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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Tue 5th Mar 2013 - Breaking News - Ribble Valley Inns and JD Wetherspoon
Wayne Chapman becomes new Ribble Valley Inns chief executive
JD Wetherspoon pub starts charging for entry after nightclub closure

Chapman becomes chief executive of Ribble Valley Inns: Wayne Chapman has been appointed chief executive of Ribble Valley Inns, it has been announced by joint managing directors Craig Bancroft and Nigel Haworth. Bancroft said: “We are thrilled that Wayne is joining Ribble Valley Inns. It is exciting times and Wayne’s expertise will be vital in the growth of Ribble Valley Inns as we expand the group and move forward.” In his previous role Chapman was brand director for SSP UK and Ireland responsible for the development of their bars, restaurants and franchise brands. During his time with SSP he was responsible for the successful opening of more than 150 bars and restaurants as well as introducing high street brands, such as Starbucks, into the travel sector. Commenting on his appointment, he said: “I am absolutely delighted to be joining such a successful brand with a great team behind it that is highly revered by its peer group. We are committed to continue with the ethos of using local artisan suppliers to provide the finest food and drink ensuring we deliver a premium pub experience. I really look forward to improving our current estate and to further expand our brand and allow many more customers in different geographic areas to experience the Ribble Valley proposition.”

JD Wetherspoon pub starts to charge for entry on a Saturday night in Taunton after closure of nightclub: A JD Wetherspoon pub in Taunton has capitalised on the closure of its main nightclub rival by starting to charge for entry on a Saturday night. The move to charge at the Perkin Warbeck in Taunton, a Lloyds No 1 site, comes after Yellowhammer Bars closed its Bliss venue in Taunton in the wake of the administration of a subsidiary company in January. The closure of the venue has created unprecedented demand to enter the Wetherspoon pub on a Saturday night - and the company has begun charging £1 from 10pm onwards. The Lloyds No 1 venue, which opened in 1997, trades until 1am on Thursdays, 2am on Fridays and 3am on a Saturday. Local customers have vented their anger on Facebook describing the decision to charge an entry fee as ‘disgusting’ and ‘pure greed’. A JD Wetherspoon spokesman said: “As a result of the nightclub [Bliss] closing, the bar is busier than ever, especially on a Saturday night. We have increased the number of door staff from six to eight to ensure staff and customers can enjoy a fun and safe evening. We appreciate that some people might be disappointed with the entrance fee, but we believe it is fair. Taunton will not be the only site charging – historically, there will be some Lloyds No One sites that charge for admission on a Saturday night. If a manager thinks it is appropriate to charge for entry, he will.” The second JD Wetherspoon pub in Taunton, the Coal Orchard on Bridge Street, which closes at 11pm, is not charging for entry. The Lloyds No 1 sub-brand plays music although some sites only do so in the evenings. There were suggestions in the early years of that Lloyds No 1 expansion that sales tended to crater in the second year of new openings in a way not experienced at the mainstream brand. However, the Lloyds No 1 brand is likely to benefit from the ongoing contraction in nightclub sites across the UK. At one stage in 2002, JD Wetherspoon reported that it thought it could expand Lloyds No 1 to 500 sites within a decade after buying the original ten from Wolverhampton & Dudley Breweries in 1999. The company currently operates slightly more than 100 Lloyds No 1 sites.

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