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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Wed 13th Feb 2019 - EAT owners put business up for sale, My Million Pound Menu winner takes Deliveroo residency
EAT owners put business up for sale: Fresh food to go retailer EAT is being put up for sale amid a glut of competition from high street and online delivery rivals. Sky News has reported EAT's owners, led by the private equity firm Horizon Capital, have appointed Spayne Lindsay, a corporate advisory firm, to oversee an auction of the business. The sale process will come less than a year after Pret A Manger, one of EAT's principal competitors, was sold to JAB Holdings, a family-owned investment group, for £1.5bn. A spokesman for EAT told Sky News no transaction was imminent. The decision to put the chain on the market comes several months after Horizon – previously known as Lyceum Capital – shifted its focus to technology and business services investments. It comes amid frenzied competition in the fast-food sector as time-poor office workers are targeted by a growing number of chains focused on offering healthy eating options. As well as JAB's purchase of Pret A Manger, Costa Coffee has also changed hands in a £3.8bn takeover by Coca-Cola. Former hedge fund manager Niall MacArthur and his wife Faith, who launched EAT in 1996, stepped down as directors last year but retained a minority stake in the business. The MacArthurs had not been involved in the day-to-day running of the 100-strong business for the five previous years besides sitting on the board, with operations overseen by chief executive Andrew Walker. The MacArthurs departure came after EAT shut about ten sites following a review of its estate after its losses doubled to £3.7m.

My Million Pound Menu winner Tiger Bites takes up residency at Deliveroo Editions in Whitechapel: Asian-fusion street food startup Tiger Bites has taken up residency at Deliveroo’s Editions kitchen in Whitechapel after being backed by chief executive and co-founder Will Shu in the latest episode of the BBC show My Million Pound Menu. Tiger Bites, founded by Scott de Lima and Lacey Miles, has its own fully bespoke kitchen, marketing support from Deliveroo and a fleet of riders to take its dishes to customers. Tiger Bites, founded in 2017, takes traditional Taiwanese bao buns and fills them with Western-influenced flavours, with each item available as a meat or vegan option. Shu said: "I’m excited we are helping some of the UK’s best up-and-coming chefs take the next step in their journeys. Food is my number one passion and it’s our mission at Deliveroo to bring people amazing meals from the best local restaurants. That’s why Tiger Bites is so exciting, and I’m really pleased to give them the space to grow its business and bring great food to more people, helping them on their journey to opening a bricks and mortar restaurant." De Lima added: “Opening a Tiger Bites restaurant is our dream so we were really excited to take part in Million Pound Menu. By moving into our own kitchen in Deliveroo Editions we will be able to grow our business and take the next step towards making that dream a reality. This is only the start for Tiger Bites." Last year Deliveroo launched its "pop-ups" initiative, giving street food startups trials at Editions sites with the chance of becoming a permanent Deliveroo partner. 

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