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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Tue 2nd Aug 2022 - Update: Greggs and Revolutions Bars results, Gary Usher
Greggs reports like-for-like sales up 12.3%: Greggs has reported total sales up 27.1% to £694.5m in the first half of 2022. First half like-for-likes sales 12.3% higher than comparable period in 2019. Pre-tax profit was £55.8m compared to £55.5m for the comparable period in 2021 – the flat profit outcome primarily reflects re-introduction of business rates, increase in VAT and higher levels of cost inflation. 70 new shops opened in the first half, with 12 closures, leaving 2,239 shops as at 2 July 2022. The company reported a strong pipeline, anticipating circa 150 net new shop openings in 2022. It reported the extension of evening hours was going well, with delivery service continuing to prove incremental sales despite recovery of ‘walk-in’ trade. Chief executive Roisin Currie said: “Greggs delivered an encouraging performance in the first half of the year with sales ahead of 2019 levels. These results demonstrate the continued strength of the Greggs brand and demand for our great tasting, quality and value for money offering. During the period we continued to make good progress with our strategic priorities, including expanding our shop estate and making Greggs more accessible to customers through extended trading hours and digital channels. In a market where consumer incomes are under pressure Greggs offers exceptional value for customers looking for food and drink on-the-go. We are well positioned to navigate the widely publicised challenges affecting the economy and continue to have a number of exciting growth opportunities ahead, with a clear strategy for expansion. We remain confident in Greggs’ ability to deliver continued success.” The company added: “300 shops now trade until at least 8pm (July 2021: 130). In the second half of 2022 we will extend trading hours in more shops as we better understand the extent of demand in different locations. The evening daypart is now our strongest-growing trading time, albeit from a low base. Ranging trials have reinforced the importance of hot food options in the evening daypart, as well as the demand for our core food and drink range. In developing the range our aim is to stock options that are in demand throughout the day, in order to minimise operational complexity and maintain strong availability for customers. Delivery, through our partnership with Just Eat, is now available across the UK from 1,180 of our shops, up from 1,000 at the start of the year. Delivery is a channel that presents further growth potential for Greggs as we learn to serve it more effectively and increase availability into the evening. The recovery in out-of-home activity over the past twelve months has seen a market-wide trend whereby a proportion of delivery customers have switched their purchases back to the walk-in channel. It is clear, however, that the majority of the new trade we have generated through delivery is incremental and that it offers additional access to Greggs at times when customers are unable to visit our shops themselves.”

Matthew Davies lined up as next chairman of Greggs: Matthew Davies has been hired as Greggs independent non-executive director and chairman designate. The company stated: “Matt joins the board with immediate effect, and will be appointed as chair on 1 November 2022, when the current chairman, Ian Durant, will step down. Matt is a widely experienced retailer, and during his executive career held chief executive positions at Tesco UK and Ireland, Pets at Home, and Halfords. As a non-executive director, Matt chaired N Brown Group between 2018 and 2021, and was on the board of Dunelm Group between 2012 and 2015. He is chairman of private equity-owned Hobbycraft, and is an operating partner at Advent International.” Ian Durant, chairman of Greggs, said: “Greggs has undergone a transformation over the past decade and I am proud to have contributed to its achievements as chair. Greggs has entered a new era, now under Roisin Currie’s leadership, and the business is in great shape with a clear strategy. I welcome Matt Davies as my successor as chair and wish him well.” Matt Davies, chairman designate, said: “I’m really delighted to be taking on this role. Greggs is a great business and a brand that I have long admired. I’m looking forward to working with the board, Roisin and the senior management team to further develop the business over the coming years.”

Cluster of London cafe openings to feature in next edition of The New Openings Database, 18,300-word report included: A cluster of London cafe openings will feature in the next edition of The New Openings Database, which is produced in association with StarStock. The database will show the details of 356 newly announced site openings and upcoming launches for Premium subscribers when it is published on Friday (5 August), at midday. The database shows the details of which company has opened a site or its plans to open one in the future. It will have details on what type of site it is and its location. There will also be a website link to the businesses so you can find out more about them. It is published on a monthly basis. The next edition features Where The Pancakes Are, the buttermilk pancakes and cafe concept founded by Patricia Trijbits, which is opening a new site at the Battersea Power Station development. Also added this month is independent neighbourhood cafe Beam, which focuses on healthy breakfast, brunch and lunch dishes inspired by Mediterranean and British cuisine, which is opening a fourth London site later this year, in Muswell Hill. In addition, eggs-centred concept Yolk, founded by Nick Philpot, which is to launch a fourth site in London, in Cabot Square, will be featured. Meanwhile, cafe and bar concept Morty & Bob’s, which is the brainchild of Charlie Phillips and Jesse Bliss, and is to open a second restaurant in London, in Kensal Rise, is included. Premium subscribers will also receive a 18,300-word report on the new additions to the database. Premium subscribers also receive access to three other databases. The latest Propel Multi-Site Database, which is produced in association with Virgate, was sent to Premium subscribers last Friday (29 July). The database contained 43 new companies, bringing the total number of businesses listed up to 2,572. The 217 sites run by those 43 new additions means the entire database of sites has reached 66,223 sites. Premium subscribers also received a 3,200-word report on the new businesses added. 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. There is also a synopsis of what the business does and significant news associated with it. Premium subscribers also receive the Turnover & Profits Blue Book, which is produced in association with Mapal Group, and the UK Food and Beverage Franchisor Database, which is an exhaustive guide to the companies offering a food and beverage franchise in the UK and will be updated every two months. 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 single subscription rate is £445 plus VAT for operators and £545 plus VAT for suppliers. Email to upgrade your subscription. 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 group editor Mark Wingett. 

Revolution reports 1.3% like-for-like sales uplift: Revolution Bars Group has reported like-for-like sales up 1.3% after 19 July 2021 when restrictions were fully lifted in England. The year ended 2 July 2022, the company stated: “This is a strong result given the disruption caused by the Omicron variant and subsequent plan B restrictions which were in place over the winter and the peak Christmas trading period. Like-for-like sales for the full group, including Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland, where restrictions on our trade were slower to lift, were 0.3% for the period after 19 July 2021. We have not been immune to the widely reported inflationary pressures; however, we continue to mitigate these wherever possible with a relentless focus on cost management. Our industry leading sustainability agenda has allowed us to reduce our carbon footprint and mitigate, in part, the widely reported energy cost price increases. Our energy prices remain largely fixed until spring 2023. Our focus on training and retention has reduced the burden of colleague turnover ensuring we keep our best people in the business and allowing us to spend less on recruitment. We are delighted to see our guests continuing to enjoy themselves in all our sites, particularly at our new openings and recently refurbished sites. While summer is a traditionally quieter time in our business, we are seeing Christmas bookings building much earlier than last year giving us confidence not only in a strong Christmas but also more generally that confidence has returned to the Corporate market. Our refurbishment programme is on track with 19 refurbishments completed during the year, representing 28% of our like-for-like estate, and these are delivering returns in line with our payback target of two years. 16 of these refurbishments have been in Revolution branded sites and 3 in Revolución de Cuba sites. Additionally, we are excited to have successfully opened two new Revolution branded sites, in Exeter and Preston, and are encouraged by their initial trading. Our two new concepts, Founders & Co. and Playhouse, have initially been well received and we are excited about the potential opportunity for further expansion and the optionality this brings to the group. We continue to expect to refurbish a further 18 sites in FY23 alongside six planned new site openings, and have an exciting pipeline to deliver this.” Chief executive Rob Pitcher said: “Revolution Bars Group is in great shape. The business is well positioned with a net cash position to fund our new site and refurbishment programme. It has been exciting to see the positive results of our refurbishment and expansion strategy this year and to see our young guests, who place real importance on socialising, continue to enjoy themselves in our bars. Our vision and strategy to delight our guests is delivering. The business is well positioned to continue to progress, is well funded for our new site and refurbishment programme, and we are seeing Christmas bookings building much earlier than last year. Our success is thanks to the whole team’s hard work and their ability to create fun and memorable experiences for our guests.”

Chef Gary Usher launches latest crowdfunding campaign with £20m pre-money valuation: Chef Gary Usher has launched the latest crowdfunding campaign for his north west-based Elite Bistros business, which gives it a pre-money valuation of £20m. The chef, who has previously crowdfunded over £700k on a non-equity basis, is offering 3.61% of equity in the business. At the time of going to press, the crowdfund, which launched yesterday evening, had already raised £123,090 of its £750,004 target from 283 investors. Usher said: “We are looking to raise finance for three main objectives over the next 18 months. Up to £750,000 – continue investment in the prospective purchase of our first pub; up to £1.5m – develop the new concept, ‘Joya Tapas’ with the aim of opening two sites; £1.5m-plus – further develop our first product line for retail and commercial sales.” The company is currently in the process of purchasing the freehold of The White Horse pub in Churton, Cheshire with the aim of creating a successful dining pub with rooms. The plans involve a “sensitive renovation” of the building incorporating up to five letting bedrooms upstairs, with room for 80 dining covers inside and a further 40 in the outdoor beer garden. In terms of the Joya Tapas concept, negotiations with landlords are currently in progress for the first two sites.

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