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Wed 24th Jun 2020 - Propel Wednesday News Briefing

Story of the Day: 

Leon-led group among bidders for Busaba: Natural fast food brand Leon is involved in one of the main bids for Busaba, the Thai chain founded by Alan Yau, Propel understands. It is thought the John Vincent-led business, which is backed by Active Partners, is part of a bid with unnamed partners to acquire the 13-strong, London-based Busaba. It is thought it is up against an unnamed private equity firm with turnaround specialist company RCapital, the former backer of Little Chef, believed to have dropped out of the running. In 2018, Leon partnered with David Thompson’s Aylmer Aaharn food group to transform part of its Shaftesbury Avenue site into a Thai fast-food restaurant called Tuk Shop, which at the time it hoped would become a major growth brand. Vincent said at the time: “Over the past 15 years I have been fortunate enough to experience the culture and flavours of Thailand first-hand. And fortunate too to meet and learn from David Thompson (founder of Aylmer Aaharn), whose chefs have worked hard to make this happen. I hope in the long run Tuk Shop will allow everyone in the UK to experience the joy of this food.” The pop-up at the Shaftesbury closed later the same year and the idea subsequently not returned to. Propel revealed in April the Terry Harrison-led Busaba had appointed KPMG to help it assess options, which if new investment doesn’t come forward could include a restructuring of the business and a possible company voluntary arrangement. The management of Busaba was thought to have received interest in all or parts of the business from 16 parties over the past few weeks, with many encouraged by how the business was trading post-lock-down. Initial bids was due late last month. 

Industry News:

Sponsored message – Drynks Unlimited ramps up Smashed range of 0% beer and cider with launch of Berry Cider and Pale Ale: Drynks Unlimited has gone from strength-to-strength since it launched in 2019. It built the UK’s only alcohol-free brewery that uses a unique cool vacuum distillation process that produces the best quality 0% drinks on the market. The team had a successful appearance on Dragons’ Den and now it has launched two new 0% drinks – Pale Ale and Berry Cider – cementing its five-strong Smashed range. The British alcohol-free drinks business established a strong on-trade presence pre-covid-19 with key RTM listings with Matthew Clark, LWC and leading regional wholesalers, with sales at triple digit growth. Paul Briscoe, UK sales director, said: “In the past 12 weeks we have redoubled efforts to make the business ready for when bars and restaurants start to reopen. There are 14 million UK consumers looking to reduce their alcohol consumption and research from the University of Bristol shows when faced with an equal choice of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks more consumers choose non-alcoholic. It’s clear alcohol-free will play a crucial role in bringing people back into pubs when things reopen.” Check out the Drynks range at www.drynks.co.uk and contact Paul to chat about options. If you have information you would like to feature in a sponsored message, email paul.charity@propelinfo.com

Propel and Bums on Seats to host free pre-booked sales panel webinar: Propel and Bums on Seats are to host a free 45-minute pre-booked sales panel webinar. Experts in their individual areas of speciality will discuss pre-sent key questions to support operators with their pre-booked sales strategy as well as provide answers to some of the pressing questions and concerns surrounding reopening in the “new world”. Led by Amber Staynings, founder of Bums on Seats, the panel will feature Bums on Seats casual dining sales consultant Jamie Brooker; Bums on Seats private hire and events consultant Jennie Roe; Bums on Seats marketing and sales consultant Abby Caulfield; and Rosie Marsh, sales consultant, thespian and small business owner. To register, email jo.charity@propelinfo.com and a link to view the webinar will be sent at noon on Friday (26 June).

UK footfall sees marked increase as lock-down restrictions ease: UK footfall has seen a marked increase as non-essential shops reopened for business and lock-down restrictions are eased further, according to the latest data from Wi-Fi solutions provider Wireless Social. At the weekend UK footfall was down 65% on February levels, compared with 71% the previous weekend, and 82% during the peak of lock-down – reflecting an 8.5% increase in footfall in just the past week. Similarly, London was only 58% down on February footfall levels at the weekend, compared with 64% the weekend before, and 75% during the peak of lock-down. London footfall traffic has increased 9.4% in just the past seven days. Other cities saw similar trends, with Birmingham Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and York all seeing footfall at its highest level since the start of March. Footfall in Cardiff, Edinburgh and Glasgow stayed at a similar level, with the lock-down restrictions in Scotland and Wales subject to different restrictions than England. 
Wireless Social is a Propel BeatTheVirus campaign member

Two-metre rule change ‘will allow 145 million additional pints to be sold’: The reduction in the two-metre social distancing rule will allow 145 million additional pints of beer will be sold through the sector, according to new research by CGA. CGA's original forecast was based on the two metre rule remaining in place until the end of August, meaning outlets could only trade at about 30% capacity, whereas at one metre they can trade at 70%, equating to a significant difference in sales as a result of increased capacity alone. Jonny Jones, CGA's director of client services, said: “As well as the difference in sales, more outlets are likely to open in July, as their businesses become viable at 70% capacity. The combination of more outlets opening and a significantly higher capacity across all who do, equates to an additional 145 million pints of beer sold over the remainder of 2020, although this does depend on consumer confidence and how people feel about going out again. Our data suggests there is enough pent-up demand to max out sales at this level of supply, but many consumers are still cautious about returning to the trade and want to see precautions put in place to ensure their safety.”

UK retail transactions grow 60% as shops begin reopening in ‘heartening’ spike in activity: UK retail transactions grew 60% last week compared with the first week of April as more shops began reopening as lock-down restrictions continued to ease, according to the latest data from Barclaycard Payments. With more businesses open, there was also an 8% increase in the total number of transactions compared with the previous week. This also led to an increase in contactless transactions, with Barclaycard processing 10% more contactless transactions than the week before. Since the introduction of the new £45 contactless limit in the UK in April, Barclaycard Payments has processed almost 40.7 million contactless transactions above the previous limit of £30. The total value of these new contactless transactions above £30 is more than £1.4bn. The total value of transactions processed also grew 6% compared with the previous week. When looking at the value taken specifically in-store, this figure increases to 12%. Small and medium businesses in particular benefited from being able to open back up, experiencing a 12% increase in the total volume of transactions, and a 9% rise in the total value processed. Barclaycard Payments chief executive Rob Cameron said: “It’s extremely heartening to witness the spike in activity that took place last week, and with some retailers still to open some or all of their stores, we expect sales volumes to continue to rise over the coming weeks.”

French restaurant owner settles with Axa over lock-down losses: A French restaurant owner who won a court battle with Axa over lock-down-linked losses has said he had reached a further settlement with the insurer, potentially setting the tone for payouts to other businesses facing similar insurance problems. Stephane Manigold, who owns four restaurants in Paris, including one with two Michelin stars, took Axa to court for not paying out on a business-interruption policy, after France imposed a two-month lock-down to fight the coronavirus pandemic. A Paris court in May ordered the insurer to cough up two-months’ worth of revenue losses – or €45,000 (£40,751) for one of Manigold's restaurants, Le Flaubert. The businessman told Reuters he had now reached a broader compensation agreement that covered all his restaurants. Axa confirmed a settlement had been reached, but did not disclose the terms of the deal. Manigold's case gave impetus to similar claims from restaurant managers and businesses hurt by the shutdowns in France and elsewhere, including nightclubs, which have yet to reopen in many European countries. Axa has since said there were about 1,700 restaurant contracts in France with ambiguous clauses which it was now looking into, although that is only a fraction of its 20,000 insurance policies in the sector, most of which do not carry explicit business interruption conditions. The insurer is in talks with some 600 other restaurants over compensation.

PCA – period following reopening will present pubcos with a further test on treatment of tied tenant: The Pubs Code adjudicator Fiona Dickie has said the period following reopening will present pub-owning businesses with a further test of how fairly they are treating their tied tenants. She said: “The government’s announcement pubs in England can reopen from 4 July will be very welcome to tied pub tenants. However, many challenges and uncertainties remain for the regulated sector and the period following reopening will present pub-owning businesses with a further test of how fairly they are treating their tied tenants. I will therefore be looking closely at how all of the pub-owning businesses that I regulate adapt their business approaches in response to the challenging new trading realities in a post-covid world. My focus will include how they respond to their code obligations in dealing with tenants’ covid-related debts and the impact on tied rents set on the basis of pre-covid assumptions and expectations. I will also continue to press those pub-owning businesses to act fairly when offering further support to their tied tenants, even as the covid emergency restrictions are gradually loosened. This includes in Wales where reopening has not yet been announced. My message to date to tenants whose pub-owning businesses have not published a transparent methodology for their support has been clear – if they do not believe they are receiving fair and open support they should take their concerns direct to their company’s code compliance officer. I will receive prompt reports from those pub-owning businesses about any unsatisfied complaints. I will be saying more about Pubs Code rights as the measures covered in the formal declaration signed by each pub-owning business end on 30 June.”

Restaurant industry set to be worst affected sector by reduction in consumer spending: The restaurant industry is set to be the worst affected sector by a reduction in consumer spending as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, according to new research. The findings by personal finance comparison site finder.com found more than a third of Brits (35%) plan to spend less at local restaurants over the next 12 months compared with pre-lock-down levels. This is the highest amount of any business type in the study. Cafes are also set to be negatively affected, although not to the same extent. A quarter of people (25%) plan to reduce their spend here. However, more than half of Brits (57%), said they will spend the same or more than they used to in local restaurants and two thirds will do so in cafes over the next 12 months. The picture is also slightly more positive for food outlets that serve takeaways. While more than a quarter of Brits (27%) plan to reduce spend, two in three plan to spend the same or more on takeaways for the next 12 months.

Job of the day: COREcruitment is looking to speak to experienced chief commercial officers. This is for a position that offers the opportunity to work for a very reputable hospitality business based in the UAE. The incoming chief commercial officer will be responsible for commercial strategy and development across all business avenues and will work in partnership with marketing, sales and product teams as well as reporting directly to the chief executive. Salary is extremely flexible and the business is open to the individual relocating from the UK, as long as they have previous GCC experience. Anyone interested can send their CV or profile to Michelle@corecruitment.com
COREcruitment is a Propel BeatTheVirus campaign member

Company News:

Marston's – we will reopen 80% to 85% of pubs on 4 July: Marston’s chief executive Ralph Findlay said he expects it will reopen 80% to 85% of its 1,400 premises from 4 July after being given the go-ahead to open sites with “one metre-plus” distancing in place. He said: “If two-metre distancing had stayed in place we would have only been able to reopen about 25% of our pubs. This is a positive step, but I think there is also now a case for some kind of stimulus to help consumer spending. Personally I feel a VAT cut, which has been touted, would work.” Meanwhile TGI Friday's has told customers it will reopen on Monday, 6 July while Rob Pitcher, chief executive at Revolution Bars Group, told PA it would reopen 10% of sites on 4 July but he does not expect these to be profitable with current restrictions in place. He said: “We don’t think it will really be profitable for us, but it is important for us to test our procedures and safety protocols, and gauge demand as well. We’ve had very high levels of bookings so we are confident things are pulling in the right direction.” JD Wetherspoon chairman Tim Martin added: “We are extremely pleased pubs are reopening on 4 July after a long hiatus. We are going to discuss the precise government proposals with our pub managers and staff before we comment further on the details.” 

Reuters – Stonegate plans debt issue to finance Ei Group acquisition: Stonegate Pub Company, the TDR Capital-backed group, is set to raise money via a high-yield debt issue in the coming weeks to help to finance the purchase of Ei Group. Stonegate’s acquisition of Ei Group for £2.97bn including debt turned it into the UK’s largest pub owner and was completed just before the coronavirus crisis shut down the hospitality sector. Reuters reported Stonegate could launch a high-yield bond soon to help to take out a £2.725bn bridge loan agreed in February to finance the Ei Group purchase. Stonegate is rated B3 by Moody’s. Barclays and Goldman Sachs, which also worked on the original bridge loan, are among the banks leading the debt plans. Stonegate declined to comment. Stonegate has been affected by Britain’s coronavirus lock-down, but discussions with investors have shown there is sufficient market demand for the company’s debt, sources told Reuters. “What investors want to see is a clear roadmap and contingency plan for the reopening of pubs – they don’t necessarily need to wait until they are actually operational,” one of the sources said. “It’s beautiful and sunny out there and pubs are about to reopen – what better time to launch this bond?”

Itsu to begin reopening parts of its UK estate: Itsu, the healthy Asian food chain created by Pret A Manger co-founder Julian Metcalfe, is to begin reopening parts of its circa 70-strong UK estate on Friday (26 June) for delivery and takeaway. The company, which previously reopened two of its kitchens to serve meals to NHS workers in London in April, will reopen its sites in Bicester, Brighton, Bristol and Kingston as well as its Kings Road and Notting Hill outlets in London. More sites will reopen over the coming weeks. The business is putting in a number of safety measures in line with its reopening plans including installing sanitising stations, limiting the number of customers inside, staying closed for dine-in, and only taking card and contactless payment. It will also offer contactless delivery ordering through Deliveroo, UberEats and Just Eat.

Oakman Inns – we've taken 3,000 bookings already: Oakman Inns & Restaurants chief executive Peter Borg-Neal has reported 3,000 bookings for the reopening date of 4 July. He said: “There is substantial public enthusiasm for us to reopen and we have already taken more than 3,000 bookings for 4 July with two of our 28 pubs already fully booked. The critical impact for us will be the reduced capacity – not a lack of public demand. The significant challenge will be to ensure everyone who visits us and works for us has a safe and enjoyable time." To comply with the new regulation to collect customers’ contact details, Oakman Inns has created a bespoke mobile app that allows customers to make reservations and then order drinks and food from their phone without leaving their table. Borg-Neal added: “Apart from our reopening, my greatest delight, is two households can meet inside or outside in groups of up to six, although there is still some clarification needed. It will be part of the normalisation process that will help bring the country back together, as families and neighbours are able to meet up and celebrate birthdays and anniversaries that have been on hold. However, for some of our colleagues in the hospitality industry it will be impossible for them to open economically until the distancing requirement has been removed. Those businesses are going to require continued financial and legislative support to give them a breathing space.” Borg-Neal believes the entire sector still requires a package of fiscal interventions as businesses that have effectively been halved or terminated by the government – through no fault of their own – will have increased operating costs as well as reduced capacities as a direct result of the distancing rule. He added: “For example, we’d like the chancellor to immediately cut the headline rate of VAT and would like the government to make a full root and branch reform of business rates ahead of April 2021.”

Timpson family buys 16 Hospitality sites out of administration: The Timpson family, which operates the nationwide shoe repair chain, has saved almost 100 jobs after a pub group it previously owned was bought out of administration, for an undisclosed sum. Wythenshawe-based 16 Hospitality operated four pubs – the Timpson family was a minor shareholder in the company and bought the remainder of the company shortly before coronavirus prompted the forced closure of UK pubs and restaurants. It already owned the freeholds. Two pubs are in Cheshire – The Partridge in Stretton and The Old Hall Hotel in Frodsham – while the other two are on Anglesey – The White Eagle in Rhoscolyn and The Oyster Catcher in Rhosneigr. It was announced in April that 16 Hospitality had been put into administration when Sarah O’Toole and Jason Bell, of Grant Thornton UK, were appointed joint administrators to 16 Hospitality and its subsidiaries on 9 April. Now the administrators have announced the business and assets of the group have been acquired by Flock Inns, a new Timpson family vehicle, and about 100 staff have been transferred as a result of the sale. Sarah O’Toole, advisory partner at Grant Thornton UK, said: “The impact of coronavirus on this sector has been significant and, therefore, we are delighted to have achieved a sale that preserves almost 100 jobs.”

Just Eat – lock-down produced a temporary demand shock: Just Eat’s UK boss Andrew Kenny has told MPs on the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs committee the company saw a “demand shock” immediately after lock-down was announced. Demand for takeaways “dived sharply immediately after lock-down restrictions were introduced,” Kenny said. “We saw a demand shock in those initial couple of weeks, where customers weren’t there as regularly as usual on our platform, although that came back relatively quickly,” he told the committee. “The challenge was that still only 50% of restaurants we typically see on our platform were open, so we had it as our responsibility to encourage as many to stay open as possible.”

Hall – in terms of financial forecasting we are preparing for next spring: Tim Hall, co-founder of sourdough pizza concept Three Joes and new owner of The Stable, has said in terms of financial forecasting and talking to stakeholders about performance, the company is preparing for spring 2021. Speaking to Elliotts chief executive Ann Elliott as part of Propel’s “navigating the coronavirus” series, Hall also said Three Joes was “reeling slightly” from what it has taken on with the recent acquisition of the 11-strong The Stable. Hall said: “Hopefully Christmas will be good, but we feel like the chances of returning to any kind of consistent like-for-like growth or normality is into next year. I hope I am wrong, but in terms of financial modelling you have to be cautious and prudent. In terms of conversations with landlords we are being cautious and careful and we are saying spring/summer 2021 is when things get back to normal.” Hall said the company was embarking on the integration and merger process of The Stable at the moment. He said: “And we are reeling slightly from what we have taken on, as some of these sites are real juggernauts. I am conscious we went from a situation of being miserable because everything was closed and we were concerned about what was going to happen next to suddenly having an estate, which is bigger than the highest expectations we had for the business pre-covid. We are trying to keep calm and working out how to get control of this, assess the teams and work out what we are going to do with the brands.” The group told Propel earlier this week that it had begun its reopening programme, starting with two of its eponymous sites and one from its recent acquired The Stable portfolio. Hall will share more of his thoughts in the video, which will be released on Wednesday (24 June). Meanwhile, readers can support independent sector journalism and get their news 12 hours early (at 7pm each night) with a Propel Premium subscription. It costs £395 plus VAT per annum for operators and £495 plus VAT for suppliers. Email anne.steele@propelinfo.com to sign up.

Birmingham restaurateur partners with Deliveroo to develop virtual chicken wings brand, plans expansion through franchising: Birmingham restaurateur Faheem Badur has partnered with Deliveroo to develop virtual chicken wings brand Dirty Wild Wings – with plans to expand across the UK through franchisees. Dirty Wild Wings operates three sites in Birmingham and has this week launched one in Newcastle and another in Brixton, south London. It is on-track to be operating in 20 sites across the UK soon, making it the country’s largest virtual chicken wings brand. Now Badur, who owns a number of restaurants and franchises in and around Birmingham, and Deliveroo are looking to open further sites through franchising. Based on fried chicken wings, Dirty Wild Wings has six “explosive, and very distinct flavours”. The wings are fried fresh-to-order in a secret blend of 14 herbs and spices. Each of the flavours is paired with a quirky character – an animated cartoon chick. Badur said: “The concept can be bolted-on to any existing kitchen, making it easily accessible to a wide customer base. This is a fantastic opportunity for fast food operators while the UK delivery market is increasingly growing.” 

Sessions Market to open ‘UK’s first socially distanced food hall’ in Brighton: Sessions Market, the ethically-driven and immersive food hall concept that is backed by Imbiba, will open its debut site, in Brighton on 4 July after the government gave the go-ahead for hospitality businesses to reopen. Led by Dan Warne, former managing director at Deliveroo, the former Shelter Hall on the seafront has been transformed into Shelter Hall Raw – described as the UK’s first socially distanced food hall. It will provide a dining experience that meets social distancing and safety guidelines. Originally due to open ahead of lock-down, Shelter Hall Raw has had safety measures built into the infrastructure while ensuring the concept can be easily adapted as guidelines change in the future. Safety measures include mobile app orders, screens fitted at tables and a one-way entrance system. Each of the Shelter Hall Raw operators is Sussex-based and the venue is creating 100 jobs. Warne said: "The hospitality sector has been one of the hardest hit in the pandemic and we’re thrilled to see this innovative concept open on the Brighton seafront. Shelter Hall Raw is an ethically-driven business and we’ve worked alongside the forward thinking local authorities and the Brighton community to create a food hall for the covid-19 era.” 

Morrisons launches takeaway service at more than 400 cafes: Supermarket Morrisons has launched a takeaway service at more than 400 of its cafes across the country. Among the meals featuring on the menu will be fish and chips with bread and butter, pizza, plus an afternoon tea with prosecco. All items will be prepared by hand in Morrisons cafes and packed into new cardboard takeaway boxes. Customers can order their takeaway by calling a new national takeaway hotline number where they are transferred to their local store. All meals will be ready for collection half an hour later while delivery via Deliveroo is also available in a selected number of locations. Collections are available from Monday to Saturday between 8.30am and 8pm, and on Sundays between 10.30am and 3pm. Marianne Jones, head of cafe operations at Morrisons, said: “Our customers love our cafes. Some dine with us a number of times a week and many have told us they’ve been waiting for their return. So we’ve been working behind the scenes to bring back some of our most popular dishes at great prices as we continue to feed the nation.” Morrisons closed its cafes in March in line with government guidelines. 

Homeslice reopens further sites: London-based better pizza brand Homeslice has reopened two more of its sites in the City and White City. The company, which had already reopened its sites in Shoreditch and Marylebone, is offering delivery and collection through its White City site. At its site in the City, in Queen Street, the company is offering “pints and pizza slices to go”, from Wednesday to Friday between 4pm and 9pm.

Macs Adventure secures loan to safeguard future: Internationally focused tour operator, Macs Adventure, has received a £1m Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan (CBIL) from Barclays to safeguard the future of the business. The company specialises in self-guided, tailor-made walking and cycling holidays across 40 destinations, 90% of which are in the UK and across Europe, with the remaining 10% in longer haul locations such as Australia and South America. It organises upwards of 700 tours every year with about 30,000 customers travelling with the bespoke operator annually. Neil Lapping, founder of Macs Adventure, said: “As an internationally focused tour operator Macs Adventure was hit early and hard by the coronavirus outbreak and faces a long road back to business as normal. The loan we have secured from Barclays will enable us to continue to trade through 2020, protect jobs and restart and rebuild our business in 2021. This will allow us to continue to serve our community of travellers and to serve our purpose, which is to make a positive impact on people’s lives and the planet through transformative active travel.”

Pepe’s Piri Piri Grill opens site in Withington: Flame-grilled chicken chain Pepe’s Piri Piri Grill has opened a site in Withington, Greater Manchester. The company has opened the premises in Wilmslow Road. The property, which has sat unused for two years, has undergone eight months of renovations to transform it into a 30-cover restaurant, complete with a new kitchen and seating area. The restaurant is currently offering only takeaway in line with the government restrictions. Franchisee Santhosh Kodari has used an £187,000 package from NatWest to purchase and renovate the premises. He told Insider Media: “I have worked in the food and drink sector for more than ten years in managerial positions, so it was the logical next step for me to open my own business.”

Legacy appointed to take over operation of 30 James Street hotel in Liverpool from Signature Living: Legacy Hotels and Resorts has been appointed by the receivers of the 30 James Street hotel in Liverpool to operate the site. The company said it was seeking to preserve as many of existing jobs as possible at the four-star property “despite the challenging economic situation”. It has also confirmed aparthotel operator and developer Signature Living, which opened the property in 2014, would have no further links to the management of the hotel. The hotel, themed around the White Star Line shipping company that once occupied the historic building, contains 63 nautical-themed rooms, as well as a rooftop terrace bar, a restaurant, events space and spa facilities. Jim Gordon, managing director of Legacy Hotels and Resorts, said: “This is a new beginning for this historic and beautiful building. The hotel is a key asset for Liverpool’s visitor economy, and it is important we reopen it as soon as possible as the city begins to open up again after the coronavirus pandemic.” Legacy Hotels and Resorts already operates the Pullman Hotel in the city and is opening a Novotel at the new Paddington Village near the University of Liverpool. The company has a portfolio of hotels across the UK and Europe. Julian Clarke and Matthew Nagle, of Savills, have been appointed as receivers of the hotel. Administrators have already been appointed to various parts of Signature Living’s business although the rest of its trading operations are unaffected.

Barbecue street food concept Smokestak to launch DIY box: Barbecue street food concept Smokestak is to launch a DIY box. Customers in London will be able to order the boxes from Friday, 3 July with nationwide delivery being available from the end of that month. Everything will be smoked at the restaurant in Shoreditch, for up to 15 hours over kiln-dried English oak in a wood-fired smoker before being vacuum-packed and sent out overnight. The menu will include 15-hour beef brisket, brined and pulled pork shoulder, dry-rubbed pork belly and chilli and fennel sausage alongside barbecue sauces and house pickles. There will also be a selection of pre-made cocktails available, reports Hot Dinners.

Newcastle-based US-inspired restaurant Meat:Stack to open first permanent bricks and mortar site: Newcastle-based US-inspired restaurant Meat:Stack is to open its first permanent bricks and mortar site. Meat:Stack has secured the former George Rye and Sons building in the Bigg Market. Meat:Stack is aiming to open in July, serving “smashed and steamed” cheeseburgers and breakfast. The team has spent the past few years perfecting its offer at No.28, the Dog and Parrot and at a Grainger Market unit, reports Insider Media.

Budweiser Brewing Group becomes number one brewer by volume in UK: Budweiser Brewing Group, the UK and Ireland arm of the UK and Ireland arm of Anheuser-Busch InBev, has become the number one brewer by volume in the UK, in total trade year to date. The company said the result reflected the strength of its brands and it has “continued to invest in activations and campaigns that resonate with consumers”. Budweiser Brewing Group president Paula Lindenberg said: “People are choosing the brands they know and love, and we’re proud the quality of our beer portfolio and our iconic brands meet the demands of Britain’s beer drinkers today. We have ambitious plans to grow in the on-trade, and we look forward to the reopening of the sector. We’ll be harnessing the strength of our brand portfolio and the dedication of our teams to play a leading role in the recovery.” The company launched its Save Pub Life initiative in March to support pubs, bars and restaurants across the country. It enables pub-goers to buy a gift card to spend at their local pub once it reopens, with Budweiser Brewing Group matching the value of the gift cards. So far, the programme has directly contributed more than £1m. 

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