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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Fri 8th Mar 2019 - Polpo gets approval for CVA
Polpo gets approval for CVA: Polpo, the holding company behind restaurant brands Polpo and Spuntino, has had its restructuring proposals under a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) approved after receiving 98% support. Managing director Richard Beatty along with business recovery firm Elwell, Watchorn & Saxton have reached the “overwhelming majority consensus” among suppliers, landlords and staff after several weeks of negotiations. It comes after Propel exclusively revealed last month Polpo was seeking a CVA and would sell two loss-making central London sites as its faced a £500,000 tax bill and a deteriorating trading position. Polpo faced an uncertain future after a combination of overinvestment in head office infrastructure and a focus on “expensive but ultimately ineffective” marketing initiatives. Since taking the reins of the business back in October last year, Beatty has slashed more than £1m from top-end costs and invested in talent in the restaurants’ kitchens and front-of-house. New appointments include David Aroutinov as group head chef; Mattia Antonioni as head chef at Polpo Soho, who has returned to the restaurant after eight years having worked in the opening kitchen; and Sam Jewel (ex-Balthazar and Caprice Holdings) as operations director. Beatty and co-founder Russell Norman said: “Polpo is a cherished brand and has had a huge influence on the UK dining scene. It was absolutely essential that we survived this setback in our very strong nine-and-a-half year history. We have been able to do this with overwhelming support from our suppliers, landlords, staff and customers, to whom we offer our heartfelt thanks. We now have an opportunity to go back to basics, return to the core values that distinguished us when we first opened in Beak Street in 2009, and reconnect with our large fan-base. Polpo’s premise is actually quite simple – serving delicious sharing plates of excellent seasonal ingredients inspired by the cosy and charming back-street wine bars of Venice. We do this in the context of warmth and hospitality from our excellent front-of-house teams. We are greatly looking forward to a summer of events and initiatives to remind everyone why they love Polpo. And we will be pouring plenty of spritz and prosecco as we prepare for our tenth birthday celebrations in September.”

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