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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Mon 3rd Dec 2018 - Update: Patisserie Valerie, Oakman Inns and Nick Basing
Patisserie Valerie’s former marketing boss makes £325,000 claim against the company over unpaid bonuses: The Times has reported that the former marketing head of Patisserie Valerie is suing the company for £325,000 in a claim over the non-payment of bonuses that is critical of the company’s management. The Times added: “Nicola Hedley, who worked for three years as group marketing manager before becoming third-party relationship manager, has filed a complaint at an employment tribunal in Birmingham. Her claim is for breach of contract and constructive dismissal in relation to bonus payments she says were not paid, according to documents seen by The Times. Patisserie Holdings, the parent company, has instructed the law firm Gateley to contest Ms Hedley’s legal claim, which was scheduled to be heard on October 29 but is understood to have been delayed. At Patisserie Valerie, Ms Hedley was responsible for managing the café group’s contracts with companies such as Groupon and Barclays, which did deals with Patisserie Valerie to provide its products to their customers. She left the business in March last year.” Meanwhile, of the ongoing investigation into the company’ accounts, forensic accounting expert Gavin Pearson told Accountancy Age: “What seems to have happened is that the accounts were misstated, it would appear, over a number of years for there to have been the massive difference between the actual overdrawn position and the cash of over £20m which was supposed to have been in the bank. That suggests it was something that happened over a prolonged period and that, most probably, revenues and profits had been overstated during that period and that obviously raises a number of questions.”

Oakman Inns plans restoration of Hatfield’s Bush Hall Hotel: Oakman Inns & Restaurants is planning a partnership with Gascoyne Cecil Estates to restore Hatfield’s Bush Hall Hotel. The hall has stood empty since 2011, and various planning proposals have been submitted to and rejected by Welwyn Hatfield Council in that time. A former hospital, private house, school and hotel, the proposed restoration of Bush Hall comprises a hotel with 14 boutique rooms, a modern pub and restaurant with riverside terrace, and a standalone venue with formal gardens for weddings, family parties and corporate events. The project will create around 60 new jobs. Malcolm Schooling, Oakman Inns’ property director said: “When you consider the wonderful history of Bush Hall, from Queen Elizabeth I to recent years, it has always stood out as a focal point for the community. For Bush Hall, we are balancing new contemporary architecture with the unique qualities and charm of the listed building, which will all be equipped with modern facilities to meet the needs of the 21st century.” If planning permission was obtained, Oakman Inns would hope to open the venue in 2020.

Nick Basing to step down from board of Goals Soccer Centres: The board of Goals Soccer Centres has been informed by Nick Basing, non-executive director of the company and chairman of Goals City US Limited, a joint venture with City Football Group, of his intention to retire as a non-executive director to focus on his other numerous business commitments. He will stand down once a replacement has been found or at the May 2019 annual general meeting, whichever is sooner. A search will begin immediately for a successor. It has also been agreed that Nick Basing will step down from his chairman role at Goals City US Limited on 31 December and Michael Bolingbroke, chairman of Goals, will assume the role. Michael Bolingbroke, chairman of Goals Soccer Centres, said: “Nick joined the Goals board in 2015 and has since then led the company through both the development of its recovery strategy and the formation of its joint venture with City Football Group, successfully accelerating the company’s expansion in the US. The board wishes to thank Nick for his focus and tireless efforts over the last few years – his contribution has set our company on its current growth path. We all wish him well in his future endeavours.”

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