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Thu 24th May 2018 - Just Eat teams with Sarah Willingham to boost restaurant businesses, NTIA and Culture24 unite
Just Eat teams up with Sarah Willingham to launch business booster initiative for restaurant partners: Just Eat has teamed up with investor and former Dragons’ Den star Sarah Willingham to launch a growth initiative for the company’s restaurant partners. The Business Booster programme aims to “realise the £1.1bn growth potential of UK independent restaurants and takeaways”. Just Eat research revealed almost three-fifths (59%) of independent restaurant owners believe they will grow their business in the next five years despite the current economic climate. Just Eat said if independent restaurants achieved a 5% increase in annual turnover, the UK economy would benefit by £1.1bn, while the sector would create 55,000 jobs by 2023. Despite optimism regarding growth, however, almost two-thirds (65%) of independent restaurant owners are concerned they will be unable to maintain current profitability levels, while 63% would value advice on how to grow their business. The Business Booster programme will see Willingham, who previously held senior management roles at PizzaExpress and helped grow Indian restaurant chain Bombay Bicycle Club, provide one-on-one business mentoring for restaurant owners. She will also advise businesses through a series of regional events and via blogs and advice shared through the platform’s communication channels. Advice will centre on findings from Just Eat’s research such as 30% of restaurant owners have failed to check income and costs to see how their margins are changing, while almost a quarter (24%) have failed to review their pricing. The most important areas of opportunity identified by restaurant owners were increasing the number of new customers (85%), promoting their business to more potential customers (80%), and increasing margins (67%). Willingham said: “When you run a small business so much time is spent on day-to-day management it’s hard to focus on growth – but there are still many opportunities for independent food outlets. As someone who knows what it takes to build, grow and run successful restaurants, I know a small change can go a long way.” Just Eat UK managing director Graham Corfield added: “The restaurants we partner with are important pillars of high streets up and down the UK. If we can help them improve profitability and efficiencies, the combined impact on the economy could be huge.”

NTIA and Culture24 unite to promote night-time economy: The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) and arts charity Culture24, which produces the Museums At Night festival, are to unite the museum and gallery world with clubs, bars and venues to promote and develop the culture and nightlife offer. They stated: “Over the next few months we will announce a series of initiatives designed to boost the contribution that ‘lates’ (museum and gallery night-time events) make towards the UK’s night-time economy and support developing connections between visual and performing art sectors of the night-time economy. This is the first time industry-level connections have been forged between two organisations that have so much in common and are derived from a deeply-held belief the UK night-time cultural offer is capable of simultaneously lifting the nation’s spirits, generating wealth and jobs, and contributing to a cultural renaissance on the high street. NTIA chairman Alan Miller will be one of the speakers at Culture24’s conference – A Culture of Lates – at The National Gallery on Friday, 1 June. He said: “It is in the night-time that we are often at our most creative. Bringing together Britain’s world-class museums and galleries to collaborate with our night-time industries is game-changing news for the UK.” Culture24 campaigns manager Nicholas Stockman added: “When people go out for a great night they don’t make a distinction between performance or visual arts spaces, they just want to be entertained. This is about helping them do that more often and in a diverse range of spaces.”

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