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Mon 25th Jun 2018 - Loungers on track to reach 140 sites by year-end
Loungers on track to reach 140 sites by year-end: Loungers, the operator of 104 Lounges and 22 Cosy Clubs, is on track to reach 140 sites by the end of 2018. Since the beginning of the year, the company has opened 12 new sites. Since opening its 100th Lounge in Moseley (Birmingham) in March, new Lounges have been opened in Chorlton, Bicester, Grantham and Warrington and the group’s 22nd Cosy Club opening last weekend in Guildford. The company stated: “The pipeline for new sites remains strong as Loungers looks to open 25 new sites in 2018. The pipeline for new Lounge neighbourhood café-bars is well advanced into 2019, and the Cosy Club pipeline is particularly evolved with sites now feeding into 2019 and 2020. Management continues to approach negotiations with landlords with caution given the current flux in the property market. The business continues to trade well in the current environment and Lounger’s home-from-home, relaxed customer proposition – offering great food and drink, all day, to an increasingly broad demographic – continues to resonate with customers. Trading across both brands, in both mature sites and new openings continues to be strong. Over the course of the summer, the group will open Lounge neighbourhood café-bars in Witham, Barnstaple, Biggleswade, Chesterfield, Newton Abbot, Didcot, Manchester Business School, Hitchin and Stocksbridge. Each new site creates around 30 new jobs, representing 750 new jobs this year alone. The group’s 23rd Cosy Club is also confirmed to open in Norwich in the Autumn. With a strong pipeline of additional sites in place, Loungers plans to continue to expand significantly, bringing its suburban “third space” lifestyle culture and hospitality, to many new locations and communities with a target of 25 new openings per year.” Nick Collins, chief executive of Loungers, said: “We are pleased with trading both in terms of our new openings and the consistent level of growth which we are achieving across both brands in our more established sites. Whilst a plethora of retail opportunities are being presented to us, our site selection strategy is, as always, firmly focused on maintaining strict rental parameters and returns criteria. We remain comfortable with the current rate of roll-out and continue to work hard to ensure we are delivering better experiences for our teams, customers and the communities in which we serve.”

Plastic guide for foodservice launched by SRA: The first sector specific guide to help foodservice businesses to find the best available alternatives to single-use plastics, is launched today by the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA). The easy to use manual is designed to provide restaurants and other hospitality businesses, large and small, with all the essential information to ask the right questions in order to make the best long-term decisions about the millions of disposable items they use, from straws to bottles, cups to clingfilm. Speaking before the launch of the toolkit at the SRA’s event Unwrapping Plastics: Use and Misuse in Hospitality, Andrew Stephen, chief executive of the SRA, said: “Plastics play a crucial role in the day to day operation of most food service businesses, and right now the sector is facing an unprecedented level of awareness and pressure over their environmental impact. There is a huge tide of willingness to tackle the pressing issue of single-use plastic. Many foodservice businesses have already taken the first step – acknowledging they have a plastic problem. A number have already acted decisively to ditch some items like straws. There are few in the industry though who feel fully confident about the available alternatives for their full range of disposables. We’ve created a toolkit to help the industry start to come to terms with its addiction to single-use plastic. It’s designed businesses better understand the realities of what they are using, what it’s made of and how they can actually dispose of it. Armed with this, we hope businesses will be better equipped to make informed decisions, making switches which are genuinely better for the environment, customers and business too.”

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