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Tuesday 31st October 2023
Propel Tuesday News Briefing
Exclusive – Costa Express pays £275m dividend as turnover hits record of almost £350m, rolling out world’s first integrated hot and cold beverage machine: Costa Express paid a dividend of £275m last year as it reported record reven … view
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Monday 30th October 2023
McDonald’s reports global lfls up 8.8% in third quarter with UK seeing strong growth
McDonald’s reports global lfls up 8.8% in third quarter with UK seeing strong growth: McDonald’s has reported its global like-for-like sales rose 8.8% in its third quarter to 30 September 2023 compared with the previous year. Digital syste … view
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Monday 30th October 2023
Propel Monday News Briefing
Exclusive – Ole & Steen begins search for new group CEO after Jason Cotta departure: Danish bakery brand Ole & Steen has begun the search for a new group chief executive after the departure of Jason Cotta, after four years in the role, … view
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Sunday 29th October 2023
Britain’s licensed premises numbers drop below 100,000 for first time in 20 years
Britain’s licensed premises numbers drop below 100,000 for first time in 20 years: Britain’s licensed premises numbers has dropped below 100,000 for the first time in 20 years. More than 44,000 net outlets have been lost since 2003, e … view
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Friday 27th October 2023
Friday Opinion
Subjects: The death of dance, tackling obesity, reframing the sandwich
Authors: Luke Johnson, Ann Elliott, Glynn Davis

The death of dance by Luke Johnson

It is more than 40 years since I w … view
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Friday 27th October 2023
Update: Punch FY update, current trading encouraging
Punch reports all three divisions delivering like-for-like sales growth, current trading “encouraging”: Punch Pubs & Co, the Fortress Investment Group-backed business, has reported that all three of its divisions (leased and tenanted, … view
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Friday 27th October 2023
Propel Friday News Briefing
Sixes co-founder – we’ve had several hundred franchise requests, Guildford opening could pave the way for even more UK locations: Calum Mackinnon, co-founder of Sixes, the cricket-based competitive socialising concept, has told Propel … view
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Thursday 26th October 2023
Exclusive: Restructure provides D&D with stronger balance sheet
Exclusive – restructure provides D&D with stronger balance sheet: The restructure of D&D London, which was part of its recent acquisition by Calveton, the backer of Byron, and Breal Capital, which earlier this summer acquired Vinoteca, has r … view
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Thursday 26th October 2023
Update: Wagamama owner TRG confirms interest from PizzaExpress
Wagamama owner TRG confirms interest from PizzaExpress: Wagamama owner The Restaurant Group (TRG) has confirmed it has received interest from PizzaExpress, but that no offer has yet been made for the business. It comes after Sky News rep … view
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Thursday 26th October 2023
Propel Thursday News Briefing
Açai brand Oakberry seeking franchise partners for UK rollout, Clapham site to open before end of year: Açai brand Oakberry has told Propel it is seeking franchise partners to roll out across the UK, and is set to open a site in Clapham … view
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Wednesday 25th October 2023
Sky News – PizzaExpress considers offer for Wagamama owner TRG
Sky News – PizzaExpress considers offer for Wagamama owner TRG: PizzaExpress is considering a move to gatecrash a takeover of Wagamama owner The Restaurant Group (TRG). Sky News reported PizzaExpress is at the preliminary stages of evaluatin … view
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Wednesday 25th October 2023
Exclusive: Propel figures show collapse in McDonald’s UK franchisees’ profits
Exclusive – Propel figures show collapse in McDonald’s UK franchisees’ profits: The pre-tax profit margin of 25 of McDonald’s UK’s most sizeable franchisees declined by almost 92% from £103.3m to £8.4m in 2022, as higher labou … view
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Wednesday 25th October 2023
Propel Wednesday News Briefing
Gusto Italian CEO – we're starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel on costs: Matt Snell, chief executive of Gusto Italian, has told Propel the Palatine-backed business is “starting to now see the light at the end of the tunn … view
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Tuesday 24th October 2023
Update: Red Oak acquires 17 pubs from St Austell Brewery, AG Barr deal
Red Oak Taverns acquires 17 pubs from St Austell Brewery: Red Oak Taverns has acquired 17 pubs from St Austell Brewery’s leased and tenanted estate for an undisclosed sum. The deal includes sites across Cornwall, Devon and Somerset such … view
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Tuesday 24th October 2023
Propel Tuesday News Briefing
Dutch better burger brand sees runway to 200 UK sites with aim to open first in 2024: Dutch better burger brand Fat Phill’s has told Propel it sees a runway to an eventual UK estate of 200 sites, with the aim of opening the first in 202 … view
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Monday 23rd October 2023
Propel Monday News Briefing
Big Table Group to test fast-casual concepts through pop-ups: The Big Table Group – the operator of Las Iguanas, Banana Tree, Café Rouge and Bella Italia – is to test fast-casual versions of its existing brands, through the launch of … view
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Friday 20th October 2023
Pret to accelerate US expansion under new JV
Pret to accelerate US expansion under new JV: Pret A Manger has announced a new joint venture (JV) partnership with existing franchisee, Dallas International, accelerating the company’s ambitious plans in the United States. The brand’s exp … view
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Friday 20th October 2023
Friday Opinion
Subjects: Not your average sports bar, calling time on the queue at the bar, soaking up some history
Authors: Laura Lewis,  Phil Mellows, Glynn Davis

Not your average sports bar by Laura Lewis

view
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Friday 20th October 2023
UKHospitality – government must ensure minimum rail service over Christmas or compensate businesses
UKHospitality – government must ensure minimum rail service over Christmas or compensate businesses as further strike action looms: UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls has said the government must ensure a minimum service on the rail … view
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Friday 20th October 2023
Propel Friday News Briefing
Exclusive – Caffè Nero currently ‘doesn’t have a cap to its UK store growth’, expects to open debut drive-thru site next spring: Caffè Nero founder and group chief executive Gerry Ford has told Propel that the company doesn’t … view
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Thursday 19th October 2023
Caffè Nero reports UK sales up 13.5% in first quarter, JKS raises $3m to aid retail range expansion
Caffè Nero reports UK sales up 13.5% in first quarter: Caffè Nero has reported UK sales were up 13.5% for the three months to 31 August 2023 compared with last year, with group level growth of 19%. During the period – which is the fir … view
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Thursday 19th October 2023
Update: Deliveroo and Hollywood Bowl trading
Deliveroo reports UK orders rise 3% in third quarter: Deliveroo has reported that UK orders rose in the third quarter of 2023 with the business continuing its gross transaction value (GTV) growth momentum. In the UK and Ireland, GTV was £1,02 … view
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Thursday 19th October 2023
Propel Thursday News Briefing
Exclusive – Boxpark to invest circa £5m in making Midlands debut: Boxpark is to invest around £5m to open its first site in the Midlands, in Birmingham, Propel has learned. The LDC-backed, Simon Champion-led business has agreed a 15-y … view
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Wednesday 18th October 2023
Update: Inflation to drop £864m business rates bombshell and Whitbread, Just Eat and Cake Box trading
Inflation to drop £864m business rates bombshell on sector: UKHospitality is calling for the chancellor Jeremy Hunt to freeze business rates and extend the current relief package at the autumn Statement to avoid an “unaffordable” rise in … view
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Wednesday 18th October 2023
Propel Wednesday News Briefing
Exclusive – Sessions raises £3.25m from Virgin Money, to move away from food halls: Sessions, the food brand licensing platform, has raised £3.25m from Virgin Money as it seeks to invest further in the development of its technology wh … view
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Wednesday 18th October 2023
Managed groups register 12 months of growth, no-shows in hospitality double in a year
Managed groups register 12 months of growth after September warms pub sales, cautious optimism for strong final quarter and festive season: Britain’s managed restaurant, pub and bar groups completed 12 consecutive months of year-on-year … view
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Tuesday 17th October 2023
Update: Revolution Bars Group and Shoryu Ramen results, Whitbread, food prices fall
Revolution Bars Group reports like-for-like sales improving in ‘challenging start’ to new financial year after falling to pre-tax loss, Peach trading well ahead of pre-covid levels: Revolution Bars Group, the operator of 67 premium b … view
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Tuesday 17th October 2023
Propel Tuesday News Briefing
Lane7 appoints MD and group CFO as it gears up for next stage of growth: Boutique bowling company Lane7 has appointed Gavin Hughes as managing director and David Bence as group chief financial officer as the business gears up for its nex … view
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Monday 16th October 2023
Update: D&D London set to accelerate growth in UK and internationally with £60m deal ‘imminent’
D&D London set to accelerate growth in UK and internationally with £60m deal ‘imminent’: David Loewi, chief executive and co-founder of D&D London, has said it is set to accelerate growth both in the UK and internationally with a £ … view
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Monday 16th October 2023
Propel Monday News Briefing
Collyer – Bill’s turnaround gathering steam but productivity levels need to return to complete it: The turnaround of the Richard Caring-backed Bill’s restaurant business is “gathering steam” but there is a “very long way to go … view
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Sunday 15th October 2023
Vultures circle for Stonegate pubs, King to invest up to £8m on The Park restaurant
Vultures circle for Stonegate pubs: Vulture funds are circling a portfolio of 1,000 British pubs as the country’s biggest operator grapples with the fallout from soaring interest rates on a multi-billion-pound debt pile. The Sunday Time … view
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Saturday 14th October 2023
Exclusive: Papa John’s UK posts FY pre-tax loss as lfl sales down 21.8%, Wendy’s UK’s FY turnover tops £21m
Exclusive – Papa John’s UK posts £2.9m loss as lfl sales decline by 21.8%, loses second biggest franchisee: Papa John’s UK & Ireland posted a pre-tax loss of £2,908,000 in the year ended 25 December 2022 (2021: £6,704,00 … view
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Friday 13th October 2023
Friday Opinion
Subjects: The freedom to be themselves, UK productivity, thinking differently about staffing can rejuvenate the industry, embracing data – a glimpse into the future of hospitality
Authors: Ann Elliott, Alastair Sco … view
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Friday 13th October 2023
Exclusive: Burger King secures £35m of new funding, agrees new RBI deal, FY lfl sales up 11%, signs up former largest UK McDonald’s franchisee
Exclusive – Burger King secures £35m of new funding, agrees new RBI deal, FY lfl sales up 11%, signs up former largest UK McDonald’s franchisee: Burger King UK, the Alasdair Murdoch-led, Bridgepoint-backed business, has secured £35m … view
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Friday 13th October 2023
Update: Loungers lfl sales up 7.7%, on track for record number of openings
Loungers lfl sales up 7.7%, on track for record number of openings: Café bar operator Loungers has reported an acceleration in like-for-like sales growth for the 24 weeks ended 1 October 2023, as it said it was on track to open a total o … view
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Friday 13th October 2023
Propel Friday News Briefing
Wagamama owner TRG sees share price rise 36% following £700m deal, analyst claims price too low and ‘does not reflect quality of estate’: Wagamama owner The Restaurant Group (TRG) saw its share price rise 36% by the end of trading on … view
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Thursday 12th October 2023
Update: TRG reaches agreement on sale to Apollo Global Management
TRG reaches agreement on £701m sale to Apollo Global Management: Rock BidCo Limited (Bidco) – a new vehicle from US private equity firm Apollo Global Management and The Restaurant Group (TRG), the Wagamama and Brunning & Price owner, have a … view
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Thursday 12th October 2023
Propel Thursday News Briefing
Incipio Group ‘actively engaged’ in discussions for prospective opportunities in 2024 as FY turnover tops £20m: Incipio Group – operator of venues including Pergola on the Wharf, The Prince and Lost in Brixton – has told Propel i … view
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Wednesday 11th October 2023
Exclusive: M&B CEO talks to Propel about bringing back Old Orleans, Hand Picked Hotels secures further £6m in shareholder loans
Exclusive – M&B CEO ‘always wanted to bring back Old Orleans’, to launch new concept next spring: Phil Urban, chief executive of Mitchells & Butlers (M&B), has exclusively told Propel he always wanted to bring back Old Orleans. It c … view
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Wednesday 11th October 2023
Legal Briefing

Boos, booms and booze – a guide to the upcoming season by Patrick Robson

We have arrived at the last quarter of the year, which brings several annual events in quick succession – Hallowe’en, bonfire night and Christmas. I’m not o … view
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Wednesday 11th October 2023
Update: Marston’s FY lfls up 10.1%, Deliveroo, Honest Burgers
Marston’s FY lfl sales up 10.1%, reduces head office costs by £5m: Marston’s, the Andrew Andrea-led pub company, has this morning reported a 10.1% increase in like-for-like sales for the 52 weeks to 30 September 2023, with both drink … view
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Wednesday 11th October 2023
Propel Wednesday News Briefing
Exclusive – Chicken Shop looking to grow as Dunstone makes further investment: Chicken Shop, which was previously known as Chik'n, is looking to grow off the back of a strong trading performance for the year to date, and further backing … view
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Tuesday 10th October 2023
Update: Joseph Holt FY trading, Famous Brands, Roxy Leisure, consumer spending
Joseph Holt sees gradual return to normality, as FY turnover tops £70m: North west brewer and retailer Joseph Holt has reported it saw a “gradual return to normality” last year, as its turnover for the 53 weeks to 31 December 2022 re … view
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Tuesday 10th October 2023
Propel Tuesday News Briefing
Exclusive – Ex-PizzaExpress MD Zoe Bowley joins Greene King: Zoe Bowley, who stepped down as managing director of PizzaExpress at the start of this year, has joined brewer and retailer Greene King, to develop its Metropolitan Pub Compan … view
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Monday 9th October 2023
Premium sports and entertainment gastropub concept backed by Tiger Woods and Justin Timberlake to make UK debut
Premium sports and entertainment gastropub concept backed by Tiger Woods and Justin Timberlake to make UK debut: T-Squared Social, the premium sports and entertainment gastropub concept backed by golfer Tiger Woods and singer Justin Timbe … view
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Monday 9th October 2023
Update: Caprice Holdings returns to profit, The Breakfast Club set for Covent Garden, hiring figures
Caprice Holdings returns to profit: Caprice Holdings, the Richard Caring-backed, high-end restaurant business, swung back into a profit for the first time since the pandemic last year. Sales rebounded by 71% to £74.4m (2 January 2022: £ … view
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Monday 9th October 2023
Propel Monday News Briefing
Yard Sale Pizza reports record trading levels, secures next site, sees potential for in excess of 150 sites: Yard Sale Pizza, the restaurant and delivery business that has sector investor Paul Campbell as non-executive director, has reported y … view
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Sunday 8th October 2023
Exclusive: Bill’s FY turnover tops £100m, St Peter’s Brewery confirms Curious and Wild Beer acquisitions
Exclusive – Bill’s FY turnover tops £100m, to learn lessons on expansion: Bill’s, the Richard Caring-backed restaurant group, posted turnover of £103.8m (2021: £74.3m) in the year to 1 January 2023 as it continued “to bounce … view
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Saturday 7th October 2023
More than 100 companies now signed up to have unlimited Propel Premium access
More than 100 companies now signed up to have unlimited Propel Premium access: More than 100 companies have now paid to ensure their staff have unlimited access to Propel Premium. The service allows unlimited numbers of a company’s staff to … view
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Friday 6th October 2023
Exclusive: St Peter’s Brewery acquires Curious Brewery and Wild Beer Co
Exclusive – St Peter’s Brewery acquires Curious Brewery and Wild Beer Co: One of the UK's first craft brewers, the Suffolk-based St Peter's has acquired the Curious Brewery and Wild Beer Co businesses, for an undisclosed sum, Propel h … view
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Friday 6th October 2023
Friday Opinion
Subjects: Taking pubs to task on cask, a numbers game, we’re on our way to net zero but collaboration will take us further and faster, politics at the bar
Authors: Glynn Davis, Sarah Travell, Mark Chapman, P … view
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Friday 6th October 2023
Exclusive: Five Guys UK FY turnover tops £278m, continues to believe there is ‘strong growth prospects’ here
Exclusive – Five Guys UK FY turnover tops £278m, continues to believe there is ‘strong growth prospects’ here: Better burger brand Five Guys saw its turnover in the UK for the year to 31 December 2022 increase 17% to £278.6m (2021: £2 … view
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Friday 6th October 2023
Update: JD Wetherspoon reports current lfl sales up 9.9% after returning to profit
JD Wetherspoon reports current lfl sales up 9.9% after returning to profit: JD Wetherspoon has reported current like-for-like sales are up 9.9% after returning to profit in the year ending 30 July 2023. Chairman Tim Martin, in the company … view
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Friday 6th October 2023
Propel Friday News Briefing
US hot sandwich concept eyes short-term target of 30 UK sites as it prepares to launch national franchise: US hot customisable sandwich concept Which Wich is eyeing a short-term target of 30 UK sites over the next three years as it prepar … view
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Thursday 5th October 2023
Propel Thursday News Briefing
Exclusive – investment group featuring Breal Capital and Calveton in pole position on D&D London: An investment group featuring Breal Capital, which has so far this year acquired Brew by Numbers, Black Sheep Brewery, Brick Brewery and V … view
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Thursday 5th October 2023
Hospitality Rising hits 250,000 job applications in a year
Hospitality Rising hits 250,000 job applications in a year with one in three job seekers now considering a career in sector: The inaugural campaign by sector recruitment initiative Hospitality Rising has generated 250,000 job applications for … view
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Wednesday 4th October 2023
Exclusive: Ivy Collection grows turnover by more than £100m driven by expansion of Ivy Asia brand
Exclusive – Ivy Collection grows turnover by more than £100m driven by expansion of Ivy Asia brand, banking facilities extended: The Ivy Collection, the Richard Caring-backed restaurant chain, grew its turnover by more than £ … view
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Wednesday 4th October 2023
Propel Wednesday News Briefing
Consumer spending in hospitality holding up well despite cost-of-living crisis: Consumer spending in hospitality is holding up well despite the cost-of-living crisis, according to CGA by NIQ’s new BrandTrack Plus research. BrandTrack Pl … view
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Wednesday 4th October 2023
Consumer spending in hospitality holding up well despite cost-of-living crisis
Consumer spending in hospitality holding up well despite cost-of-living crisis: Consumer spending in hospitality is holding up well despite the cost-of-living crisis, according to CGA by NIQ’s new BrandTrack Plus research. BrandTrack Pl … view
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Tuesday 3rd October 2023
Exclusive: Revolution Bars Group makes first addition to Peach Pubs business, plus Tortilla and Greggs results
Exclusive – Revolution Bars Group makes first addition to Peach Pubs business: Revolution Bars Group, which operates the Revolution and Revolucion de Cuba brands, has secured the first new site for its Peach Pubs business since it acquired t … view
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Tuesday 3rd October 2023
Propel Tuesday News Briefing
Exclusive – Scoffs Group discontinues Miss Millie’s operation, future ventures outside core Costa business ‘will only be operated if they can deliver a strong ROI’, current trading strong: Scoffs Group – the largest Costa Coffee … view
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Monday 2nd October 2023
Update: City Pub Group, Brakspear, national living wage and business rates rises
City Pub Group acquires two more pubs: The City Pub Group, the owner and operator of 52 pubs across southern England and Wales, has completed the acquisition of two more pubs, in London’s Soho and in Oxford. The group said it has acquir … view
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Monday 2nd October 2023
Propel Monday News Briefing
Exclusive – Burger & Lobster “actively looking for new locations outside of London”, FY turnover tops £32m: Burger & Lobster, the nine-strong London restaurant group, is actively looking for new locations outside of the capital aft … view
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