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Wed 9th Jan 2019 - Propel Wednesday News Briefing

Story of the Day:

Papa John’s passes 400-store milestone in UK, eyes further openings following ‘excellent’ sales in December: Papa John’s has passed the 400-store milestone in the UK following openings at the end of 2018 in Dundee, Cannock, Leeds, Bury St Edmunds, Bracknell, Peterborough, Cheadle, Bristol and Havant. Papa John’s was founded in the US in 1984 and the openings mean the brand has expanded rapidly to have about half the number of sites in the UK as rival Domino’s Pizza. Papa John’s UK is now the nation’s third-largest pizza delivery company while worldwide the brand operates over 5,000 stores in more than 40 international markets and territories. The company said it was also recruiting franchisees to open further sites in the UK, while it described December sales in the region as “excellent”. Papa John’s franchise sales and business development manager Phil Gaffer said: “Last year was busy for store openings as consumer demand drives our continued expansion. We now have more than 400 franchised retail outlets open in locations across the UK and we’re proactively recruiting for the best new franchisees to join us and taste a slice of the action! Sales were excellent in December, ensuring our team’s efforts plus the hard work put in by our franchisees were well rewarded as we ended the year on a high. Towards the end of last year we also launched a mobile app – another example of Papa John’s commitment to supporting the businesses of our franchised network and there are plenty of additional initiatives coming up in 2019. We are all excited about what the new year will bring.” In October, Papa John’s UK reported turnover rose 19% to £67,256,000 in the year to 31 December 2017. The company made a pre-tax profit of £6,423,000, up from £5,268,000 the year before. The company stated: “Turnover has increased through a combination of store growth and increased like-for-like sales from continuing operations in the franchised Papa John’s store network. For the 12th consecutive year, underlying comparable sales of our UK outlets grew.” The company reported trading on Friday and Saturday contribute 44% of total sales of an average week. The UK contributed £64,887,000 of total sales (2016: £54,929,000) with Ireland producing £2,369,000 of turnover (2016: £1,610,000).

Industry News:

Last chance to book this week for Restaurant Marketer & Innovator, host of companies sign up: This week is the last chance to book for Restaurant Marketer & Innovator European Summit, which is returning for its second year. The two-day event, a partnership between Propel and Think Hospitality, takes place on Wednesday, 16 January and Thursday, 17 January at One Moorgate Place, London. It will feature more than 40 speakers offering a unique blend of senior marketers, business leaders and entrepreneurs. A host of companies and brands have signed up for the event including The Restaurant Group, Casual Dining Group, Mitchells & Butlers, Greene King, Fuller’s, Novus, Wagamama, TGI Friday’s, D&D London, Five Guys, YO! Sushi, JW Lees, Be At One, Arc Inspirations, Coaching Inn Group, Giggling Squid, Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group, Famous Brands, Abokado, The Alchemist, Gusto Italian, ETM Group, Thai Leisure Group, Polpo, Vapiano, St Austell Brewery, Tortilla, Urban Pubs and Bars, The Chesterford Group, TLC Inns, Wimpy UK, Redcomb Pubs, Pho, Ego Restaurants, Bistrot Pierre, Mowgli, Dirty Martini, Coppa Club, Papa John’s, Mosaic Pub & Dining, Paul UK, Busaba, Signature Pub Group, Black and White Hospitality, Livelyhood, Market Halls, True North Brew, Inamo Restaurants, Feya, Four Seasons Hotels UK Collection, Herbarijs, Ennismore Sessions House, Silgur Restaurants, Erpingham House, The Bloomsbury, BBC, Beaver Group, WE ARE Spectacular, Ignite Hospitality, Yapster, Petersham Nurseries, Foodsmiths Marketing, Campari, Sodexo, Jockey Club Catering, Tahola, Groupon, Pop, Preoday, Red Bull, Eposability, Hastee Pay, Pearson Ham, Moreton Reynolds, Happen, Excelerate Resources, We Are Indigo, 48.1, The Entertainer, Powermat, Wildhorse, Action Against Hunger, February Agency, PRUK, Stuart Delivery, Wisetiger and Cube3 Digital. For the full schedule, click here. Bookings will close on Friday (11 January). Tickets for the two days cost £575 plus VAT for operators and £845 plus VAT 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 or calling her on 01444 817691.

Government’s music venue rates decision is ‘discrimination’, says UKHospitality: HM Treasury’s decision that music venues will be ineligible to apply for business rates relief amounts to “discrimination”, UKHospitality has said. The trades body also issued a rallying call to other “concerned stakeholders” to fight to reverse the “damaging decision” and “ensure the government fully realises the valuable role of live music venues”. Chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “This decision amounts to discrimination against thousands of venues that provide valuable cultural, economic and social benefits to the UK. Soaring business rates are severely damaging all types of hospitality businesses, harming growth plans and leading to closures. Grass-roots music venues are no different, they are disproportionately harmed by high rates bills and ought to have access to the same rates reliefs as other types of retail outlets. Live music venues are shutting down across the country, are increasingly under threat and, once lost, rarely return. We are ready to work in partnership with other concerned stakeholders to fight for this damaging decision to be reversed and to ensure the government fully realises the valuable role of live music venues. We will also continue to press for urgent and wholesale review of the outdated rates regime, which penalises bricks-and-mortar hospitality businesses and risks shutting down the UK’s growth engine.”

Almost half of Brits plump for porridge as favourite winter breakfast dish: Almost half (46%) of Brits plump for porridge as their top breakfast option during the winter, according to new research by Caffe Nero. Porridge toppled toast (45%) from top spot, with 38% opting for cereal and 29% preferring a fried breakfast. More than half (52%) of 1,500 respondents said they were eating more oats than they did a decade ago mainly due to health benefits (53%) and to avoid sugary alternatives (21%), while 20% prefer the taste. Favourite bowls of porridge were thick (25%), cooked with semi-skimmed milk (23%) and with added honey (22%), while 13% said they wished they could buy porridge that tasted the way they made it at home. However, more than half (56%) of respondents admitted skipping breakfast at least once a week, with 15% missing the meal every day. For those who skip breakfast, more than half (56%) do so because they don’t feel hungry first thing, while 29% are too busy and 10% can’t find an option they like on the high street. More than half (52%) said they were lacking in energy if they skipped breakfast, with 37% saying they ended up eating more food later in the day. The younger generation (16 to 29-year-olds) were twice as likely (66%) to skip breakfast than over-60s. Caffe Nero head of marketing Marcus Denison-Smith said: “This research proves how Brits still value their breakfast, even if they don’t always have time for it.” Caffe Nero has just launched its latest breakfast range, which features added vegan options.

Crowdcube closes 2018 with most successful quarter: Crowdfunding platform Crowdcube closed 2018 with its most successful quarter, with £84.6m pledged on-site, up from £43.6m in 2017. Revenue for the company rose 50% to £6m, from £4m in 2017, while investment pledged to growing companies through the platform rose 72% to £224m, from £130m the previous year. The number of successful raises on the platform rose to 198, a 35% increase from the previous year’s total of 147. Cleantech companies took the shortest time to fund in 2018 with an average of 20 days, followed by those in the leisure and tourism and consumer internet sectors (26 days). Healthcare companies raised the largest rounds of investment on average, at £423,000. Crowdcube co-founder Luke Lang told Insider Media: “It has been an incredible year for Crowdcube – entrepreneurs at ever-larger companies chose Crowdcube to connect with crowd investors who want to back young companies they believe in. Entrepreneurs increasingly understand a Crowdcube round not only raises funds but builds their brand and communities, which are crucial to the success of new businesses in these digitally connected times.”

Company News:

ETM Group reports record Christmas trading with like-for-likes up 13.1%: ETM Group, the 14-strong bar and restaurant company, has reported record Christmas trading with overall revenue up 16% and like-for-like sales rising to 13.1% for the five weeks to 31 December 2018. One of the biggest growth areas was in sales of pre-booked events, which recorded an uplift of 13.3%. ETM Group chief executive and co-founder Ed Martin said: “We are delighted with the group’s performance over the festive and New Year period – delivering double-digit growth and record sales of over £1.2m for the week ending 16 December. Through innovative trading formats, investment in a new sales division and robust forward planning, we have been able to optimise sales across all our venues. I am immensely proud of our teams, whose hard work has delivered this great result. We are optimistic for 2019 and hope to see a very positive first quarter with forthcoming major sporting events such as the NFL Super Bowl and Six Nations.” ETM’s fourth sports-led venue, Redwood at London Bridge, is set to open this summer, building on the group’s success with Greenwood, Long Arm Pub and Broadleaf.

Deliveroo appoints new chief marketing officer: Deliveroo has appointed Inés Ures as its new chief marketing officer. Ures joins from hair and beauty booking firm Treatwell, where she was chief customer officer following two years as chief marketing officer, leading a team of more than 80 staff across 11 countries. Deliveroo recently launched in Taiwan, its 13th market, with others to follow shortly. Sales in 2017 grew 116% to £277m. Ures’ role will be to help the company grow in existing markets, in particular broadening its service beyond cities, launch in new markets, and help Deliveroo scale its marketing operations. Ures said: “This is an ambitious company with a unique opportunity ahead of it and I want to play a role in making Deliveroo the definitive food company.” A Deliveroo spokesman added: “We are delighted Inés is joining the team. She has a great track record and will make an excellent contribution at a time when the company is growing, building its offer to riders, restaurants and consumers.”

McDonald’s menu leaves US operators feeling ‘cash-strapped’ and ‘hampered by growing complexity’: McDonald’s menu is leaving US operators feeling “cash-strapped” and hampered by its “growing complexity”, according to a new study. A poll of 1,154 McDonald’s franchisees published by restaurant analyst Mark Kalinowski described two primary categories of concern – economics and operating platform. Specifically, respondents said McDonald’s was launching “too many expensive initiatives” that didn’t “necessarily pay off”, Nation’s Restaurant News reports. McDonald’s refused to comment on “internal discussions” but said it was “committed to continuing to work closely with franchisees”. McDonald’s has made modernisation of its stores a priority. By the end of 2018 the company was expected to have about 7,000 restaurants, or half its US system, sporting the Experience Of The Future look, which includes kiosks, upgraded drive-thrus and pick-up counters for delivery drivers. However, some older buildings require franchisees to rebuild restaurants from scratch, while remodels cost between $160,000 and $750,000, with some stores forced to close for fit-out work. On the operating side, franchisees said the $1 $2 $3 Menu, which rotates regularly, cut speed of service because staff were constantly having to be trained on new items. The study said operators were struggling to retain staff because of low morale, a tight labour market and growing “complexity of the job”. The report stated: “Owner-operators feel their regional and local concerns are disregarded for the sake of a one-size-fits-all approach. This not only limits their entrepreneurial freedom but hurts their sales because things that work in one region don’t necessarily work in another.”

Arancini Brothers to double estate by end of year as fourth London site nears launch, eyes franchising in UK and overseas: London-based vegan dining chain Arancini Brothers plans to double its estate by the end of 2019 by opening four sites. The company is also looking to franchise the brand in the UK, Scandinavia and Middle East. Arancini Brothers revealed its plans as it prepares to open its fourth London site next week. The venue will launch in Maltby Street, Bermondsey, on Wednesday, 16 January. Director Hiten Lakhani, who spent 12 years as European director at Hard Rock Cafe, told Propel Arancini Brothers was looking at Brixton and Victoria as part of its plans to expand in London. He added discussions were taking place with potential franchisees in Edinburgh and Liverpool. Co-founder Dave Arkin said of the Bermondsey opening: “We are proud to go south of the river to serve the 100% vegan Arancini Brothers authentic Sicilian risotto balls that go into our wraps, salads, stews and burgers.” Having started out as a street food concept in Brick Lane Market almost ten years ago, Arancini Brothers has sites in Kentish Town Road, Kingsland Road and Old Street.

The Breakfast Club passes halfway mark in £750,000 crowdfunding campaign for next stage of growth: The Breakfast Club has passed the halfway mark in its £750,000 fund-raise on crowdfunding platform Crowdcube for its next stage of growth. The company is offering 4.49% equity in return for the investment, giving the company a pre-money valuation of £15,969,000. So far, 309 investors have pledged £391,650 with ten days remaining. The Breakfast Club was founded in 2005 by brother and sister-in-law Jonathan and Alison Arana-Morton and has grown from a small 20-seater cafe in Soho to a £15.2m a year turnover, 350-staff business. It has site Ebitda of more than £2m a year. The pitch states: “The Breakfast Club is positioned in the market as a leading London restaurant brand, focusing on breakfast and brunch. But The Breakfast Club is so much more than what happens before midday. Nearly 65% of our business is during the lunch and dinner service. In an industry dominated by fads and trends, The Breakfast Club is an established brand with a proven record of continued success. And after 13 years we are still widely recognised for the size of our queues.” Last month, the company added to its London presence by securing a site in Portabello Road. It marks the company’s tenth in the capital and 12th in total. 

Graffiti Spirits secures first operators for Liverpool food and drink market: Graffiti Spirits, the Liverpool-based independent bar and restaurant group owned by Matt Farrell and John Ennis, has secured the first operators for its new food and drink market in the city. The company will launch Duke Street Food & Drink Market in early April. The 500-capacity venue, which will be located in a restored 100-year-old warehouse, will house a 60-cover showpiece restaurant, six kitchens, a sushi bar and a range of artisan produce and speciality drinks. The first operators have also been confirmed for the market. Cinder, headed by Owain Williams and Chris Edwards, founders of city “neo-bistro” bar Belzan, will specialise in open-fire cooking. It will be joined by a first permanent residency for Cuban street food restaurant Finca as well as Cucina di Vincenzo, a family-operated Italian restaurant based in Woolton Road. Duke Street Market will also house a specialist cocktail bar with an ethical and sustainable focus, offering paper straws, minimal water usage and seasonal fruit. There will also be a speciality wine and craft beer offering. Farrell said: “Personally, this is our most exciting project to date. We are really pleased to announce Duke Street Market will be ready in 2019. We want it to be an artisanal hub for years to come and something the people of Liverpool can be proud of. The aim is to keep pushing Liverpool’s thriving food and drink scene forward and for Duke Street Market to become one of the top culinary tourist attractions in the north of England. We are in talks with a lot of well-established figures and want the final inclusions to become a collaboration of industry professionals operating under one roof.”

South west-based hotel group identifies ‘significant’ opportunities in holiday lodges market as it reports turnover boost: South west-based hotel group Manor House has identified “significant” opportunities in the holiday lodges market as it reported a boost in turnover. The company, which operates the Manor House Hotel and The Ashbury Hotel golf resort in Okehampton, west Devon, reported turnover increased 2.8% to £15,587,471 for the year ending 31 March 2018, compared with £15,161,804 the previous year. Pre-tax profit dipped slightly to £1,410,513, compared with £1,472,737 the year before, as the company continued to invest in its hotels, according to accounts filed at Companies House. The Manor House Hotel and The Ashbury Hotel comprise 204 and 222 en-suite bedrooms respectively, as well as restaurants, bars, space for sport, and craft and hydro spas. In their report accompanying the accounts, the directors stated: “In the directors’ view, 2017-18 was a strong year, despite the continued uncertainty surrounding Brexit. This led to a £423,114 (2.8%) increase in turnover on the back of a 0.8% increase in room occupancy levels, compared with the industry standard of 0%, and a 3.3% rise in revpar. This was achieved by securing bookings earlier than the previous year, leading to fewer discounted breaks. The directors have identified significant potential for growth in the self-catering holiday lodge market at The Ashbury Hotel. They have been successful in securing planning permission for the first three of these lodges, with nine more applied for and potentially up to 30 more around the site in the future. The first of the lodges will be installed by March 2019. It is the directors’ view the installation of self-catering lodges will have a significant impact on business growth and profitability within three years.” The Manor House Hotel was developed in 1978 and The Ashbury Hotel was added in 1989.

London-based operator acquires former Kray twins pub after selling Covent Garden site to City Pub Group: London-based operator Olivier Dimaria Trotel has acquired east London pub the Carpenters Arms, which was formerly owned by the Kray twins. The Victorian freehouse near Brick Lane hosted many of the gangster twins’ parties and business meetings and was where Reggie Kray had a drink in 1967 to settle his nerves before he murdered Jack “The Hat” McVitie at a house party. Trotel paid a premium for the Carpenters Arms that included a surrender of the existing lease and a new ten-year lease granted by the landlord. Trotel sold his pub, The Covent Garden tavern in Bow Street, to City Pub Group for £1.29m to make way for his new venture. Both deals were brokered by agent Davis Coffer Lyons. Executive director, pubs and bars Paul Tallentyre said: “The Carpenters Arms was at one time the most infamous pub in London and owned by the gangster twins Reggie and Ronnie Kray, who bought it in 1967 for their mother Violet. Their family home was just 100 yards away. Apparently the Krays liked the pub because the bar was long and narrow and had just one entrance, which meant they could see anyone coming in. The former tenants, Eric and Nigel, made a great success of the Carpenters Arms over the past ten years, yet there is still scope to improve trade.”

Cornwall-based Verdant Brewing Company closes crowdfunding campaign after raising almost £1.2m: Cornwall-based Verdant Brewing Company has closed its fund-raise on crowdfunding platform Crowdcube to build a brewery after raising almost £1.2m. The company offered 5% equity in return for investment, giving Verdant a pre-money valuation of £9.5m. In total, 2,142 investors pledged £1,197,350 and the campaign has now closed. The Falmouth-based company will use the funds to quadruple capacity and, having identified a site, £500,000 has been set aside to build a 35-hectrolitre brewhouse as well as a laboratory and taproom. The pitch stated: “We have reached the capacity of our beloved baby blue warehouse in Falmouth. Last year sales grew 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 beer without moving out of Falmouth. We’ve 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.”

Goodbody – Greene King Pub Company like-for-like growth of 10.9% ‘very impressive’ but laps snow-impacted period last year: Goodbody leisure analysts have argued that while Greene King’s Pub Company Christmas like-for-like growth of 10.9% was “very impressive”, it was lapping a snow-impacted period last year. They stated: “Greene King has issued a trading update for the first 36 weeks of the year, including the key Christmas trading period. Like-for-like sales growth in the Pub Company was 3.2%, this has accelerated from the 2.9% reported at the 30-week stage. Christmas has been a very good period for the division, with like-for-like sales growth of 10.9% for the two weeks including Christmas and New Year. The group commented it achieved a record Christmas Day of £7.7m (2017: £7.6m). It also noted all sales categories saw strong growth over the past six weeks and highlighted strong growth in Greene King local branded. Pub Partners like-for-like net profit was down 1% for the first 36 weeks, in line with the first-half update. Brewing and Brands saw 1.8% total beer volume growth with own-beer volumes down 2.3%, which is slightly lower than reported at the 24-week update. Guidance was reiterated with cost mitigation on track to limit net cost inflation to between £10 and £20m and it remains on course to dispose of 100 to 110 pubs and open nine. As per the December announcement, it reconfirmed it had bought back £62m of Spirit Bonds. Overall, as we suspected, the two-week period over Christmas has been very strong for pubs (as seen by reports from a number of private operators over the past week) and Greene King has delivered well through this period. We would highlight that although the 10.9% like-for-like growth rate is very impressive it is lapping a snow-impacted period last year. On the outlook for the full year, management noted ‘while the ongoing uncertainty around Brexit may still have an impact on consumer confidence and spending during the year, we remain confident of our outlook for the financial year’. We are unlikely to make any material changes to our full-year forecast on the back of this update.”

Brewhouse & Kitchen launches gin-tasting experience across estate: Brewhouse & Kitchen, the UK’s largest brewpub group, has launched gin-tasting masterclasses across its estate. The company, which already offers beer-tasting masterclasses and brewing experiences, pointed to the popularity of gin doubling in the UK during 2018, with a 41% year-on-year rise in sales. The masterclasses are hosted by a gin expert and includes the origins and history of the spirit and its distilling process, and five gins to taste complemented by snacks and tonics. A company spokeswoman said: “With thousands of pubs closing in 2018, Brewhouse & Kitchen understands the craft beer boom isn’t enough to keep the pub trade afloat. Guests are looking for more from their restaurants and pubs than ever before and, with the introduction of gin-tasting masterclasses across all Brewhouse & Kitchen’s sites nationwide, we are delivering on that expectation.” Brewhouse & Kitchen co-founder Simon Bunn added: “This is a great way to kick-start our year. Given the vast variety of pink and flavoured gins on the market will have contributed to the popularity of this trend, this is only set to increase further in 2019. Furthermore, our craft beer tastings have been hugely popular so it seemed the next logical step for us. We are confident the focus on experiential value will ensure our masterclasses continue to be a success.” Last month, the company acquired a hotel in Worthing, West Sussex, for its 23rd site.

Property entrepreneur Stephen Vernon takes 5% stake in Staycity: Property entrepreneur Stephen Vernon’s John Pollard Foundation has acquired a 5% shareholding in aparthotel operator Staycity. Vernon is co-founder of Dublin and London listed property investment company Green REIT, while registered charity the John Pollard Foundation is named after his grandfather. Vernon joins the Staycity board as a non-executive director but intends to take an active role by working with chief executive and co-founder Tom Walsh and his team to achieve growth targets. The transaction was arranged by Investec Corporate Finance. Vernon said: “I am delighted to become involved with the Staycity group. It’s a dynamic business with exciting growth plans to be the biggest pan-European aparthotel company. I’m looking forward to being part of that.” Walsh added: “It is an honour to have Stephen join our board and for his foundation to join our shareholder group. Stephen will add enormously to our success and ability to secure future sites and, most importantly, he is a great fit for our culture.” Brothers Tom and Ger Walsh founded Staycity in 2004. The company has 7,000 apartments operational or in the pipeline across the Staycity Aparthotels and Wilde Aparthotels by Staycity brands. This year Staycity will open properties in Paris, Venice, Edinburgh, Berlin and Manchester with a target to operate 15,000 apartments by the end of 2023. Prezzo chief financial officer Wayne Arthur will take up the same position with Staycity later this month.

West Country couple acquire Exmoor hotel for fourth site: West Country couple Nigel and Anne Way have acquired The Anchor Hotel in the coastal village of Porlock Weir on the edge of Exmoor for their fourth site. The hotel, which was sold off a guide price of £150,000 for the leasehold interest, comprises 14 en-suite bedrooms, a public bar and dining area, guest lounge, cinema room and the 34-cover Harbour View Restaurant. It also features a 60-capacity decked area with its own bar and a smaller patio with views across the harbour. Part of the Porlock Manor Estate, the hotel is believed to have traded for more than 200 years but has been closed for the past 12 months having traded most recently as Millers At The Anchor. The Ways also own The Luttrell Arms in Dunster, the Royal Castle in Dartmouth and the Royal Seven Stars in Totnes. Stephen Champion, associate director at Christie & Co’s Exeter office, which handled the sale, added: “Quality leasehold hotels such as The Anchor are fairly rare in this region so it is no surprise it generated a great deal of interest. Nigel and Anne’s many years of experience in the sector and deep-rooted ties to the region stood out for the seller and landlord. We have no doubt they will return The Anchor to its former glory.”

CH&Co wins £10m Harrogate Convention Centre contract with F&B offer to be extended outside complex for first time: Independent caterer CH&Co has been awarded the contract to run the food and beverage offer at the Harrogate Convention Centre, which will be extended to outside the complex for the first time. The deal is worth £10m in turnover over the duration of the contract, which was won following a competitive tender process. CH&Co will be responsible for event hospitality for conferences through to galas and parties; four grab-and-go retail outlets across the exhibition halls; four bars and a fleet of interlocking and interchangeable mobile units. All food will be freshly prepared from scratch on-site. Recognising the high visitor numbers, an investment has also been made in redesigning the food and drink spaces to maximise customer flow, reduce queue times and increase sales. The partnership will see the launch of new brand Matcham’s, which is unique to Harrogate Convention Centre’s cafes and bars and celebrates the site’s history. For the first time, Harrogate Convention Centre plans to extend its food and drink offer to visitors outside the building. The cafe in the King’s Suite will be redesigned to feature an internal and external-facing counter that will serve barista coffee, hot and cold drinks and a variety of fresh food and snack items to visitors within the centre and the public in a street-facing cafe. CH&Co managing director Dean Lindsay said: “The new direction we’re taking celebrates the site’s heritage and the town of Harrogate while offering innovative, tailored solutions that maximise efficiencies and sales opportunities. We’re also creating uplifting food and drink experiences for the centre’s clients and visitors and it’s great this will also extend to Harrogate’s residents and visitors.”

The Meatless Farm Co launches pop-up casual dining concept in Manchester: The Meatless Farm Co has launched its first plant-based pop-up casual dining concept, at the Hatch development in Oxford Road, Manchester. The pop-up follows a retail launch with Sainsbury’s in October 2018 and increased consumer demand for meat-free alternatives when dining out. The menu includes plant-based street food such as meatless chilli and cheese, meatless meatball marinara and burgers with a selection of toppings such as vegan bacon and cheese. The Meatless Farm Co founder Morten Toft Bech said: “Our plant-based pop-up is an important move for us. We believe meat-free doesn’t have to mean taste-free and it’s given us the chance to carefully create a menu using our mince and burgers that delivers on texture and taste.”

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