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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Tue 24th Aug 2021 - Propel Tuesday News Briefing

Story of the Day:

BPF – government should look at annual revaluations for business rates: The government should be looking at annual revaluations for business rates, a trade body that represents the real estate sector has said. The British Property Federation (BPF), which counts landlords, developers, property agents and investors as members, is calling on ministers to set out a roadmap for moving to annual revaluations. In its submission to the government on why fundamental business rates reform is long overdue and to provide recommendations for next steps, BPF chief executive Melanie Leech said: “The business rates system is undermining town centre recovery and poses a significant risk to the future of our high street businesses. Business rates have become so unaffordable, they are now hampering town centres’ ability to adapt, modernise and thrive. We need annual revaluations and transparency over how valuations are determined, more frequent revaluations is only one piece to the jigsaw. Government must also reset the business rates multiplier at a fairer level, abolish downward phasing (where a deduction to a business rates bill, following a revaluation, is restricted) and provide additional business rates relief on empty properties. The idea of taking away property owners’ rights to appeal is unjust – property owners have a legitimate need to interact with the rating system, including where they are not the ratepayer, and must retain this right. This is a vital tool that allows property owners to effectively market their properties and secure new tenants. With the number of boarded-up shop fronts on our high streets increasing by the day, this suggestion is non-sensical and demonstrates a fundamental lack of understanding or appreciation of the role that property owners play in creating thriving neighbourhoods across the UK.” In June, the government said it was consulting on plans that would see revaluations of non-domestic properties take place every three years instead of the current system of five.

Industry News: 

Operators offering food originating in the Far East increase their presence on updated Premium database of multi-site companies: Restaurants offering food that originated in the Far East are increasing their presence on the updated Propel Premium database of multi-site companies, which will be released on Friday (27 August) at midday. The Propel Multi-Site Database, which is produced in association with Virgate, includes 64 new additions, operating 417 sites between them. The new companies will include Maki & Ramen, which is an Edinburgh-based restaurant brand serving ramen and sushi that recently opened its seventh site; and Chinese hot pot restaurant chain Happy Lamb Hot Pot, which originated in Mongolia and has circa 100 sites in the US and Canada. It has announced a third UK opening, at the Bishop’s Quarter scheme in Bayswater, London; while Koya – a Tokyo-style noodle cafe business – is set to open its third restaurant at Hackney’s Broadway Market. The go-to database, which is updated monthly, 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. Premium subscribers will also receive the second edition of The New Openings Database, which is produced in association with StarStock, on Tuesday, 31 August, at midday. It focuses on newly announced openings and upcoming launches in the sector and will be updated every month. There are 258 new openings listed in the latest database. Meanwhile, subscribers also have access to another database called Turnover & Profits Blue Book, which is produced in association with Mapal Group. The Blue Book, which is also updated every month, with the latest version having just been sent out, provides an insight into UK operator turnover and profitability over five years, profit conversion and directors’ earnings. 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. Email to sign up.
Delivery and takeaway sales growth begins to stabilise as consumers return to on-premise: Delivery and takeaway sales have started to stabilise as restrictions lifted following “Freedom Day”, the latest CGA and Slerp Hospitality at Home Tracker has revealed. It showed sales in July were 206% higher than in July 2019 – a drop on the growth in June (225%) and May (273%). Although the lifting of all restrictions across hospitality has led to an increase in eating out, delivery has maintained its 20.5% share month-on-month, while takeaway sales, which also includes click and collect and drive-thru, declined by 1.3%. The Tracker showed this correlates with the significant growth in delivery sales compared with 2019, which, in July, was almost three times higher than takeaways. In total, delivery and takeaways accounted for more than a third of restaurant and pub groups’ sales in July. Karl Chessell, CGA’s business unit director – hospitality operators and food, EMEA, said: “As consumers returned to eating and drinking out following restrictions lifting, growth has naturally begun to slow in delivery and takeaway sales. However, it’s clear that consumer behaviours have shifted and hospitality at home will remain an important consideration.” Slerp founder JP Then added: “It’s exciting to see businesses starting to hire dedicated online ordering experts and create exclusive online offerings to continue to power growth.”

Optimism in hospitality and leisure SMEs at highest level since start of pandemic as 60% expect bumper bank holiday: Optimism in small and medium-sized (SMEs) hospitality and leisure businesses is at its highest level since the start of the pandemic, with six in ten (60%) expecting a surge in revenue over the August bank holiday weekend. Meanwhile, 13% anticipate it will be their busiest bank holiday in a decade, according to the latest Barclaycard Payments’ quarterly SME Barometer. Hospitality and leisure SMEs are forecasting a revenue boost of 27% in the third quarter of 2021 compared with the previous quarter. It comes as small and medium-sized restaurants, pubs and bars experienced a 25% increase in year-on-year revenue during the first week of August. Meanwhile, across all sectors, more than four in ten plan to hire additional staff over the next 12 months. Almost half (47%) of SMEs suggest they have seen improvements in their business operations as a result of changes made during the pandemic. Barclaycard Payments chief executive Rob Cameron said: “SMEs hold such a significant position in the UK, accounting for about three fifths of the nation’s employment and half of the turnover in the UK private sector. The success and optimism we are seeing from this segment is an excellent gauge of how the wider economy is performing – and from that it’s terrific to predict that a bumper August bank holiday looks set to be on the cards.”

Peter Backman – repurposing of outside space has created entirely new revenue stream: Foodservice analyst Peter Backman has argued the rise in alfresco dining is akin to operators finding an entirely new revenue stream without opening a single new site. He said: “A visit to The Five Pointed Star, a pub in West Malling, made me think about its former patio drinking area, which was now covered with tables and chairs, and happy customers enjoying a summer meal. This area had been used on a casual basis for drinking as and when. But now the landlord had focused on optimising revenue by investing in making the space a true footfall and, therefore, income generator. Covid had provided the impetus via the need, in April, to provide alfresco dining while indoor dining was still banned.” Backman added there are countless other pubs doing the same including using rooftop areas, pavements and councils helping by repurposing road space. He added: “All of this activity says two things to me. First: covid has provided an opportunity to create a new alfresco, market segment. How big is it, or could it be? Right now, I don’t have the answer – but hazarding a guess, I’d say there is something in the order of 700,000 outside seating spaces. What was the number before covid? Possibly, about half that number. And that means there is new, additional capacity that has been brought on stream without opening a single new site. And second: the promise of turning this capacity into sales depends on three things. One: having the space – by no means all restaurants and pubs have suitable space outside. Two: the weather is uncontrollable but significant – so there must be investment in mitigating the effects of poor weather (with awnings, umbrellas, marquees, heaters). And number three is getting customers through the door. Core to that, for many restaurants offering street-level alfresco dining opportunities, is passing trade. In turn, staff must be trained, and given the resources, to keep the area welcoming – tables and chairs to look neat and tidy, detritus from the last guests cleared and cutlery, glasses, menus, napkins laid out to make potential guests feel they must eat there. Here is a new opportunity with lots of potential, lots to be learned and lots to be done.”

Wages for staff at US limited-service restaurants soar in second quarter, staff turnover also rises: Wages for hourly paid limited-service restaurant staff in the US climbed 10% in the second quarter compared with a year ago while the turnover rate of staff has risen significantly too. The findings come from a new report by US industry tracker Black Box Intelligence and Snagajob. The 10% hike in pay is the largest quarterly jump in years. As a comparison, wages rose 4.1% in the first quarter of 2021 compared with a year prior. Meanwhile, staff turnover is higher now than before the pandemic. The rate for limited-service staff turnover was 144% in June, up from 135% in 2019 while full-service restaurants’ turnover rate was 106%, up from 102% before covid-19. The survey found 28% of workers have left the restaurant industry entirely to seek higher pay at other jobs, like warehouses. Starr Restaurants chief executive Stephen Starr told CNBC’s Squawk Box: “We have all these employees and all of a sudden, they are just gone. They don’t want to come back.” Many industries have been struggling to find enough workers as demand rebounds but restaurants, in particular, have been hard pressed to find staff. The July unemployment rate was 8.4% for eating and drinking places, up from 5.9% two years ago, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Black Box data showed full-service restaurants are operating with 6.2 fewer employees in the kitchens and 2.8 fewer in the front of the house than in 2019. Redundancies and furloughs last year have put people off working at restaurants while others are staying home due to lack of access to child care or health concerns related to the ongoing pandemic. A Snagajob survey of 4,700 former and current hourly paid workers found 18% of unemployed workers had to leave a job to take care of family members.
Shaftesbury reports West End footfall improves to 50% to 60% of pre-pandemic levels: West End landlord Shaftesbury has reported weekly West End footfall has recovered to 50% to 60% of pre-pandemic levels as Londoners – domestic day trippers and staycation visitors have returned in growing numbers. The return of the West End’s exceptionally large office-based working population is anticipated from early autumn. The company stated: “Our hospitality and leisure occupiers continue to enjoy a strong recovery in trading levels with visitors focusing their attention on dining, leisure and socialising. Our retailers are reporting improving trade, particularly at weekends. The company reported hospitality and leisure demand improved over the period, reflecting confidence in the long-term prospects for our West End locations. Chief executive Brian Bickell said: “I’m pleased to report positive momentum in recent months, with footfall and trading recovering, an improving operating environment and significantly reduced vacancy across our villages. West End footfall has, to date, recovered to 50% to 60% of pre-pandemic levels, as Londoners, domestic day trippers and staycation visitors return in growing numbers. We expect that early autumn will see a return of the West End’s exceptionally large office-based working population, which has always been an important contributor to our local weekday economy. The long-term curation we bring to our central, bustling villages, with its focus on differentiated, mid-market choices targeted primarily at a domestic audience, continues to attract both visitors and new occupiers. The progress we have seen towards a return to normal patterns of activity over the period, and improving medium-term prospects, have been catalysts for a strong recovery in confidence and leasing activity, both for commercial and residential accommodation across our locations. The momentum of the past four months is providing a sound platform for the continuing revival of the West End in the important months ahead, leading up to Christmas and into the new year, and the prospects for a return to pre-pandemic patterns of life and activity.”
Job of the day: COREcruitment is on the lookout for an international business development director, based in London, covering a global remit and paying up to £150,000. A COREcruitment spokesman said: “This international multi-concept business is growing rapidly. As the business grows, it is keen to bring on board a senior leader who has excellent international sales, and growth experience. This is very much a stand-alone role that is about developing relationships and partnerships with businesses internationally. Experience in the hospitality sector is essential and knowledge of franchise, licensed and partnership brand models would be helpful. We are looking for someone with significant expansion exposure in multiple global markets within the hospitality/restaurant/hotel market. Although a senior position, this role will involve substantial travel and meeting people at all levels of business so would suit someone who enjoys getting stuck in and being hands-on across the business.” Anyone interested can email
COREcruitment is a Propel BeatTheVirus campaign member

Company News: 

French chef Philippe Conticini to open new patisserie in South Kensington: French pastry chef Philippe Conticini is to open a new patisserie and cafe in London’s South Kensington, Propel has learned. Conticini will open at 24-25 Cromwell Place after agreeing a new ten-year lease from South Kensington Estates. He currently operates two sites in Camden, four in Paris and one in Tokyo. Earlier this year, he opened a dedicated production kitchen and cafe, supplying his existing Camden Market and Buck Street Market outlets. The deal for the Cromwell Place site was brokered for Conticini by new property agency ARC, which has been formed by Jamie Harvie-Austin, formerly of leisure property agent Davis Coffer Lyons, and Tom Richards, previously of Restaurant Property. Kate Taylor from Davis Coffer Lyons acted on behalf of the landlord.
Robinsons acquires Cheshire village pub for managed division: North west brewer and retailer Robinsons has acquired The Swettenham Arms in the Cheshire village of Swettenham to add to its portfolio. The pub has been operated by the Cunningham family for the past 28 years. The addition of the Swettenham Arms adds to Robinsons’ growing number of managed pubs and inns, taking the collection to 23 properties. William Robinson, joint managing director of Robinsons, said: “We are proud to be acquiring a magnificent property, set in a stunning location. The Cunningham family has built a strong business with an excellent reputation, and we look forward to building on that success when we add the Swettenham Arms to our collection of managed pubs and inns at the end of August”. Robinsons operates about 260 pubs.
Robinsons features in Propel’s Turnover & Profits Blue Book, which has just been updated for Premium subscribers. Robinsons has turned over an average of £67.1m in the past five years. The Blue Book, which is produced in association with Mapal Group, provides a five-year overview of turnover and profit, and ranks the 351 companies according to turnover, pre-tax profit and profit conversion. It also provides details of directors’ earnings and highest paid directors and now includes Propel insight editor Mark Wingett’s “Propel Pick” – his pick of the companies well placed to grow in the post-pandemic era. 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 to sign up.
Hall & Woodhouse buys Minehead harbourside pub: Dorset-based brewer and retailer Hall & Woodhouse has acquired The Old Ship Aground in Minehead, Somerset. The harbourside pub has been bought from Julian and Rachael Abraham off a guide price of £895,000 in a deal brokered by Christie & Co. The Old Ship Aground is a grade II-listed pub, set across three storeys. The property features an open-plan bar and restaurant, and external harbourside seating. It also features 12 en-suite letting bedrooms and a large four-bedroom owners’ apartment on the top floor. Originally built in 1911, the pub was purchased at auction by the Abrahams back in 2013. The couple, who previously owned a restaurant in Bath, put it up for sale to start a new project. Mark James, property director at Hall & Woodhouse, said: “Julian and Rachael Abraham have created a fantastic business at the Old Ship Aground. We are excited to welcome the pub into the Hall & Woodhouse family and have no doubt that it will continue to go from strength to strength.” Julian and Rachael Abraham added: “Hall & Woodhouse is well placed to build on our successes taking The Old Ship Aground to new heights and we wish it well. It’s all thanks to Christie & Co’s help that we found the right buyer.” Founded in Dorset in 1777, Hall & Woodhouse operates 180 pubs and inns across the south of England. Bettesworths advised Hall & Woodhouse on the deal.
Christie & Co is a Propel BeatTheVirus campaign member

Tim Hortons takes on trio of former Pizza Hut sites at retail parks: Canadian quick service restaurant brand Tim Hortons is set to open three new sites. SK Group, which is leading the rollout of Tim Hortons in the UK, is lining up outlets at retail parks in Boldon, Tyne and Wear; Wolverhampton; and Lakeside in Essex. SK Group has agreed to take the former Pizza Hut units at three Landsec retail and leisure parks, all set to open later this year. The Boldon restaurant, a first in the north east for Tim Hortons, will cover 3,185 square foot, while the Wolverhampton site – at the Bentley Bridge retail park – will span 3,500 square foot and the Thurrock outlet will be 3,189 square foot. Tim Hortons has also applied for planning on each of the three sites to create drive-thrus. Kevin Hydes, chief commercial officer at Tim Hortons, said: “We are looking throughout the UK for new spaces to expand the Tim Hortons brand, and extend our community guest base in the country. These three deals allow us to roll-out our globally recognised brand in places that haven’t experienced it yet, and we look forward to welcoming people both in-store and through our drive-thrus in due course.” Tim Hortons has 29 sites in the UK. The company has also tabled plans for drive-thru sites in Aintree, Liverpool, Oldham and Warrington. They form 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. Professional ice hockey player Tim Horton founded the brand in 1964 to create a space where “everyone feels at home” Cushman & Wakefield, Pudney Shuttleworth, and Montagu Evans acted for Landsec on the deals while MMX Retail represented Tim Hortons.

The Lucky Onion to open fourth Gin & Juice, in Swansea: Cotswolds hotel and restaurant group The Lucky Onion is to open its fourth Gin & Juice site, in Swansea. The company, owned by Julian Dunkerton, the entrepreneur behind high street brand Superdry and Dunkertons Organic Cider, will launch the venue in Oyster Wharf in Mumbles, on the site formerly occupied by La Parrilla, on Thursday (26 August). Gin & Juice also has sites in Bristol, Cardiff and Cheltenham, and offers more than 350 varieties of gin. It opened its latest site in Bristol’s Park Street last year. The concept specialises in healthy food during the day before becoming a bar in the evening.
Cabana makes international debut in Saudi Arabia: Cabana, the Brazilian barbecue group founded by Jamie Barber and David Ponte, has made its international debut, in Riyadh, Saudia Arabia. Propel revealed in February 2019 that the company, which currently operates four restaurants in the UK, had signed a franchise deal with Saudi Arabian hospitality company Al Hokair to launch the brand in the Middle East. The first site under the agreement launched in IHG’s Voco Hotel in Riyadh, over the weekend. Barber told Propel at the time that no figure had been put on how many sites the two companies might open together but both felt there could be more opportunities for the brand in Saudi Arabia.
Tortilla to open ‘several’ more Editions sites as it extends exclusive partnership with Deliveroo: Tortilla, the Quilvest-backed fast casual Mexican concept, has extended its partnership with Deliveroo. The new agreement means Tortilla’s menu will be exclusively available for delivery across the UK via Deliveroo. In addition, Tortilla will launch in several new Deliveroo Editions kitchens to service new regions that were previously outside of its coverage area. Tortilla has seen revenues with the delivery provider more than double in the first half of 2021, compared with the same period in 2019. Andy Naylor, chief financial officer of Tortilla, which opened its 50th UK site, in Windsor, earlier this month, said: “We’re delighted to renew our partnership with Deliveroo. We have enjoyed a highly successful working relationship to date and exclusivity provides mutually beneficial opportunities for both brands, including the launch of Tortilla in Deliveroo’s delivery-only cloud kitchens. This enables us to launch into new parts of the country quickly and efficiently, and supports our wider UK growth plans.” Carlo Mocci, chief business officer, UK & Ireland, Deliveroo, added: “We are extremely proud of our partnership with Tortilla and its continued growth and success on Deliveroo. This renewed partnership is fantastic news for our amazing customers who will be able to enjoy Tortilla exclusively on Deliveroo and from even more locations across the country.”
Gourmet4 set to open in former PizzaExpress premises in Reading: Food marketplace business Gourmet4 is set to open a site in Reading. The 12-strong business, which operates in-house brands such as Fat Burgers, 3Amigos, Smokin’ Buns, Saucy Chicks and Bangon Thai street food, has secured the former PizzaExpress premises in St Mary’s Butts. Gourmet4 has agreed to a new ten-year lease, without a break, for £80,000 a year in a deal brokered by Hicks Baker. A spokesman said: “Due to dealing with a number of ‘fitted’ restaurants during the pandemic, we were familiar with the expanding operators who were seeking restaurants that required minimal refits and were, therefore, able to place this property quickly. Terms were agreed with Gourmet4 whereby four featured kitchens would be occupied by Gourmet4’s own brands.” Gourmet4, which is led by Aaron Kahn, recently made its London debut after securing the former Gino D’Acampo My Restaurant in Chalk Farm Road, Camden. In June, Gourmet4 revealed it is set to double its existing estate with 12 new openings lined up for this year.
Gordon Ramsay to open second restaurant at The Savoy: Chef Gordon Ramsay is to open a second restaurant at The Savoy hotel in London. Ramsay is taking over The River Restaurant, in the space that's currently Kaspar’s. Chef Matt Worswick, who is also the executive chef at Ramsay’s other Savoy restaurant, the Savoy Grill, will be running the kitchen. Ramsay said: “I’m really look forward to welcoming our guests to the new restaurant in the coming weeks. I love The Savoy. Eighteen years ago, it was a dream come true to take over the Savoy Grill, so to be trusted with a second restaurant in the heart of this incredible location is an absolute honour.” The River Restaurant will serve a seafood menu with dishes such as sea bass ceviche with blood orange and fennel as well as tandoori monkfish curry, swordfish schnitzel and whole baked Cornish turbot. Ramsay is continuing to grow his UK restaurant business. Last week, he revealed he would open a Bread Street Kitchen site in the former Kitty Hawk premises in South Place in the City.
Red Dragon Pubs targets four more sites by October: Wales-based community pub company Red Dragon Pubs, which has acquired eight sites during the past eight months, plans to add four more to its portfolio by October. The company, which currently employs about 150 staff members, is the brainchild of entrepreneur James Hunt and a group of investors who are targeting sites in south Wales. Bristol-born Hunt told Business Live: “When we studied the market [in Wales], we saw so many pubs closed or just tired and underinvested, we knew there was a massive opportunity to reinvigorate these venues, by working with and listening to the locals that use them and bringing them back to their best. The pandemic just made more visible a deeper problem. Pubs across Wales have suffered. What happened to Brains was tragic, but many sites have shut their doors when they could be really successful businesses because we believe they lost touch with the communities they serve. Being as close to the community as possible is paramount to us at Red Dragon Pubs, and will remain so. We won’t change the name of any pub we buy and we won’t make them all look the same. We want them to be as individual as the customers they serve.” The business has also launched the Red Dragon Foundation, which will see 1p from every drink ordered in its pubs help support charities.
Just Eat for Business launches office supplies service: Just Eat for Business has launched a new office supplies service. The service provides businesses with a range of supplies from healthy fruit boxes, fresh milk, team drinks and even chocolate. Available for offices located within London postcodes, Pantry Supplies can be tailored to specific business needs, headcount and budget, and can cater for dietary needs and preferences including vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free. The service uses contact free delivery. Just Eat for Business managing director Matt Ephgrave said: “As many begin the return to the office, businesses will need to ensure they create a space where employees feel valued and as comfortable as they have been at home. Pantry Supplies aims to replicate the home fridge and cupboards, providing employees with all they need to be productive and happy while at work.” 
Just Eat is a Propel BeatTheVirus campaign member

Vasco & Piero’s Pavillion to make Soho return: London-based Italian restaurant Vasco & Piero’s Pavillion is making a return after securing a new site in Soho. Vasco & Piero’s Pavillion shut its venue in Poland Street in April following a dispute with the landlord over rent, 50 years after its launch in 1971. Now the restaurant is set to open later this year in D’arblay Street in the former Ceru site following a deal brokered by Shelley Sandzer. Paul Matteucci, current owner and son of founder Vasco Matteucci, said: “We are thrilled to be back better than ever in a new location that will enable us to recommence our legacy, and allow us to undertake a new chapter in our journey after 50 years. Soho and its community are at the heart of our restaurant, and we are so excited to continue serving our beloved dishes to the people we have missed so much.”

Swedish-style coffee shop concept opens in Harrogate with plans to roll out across Yorkshire: A new Swedish-style coffee shop has opened in Harrogate with ambitious plans to roll out the concept across Yorkshire. Known as Fi:k, the coffee shop takes its name from the Swedish concept “fika”, which considers that it is almost essential to make time for friends, family and colleagues to share a cup of coffee or tea and a little something to eat, every day. Fi:k is a colloquial term for “cafe” in Swedish. After seven months of research and planning, the spa town of Harrogate was chosen as the location for the first Fi:k coffee shop. Former Grantley Hall marketing executive and Filmore & Union design manager Vicky Somerville has come on board as design and marketing director. The team has redeveloped 1 Montpellier Gardens, formerly the home of furniture accessories business Covet, to create the Swedish coffee shop inspired by the Shoreditch coffee scene. The 1,078 square foot venue offers coffee, tea and single-origin hot chocolate. With the menu changing every week, Fi:k will offer a choice of Swedish-inspired open sandwiches, salads, pastries and smoothie bowls. Sommerville told the Harrogate Advertiser: “We see Fi:k as a fusion of Yorkshire and Swedish ideas, the cafe will very much be about high-quality products, provenance and people.”

Buzzworks launches new apprenticeship programme to help tackle sector staff shortage: Scottish bar and restaurant operator Buzzworks has launched a new apprenticeship programme. The company has partnered with Apprenticeship in Hospitality Scotland (AHS) to deliver a two-year modern apprenticeship in hospitality services for anyone between 17 and 24 years old. Successful applicants will spend six months in four key departments to develop the necessary skills and abilities to achieve a Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) level 5 in hospitality services, while AHS will also provide a programme to restaurants through its apprenticeship in professional cookery, which will see young professionals complete two years in professional cookery (SCQF level 5). The partnership between Buzzworks and AHS also follows the ongoing recruitment issues within the hospitality sector throughout the UK, involving both chefs and front of house staff. With increased staff shortages across the board, Buzzworks hopes by showing hospitality as a viable career for young people and providing the opportunity to learn the skills needed to thrive within the industry, the next generation of talent needed within the trade will be brought through. Head of people Nicola Watt said: “Despite a tough 18 months for everyone within the sector, we are committed to ensuring the hospitality industry will come out the other side stronger and bigger than ever. As a business we are excited to both welcome and work alongside the future of hospitality within our venues and we can’t wait to see where this innovative partnership leads us.”
Breweries open cocktails-on-tap concept in Leeds: West Yorkshire-based Ossett Brewery and Salt Beer Factory have opened a cocktails-on-tap concept. Salt Leeds – Craft & Cocktails, on East Parade near Greek Street, in Leeds, opened on Friday (20 August). It is a New York-style concept, offering eight different cocktails on tap alongside signature beers from Ossett and Salt. Jamie Lawson, co-owner of Ossett Brewery & Salt Beer Factory, said: “I am excited to see Salt exploring new ground with our line-up of cocktails on tap alongside our Salt beer range, introducing something new to the Leeds drinking scene.” The venue features bi-fold windows that open out on to a new outdoor seating area, and there is also a living wall that is full of plants. Ossett has invested more than £3m over the past two years in brewing capacity, warehouse facilities and equipment and new packaging resources, together with the new Salt Beer Factory at Saltaire in Bradford.
The Beefy Boys doubles up with new site in Shropshire: Burger restaurant The Beefy Boys has doubled up with a new site in Shrewsbury. The Beefy Boys, which specialises in burgers and American-style barbecue food, has opened at the former Zizzi’s in the Shropshire town’s High Street, creating 30 jobs. The Beefy Boys opened its first restaurant in Hereford in 2016, where it serves a wide variety of burgers, chicken and vegetarian options, plus beer and cocktails. It also offers nationwide deliveries of its DIY burger boxes so customers can make their own meal at home. Zizzi in Shrewsbury closed last July when Azzurri Group was acquired by investment firm TowerBrook Capital Partners in a £109.5m deal.
Team behind Leeds restaurant and bar launch Greek-inspired concept in Wakefield: The team behind Leeds restaurant and cafe Tavassoli’s has opened a Greek-inspired concept in Wakefield. Gyros Bros Bar & Grill has launched in Wood Street. The restaurant specialises in gyros, a Greek meat dish cooked on a spinning rotisserie, reports the Pontefract and Castleford Express.
‘Urban resort’ The Gantry to open in Stratford in November featuring hotel, food market, restaurant and bars: “Urban resort” The Gantry is to open in Stratford in November featuring a hotel, food market, restaurants, bars and events space under one roof. Collaborating with local producers, artists, brands and independent London restaurateurs, The Gantry will feature a silhouette inspired by New York’s Flat Iron building and east London’s highest rooftop bar. The design will also be influenced by Victorian east London and Stratford’s role in the city’s train-building industry. Located in Celebration Avenue near Stratford International station, The Gantry will feature a ground-floor food market; Union Social, a cocktail bar and open kitchen with a wraparound terrace on the first floor; and a flexible events space. On the 18th floor, The Gantry will open in spring 2022 featuring the rooftop bar with floor-to-ceiling windows and a terrace hosting live music and DJs. The Gantry Hotel will be the fourth property in London for Hilton’s upscale Curio Collection brand. It will offer 291 rooms over 17 floors. The property was originally scheduled to launch in summer 2020.

Derbyshire brewery secures £150,000 loan to create jobs and develop beer range: Derbyshire brewery Howard Town Brewery has secured a £150,000 loan to create jobs and develop its range of craft beers. The Glossop-based business, which runs a taproom from its brewery, said the funding would create five jobs in its hospitality and sales division, a new social media marketing strategy and develop its range of beers sold under its Distant Hills brand. Howard Town Brewery also produces cask ale under its Howard Town brand and supplies beer to pubs, bars and restaurants across Derbyshire, Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Yorkshire and Cheshire. Howard Town Brewery chairman Jason Greenway told The Business Desk: “We’re delighted to have secured the loan. It provides the business with certainty going forward and enables the team to now push forward with our exciting plans to grow the business.’’ The funding package came from the Midlands Engine Investment Fund East and South East Midlands Debt Finance fund, managed by Maven Capital Partners and backed by the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme. 

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