no stage has there been any indication that people have become ill from eating meat supplied by Fairfax Meadow. We, along with local authorities, are continuing to assess the situation and we are working with the business to oversee their product withdrawal.”

London hotels report 15th consecutive month of average daily rate growth: Hotels in London reported a 15th consecutive month of average daily rate growth in January despite flat overall performance. STR data for the month revealed average daily rate rose 1.3% year-on-year to £29.23. There was also a 3.0% rise in supply compared with January 2017, while demand also increased during the period, by 2.0%. Occupancy levels decreased 0.9% to 69.8%, while revpar was up slightly, by 0.3% to £90.21. STR analysts noted January was much like previous months in London. Even with a lift in demand during a historically slow month, occupancy comparisons were lower because of strong supply growth.

London-based hospitality temp agency GIG sees 11% rise in Valentine’s Day shifts: London-based hospitality temp agency GIG has seen an 11% rise in Valentine’s Day shifts, with front of house and chef roles the most popular. GIG co-founder and chief executive Antony Woodcock said: “Operators are gearing up to make sure their service is on point.” GIG currently has more than 5,500 workers registered in London. Almost two-thirds (63%) have hospitality experience, while almost one-quarter (23%) offer three years’ experience. Last month, the company launched its first operations outside London, in Scotland.
 

Company News:

ETM Group reports like-for-likes up 48% at Greenwood as Super Bowl generates record sales: ETM Group, the 13-strong bar and restaurant company, has reported its Greenwood site in Victoria’s Nova development saw like-for-like sales increase 48% for the week ending 11 February. The venue saw revenue more than double on Super Bowl Sunday, which saw the Greenwood team pull almost 3,000 pints and flip more than 1,000 burgers. The company stated: “This clearly demonstrates just one year after opening that Greenwood has established itself as London’s premier sporting destination and the only place to watch some of the world’s biggest fixtures and tournaments.” Co-founder Ed Martin added: “We are thrilled with last week’s performance and, with a fantastic year of sport such as Six Nations, World Cup, Commonwealth Games and Ryder Cup, we are confident Greenwood will continue to thrive along with our other sports-friendly sites in the City, the recently opened Broadleaf and Long Arm Pub & Brewery.”

Former Hungryhouse head of sales launches £500,000 crowdfunding campaign to expand Leeds-based food delivery app to major UK cities: Former Hungryhouse head of sales Mandeep Singh has launched a £500,000 fund-raise on crowdfunding platform Crowdcube to expand his Leeds-based food delivery app Delhop to other major UK cities. Singh, who founded the company in October last year, is offering a 20% equity stake in return for the investment. Having raised £200,000 from angel investors in 2017, Delhop has delivered more than 30,000 meals in Leeds in its first three months of operation. Through word of mouth and personal recommendations, it said it has accumulated a waiting list for restaurants to join the service. The pitch states: “Delhop is an on-demand delivery app that allows takeaways to request drivers to deliver food to their customers without the hassle of managing their own fleet of drivers. The team is now raising investment to expand to other major cities. We only handle the delivery process of taking the food from the restaurant, irrespective of the way the food has been ordered at the restaurant, to their customers. Most importantly, we are not another online food ordering platform. Indirect competitors such as Deliveroo or UberEats focus on promoting their own online ordering platforms and provide delivery logistics for orders generated from their own portals only.

Young’s chief executive sells 7,000 shares to cover ‘forthcoming tax liability’: Patrick Dardis, chief executive of London pub retailers Young’s, has sold 7,000 A ordinary shares of 12.5p each in the company’s capital to non-executive director Nick Miller. The shares were sold at £13.75 per share. Young’s stated: “The majority of the shares were sold to cover a forthcoming tax liability Patrick Dardis has arising from a deferred annual bonus share award that was made to him in June 2015.”

Trio of Asian dessert operators secure West End sites: A trio of Asian dessert operators has secured sites at West End landlord Shaftesbury’s Newport Court development. Japanese tea house Tsujiri has opened a 580 square foot venue spread over two floors. The 30-cover site offers an extensive range of matcha green tea alongside modern Japanese desserts. Founded in Kyoto in 1860, Tsujiri is in its seventh generation with locations around the world including Canada, Japan and Australia. Guo C 100, a leading Hong Kong-style dessert brand in China, has made its UK debut at the mixed-use scheme with a 530 square foot venue spread over two floors. Known for its healthy fruit desserts, Guo C 100 has more than 350 stores across China, the US, Australia and South Korea. Completing the trio is Roro, which will launch a 560 square foot site later this month. The modern dessert and snack bar specialises in Chinese and Asian desserts. Julia Wilkinson, head of group restaurant strategy at Shaftesbury, said: “Chinatown London continues to bring the latest trends in Far Eastern food to the capital. As Asian street desserts gain momentum in London, Tsujiri, Guo C 100 and Roro are three exciting new operators that reflect how the Far East is changing.” Newport Court is part of Shaftesbury’s 48,000 square foot Central Cross mixed-use development that borders Chinatown, Soho, Covent Garden and Leicester Square.

Benugo and Searcys owner pledges to source 100% renewable power: WSH, the parent company of leading hospitality brands including Benugo, HIX, Searcys, BaxterStorey and Mere, has committed to buying 100% of its electricity direct from renewable sources by 2020. WSH head of sustainable business Mike Hanson said: “As the UK’s largest independent hospitality provider we have a responsibility to continuously develop new ways of reducing our impacts while maximising opportunities. We do this by being innovative and brave, demonstrating our commitment to making our business a sustainable business. WSH will initially procure renewable electricity sourced from suppliers, taking the form of green electricity contracts with utilities providers as current contracts expire. All new contracts will source renewable electricity from the outset. This commitment is an amazing step for us, one that I hope will encourage similar actions from others in our sector.”

Charles Wells and Little Gems Country Dining to open first site under new joint venture: Bedford-based brewer and retailer Charles Wells and Little Gems Country Dining, run by Steve Wilkins and Rachel Slater, are to open the first site under their new joint venture this month. The Bull Hotel in Olney, Buckinghamshire, will reopen on Saturday, 24 February, revealing the evolution that has taken place after a fire almost destroyed the site in 2016. Following the blaze, Apostrophe Pubs – owned by Charles Wells – took on the project to rejuvenate the site through an extensive refurbishment and restoration process. Enlisting the management support of the Little Gems Country Dining Group, which has five sites in Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire, The Bull will offer dining for 100-plus guests, alongside 12 en-suite rooms. Wilkins said: “After a significant investment from Charles Wells, we feel privileged to have been given the opportunity to be part of the process of putting The Bull back on the map and restoring this wonderful building to its rightful place at the heart of Olney. Taking into consideration the local community and the site’s incredible 326 years of history, our aim has to be to respect this patrimony and give it a new lease of life."

Cambridge-based vegan restaurant Stem + Glory set for crowdfunding campaign for London launch, plans national roll-out: Cambridge-based vegan restaurant Stem + Glory is to launch a crowdfunding campaign to open a site in London ahead of a planned national roll-out. Founder Louise Palmer-Masterton opened the first site in Mitcham’s Corner in 2016 and has since opened a second venue, in King Street. Palmer-Masterton has been accepted on the CrowdBoost accelerator programme, which is organised and hosted by Virgin Start Up, and plans to launch a fund-raise on crowdfunding platform Crowdcube next month to launch a venue in London. Palmer-Masterton, who also owns yoga company Camyoga, has been looking for suitable properties in the capital and believes it could be the first step in a chain of restaurants and cafes across the country. She told the Cambridge News: “We are delighted to have been selected by Virgin Start Up for our forthcoming campaign. It has been an exciting 2017 and we are looking forward to this next step towards a Stem + Glory in every town.” Crowdfunding has proved a useful tool for Stem + Glory, with the Mitcham’s Corner restaurant opening after Palmer-Masterton raised £100,000 from online backers in only 21 days. The restaurant is now focusing on fine dining with the new venue providing a vegan cafe option. Palmer-Masterton added: “Stem + Glory promises nothing other than tasty vegan food. I want to convert more people to a plant-based lifestyle and I want to prove vegan and vegetarian food can be a viable and delicious alternative to meat.”

Mojo Bar secures fifth site, in Harrogate: Leeds-based operator Mojo Bar has secured its fifth site, in Harrogate. The company will open the venue in Parliament Street later this year. The 2,400 square foot venue will be split across ground level and mezzanine, as well as a second-floor “Rhum Room” – a feature introduced at its Leeds bar as a civilised area for a “quiet drink”. This will double as a private events space for cocktail masterclasses and dancing on tables. As a first for the group, Mojo will also introduce a 300 square foot terrace that will be used for alfresco dining and drinking, with barbecues and events throughout the summer. Mojo director Mal Evans told BDaily: “After the launch of our bar in Nottingham we’re bringing Mojo home to Yorkshire, where the idea was first born. We’ve had more space to play with this time and, even with the terrace and Rhum Room, we’ve still got a few more tricks up our sleeve.” Since launching in 1996, Mojo operates a flagship venue in Leeds and subsequently opened bars in Manchester, Liverpool and Nottingham.

Coyote Ugly to open Manchester saloon for third UK site: Coyote Ugly, the rowdy, western-themed bar that celebrates the wild side of American culture, is to open a saloon in Manchester for its third UK site. Work has already started on Arch 2 in Whitworth Street West, Deansgate, with auditions scheduled for prospective “Coyote” dancers. Arch 2 was a private room that belonged to Revolution Bars Group. The hit 2000 film Coyote Ugly was based on a bar in New York. Steve Lewis opened the first British branch of the brand in Cardiff in 2016. Last October, he signed a franchise agreement with Coyote Ugly to open 12 bars in major cities in the UK and Ireland in the next five years. He opened his second site, in Liverpool in December. Lewis told Manchester Evening News: “Customers have been travelling to us from all over the UK, Ireland and throughout Europe. Many patrons have been disappointed after being unable to book tables or booths as many key dates sell out weeks or months in advance. The perfect answer to this problem is to expand and open other venues throughout the UK.” Coyote Ugly currently has 26 sites in seven countries – the US, Russia, Ukraine, Germany, Japan, UK and Kyrgyzstan. 

Shutov to open second Bob Bob site, in May: Leonid Shutov, owner of Bob Bob Ricard, will open his second site, Bob Bob Cité, in May. Located on level eight of the Leadenhall building, Bob Bob Cité will “break new ground” in design and menu, with the latter overseen by Eric Chavot. The 190-cover restaurant will feature an all-booth dining room with a further 50 covers in a collection of private dining suites that will accommodate between four and 18 guests. The menu will be French with a Russian twist featuring dishes prepared using “only the best locally sourced, seasonal produce”. Bob Bob Ricard’s “Press for Champagne” buttons will also be an integral part of the Bob Bob Cité offering.

Looking Glass Cocktail Club team launches Shoreditch drinking and dining den: The team behind Shoreditch bar Looking Glass Cocktail Club has launched a drinking and dining den nearby. Iron Bloom has opened in a former iron factory in Great Eastern Street spread over three floors, including a DJ booth inside an industrial lift. The British-inspired menu consists of small sharing plates such as guinea fowl pudding with chestnut mushrooms, brie and Yorkshire pudding; lobster doughnut with gruyere cheese, chorizo, chipotle ketchup and shallots; and Wagyu beef and marrow burger with smoked bacon, gruyere, roast shallots and truffle mayo. The drinks list focuses on cocktails and absinthe alongside wine and beer, Hot Dinners reports. The Iron Bloom website states: “Our approach to cocktails encompasses the simple, the classic and the wildly creative using homemade bitters and liqueurs to fashion a tailor-made glass of ‘awesome’. The creative forces behind Looking Glass Cocktail Club have been storyboarding for months, designing the next level of palate-seducing cocktails for its customers. The new menu is inspired by all our favourite cult classic movies.” Looking Glass Cocktail Club launched five years ago in a former warehouse in Shoreditch.

Revolution gets go-ahead for £1m Southampton site: Revolution Bars Group has got the go-ahead to open a £1m site for its Revolución de Cuba brand in Southampton. The 9,074 square foot venue will open later this year across three floors at a site in Above Bar Street that was formerly a Lloyds bank branch and a Millets store. It will open daily from 11am to 1am. A Revolution Bars Group spokesperson told the Daily Echo: “We are pleased to be opening in Southampton. Our strategy is to open five new bars each year and we have more than doubled the number of Revolución de Cubas in little over 18 months, testament to the strength of the concept and brand.” Last week, Revolution Bars Group announced Rob Pitcher, currently divisional director of Mitchells & Butlers, would join as its new chief executive. The company, which operates 72 premium bars across the UK under its Revolution and Revolución de Cuba brands, was the subject of a failed £101.5m bid from Stonegate Pub Company in October, while Deltic Group tabled a merger proposal that was rejected by Revolution Bars Group management.

Starbucks named one of world’s most ethical companies for 12th year running: Starbucks has been named one of the world’s most ethical companies for the 12th year in a row. The Ethisphere Institute, which defines standards of ethical business practices, evaluates companies based on reputation, leadership and innovation, ethics and compliance programmes, governance, corporate citizenship and responsibility, and culture of ethics. Only 135 companies were chosen from thousands of nominations worldwide and Starbucks is one of only 12 companies to have earned the honour in each of the 12 years Ethisphere has published its rankings. Starbucks senior vice-president, deputy general counsel and chief ethics and compliance officer Matthew Swaya said: “This award is a reflection of our partners’ commitment to ethics in all areas of our business and in doing the right thing for our communities and each other. Our mission to inspire and nurture the human spirit, with ethics and integrity at the forefront, allows us to be a different kind of company.”

Leisure entrepreneur puts restored Isle of Wight holiday accommodation on market: Leisure entrepreneur Gillian Mechan has put Clarence House on the Isle of Wight up for sale off a guide price of £895,000 through agent Fleurets. Mechan was formerly part of the acquisitions and development team at Scottish & Newcastle and has a passion for injecting new life into historic buildings. Her first project was Bibendum in Eastbourne, the first gastro-pub in the area, which went on to be sold by Fleurets. This allowed for the purchase and development of a small chateau in south west France, which was reinvented into corporate letting accommodation aimed at American holidaymakers wanting to tour the region’s cognac houses. The sale of The Chateaux to a director of Deloitte enabled Mechan to refocus her attention on the UK, where she discovered Clarence House in Ventnor. Mechan said: “Before taking Clarence House on, it operated as a bed and breakfast and was in great need of refurbishment. Over a two-year period, I renovated the five apartments, adding boutique charm yet maximising the Victorian architectural grandeur. The premises now has a five-star classification from VisitEngland.” Mechan’s next restoration project will be in Barcelona.

Brewhouse & Kitchen makes Welsh debut with Cardiff launch: Brewhouse & Kitchen has launched its 18th brewpub and first in Wales at the former Y Mochyn Du (The Black Pig) near Cardiff city centre. The pub has reopened following a £550,000 refurbishment and features large barrel tables, bottle lights, an open kitchen and a copper micro-brewery. Brewhouse & Kitchen chief executive Kris Gumbrell told Insider Media: “I’m a proud Welshman and grew up in Cardiff so it has been a long-held ambition of mine to open a location in Wales. We’ve been searching for the right location and opportunity so when this pub became available on the outskirts of the city centre, we wasted no time.” The pub has remained bilingual, with signage, printed media and its website written in Welsh as well as English. Last month, Brewhouse & Kitchen managing director Simon Bunn said the company planned to open seven sites in 2018, including one in Milton Keynes.

The Alchemist opens £1.65m Nottingham venue for first East Midlands site: The Alchemist, which is backed by Palatine Private Equity, has opened a site in Nottingham following a £1.65m investment. The venue has launched in a former Hard Rock Café site in King Street as the brand’s 13th site and first in the East Midlands. The venue will extend over 6,600 square feet across two floors, with the opening creating 80 jobs. The Alchemist managing director Simon Potts said: “We’ve had our sights set on Nottingham for a while and we’re pleased it’s finally come to fruition. Nottingham is a fantastic city and we have secured an amazing location. Overall, the venue feels a perfect fit.” Last month, The Alchemist told Propel it aims to open five or six sites in the next year after securing a £16m finance package from existing debt-funders Santander. The Nottingham opening will be followed by others in Cardiff and Bristol as the company eyes further acquisitions. Potts added: “It’s a real joy to be able to announce positive plans for our continued growth at a time when there seems to be a lot of uncertainty in the sector.” Palatine Private Equity supported a buyout of The Alchemist from Living Ventures in 2015.

Bea Vo starts expansion of Butterscotch bakery concept with second London site: Bea Vo, who founded the Beas of Bloomsbury chain, has started expansion of her Butterscotch bakery concept by opening a second London site, this time in Marylebone. Vo, who launched a first permanent site for the concept in White City Place in November, has opened Butterscotch Tea Room in James Street split over two floors, the first housing a cafe dotted with footstools and window bench seating alongside Bea’s Goldilocks porridge bar, which made its debut at the White City site. A staircase leads to an afternoon tea room, while the venue also offers breakfast and Jasmine Evening Tea. Vo said: “I’m so excited to unveil a whole new space for afternoon tea. It’s my favourite British tradition and our take puts a modern spin on it. I want people to feel they can come to Butterscotch for a good time, whether it’s a cocktail and a slice of cake or a full-blown affair.” Butterscotch Bakery is part of Vo’s Feed Your Soul restaurant portfolio, which includes Stax Diner in Soho, southern US specialist Boondocks in Shoreditch, and burger bar The Famous Flames in Camden Town. Vo founded Bea’s of Bloomsbury in 2008 and left the company in 2014.

Shepherd Neame to reopen Yalding pub with new name following £1.2m refurbishment: Kent-based brewer and retailer Shepherd Neame is to reopen The Anchor in Yalding as The Boathouse following a £1.2m refurbishment. The pub’s new name will reflect its location with the redevelopment designed to make the most of its setting beside the River Medway. A glass-fronted restaurant is being created offering views of the river, while a new raised exterior terrace is also being built, leading to a large decked area to allow alfresco dining. Extensive refurbishments will be undertaken, with new lighting and furniture and nautically themed decor throughout. The kitchen is also being refitted and the pub will offer a new menu of traditional pub classics with a contemporary twist, using locally sourced ingredients where possible. The pub is expected to open at the end of April, creating 35 additional jobs. Director of retail and tenanted operations Nigel Bunting said: “The Boathouse boasts an enviable riverside location and we are confident this major investment will maximise its potential, creating a stunning environment in which to drink and dine.”

Vianet launches enhanced iDraught app: Vianet, the provider of business-to-business data solutions in the leisure sector, has launched an improved app for its iDraught beer quality and waste management system. The iDraught app provides operators with real-time insight into the performance of their draught products across a number of key quality measures that have an impact on sales, including when correct money is not being taken for drinks. The app features push notifications and alerts, alongside simple, visual reporting. It has been developed through working in partnership with publicans to deliver insights on key operational areas that need attention within their businesses. Vianet managing director Steven Alton said: “We’re dedicated to helping operators improve retail standards and drive profitability through providing actionable insights. All businesses need access to real-time management information to ensure they know what’s currently going on in their business and the areas that need action. Our improved iDraught app offers an on-the-go business tool that provides operators with the data and insight they need to boost sales and improve performance.”

Zaman Hotels acquires Saddleworth site: Zaman Hotels, which operates a number of properties across the UK, has acquired the Clough Manor Hotel near Saddleworth, Greater Manchester. Agents GVA acted on behalf of Alan Tupman, owner of the 23-bedroom hotel, bar, restaurant and wedding venue in the village of Denshaw. Zishan Zaman, of Zaman Hotels, said: “We are delighted to have added the Clough Manor Hotel and restaurant to our growing portfolio. We are excited about the prospects for the future of the business given its excellent location surrounded by open countryside with views of the Peak District yet benefiting from easy access to the M62.” Martin Davis, director of the hotels and leisure team at GVA’s Manchester office, added: “The full-service hotel business offers a range of income streams as well as an opportunity for the ingoing operator to further develop the trade.”

Former BrewDog employee secures Stonegate and Giraffe listings for cold brew coffee company: Cold brew coffee company Fitch Brew Co, founded by former BrewDog employee Emily Fitchett, has secured listings with Stonegate Pub Company and Giraffe World Kitchen, which is owned by Boparan Restaurants. Stonegate will begin trialling the coffee within its Common Rooms estate this week while Giraffe has the drink available at its Stop sites in London. Fitchett told Propel: “It’s been an incredible start to the Fitch Brew Co journey and it’s fantastic that major national distribution and bar groups can see the opportunity and value in adding cold brew coffee to their portfolios and venues. We are very excited about the future of the category and Fitch’s role in leading its growth.” Fitchett, a former UK distribution key account manager at BrewDog, launched Fitch Brew Co last year after raising £150,000 within 30 hours on crowdfunding platform Crowdcube.

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