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Wed 23rd Jun 2021 - Propel Wednesday News Briefing

Story of the Day:

Vagabond Wines founder to launch new concept Mamma Pastrama: Stephen Finch, founder of Vagabond Wines; Kieran Sherlock, director of sector investor Imbiba; and chef Jay Morjaria have teamed up to launch new concept Mamma Pastrama, Propel has learned. The concept will feature both traditional and modern reinterpretations of classic pastrami-based sandwiches. Propel understands a debut site near Carnaby Street has been secured for an opening later this summer. Morjaria joins Mamma Pastrama as co-founder and executive chef. In addition to his residency, JAE, at Untitled Bar in Dalston and his 15 years of food and beverage consulting work, Morjaria was featured on BBC2’s Million Pound Menu programme as a winning contestant. Finch founded the now ten-strong Vagabond in 2010, while Sherlock is currently also a non-executive director at Pizza Pilgrims. Tessa Whitehead will head up the Mamma Pastrama team as managing director, following 12 years of experience across The Restaurant Group-owned Wagamama, Mexican restaurant brand Wahaca and, more recently, the Imbiba-backed Vagabond. Mamma Pastrama said: “Seeking to reinvent the feverishly revered pastrami, Mamma Pastrama will use a secret curing process and proprietary spices and rub to render a pastrami that nods to tradition while embracing the future. The new concept will feature both traditional and modern reinterpretations of classic pastrami-based sandwiches, as well as introducing some Mamma Pastrami originals such as the Pastrami and Kimchee toastie. Mamma Pastrama will offer an all-day menu, alongside a carefully curated range of craft beer.”

Industry News: 

Additional 63 businesses added to updated Propel Premium database of multi-site companies, names to be revealed at 9am today: An additional 63 businesses have been added to the updated Propel Premium database of multi-site companies, which will be released on Wednesday, 30 June, at midday. The names of the additional companies, which collectively operate 565 venues, will be revealed in an email that will be sent to all Propel subscribers today (Wednesday, 23 June) at 9am. The next edition of the updated database will be accompanied by a 10,389-word report on the new additions. The exhaustive database of businesses comprised 1,819 companies when it was issued to subscribers at the end of May. The report details the new additions to the database while information on all companies has been updated during the past month. The go-to database has the most comprehensive multi-site operator information in the sector – it provides company names, the people in charge, how many sites each firm operates, its trading name and its registered name at Companies House if different, and what each business specialises in. In a new feature this year, there is a synopsis of what the business does and significant news associated with it. Companies can now have an unlimited number of people receive access to Propel Premium for a year for £895 plus VAT – whether they are an operator or a supplier. The regular single subscription rate of £395 plus VAT for operators and £495 plus VAT for suppliers remains the same. Premium subscribers already receive access to Propel’s library of lockdown videos and Friday Wrap interviews and now also have access to a curated video library of the sector’s finest leaders and entrepreneurs, offering their insights on running outstanding businesses in the sector. Propel Premium subscribers also receive their morning newsletter 11 hours early, at 7pm the evening before our 6am send-out; regular video content and regular exclusive columns from Propel insights editor Mark Wingett. Email jo.charity@propelinfo.com to sign up.

Scottish operators offer to close businesses to enable staff to be vaccinated en masse: Mass vaccinations for all over-18s would end Scotland’s ongoing “crippling” lockdown measures, claim Scottish operators, who are calling for first minister Nicola Sturgeon to “move up on jabs and down on levels”. Scottish Hospitality Group (SHG) members have offered to close their businesses to enable staff to get vaccinated en masse at suitable times when vaccine centres may be less busy. The offer has come after walk-in vaccinations for over-18s became widely available in England. However, in Scotland drop-in vaccination centres for over-18s are limited to select health boards. Scotland’s hospitality sector supports a workforce predominantly under the age of 25, who are having to self-isolate under the current restrictions if they test positive. As a result, hundreds of Scottish pubs and restaurants and wider businesses are having to close, which SHG spokesman Stephen Montgomery claimed “would be entirely preventable if we caught up with the vaccination programme in England”. He added: “More jabs not only protect the NHS and lives, but also jobs and Scotland’s economy. The data shows that case numbers are soaring among young adults and falling in older age-groups, which is a clear sign of the vaccination programme’s success.” Buzzworks managing director Kenny Blair added: “If the Scottish government can’t or won’t offer proper financial support for businesses that can’t trade viably, then mass vaccinations are the answer. We would happily shut all of our premises for the day if that meant we were adding another layer of protection both for our teams and our customers, so our staff could get the jab.” Sturgeon has said from 19 July all of Scotland will move to level zero “if the data allows”, with the intention to remove all restrictions on 9 August. But UKHospitality has called for the Scottish government to provide further financial support to businesses. UKHospitality Scotland executive director Leon Thompson said: “This is vital to ensure that businesses, which have already held on so long and are now at breaking point, can survive.”

Brewhouse & Kitchen launches ‘vaccine time’ and encourages other companies to follow suit: Brewhouse & Kitchen, the 23-strong brewpub group, has launched “vaccine time” – an employee perk whereby any of its team choosing to get the covid-19 jab can take paid time out from their shift for their appointment – and is encouraging other operators to do the same. While the company is not mandating the jab, it is encouraging its team to book their vaccination as soon as they can, “to support ongoing efforts to protect all team members, guests, combat the virus and unlock the economy”. The company will also pay the cost for any team members who choose to have the flu jab this autumn. Brewhouse & Kitchen chief executive Kris Gumbrell said: “We encourage other companies to do the same to protect our teams, our communities and give hospitality the best chance of recovery.”

Return of the covid passport could keep pubs open: Covid passports could be used to keep pubs and restaurants open this winter under plans being drawn up by ministers. Prime minister Boris Johnson has warned although it was “looking good” for the lifting of restrictions on 19 July, Britain could still face a “rough winter” if cases surge. Plans for the widespread use of so-called covid passports were put on the back-burner earlier this year following a backlash from MPs and parts of the hospitality sector. But according to the Daily Mail a review into “covid certification” led by cabinet office minister Michael Gove is now examining whether they could be used to enable venues such as pubs, restaurants and theatres to remain open if cases rocket later this year. A new function on the NHS app allows people in England to demonstrate their vaccination status. The function will be used to enable people to travel abroad. It is also being piloted at major events such as Wimbledon as part of trials to allow in larger crowds. Ministers expect it to become commonplace at mass events where people would otherwise have to take a covid test to gain entry. However, a Whitehall source told the Daily Mail the scheme could be used to keep open a much wider range of venues if a surge this winter requires ministers to consider lockdown restrictions. The source said: “The reason we are trialling covid certification this summer is partly to get mass events open more safely with bigger crowds, but also partly to get people used to the idea. We hope with high vaccination rates we will be in a very different position this winter. But if we do find ourselves in a dire situation then certification could be a tool in our armoury to keep things open that might otherwise have to close.”

Generation Z most easily frustrated as customers return to pubs and bars: The top frustrations for customers when visiting a pub or restaurant have been identified in new research, with Generation Z being the most easily irritated. More than half (56%) of those aged between 18 and 24 get frustrated when they are forced to wait for the servers attention when ready to pay, according to the findings by KAM Media and hospitality technology company Zonal. A similar proportion (55%) get stressed when they’re not able to split the bill easily at the end of a meal. In comparison, over-55s are much more relaxed. Mobile ordering and payment, for example, is now a more important factor when choosing a venue for a significant 45% of people. One of the biggest areas of frustration for Generation Z is researching venues and finding somewhere new to go – six in ten people said this caused them stress when deciding whether to go out, compared with only 13% of over-55s. Generation Z are much more likely to be seeking out new venues that they haven’t visited before with social media playing a huge role in their search; 42% turn straight to Instagram, 20% to Facebook and 17% to Twitter. They are much less likely to simply ask for recommendations from friends and family, which is the go-to for over-55s. Blake Gladman, research and strategy director at KAM Media, said: “We’ve been enjoying the ‘hassle-free’ experience of entertaining at home over the past 12 months and it has given customers time to reflect on what frustrates them most about going out versus staying in. Generation Z are used to an ‘on-demand’ world.” 
KAM Media and Zonal are Propel BeatTheVirus campaign members

UK footfall remains flat despite Euros: Footfall across the UK remained flat last week despite the Euros getting into full flow, according to the latest data from Wi-Fi solutions provider Wireless Social. The period saw UK footfall at 41% of pre-covid levels. Food pubs saw footfall closest to pre-pandemic levels, down only 36% on February 2020, which Wireless Social said was possibly down to the football being shown in venues. London continues to be the city that is showing the best recovery, with footfall levels at just below 50% of those seen before the pandemic. Newcastle has consistently seen footfall furthest away from pre-covid levels – last week it was at just above 20% of those seen before the pandemic. Wireless Social statistics found lunch remained the busiest part of the day, again taking 41% of the footfall, while breakfast accounted for 30% and dinner 29%.
Wireless Social is a Propel BeatTheVirus campaign member

Association of Indoor Play calls for government for immediate alignment of indoor gathering rules: The Association of Indoor Play (AIP) has called for the immediate close alignment of indoor gathering rules for venues across the UK. While wedding parties can now have unlimited guests dependent on the size of the venue, the same rules do not apply to birthday parties at covid-secure indoor play venues. AIP chair Janice Dunphy said: “Children are spending all week playing alongside their friends at school only to be told they cannot play with them at the weekend at a soft play centre.” The association said it has uncovered misalignment between the local environmental health authorities interpretation of what is allowable as indoor play centre owners are given hugely varying advice. AIP said it continued to press the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport for clarification so there may be a common understanding of the laws across the country and not a “postcode lottery as to how indoor play can run its business”. The AIP has called on prime minister Boris Johnson and Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon to “put children first”, and acknowledge the need to immediately allow indoor venues to host children's celebration events in a regulated supervised manner. In a recent poll by AIP, the majority of indoor play centres are running at a loss greater than 30% and in most cases this exceeds 40%. The AIP said parties are more than 30% of an indoor play centre’s income and with business rates soon due, VAT bills to be paid, Bounce Back Loan payments starting and rent pauses ending, the industry was now in a “critical” position.

Visitor registration opens for Casual Dining, Commercial Kitchen and Lunch!: The organiser of Casual Dining, Commercial Kitchen and Lunch! has opened visitor registration. The three shows will run alongside one another this year, taking place on 23-24 September at ExCeL London. Casual Dining returns with 200-plus exhibitors, Commercial Kitchen will be making its London debut, while Lunch! will play host to more than 300 exhibitors. Last year, the shows’ organiser, Diversified Communications UK, made the decision to co-locate the three shows as a response to the “overwhelming industry desire to get back to business in 2021”. The three shows remain distinct and each offers its own free seminar programmes and business initiatives including Innovation Challenges and Lunch!’s Start Up Zone. Group event director Chris Brazier said: “There’s no denying it’s been a tough year for everyone in the hospitality industry so, as the sector begins to reopen, we’re excited to be preparing to welcome our visitors back in person this autumn for three fantastic shows, two unmissable days, one extraordinary event and countless opportunities for business and innovation.” For further information and to register for free trade tickets, click here.

Job of the day: COREcruitment is looking for a managing director to head up a new UK pub business. based in the south of England and paying up to £120,000. The individual will ideally be based in Surrey, East Sussex or West Sussex. The business is looking for an experienced operator who has extensive openings experience and is very commercially savvy. The managing director will oversee all the new sites to be launched within the group, assisting with the people, system and process set-up as well as leading area and group profitability. In addition, bedroom experience is essential, such as at a country pub hotel. Anyone interested can email Stuart@corecruitment.com
COREcruitment is a Propel BeatTheVirus campaign member

Company News: 

Enhanced Hospitality opens new Japanese restaurant in London’s St James’s: Enhanced Hospitality, the Roger Payne-led operator of the We Are Bar business and Shaka Zulu in Camden, has opened a new Japanese restaurant in London called Ginza St James’s. Opened on the former Matsuri site in Bury Street, the new restaurant “offers an authentic and exclusive Japanese dining experience”. The venue features a main dining area, two private dining spaces, dedicated counters for Teppanyaki, and Edomae Sushi, and “one of the most extensive sake lists in London”. Payne, who also owned and operated The Cuban and Chicago Rib Shack brands, is believed to have also lined up a further opening in the capital, this time in Mayfair. It is thought Payne is set to take on the Mitchells & Butlers’ former Browns site in Maddox Street, for a yet unknown new venture. It is thought Enhanced Hospitality is also planning to open a new restaurant in Bath and a new members club, restaurant, bar and workspace in Canary Wharf.

Shepherd Neame rolls out stretch tents across 30 pubs: Kent-based brewer and retailer Shepherd Neame has begun rolling out the latest investment in its pub estate – bespoke stretch tents, for alfresco drinking. The company is investing £300,000 on the installation of stretch tents at 30 of its sites. They have already been completed at four pubs across the south east – The Albion Taverna, Faversham; The Spitfire, King’s Hill; The Juggs, Lewes; and The Vine, Tenterden. Each shelter will be festooned with outdoor heating, lighting and solar-powered fairy lights. Director of retail and tenanted operations Nigel Bunting said: “The British weather can be unpredictable, and we want to ensure customers can enjoy our pubs at any time of year, rain or shine. We recognise that despite the return of indoor hospitality last month some customers still prefer to sit outside, so these new structures allow them to enjoy our pubs in a protected outdoor environment. Also, with current covid social distancing restrictions extended into July, these new stretch tents allow us to safely extend our capacity and welcome more customers in a safe way.”
Shepherd Neame features in Propel’s Turnover & Profits Blue Book, which is now available to Premium subscribers. Shepherd Neame turned over £123,619,000 in its most recent year, making it the 38th highest out of the 215 companies featured. The Blue Book provides a five-year overview of turnover and profit, ranks companies according to turnover, pre-tax profit and profit conversion. It also provides details of directors earnings and highest paid directors. Companies can now have an unlimited number of people receive access to Propel Premium for a year for £895 plus VAT – whether they are an operator or a supplier. The regular single subscription rate of £395 plus VAT for operators and £495 plus VAT for suppliers remains the same. Email jo.charity@propelinfo.com to sign up.

Plant-based concept to double up with opening in the City: Fledgling plant-based concept Kojo is to open its second site in London, in the City. The concept, which is the brainchild of husband-and-wife team Ryan and Alina Jones, will open its second site – a grab and go format – in Liverpool Street. The first Kojo opened last December, on the former Carluccio’s site in Rosslyn Hill, Hampstead. Kojo’s menu is free of dairy, gluten and refined sugar and influenced by a “variety of Asian cuisines”. It is overseen by head chef Michael Paul. 

McDonald’s to launch loyalty programme in US next month: McDonald's is planning to launch its loyalty programme in the US next month after running tests in various markets. Customers will have to interact with the app to collect points and receive perks once the scheme is launched on Thursday, 8 July. MyMcDonald’s Rewards will give 1,500 points to customers at sign up and 100 points for every dollar spent – 1,500 points is enough points for a free chicken sandwich, cheeseburger or ice cream cone. The company’s loyalty programme is highly anticipated by investors hoping it can generate the same sort of positive attention as the schemes at Chipotle, Starbucks and Panera. The loyalty programme arrives with McDonald's executives confident on consumer demand for dine-in and takeout fast-food.

Genting reports pre-tax loss of £153m as revenue drops 61% due to pandemic but performs ‘well ahead of expectations’ on reopening: Casino operator Genting has reported a pre-tax loss of £150m during its latest financial year due to the impact of covid-19, but said it performed “well ahead of expectations” after reopening. Accounts for Genting UK reported a pre-tax loss of £153m for the year to 31 December 2020, falling from a profit of £39.5m in 2019. The Birmingham-headquartered company's revenue decreased 61% from £305.2m to £119.8m over the same period. The company operates 36 casino venues, five of which comprise the “high end” division in London and 31 casino venues throughout the UK, known as its “core” division. The company also operated an online gaming business until September 2019 when its trade and assets were transferred to Genting Malta. In their report accompanying the accounts, the directors stated: “The UK casino and hospitality industries faced an unprecedented crisis in 2020 and were among those most heavily impacted by the global covid-19 pandemic. Land-based operations for Genting Casinos UK were forced to close temporarily in March 2020 as the UK entered a national lockdown. The immediate focus during this time was to preserve cash and utilise UK government support. The national lockdown in March 2020, which resulted in a five-month closure for the whole UK casino business, was followed by sustained periods of uncertainty, curfews and further regional closures. Despite these challenges, performance after reopening was well ahead of expectations, highlighting strong demand from a loyal customer base and a resilient underlying business.” Genting UK is a subsidiary of Genting Malaysia Berhad, a company incorporated in Malaysia and currently listed on the Bursa Malaysia Securities Berhad.

Thunderbird Fried Chicken opens delivery kitchen in Streatham, launches debut franchise site with Parkdean Resorts: Thunderbird Fried Chicken, the wings and fried chicken concept backed by TriSpan, has launched its latest delivery kitchen, in Streatham, south London. The site joins its Foodstars delivery kitchens in Battersea and Shoreditch. Orders will be delivered by Deliveroo and UberEats. Earlier this month, Propel revealed Thunderbird has partnered with holiday park operator Parkdean Resorts as it takes the brand outside of London for the first time. The franchise agreement, which is the first of its kind for Thunderbird, sees an initial two sites open at Parkdean Resorts’ parks in Camber Sands, in East Sussex, and Trecco Bay, in south Wales, this month. The plan is then to roll out the offer across additional parks over the coming year. Thunderbird chief executive Paul Gilchrist said: “It’s a busy time for us as we last week opened our first franchise with Parkdean at Camber Sands, and we’re excited to be expanding our London delivery radius with this new kitchen.” Thunderbird also operates sites at Earl’s Court, Charing Cross, The O2 and Incipio Group’s Paddington Pergola venue.

Krispy Kreme looks to raise up to $640m through IPO: Krispy Kreme is looking to raise between $560m and $640m through an initial public offering (IPO) this year, according to regulatory filings. The company first went public 21 years ago. In 2016, JAB Holdings, the investment arm of the Reimann family, took Krispy Kreme private after buying it for $1.35bn. JAB Holdings owns a number of other restaurant businesses including Pret A Manger, Panera and Caribou Coffee. This time around, Krispy Kreme is looking to sell its stock for $21 to $24 a share, giving it an implied valuation of $2.82bn to $3.22bn. In 2020, Krispy Kreme’s revenue rose 17% to $1.12bn, but the company reported a net loss of $60.9m. It has reported net losses for its last three fiscal years as it invests back into the business, such as spending $10.3m to reopen a 24-hour flagship location in New York City’s Times Square. The stock would trade on the Nasdaq under the proposed ticker “DNUT”. About 16.6% of Krispy Kreme’s total common shares would be available through the IPO. The rest of the shares would remain in JAB Holdings’ hands. The investment firm is also looking to buy between $50m to $100m of shares from the offering. The firm’s chairman, Olivier Goudet, is interested in buying $5m of shares. The company said in the filing that it intends to use the net proceeds to repay debts, repurchase shares of stock from some of its executives and make payments on tax withholdings related to some restricted stock units. The rest of the funds will be used for general corporate purposes.

Benugo parent company announces management changes, BaxterStorey opens first independent coffee shop site: Westbury Street Holdings (WSH), the parent company of hospitality brands including Caterlink, Holroyd Howe, Benugo, Portico and Searcys, has announced some management changes, including a new chief executive for BaxterStorey. The company said Ronan Harte, who was chief executive of the group's independent school caterer Holroyd Howe for almost ten years, will become chief executive of BaxterStorey from 1 August. Noel Mahony, current co-chief executive of BaxterStorey, is to become an executive director of WSH, with his fellow co-chief executive John Bennett becoming a non-executive director. WSH chairman Alastair Storey said: “Covid-19 has provided our industry with its biggest challenge to date, and we have taken the opportunity to make some positive changes in the business to support our recovery and provide opportunities for future talent. As a resilient industry, I am confident we will bounce-back stronger, and providing opportunities for future talent is essential to this recovery.” Harte said: “Our industry is one of resilience and we have an opportunity and a responsibility to help with its recovery. Part of this recovery is through promoting hospitality as a brilliant place to work for the next generation of talent. As chief executive of BaxterStorey, I will be building strong teams and continuing to focus on development opportunities for our people.” Meanwhile, BaxterStorey has opened the doors to its first independent coffee outlet, in Manchester’s Piccadilly Place. The newly refurbished outlet, The Coffee Hive, features an all-day grazing menu, including fresh snacks, sweet treats and plant-based alternatives. Customers can also enjoy the company’s own in-house 100% arabica and Fairtrade certified coffee brand, Coffee Society. Operations director Judith Tutton said: “We operated a Starbucks franchise for many years in this location. The covid-19 pandemic forced us to close for many months, so we are delighted to have launched our new venture, The Coffee Hive.”

Sheffield-based cafe concept Marmadukes to open third site: Sheffield-based cafe concept Marmadukes is opening its third site in the city. Founders Tim and Claire Nye are launching the outlet on Wednesday (23 June) in Ecclesall Road. Formerly a sorting office, the site will house an artisan bakery and food shop with a zero waste section and an oat milk dispensary. A pastry kitchen downstairs with a separate entrance has also been fitted where the team will make bespoke celebration cakes for customers, and a driveway area to the side will enable the business to host barbecues. Marmadukes offers coffee, salads, sandwiches and baked goods as well as vegan and vegetarian options. The company’s other sites are in Cambridge Street and Norfolk Row in the city.

US salad bar chain Sweetgreen files for IPO: US salad bar chain Sweetgreen has confidentially filed for an initial public offering (IPO). The 121-strong chain, which is working with Goldman Sachs on the IPO, raised $156m from Durable Capital Partners in January, bringing the company’s total value to $1.78bn. The number of shares to be offered and the price range for the proposed offering have not yet been determined. In 2019, Sweetgreen raised $150m in a fundraising round led in part by Lone Pine and D1 Capital. Other financial investors in the company include Fidelity Investments, Live Oak Endeavors, Blue 9 Capital, Big Loud Capital, Reshape Holdings, True Ventures and T Rowe Price. Sweetgreen was founded in 2007 in Washington DC by Nicolas Jammet, Nathaniel Ru and Jonathan Neman. Known for its greens-rich salad bowls and house-made dressings, the company reached “unicorn” valuation status of $1bn in 2018 following a $200m investment. Over the past year, Sweetgreen has invested in dark kitchens, expanded its menu and opened its first drive-thru location, in Colorado, complete with solar panels and multichannel ordering. Earlier this year, the company announced a partnership with and an investment from leading tennis player Naomi Osaka.

T&R Theakston optimistic about future prospects after refocusing business to deal with pandemic: Yorkshire-based family brewer T&R Theakston has said it is optimistic about its future prospects after refocusing its business to deal with the challenges posed by the covid-19 pandemic. Theakston, which was established in 1827 and is based in Masham, produces ale including Old Peculiar and Best Bitter, and is controlled and run by direct descendants of the founder Robert Theakston. Accounts for T&R Theakston showed turnover of £5.1m was recorded in the year ending 31 December 2020, up from £4.8m in 2019. A pre-tax-loss of £334,000 was reported, compared with a £235,000 profit the previous year. Theakston achieved a significant cash-inflow during 2020, boosted by engagement with Barclays and HM Revenue & Customs as well as its suppliers, putting it in a “robust position to face into an uncertain trading environment in 2021”. Trade and export sales were significantly impacted during the year, but the business worked to grow the availability of its beer for consumers though other channels. Off-trade sales grew by more than 23% during the period, led by the Old Peculier brand, which was launched in a can alongside its existing bottle supporting growth of both its rate of sale and distribution. Online sales grew by more than 1,000% during the year as it satisfied demand through mail, direct deliveries and customer collections. The company utilised the government's job support schemes while topping up salaries for furloughed employees, while the directors also reduced their salaries during the first lockdown. In a statement accompanying the accounts, joint managing director Simon Theakston said: “With 75% of the company’s trade through the on-trade, we were required to rapidly rethink our business model. We shifted our focus to scaling our off-trade production and investing further in our direct-to-consumer and e-commerce sales channels. Through this, we've seen a tenfold increase in our online sales, and we are planning to invest in and continue to develop these channels in the future.”

Welsh holiday park operator acquires third site: Welsh holiday park operator Leisure Escapes has acquired its third site, supported by a seven-figure funding package from HSBC UK. The family-run business, which was established in 1969, has acquired the Caerfelin Holiday Park, in Aberporth. The 11-acre park is home to 100 caravans. Leisure Escapes director Tomas Davies said: “The past year has been extremely turbulent for the hospitality and tourism industry so acquiring our third park underlines our commitment to providing high-quality accommodation and facilities for our guests. As a family tourism business, the plan to purchase Caerfelin Holiday Park has been in the pipeline for a few months. We look forward to playing our part in regenerating the Welsh economy in a post-covid climate.” Leisure Escapes first site was Pencnwc Holiday Park, located in New Quay, Wales, which was supplemented by New Minerton Leisure Park, near Tenby, which was acquired in 2010 also with financial support from HSBC UK.

Starbucks reintroduces personal reusable cups at US company-owned stores: Starbucks has reintroduced personal reusable cups across company-operated stores in the US. Prior to covid-19, Starbucks said 80% of its drinks were enjoyed on the go, and the company is welcoming reusables back into stores. The company has also introduced its range of summer drinks, including the return of its Refreshers range. These include the Mango Dragonfruit and the Kiwi Starfruit, the latter of which joined the line-up last year. There are also a variety of cold coffee options such as the Salted Caramel Cream Cold Brew.

Tim Hortons gets go-ahead for first Welsh drive-thru: Canadian quick service restaurant brand Tim Hortons has been granted permission to open its first drive-thru site in Wales. SK Group, which is leading the rollout of Tim Hortons in the UK, has started work on converting the former Carphone Warehouse store at Broughton Retail Park in Bretton, which will create about 50 jobs. The application was approved this week by Flintshire Council, according to its website. The launch forms part of the brand’s plan to create more than 2,000 jobs across the country, bringing Tim Hortons restaurants to every major town and city by 2022. Tim Hortons currently has 27 restaurants in the UK.

Haven extends season until November at 11 coastal holiday parks: Holiday park operator Haven, which is owned by Bourne Leisure, is extending its 2021 season into November at some sites to give holidaymakers more time to enjoy coastal breaks. The extension will be available at 11 parks across the UK until 15 November, giving guests an extra two weeks. It comes as demand soars for staycations due to the pandemic disruption to trips aboard. Gerard Tempest, director of guest and proposition at Haven, said: “We feel it’s important to give holidaymakers a chance to get away from their homes, which for some, has also been their office, and have the chance to relax and have fun with their families. With the huge demand we’ve had this year, we wanted to do everything we could to ensure all our guests would get a chance to stay at one of parks this year.” Haven said it will continue to offer its “Coronavirus Book with Confidence Guarantee” on all November bookings. This free guarantee gives guests the ability to change their holiday anytime from 28 days, right up until three days of their arrival date should there be any issues preventing them to travel due to coronavirus. The 11 parks extending opening are Berwick, Berwick-upon-Tweed; Caister-on-Sea, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk; Combe Haven, St Leonards, East Sussex; Devon Cliffs, Exmouth, Devon; Golden Sands, Dawlish, Devon; Hafan y Mor, Pwllheli; Kiln Park, Tenby; Marton Mere, Blackpool; Primrose Valley, Filey, North Yorkshire; Seton Sands, Port Seton, Prestonpans; and Weymouth Bay, Dorset.

New York-style brasserie to open this week beneath Birmingham hotel: A New York-style brasserie will open in Birmingham city centre this week. Isaac’s restaurant, which is located beneath The Grand Hotel Birmingham in Barwick Street, will launch on Thursday (24 June) and has its own separate entrance. The menu will include hot dogs with sauerkraut, mustard and ketchup; and 30-day aged New York strip steak and Caesar salad alongside brasserie dishes and a selection of seafood. Drinks will feature old and new world wine, milkshakes, cocktails, and beer on tap. Executive chef Adam Bateman said: “Isaac’s is a neighbourhood restaurant with a New York vibe and a pinch of Brum.”
 
New ‘super club’ to open in Newcastle: A new 1,500-capacity “super club” is set to open in Newcastle in August. The Lofts will feature three rooms, a sound system and a state-of-the-art, fully immersive light and visual show. John Dance, Marty Smith and Rob Seaman are behind the venture, which will launch in Newgate Street on Friday, 27 August. Seaman said: “Our aim is to build on the excellent reputation Newcastle already has and raise its profile still further. We are booking international artists from different genres and can mix up the styles on the same night in the different rooms.”
 
Elior UK wins £5m Lincoln City FC catering contract: Contract caterer Elior UK has been appointed as Lincoln City FCs new catering partner in a five-year deal worth £3.5m. With catering services including matchday hospitality, matchday retail as well as conference and banqueting, Elior will be a fully integrated partner at the LNER Stadium, which ordinarily welcomes more than 9,000 spectators every matchday. The deal includes significant investment to upgrade the existing kitchens and develop the retail concourse ready for the start of the 2021-22 season. Elior will also introduce click and collect orders through its digital app and cashless payments across all services. 

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