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Wed 9th May 2018 - Propel Wednesday News Briefing

Story of the Day:

US fast casual segment sees single-digit sales growth in 2017, chains to expand into new global markets: The US fast casual segment has rebounded since 2016 but experienced a consecutive year of single-digit sales growth performance in 2017, according to the latest data from insights firm Technomic. Unit growth decreased for the third consecutive year, dropping from 9.8% in 2015 to 6.1% in 2017. Total sales growth in 2017 was at 9% for the top 250 restaurant chains. Chicken was the hot protein of 2017, with fast casual operators capitalising on its popularity. Chains with triple-digit unit growth included CoreLife Eatery and Wahlburgers, which last week announced it would open its first UK site. Despite being the smallest fast casual menu category by sales, the pizza segment continued to outshine the others with a 27.3% year-on-year increase. Looking ahead, Technomic forecast fast casual operators would put greater focus on clean-eating initiatives and environmentally friendly changes to align with growing consumer concerns. Ethnic flavours and ingredients are also set to thrive in the coming year, with the rise of Middle Eastern concepts featuring exotic yet healthy menu items, the company added. Chains looking for more exponential growth would look to new global markets, including Australia, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Spain, South Korea and the United Arab Emirates, Technomic stated. Senior principal Dave Henkes said: “Although the segment shows signs of slowing, fast casual is still a bright spot in the industry. There are a lot of exciting things happening on fast casual menus and, as the US market becomes increasingly crowded, we can expect many of these brands to look internationally to further bolster their brand.”

Industry News:

Propel and Professor Chris Edger launch Inspirational Leadership In Tough Times Masterclass: A new masterclass launched by Professor Chris Edger and Propel is now open for bookings. The Inspirational Leadership In Tough Times Masterclass will take place at Chartered Accountants Hall in Moorgate Place, London, on Thursday, 21 June. With our industry buffeted by five major headwinds – higher costs, labour shortages, low consumer confidence, too much capacity and concept fatigue – the businesses that win through will be led by inspirational leaders who galvanise their people to achieve extraordinary feats. The masterclass will provide insights and tips into how you can perfect being an inspirational leader. Drawing on material from his nine books on leadership, Prof Edger will outline how inspirational leaders mobilise their teams and businesses to outperform the market in challenging circumstances. Speakers will include leading HR hospitality consultant Liz Phillips, who has recruited, trained and developed teams that have been coveted by competitors. She will outline how she instilled the desire to join, the confidence to perform and the aspiration to develop. Meanwhile, Mark Sheasby was formerly chief superintendent of the West Midlands Police firearms unit, specialising in hostage negotiations. A qualified psychologist, he has also worked with high-profile athletes, including England Rugby, and high-performing business people. He will outline his philosophy of getting organisations to leverage their permanent internal qualities to overcome temporary external interference. For the full schedule, click here. Tickets are £295 plus VAT for operators and £445 plus VAT for suppliers, while tickets for Propel Premium subscribers are £245 plus VAT. To book, email or call 01444 817691.

Propel summer conference and party open for bookings, James Baer to present: The Propel summer conference and party on Thursday, 5 July at The Oxford Belfry is open for bookings. This year we have the usual great conference followed by crazy golf at Junkyard Golf in Oxford plus a barbecue and live band karaoke back at the hotel. James Baer, managing director of Amber Taverns, will set out the company’s progress in creating a 130-plus estate of community pubs, the strengths of its management model, its investment criteria, the development of its Hogarths Victorian-style gin palace brand, and future plans. Operators can claim up to two free places by emailing or calling her on 01444 817691.

East Midlands-based fruit and vegetable wholesaler enters administration: An East Midlands-based fruit and vegetable wholesaler that served restaurants and hotels across England has ceased trading after entering administration. Eureka Produce (UK), which traded from Leyland Trading Estate in Wellingborough, has closed. The company specialised in providing fresh and prepared produce, dairy and dry goods, herbs, fruit, vegetables and salads including seasonal and locally grown goods. The business, which started trading in 2009, sought professional advice from its accountants after experiencing cash flow pressures and arrears to HM Revenue & Customs. Kelly Burton and Lisa Hogg, of insolvency company Wilson Field, were appointed as joint administrators on 8 March. At its peak, Eureka Produce (UK) had 37 staff and served a variety of clients including restaurants, caterers and hotels in England. Burton told Insider Media: “The company grew rapidly to establish itself as a prominent wholesaler in the sector. In the early years it made modest profits but later posted losses associated with relocation of premises. This caused financial problems, which worsened after a significant drop in sales following a key employee leaving to work for a competitor. Despite cost-cutting measures, the company did not have sufficient financial reserves or cash flow to support continued trading of the business. The situation was compounded by the seasonal nature of the majority of the company’s trade and the harsh weather conditions throughout the winter of 2017, which caused a significant further downturn in profits. It is always sad when a company fails, particularly where job losses result, but at the time of our involvement there was no other alternative.”

More than four-fifths of UK diners always tip waiting staff: More than four-fifths (88%) of UK diners always tip waiting staff, according to new research by online market place Almost one-quarter (24%) of Brits would feel ashamed if they did not leave a tip for workers, while (21%) would still tip at a restaurant even if the service was poor. Similarly, almost one-third (32%) of restaurant-goers would feel too embarrassed to ask for the service charge to be removed from a bill, despite bad service. Another 15% said they tip because they do not feel workers “earn enough”. Almost half (49%) of respondents tip takeaway delivery drivers. Although tipping has not been allowed to make up national minimum wages since 2009, about 165,000 UK businesses still encourage tipping. The study found Brits tip taxi-drivers 77% of the time, and Uber drivers only 19% of the time.

Online chef recipe tool Gastronomixs launches in UK: Online recipe tool Gastronomixs has launched in the UK. Founded six years ago, the Netherlands-based team behind has built an online tool that features recipes from more than 20,000 chefs covering all styles of cuisine. Gastronomixs offers knowledge in the form of building blocks or “components” that feature the preparation of a single ingredient – for example a smoked potato, fermented carrot or roast pineapple. All components have been tested by professional chefs. A spokesman said: “Every chef can come here to develop creative recipes using the platform as their online brainstorming partner. By playing with the thousands of components on Gastronomixs, chefs are encouraged in a positive way to think outside the box.”

Hospitality forum to discuss reducing plastic waste in operations and supply chain: Hospitality Carbon Reduction Forum members will meet on Thursday, 17 May to discuss ways to cut plastic waste in operations and the supply chain. In total, 35 of the largest pub, restaurant and coffee groups, representing 85% of hospitality sector sites, will take part in the quarterly meeting to discuss issues such as mapping consumable plastics for a typical operator and alternatives to plastic. Established more than seven years ago, the forum also covers practical measures to cut energy and water use. Marston’s head of group facilities and projects Andy Kershaw said: “Through the forum collaboration we can adopt learnings from other operators and share what has worked for us. Everyone can then quickly adopt best practices that will work in hospitality businesses.” Whitbread head of energy and environment Cian Hatton said: “We aim to be leaders in delivering best practices in sustainability within our industry. Participating in the forum helps us identify and share new ways to become even more environmentally sustainable.” Hospitality operators wishing to join the forum should call Mark Chapman on 020 7298 6181 or email

UK brands and operators have ‘lot of history to unravel’ as they suffer ‘gender pint gap’: UK brands and operators have a “lot of history to unravel”, according to a new report by women and beer group Dea Latis, which revealed the country has one of the lowest percentages of female beer drinkers in the world. The group’s national survey into female attitudes and behaviours towards beer found fewer than one-fifth (17%) of women drink beer at least once a week, compared with 53% of men. The Gender Pint Gap report found male-oriented advertising is the main barrier for more than one-quarter (27%) of women drinking beer – rising to almost half (48%) for 18 to 24-year-olds. One-fifth (20%) of respondents named high-calorie content as their main barrier for avoiding beer, while 17% cited “being judged by others”. However, almost one-third (32%) of women would drink beer at home with friends, compared with only 3% recorded in a Molson Coors 2009 survey, Dea Latis said. Annabel Smith, Dea Latis director and beer sommelier, said: “Overtly masculine advertising and promotion of beer has been largely absent from media channels for a number of years but there is a lot of history to unravel. Women still perceive beer branding as targeted at men.” Co-author Lisa Harlow added: “It was disheartening in our supposedly enlightened times that so many of our female respondents cited ‘being judged by others’ as a reason for not drinking beer. Perhaps we need some high-profile celebrity advocates to show women it is acceptable to drink beer?”

Tim Bacon Foundation to raise funds for children’s cancer charities: The Tim Bacon Foundation is to focus on raising funds for children’s cancer charities in its second year. Salford-based Kidscan Children’s Cancer Research supports investigation of specialised children’s cancer treatments. The first major event will be held at Manchester House on Thursday, 7 June featuring some of the region’s finest chefs, while the charity will also have representatives in October’s Manchester Half Marathon, including many hospitality sector leaders. The foundation, launched in memory of Living Ventures co-founder Tim Bacon, raised more than £550,000 last year for Maggie’s Centre at The Christie. Chairman Jeremy Roberts, who founded the organisation in memory of his late business partner, said: “I want to thank you for your incredible support of the foundation and, on a personal note, all the great support and love I felt coming my way over the two years since Tim left us. The second fund-raising campaign will focus on raising money for a hugely worthwhile children’s cancer charity, while continuing to support the Maggie’s Centre at The Christie. Last year was special. The Dream The Impossible Dream Party was huge and people were incredibly generous – but it was not a one-off. The foundation is here to stay and this year we want to focus on children. Children living with cancer is heartbreaking and we want to do what we can to help make their lives better, which is why we are supporting an incredible Manchester charity doing very important work. Tim’s nephew Jett died just a few days after him from cancer so this year it is particularly fitting we recognise that. We want to fund three research students for three years so our goal is nine years of research, which will be yet another legacy for the foundation to be proud of.” For more details, visit

Trail partners with Milton Keynes Council: Operations management app Trail has partnered with Milton Keynes Council to initiate off-the-shelf food safety checks. The Primary Authority Partnership will enable businesses that enter the scheme to use Trail as a complete food safety management system. Trail’s app presents a simple list of tasks for teams to follow, only showing the “right tasks to the right people at the right time”. Tasks are distributed from a central location, which are time and date-stamped with the name of the person completing them. Trail managing director Joe Cripps said: “There are limited options for off-the-shelf food safety management systems. Paper is obviously outdated and other systems are a nightmare for staff to use.” Last week, Trail signed a partnership deal with Honest Burgers, while other customers include Ei Group, Deliveroo, Bill’s and New World Trading Company.

Seattle-based JuneBaby named best new restaurant at James Beard Awards: Seattle-based JuneBaby has been named best new restaurant at this year’s James Beard Awards, known as the “Oscars of the food world”. The venue, which serves classic Southern food, took the accolade at a ceremony in Chicago that honours the restaurant industry’s finest chefs, designers, architects and authors. Meanwhile, Caroline Styne, of The Lucques Group in Los Angeles, was crowned outstanding restaurateur. Highlands Bar and Grill in Alabama, which is rooted in classic French cooking techniques, was named outstanding restaurant. The James Beard Foundation selected an individual committee to judge each category for the awards, now in their 28th year.

Company News:

Punch plans wet-led growth as it re-enters the market for pub acquisitions: Punch has said it is focusing on wet-led growth as part of its acquisition strategy. Following the sale of 1,900 pubs to Heineken last year, Punch, which was acquired by Patron and May Capital last August, is beginning a strategy of growth through acquisition to add to its current estate of 1,300 pubs. The news follows the acquisition last week of the 54-strong Gavin George-led Laine Pub Company by Vine Acquisitions, backed by Patron Capital and May Capital. Agents Everard Cole, James A Baker and Matthew Phillips Surveyors have been retained to seek new sites for the company. Everard Cole director Jon Heald said: “Punch is committed to growing its estate through selective acquisitions and is back in the market to acquire businesses and property that will complement and enhance the current estate. Our exciting brief is to acquire wet-led pubs that are suitable for the managed or leased estate, doing at least circa 250-plus barrels a year and minimum net sales of more than £6,000 per week.”

Cote looks to dispose of Limeyard and Jackson & Rye sites: French brasserie Cote is examining plans to dispose of restaurants trading under its Limeyard and Jackson & Rye brands. Cote, which is owned by private equity firm BC Partners, said the plans had yet to be finalised but stressed they did not include the main Cote-branded operation, which has 92 sites, which it said was performing resiliently in tough market conditions. Propel understands all options are being considered for the six restaurants still open, including continuing to trade. A Cote spokesman said: “As a result of recent and well-documented headwinds for the restaurant sector, we have taken the decision to explore a range of options for a very small number of Jackson & Rye and Limeyard restaurants. In some instances we have closed or sold outlets and we are working hard to find viable options for others while continuing to support those that are trading well. Our Cote restaurants continue to perform well, which is testament to the strength of that offer in what remains a very challenging environment.” Last month, Cote closed its last remaining Jackson & Rye site outside London – in Guildford – three months after closing its Kingston site and scrapping plans to take the brand to Birmingham. The four remaining Jackson & Rye sites are in Bank, Chiswick, Richmond and Soho. Cote bought Jackson & Rye in January 2016 alongside all-day California kitchen brand Limeyard, which has sites in Ealing and Staines. Jackson & Rye was originally led by Gordon Ramsay Holdings head chef Mark Askew and former Hakkasan operations chief Hannah Bass and was initially backed by restaurateur Richard Caring.

Caravan to open Fitzrovia site for fifth venue, launching ‘to go’ concept as part of offer: Caravan, the restaurant, bar and coffee-roasting concept, is to open its fifth site, in Fitzrovia, central London, which will include a new Caravan-To-Go concept. Founders Miles Kirby, Laura Harper-Hinton and Chris Ammermann will open the venue in July in the former BBC Radio 1 recording headquarters. Caravan Fitzrovia marks the group’s first shift towards a more centrally based location. In a nod to the building’s history, the basement will house a “record room” hosting private dining. Upstairs, a large bar will weave through three dining rooms. Caravan-To-Go is the new expansion of the take-out offer. The company’s in-house sourdough bakery and croissanterie, based at its soon-to-open flagship roastery near King’s Cross, will create a weekly changing patisserie range. There will be a variety of breakfast and lunch dishes alongside healthy drinks and craft coffee. All Caravan-To-Go transactions will be cashless. Alongside Caravan-To-Go, the team will launch a reusable lunchbox and coffee cup scheme. Meanwhile, new dishes on the main restaurant’s all-day menu will include green falafel with pickled and grilled cauliflower, radish, garlic sesame and chilli; and crispy duck with taramind caramel, celery, shallots, cucumber and coriander. The wine list will focus on organic and biodynamic producers.

Brighton-based Indian restaurant The Chilli Pickle to start expansion with Guildford launch: Award-winning, Brighton-based Indian restaurant The Chilli Pickle is to start expansion by opening a second site, in Guildford, Surrey. Husband-and-wife team Alun and Dawn Sperring, who launched the concept ten years ago, will open the 125-cover restaurant in High Street at a site that housed the last venue outside London for Cote’s Jackson & Rye brand but closed last month. Replicating The Chilli Pickle’s Brighton venue, the Guildford site will offer an Indian market-inspired feel and feature hand-painted Tamil stencil graphics and roadside-style posters. Last year, The Chilli Pickle partnered with investment and advisory firm Imagine Capital to inject funds into expanding the brand. The Sperrings said: “The key for us is to retain the essence of who we are with a creative edge and attention to detail and to keep it as a family vocation. Our regular Indian research trips enable us to keep our brand fresh and retain the confidence of our customers – wherever we are.”

Cotswolds Distillery to open first off-site shop as it hits £2m fund-raise target: The Cotswolds Distillery, which produces artisan gin and whisky, is to open its first off-site shop as it hits its £2m fund-raise target. The distillery has signed a lease on a site in Bourton-on-the-Water. The company launched the campaign on crowdfunding platform Crowdcube last week to “build brand awareness and long-term growth”. The company is offering 6.23% equity in return for investment. So far, 464 investors have pledged £2,001,460 and the campaign is now overfunding with 22 days remaining. A company spokesman said: “One of the elements of our plan for growth is to open our first off-site shop in a key strategic location in the Cotswolds. As our first off-site location, the shop will focus on our core products – Cotswolds Dry Gin, Cotswolds Single Malt Whisky and Cotswolds Cream Liqueur – but we’ll also introduce some new products and formats including miniatures and gift packs. Even though Bourton-on-the-Water is a beautiful, small, quintessentially British town, it receives huge numbers of international tourists every day, especially in the summer. We are incredibly excited about the prospect of meeting visitors from all over the world and introducing them to our spirits so they can take home a taste of the Cotswolds.” The Cotswolds Distillery was founded by chief executive Dan Szor, while directors include Richard Watling, former senior director at Allied Distillers and Diageo. The distillery’s products are sold in Harrods, Majestic Wine and Waitrose in the UK and exported to 28 countries with average sales growth exceeding 100% per annum. The Cotswolds Distillery’s sales growth was £280,000 in 2015 rising to £3.4m in the past 12 months. Ebitda was £145,000, while the company’s destination distillery in Stourton attracted 28,000 visitors in 2017, an 85% rise compared with the previous year.

Try Market Halls launches ‘next-level’ Fulham food hall: Try Market Halls, the company launched by former property investor Andy Lewis-Pratt and Simon Anderson, the restaurateur behind London’s Pitt Cue Co, has opened the first of its “next-level” food halls. Market Hall Fulham has launched in Fulham Broadway tube station entrance hall featuring nine operators, a bar and a 180-capacity communal dining area. Operators include Calcutta Canteen from chef Asma Khan, who operates Carnaby restaurant Darjeeling Express; Thima by Farang, a first permanent site for former Smoking Goat head chef Seb Holmes’ concept; Asian-inspired ice-cream parlour Soft Serve Society (second site); Yard Sale Pizza (fifth site); Press Coffee (fourth site); smoked meat brand Hot Box (second site); chicken sandwich concept Butchies (second site); Fanny’s Kebabs; and Hawaiian poké specialist Ahi Poké (fifth site). Anderson told Hot Dinners: “We studied the local area and pulled together a varied roster of traders, from local favourites to street food stars, which we hope will please everyone.” Try Market Halls is looking to open two further sites in London – in Victoria and Oxford Street – and is also eyeing sites in Liverpool, Glasgow, Edinburgh and York.

Plant-based restaurant concept CleanSlate begins £150,000 fund-raise to launch and grow brand: Plant-based restaurant concept CleanSlate has begun a £150,000 fund-raise on crowdfunding platform Crowcube to launch and grow the brand. Founder Zoey Henderson, who has previously opened juice bar and coffee shop ventures in London, is offering a 16.67% equity stake in return for the investment. The pitch states: “CleanSlate will bring plant-based eating into the London cafe culture – a creative menu and an inclusive environment that champions the ingredients used, not the ones left out. From your morning coffee and a gooey brownie to flavourful pasta and a glass of wine, CleanSlate will be a destination for all. Due to ethical, environmental and health benefits, we feel adopting a plant-based diet is not a fad or trend that will go out of fashion. We see this as the beginning of a more sustainable lifestyle movement that is here to stay. I have started two businesses in the artisan coffee and fast casual sector and now wish to develop into the plant-based market by showcasing an all-day dining concept that puts plant-based eating into the mainstream using artisan products and innovative twists on healthy, delicious and familiar foods.”

Whitbread appoints new senior independent director: Whitbread has appointed Richard Gillingwater as a non-executive director and senior independent director with effect from Wednesday, 27 June. Gillingwater will fill the vacancy left by Adam Crozier’s appointment as chairman in March. Gillingwater has spent much of his executive career in corporate finance and investment banking with Kleinwort Benson, BZW and Credit Suisse First Boston, where he rose to become chairman of European investment banking. In 2003 he moved out of banking and became chief executive of the Shareholder Executive, a body set up to manage the government’s portfolio of investments. He has considerable board experience and is currently chairman of Janus Henderson Group and SSE, non-executive director of Helical, and pro-chancellor of the Open University. Crozier said: “Richard has played a key role in guiding many boards through periods of growth, M&A activity and restructuring. His experience will be of great value to Whitbread as we continue the transformation of our two businesses, Premier Inn and Costa, and as we pursue the demerger of Costa, which will provide shareholders with investments in two distinct, focused and market-leading businesses.”

London-based macaron ice cream sandwich pop-up Yolkin goes permanent: London-based macaron ice cream sandwich pop-up Yolkin has opened a permanent site. Founder Sammie Le first started selling her ice cream macarons at Rupert Street’s Street Food Union market in 2015. Now she has returned to the same street to open her first bricks and mortar site having previously agreed a deal with landlord Shaftesbury. The 450 square foot site, which has seating for 18, features vintage reclaimed wood and biodegradable cutlery. The macaron ice cream sandwiches are inspired by south east Asia flavours with a western twist. These include matcha and oreo, pandan and coconut, lychee, black sesame, purple yam and Hong Kong milk tea. Julia Wilkinson, head of group restaurant strategy at Shaftesbury, said: “Yolkin has already proved to be an exciting addition to Chinatown London and is a huge hit with our visitors. The brand has amassed an impressive following on social media with its brightly coloured, highly-Instagrammable desserts and added to the buzz of the opening by implementing a successful launch through these platforms. Its attractive macaron sandwiches fit in perfectly with Chinatown London’s growing offer of Asian-inspired dessert operators.”

Drinks group Pure Wild Spirits passes 50% mark in £500,000 fund-raise to accelerate growth: Drinks group Pure Wild Spirits has passed the 50% mark in its £500,000 fund-raise on crowdfunding platform Growthdeck. The company is seeking a combined investment through Growthdeck and capital investment company 24 Haymarket to fund expansion into premium retailers, bars and restaurants and initial exports to New York. So far, six investors have pledged £255,000. The company launched the UK’s first birch sap spirit, Freya, in 2016, releasing a second flavour last November. The group owns the rights to all aspects of its products, including branding, recipe and bottle designs, and said it has opportunities to add new lines to its range. Birch sap has been listed as a new spirits category, and Pure Wild Spirits founder David Wallwork said Freya was showing signs of “disrupting” the market, with strong traction in premium bars in London, Manchester, Leeds, Edinburgh and Glasgow, and an imminent launch into Italy and New York.

Kent-based operator acquires Dartford pub for second site: Kent-based operator Yvonne Rickards has acquired her second site. Rickards has taken on the lease of The Court House in Dartford in a deal brokered by agent Christie & Co. Rickards, who owns the Merry Chest Café in nearby Bean, said: “I am very happy to have completed on The Court House and added it to our other business located only a few miles away. We aim to bring back a good pub to the local community.” James Hughes, business agent at Christie & Co, who handled the sale, added: “I was delighted to facilitate the leasehold transaction on behalf of Garry Simpson, which will see this iconic pub reopen with a successful operator at the helm. Pubs that are still viable businesses are all too often snapped up by developers to be converted into housing or other alternative uses so it’s fantastic in this case to be assisting in reopening the doors on what is a magnificent pub.”

Manchester-based Turkish restaurant to open second site, in Rawtenstall: Manchester-based Turkish restaurant La Turka is to open its second site, in Rawtenstall. Owners Zaf Kesici and Ishan Guler will open the venue in Bank Street. The restaurant, which will create about 20 jobs, will cater for up to 100 people across two floors and include function rooms on the upper floor. The menu will include mezze, tapas, kebabs, seafood dishes and pasta risotto, along with Turkish wine and cocktails. It will also offer live entertainment including belly dancers and musicians. Kesici, who moved from Turkey to England in 1997 and now lives in Manchester, told the Lancashire Telegraph: “We set up the concept for the people who have visited Turkey on their holidays and want them to get the same feeling when they are here – a holiday feeling.”

Scotch distilling returns to Borders after near 200-year absence: Distilling has returned to the Scottish Borders for the first time since 1837 with the official opening of The Borders Distillery in Hawick. Three Stills Company (TTSC), founded by former William Grant & Sons employees Tim Carton, John Fordyce, Tony Roberts and George Tait, raised £10m in investment in 2015 to build the distillery on a 1.3-hectare site overlooking the River Teviot, creating 19 jobs. The distillery comprises a visitors’ centre, shop, events space and bar with lounge seating. At full capacity it can produce up to two million litres of pure alcohol. Barley used for distilling is entirely grown in the Scottish Borders, while process water is drawn from the water table and cooling water from the river. TTSC already has two brands on the market – blended scotch Clan Fraser and Lower East Side, a blended malt scotch. Carton said: “This is a seminal moment for our business. In addition to being the first scotch whisky distillery to operate in the Scottish Borders since 1837, we are now in a position to contribute to the growth of this fine industry. Scotch whisky is again experiencing exciting times, with growth fuelled by new and more mature markets.” 

Norwich-based Gotts Leisure lines up second city site: Norwich-based Gotts Leisure is lining up its second site in the city. The company has submitted a licensing application to the city council to launch the Red Rock Cafe in Prince of Wales Road. The application stated: “The target age group is the over-25s, although the music, lighting, decor and furniture is intended to appeal to an older demographic so the average age of our customers will be 35-plus. The business model is purposely different from what is currently available in this part of Norwich and aims to broaden the make-up of people attracted to the city centre late into the night.” The venue would be open daily from 10am until 4am, reports the Eastern Daily Press. Gotts Leisure currently operates the Fluke bar in the same street.

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