Story of the Day:
London kitchen pay rises as front-of-house salaries fall for second year: Average salaries for chefs and kitchen employees in London increased 14.8% in 2018 but front-of-house staff saw a decrease for the second year in a row, according to new research. Analysis by hospitality recruiter The Change Group showed the rise for back-of-house employees was the equivalent of a £4,215 pay increase in one year, taking the average to £32,674 a year. However, front-of-house salaries fell 3.7% or £1,168. The average front-of-house salary is now £30,051 per year. Front-of-house salaries also fell 3.2%, or £1,045, in the previous year (2017). Meanwhile, back-of-house salaries increased 3.5% in 2017. The lowest of the three groups at little more than £29,672 per year, average annual salaries for bar and pub employees increased 4.5%, or £1,274, during 2018. As a result of these changes, back-of-house salaries are now the highest in London – £2,623 more than average front-of-house salaries and £3,002 more than the take-home pay for most bar and pub staff. Two years ago, however, back-of-house salaries were the lowest, with chefs typically earning £4,767 less than front-of-house employees and £794 less than the average wage for pub and bar workers. A factor in the rise of back-of-house salaries could be an increasing willingness to negotiate pay. Almost three-fifths (58%) negotiated a pay rise above the level the employer planned to offer them. It also showed a broad spread in the level of pay increases employees were receiving, with one in eight (12.5%) getting £3,000 or more and one in 15 receiving more than £4,500. At the other end of the spectrum, one-quarter of hospitality workers received less than £1,000 in their previous pay review. “There has been a significant adjustment in chef salaries over the past two years, which is a good thing,” said The Change Group director Jim O’Brien. “Our research shows more and more employees are asking for regular pay increases and not waiting for a promotion or moving to a new job before asking for more money. The decline in average front-of-house salaries is partly due to the fact businesses are creating more opportunities for junior employees.”
Social Strategy In A Day open for bookings:
Social Strategy In A Day, an event aimed at allowing companies to develop and hone their social media strategy, has launched and is open for bookings. The event features all-new content and insights to allow companies to increase brand exposure, broaden their reach and ensure their digital marketing really delivers. Propel has partnered with digital marketing company Digital Blonde for the one-day advanced workshop, which will cover everything a marketing department should be thinking about when it comes to social strategy. The event takes place on Thursday, 4 April at One Moorgate Place in London. Sessions will include how to drive business via social media, how activity works for different generations, the power and empathy in great storytelling, and marketing and what it takes to be a trusted brand on social media. Tickets are £295 plus VAT for Propel Premium members and £345 plus VAT for non-members and can be booked by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Propel Multi Club Conference open for bookings, two free places for operators:
The first Propel Multi Club Conference of 2019 is open for bookings. The full-day event takes place on Thursday, 7 March at the Millennium Gloucester hotel in London. Graeme Smith, co-head of financial advisory services at AlixPartners
, will provide an overview of current mergers, acquisitions and refinancing trends in the UK market. David Charlton, commercial director at Zonal Marketing Technologies
, will provide an overview of how the consumer journey is changing and what operators can do to meet their appetite for more personal and engaging experiences. Mark Ashley, author of Be Better Than Yesterday and former director of retail operations at Geronimo
, will give insights into his unique method of developing and improving productivity. JD Wetherspoon founder Tim Martin
will talk to Propel managing director Paul Charity and list the top ten books that have shaped his business philosophy. Nathan Wall, operations director of Managed Investments at Ei Group
, will talk about the company’s progress with its managed investment scheme. Alastair Scott, co-founder of food-led operator Malvern Inns and Catton Hospitality
, will speak about how the company has set about creating a tool to motivate staff and optimise shift performance. Ted Kennedy, owner of Pebble Hotels and veteran operator of pub assets
, will set out ten key lessons learned as an operator. Martin Hayes, co-founder of Craft Beer Co
, will speak about the creation and development of his brand. Ian Payne, chairman of Stonegate Pub Company
, will talk to Paul Charity about investing in building a high-street pub estate. Joe Grossman, founder of Patty & Bun
, will speak about ten challenges he has overcome in his journey building the nine-strong brand. James Hacon, founder of Think Hospitality
, will reveal how performance of his investment roll-out takeaway brand I am Doner has been transformed through systems and marketing. Multi-site operators of pubs, restaurants and foodservice outlets can book up to two free places by emailing Anne Steele at email@example.com
More than one-third of UK diners admit to restaurant ‘no-shows’ with 16 to 24-year-olds worst culprits: More than a third (33.7%) of UK diners have admitted failing to turn up for a restaurant booking with 16 to 24-year-olds the worst culprits, according to new research. OpenTable found only 4.4% of online bookings through its restaurant booking platform in the UK resulted in a no-show, compared with 4.6% of phone reservations. Young adults admitted to being the worst offenders, with one-quarter (25%) of 16 to 24-year-olds admitting to regularly failing to show up for their reservation. The city with the largest number of diners who admitted at least one no-show was London (40%), followed by Manchester (39%) and Leeds (38.7%). Almost two-fifths (38%) of UK no-shows claimed their change of mind was “too last minute” for them to cancel their booking. Regarding reasons for no-shows, 40% of women said they simply forgot to cancel, although three-quarters (71%) of all respondents felt guilty for letting the restaurant down. OpenTable has launched a light-hearted campaign in response to the research with the aim to educate diners on the impact not cancelling a reservation can have on restaurants and highlighting how it might feel if the roles were reversed. EMEA vice-president Adrian Valeriano said: “By turning the tables on no-shows in our new campaign we want to educate diners about the impact of their booking behaviour.” For those who no-show for a reservation four times within 12 months, OpenTable bans them from making reservations on its app and website.
Trade bodies urge ‘pragmatic approach’ to cut waste and plastics use: UKHospitality and the Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) have said the government needs to take a “pragmatic approach” in its bid to cut waste and plastics use. UKHospitality cited the sector’s strong record on drinks packaging recycling and, as the vast majority of products are consumed on-site, any measures implemented should aim to have a minimal impact on the segment. In addition to proposals for a deposit return scheme, the government is also consulting on a range of other measures likely to increase the cost of packaging. UKHospitality said it was imperative such measures were introduced in a pragmatic manner, minimising cost hikes for businesses and consumers. Measures to improve consistency of waste collection across the country and reduce costs for businesses were welcomed. Chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “Hospitality businesses have been working hard to tackle plastic and packaging waste, such as the widespread phasing out of plastic straws and coffee shops introducing schemes to encourage reusable cups. But while we highlight that progress to government and our willingness to tackle waste issues, we must emphasise any additional measures must be proportionate and further taxes on an already burdened sector are likely to undo that good work.” BBPA chief executive Brigid Simmonds added: “A pragmatic approach is needed to ensure waste is reduced in a cost-effective manner across the UK. We support a deposit return scheme for plastic bottles but we also believe enhancements to recycling schemes that collect cans and glass from residential and business properties can ensure we continue to achieve the high targets set by government.”
Ei Group strengthens social responsibility efforts with The Clink partnership: Ei Group is strengthening its social responsibility efforts through a new corporate partnership with The Clink, the charity that aims to reduce reoffending by training and qualifying prisoners for employment as chefs on release. The Clink currently trains up to 200 prisoners a day to gain their Level 2 NVQs in foodservice, food preparation, food hygiene and horticulture. It operates four training restaurants in partnership with Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service, along with a training kitchen, gardens, a cafe and an events catering business. Ei Group and The Clink will now work together to map out a programme of activity and bespoke initiatives in the coming months. Ei Group chief executive Simon Townsend said: “We are delighted to partner with The Clink, a charity that is doing fantastic and transformative work with prisoners in a number of different settings. The results it has achieved through its training programmes are impressive and we look forward to working together to support the charity. As a business we are committed to promoting pubs and the wider hospitality sector as a career of choice and changing perceptions about the life-long opportunities, from bar to boardroom, our industry offers. Our new partnership with The Clink offers us a great avenue to progress that aim and make a difference.” The Clink Charity chief executive Christopher Moore added: “We want to expand our training projects further and by partnering with Ei Group we’ll be able to raise awareness of our work in reducing reoffending and support the hospitality industry, which has a major skills shortage. Overall, we’ll be working together to change attitudes, transform lives, create second chances and make society a safer place.”
Mark and Vanessa Hall take full ownership of Jack & Alice from Splendid Restaurants: Mark and Vanessa Hall, co-founders of Jack & Alice, the award-winning local pantry wine bar concept, have taken full ownership of the brand and its site in Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire. They will now focus on expansion and evolution of the brand. The remaining two sites, in Tring and Thame, will be retained by original investor Splendid Restaurants and developed into new concepts in the near future. Mark Hall said: “To us Jack & Alice is not just a local pantry and wine bar, it also carries the personalities and memories of our grandparents. We want to develop and roll out the brand with full family control of the business and keep this personal history intact. Splendid has been an excellent investor in Jack & Alice and we thank it for its support over the years and wish it every success for the future.” Mark Hall was previously group operations director at Splendid Restaurants UK and retail director for Mitchells & Butlers. Vanessa Hall was previously chief executive at YO! Sushi and brand operations director at Mitchells & Butlers. She now holds a number of non-executive board positions.
Douglas Jack – would-be investors at The Restaurant Group need to be patient before jumping on board: Peel Hunt leisure analyst Douglas Jack has cut his target price on The Restaurant Group, arguing would-be investors need to be patient before jumping on board. Issuing a ‘Hold’ note on the shares with a target price of 150p rather than 160p, Jack said: “Restaurant sector managed like-for-like sales fell 1.2% in 2018 despite the benefit of a rising number of closures (1,934) exceeding openings (1,373). Pubs continue to outperform, benefiting from 12 years of supply reduction. As pubs, concessions and Wagamama generate circa 70% of Ebitda, it is clear leisure/retail park Ebitda per site has fallen 48% to £152,000 pre-central costs over the past seven years but with the declines heavily weighted to the past three. The bulls claim The Restaurant Group will not own these assets in three years. How? They account for circa 360 of 590 of the company’s leases, bringing a £0.7bn lease commitment (larger than the market cap) out of The Restaurant Group’s £1.2bn. The combination of falling leisure like-for-like sales and rising labour costs took the group labour ratio to 35% in 2017, the worst in the quoted leisure sector (with the exception of Wagamama, at 38.6% in 2018). Like-for-like sales are becoming more dependent on discounting and delivery, which 82% of restaurants claim is unprofitable (source: haysmacintyre). Although we believe in the long-term growth in the foodservice market, it should continue to gravitate from drive-to, mid-market casual dining to convenience (home delivery, quick service restaurants and fast casual), competitive socialising (pubs, bowling centres et al) and the third place (where Loungers is the leader). Although restaurant supply has finally started to fall, declining in-store demand and rising costs point to years of correction. The 60% of The Restaurant Group shareholder base that backed the Wagamama deal were sold a package of Wagamama expansion in the UK and US, franchise expansion, delivery growth, strong like-for-like sales from Wagamama, and a turnaround in the retail/leisure parks. This is all in the forecasts, yet the planner and skipper is leaving. We would recommend patience before jumping on this ship.”
Street Feast appoints head of content and marketing: Street Feast, which is operated by London Union, has appointed Josh Williams to the newly created role of head of content and marketing. Williams will lead Street Feast’s content strategy and drive brand awareness across the business’ five venues – Dinerama, Model Market, Giant Robot, Hawker House and seasonal pop-up Winterville. He joins the team from Shortlist Media, where he spent three years as editor of Mr Hyde, sourcing and curating daily content for its 100,000 subscribers and playing a pivotal role in the curation of key events such as National Burger Day, a partnership with Street Feast. Overseeing the marketing strategy, Williams will aim to drive the company’s position as a food and events influencer within the industry. Williams said: “I have several events and ideas in the pipeline already. My main focus is to continue to grow the brand everyone knows and loves while place-marking Street Feast as an influential and innovative source for content and events across London and beyond.” Emma Howe, director of sales and events, added: “We are pleased to have Josh on board to help us define and enhance our offering across live events, partnership opportunities and through the creation of engaging content. He brings a unique skill set to Street Feast that will help differentiate our offering even further and we can’t wait to see how the brand evolves.”
Rock Up eyes seventh site, in Norwich: Indoor climbing operator Rock Up is eyeing its seventh site, in Norwich. InfraRed, which owns Castle Mall shopping centre, has had its application to create a climbing arena approved by the city council. InfraRed proposes to create a climbing arena on level one and convert a unit to provide a reception, soft play area and toilets. The unit was occupied by lingerie store La Senza until July 2014 and vaping company Inside Out on a short-term lease, reports Insider Media. Rock Up was founded in 2016 and operates venues in Birmingham, Hull, Sheffield and Whiteley. It will open a site at Rushden Lakes, Northamptonshire, this spring followed by the Intu shopping centre in Watford this summer.
Buenasado submits plans for former CAU site in Reading: Argentine steakhouse Buenasado is set to open in Reading. The company has submitted plans to take over a former CAU restaurant at the Oracle shopping centre that closed last year after parent company Gaucho went into administration. The proposal involves alterations to the north and west face of the building for rebranding and would also include outdoor seating to provide riverside dining. The restaurant exterior would be timber-clad. Buenasado opened its first site in 2011, in Wimbledon, south west London, and also has outlets in Chiswick, Horsham, Richmond, Reigate and Walton-on-Thames. Buenasado’s parent company, Buenos Aires Restaurant Holdings, announced a share merger last year with High Road Restaurants Group BidCo, owner of the Koh Thai Tapas chain of Thai restaurants, to form a multi-branded restaurant group.
Locked In A Room secures fifth site, in Southampton: Escape room brand Locked In A Room has secured its fifth site, at the Westquay Shopping Centre in Southampton. The company has agreed a deal with landlord Hammerson to open a 4,000 square foot unit at the complex. Locked In A Room uses props and effects to deliver a “completely immersive experience” and offers identical rooms at its sites to allow large groups to compete simultaneously. The Southampton unit will accommodate up to 48 people at any one time. Locked In A Room operates outlets in London, Bristol, Milton Keynes and Center Parcs’ Longleat site. Locked In A Room director Mark Talbot said: “Southampton was one of our main targets. Westquay is the perfect location for us as it already has a great range of leisure options.” Hammerson UK commercial director Iain Mitchell added: “We know more and more people are looking for unforgettable experiences when they go shopping so we’re delighted Locked In A Room will open at Westquay. It will bring something new and fresh to our already strong leisure offering.”
Company that ran two Reigate pubs for Ei Group goes into liquidation: Akita Investments, which ran two pubs for Ei Group in Reigate, Surrey, has gone into liquidation. The company, which operated the Blue Anchor in West Street and The Red Cross Inn in High Street, has been wound up owing more than £400,000 to staff and creditors. Akita Investments was listed as liquidated with Companies House on 8 February, with liabilities of £9,000 in staff payments and £396,000 to 22 creditors. The sum includes more than £10,000 owed to HM Revenue and Customs, almost £3,000 to Reigate and Banstead Borough Council and £2,650 to David Borley, who was a director of the company until June last year. The vast majority of the debt is owed to SME VC, another company of which Akita Investment’s sole director, Ian Harrison, is a director. Liquidator Robert Horton said the pubs had been “incurring significant monthly losses” and was bailed out by other companies and associates but had reached a point where “enough was enough”. Horton told Surrey Live: “The reason the company went into liquidation was the pubs had been incurring losses and the company was no longer able to support those losses.” The company has £12,000 in assets and the staff payment claims are likely to be covered, Horton said. Ei Group said it hoped to reopen the pubs under new management soon.
London-based catering platform Feast It secures £1.7m to expand UK-wide: London-based Feast It, which describes itself as Airbnb for catering in partnership with the capital’s street food traders, has secured £1.7m funding from a pool of investors. The investment round was led Jon Claydon, former head of advertising agency Claydon Heeley, and included Coldplay bassist Guy Berryman, Dragons’ Den star Sarah Willingham, entrepreneur John Ayton and former Co-op chief executive Richard Pennycook. The investment, which brings Feast It’s total funding to date to £2.7m, will help the company achieve its goal of offering UK-wide coverage. Founders Hugo Campbell and Digby Vollrath said the company grew more than 1,000% in 2018 and brought in enquiries worth more than £2.5m a month. It is targeting 360% growth in 2019. Vollrath told BDaily: “People want the food and drink to be a central talking point at their event – it’s no longer just an afterthought. In 2019, we’re aiming to quadruple the amount we’re making for our supplier partners. We have big growth plans and we’re firmly set on full UK coverage, with a continued push to find the best suppliers across the country, starting with Edinburgh and Belfast.”
Goodbody – lot of pressure on Domino’s Pizza openings target given relationship with franchisees: Goodbody leisure analyst Paul Ruddy has said there is a lot of pressure on the 50 store openings Domino’s Pizza has targeted this year given there appears to have been no improvement in its relationship with franchisees. The Sunday Times reported Domino’s Pizza cancelled its annual awards day in April after the majority of its franchisees said they would boycott the event. It follows reports all franchisees are refusing to open stores in the first half of the year as they continue to lobby for a greater share of profits. Ruddy said: “It looks like there’s a lot of pressure on the FY19 openings target of 50 stores given there doesn’t appear to have been an improvement in the relationship between the company and franchisees. Ultimately, the company entirely relies on franchisee appetite to roll out. Therefore, should this conflict continue the group will have to accept a sizeable slowdown in store roll-out or give up some margin to appease the franchisee concerns – either way raising a question over current growth forecasts.”
Organic juice firm CPress opens flagship store in Fitzrovia, fifth London site: Organic juice firm CPress has opened its fifth London site, in Fitzrovia. The flagship venue has launched at 25-33 Berners Street in a site formerly occupied by fitness brand Frame. CPress was founded by Timothy Stevenson, who wanted to fuse the cold-pressed juice scene he discovered in Los Angeles with a traditional coffee shop. The brand offers 100% organic ingredients in its cold-pressed juices, coffee, smoothies, açai bowls and brownies. The first CPress store launched in Fulham Road, Chelsea, in 2014, followed by a site in Canary Wharf and two concession stores within Triyoga studios in Chelsea and Shoreditch. The company also stocks its lemonade and booster drinks in about 80 retailers, including Selfridges, Fortnum & Mason, Planet Organic and Sainsbury’s.
Diversity Leisure Group acquires Oban site for combined gelateria and burger bar concept: West of Scotland-based Diversity Leisure Group has acquired a site in Oban to launch a combined gelateria and burger bar concept. The company, founded by Paul Sloan, has acquired the leasehold of Kitchen Garden in George Street for an undisclosed sum through agents Christie & Co. The main trading area at the former cafe and bistro consists of two rooms on the ground floor and a mezzanine. Sloan said: “We are excited about this site. Gelatoburger will open before Easter as the first full gelateria and 100-seater burger bar combination.” Diversity Leisure Group opened its debut site, gastro-pub Cuan Mor, in Oban in 2006. It also operates Waterfront Fish Restaurant, Cantonese venue YuWu, south Indian fish restaurant Maatchi and boutique hotel The Ranald.
North west-based operator to reopen former JD Wetherspoon pub in Kirkby for third site, eyes further growth: North west-based operator Tom Nash will reopen a former JD Wetherspoon pub in Kirkby, Merseyside, this week for his third site. Nash will launch The Market Tavern on the site of The Gold Balance on Wednesday (20 February), creating 25 jobs. He has agreed a deal with St Modwen, which acquired the Kirkby town centre development in 2015. Market Tavern customers will be offered traditional beer and a carvery-style menu. Nash told the Liverpool Echo: “As the owner of other public houses in the area, I was looking to invest in my home town of Kirkby to bring new life to the town centre. I now employ 60 people across the region and am looking to grow the size of the pub estate further.” His other sites are The Johnny Todd in Kirkby and the Coach & Horses in Maghull.
BrewDog reveals more details of first Development Fund partnership: BrewDog has revealed more details of its partnership with Crowns & Hops – the American craft beer brand that will be the first beneficiary of the Scottish brewer and retailer’s revamped Development Fund. Crowns & Hops is the brainchild of Los Angeles-based craft beer enthusiasts Beny Ashburn and Teo Hunter. BrewDog will brew Crowns & Hops beer alongside its own in its brewery in Ellon, Scotland, for distribution across the UK and beyond. Through the Development Fund, BrewDog will help Crowns & Hops establish its first brewpub, in Inglewood, California, and support management of two crowdfunding campaigns set to launch this year. Ashburn said: “The time is now for cultural ownership! Responsible, authentic culture curated for the people by the people. We are thrilled to partner with BrewDog to help make this vision a reality.” BrewDog co-founder James Watt added: “Beny and Teo’s passion for changing the world of craft beer is infectious. When I first met them I was blown away by how unapologetic and uncompromising they were, and it opened my eyes to a serious issue we have in craft beer. It’s these qualities that made us such great partners and I can’t wait to see what they achieve with BrewDog’s support.” BrewDog’s Development Fund makes up to £200,000 available each year to help small craft brewers and startups become established.
M&B signs to bring Miller & Carter to new Horsham leisure complex: Mitchells and Butlers is to open a site for its steakhouse brand Miller & Carter in Horsham, West Sussex. The venue will one of the first sites to open among a number of restaurants, a cinema, hotel and shops currently under construction as part of the £35m Piries Place development. The leisure complex is due to launch at the end of April and will also include a three-screen Everyman cinema and a 92-bedroom Premier Inn. Miller & Carter operates a number of restaurants in the south including in Brighton, Worthing and Haywards Heath.
Nando’s to open Eastbourne site this week as first restaurant brand at shopping centre extension: Nando’s is set to open in Eastbourne, East Sussex, this week as the first restaurant brand to launch in The Beacon shopping centre’s new leisure extension. The venue will open on Wednesday (20 February), the Eastbourne Herald reports. The announcement follows recent news that Wagamama and Carluccio’s have scrapped plans to open in the £85m shopping centre. Restaurants still to open in the extension are The Restaurant Group-owned brands Frankie & Benny’s and Chiquito, and Azzurri Group-owned ASK Italian. The major extension has been funded by landlord Legal & General, with an eight-screen Cineworld cinema due to open in the spring, when a formal opening of the extension will take place.
Edinburgh-based pizza concept opens second site: Edinburgh-based pizza concept @Pizza has opened a second site, in Birmingham’s Grand Central shopping centre. The brand serves rectangular pizza cooked in 90 seconds. The 2,000 square foot, 60-cover, pizzeria is housed in an empty unit between Nando’s and the Holy Moly Macaroni cheese restaurant. The concept is the brainchild of Bhasker Dhir and Rupert Lyle and aims to create a “new fast casual format in place of a table service restaurant”. Lyle said: “To launch @Pizza in the thriving city of Birmingham is a measure of our success. Grand Central’s prominent location as the main thoroughfare in and out the country’s second city, as well as a shopping and dining destination, made it an obvious choice for the next step in our expansion." Iain Mitchell, UK commercial director at Hammerson, which owns Grand Central, added: “@Pizza is a great addition to Grand Central’s already strong food and beverage offering, as its extensive menu means there is something for everyone." @Pizza's website states: “Our slow-proofed dough and choice ingredients from Italy and Scotland combine with a modern way to cook at 600 degrees, ensuring the perfect cook every time.” Culverwell acted for @Pizza and BGP acted for Hammerson. Cushman & Wakefield and BWD Retail act on the retail leasing for the Bullring.
Street food hall to form part of Durham riverside development: Plans have been unveiled for a street food hall as part of The Riverwalk, a £30m development on the banks of the River Wear in Durham. Clearbell Property Partners plans to house the food hall on The Riverwalk’s promenade offering street food and drinks brands in kiosks and mobile units surrounding communal seating and tables. It will form part of the wider Riverwalk development, which includes an array of new restaurants and bars centring on a six-screen Odeon Luxe cinema and Lane7 bowling alley. Clearbell Capital partner Nick Berry told Insider Media: “The street food scene in the north east is really exciting and we want to capture some of that spirit in The Riverwalk. Our food hall concept will create a platform to bring unique food operators to the heart of The Riverwalk and, with the cinema, bowling lanes and a great range of new restaurant brands, we’re establishing a real point of difference for Durham.” A phased opening of restaurants on the promenade will start in the spring.
Rhubarb opens Vivi as Centre Point’s flagship restaurant: Food experience brand and events caterer Rhubarb has launched Vivi as the flagship restaurant at central London development Centre Point. The restaurant offers a “nostalgia-themed menu” featuring retro dishes such as soufflé, chicken kiev, arctic roll, jelly and custard, and Victoria sponge. The 16,000 square foot space is split into four areas – a bar, dining room, “liquid lounge” for healthy drinks, and a viewing gallery. Rhubarb operates outlets in more than 60 venues across London and the Home Counties, including the Royal Albert Hall, Heathrow airport, Royal Ascot and the Goodwood Estate. It also operates a number of restaurants and bars, with its first international site due to open in New York next month. Centre Point is in New Oxford Street and features 82 apartments and a square surrounded by restaurants and shops.