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Tue 6th Oct 2020 - Propel Tuesday News Briefing

Story of the Day:

Sales continue to decline following 10pm curfew, nine in ten businesses warn of redundancies: Sales have continued to decline following the 10pm curfew with like-for-likes down 21.2% compared with the week before it was introduced, according to S4labour, the online labour-scheduling management system from Catton Hospitality. Analysis showed sales of food fell 19.1% and drink by 23.2% on the fortnight before. While weekly like-for-likes continue to fall, they are down 13.5% when comparing last week with the same week in 2019, with London suffering a 38.4% decrease in sales when compared with last year, versus a 5.2% decrease in the rest of the country. The figures suggest London is adjusting to a new decreased level of trading, and may take a while to recover, S4labour said. It also said it was worth noting roughly 10% of sites are still yet to open after lock-down measures were introduced. Chief product officer Richard Hartley said: “This level of decline is unprecedented and worrying for the industry, although the weather may have played a part. As the curfew has been introduced, diners and drinkers will start to head out earlier, as a closer look at sales shows a larger proportion of sales came in earlier.” More than half (55%) of late-night businesses have seen a further 60% drop in revenue since the curfew was implemented, according to new research. The findings by the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) and Sprout CRM revealed since their introduction almost a fortnight ago 60% of businesses have already started making redundancies. Meanwhile nine in ten (91%) said the Winter Economy Plan will not help them retain the current workforce. Almost half (45%) of businesses said they will be making more than 60% of their workforce redundant imminently as a result of the Winter Economic Plan and current restrictions. A total of 72% said their business was now open with almost three quarters (72%) trading at 60% of last year’s level before the curfew was introduced. NTIA chief executive Michael Kill said: “Our sector must not be undervalued, we need to challenge the government when restrictions result in the systematic closure of an entire Industry. In the coming weeks, without further support, we are facing a catastrophic collapse, which will see thousands of businesses and jobs lost.”
S4labour is a Propel BeatTheVirus campaign member

Industry News: 

Last chance to book for Propel Multi Club free live digital webinar focusing on delivery, more than 200 operators registered: Today (Tuesday, 6 October) is the last chance to book for the next Propel Multi Club Conference, taking place on Thursday (8 October), which will take the form of a day-long digital live webinar and focuses on the opportunity offered to operators by delivery. More than 200 operators have so far registered for the event, which starts at 10am. It is free for operators, who can claim two places by emailing anne.steele@propelinfo.com Speakers include NPD Group foodservice director Dominic Allport, talking about the growth of the delivery market, the key trends that are developing and where the sector goes from here. Elton Gray, commercial and operations director at Creams, will discuss the challenges and considerations of delivery working within a franchised business model. Thom Elliot, co-founder of Pizza Pilgrims, will discuss the evolution of the concept’s delivery strategy, plus the development and success of its pizza at home offer. Alasdair Murdoch, chief executive of Burger King UK, will talk to Propel insights editor Mark Wingett about being an early adopter of delivery during his time at Gourmet Burger Kitchen, the challenges and opportunities, and how delivery is working for Burger King. Just Eat managing director UK Andrew Kenny will discuss the key trends Just Eat is currently seeing; the key things it has learned since setting up its delivery operation; and how it is using data and insights to help operators improve the delivery experience. AlixPartners director Steve Braude will talk about the delivery market across the Pond and the differences with our own here. Susan Martindale, group HR director at Mitchells & Butlers, will look at building a delivery strategy for pubs, the company’s use of virtual brands and a possible move into dark kitchens. Andre Johnstone, the former Wagamama executive and founder of Delivery Insider, will give his views on how business can navigate through the confusing world of food delivery, from menu set-up to aggregator management. Richard Morris, chief executive of Tortilla, will explain how delivery has forced an evolution of the business for the better. Deliveroo’s director of national accounts Matt Ring will talk to Mark Wingett about how the business continues to innovate, its use of data to create virtual brands and the challenges it faces to stay ahead in terms of growing its consumer base. There will also be a panel session involving JP Then, founder of Crosstown Doughnuts; Johnnie Tate, founder of Yard Sale Pizza; and Christa Bloom-Burrows, co-founder of vegan fast food brand Biff’s Kitchen; on launching, operating and growing in a delivery-focused world.

More than four in five sector businesses need lower rents from landlords to survive current trading restrictions: More than four in five (82%) of UK hospitality operators believe their existing or new commercial terms with landlords will not be sufficient to see their businesses through this next phase of trading restrictions, according to new research. The findings by Cedar Dean showed 86% of London-based operators do not think their new or existing terms are sufficient, compared with 77% outside the capital. A total of 69% are being forced to look at restructuring or insolvency – 73% of London-based operators are considering such measures and 63% outside the capital. Just 38% said they have agreed new terms with the majority of their landlords. Tom Kidd, director and co-founder of Adventure Bar, which has nine sites across central London, said: “I don’t think people fully appreciate the magnitude of the fallout that’s still to come. Up to 80% of the hospitality sector is locked in a Mexican stand-off when it comes to rent renegotiations. If the commercial eviction ban does end on 31 December, as much as 70% of the industry could be out of business early next year. Companies are using company voluntary arrangements to force landlords’ hands. But that’s not good for the taxpayer – whether it’s written taxes or write-downs on pension funds, the general public don’t do well either way. The government could look at reform to the law around frustrated lease, and there is a strong case for mutual break clauses, giving both operators and landlords the option of terminating agreements that didn’t work for both parties without bringing down the whole company. We are facing a financial time-bomb, so why not look at every avenue?” Cedar Dean chief executive David Abramson added: “The commercial property market needs a complete reset. This isn’t a six to 12-month issue.”

Satisfaction ratings bounce back in September but curfew damaging consumer confidence: Satisfaction ratings bounced back in September and customer confidence remains high despite the new lock-down measures, according to the latest Customer Sentiment Tracker from Feed It Back and KAM Media – but the curfew has damaged consumer confidence. According to 182,699 customers who completed a Feed It Back survey for a visit in September, the hospitality net promoter score (NPS) has risen to 60, after a low in August of 54. The score sat at 57 in September 2019. The “premium casual” segment is leading the way (68) closely followed by “leisure” (63) and pubs (61). Satisfaction ratings were also up, compared with August, for food and drink quality, service levels, atmosphere and cleanliness. Even “value for money” saw a small improvement in hospitality customers’ eyes compared with August. The tracker also showed customer confidence saw a rise in September – 96% said their experience left them feeling safe enough to return. This didn’t change even after the 10pm curfew kicked in. The figure has, in fact, been consistently above 94% since hospitality reopened at the start of July. Consumer confidence towards eating and drinking out has, however, been somewhat damaged by the introduction of the curfew, with sales hit hard in the sector. A total of 13% said they are now more concerned about visiting a venue and 14% said they now intend to visit pubs and restaurants less frequently. The latest tracker also shows how cleanliness is still firmly on hospitality customers’ radars with the proportion of complaints relating to “cleanliness” having more than doubled compared with September 2019. The proportion of “value for money” and “atmosphere” related complaints have also seen a rise year-on-year. The Customer Sentiment Tracker measures key KPIs focused on customer sentiment, including NPS and satisfaction ratings covering cleanliness, atmosphere, service and value. To receive the tracker click here.
Feed it Back and KAM Media are Propel BeatTheVirus campaign members

Customer demand for technology-enhanced experience accelerates: Customer demand for a technology-enhanced customer experience has accelerated on the back of the coronavirus pandemic, according to new research. The findings by KAM Media and pay-at-table app OrderPay, found the availability of “mobile phone ordering” in a hospitality venue has become more important to 41% of UK adults over the past six months. This rise in demand is driven by Generation Z and younger Millennials – 64% of under 34-year-olds said its importance has increased – although 15% of over-55s said the functionality has grown in importance for them too. The research, which forms part of a free whitepaper, aimed to investigate what customers really want from technology in a hospitality environment. Customers were asked to rank the features that were most important in a hospitality app. The ability to book a table came top (74% saw this as an important feature) closely followed by the ability to pre-order food and drink (62%). One-in-two also want to be able to gain loyalty rewards via an app. Meanwhile, 92% of respondents said they would like to see clear communication of safety measures and procedures in venues via websites and apps; 37% would like to see how busy a venue currently is; and 29% would be interested in accessing a cleaning schedule before they visit a pub, bar or restaurant. The white paper – Technology-enhanced Customer Service – can be downloaded here.

£40m finance package for hospitality and leisure sites in Liverpool announced: A £40m fund has been created to help save hospitality and leisure sites in Liverpool after strict coronavirus restrictions were put in place last week. The finance package comes on top of £7m government support that is to be shared between Liverpool, Warrington, Hartlepool and Middlesbrough. Liverpool metro mayor Steve Rotheram and the leaders of the six local authorities in the Liverpool area said: “We have taken this extremely difficult decision with the aim of providing last resort, stop-gap funding to keep viable businesses going in the short term and protect as many jobs as possible while we continue to lobby the government to invest in our economic survival and our future recovery.” The Business Desk also reported the Liverpool authorities “have worked at full tilt” to identify and repurpose funds of up to £40m to help the sector. The latest restrictions include banning people mixing with other households in indoor venues, including pubs, bars and restaurants, while still coping with the nationwide 10pm curfew rule. The Liverpool authorities added they “are doing everything we can to convince the government to help” provide an economic support package. It added: “We all understand why further restrictions may be needed to halt the spread of covid-19 in the communities we represent. But we also know that, at the same time, they will deal a hammer blow to our economy and in particular to our vital hospitality and leisure sector, on which more than 50,000 jobs depend across our region.” The fund is expected to launch this week.
 
Paris to shut all bars from Tuesday but restaurants can stay open: Paris will shut all bars completely from Tuesday (6 October) as the French government raises the city’s coronavirus alert to maximum following a sustained period of high infection rates. The restrictions will last two weeks and will apply to Paris and the three departments immediately surrounding it, the prime minister’s office said. Restaurants in the city will have to put in place new sanitary arrangements in order to stay open, but must register contact details from customers and shut at 10pm. France’s maximum alert level comes into force when the infection rate in a locality exceeds 250 per 100,000 people and at least 30% of intensive care beds are reserved for covid-19 patients. On Sunday (4 October), France reported 12,565 cases of covid-19. The southern city of Marseille closed bars and restaurants last week.
 
Crowdfunding groups Seedrs and Crowdcube to merge: Crowdfunding platforms Seedrs and Crowdcube are set to merge. A statement from Seedrs read: “By joining forces, we’ll be able to harness the strengths of both businesses as we accelerate our shared mission to create the world’s largest private equity marketplace. Together, we will help fund thousands of ambitious, fast-growth businesses and deliver exceptional returns to the investors who support them.” Businesses that have secured investment through the platforms include Scottish brewer and retailer BrewDog, Revolut and Perkbox. The process will need to pass through the Competition & Markets Authority, the Financial Conduct Authority and must gain shareholders’ approval. Both Seedrs and Crowdcube platforms will continue to operate independently and companies can still invest and raise capital, and buy and sell shares in the secondary market. The statement continued: “The merger will enable us to integrate and build on the best of both businesses to create a more robust company, and we will be able to achieve our shared mission faster and more effectively when we are united.”
 
Best Bar None appoints BBPA and BII bosses to board: Best Bar None, the Home Office-supported community safety programme operated by pubs and bars, has appointed British Beer & Pub Association chief executive Emma McClarkin and British Institute of Innkeeping (BII) chief executive Steve Alton to its board. They join chairman Lord Smith of Hindhead, Philip Smith; and other members of the board – UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls; Robert Humphreys; Mike Clist, former BII chief executive; and David Lucas, of the Institute of Licensing. Lord Smith of Hindhead said: “In the light of the covid pandemic, having our three main trade associations fully engaged is more important than ever as we work together to ensure high operational standards of alcohol retailing and the safe continued reopening of our industry. Responsible operations build the positive reputation of individual venues and of specific areas, which, in turn, improves profitability and business success. We are determined to support the licensed trade reach these benchmarks to ensure they achieve continued, sustainable growth and stability.”
 

Company News:

Steamin’ Billy boss – restrictions have left business’ future looking ‘very bleak’: Billy Allingham, managing director of Leicestershire-based Steamin’ Billy Brewing, has told Propel the restrictions on the sector have left the future of the business looking “very bleak”. Steamin’ Billy operates eight traditional pubs across the county, three of which are wet-led. Seven of the eight sites have now reopened and trade had been steadily rising to 65% of last year’s like-for-like sales. However, Allingham said the introduction of the 10pm curfew has seen like-for-likes at its wet-led pubs drop to 50.6% of last year and are down 35.9% at the food-led outlets. Allingham, who also operates the Caddyshackers crazy golf concept in Leicester, has secured £1m from the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and also received £200,000 in grants in a bid to keep the business afloat. But he said: “At this rate, survival as we currently operate doesn’t look viable. Why should I take on an extra £1m of debt to my existing borrowings knowing we are losing between £50,000 to £70,000 a month? For three months, with grant support and furlough it looked achievable but for 12 months… what’s the point? We have had to make some head office staff redundant, take salary cuts and forego dividends for 2020. Where relevant, our landlords have given us rent deferment holidays. The situation is setting us back three to five years with a very different customer requirement going forward.” The Parcel Yard at Leicester train station is still closed with commuter numbers at 5% of last year and Allingham hopes the site will reopen in March. He added: “Boris is telling people to work from home, there are no crowds at the city football or rugby and the 10pm curfew is in force. Our trade is lunchtime office workers, after-work commuters, sports fans and 9pm-to-midnight-thirty-somethings enjoying a night out – all of which are prohibited.” Allingham said he was also looking to convert the function room at Caddyshackers into shared office space with 12 desks to rent by the day with a separate meeting room, healthy juice bar and break-out spaces and a class-led gym facility for 12 to 15 guests.
 
Rare Restaurants give staff paid day off as part of mental health awareness month: Rare Restaurants, owner of Gaucho and M Restaurants, has launched Mindfulness Month – a programme of wellness and meditation for all its employees. The annual initiative will bring awareness of World Mental Health Day on Saturday (10 October), in an industry “where mental health and well-being were already under significant strain, now, of course, exacerbated by the recent pandemic”. The scheme allows all Rare employees a “Mindful Day” that encourages all 750 members of staff to take an extra paid day off to look after themselves and fellow team members during October. Chief executive Martin Williams said: “We appreciate the strains that the past months have placed on our people. Our HR manager Agata Maninni has created a great month of celebration and support for our fantastic teams at Gaucho and M Restaurants, to promote well-being, health and happiness at a time when all too many restaurant groups have been ‘laying off’ staff and detrimentally affecting mental health in their people.” Initiatives include daily meditation sessions over video conferencing that, week by week, covers different themes from “building a healthy self-image”, “the genius in me”, “releasing stress and anxiety” and “gratitude and kindness”. Additionally, all employees will be given resources to tips and helpful links and will have access to group and personal therapy opportunities. 
 
Wagamama launches student support society: Wagamama, owned by The Restaurant Group, has launched a student support society called Noodle Union. It features free online cooking lessons called “wok from halls”, locked-down food drops and giveaways for those returning to student life. The new cooking show, created in partnership with student channel MOB kitchen, will teach university students how to cook Wagamama classics on campus. Presented by Wagamama executive chef Steve Mangleshot, it has been created specifically with students in mind, using ingredients they should be able to access easily or already have in their cupboard. Wok from halls will be released on Tik Tok, Facebook, IGTV and Snapchat, and also be available on MOB kitchen social media and website. With some students currently locked down in their halls due to localised restrictions, Wagamama has arranged for food drops to be delivered to a selection of university campuses across the UK. Wagamama chief executive Emma Woods said: “Students are a massive part of Wagamama, with hundreds working and eating at Wagamama every day. This year has taken a lot away from this group and, as a business, we are passionate about supporting them.”

Platform reopens in Shoreditch with six-figure loan support, looking to secure second site: Gaming restaurant/bar concept Platform has reopened its site in Shoreditch, east London, after securing a six-figure Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme through HSBC UK. The funds have safeguarded 11 jobs at the venue in Worship Street that opened last year. Platform is now seeking interested partners within the video gaming industry to participate in its flagship site, which is set to open during the second quarter of 2021 in the West End. Co-founder and chief executive Tomaso Portunato told Propel: “While the present is still looking pretty grim in terms of trading and performance, we have been working tirelessly to secure the livelihood of our team, to resume operations and to continue our growth trajectory. We hope to be able to share more details about our flagship opening soon, which is set to be a unique proposition for experience seekers coming to London.”
 
Cineworld lenders bring in advisers over £6.2bn debt mountain: Lenders to cinema operator Cineworld have brought in advisers for urgent talks on the company’s $8bn (£6.2bn) debt mountain as it mothballs circa 660 sites in the UK and US. A syndicate of banks has appointed FTI Consulting to negotiate with the operator, reports Sky News. City sources said, on Monday, the announcement about the temporary closures, which sent its shares crashing by more than 50%, was likely to presage a formal debt restructuring. Lenders are also expected to raise the prospect of a company voluntary arrangement. Cineworld will close the sites from Thursday (8 October) because of the delay to key film releases. No Time To Die, Daniel Craig’s final outing as James Bond, was due to open next month but has been pushed back by MGM, the studio behind it, until next April. In a stock exchange announcement on Monday (5 October), Cineworld said it continued to “assess several sources of additional liquidity and all liquidity raising options are being considered”. Some 45,000 employees will be affected by the mothballing plan, although the number of permanent redundancies is unclear. Cineworld has seen its balance sheet particularly hard-hit because of the debt-fuelled acquisition spree that has transformed it into one of the world’s largest cinema operators over the past decade.

Incipio converts former rugby player into culture consultant: Incipio Group, operator of venues including Pergola Paddington, The Prince and Lost in Brixton, has appointed former rugby professional Chris Wyles as a culture and performance consultant. Wyles, who started on Thursday (1 October), enjoyed a ten-year career with Saracens where he won four Premiership titlesand two European Cups – he also represented USA Eagles and earned 54 caps, taking part in three World Cups. Since retiring from professional sport in 2018, Wyles has grown Wolfpack Lager, a business he co-founded with ex-Saracens team-mate Alistair Hargreaves in 2014. Wyles said: “I’m incredibly excited to join the Incipio team. It’s a business that I’ve admired for a long time. If this year has taught us anything, team culture and resilience can, ultimately, define a company. I cannot wait to bring some of the lessons I’ve learnt from business and high-level sport to the Incipio Group.” Incipio Group chief executive Ed Devenport added: “We are delighted Chris has agreed to join us at Incipio, bringing with him a wealth of experience in leadership, culture and team development. I am looking forward to seeing our team of more than 200 benefit from his experience and insight on what makes an award-winning team by helping us develop our core values and cultivating an award winning culture.”
 
Odeon to shut quarter of its cinemas during week, Vue eyes temporary closures: Odeon cinemas will shut a quarter of its sites during the week, blaming a lack of Hollywood blockbusters and the uptick in positive covid-19 cases. Meanwhile, Vue cinemas hinted it could temporarily close some of its venues. Odeon, which operates 120 cinemas in the UK and Ireland, has contacted some of its subscription customers to tell them some venues will move to a weekend-only operation. AMC Theaters, which owns Odeon among its circa 1,000 cinemas worldwide, cited the dearth of major films. Odeon told customers in an email: “We look forward to reopening full time when the big blockbusters return. But, in the meantime, we promise to bring you a great choice of big-screen films to enjoy at the weekends.” Vue cinemas chief executive Tim Richards told Sky News the business is looking at all options, which included the temporary shuttering of some venues. He also told BBC Radio 4’s Today show: “We’re likely going to make it through. We came into this a very strong industry. We just need to make it through the next three or four months where there are no movies.”

Subscription delivery service launches for cook-at-home dishes from star chefs: Recipe box delivery subscription Wild Radish has enlisted eight leading chefs to launch its service on Monday, 12 October. Each box will contain ingredients, easy-to-follow recipes and tips from the chefs so customers can create “restaurant-quality dishes at home”. The chefs involved are Philip Howard (Elystan Street), Alyn Williams (Petrus, Marcus Wareing at the Berkeley and Alyn Williams at The Westbury), Anna Hansen (The Modern Pantry), Mark Kempson (Kitchen W8), Marianna Leivaditaki (Morito Hackney Road), Richard Galli (The Goring’s Dining Room), Daniel Fletcher (28 Market Place) and Sam Ashton-Booth (The Ledbury). Wild Radish co-founder Anthea Stephenson said: “I want people to feel inspired about cooking again and feel confident they can treat themselves without the guilt, hours in the kitchen, or half-empty never-to-be-used-again jars of obscure ingredients. Before this year’s events, we all spent so much time running around, many of us lost track of what’s important. This is about encouraging you to slow down and reconnect.” Example recipes for October include spiced glazed duck breast with orange-braised fennel by Galli; baked gurnard with casserole vegetables, butternut bisque, lime and black garlic relish by Williams; and celeriac, potato and pear gratin with wilted greens, chanterelles, brown butter and butternut by Howard. The recipe box with a matched bottle of wine for each meal) is £65 (£50 without the wine). Delivery for the weekly box is only available in London.
 
Arora Group secures £50m loan from OakNorth Bank: Hotel, construction and property investment company Arora Group has secured a £50m loan from OakNorth Bank. The business, which was founded by Surinder Arora in 1999, has a portfolio of 30 properties across the UK, including the InterContinental at The O2, Fairmont Windsor Park, and more than a dozen hotels across Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted airports. Arora Group founder and chairman Surinder Arora said: “Covid-19 has, inevitably, presented numerous challenges for our sector but, as we found during the 2008 financial crisis, unique opportunities arise in times of economic turmoil. This loan from OakNorth Bank provides us with the liquidity to take advantage of these opportunities and focus on playing for the upside, when many others will be distracted trying to protect the downside.” Ben Barbanel, head of debt finance, and Mohith Sondhi, senior debt finance director at OakNorth Bank, added: “The 20-year track record of the group speaks for itself and despite the challenges covid-19 is presenting to the sector, Arora Group is still being able to identify interesting opportunities to grow its portfolio.”
 
Mobile contactless ordering at Costa Express machines to launch: Costa Express is to roll out mobile contactless ordering across more than 9,000 of its UK machines. The company claimed this is a UK first for the coffee machine industry, which enables limited physical contact with machines. It works through the Costa Coffee app. Customers open the app, scan a QR code on the machine, choose and customise their drink, place a cup below the drink dispenser and tap “make drink” – payment details are then shown on the touchscreen. Costa Express managing director Scott Martin said: “Costa Express is synonymous with exceptional coffee on-the-go, so we’re delighted to roll out this state-of-the-art mobile contactless ordering system. The technology is nothing short of a gold-standard level of innovation – a UK first for the coffee machine industry – and we’re proud to lead the charge as our customers enjoy a new and exciting way to order their favourite machine crafted, barista-quality coffee.” 

London-based restaurants reopen with discounts in place: London-based restaurants Orient London and Bella Cosa have reopened – and with discounts in place. Orient London in Chinatown, which specialises in seafood and freshly made dim sum, is offering 30% off food and soft drinks on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday during October. Meanwhile, Bella Cosa, the Italian restaurant on the Isle of Dogs, is giving customers 50% off food and soft drinks – up to £10 per person – from Sunday to Friday until the end of November. It is also offering 20% off takeaway. The menu includes homemade tagliatelle and fresh truffle, butter, sage and pistachio; and pumpkin and peccorino ravioli. Meanwhile, French-inspired neighbourhood bistro Augustine Kitchen, in Battersea Park, has reopened following a refurbishment during lock-down with a new wine cellar. It showcases the bottles on the 45-cover restaurant’s extensive list – especially those specifically from Savoie. Owner and chef Franck Raymond’s menu includes escargots with garlic cream and parsley butter; a lobster bisque; and rack of lamb with gratin Savoyard.
  
Interactive children’s leisure complex Fun Street opens at Scottish leisure park: Fun Street, a two-level interactive family entertainment centre – which houses a 120-cover restaurant – has launched its debut site at Scottish retail and leisure park Silverburn. As part of a phased opening, 75% of the 14,000 square foot independently owned venue has opened. Fun Street caters for children aged up to 12 and offers an interactive playground based on a magical storybook town. The site is formed of six zones, it has a tropical beach zone for younger children, Fun Street town on the lower level – which inspires lots of imaginative play and creativity – plus an “i-zone” space upstairs for older children that features digital gaming walls and interactive animation screens. Role play houses, party rooms, a home cinema and music elements all encourage interaction between parents/carers and children, and the different zones address imagination, physical play, cognitive development, and pure entertainment. Fun Street features a 120-cover restaurant – Erina’s Kitchen – which has an all-day menu serving brunch, homemade pizzas, pasta, pancakes and pastries, plus healthy, organic and vegetarian options. Fun Street owner Dr Usman Qureshi said: “We have a complete offer for the whole family, jam-packed with activities and all-day restaurant for parents to relax in while their kids have fun in a safe environment.” Iain Mitchell, UK commercial director of real estate business Hammerson, which owns Silverburn, said: “Fun Street will bring something unique and exciting to Silverburn, at a time when creating memories with your friends and family has never been more important.” 
  
Mapal announces trio of senior hires: Mapal Software, the European hospitality software developer behind Edinburgh’s Flow Hospitality Training, has welcomed three senior hires to its ranks, strengthening the global executive team. Dereck Manners joins as chief customer officer from Fourth, where he was vice-president. Prior to this he had been senior at Starwood Hotel & Resorts in global business improvement and guest experience roles. His role at Mapal will lead the customer success, onboarding and support function of the business, where he will be focused on senior level engagement and strategic planning with key clients. James McLuckie joins the Flow Hospitality product team as chief learning officer, having previously worked with an agency developing content and learning strategies for international brands including Google, Virgin and Heineken. Martina Baletkova joins as director of global business development, leading the relationships with major global accounts. She previously held similar hospitality focused roles at NCR Corporation and Zonal. The hires follow a significant investment in the firm in 2019 by Providence Strategic Growth, the growth equity affiliate of Providence Equity Partners, and a number of subsequent acquisitions by the firm in hospitality technologies.

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