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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Thu 27th Jun 2019 - Tokyo Industries acquires Red's True Barbecue from administration
Tokyo Industries acquires Red's True Barbecue from administration: Tokyo Industries, the bar and nightclub operator led by Aaron Mellor, has acquired smokehouse brand Red's True Barbecue from administration. James Douglas and Scott Munro, who founded Red's True Barbecue in 2012, will both continue with the business. The new investment will also allow the brand to expand into the UK festival and international markets. Red's True Barbecue operated eight sites across the UK. The deal sees the Leeds, Manchester, Nottingham, Sheffield, Leicester, Headingley and Newcastle sites remain open, saving about 235 jobs. The Liverpool site will close with the loss of 25 jobs, with administrators FRP Advisory working with the redundancy payments service to support affected employees. Mellor said: "Red's is an incredible brand with strong growth potential, the guys passion, creative yet rebellious attitude versus near cult status restaurants are a perfect synergy for both parties." Propel understands a rival operator, thought to be the Imbiba-backed Temper, had also tabled an offer for the better-performing sites in the group’s estate. Last year, Red's True Barbecue closed its only site in London, in Shoreditch. In March 2017, the company entered refinancing talks after breaching its banking facility. Its banking partner Santander issued a letter of support indicating it intended to "continue to make funding available". It is thought a further drop in trading, especially in its Liverpool and Newcastle sites has led to the administration process. Douglas and Munro opened their first restaurant in Leeds in 2012 and the brand rapidly grew, spawning a cookbook and a range of sauces listed in national supermarkets. Its smoked meats and famous Donut Burger won legions of fans, which it affectionately referred to as "believers". In 2015, the company received a £5m investment from a group of key industry players to open in Shoreditch, with the aim of expanding to 20 sites by 2020. Tokyo Industries already operates 36 UK clubs, bars and festivals, alongside sites in Ibiza, Los Angeles, Palm Springs, Croatia and Dubai. 

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