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Fri 6th Aug 2021 - Propel Friday News Briefing

Story of the Day:

KPMG – pandemic drives households to increase spend on takeaways by almost a half: Lockdowns prompted Brits to increase spending on takeaways by almost half (42%). Research by KPMG, which questioned more than 2,000 consumers in spring 2021, found the average spend per person on takeaways had risen to £641, due in the most part to the restrictions of visiting on-site dining. This is a significant increase since the research was last conducted in August 2019, when the average spend per person on takeaways that year was £452. The report called Food For Thought, crowned Nottingham as the takeaway capital of the UK with average spend standing at £1,097 per person in 2021, up almost four times on the £299 average spend of a Nottingham consumer in 2019. Liverpudlians spent the least on takeaway food with the average spend at £346 per person, while fast food lovers in Belfast and Sheffield also spent below £400. Three fifths (61%) of those who have ordered a takeaway or a meal kit say they will go to a restaurant in person based on their positive experiences of ordering their food over lockdown. Chinese was cited as the most popular cuisine among those surveyed (55%), followed by pizza (52%), Indian (45%) and fish and chips (39%). One in five Brits (17%) admitted to having tried meal kits from a restaurant or a recipe box from a dedicated provider. Will Hawkley, global head of leisure and hospitality at KPMG, said: “The increased appetite for takeaways has in part been driven by the pandemic, but credit must also go to restaurant operators who took innovation to new levels to capitalise on booming demand. They adapted to the channel-shift of at-home consumption with direct-to-consumer offerings, such as meal kits and subscriptions. The hospitality sector is steeped in customer-centricity and creativity, and, through necessity, has condensed a decade or more of innovation into less than a two-year period. Embracing a multi-channel offering with the right mix of eat-in, takeaway and meal kits promises enormous growth potential and could attract investors for operators. Reverting to pre-pandemic operations and channel mix is unlikely to be a recipe for success.”

Industry News:

Sponsored message – Harri survey shows flexibility, culture and training more important than money to employees: The Harri Hospitality Employee Experience Survey, which is its latest employee experience survey, asked more than 5,000 employees what they considered to be most important to them as part of their employee experience. Findings showed employees are more interested in flexibility, culture and training, which displaces some of the traditional concerns that might be considered to be more important: benefits, wage, and career progression. Some 63% of respondents also said they had been promoted in the past year, which suggests that, in a market where there is a 9% increase in job postings since June but a 4% decrease in applicants, companies are looking internally for promotion opportunities instead of reaching out to a highly competitive candidate market. However, when there are vacancies to be filled, how can managers recruit in a tight labour market? Harri stresses operators need to ensure they are also offering benefits that candidates actually want. Indeed’s July hiring insights showed GM roles in London are being advertised, on average, at £42,000, which is 10% above national average, showing that competition is high. Operators also need to ensure they are offering benefits that candidates want: flexibility, well-balanced working hours and a schedule that can be relied upon. Harri’s flexible scheduling tools can help operators achieve this aim. Find out more here. If you have a sponsored story you would like to see featured in this newsletter position, email paul.charity@propelinfo.com

New companies appearing in Propel Blue Book of Turnover and Profitability to be named today: The 73 new companies appearing in the next edition of the Propel Blue Book of Turnover and Profitability, to be published at midday on Friday, 13 August, and produced in association with Mapal Group, will be named at 9am this morning (Friday, 6 August). The August edition shows 180 companies out of the 352 featured are reporting a combined loss of £5.9bn. A further 172 companies are in profit by a collective £1.5bn. The next edition will also feature Propel insights editor Mark Wingett’s Ones to Watch, his guide to outstanding smaller companies. The Blue Book features 352 UK pub, restaurant, cafe and hotel operators with a total turnover of £29.6bn. The Blue Book, which is updated every month – on the second Friday of the month – provides an insight into UK operator turnover and profitability over five years, profit conversion and directors’ earnings. Last Friday (30 July), Propel Premium subscribers received the updated database of multi-site companies for July, which is produced in association with Virgate. The latest edition of The Propel Multi-Site Database included 71 new companies, operating 477 sites between them, and increases the total number of companies on the database to 1,951. Subscribers received the database as a PDF and an Excel spreadsheet, they were also sent a 12,094-word report on the businesses added during July. The go-to database 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. In a new feature this year, there is a synopsis of what the business does and significant news associated with it. It is updated at the end of every month. Subscribers also received a new database on Friday (30 July). The New Companies Database, produced in association with Starstock, focuses on the newly announced openings and upcoming launches in the sector, and will be updated at the end of every month. Subscribers also 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. 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. 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. In today’s (Friday, 6 August) Premium Opinion column, Propel insights editor Mark Wingett looks back at the week just gone, including the latest move by Richard Caring to evolve his Bill’s Restaurant & Bar business. At the same time, Will Hawkley, global head of Leisure & Hospitality KPMG UK, looks at what the takeaway and delivery boom means for restaurant operators. Email jo.charity@propelinfo.com to sign up.
 
Propel Friday Wrap video series with The Alchemist chief executive Simon Potts: Propel continues its new Friday Wrap video series today (Friday, 6 August) at 3pm. The series, which is sponsored by innovative staffing solution provider Stint, sees Mark Stretton, former sector journalist and now head of sector PR firm Fleet Street Communications, and Propel’s insights editor Mark Wingett discussing this week’s key issues facing the UK’s hospitality sector, with a leading sector operator or expert. This week they are joined by The Alchemist chief executive Simon Potts to discuss the importance of this September’s trading, the long-term impact of the crisis on his business and leadership, how to remain differentiated and what the future holds for the company.

Bruntwood Works reveals plans for ex-Rackhams building in Altrincham: Bruntwood Works and Trafford Council have revealed transformational plans for the former Rackhams building in Altrincham town centre. The joint venture project, which forms part of the future development of the Stamford Quarter, marks Bruntwood Works’ first Pioneer building outside of Manchester city centre and will bring the firm’s blend of workspace, retail and leisure to the heart of Altrincham. The proposed plans, which are subject to planning permission, include a complete redesign of the ground floor, providing an opportunity for hospitality operators to take space that includes outdoor terraces on Stamford Square. A focus on biophilia, which is known to improve wellbeing and sustainability, has also been introduced through a 340 square metre living wall that provides oxygen and helps reduce noise levels as it wraps around the building. It will also see the once-loved House of Fraser store transformed into 37,500 square foot of commercial workspace, with retail and hospitality operators to take 15,000 square foot space on the ground and lower ground floors, creating a unique arrival experience. A two-storey extension and outdoor terraces on the first floor also feature in the plans, with active travel and fitness supported through new cycle storage and showers. Andrea George, town centre and consumer brands director at Bruntwood Works, said: “As a hugely successful destination in its own right, Altrincham already has all the ingredients for an even brighter future. We want to harness this by creating a blend of retail and leisure with premium workspaces that deliver greater opportunities for the community to come together in one central hub. The pandemic changed the way we interact with our high street, boosting local town centres and creating exciting opportunities to redevelop former department stores for new uses. We’re confident the transformation of the former Rackhams store will be a game-changer for the town and prove an attractive proposition for those looking for workspace outside of the city centre, while providing a new and much-needed amenity that complements the existing operators within Stamford Square.”

Hammerson CEO – potential to ‘reshape entire neighbourhoods’ around flagship centres: Rita Rose-Gagné, chief executive of Hammerson, sees potential to “reshape entire neighbourhoods” around the landlord’s flagship centres, which include Cabot Circus in Bristol and the Bullring in Birmingham. Under a new strategy, department stores will be repurposed and vacant units redeveloped into homes, hotels and workspaces as the landlord prioritises recycling capital from the sale of non-core assets to fund upgrades of its city centre properties. She said Hammerson’s shopping centres, in the future, could have as little as 50% premium retail, with the remaining space used for services and alternative uses. She said: “As we emerge from a unique moment in time, I see a pathway to create sustainable value as we transform the business to become more agile and able to anticipate and respond to this change. We own flagship destinations around which we can curate and reshape entire neighbourhoods and city centre spaces for generations to come.” It comes as the company saw an 8% fall in its net rental income year-on-year brought on by the pandemic and a significant impact on trading for much of the year, up to April. There was also a significant fall in its managed portfolio value. It dropped 19% from £4.4bn in 2020 to about £3.6bn this year.

New ordering platform launches to disrupt on-trade: Starstock has launched a one-stop shop that enables independent pub, club, bar, hotel and restaurant operators across the UK to order directly from major drinks brands. The new platform is launching with the support of the British Institute of Innkeeping (BII), along with major brewers and drinks brands such as Asahi UK, Bacardi, Coca-Cola Europacific Partners, Britvic, Red Bull, Shepherd Neame, Theakston, Robinsons, Fever-Tree, Kopparberg and a growing range of regional brewers. New brands are joining the site every week, providing operators with an increasingly broad and diverse choice of drinks suppliers. Sam Ulph, founder and chief executive of StarStock Group, said: “We are on a mission to help pubs, bars and other independent licensed businesses thrive, not just survive. The pandemic has shone a light on the value of local independent businesses to their customers and communities. Now, as they begin to recover and rebuild, it’s time to do things differently. StarStock disrupts what has, until this point, been an unmodernised supply chain model. Our platform enables independent operators to order all their favourite brands directly from the businesses that manufacture them – a genuine marketplace for the licensed trade. Our solution creates a much more transparent marketplace that gives value back to the operator and brand owner, along with the convenience of 24/7 ordering and national consolidated deliveries. We’ve got exciting plans for the future as we build new features and functionality to make the platform even more useful to our licensee customers, which includes exclusive food products and offers, alongside an extensive drinks selection. This will create a truly unique proposition that gives licensed operators access to a great range of products and promotional support that helps build their business and grow sales.”
 
Cinema operators report attendance bounce back: Cinema operators’ recovery hopes have been spurred by latest figures revealing the UK recorded its best box office performance since February 2020 this weekend (31 July-1 August). Latest figures show total box office takings in the UK and Ireland reached £18.7m last week, with £10.9m taken over the weekend. Chief executive of the UK Cinema Association, Phil Clapp, told the Evening Standard the weekend’s takings were up 64% on the previous weekend, and “an incredible” 1,169% up on the same weekend last year. Odeon said sales at the weekend were the biggest since reopening, with families making up more than a third of attendance. Industry leaders are quietly confident the numbers signal a bumper staycation August to come, and sales that will only “accelerate” in September and October as the weather worsens and a long-anticipated slate of films is released – from James Bond, No Time to Die to Spider-Man: No Way Home.
 
OpenTable launches direct messaging feature to cut need for phone calls: Restaurant booking service OpenTable has launched a direct messaging feature after research revealed 63% of Brits would opt to message rather than call or email a restaurant rather than call or email. The new addition to the OpenTable app allows diners to ask questions on hygiene measures, share dietary preferences or make special requests without the need to speak to anyone at the restaurant. OpenTable research shows 47% of UK diners are still looking at a restaurant’s hygiene measures when selecting where to dine and said direct messaging is a simple way to ask questions relating to these issues. It also found almost a fifth of the UK (17%) would choose to contact a restaurant via a direct message because they don’t like making phone calls. OpenTable chief technology officer Joseph Essas said: “With direct messaging, we’re streamlining pre and post-dining communication between the restaurant and its guests. These conversations typically involve a phone call or two, during busy peak hours, that are an expensive distraction for restaurants and can result in frustration for diners.”

Job of the day: COREcruitment is currently supporting a multi-brand partner hospitality and property business as it looks to appoint a commercial manager, EMEA & APAC for a 12-month fixed-term contract. The role is paying circa £100,000, plus benefits and is based in London. A spokesman said: “This is a great role for someone looking to make impact in a quick-growing and unique business. Our client is looking to expand rapidly with multiple openings on the cards. However, each opening requires extensive commercial negotiation as the business model is based around F&B brand partnerships. We are looking for someone to oversee all commercial functions. Working side-by-side with the head of business development, you will develop and established leads and build contract and commercial strategy with future partners. Your role will be as much about creative identification of the ‘right’ business as it is about making the ‘right’ deal. You will be an expert at finding win-win solutions, negotiating and identifying opportunities for the business. We would like to find someone with hands-on experience in the letting/leasing/renting environment, whether that is from a real estate, contract catering, shopping mall or a food market business. However, a knowledge of the restaurant sector is very much necessary. European experience is nice but not essential.” Email Hollie@corecruitment.com with your CV.
COREcruitment is a Propel BeatTheVirus campaign member
 

Company News:

German Doner Kebab set to open first US restaurant: German Doner Kebab is set to open its first restaurant in the US at the American Dream retail centre in Bergen County, New Jersey. “The US offers a huge opportunity for German Doner Kebab, and we are excited to be opening our first US restaurant at American Dream,” said Nigel Belton, managing director of German Doner Kebab North America. “German Doner Kebab is exciting consumers across Europe and Canada, offering a fast-casual concept that is responding to the needs of Generation Z. We are now recognised as a top fast-casual brand of the future, and we are looking forward to bringing this German Doner Kebab experience to people visiting American Dream.” Plans are now in place to open 100 new restaurants in Canada over the next ten years, and the development pipeline also includes key US locations spanning New York City, New Jersey and Houston. The opening of German Doner Kebab’s first US location is in partnership with franchisee Yunus Shahul, who brings significant experience in the restaurant industry. The New York native operates two Saravana Bhavan Indian restaurants and a growing Cousins Maine Lobster portfolio throughout New York and Connecticut. “I am extremely excited to pursue a dream of mine, which is joining the German Doner Kebab family as I have a personal love for the doner kebab,” said Shahul. German Doner Kebab’s first location opened in Berlin in 1989, and today has more than 70 restaurants. Its North American expansion is a piece of German Doner Kebab’s global growth plan that also includes the UK, Sweden and the Middle East, with more than 700 franchises already signed up to its global growth strategy.

Inception Group to take over Soho’s The London Gin Club: Inception Group, the London-based group, which owns and operates concepts, including Cahoots and Mr Fogg’s, has signed a 20-year lease on iconic Soho-based venue, The London Gin Club. Julia Forte and Vicky Fisher founded the bar on Great Chapel Street in 2012 and ran it successfully for seven years before, sadly, being forced to close in April 2019 due to severe damage caused by Crossrail as they constructed their adjacent Tottenham Court Road Station. The Crossrail damage has been repaired and Inception Group said intends to make a few modifications but to largely keep the bar as it was before its grand reopening this September. Charlie Gilkes, who founded Inception with Duncan Stirling, said: “Julia and Vicky created something very special at The London Gin Club and were ahead of the times focusing on gin, which has since grown enormously in popularity. It has always been a favourite venue of Duncan’s and mine and we are very excited to be continuing their legacy.” Forte, who has retained the freehold of the building, said: “Our family has owned and operated the venue for the past 88 years and we couldn’t think of better first tenants than Duncan and Charlie’s Inception Group, who focus so much on experience, quality of product and hospitality over service.”

RedCat Pub Company acquires Lake District hotel: RedCat Pub Company, the new investment vehicle from ex-Greene King chief executive Rooney Anand, has acquired the New Dungeon Ghyll at Great Langdale, near Ambleside, in the Lake District, for an undisclosed sum. The business, which had been run by the Smith family for 30 years, was previously put on the market in 2020 with an asking price of £3m. The off-market deal was brokered by Colliers, which acted for the Smith family, and Everard Cole, which acted for the Oaktree Capital-backed RedCat. The three-star New Dungeon Ghyll is on a site of about 12 acres, which includes mature gardens and pastures, an extensive outdoor seating area and a car park. It has 23 en-suite bedrooms, a restaurant, bars and lounges. Julian Troup, head of hotels agency at Colliers, said: “The hospitality sector in the Lake District has been attracting increasing corporate attention, as indicated by this acquisition of the renowned New Dungeon Ghyll hotel by the recently formed RedCat Pub Company. With interest rates remaining low, hotels and pubs in staycation areas such as the Lakes are delivering impressive trading figures and solid returns on investment, and we expect to see continuing corporate and private demand from both overseas and domestic buyers given the growing popularity of UK staycations.”

Uber’s delivery unit sees losses narrow, boosts overall business: Uber’s delivery unit, which includes restaurant delivery service UberEats, narrowed losses on a quarterly basis and more than doubled gross bookings from last year. Uber said the Delivery business generated gross bookings of $12.96bn in the quarter, up 85% from a year ago and outperforming its core Mobility segment. The Mobility business contributed $8.6bn in gross bookings, up 184%. Uber chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi said deliveries were boosting the company’s overall business and that it was now actually driving customer acquisition for its Mobility segment, as opposed to the other way round. He said this is because, in many markets, especially suburban areas and smaller towns, UberEats increasingly tends to be the first way customers engage with Uber. He said: “In the second quarter, more than 20% of Mobility’s first-time riders in the US, and more than 40% of first-time riders in the UK, were existing delivery consumers, with this contribution rapidly growing over the past year.”

Mission Mars confirms Albert’s Schloss opening in Birmingham: Mission Mars has confirmed it is opening a 13,000 square foot Albert’s Schloss in Birmingham’s Paradise development, with capacity for 500. “The Cook Haus” will serve indulgent Bavarian-Alpine food with fondue and schweinshaxe being stars of the show. An in-house bakery will produce artisan bread, pretzels, pastries and puddings alongside fresh daily roasted coffee. Albert’s Schloss showcases the best Munich lagers such as Paulaner, Augustiner and Lowenbrau. Fresh, unpasteurised Pilsner Urquell is delivered three times a week direct from Plzeň in the Czech Republic. A carefully curated cocktail list takes influence from the Alps and “Haus Schnapps” are made fresh on-site every week. Located next to Dishoom, Albert’s Schloss will operate over two floors with three bars (the largest of which is more than 100 feet long) and has a huge outside terrace, complete with a restored Citroen van bier bar. Schloss will be home to more than 100 freelance artists who will put up fun and flamboyant performances every night. Mission Mars also operates Albert Hall (a 2,500 capacity venue), Rudy’s Neapolitan Pizza and Zumhof Biergarten in Digbeth. Roy Ellis, chief executive of Mission Mars, said: “Schloss’ namesake, Prince Albert, championed truth, beauty, freedom and love. Deeply saddened by his untimely death, Queen Victoria named buildings up and down the country in his honour. Albert’s Schloss (or palace) in Birmingham will celebrate the beloved Prince’s values every day and all night long. We’re creating a retreat from the modern world where we invite guests to discover new things, celebrate one another and enjoy the pleasures and wunder of our decadent Schloss. Influenced by our travels across Bavaria, Bohemia and Alpine European retreats, expect roaring fires, raucous musical performances, tankards of Europe’s finest biers and robust Bavarian food in our wonderful Paradise surroundings.”
 
Incipio Group launches its second in-house food concept: Incipio Group, the Edition Capital-backed operator of venues including The Prince and Lost In Brixton, has launched its second in-house food concept – Nonna Madonna. Described as “New York Talking, Napoli Walking”, Nonna Madonna, which has opened at The Prince in West Brompton, is a pizza concept combining a “traditional Neapolitan recipe with indulgent NYC-style toppings and attitude”. As well as a range of pizzas, Nonna Madonna will serve Spuntinos, which are snack items, such as ragu fries. Created during the January lockdown, the opening of Nonna Madonna follows the successful rollout of the group’s burger concept, Filth&Co, at the Pergola Paddington and The Prince, and the opening of Pergola On The Wharf, the group’s first restaurant offering in May. Since the opening up of hospitality in April, Incipio said it had recruited and employed 28 new members of the kitchen team across the group, including Denise Luciano, who hails from Napoli, to manage Nonna Madonna.

Eataly confirms Terra Italian grill restaurant to open as part of development in October: Italian grill restaurant Terra will become the fourth and final venue at the Italian food emporium to open as part of the Eataly London development in London’s Broadgate. Eataly, which is located at 100 Liverpool Street, said Terra would offer “an elevated dining experience”. It added Terra would use a wood-fired grill – hand-built by craftsmen in Galicia – that is visible to customers from the dining room. Its menu will offer antipasti, a small selection of pasta and risotti, and griglia – the heart of Terra – where a market selection of fish, meat and vegetables will be cooked expertly at the wood-fired grill. Also available will be “the UK’s largest selection of Italian wines and spirits” of more than 2,000 labels from its neighbouring wine shop Il Vino.
 
Spoon Street to open fifth site: Dessert concept Spoon Street is set to open its fifth site in Northern Ireland. Spoon Street, which was launched by Harry and Katie Wang in 2014, is to open at Rushmere Shopping Centre. It is the company’s first location outside of Belfast. The Spoon Street brand was acquired by the Newry-based owner of restaurant chain Eddie Rockets, Justin Ward, in 2019. He said: “Strategically located in one of the region’s largest and most successful shopping centres, we’re delighted to confirm our new store will open for eat-in, takeaway or for home delivery. With four long-standing, successful outlets behind us, we’re already looking forward to growing our footprint further across the island as we look to restart growth plans paused as a result of the pandemic. Rushmere is a major milestone in this strategy and we can’t wait to reveal more details of new locations in the months ahead.”
 
Boston Tea Party to replace PizzaExpress in Torquay: All-day dining casual cafe brand Boston Tea Party is to open a site in Torquay, Devon. The company is opening a new 160-cover outlet on the former PizzaExpress in the town’s The Strand, which will create about 30 jobs when it opens later this year. Co-owner and chief executive Sam Roberts said: “We’re aiming to create a community hub for Torquay, a place to share great food and drink.” The company is also set to open a site in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, on the former ASK Italian restaurant premises in Clarendon Avenue. The new cafe is set to open in late summer, creating 30 jobs. It will seat about 140 people inside and will be the company’s 24th site. Boston Tea Party is also set to open a site in the West Sussex town of Worthing.
 
Sushi and bento brand Kokoro to build London presence: Sushi and bento brand Kokoro is to further increase its presence in London, with two new openings. Propel has learned the circa 40-strong business is to open sites in Hounslow and Wood Green. The former will open on Hounslow High Street, while the latter will open at the end of this month at 146 High Road. Earlier this year, Kokoro opened a new site in Clapham, south west London. A franchisee of the company took on the former Roxie site at 81 St John’s Road, close to the junction with Northcote Road and Battersea Rise. Kokoro operates more than 40 sites in the UK, mainly across the south of England.
 
C&C Group hires Harriet Kininmonth as wine trading director: Drinks company C&C Group has appointed Harriet Kininmonth as wine trading director. She will be responsible for sourcing all wines for Matthew Clark, Tennent’s Wholesale, Bibendum and Bibendum Off Trade, and driving the commercial wine strategy across the GB on and off-trade. Kininmonth joins from Enotria & Coe, where, after joining the buying department in 2008, she became director of wine buying in 2018. Clara Shand, commercial director C&C group, said: “I am delighted to welcome Harriet to the C&C Group. An accomplished commercial leader with a wealth of experience, passion and understanding of wine, with incredible enthusiasm and energy for bringing the best wines from around the world to our customers served by the Bibendum, Matthew Clark and Tennent’s Wholesale brands. Harriet’s appointment is an exciting one for our team, our producers and suppliers, and for our customers”.
 
KFC and Hotels.com team up to open KFC-inspired hotel suite in Shoreditch: KFC has teamed up with Hotels.com to open a KFC-themed hotel suite in Shoreditch for an 11-night period. The House of Harland will be covered in KFC memorabilia from 18-29 August but customers can only stay for a single night. The hotel booking site information stated: “Indulge in the complimentary botanical-infused self-care essentials, catch one of the chick-flicks playing in the cinema room, play on the KFC Hot Winger arcade machine, or just simply sit back and have chicken at your fingertips with a ‘Press For Chicken’ button.” Bookings can be made from 11am on 11 August, at a price of £111 for the night. The room number is also 11, which ties in with the 11 herbs and spices used in the production of KFC’s fried chicken. All proceeds will be donated to The KFC Foundation, which supports grassroots organisations that “empower young people to unleash their potential and build a positive future”.
 
Noble Rot opens wine shop opposite Bloomsbury bar and restaurant: Dan Keeling and Mark Andrew, founders of Noble Rot Wine Bar & Restaurant in Bloomsbury, have opened a wine shop opposite its original restaurant and bar on Lamb’s Conduit Street. Shrine to the Vine follows the 2020 opening of Noble Rot Soho at the Gay Hussar, the restaurant that pays homage to its predecessor’s Hungarian past, but is rooted in the French cooking from head chef Alex Jackson. On his Instagram page, Keeling said: “Wahey, it feels great to have thrown open the doors of our new shop @shrinetothevine for the first time. The selection reflects our love of both the classics and more left field wine we already feature in the restaurant and the magazine.”
 
Spanish chef opens debut UK site at same time as all-day dining and drinking venue at Mondrian Shoreditch hotel: Chef Dani Garcia has made his UK debut with the opening of his sixth restaurant under the Bibo format at the Mondrian Shoreditch, which has been joined by all-day dining and drinking destination Christina’s. Garcia has launched the venue on the lower ground floor of the Mondrian Shoreditch hotel – which is owned by the Reuben Brothers – in east London, and was previously known as The Curtain before it was taken over by operator Accor. Bibo features an open-kitchen tapas bar and an all-day dining room and seats 120 guests, including 20 in the Spanish courtyard and 12 in the private dining room on the floor below. Garcia’s menu includes Oxtail Brioche – a pulled oxtail brioche with thin mushroom slices, DG sauce and rocket; and a Russian Salad with quail eggs – potato, extra virgin olive oil mayo, tuna belly, fried quail eggs, garlic chips and jamon croquetas. Meanwhile, Christina’s all-day coffee, cocktail, natural wine and katsu sando bar has opened on the ground floor of the Mondrian Shoreditch. Opening at 7am every morning, Christina’s will kick start the day with sweet and savoury pastries designed in partnership with Qoot-owned Chestnut Bakery, with a coffee bar that has opened in collaboration with Redemption Roasters, the specialist coffee company renowned for its work in prisons, training offenders in barista skills.
 
Stonegate Group and WSH join the Zero Carbon Forum’s roadmap to net zero: Stonegate Group and Westbury Street Holdings (WSH) are the latest members to join the Zero Carbon Forum to reduce emissions and achieve net zero. A non-profit organisation with 27 of the UK’s leading restaurants, pubs and breweries as members, the Zero Carbon Forum is a collaborative action group dedicated to creating a space to help the hospitality sector achieve net zero emissions. Stonegate has implemented a number of efficiencies in collaboration with partners, including installing smart meters across its sites, recycling waste oil for conversion to industrial oils and renewable fuels, and addressing its waste disposal and recycling. Spencer Bloomberg, director of risk at Stonegate, said: “We’re committed to reducing energy consumption and our carbon footprint. The forum represents power and knowledge in numbers, and we look forward to sharing and learning best practices from fellow industry forum members.” BaxterStorey, part of the WSH family, is the first independent hospitality food service provider to become part of the Forum along with all WSH brands, which include Benugo, Searcys, Caterlink and Holroyd Howe. Mark Chapman, founder and chief executive of the Zero Carbon Forum, said: “We’re thrilled these collective industry powerhouses, driven by highly inspiring and experienced leaders, have joined the Zero Carbon Forum. The forum is on a journey to enable the hospitality sector to reach net zero at pace and avert a catastrophe. With the backing and collaborative action of our members and industry trade associations, UKHospitality and the British Beer & Pub Association, we will deliver on our objectives, and achieve decarbonisation of hospitality.”

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