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Mon 4th Nov 2019 - Propel Monday News Briefing

Story of the Day:

Nick Campbell – we’ll grow Simmons Bars to 25 sites before rolling out beyond London: Simmons Bars owner Nick Campbell has told Propel the company will look to expand its 16-strong London estate outside the capital in 2021 but initial plans are to take the group to 25 outlets with locations such as Clapham, Battersea and Putney able to handle “one or two sites”. Speaking during an interview for the latest Propel Quarterly magazine, which will be published in early December, Campbell said: “When we decide to make our move outside London we want to make sure it’s the right city for the first bar. In 2021 we’ll look to extend outside and I see it working in Manchester, Leeds, Brighton, Bristol and Birmingham – but we’d need to nail the execution when we make the move.” As well as growing the number of sites there’s also plenty of mileage to be had from existing outlets, with Campbell saying even though like-for-like numbers are still running “crazy” and Thursday through to Saturday nights are busy, there’s an opportunity to develop the brand audience across seven days a week. Another recent growth driver has been the introduction of pre-booking, with investment made to hire people and build corporate sales. Campbell said: “This has become a huge part of what we do. London is a busy place so knowing you’ve got a space is nice. It also helps us form a view of takings.” Campbell added pre-bookings now account for about 25% of the group’s sales and are up 15% on a like-for-like basis for the rolling year to date for 2020. In February 2018, private equity firm Lonsdale Capital Partners took a majority stake in the business with the plan “always to grow as fast as we could and take investment before pushing to 30 units”, Campbell said. He added that as well as injecting money into the business, the Lonsdale deal was also about bringing in expertise to improve operational processes. He said: “We were a small company 30 steps ahead of where we should have been – we had more venues than we should have had. It took a year with Lonsdale to professionalise back of house and nail down the systems and infrastructure.” What hasn’t changed following the Lonsdale deal is the bars’ core proposition. Campbell said: “We aren’t changing the fundamentals of the business. If it’s not broken, don’t fix it. For a private equity backer it’s a no-brainer as we can replicate it and roll out and it doesn’t require millions of pounds for each venue. It’s fairly low risk for them.” To receive your free copy of Propel Quarterly, email anne.steele@propelinfo.com
 

Industry News:

Deadline for Restaurant Marketer & Innovator Awards entries looms: The deadline for entries to the Restaurant Marketer & Innovator Awards 2020 is at the end of this week. The awards, in their third year, recognise outstanding marketing and innovation in the sector. The closing date for entries is 11.59pm on Friday (8 November). The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony at Cafe de Paris in London on Wednesday, 22 January 2020 as part of the grand finale of the Restaurant Marketer & Innovator European Summit, which takes place over two days. Awards are open to any eating or drinking out brand or outlet in Europe. There are 13 categories – Integrated Campaign of the Year, Digital Campaign of the Year, Innovation of the Year, Launch Campaign of the Year, Best Use of Technology, Best New Website, Best Use of Video, Best New/Improved Visual Identity, Best Use of Social Media, Best Use of Research/Insight/Data, Marketer of the Year, Innovator of the Year and Future Marketing Leader of the Year. Propel managing director Paul Charity said: “We launched this event two years ago and now 850 people from across Europe attend the various segments. The awards recognise the very best within the spheres of foodservice marketing and innovation.” Awards co-founder James Hacon added: “We are back after an incredible awards programme in 2019 that attracted more than 120 entries. We created the awards to recognise the growing importance of marketing, innovation and strategy professions within the restaurant and foodservice sector. We saw a superb calibre of entries last year and have amazing momentum with our events throughout the year. We’re expecting an even more impressive list of entrants this year.” For entry information and criteria, click here.
 
London restaurant scene stages weak recovery, average price of dinner rises 6.3%: The growth of London’s restaurant scene has staged a weak recovery in the past 12 months after a record slump, according to the 2019 edition of Harden’s London Restaurants. There have been 110 closures – just below last year’s record level of 117. However, there were 174 restaurant openings – the fourth-highest year on record – and up from 167 last year. Openings were focused on central London, where there were 82. Net openings stood at 64, up 28% on the previous year and, after a spike in the middle of the decade, suggests the market has returned to a “normal” level of growth at between 50 and 75 net openings. A further sign the market is still tough is reinforced by the ratio of openings to closure, which at 1.6 to 1 only represents a slight gain on last year's 1.4 to 1 and well below the 29-year average of 2.1 to 1. The average price of dinner for one at venues listed in the guide is £59.28 compared with £55.76 last year. Prices have risen 6.3% in the past 12 months – up from 4.8% in the preceding 12 months. This rate compares with a general annual inflation rate of 2.1% for the 12 months to July 2019 yet further accelerates the trend seen in the past three years by which restaurant bills have generally risen significantly higher than inflation. Taylor Bonnyman’s The Five Fields scored the highest for food in the 2020 survey. Emily Roux, daughter of Michel Roux Jr and granddaughter of Albert Roux, saw Caractère, her restaurant with husband Diego Ferrari, rated newcomer of the year, while the Harwood Arms in Fulham was the top gastro-pub for a second year. The River Cafe was yet again voted London’s most overpriced restaurant.
 
UK’s craft gin segment at risk of ‘shake-out’: The craft and high-end gin segment in the UK is at risk of a “shake-out” in the coming years, Pernod Ricard executive Jonathan Peacock has said. The UK has been a major driver of gin’s resurgence in recent years, with the category’s high profile among consumers combined with brand acquisitions encouraging more entrepreneurial startups to enter the craft gin arena. Peacock, who is Pernod Ricard’s UK customer development, strategy and planning director, said the boom was set to continue for about two years. Speaking at the Spirits Strategies & Innovation Congress in London, Peacock said the high proliferation of premium-positioned gin brands in the country wouldn’t be sustainable in the medium to long term. He added: “With so many new entrants recently I can see a shake-out coming in craft gin. The category has to organise itself otherwise it’s going to be a race to the bottom. The barriers to entry in gin are low. The problem is, the barriers to exit are equally low.”
 

Company News:

Richard Caring sells 25% stake for £200m: Sector entrepreneur Richard Caring, who owns The Ivy Collection and Bill's, has sold a 25% stake in his hospitality business for £200m. Caring owns private members’ club, Annabel's, as well as London restaurants such as The Ivy, J Sheekey and Le Caprice. The Daily Mail has reported the 25% stake has been sold to the former prime minister of Qatar for £200m. The deal values his business at £800m. “This mega-deal puts a staggering price on the most glamorous stable of restaurants in the world,” an insider told the newspaper. The newspaper added: “Bought for £90m in 2007 from society figure Mark Birley, the group – which also includes Harry's Bar and Mark's Club in Mayfair – has proved an astute investment by Caring. It gives the former Qatari prime minister, Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani – known as HBJ – the option to buy a further 25% of the group, depending on its performance. The transaction is the latest British purchase for HBJ, who oversaw a string of eye-catching deals – including Qatar's bailout of Barclays and its swoop on Harrods.” 
 
Soho House paid €45.2m for majority stake in Greek island resort: Soho House paid €45.2m to buy a majority stake in the Mykonos resort of Scorpios earlier this year, new accounts have shown. Minority shareholders retain a stake of between 18% and 25%. Founded by German entrepreneurs Thomas Heyne and Mario Hertel, Scorpios has become one of the world’s top beach club destinations. According to the owners, it happened so quickly because they remained true to five founding pillars – art, design, music, food and healing. With a capacity of more than 4,000 people and a network of bars, seating areas and a Mediterranean-inspired restaurant, Scorpios also has an array of “sunset rituals” with music by international DJs. Nick Jones, the founder of Soho House decided on the transaction after experiencing the island of Mykonos and Scorpios club himself during a summer trip to the Greek island. Named after the private island of Aristotle Onassis where he married John F Kennedy’s widow, Jacqueline, Scorpios first opened in 2015 and caught the attention of Jones, whose own Soho House empire has gone global. Meanwhile the accounts show Soho House Group has signed leases or term sheets to open in Tel Aviv, Paris, Brighton, Milan and Lisbon.
 
Burning Night Group administrator reports ‘notice of claim’ served: The administrator of Burning Night Group has reported a 22-page “notice of claim” has been served on parties it considers “de jure, de facto or shadow directors” of the company. It is reported further investigation is required but potential causes of claim include breach of fiduciary duty, dishonest assistance in breach of fiduciary duties, conspiracy to injure the company and other companies within the group by unlawful means, and they are beneficiaries of a series of transactions or a single large transaction at an undervalue designed to put assets beyond the reach of creditors. Burning Night Group, led by Allan Harper, went into administration in October last year owing £11.2m. Two-thirds of the debt (£7.5m) was money raised from 936 investors on crowdfunding platform Crowdstacker in summer 2017. The ongoing investigation means the outcome for creditors cannot yet be determined but, as previously reported, secured creditor Crowdstacker will suffer a “significant if not a full shortfall on its lending”. Unsecured creditor claims are estimated to total £2,259,439. Previously, Propel reported Crowdstacker is also the secured creditor of Authentic Alehouses, another company led by Harper. Crowdstacker is taking control of the company’s pubs and running them through a new vehicle. Crowdstacker said it believed the move represented the best opportunity to return capital to investors. Authentic Alehouses entered administration in March despite raising £6.4m in peer-to-peer loans via Crowdstacker. 
 
Honest Burgers seeks investor: The Sunday Times has reported Honest Burgers is courting investors for its next stage of expansion as the chain dodges the casual dining crisis. The newspaper added: “Honest, which was launched in 2009, is understood to have held meetings with potential investors including TriSpan, the private equity firm working with Robin Rowland, the former chief executive of YO!. Sales at Honest, founded by Tom Barton, Philip Eeles and Dorian Waite, rose by 38% to £31m in the year to the end of January, while pre-tax profits jumped 22% to £873,266. In 2015, Honest sold a 50% stake to Active Private Equity, an investor in Soho House and Leon, for £7m. The company now has 34 sites, 28 of them in London.”
 
Casual Dining Group appoints chief financial officer: Casual Dining Group (CDG), the operator of circa 260 mid-market restaurant brands including Bella Italia, Las Iguanas and Cafe Rouge, has appointed Adrian Walker as chief financial officer. Walker joins from Pizza Hut, where he spent the past four years, initially as chief financial officer and latterly as a non-executive director. Walker, who will join CDG on Monday, 11 November, was also previously finance director at Odeon Cinemas and has held senior finance roles at Virgin Active Health Clubs in London and Vodafone Stores and Platinum Private Equity in Melbourne. Current CDG chief financial officer Giles David is leaving to look at other opportunities. He plans to step down in December, allowing a smooth transition. CDG chairman Rooney Anand said: “We look forward to welcoming Adrian to CDG. He joins at an exciting time in the company’s development as the group builds on positive trading momentum in 2019. On behalf of the company and the board, I would like to thank Giles for the valuable contribution he has made during his time at CDG. We wish him every success in the next phase of his career.” Chief executive James Spragg added: “Adrian’s highly relevant experience coupled with his exposure to private equity-backed businesses position him ideally for the chief financial officer role at CDG.”

Vagabond secures site in the City: Imbiba-backed wine bar business Vagabond has lined up a site in the City, for an opening early next year, Propel has learned. The Stephen Finch-led business is on site at the former Santander Bank property in Monument for an opening in January. The group will open its seventh site in the capital on Friday, 15 November in Cabot Square, Canary Wharf. It is understood to be in talks on sites in Bankside and Shoreditch. Founded by Finch in 2010 as a relaxed bar with informal wine tasting, Vagabond is looking to expand quickly during the next 18 months. Last August, the company secured £3.5m of growth capital investment from Imbiba. Subsequently, Karen Forrester, the outgoing chief executive of TGI Friday’s, became its chairman.

Slim Chickens to make Bristol debut: Boparan Restaurant Group (BRG) has lined up a sixth opening for the Slim Chickens brand, in Bristol. Propel understands BRG, which owns the master franchise rights to the brand in the UK, is set to convert its Giraffe site in the city’s Cabot Circus scheme to the chicken brand. It launched its latest Slim Chickens site last month, at the Brunswick Centre, in Brunswick Square, near St Pancras. It follows openings in Marylebone and Soho in London along with Birmingham and Cardiff. The expansion comes amidst ambitious growth plans for Slim Chickens as BRG aims to open “many more” restaurants by 2022 in key cities. In September, Slim Chickens opened its first location in Arkansas in 2003 before expanding to other US southern states to quickly reach the 80-site milestone. The company previously applied to convert its Ed’s Easy Diner site in Liverpool city centre to the brand.

Megan’s appoints Rees as new finance director: Megan’s, the south London-based cafe and deli concept owned by Tossed founder Vincent McKevitt, has appointed Ben Rees, formerly of D&D London and Le Pain Quotidien, as its new finance director, Propel has learned. Rees previously spent more than a year as group financial controller at D&D London and prior to that almost seven years at Le Pain, including a final stint as its head of finance. Megan’s, which opened its sixth site earlier this year in Wimbledon, is understood to have lined up an opening in Islington Square, for what will be its first north London-based cafe. Megan’s was founded in 2004 as a daytime cafe in King’s Road and was acquired by McKevitt in 2014. It also has sites in Fulham, Parsons Green, Balham, Battersea and Clapham. In February, the company appointed Ryan Jacovides, former managing director of Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group and chief operating officer of No 1 Lounges, as managing director.

Paul shutters Newbury site in ‘one-off’ closure: French bakery and cafe brand Paul UK has shut its site in Newbury, Berkshire, calling the closure a “one off”. The company has closed the outlet in Parkway, which opened in 2015 and was the company’s second branch outside London. Paul UK operations director Gary Cowles said: “While the site has traded well, we have decided to close our Newbury bakery. This has not been an easy decision but a commercial one taken for the greater good of the business to help strengthen the estate in the long term. The Paul estate continues to perform well, with a strategic roll-out in the pipeline for the new Express concept, further regional openings and the ongoing development of our product range and central bakery. Newbury team members have been offered opportunities to remain within the Paul family. No further closures are planned.” Paul operates 36 sites. For the year ending 31 December 2018, like-for-like sales rose 3.4%, with turnover up 7.4% to £38m.
 
Erpingham House reveals location of new Brighton restaurant: Erpingham House, the UK’s largest plant-based restaurant, has revealed the location of its new Brighton site. Founder Loui Blake will open the venue in Duke Street. Blake expects to exchange contracts this weekend and begin trading in early 2020. He is currently looking to raise £250,000 on crowdfunding platform Crowdcube to help fund the Brighton launch. Blake is offering 15% equity for the investment, giving the company a pre-money valuation of £1.4m. The funds will also be used to improve the Norwich site. So far, 211 investors have pledged £181,390 with one day of the campaign remaining. The new Erpingham House will still specialise in vegan food but with the offer refined to appeal to a “more general audience”. Like its debut site, the new venue will be free from single-use plastic and be almost 100% carbon neutral. Blake told Propel: “We are excited to announce what we consider to be the ideal location for Erpingham House in Brighton. There’s still time for investors to join us and I encourage anyone considering doing so to take advantage of this opportunity. We intend Brighton to be the second in a chain that spans the country and brings veganism into the mainstream.” Last month Propel revealed Blake had launched virtual sub-brand Vegan Dough Co, which offers vegan pizza available via Deliveroo or to collect from its restaurant in Norwich. Blake also operates all-day vegan cafe concept Kalifornia Kitchen.
 
Starbucks to open first dedicated pick-up store: Starbucks is opening its first dedicated pick-up store. The company will launch the outlet on Tuesday (5 November) in New York City’s Penn Plaza. The site will span a mere 300 square feet – a fraction of a traditional 1,800 square foot US Starbucks store. There will be no menu boards with customers who order ahead on their phone able to pick up their order when it pops up on a digital board. Walk-in orders will be welcome but the space has been designed to accommodate digital orders. There are plans to open similar stores in Boston, Chicago and Los Angeles, with the idea to keep sales flowing while paying less in rent and staff wages, reports Bloomberg. Starbucks reported sales and revenue in the fourth quarter topped analysts’ estimates but the company is focusing on controlling expenses amid slower growth predictions for like-for-like sales. Starbucks said it was investing in artificial intelligence to help staff its restaurants and save on labour costs.
 
New World Trading Company to bring The Botanist to Warrington next month: Graphite Capital-backed pub restaurant group The New World Trading Company will open a site for its The Botanist brand in Warrington, Cheshire, next month. The company will launch the venue at the Time Square development on Monday, 2 December, creating 60 jobs. It will be the 19th The Botanist and have space for 170 diners on two floors and capacity for about 100 people at the bar. There will also be a private dining space for up to ten. Liam Wood, head of openings for The New World Trading Company, told the Warrington Guardian: “We are all excited to be getting The Botanist open in Warrington before Christmas. Our team is working tirelessly to create a secret garden and botanical paradise in Time Square – and we can’t wait to reveal what it looks like.” New World Trading Company also operates The Florist, The Oast House, The Trading House and The Canal House brands. The Botanist will be the first restaurant to open at the £142.5m development off Bridge Street, which will also offer a multi-screen Cineworld, market hall, council offices and leisure offerings.

Turkish concept Turquoise to replace ASK in Guildford: Turquoise Kitchen, the Turkish concept from the group behind The Real China, is to open in Guildford, Surrey. Propel understands the six-strong business is to replace the ASK Italian in the town’s Chapel Street, after the Azzurri Group-backed brand closed its site at the weekend, after 13 years of trading in Guildford. Turquoise, which serves a range of charcoal grilled meats, meze, salad, and Turkish pizza, aims to capitalise on the lack of mass-market national operators specialising in Turkish cuisine. It is backed by HJ Tenger Holdings, which operates The Real China buffet brand, the Pan-Asian buffet concept Kungfu, and Tang’s, an even larger Chinese buffet format. AG&G is understood to have acted on the Guildford deal. DMR Property acts for HJ Tenger.

Goodbody – new SSP chairman’s aviation experience leaves business well positioned to continue executing growth strategy: Goodbody leisure analyst Paul Ruddy has said SSP’s appointment of Mike Clasper as chairman should leave the business well positioned to continue executing its growth strategy given his experience in the airport industry. Clasper has initially joined the board of the foodservice travel hub company as an independent non-executive director and chairman designate, succeeding Vagn Sorensen who has been chairman since 2006. Ruddy said: “Overall, we think Clasper is a good appointment as his experience as chief executive of BAA means he has a deep understanding of the airport and aviation industry. Additionally, his tenure on a number of other plc boards will also serve him well in his role as SSP chairman. There was some opposition at recent shareholder votes about Sorensen’s length of tenure and ‘overboarding’ so some investors will welcome a change. An area of concern could be this has come quite soon after the departure of former chief executive Kate Swann. However, the significant expertise of both the new chief executive (Simon Smith) and chairman should leave SSP well positioned to continue executing successfully on its growth strategy.”
 
Northumberland-based operators acquire Seahouses pub for third site: Northumberland-based operators Michael Dawson and Chico Gomes have taken on their third site. The duo, who own The Craster Arms and Salt Water Cafe in Beadnell, have added the Black Swan Inn in Seahouses to their portfolio. They plan to extend the bar and kitchen at the Union Street pub and introduce a cocktail menu, reports the Berwick Advertiser.
 
Caprinos opens Stafford site as franchisee doubles up: Pizza concept Caprinos has opened a site in Stafford after franchisee Shehzad Rafique added a second site to his portfolio. Rafique launched his debut restaurant in the Newcastle-under-Lyme suburb of Cross Heath last year. Now he has opened his second, in Foregate Street, Stafford, after converting former fish and chip shop The Fryer. Rafique told Stoke on Trent Live: “I think the location is great – it covers commercial and residential. Cross Heath was the first site and it was such a nice start it forced us to think of opening more. We didn’t want to be too close to my other venue so we chose Stafford.” Caprinos operates 14 sites, while openings are planned shortly in Birmingham and Burton, according to its website.
 
JD Wetherspoon to open Kingswinford site: JD Wetherspoon is to open a pub in Kingswinford (population: 25,191) in the West Midlands. The company has acquired The Cross in High Street and is investing £2.6m in the building. Work has begun to transform the site with the pub expected to open in April, creating 60 jobs. A Wetherspoon spokesman told Birmingham Live: “We are confident the new-look pub will prove popular with customers of all ages and be an asset to the town. Hopefully it will also act as a catalyst for other businesses to invest in the area.”
   
Nobu opens ‘street food supper bar’ at Shoreditch hotel: Nobu has opened a “street food supper bar” within its first European hotel, in Shoreditch, east London. The group, founded by Nobu Matsuhisa, Robert De Niro and Meir Teper, has launched Nami at the hotel in Willow Street. Nami has taken over the bar and terrace on the lower-ground floor. The concept sees Nobu cocktails matched with Japanese street food. Snacks include the Sakana Chip – classic cod and chips combined into one lightly battered piece and served with Japanese ponzu and a spicy sauce. They come with new cocktails such as the Matcha Colada – a pina colada that combines nitro matcha, coconut and pineapple juice. The walls are adorned with animated street art and interior projections created by up-and-coming artists, while Kabuki DJs – “masked DJs playing electro lounge fused with soul disco and hip-hop” – will play during service, reports Hot Dinners.
 
Nottingham-based wine bar operator opens craft beer venue for second site: The team behind Another? Wine Bar in Nottingham has opened a craft beer-inspired venue in the city. It has launched The Tap House in a former Paul Smith shop in Byard Lane having previously agreed a deal through agent FHP Property. The 1,055 square foot, ground-floor site has been transformed into a 60-seater venue. Similar to the team’s wine bar in Trinity Square, The Tap House features self-serve drink technology but specialises in craft beer. The Tap House also offers Detroit-style deep-pan pizza available whole or by the slice to take away. The Tap House occupies one unit of a wider redevelopment of the building, with two other units available on the ground floor. The upper floors have been converted into seven loft-style apartments.
 
Merlin Entertainments’ £6bn takeover to complete following court approval: Merlin Entertainments’ £6bn takeover is set to complete after the deal was sanctioned by the High Court. Private equity firm Blackstone, Canadian pension firm CPPIB and Kirkbi, a company operated by the Danish family that controls Lego and already has a 29.58% stake in Merlin, agreed a deal for the business in June. The vehicle will buy the entire share capital of Merlin other than the stake owned or controlled by Kirkbi, the Kirk Kristiansen family’s private holding and investment company. The move values Merlin, which is behind attractions such as Alton Towers, Madame Tussauds and Thorpe Park, at £4.766bn and implies an enterprise value of £5.9bn. The deal is expected to complete on Monday (4 November).
 
Victor Garvey replaces Rambla with US west coast concept: Spanish chef and restaurateur Victor Garvey has moved away from his Catalan roots by transforming his Soho restaurant Rambla into a US west coast concept. The venue in Dean Street has relaunched as SOLA, a combination of Soho and Los Angeles. Garvey said: “I think it’s well known I’m always looking to innovate and have one eye on the next project. It’s why I closed Encant and Sibarita when I felt I’d taken them as far as I could creatively. Rambla has been phenomenally successful in the two years it has been open but now I’m ready to do something new.” That “something new” sees Garvey move away from Spanish food to the modern cuisine of his father’s native California. SOLA includes a 12-course menu as well as snacks, while the drinks list focuses on Californian wine. Earlier this year Garvey launched his first solo restaurant in the City of London. Barullo opened in Bevis Marks in March at a space formerly occupied by James Cochran EC3 but closed within months. Garvey launched Barullo after closing his Covent Garden restaurant Sibarita to focus on his new project. In January 2018, Garvey took ownership of Sibarita and Rambla under the umbrella Garvey Restaurant Holdings.
  
Tel Aviv-inspired restaurant goes from residency to permanent with Dalston site: Chef Oded Oren has seen his Tel Aviv-inspired restaurant go from residency to permanent with an opening in Dalston, east London. The eponymous restaurant has opened in Shacklewell Lane where it has replaced Floyd’s. The move follows Oren’s 2018 residency at Borough Wines in Kensal Rise. Announcing the restaurant on Instagram, Oren said: “I have been looking for a site for some time. I will cook food inspired by my home and the Mediterranean using local and sustainable produce alongside a thoughtful wine list. You can expect an extensive, changing menu and eventually I’ll be offering dinner, lunch and a unique brunch.”
 
East African and Caribbean-inspired vegan food concept opens at Peckham Levels: A new east African and Caribbean-inspired vegan food concept has opened at the Peckham Levels development in south London. Kingston Kigali is run by Stacey Uwimana and aims to put “Rwandan food on the map”. The menu includes homemade samosas, coconut curry, jerk lentil stew and its signature KK Burger, which is a plant-based patty with vegan cheese, salad and vegan mayo in a bun. Drinks include rum punch and homemade sorrel and ginger juice. Uwimana told Hot Dinners: “We aim to get people discovering the beauty of a country historically known for a war that cost millions of innocent lives.”
 
Diageo joins forces with Sky and Molson Coors to offer licensees 50% off Sky Sports: Diageo GB has joined the Molson Coors and Sky team to offer licensees 50% off their Sky Sports subscription. Open to outlets that stock and sell Diageo and Molson Coors brands, licensees that sign up before Saturday, 30 November will be entered into a prize draw to win an all-expenses trip to Dublin along with a Guinness Storehouse and Open Gate Brewery experience. Diageo on-trade director Melissa Yorke said: “There is huge opportunity for licensees to drive footfall, increase dwell time and ultimately boost profits as a result of screening live sports in their venues. As our partnership with Sky Sports continues to grow, we want to give back to our customers and give them the chance to learn more about the Guinness brewing process and the rich history behind the brand.”

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