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Thu 30th Jul 2020 - Propel Thursday News Briefing

Story of the Day:

K10 enters into creditors voluntary liquidation: London-based, Japanese restaurant business K10 has become the latest casualty as covid-19 continues to hurt the UK’s hospitality sector. The company has instructed insolvency practitioners to assist in putting companies within the group into creditors voluntary liquidation (CVL), Propel has learned. The directors of K10, which was founded in 1999 and operates five sites in the City, have been working with adviser Begbies Traynor. It has subsequently instructed insolvency and business recovery company Yerrill Murphy to assist in the proposed liquidations as central London-based operators continue to be hit by lack of footfall. The K10 trading subsidiaries will all enter a CVL as “soon as possible”. K10 founder Chris Kemper said: “We are extremely sorry for the disappointment, loss and impact our CVL will have on our team members, suppliers and creditors. We have team members who have been with K10 for over 15 years and suppliers who have been with us for longer. This will have a devastating effect on all involved.” In addition to its five sites, K10 had three sites in the pipeline before the pandemic, with legals almost complete on two of them. Those deals were pulled in the first week of lock-down. A company spokesman said 2020 was set to be the year in which K10 transformed from a restaurant company to a food-to-go firm. K10 was also due to open its first site outside the City of London, in September. The spokesman said: “We examined every possible way of raising funds. We had a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan approved but decided to forgo it as it wouldn’t allow us to carry out any form of restructuring. We have since been in discussions with several potential funders but, given the City is a ghost town with current tenant occupancy rates of about 10%, no-one would commit the funds required. It’s clear from conversations with landlords and our corporate customer base the City is unlikely to pick up significantly before spring 2021.” K10 has industry veteran Ian Neill as chairman, industry investor Maurice Abboudi as a director and Chrysalis VCT as an investor. 

Industry News:

UKHospitality reiterates sector ready to play its part as first findings of National Food Strategy published: UKHospitality has reiterated the sector is ready to play its part in promoting healthier attitudes to food following the publication of the first findings of the government’s National Food Strategy. The review, led by Leon founder Henry Dimbleby, is investigating England’s food system from farm to fork. Dimbleby branded England’s eating habits a “slow-motion disaster” and warned of the toxic connection between child poverty, poor diet and “wilfully misleading” packaging, which could give a false impression foods were healthy. While UKHospitality has welcomed the report, it warned any new measures should avoid placing unnecessary burdens on businesses struggling to recover from the coronavirus crisis. Chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “A comprehensive national food strategy will undoubtedly have an impact on the hospitality sector, particularly if part of its aim is to influence eating habits. Our sector is supportive of efforts to promote healthier attitudes towards eating and we’re supportive of plans to promote sustainability. We know it’s something many businesses are passionate about. Many have already been hard at work reformulating menus, cutting calories and rolling-out programmes to cut food waste. We’re happy to play our part in positively shaping the diets of Britons. Teaching the importance of nutrition in school could go hand in hand with promoting careers in hospitality. It’s important any new measures avoid additional burdens for businesses or unnecessary costs. With so many businesses’ futures looking uncertain, avoiding extra costs is going to be key.”
UKHospitality is a Propel BeatTheVirus campaign member

Snap poll shows popularity of Eat Out To Help Out scheme: More than four-fifths (82%) of respondents to a snap poll by KAM Media are considering taking advantage of the government’s Eat Out To Help Out scheme. The survey of 200 consumers showed more than two-fifths (45%) will “definitely” use the scheme, almost one-quarter (23%) “probably will” and 14% “possibly will”. Generation Z and younger millennials are more likely to take part in Eat Out To Help Out, with more than four-fifths (87%) of those surveyed saying they would “definitely” or “probably” use it. The scheme is also appealing to over-55s, with two-fifths (40%) of respondents saying they would “definitely” or “probably” take part. Respondents with children are also likely to take advantage of the scheme, with three-quarters (75%) either “definitely” or “probably” taking part.
KAM Media is a Propel BeatTheVirus campaign member

Cadogan Estates moves hospitality businesses to turnover-based rent: Cadogan Estates has become the latest London-based landlord to move hospitality businesses to turnover-based rent. The 300-year-old estate, which owns parts of Chelsea, said it had expanded the measures it initially launched earlier as part of its Business Community Fund. This covered initial emergency rent support measures given in the March quarter. It has now revealed a commitment to fund rent relief for more than 30 hospitality sector occupiers during 2020 by switching them to turnover-based leases. The landlord has also extended rental support for smaller and independent retailers on a case-by-case basis; rent support for cultural attractions, hotels, gyms, beauty and wellness operators, and medical uses; and allowed rental payments to be made monthly in arrears for many commercial leases until the end of the year. Chief executive Hugh Seaborn said: “Our response to covid-19 has focused on supporting customers quickly, including providing financial support to more than 250 retail and leisure businesses. We have also worked hard to support a safe reopening, with more than 85% of shops opening on 15 June and the rest shortly afterwards, with some encouraging early trading. Planning for the long-term impact of covid-19 is equally vital. We have set up a Business Community Fund, which is delivering financial help, cash flow support and other resources to our customers. Our aim is to ensure Chelsea remains an enthralling and captivating destination in the long term. This means supporting the recovery of the numerous fashion and lifestyle brands, best-in-class artisans, independents, boutiques, cafes and restaurants so the rich tapestry of Chelsea is maintained and the area continues to thrive.”

UK’s first mobile ordering-only food court to launch in Cardiff: The UK’s first mobile ordering-only food court is to open, in Cardiff. The Castle Quarter Café will launch on Friday (31 July) as a 240-seater covered food court with 75 tables. Diners will be able to order from a number of city centre eateries for delivery to their table via the Yoello platform or by scanning a QR code on-site. Everything customers need such as boxes, drinkware and cutlery will arrive with their order. Operators ready to trade on Friday include Wok to Walk, Zerodegrees, Dusty Knuckle and Fab Burgers, with more expected to join in the coming weeks. Yoello has worked with Cardiff Council and FOR Cardiff – the city’s Business Improvement District group – on the project. Deputy leader of Cardiff Council Sarah Merry said: “We wanted to create an attractive space residents and visitors will love to use and one that can help local hospitality businesses get up and running again. We want as many people as possible to enjoy the new space, which will give customers a stunning view of our iconic castle. We hope it plays a major part in helping businesses in the city centre.” Sina Yamani, chief executive and founder of Yoello, added: “This gives diners access to food and drink from all their favourite eateries at the push of a button. Groups can order from the same venue or pick and choose with the ease of ordering and paying on one site.”

Scotland’s £14m hotel recovery programme is insufficient, says UKHospitality: The Scottish government’s £14m hotel recovery programme is insufficiently resourced to deliver the scale of support required by the sector, UKHospitality has said. It has been estimated the programme will secure 3,000 jobs at Scotland’s larger hotels until the start of the summer 2021 tourism season. Eligible businesses will be able to apply for individual grants of up to £250,000 in addition to business support and advice. The programme will be jointly administered by the Scottish government’s enterprise agencies and builds on existing funding and support for tourism businesses through the creative, tourism and hospitality hardship fund and enterprise resilience fund. VisitScotland will also deliver £1m in grants to self-catering businesses that have received no other Scottish government support during the pandemic. Businesses will be eligible for a one-off £10,000 grant to support them through the winter season. However, UKHospitality executive director for Scotland Willie Macleod said: “The £14m programme is a positive sign of intent but a drop in the ocean for the sector. The reality is any programme of recovery intended to keep hotels in Scotland open and staff in jobs will need to be much bigger and more wide-ranging. It must be hoped this is an initial step in supporting these businesses and further resources will be made available in the likely event the programme is oversubscribed.”

Sheffield widens business grant applications to help city’s night-time venues: As part of the second round of its Coronavirus Business Grants Scheme, Sheffield City Council has opened applications for larger independent businesses that operate in the city’s night-time economy. The council said it recognised how severely the sector had been hit by lock-down and social distancing and listened to sector representatives to broaden the eligibility criteria to help support those businesses that had missed out so far. The expanded scheme now includes grants of £10,000 for independently run restaurants, nightclubs, music venues, pubs, cafes, cinemas, theatres, wine bars, casinos, bingo halls and food halls. Properties must have a rateable value above £51,000, while applicants must be trading, the rate payer and occupying the business. Applications for the Night Time Economy grants should be submitted no later than Monday, 10 August. Criteria for the scheme’s second round has also been updated to allow applications from businesses whose rateable value is between £15,000 and £25,000, irrespective of rental cost. Mazher Iqbal, cabinet member for business and investment at Sheffield City Council, said: “In meeting representatives of our city’s night-time economy in recent weeks, the scale of the challenge they face has come into focus. We’ve appreciated the specific concerns they have raised and decided to ensure part of the discretionary grant funding we’ve access to is made available to those businesses that bring our city centre and districts to life in the evenings.”

Roadchef launches free Great British Getaway guide aimed at staycationers: Motorway services operator Roadchef has created a guide to Great Britain to help staycationers “discover days out on their doorstep”. The free Great British Getaway guide features UK attractions and locations suitable for families, couples and dog owners, as well as accessible activities for those with a disability. The guide is available to download on Roadchef’s website. The move follows a survey in which almost half (46%) of respondents agreed a staycation would be “good for their mental health”. Roadchef chief executive Mark Fox said: “We want to encourage everyone to reconnect with the fantastic destinations we have on our doorstep this summer.” Safety measures at Roadchef service stations include one-way systems, hand sanitiser and mobile ordering.

Job of the day: COREcruitment is seeking a general manager for a leading restaurant group. The company is well regarded in the industry and offers fresh food and a creative dining experience. This is an excellent opportunity to lead a high-volume site covering three floors in central London. The restaurant group is ideally looking for a candidate to manage a seven-strong senior heads of department team. They should be at operations manager level and understand operating high-volume, quality restaurants as well as having great people skills. Service and people culture are hugely important to the company and it hopes to appoint someone who shares its vision and is ambitious to progress. A salary of up to £80,000 plus bonus will be considered. Anyone interested can email with their CV or profile.
COREcruitment is a Propel BeatTheVirus campaign member

Company News:

Pizza Hut Delivery UK to extend kerbside pick-up option following trial: Pizza Hut Delivery UK is to extend a kerbside pick-up option to more of its circa 400 sites, Propel has learned. A trial of kerbside collection was launched in May from the group’s sites in Blackburn, Colchester Turner Rise, Durham, London Park Royal, Trafford Retail Park and Worcester Shrub Hill. Consumers order online and, when they arrive at the restaurant, open their car boot for Pizza Hut staff to deposit their order. Speaking to Propel as part of the “navigating the coronavirus crisis” video series, Pizza Hut UK general manager Neil Manhas said: “We can track where they are and pop out and give it to them. The feedback on that has been really successful so far through the trials we’ve done so we’re going to extend that as it gives consumers more opportunities and options to explore our offer.” Manhas said the group’s franchisees had played a crucial role in helping the business during lock-down and were ready to “play their part again next month”. He said: “In the latest example of how our franchisees have stepped up to the plate, they are going to step into the 50% off scheme in August. But because we are a delivery business it won’t be funded by the government – the franchisees are just doing it because it’s the right thing to do.” The video will be released on Thursday (30 July). 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 to sign up.

Former Flip Out managing director launches adventure bar franchise in Norwich, in talks over six more sites: Former Flip Out managing director Elliott Shuttleworth has launched an adventure bar franchise in Norwich and told Propel he is in talks over six further sites in the UK. The concept, Boom: Battle Bar, has opened in Norwich’s Castle Quarter and offers axe-throwing, electronic darts, beer pong, nine-hole mini-golf, giant shuffleboard, boules, pool and arcade games. The urban-themed bar spans 10,000 square feet across four previously unused units. The 200-capacity venue is currently limited to 150 guests because of social distancing guidelines. Shuttleworth, who is based in Stoke-on-Trent and has further experience in gyms and leisure parks, said: “I have learned about creating amazing customer experiences and that’s what’s at the heart of Boom: Battle Bars. Plans are already in an advanced stage to roll out the franchise to London, Liverpool, Oxford, Cambridge, Newcastle and Hull.” Store franchisee David Moore, who also owns Congo Rapids adventure golf in Norwich and Suffolk, added: “We are thrilled to be part of this special project. It’s the first one in the country and we’re proud it’s in Norwich – a huge first for the town. Boom: Battle Bar has it all, brilliant social activities as well as bringing new games to the city centre. This will be the number-one place in Norwich to socialise and create fun, lasting memories. The floor space is amazing. I’ve never seen anything like it!” The venue also offers non-alcoholic drinks, Boom: Battle Bar beer on tap, a gin range, cider and cocktails.

Nando’s reopens another 42 sites for dine-in: Nando’s has reopened a further 42 of its UK sites for dine-in and said it would take part in the government’s Eat Out To Help Out scheme next month. The 42 reopenings include Crawley, Dalston, Milton Keynes, Portsmouth and Telford. The company initially reopened ten of its UK sites for dine-in on 8 July, with new health and safety measures in place. In a message to customers, the company stated: “We have made sure all our tables are spaced out in line with social distancing and we’ve got a virtual queue in place so you just need to scan a QR code to enter it when you arrive and we’ll text you when your table is ready. We’re also offering a slightly reduced menu for now and we’ve also gone cashless. We’ll bring everything to your table too, including drinks, sauces and cutlery.” Nando’s told customers the 50% offer under the government scheme would only be available at its dine-in restaurants. It also said there would be a £10 maximum redemption per person, per transaction on the offer, while it couldn’t be used with any other discount.

Blackrose strengthens senior team as it targets 200 site acquisitions by end of 2021: Blackrose, the pub management company launched by real estate investment company Aprirose last year, has made five senior appointments as part of its expansion strategy of 200 new site acquisitions by the end of 2021. The hires have bolstered the company’s operations and marketing teams. Michael McGarry has been appointed senior operations manager, with responsibility for Blackrose Pubs’ southern estate. McGarry was previously operations manager south east UK at OYO hotels, where he managed 19 properties. Adrian Lowry has been appointed senior operations manager and will oversee Blackrose Pubs’ northern portfolio. He previously held roles as UK regional manager and director at Shark Club. Robert Young has been appointed head of marketing at Blackrose and will support the operations team to drive revenue. Young has 13 years’ experience in marketing across a diverse range of brands. He will be supported by Jack Hawkins, who has been appointed digital marketing co-ordinator, and new marketing co-ordinator Megan Dryden. Blackrose chief executive Daren Knipe said: “These additions are a reflection of the targeted growth and continuing momentum of Blackrose as we bring our vision to life. Lock-down has not only provided a period of reflection to hone our brand but accelerated our ambitions to grow Blackrose and support our communities as we navigate the new normal.” Aprirose chief executive Manish Gudka said: “Blackrose has a clear and ambitious strategy. As it identifies new investment opportunities and expands the brand, Aprirose is committed to growing this arm of our business. While covid-19 has undoubtedly been a difficult time for all, we continue to seek the right opportunities for investment across all our platforms.” Blackrose has 41 pubs under management with 12 operating under the Blackrose brand. It has introduced a mobile app with in-app purchase, menu display and table booking functionality as part of safety measures at its pubs.

Former EAT people director joins Flight Club operator: Red Engine, which operates Flight Club and Electric Shuffle, has appointed Fran Carpenter as people director, Propel has learned. Carpenter stepped down from EAT earlier this year following six and half years with the business, the past two and a half as people director. She was previously head of HR at Wagamama and Zizzi. Darts concept Flight Club will reopen all six of its sites – four in London plus Manchester and Birmingham – on Saturday (1 August). The group said it was working hard to ensure customers could meet with their friends “safely without compromising on the experience”. Flight Club safety measures include bookable semi-private playing areas, bookable tables for drinking and dining, pre-order and pre-pay for food and drink, and sanitiser stations throughout the venue. It said team members would keep an eye on social distancing measures “around the clock”, while its kitchens would offer a reduced menu of pizza and sharing fries. Flight Club co-founder Steve Moore said: “We were founded on the idea of bringing joy to as many people as possible, which we need now more than ever, so we’re excited to open our doors again and show what we have on offer. We want to help people make up for those missed moments so we’ve been working behind the scenes to ensure we can still give the best experience possible.”

Tim Hortons offers breakfast meals for £1 as part of Eat Out To Help Out: Canadian cafe and bake shop Tim Hortons has signed up to the government’s Eat Out To Help Out scheme. The brand’s current daily £1.99 breakfast promotion, a 60% saving on the regular price, will also continue during Eat Out To Help Out, meaning diners can choose a main breakfast item, hash brown and small hot drink or orange juice for £1 until 11am on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays in August. Tim Hortons’ full menu will be eligible under the government scheme, with the 50% discount meaning a small original blend coffee will cost 85p, a crispy chicken sandwich meal £3 and a 12-box of doughnuts £6.50. Kevin Hydes, chief commercial officer UK and Ireland, said: “Tim Hortons is proud to partake in the Eat Out To Help Out scheme and hopes diners are able to treat themselves after what has been a very challenging period for everyone.” Tim Hortons operates 23 restaurants in the UK and more than 4,700 sites globally. SK Group is leading the UK roll-out of the brand. Meanwhile, Greek street food restaurant group The Athenian has said its sites in London’s Canary Wharf, London Bridge, Shoreditch, Tooting, Victoria, Wembley and White City as well as Bristol – would participate in Eat Out To Help Out. The company also operates out of Deliveroo Edition kitchens in Brighton, Leeds and Manchester. MeatLiquor, the Scott Collins-led concept, is also taking part. Every diner above the age of 18 who “maxes out” the £10 discount will get a free of Jägermeister while stocks last.

The Real Greek to have majority of estate reopen for dine-in by next week: Fulham Shore-owned The Real Greek will have 15 of its 18 sites reopen for dine-in by the beginning of August. The David Page-chaired brand has been gradually reopening its estate in the past few weeks after having a number of sites open for delivery and takeaway during lock-down. The company will also take part in the government’s Eat Out To Help Out scheme, which will see 50% off all food and soft drinks (up to £10 per head) for all dine-in customers on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays in August.

McDonald’s offers book or toy choice with Happy Meal: McDonald’s is now offering the choice of a book or toy to its Happy Meal customers in the UK and Ireland. Almost half (47%) of parents who responded to a McDonald’s survey said their children were reading less than before when schools were closed during lock-down, while 55% didn’t have many books at home. McDonald’s has given away 93 million books during the past eight years through its Happy Readers scheme. Michelle Graham-Clare, vice-president food and marketing at McDonald’s UK and Ireland, said: “The book or toy initiative is another example of providing our Happy Meal families with even greater choice. This not only allows us to distribute even more books but also supports our sustainability journey, giving families the ability to opt out of plastic toys. We are always working on our Happy Meal and, from 2021, we will no longer give away hard plastic toys. We’re testing new packaging solutions for books and toys and constantly reviewing the menu to offer even greater choice to families.” Meanwhile, McDonald’s is fast-tracking the closure of low-volume stores, with 200 planned this year. Of those, more than half are inside Walmart stores. The closures were announced during the company’s second-quarter earnings call, where revenue, net income and like-for-like sales tumbled dramatically as the quarter showed the full impact of the pandemic. Global like-for-like sales declined 23.9% but there was sequential improvement in June, where they were down 12%. Recovery has been slower than expected in some markets including China, where the company said it planned to build 400 restaurants this year. Challenging consumer sentiment is especially pronounced in the US, where the company has paused dine-in reopenings because of a rise in coronavirus cases. McDonald’s also plans to keep operating a limited menu in the US, with no immediate plans to reinstate all-day breakfast. Menu innovation and bringing back menu items will vary from market to market. The company said delivery, as a percentage of sales, was “growing in all markets”.

Illycaffè to open third UK site, in Bristol: Premium Italian coffee company Illycaffè is to open its third site in the UK, in Bristol. The company will open the venue in Queens Road in the Clifton Triangle, building on its two sites in London. The 70 square metre site will offer traditional coffee alongside sweet and savoury treats. There will also be a retail corner with a variety of Illycaffè products. Sam Chandler, marketing manager at Illycaffè UK, said: “Our cafes have proved really popular with Londoners so we’re excited to bring our passion and expertise to Bristol’s burgeoning food and drink scene.”

Bill’s and The Ivy Collection to offer set menus as part of Eat Out To Help Out: Bill’s and The Ivy Collection, which are backed by Richard Caring, plan to introduce set menus as part of their participation in the government’s Eat Out To Help Out scheme. On Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays in August, guests visiting either brand will receive 50% off food and soft drinks up to the value of £10 per person. Bill’s will also offer a special set menu at its 78 sites, all day from Monday to Wednesday, including a breakfast special that will be updated each week. Anyone dining from the set menu will be offered a free glass of wine. The Ivy Collection’s guests will be able to choose from two courses for £30 or three for £35 before the offer is applied. Available all day from 11.30am, the bespoke menu will include crispy duck salad, roast beef fillet and melting chocolate bombe. Restaurants operating under Caring’s Caprice Holdings umbrella, such as Sexy Fish and J Sheekey, are also taking part in the scheme.

TGI Friday’s launches online cocktail delivery service: TGI Friday’s has launched an online cocktail delivery service. The move builds on the company’s cocktails at home range, which saw select restaurants offer drinks via click and collect. Now the cocktails, which range between 10% and 14% ABV and cost £7 each, are available to order anywhere in the UK. They include the espresso martini, the mojito and the strawberry daiquiri. Some of them are available as party pack bundles. The announcement comes 32 years to the day since the release of the movie Cocktail. Some of the scenes were filmed in the first TGI Friday’s in New York, on 63rd Street and 1st Avenue, while Tom Cruise was trained by the venue’s bartenders to perfect his flairing skills for his role as Brian Flanagan. TGI Friday’s UK chief executive Robert Cook said: “Since adding our bespoke range of at-home cocktails to our click-and-collect service at select locations in early June, we’ve had endless requests from Friday’s fans to make their favourite cocktails available to order online and delivered to their home. We’re delighted to offer this quality range of handcrafted classics to give our fans that Friday’s feeling whenever it suits them.”

Bannatyne fears having to shut Scottish health clubs if government fails to reopen gyms: Gym boss and former Dragons’ Den star Duncan Bannatyne has warned he could close his health clubs in Scotland permanently if they aren’t allowed to reopen by the end of August. Bannatyne’s health club and spa firm, Bannatyne Group, has 11 clubs in the country. He told BBC Scotland’s The Nine show the sites were currently being subsidised by his outlets south of the border. Indoor gyms were able to open in England last week as lock-down restrictions were eased. There is no date for gyms reopening in Scotland. He said: “There are 11 clubs in Scotland and 600 employees. We will have to lay them all off if we can’t open, say, by the end of August. There’s no point in us continuing to try to support them. We were happy to close when we were told in March but now is the time to reopen again and I think we should be allowed to reopen very soon, if not now.” He said first minister Nicola Sturgeon had made a “fantastic job of looking after the people of Scotland” but he felt the time had come to “make a decision”. A Scottish government spokeswoman told the Edinburgh Evening News: “We want to lift restrictions as soon as possible so these businesses can get back to trading and we fully understand how difficult any further delay might be. It’s important these decisions are made carefully to protect people’s health and our progress against the pandemic. We’ll continue to review the data for new cases and hospital admissions and the first minister will provide an update to Parliament on the remaining Phase 3 changes on Thursday (30 July).”

Goodbody – Greggs well placed to win in the long term: Goodbody leisure analyst Jason Molins has argued Greggs is well placed to win in the longer term. Issuing a ‘Hold’ note on the shares with a target price of £15 on the back of its interim results on Tuesday (28 July), Molins said: “Greggs has become one of the UK’s leading food-to-go players since switching its focus on the category in 2013. Following record like-for-like revenue growth in FY19, covid-19 has halted progress and created a significant amount of uncertainty. The business faces several challenges over the near/medium term due to a combination of the social distancing impact on demand; increased working from home; lower traffic through transport hubs; and increased production costs. Under our base cast forecasts, we see a recovery in earnings to FY19 levels in FY22. We have also conducted upside/downside scenario analyses, with a best case recovery occurring in FY21 and not until FY24 under our worst-case scenario. While we are cautious on the near-term outlook, we consider Greggs to be well placed to win over the longer term. This is underpinned by the strength of its vertically integrated model which, combined with the roll-out of its digital platform, gives the group the flexibility and a multi-channel offering required to meet evolving consumer trends. In addition, the group entered the crisis in a strong financial position, whereas most peers were already struggling. Consequently, while the wider eating out sector may shrink, Greggs should be able to take share. We initiate on Greggs with a ‘Hold’ recommendation and price target of £15 using our combined discounted cash flow and EV/Ebitda valuation methodology. This implies an FY21 price-to-earnings ratio and EV/Ebitda of 28 times and nine times respectively. While we are constructive on the business over the longer-term, we consider the stock to be finely balanced at these levels given the near-term uncertainty due to covid-19.”

Homeslice launches cook at home delivery service: London-based better pizza brand Homeslice has launched a “take and bake” delivery service. The offer, which is available within the M25, means customers can order pizzas to cook at home. The 12-inch pizza bases are partly baked in Homeslice’s wood-fired oven, topped with signature ingredients and wrapped ready to be delivered so customers can finish them at home. Orders need to be made online before midday to enable next-day delivery. Homeslice’s traditional 20-inch pizzas are still available for eat-in, delivery and collection from its sites in Shoreditch, Marylebone, City and White City. No reopening dates have been confirmed for its sites in Covent Garden and Fitzrovia.

Little Yellow Door team opens third site, in Clapham: Kam Dehdashti and Jamie Hazeel, who operate The Little Blue Door in Fulham, the house parties-style bar and restaurant concept backed by Edition Capital, has opened their third permanent London site. The company has launched The Little Orange Door after securing the former Balans Soho Society site in Clapham Common. Last year the company launched The Little Yellow Door in All Saints Road, Notting Hill, at a site formerly occupied by Rum Kitchen. The concept is based on a fictional flat share with flatmates hosting a series of “house parties” to welcome new friends. The menu takes inspiration from summer barbecues, with dishes such as green herb, mushroom and truffle arancini; bao buns with smoked chilli-glazed pork belly; and fried chicken with red coleslaw and Louisiana chilli. The drinks list includes cocktails. The business is thought to have plans for further sites, with names such as The Little Neon Door and The Little Black Door in the pipeline. Tom Crosthwaite, of CDG Leisure, acted on the Clapham deal.

The Cornish Bakery joins Braintree Village line-up: Cornwall-based The Cornish Bakery has opened a site at the Braintree Village shopping complex in Essex. The launch is part of a trio of openings at Braintree Village, with menswear brand Jack & Jones and luxury design house Kate Spade New York also joining the line-up. Josef O’Sullivan, centre director of Braintree Village, told Insider Media: “We are excited to welcome these new brands to Braintree Village. The Cornish Bakery will be a real hit with visitors thanks to its excellent food offering.” The Cornish Bakery secured a £1m loan last month to help it reopen its 46 bakeries and protect its future.

Various Eateries to launch Tavolino at More London on Friday: Various Eateries, the Hugh Osmond-backed business, is to launch Italian restaurant Tavolino at its former Strada site in More London this week. Tavolino, which was due to open in April as flagged up by Propel Diary, will now launch on Friday (31 July) with new safety measures in place. The kitchen will be overseen by former Bancone head chef Louis Korovilas, who has also worked at Locanda Locatelli and Pied à Terre. Tavolino, which means “small table”, will be split across two floors with floor-to-ceiling windows and a 70-seater terrace. The interiors will take inspiration from classic Milanese coffee bars and the traditional trattorias of Florence. Bread will be baked in-house, with pasta made fresh every morning. As well as Romagna-style pizza, main dishes will include cuts of meat and fish to share alongside desserts such as Amalfi lemon meringue. Korovilas said: “We will steer away from overused produce of mediocre quality. We have spent the past six months going directly to suppliers that have been perfecting their produce for several generations.” Various Eateries is chaired by Strada and Cote co-founder Andy Bassadone. The company has reopened five of its six Coppa Clubs so far, with only Henley-on-Thames currently closed. Strada Southbank has also reopened, although Strada Dockside remains closed for now, as does Marylebone bar 31Below.

The Alchemist to open delayed Cheltenham site next month: The Alchemist, the 18-strong Simon Potts-led bar and restaurant concept, will finally open in Cheltenham next month after having to postpone its launch twice. The venue was set to open in the Brewery Quarter in the town in April but pushed that back until May before ultimately delaying it indefinitely amid the coronavirus crisis. The 4,539 square foot venue will now open on Friday, 28 August. The group is set to strengthen its presence in the south west further with an opening in Bristol’s Corn Street.

Prawn On The Lawn enables social distancing by relocating Padstow restaurant to nearby farm: Fishmonger and restaurant Prawn On The Lawn has opened a temporary home for its Padstow seafood restaurant at nearby Trerethern Farm. Founders Katie and Rick Toogood, who also operate a Prawn On The Lawn site in Islington, north London, have launched the 52-seater pop-up in a large marquee offering daily changing menus. The Toogoods have teamed up with long-time supplier Ross Geach, of Padstow Kitchen Garden, and his family farm at Trerethern to ensure their Padstow restaurant can continue to operate through the summer with social distancing measures in place. Menus continue to depend on what is caught daily by local fishing boats. Signature cocktails such as the Thai-style bloody Mary sit alongside new additions that include the Farmer Colada – Prawn On The Lawn’s take on the pina colada but containing Tarquin’s Cornish rum, coconut milk, lemon verbena and mint syrup. There’s also a selection of beer, cider and wine. The company’s fishmonger shop in Padstow continues to operate as normal, while the Islington restaurant has reopened. The Toogoods also operate Barnaby’s restaurant in Padstow.

Manchester-based Italian restaurant Ciaooo to open ‘to go’ pasta venue for second site: Manchester-based Italian restaurant Ciaooo is to open a second site in the city. The new venue at Arndale Market will offer pasta dishes similar to those on offer at its Northern Quarter restaurant – but to take away. By Ciaooo will take up residence in a space previously occupied by seafood snacks concept Holy Crab, reports Secret Manchester. Ciaoo’s debut site in Swan Street has been offering traditional Italian dishes, including Neapolitan-style pizza, for more than 15 years.

Salon and Levan team to launch Larry’s in Peckham on Friday: The team behind Brixton restaurant Salon is to open a second site in Peckham, on Friday (31 July). Nicholas Balfe, Mark Gurney and Matt Bushnell will launch Larry’s in Blenheim Grove next door to “new-wave” restaurant Levan, which they opened in November 2018. Larry’s will be inspired by New York’s corner bars, diners and cafes and offer coffee and pastries for breakfast, deli-style sandwiches for lunch and sharing plates for dinner. Just like its neighbour, Larry’s is named after 1970s dance music pioneer Larry Levan. Larry’s will only offer two wines of each colour alongside two cocktails and one beer, while the centrepiece will be a marble bench used for pastries and baked goods in the morning, rolling pasta in the afternoon, and communal dining in the evening. Balfe said: “We have cherry-picked everything we love about eating in New York and combined it into the kind of place we would want in our neighbourhood.” Gurney added: “It is a naughty little brother – relaxed and informal.”

Marston’s sees plans for new-build pub and lodge hotel in Shrewsbury refused: Marston’s has had its bid for a new-build pub and lodge hotel in Shrewsbury refused. The company submitted revised plans to Shropshire Council to build the development north of Oteley Road. Marston’s was planning to build a 180-cover pub and restaurant alongside a 39-bedroom hotel, a move it said would create up to 50 jobs. The 1.5-acre site, near the junction with Sutton Grange Drive and about two kilometres south of the town centre, is currently grassland. However, the council’s planning committee voted to reject the application, reports Insider Media.

Pub restaurant and live music venue on edge of New Forest brought to market: Thomas Tripp, a pub restaurant and grass-roots live music venue in Lymington, Hampshire, is being marketed for let. Acting on behalf of a private freeholder, Savills is instructed to seek offers for a new lease with rental offers invited. Thomas Tripp is a two-storey, end-of- terrace pub at the top of High Street. The pub has two customer areas with combined seating for about 62 people. It also has a 70-capacity beer garden and four-bedroom accommodation on the upper floors. Chris Bickle, director in the licensed leisure team at Savills in Southampton, said: “This has always been a popular community-orientated pub with a loyal customer base. It has a great reputation and long history of supporting live music. Our client is open-minded to the opportunity the property presents, which may include developing the food and beverage offering or adding B&B rooms – subject to consent.” Lymington is on the southern edge of the New Forest National Park.

Indo-Chinese concept Fatt Pundit launches grab-and-go offer: London-based Indo-Chinese concept Fatt Pundit has launched a grab-and-go offer. The restaurant in Berwick Street, Soho, reopened in early July as lock-down restrictions eased. Now it has added a grab-and-go offer inspired by the street food of Kolkata, with customers able to choose from Calcutta rolls (spicy meat and vegetables in paratha flatbread) and triple Szechuan boxes (a cult dish in India created as “value for money” street food featuring three elements – rice, crispy noodles and chop suey – for one price). Fatt Pundit launched in March 2019. Indo-Chinese cuisine was created when Hakka people migrated to India from the Chinese province of Canton, combining traditional Chinese cooking techniques with Indian spices.

Yotel to launch debut central London site this week: Yotel, the budget accommodation chain launched by YO! founder Simon Woodroffe, is about to open its debut central London site. The company will open the hotel and restaurant in Clerkenwell Road, Farringdon, on Saturday (1 August). The restaurant will be called Komyuniti and serve “street food-inspired bar snacks and larger plates from bao buns to flatbread”, reports Hot Dinners. Woodroffe launched the first Yotel at Gatwick airport in 2007. He later sold the company to a Kuwaiti property giant.

Angela Hartnett introduces brunch menu at Café Murano: Michelin-starred chef Angela Hartnett has launched a brunch menu for her London-based Cafe Murano concept. The menu, which is initially available at its Bermondsey site, is on offer from 9am to midday at weekends. Dishes include roasted mushrooms with focaccia, thyme, parsley and olive oil; spicy tomatoes with spinach and baked eggs; and freshly baked pastries with homemade damson jam. The other Cafe Murano sites are in Covent Garden and St James’s, while Hartnett also operates deli concept Pastificio in Tavistock Street.

South Kensington hotel secures funds for expansion: The Jade Hotel in South Kensington, London, has secured a loan from OakNorth Bank to fund expansion. The loan will allow the Khalid family, which operates the hotel, to add five bedrooms, refit all bathrooms and make other repairs. The Khalids converted the five-storey terraced house into a 30-bedroom hotel in 2011. The hotel expects to see a boom in tourist demand once international travel restarts. Khalida Khalid said: “This capital gives us the opportunity to ensure we can host additional guests once international travel reopens.” Deepesh Thakrar, senior director of debt finance at OakNorth Bank, added: “While there’s never a good time to renovate, the lock-down provides the Khalid family with an opportunity to increase room capacity without having to disturb hotel guests.”

Startle launches consumer behaviour insights hub: Interactive music provider Startle has launched a consumer behaviour insights hub. Mind The Gap will look at changes in consumer behaviour and any gaps in the typical out-of-home experience as lock-down eases, with particular focus on atmosphere, music and entertainment. The free-to-access hub reveals research involving more than 1,000 UK adults, with the sample evenly split across retail, restaurants and pubs. The research focuses on frequency of visits and intention to visit, consumers’ perception of atmosphere and experience, how fun, relaxing and sociable they find it, and how important other people and/or entertainment and music is to their experience. Content will continually refresh. Startle chief executive and co-founder Adam Castleton said: “Our intention with Mind The Gap is to help businesses fill the gaps new legislation has created and help them create memorable atmosphere and experiences that drive people back to stores, pubs and restaurants.” Startle said during lock-down its digitised Rock and Roll Bingo game saw more than 200,000 game plays and 98% repeat player loyalty. The digitised game replaces the standard bingo format with music clips.

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