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Mon 17th Dec 2018 - Propel Monday News Briefing

Story of the Day:

Sector like-for-likes up 1.5% in November, London outperforms regions: Britain’s managed pub and restaurant groups saw collective like-for-like sales grow 1.5% in November compared with last year, according to the latest Coffer Peach Business Tracker. Pub and restaurant operators both saw positive sales during the month, with collective like-for-likes ahead 2.1% and 0.6% respectively. London outpaced the rest of Britain with like-for-likes up 2.3%, compared with 1.3% outside the M25. “The November figures will be welcome for a market that has seen generally flat trading across the year, and operators will hope this upward trend continues into the festive season,” said Karl Chessell, director of CGA, the business insight consultancy that produces the tracker, in partnership with Coffer Group and RSM. “Managed pubs have continued to trade better than the restaurant market, especially in London where collective like-for-likes were up 3.1%. Restaurant chains also did marginally better in the capital with sales up 0.9%, compared with 0.5%, but as the figures show remain under pressure from increased costs and tough competition. Drink sales were the main driver of pubs’ better performance, up 3.0% against a 0.6% uplift in food sales. Chains are continuing to open sites and, although the rate of expansion has slowed, there were more openings than closures among the tracker cohort over the month.” Davis Coffer Lyons chairman David Coffer added: “The figures reflect what we are experiencing at the ‘coalface’ with an ever-increasing demand for pubs and, indeed, late-night bars, not only in the capital but across the country. The demand for restaurant space is increasing but is reflective of the current political uncertainty. Traditionally, there will be an acceleration in restaurant trade as we approach the seasonal period and hopefully that will give an injection of confidence in the market. There is no doubt drinks-led operations are currently leading the way. Comparatively, there is a considerable amount of restaurant stock hitting the market and once this has been taken up we anticipate further growth in this part of the sector.” Total sales, which include the effect of new openings since this time last year across the 49 companies in the tracker, were ahead 3.7% compared with last November. Underlying like-for-like growth for the tracker cohort, which represents large and small groups, was running at 0.8% for the 12 months to the end of November, virtually the same as at the end of October, showing the eating and drinking out market remains essentially flat.
 

Industry News: 

Restaurant Marketer & Innovator – one month to go, speakers for day one: There is one month to go until the Restaurant Marketer & Innovator European Summit, which is returning for its second year. The two-day event, a partnership between Propel and Think Hospitality, will feature more than 40 speakers with a unique blend of senior marketers, business leaders and entrepreneurs. Day one will feature Think Hospitality managing director James Hacon, who will share campaigns and innovations raised from the past year. The speaker line-up features KAM Media insight director Blake Gladman; Kamila Sitwell, founder of Divine Eating Out; Richard Dickson, head of partnerships at Carbon Free Dining; Jon Knight, chief executive of Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group; Inception Group head of marketing Simon Allison; Lunar Lemon founder Craig Melvin; Abokado head of marketing Vineeta Anuj; Beds and Bars marketing director Sophie Herbert; Ben Calleja, co-founder of Fast Fine Restaurant Group; Feya founder Zahra Khan; and Hannah Clark, Me:Mo Interactive account director. Chris Miller, founder of the White Rabbit Fund, will talk to four concept founders – James Hennebry (Rosslyn Coffee), Yasmine Larizadeh (The Good Life Eatery), Rik Campbell (Kricket) and Loui Blake (Kalifornia Kitchen) – about their entrepreneurial journey. Anders Houmann, of Victor Group (Denmark); John Rigos, chief executive of Aurify Brands (the US); and Martti Siimann, chief executive of NOA Restaurant Group (Estonia) will reveal how to create concepts that customers love. Meanwhile, UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls will host a panel featuring Elliotts managing director Anthony Knight, SSP senior commercial manager Claire Small, Be At One brand manager Giles Denning, and Stacey Plaine, senior F&B marketing manager of Marriott International, to discuss the future for marketing in the sector. A new industry think-tank – Restaurant Of The Future – will define the future of eating and drinking out. The panel will feature Angela Malik, strategy director of Think Hospitality; Russell Danks, Punch marketing and strategy director; Storm Fagan, Just Eat head of product; AllDay Industry (New York) founder David Helbraun; The TMRW Project partner Emma Underwood, and Kamilla Seidler, of The Expedition (Bolivia). Tickets for the two-day conference, which will take place on 16 and 17 January at One Moorgate Place, London, cost £575 for operators and £845 for suppliers. Group ticket packages are available when purchasing three tickets or more. Tickets can be purchased by emailing Anne Steele, of Propel, at anne.steele@propelinfo.com

Average spend on night out up 8.9% as frequency falls, safety focus highlights clear discrepancy in attitudes between men and women: Average consumer spend on a night out is up 8.9% year-on-year to £67.05, the latest Deltic Night Index has revealed. Spending is up across food, transport, entry fees and drinks in the venue, while pre-drink spend was down 1.5% on the previous year. The frequency of nights out has fallen, with 53.9% of individuals going out at least once a week compared with 60.1% last year – a 6.2% decline. The latest research focused on security and safety for the first time and highlighted a clear discrepancy in attitudes between men and women. More than nine in ten (90.4%) of consumers said how safe they feel on a night out – from the venue itself to travelling there and back – is an important factor when judging how good a venue is. More than three-fifths (63.2%) feel safe using public transport when travelling to a night out, compared with 52.1% on the way home – this figure drops to 46.3% among women. Similarly, 64.1% of women and 54.2% of men said increased lighting on streets would make them feel safer on a night out. Almost two-fifths (38.3%) of women and 19.1% of men said the provision of phone-charging points would make them feel safer, while 32.1% of women and 20.4% of men, said the provision of emergency phones would help. More than one-third (34.1%) of women and 13.8% of men said female venue security made them feel safer, while more than three-quarters (76.9%) of respondents feel safe being in a venue that searches customers before entry and 71.2% feel safe in a venue that has metal detectors on the door. More than one-quarter (27.4%) of respondents feel bodycams intrude on their privacy, whereas almost three-quarters (74.1%) are happy bodycams are being adopted in late-night venues. In terms of who was most responsible for providing a safe night out, more than half (55.6%) said themselves, followed by nightclub owners (19.0%) and council and emergency services (10.0%). Deltic Group chief executive Peter Marks said: “We know safety is a key priority for operators and consumers and we have always worked with all local stakeholders to ensure this is the case. But this data shows there is an opportunity for operators and local authorities to come together to help create an environment that feels even more safe. The data has revealed a consistent, clear discrepancy in attitudes between men and women. Clearly, when it comes to creating a healthy late-night economy, the focus needs to be on creating a night out everyone can enjoy.”
 
Sector businesses in talks with TfL over junk food advertising ban: Sector businesses are in talks with Transport for London (TfL) as they look to find ways to deal with the authority’s impending ban on junk food advertising. Just Eat, Deliveroo and McDonald’s are among the companies in discussions with TfL, which is poised to outlaw posters of fatty and sugary foods across the capital’s transport network from February. Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said it was imperative to take action against the “ticking timebomb” of child obesity when he confirmed the ban on trains, buses and trams last month. Online food delivery business Just Eat said it had no current plans to launch legal proceedings and was “exploring options” to ensure its advertising worked come February. Deliveroo said it had had “very positive engagement with TfL ahead of the incoming changes”. The ban will not stop brands from advertising, but will prevent foods and soft drinks that are high in fat and sugar, or deemed less healthy under Public Health England guidelines, from being displayed. Phil Smith, director-general of the advertising trade body ISBA, told The Sunday Times the ban created conflicting rules for advertisers across the industry. He added: “We fear his announcement, as set out, creates an incoherent and confusing environment for advertisers and consumers alike and will only delay the focus on addressing this challenge.”

Welsh business rates support ‘not enough to aid growth in hospitality’: Hospitality Cymru, part of UKHospitality, has said the extension to Welsh business rates support for small businesses is “not enough” to aid growth in the sector. Executive director Dave Chapman said: “Business rates represent a massive cost burden on the hospitality sector, which continues to be disproportionately hit, particularly since the last revaluation. Wales has a world-renowned hospitality sector but these venues are being crippled by spiralling cost increases. Extending the high-street rate relief scheme is a positive first step and the Welsh government should be applauded for its support but this does very little to support the vast range of hospitality businesses that form the core of Welsh high streets and communities. We need more fundamental support for essential hospitality businesses with reform of the rates system in Wales. Devolution gives the Welsh government a unique opportunity to create a system fit for the modern economy. We have held positive meetings with the former cabinet secretary and his team and urged them to create a system that supports the Welsh hospitality sector, a major local employer. The Welsh government should look at using every weapon in its arsenal to cut disproportionate costs for hospitality businesses that continue to be unfairly hit.” Almost 2,000 pubs in Wales will benefit from the decision, according to analysis by the British Beer & Pub Association.

Three-quarters of Brits enjoy pubs around Christmas: Almost three-quarters (73%) of Brits say they enjoy going to a local pub during the festive season, according to new research by Suffolk-based brewer and retailer Greene King. A study of almost 1,000 UK consumers found Christmas Eve is the most popular time to visit the pub, with more than two-fifths (44%) of consumers planning to visit on Christmas Eve, compared with little more than one-third (34%) on New Year’s Eve. More than three-quarters (76%) said the Great British pub played an important role during Christmas, with 72% stating going to the pub was a tradition and 45% likely to visit the pub more often during the festive period than during a regular two-week period. A pub’s ambience is important to customers, with almost three-fifths (57%) citing Christmas decorations as the most important aspect of the pub during the festive period, while 55% of respondents find the festive food menu most important. Greene King chief executive Rooney Anand said: “For many, the pub is the number-one choice of venue to celebrate the Christmas period, signifying the important role of the pub in the heart of communities.”

Springboard heads back to West End for annual pantomime: The Springboard Charity is heading back to the West End to stage its third pantomime – an industry revamp of Dick Whittington. The pantomime will be performed at the Leicester Square Theatre for four nights from 29 January to 1 February. The project, which follows previous productions Aladdin and Springderella, aims to raise funds to help young people achieve their potential and support people into employment within the hospitality, leisure and tourism sectors. Springboard said the pantomime would be about “celebrating what makes hospitality great”. For tickets and details of the cast line-up, visit springboarduk.net/panto
 

Company News:

Camerons Brewery reports turnover increases to £74m: Camerons Brewery has reported turnover increased to £74,034,619 for the year ending 29 April 2018, compared with £69,895,195 the previous year. Revenue from pubs was up to £18,123,887, compared with £16,910,712 the year before while turnover from brewing and other activities rose to £55,901,010, compared with £52,964,489 the previous year. Ebitda was down to £5.6m, compared with £6.4m the year before. Pre-tax profit fell to £1,178,219, compared with £2,441,876 the previous year, according to accounts filed at Companies House. In their report accompanying the accounts, the directors stated: “The company remains firmly on track to deliver its business plan objectives. We continue to acquire, invest and churn across both our managed and tenanted divisions and we have made great progress with the development of the pub estate this year. We have added further to our Head of Steam managed brand in the year with the acquisition of five leasehold outlets. Our managed division consisted of 28 outlets at April 2018 with another addition made shortly after the year end. During the year we have also made a significant investment across the existing managed division with four major refurbishment schemes completed along with installation of a Zonal EPOS till system across the entire division. These investments have slightly impacted on the bottom line conversion, due to the associated closure periods. However, continuing operational performance remains very robust. Our tenanted division, which consisted of 50 outlets at the year-end, has performed strongly. Two outlets were disposed of during the year and while we will always consider churn as an option our disposal program is now largely complete. We continue to invest to improve returns and we completed four refurbishment schemes during the year. Two freeholds, one an existing leasehold managed outlet and the other a new tenanted outlet, were acquired during the year. The contract brewing and bottling businesses have had another strong year as we continue to attract new customers as well as service the existing customer base. In summary the directors are pleased with the progress the company and group continues to make and are confident of more growth through 2019 and beyond.” Net debt at the year end was circa £24.0m, similar to the prior year. This has resulted in a net debt to Ebitda ratio of 4.3 times. The number of employees fell to 450 at the end of the period from 458 the previous year.

Azzurri Group looks to China for expansion: Azzurri Group, which owns the Zizzi and ASK Italian brands, is looking to China in an effort to expand beyond the saturated casual dining market in the UK. The company, owned by private equity firm Bridgepoint, is opening a Zizzi restaurant in Shanghai – expected to be the first of several in China, reports The Sunday Times. Azzurri Group has so far mostly been unaffected by the wave of restructurings that has affected the casual dining sector that has led to brands such as Jamie’s Italian, Carluccio’s and Byron closing sites. Azzurri Group reported sales of £279.8m in the year to July from its 269 restaurants and the Coco di Mama chain. In 2015, Bridgepoint backed a £250m buyout of Azzurri Group, which was said to be the subject of bid interest earlier this year.
 
Gin sales boost turnover and Ebitda at Vaulkhard Group, plans to expand leisure business: Newcastle-based leisure firm Vaulkhard Group has reported turnover increased to £10,501,702 for the year ending 31 March 2018, compared with £10,455,229 the year before following a boost in sales from its gin business. The company revealed it also planned to add to its leisure division having made some “significant investment property disposals” since the year end. Ebitda was up to £985,186, compared with £918,316 the previous year. Pre-tax profit rose to £676,523 compared with £666,200 the year before, according to accounts filed at Companies House. A report by the directors accompanying the accounts stated: “Following a period of significant capital investment, these financial statements represent a year of consolidation for the group. Greater emphasis has been placed on making our leisure sites more efficient in terms of cost control but retaining our ability to provide quality of service. This meant that despite a 2% drop in leisure turnover, the group was more profitable. There was a substantial increase of £210,000 in turnover for the distillery business and rental income increased £71,000 for the year. At the balance sheet date the group’s net assets were £13,453,664, an increase of 1.3% on the prior year. The group was compliant with all banking covenants, with term loan facilities in place until 31 March 2020. The group has made some significant investment property disposals after the balance sheet date. This is expected to provide sufficient resources to add to the number of licensed premises in the coming year within the leisure business, which will further improve the group’s Ebitda. The group continues to support the growth of Newcastle Gin Co, which distils and distributes Newcastle Gin. After the balance sheet date, the company successfully secured a large order to supply a leading supermarket. The directors anticipate this company will experience significant growth over the coming years.” The number of employees at the period end fell to 272 from 279 the previous year.
 
Starbucks to expand delivery to 2,000 US sites, launching virtual store in China: Starbucks is to expand delivery early next year to 2,000 stores in the US – about a quarter of its domestic company-owned sites – in a partnership with UberEats. The roll-out comes follows a pilot scheme in 100 stores in Miami. Speaking at the company’s biennial investor day in New York, chief operating officer Rosalind Brewer said the test had received “high remarks” and the target roll-out date for the new delivery platform was late March or early April. Technology-driven initiatives have been a key focus for Starbucks in recent years. In 2018 more than half (51%) of orders were taken in-store, down from 61% in 2016, as a result of the company’s mobile push, drive-thru and delivery platforms, Starbucks said. Mobile order and payment has jumped from 5% to 12% of total sales during the past two years. Meanwhile, Starbucks is continuing its growth push in China with the launch of its first virtual store in the country. The digital collaboration will provide customers with a Starbucks experience where customers can give digital gift cards to friends and family, purchase Starbucks merchandise, and place a Starbucks delivery order, all in one place.

The Restaurant Group promoted to FTSE 250: The Restaurant Group is to be promoted to the FTSE 250. The promotion comes following the acquisition of Esure group by Blue Bidco and subsequent removal of Esure from the FTSE 250. The Restaurant Group will be added to the FTSE 250 from Wednesday (19 December).

Ole & Steen opens flagship site in London’s West End: Danish baker Ole & Steen has opened a flagship site at Central Cross – Shaftesbury’s £15m, 48,000 square foot mixed-use development in the West End of London. The 3,000 square foot outlet at the Charing Cross Road scheme is spread over two floors, with space for 63 covers. Alongside Ole & Steen’s range of sweet Danish favourites, customers can choose from an all-day menu as well as a small but carefully crafted wine and beer list. The bakery, founded by Ole Kristoffersen and Steen Skallebæk, first opened outside of Denmark in 2016, in Haymarket. Head of openings Camilla Hansen said: “It’s a fantastic opportunity for us to open our latest store at Central Cross. Being situated right in the heart of the West End was a huge draw for us.” Julia Wilkinson, head of group restaurant strategy at Shaftesbury, added: “We are delighted to welcome Ole & Steen’s flagship to this location. The Scandinavian brand complements the area’s diverse food and beverage offering, and highlights Shaftesbury’s ongoing commitment to creating destinations that excite the senses and inspire discovery in London’s West End.” Nash Bond and BGP represented Shaftesbury. Graeme Wait acted for Ole & Steen.

Crepeaffaire lands at Luton for debut UK airport site with more set to follow: Crepeaffaire, the UK’s leading crepe concept, has opened its debut UK airport site, at Luton airport – with more set to follow. The company has opened the 900 square foot outlet in a former retail unit in the departure lounge having agreed a partnership with The Restaurant Group (TRG) Concessions last month. Crepeaffaire’s all-day offering includes sweet and savoury crepes, waffles, coffee and smoothies to eat in or take away. Founded by Daniel Spinath in 2005 the brand operates on three continents, including 15 sites in the UK, while it plans to open its first locations in the US next year. Spinath said: “Fasten your seat belts, we’re ready for take-off! More destinations coming soon!” TRG Concessions managing director Nick Ayerst added: “We are excited to open the first Crepeaffaire at a UK airport. It’s a brilliant proposition and is a recognisable brand both at home and internationally that will resonate with Luton’s passengers and provide them with a fun, fresh and quality offer.” Mark Jennings, head of commercial development for Luton airport, said: “The Crepeaffaire brand demonstrates our continued desire to bring a point of difference to our food and beverage offer. We are delighted to be able to work with both The Restaurant Group and Crepeaffaire to bring another airport first to our passengers.”

Parogon Pub Group to open two new sites next year: Shropshire-based Parogon Pub Group is to open two sites next year as it gears up for growth. The company will launch The Red House Inn in Lilleshall, near Telford, and The Broughton Arms in Balterley, near Crewe, taking its estate to seven. Parogon Pub Group is also set to create 140 jobs across its sites in 2019. Director Richard Colclough told the Shropshire Star: “We are looking for people who want to grow and develop into the new sites. We’re passionate about offering a relaxed dining experience and exceptional customer service so we’re looking for people with the same passion and integrity as us.” The company operates The Wayfarer in Stone, The Swan With Two Necks in Blackbrook, The Orange Tree in Stoke-on-Trent, and The Blockhouse Grill in Whitmore, all in Staffordshire, and The Boars Head in Walgherton, Cheshire.

Merlin Entertainments won’t make further appeal after second attempt to cut Alton Towers business rates bill rejected: Merlin Entertainments has said it will not make a further appeal after a second attempt to cut its business rates bill at Alton Towers was turned down, with a court ruling it was wrong to blame a rollercoaster crash for a slump in trade. Merlin Entertainments said it suffered a downturn because of the highly publicised Smiler crash three years ago that left Leah Washington, then 17, and Vicky Balch, 20, requiring partial leg amputations. The company argued its £4m business rates bill should be reduced because potential visitors had been put off using the rides and it had also decided to rein back marketing because of the crash. Its first attempt failed in April. At the second attempt, divisional director Ian Crabbe said the company was “cognisant of not necessarily making a big deal out of big coasters for a while”. He said queue times at the park reduced by 26% after the fall in visitor numbers following the crash in June 2015. But a tribunal found there had been similar falls in visitor numbers in the years before the crash that were likely due to rival attractions. It said in such cases a “material change in circumstances” did not occur. Merlin Entertainments told The Mail On Sunday: “We appealed the rates decision because it does not reflect Alton Towers’ historical performance. This in no way diminishes our responsibility for what happened or any liability in relation to the accident. We do not intend to make a further appeal.”

Nico Simeone opens Glasgow gastro-pub for fourth site: Glasgow-based Scots-Italian chef Nico Simeone has opened a gastro-pub for his fourth site. Simeone has launched Public House by Nico in Great Western Road in the former Mallard bar premises in Great Western Road. Following on from his restaurants in Finnieston and Edinburgh, Six by Nico, which introduces a new menu concept every six weeks, Public House by Nico offers a broad selection of small plates and larger dishes. The venue has capacity for 60 diners and a small dedicated bar area. Simeone, who also operates 111 by Nico restaurant in Kelvinside, told the Evening Times: “The venue offers a rawness and honesty guests will be familiar with. The visible kitchen is front and centre and helps create a pub environment that is fun and welcoming, offering top comfort food.”

James Clay reports turnover and profit fall: Craft beer importer James Clay has reported turnover dropped to £22,780,934 for the year ending 31 March 2018, compared with £29,660,884 the previous year. Pre-tax profit fell to £62,145, compared with £1,143,711 the year before, according to accounts filed at Companies House. James Clay, which has been operating since 1974, imports, distributes and builds speciality craft beer brands from Europe, America, Japan and the UK. In their report accompanying the accounts, the directors stated: “2017-18 represents the first complete year following the Brooklyn Brewery departure from our import portfolio impacting turnover. Notwithstanding this change, the turnover trend for the business remains positive and the gross profit percentage is marginally up on 2016-17. Fixed operating costs were not reduced in line with turnover following the Brooklyn Brewery transition as the business opted to keep capacity in the logistics set-up and reduce the aggregated costs associated with contracting and expanding capacity in the medium term. To that end the business made a series of investments impacting profitability in the financial year in order to provide the foundation for future growth, which included the development of a distribution site in London; the expansion of the sales team and; the bringing of wider experience into the operations team. The distribution footprint was further expanded in June 2018 to include a depot in the Midlands.”
 
Holiday complex operator buys North Pembrokeshire riverside pub for second site: Holiday complex operator Dewi Davies has acquired a North Pembrokeshire riverside pub for his second site. Davies has bought The Nag’s Head from Steve and Tracy Miller off a guide price of £495,000 through agents Christie & Co. Situated on the banks of the Afon Cych, The Nag’s Head comprises four trading areas across the ground floor – a main bar, snug, extensive dining area and beer garden. There are also three en-suite bedrooms and three-bedroom owners’ accommodation on the first floor. Davies, who owns nearby holiday complex Clydey Cottages, said: “For the time being it’s business as usual for the festive season and we are all excited about the future for the Nag’s Head.”
 
Vegan curry concept SpiceBox to open first permanent site, in Walthamstow: Vegan curry concept SpiceBox is to open its debut permanent site, in Walthamstow, east London. Following a successful run on the street food circuit with Kerb, SpiceBox will open a curry house in Hoe Street on Tuesday, 29 January. The menu will be modern Indian with plenty of nods to the iconic British curry house, featuring plant-based versions of classic dishes. The menu’s Street Bites section will include a loaded onion bhaji with pickled onions, green chilli and chutney; and puffed puris filled with chickpeas. Main dishes will include SpiceBox’s signature jackfruit jalfrezi, while the savoury menu will feature a range of bread and rice alongside naan, paratha, roti and papadum served with mango chutney and seasonal homemade pickles. Desserts will include a dosa waffle topped with chai-spiced grilled banana, chocolate sauce and toasted coconut flakes, while the drinks list will feature Cobra lager and an IPA from Walthamstow’s own Wild Card Brewery. SpiceBox founder Grace Regan opened a kiosk at Kerb Camden in October 2017 and a test kitchen at The Hornbeam pub in Walthamstow in September this year.
 
Arctic Monkeys drummer to open all-day cafe in Sheffield: Arctic Monkeys drummer Matt Helders has announced he will open a cafe in his home city of Sheffield next year. The musician took to Instagram to reveal his new year plans for an all-day cafe called Ambulo, reports NME. He said: “Arriving in 2019, an all-day cafe in Sheffield. Different to what I usually post, but I’m getting in the restaurant business, believe it or not.”
 
Former Ledbury and Harwood Arms chef launches Harlequin restaurant in Parsons Green: Former Ledbury and Harwood Arms chef James Erasmus has teamed up with Toby Neill, co-founder of Hackney-based small plates concept Nest, to launch a restaurant in Parsons Green, west London. Harlequin has opened in Wandsworth Bridge Road offering a monthly-changing set menu inspired by the seasons and Erasmus’ South African heritage. The first menu features biltong carpaccio, roast mallard duck with spiced pumpkin and date, and Seville orange malva pudding with custard ice cream. Harlequin has only 26 seats inside but further seating for alfresco dining in warmer weather.

Cornwall-based Verdant Brewing Company extends crowdfunding campaign: Cornwall-based Verdant Brewing Company has extended its fund-raise on crowdfunding platform Crowdcube to build a brewery. The Falmouth-based company is looking to quadruple capacity and, having identified a site, was seeking £500,000 for a 35-hectrolitre brewhouse, laboratory and taproom. It is offering 5% equity in return for the investment, giving the company a pre-money valuation of £9.5m. It hit its target last week but has now extended the campaign by another fortnight. So far, 1,284 investors have pledged £758,600 and the campaign is “overfunding” with 22 days remaining. The pitch states: “We have reached the capacity of our beloved baby blue warehouse in Falmouth. Last year sales grew by 912.4% and we have doubled turnover this year to £1.1m, increasing capacity to 3,000 hectolitres of beer. However, demand implies we could sell at least four times that amount. For the past few years we have been looking for a site big enough to meet the demand for our beers without moving out of Falmouth. We’ve now found the perfect site. The 17,500 square foot warehouse will also allow us to have a laboratory and an on-site taproom for the first time. We want to become one of the world’s leading breweries but we are determined to stay true to our independent artisan roots.”
 
Global Brands reports Franklin & Sons’ sales double as ‘premiumisation and provenance’ drive growth: Drinks manufacturer and distributor Global Brands has said sales of its tonics, mixers and soft drinks range Franklin & Sons have more than doubled as “premiumisation and provenance” drive growth. The Derbyshire-based company said total value sales of the range increased 118% in the 12 months to the end of June 2018, while volume sales for the same period grew 122%. The company, which relaunched Franklin & Sons in 2015 after it was originally founded in 1886, saw the value of export sales increase 91%. It added that domestically sales of the range had been unaffected by the sugar tax, with demand continuing to rise post-April 2018 when the levy was introduced. Chairman Steve Perez told Insider Media: “Similar to the demand for gin, premiumisation and provenance are playing a huge role in driving sales of Franklin & Sons. People don’t want fake flavours and are more discerning about what they mix their gin with. They prefer quality drinks with natural ingredients and are willing to pay more.”
 
Derby trampoline park sold out of administration closes: A Derby trampoline park that was sold out of administration in June appears to have closed. Bounce Revolution in Derby said it was closing “for refurbishment”, but since then its website and Facebook page have disappeared, reports The Business Desk. An automated email response said: “Please be advised Bounce Revolution has closed. The team would like to thank you for your custom and support over the past two-and-a-half years.” A total of 38 jobs were saved after the company was sold in a pre-pack deal when it ran into financial difficulties. It called in Leonard Curtis, with Richard Pinder and Sean Williams appointed as joint administrators. A Leonard Curtis spokesman said at the time: “The business entered administration as a result of high fixed costs, increasing insurance costs and a reduction in revenue, which meant the company suffered a build-up of trade liabilities. The directors had made attempts to raise additional working capital but, given the company’s financial position, this wasn’t possible. Legal action was imminent and therefore appropriate steps were taken by the director to preserve the business. After a period of marketing, the administrators concluded a pre-packaged sale of the company’s business to a connected party.”
 
Chelsea restaurant Cheyne Walk Brasserie to reopen in February with new name, chef and menu: Chelsea restaurant Cheyne Walk Brasserie is to reopen as No. Fifty Cheyne in February with a new head chef and menu and following a nine-month renovation. Sally Greene, founder-director of The Old Vic and proprietor of Ronnie Scott’s, opened the venue in 2003 but has recruited Iain Smith, former head chef at Social Eating House, to create a new menu featuring dishes such as belted Galloway beef ragout with spatzli, spicy sausage and rose harissa. The Sunday menu will allow guests to pre-order roast dinners such as whole suckling pig, rib of beef or whole salmon. The refurbished ground-floor restaurant will seat 70, with a 50-cover cocktail bar and a “drawing room” on the upper floor. Set in Cheyne Walk, the venue will also offer views of the Thames and Cheyne Gardens, Hot Dinners reports.

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