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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Wed 3rd Apr 2024 - Update: Comptoir finalises new leadership structure
Comptoir Group finalises new leadership structure: Comptoir Group, the Comptoir Libanais and Shawa operator, has finalised its leadership structure, including the hiring of James Fisher as its new finance director. Fisher, who joins from Wahaca, will start at Comptoir later this summer and will be appointed to its board. Since September 2020, Fisher has held the role of finance director at Wahaca, and prior to that he was financial controller between 2018 and 2020. He was previously senior finance manager at BT and the group reporting manager at Inchcape. The company said that Fisher’s appointment finalises the restructure of the senior leadership team at Comptoir Group following the appointment of Travis Fish as operations director and Dominika Kurowska as people director. Fish was previously managing director at Ballie Ballerson, the ball-pit cocktail bar operator, and is co-founder of Middle Eastern QSR brand Bababoom. He has previous experience at Nando’s and Mitchells & Butlers. Kurowska has most recently been consulting for brands in the hospitality sector and prior to that has held senior roles at contract caterers, CH&Co and Harbour & Jones. Nick Ayerst, chief executive of Comptoir Group, said: “We are excited to welcome James, Travis and Dominika to the Comptoir Group and look forward to benefitting from their experience and sector expertise. This is a key time for Comptoir with both franchise and equity restaurant openings, and we are confident that these three senior appointments will help lead the business into the next phase of growth. We know there is strong demand for our brand of Lebanese, Middle Eastern and North African food and we are on a mission to further grow this market serving our great food and hospitality one dish at a time.” Comptoir Group owns and operates 27 Lebanese restaurants, six of which are franchised, based predominately in the UK. The flagship brand of the group, Comptoir Libanais, is a collection of 22 restaurants located across London, nationwide and international travel hubs, including cities such as Manchester, Bath, Birmingham, Oxford and Dubai.

Premium Club members to receive next New Openings Database and videos from Propel Multi-Club Conference on Friday: The next Propel New Openings Database and the videos from Propel’s March Multi-Club Conference will be sent to Premium Club members on Friday (5 April). The database features openings by cafe and bakery operators such as Ben’s Cookies, which has opened its first site in the north of England for its 14th UK location overall. Meanwhile, Cornish coffee roaster and retailer Origin Coffee is making its debut in Scotland while Indian street food concept Karak Chaii has opened two new stores, in Coventry and Birmingham. The database is published on a monthly basis and Premium Club members will also receive a 3,200-word report on the 54 new additions to the database. Premium Club members will also receive all the videos from the Propel Multi-Club Conference at 9am on Friday. They will include William Gordon-Harris, chief executive of Knoops, discussing the growth of the luxury hot chocolate shop concept and Nisha Katona, founder of Indian street food concept Mowgli, talking about growing into a national brand and what comes next for the business both in the UK and internationally. Premium Club members also receive access to five other databases: the Turnover & Profits Blue Book, the New Openings Database, the UK Food and Beverage Franchisor Database, the UK Food and Beverage Franchisee Database and the Who’s Who of UK Hospitality. Plus, all members will be offered a 20% discount on tickets to five Propel paid-for events – The Excellence in Pub Retailing Conference (14 May), Social Media for Profit (18 July), the Talent and Training Conference (1 October) and Restaurant Marketer and Innovator (two days in January 2025). Operators will also be able to send up to four members of staff to each of our four Multi-Club Conferences for free. Premium Club members receive their daily Propel Info newsletter 11 hours earlier than standard subscribers, at 7pm the evening before. They also receive videos of presentations at eight Propel conference events two weeks after they are held. This represents around 100 videos of industry insight over the course of the year. Premium Club members will be sent a dedicated monthly newsletter that will highlight key updates in the sector and direct subscribers to all the vital content their membership offers. Premium Club members also receive exclusive opinion columns every Friday at 5pm, which include the thoughts of Propel group editor Mark Wingett and a host of industry leaders from across the sector. A Premium Club subscription costs an annual sum of £495 plus VAT for operators and £595 plus VAT for suppliers. Companies can now have an unlimited number of people receive access to Premium Club for a year for £995 plus VAT – whether they are an operator or a supplier. Email kai.kirkman@propelinfo.com today to sign up.

Temporary pavement licensing regime now made permanent: The fast-track pavement licensing regime has now been made permanent, commencing from 31 March. Licensing solicitor Poppleston Allen reports that there will be a £500 cap for new applications and a £350 cap for renewal (rather than £100 previously). It also stated that local authorities will be able to grant licences for a length of their choosing, up to two years (local authorities are encouraged to grant licences for two years as standard). The consultation and determination periods will be 14 days each. The new guidance makes clear that a minimum width of 2,000mm clear space should be provided between the obstacle and the edge of the footway. However, if this is not feasible due to physical constraints, then a minimum width of 1,500mm could be regarded as the minimum acceptable distance. Existing licence holders can retain their licences granted under the temporary regime until the expiration date on their licence.

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