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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Mon 22nd Jul 2013 - Tesco plans ten Giraffe on-site openings in 12 months
Tesco plans ten Giraffe openings this year: Family-friendly restaurant group, Giraffe, will open its first site within a Tesco store on 5 August in Watford Extra. With its own separate entrance, as well as access from the store, the 3,424 square feet, 170-cover restaurant will trade all-day from breakfast through to dinner, serving its signature comfort, global food. Value for money remains an integral part of the concept and the brand’s signature ‘Lunch for Less’ (£6.25 for a main course) and ‘Feel Good’ dinner (£9.95 for two courses) remain. The design by Harrison uses a palette of earthy natural tones, wood paneling throughout and booth seating surrounded by rows of potted plants. Two 10ft tall giraffes flank the entrance and enclosed booth and alfresco seating for 30 diners completes the modern look. Russel Joffe, co-founder and managing director of Giraffe Concepts, said: “We are delighted to be opening our very first Giraffe within a Tesco store. This is an exciting first step in the growth of the brand and allows us to introduce Giraffe to a wider audience. Over the next 12 months, we plan to open ten restaurants in Tesco stores and five new restaurants on the high street.”

JD Wetherspoon must show margin stabilisation – Geof Collyer: Deutsche Bank analyst Geof Collyer has argued that JD Wetherspoon, due to report fourth quarter results on Wednesday, must show margin stabilisation to attract investors. He said: “It has been a more than usually volatile year for JDW. We started the year off requiring circa 2% like-for-likes to stand still and are now looking for around 4-5% like-or-likes for the full year and +8.3% total sales to deliver broadly flat (+1.3%) EBITA. This dynamic remains the enigma of JDW. Going back to the bank refinancing in March 2010, JDW’s margins have fallen from 10.01% to our forecast of 8.43% for the 2013 financial year and although the total sales have risen by 30% over the past three years, EBITA has only grown by 9% despite 16% more pubs trading. We think the group must begin demonstrating margin stability to persuade investors to buy into the longer term growth profile. Without margin stabilisation forecast upgrades will be difficult and the market may be disappointed by potential downgrades to the consensus view. The opening programme is again back-end loaded and there has been some discussion about stepping up the rollout again, which is important for cash flow in a business that benefits from negative working capital. We estimate that there is a positive cash inflow of circa £100,000 for each new pub opened.”

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