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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Tue 11th Mar 2014 - Propel Tuesday News Briefing

Story of the Day:

Mercedes-Benz cafe concept advised by former M&B executive to open in May: A Mercedes-Benz cafe bar concept Mercedes Me, Lounge-Cafe, for which the former Mitchells & Butlers marketing executive David Singleton has provided consultancy, will launch in Moscow in May after being unveiled at the Geneva Motor show last week. Mercedes-Benz plans to open a cafe-bar with integrated Mercedes-Benz branding in central Moscow where customers can learn more about the “brand, products and the world of Mercedes-Benz”. It will target 20 to 28-year-old aspirational Muscovite professionals, with an international menu from breakfast to late at night. A source told Propel: “The name Mercedes Me, Lounge-Café was launched at the Geneva Motor show last week, forming an important part of Mercedes-Benz's new in-car digital and lifestyle technology. A second one will follow at Crocus City in Moscow alongside Europe’s biggest cinema, under construction by Karo Film, this summer. The concept will then be available for dealerships around the globe to adopt should they wish.” Since leaving M&B after a 28-year career, Singleton has also overseen the development of Il Patio, the 160-strong Italian brand operated by the Russian restaurant company Rosinter.

Industry News:

Sector menu innovation leaders are named: The winners of the Menu Innovation Network’s sixth Menu Innovation and Development Awards (MIDAS) have been named. The winner of each category, along with a representative from the sponsoring company, will embark on the Menu Innovation Network’s five-day research and insight tour of Chicago in May. The winners were – Branded pub restaurant: Spirit for Chef & Brewer; Breakfast: Whitbread for Premier Inn; Casual dining: TGI Friday’s; City bar dining: Marston’s for Pitcher & Piano; Coffee shop: Harris & Hoole; Fairtrade: Compass Group for Eat Fair; Dessert: Orchid Pub Company; Family dining: Mitchells & Butlers for Harvester; Children’s: Marston’s for its Little Monsters offer; Mediterranean casual dining: Prezzo; Neighbourhood pub: Greene King for Meet and Eat; New menu item: Strada for Puccia burgers; New pub/restaurant concept: Stonegate Pub Company for Montana Bar & Grill; Premium pub dining: Mitchells & Butlers for Premium Country Dining Group; Sandwich shop: Eat; Town and City pub: JD Wetherspoon; Travel: SSP for Mi Casa Buritos; Value pub restaurant: Greene King for Hungry Horse. Perry Huntley, head of food development at Stonegate, said after winning the best new concept award: “We are really proud of our new concept, which reflects the passion and the pride of the state of Montana, while the food combines the authenticity of quality American dishes. We have worked closely with our suppliers to ensure the menu is a genuine reflection of a true Montana restaurant, sourcing ingredients such as our UDSA steaks from farms across the American Plains.”

Charlie McVeigh – survival of many pubs depends on the VAT campaign: Draft House founder Charlie McVeigh has told City AM that he believes that the survival of many pubs in the UK depends on the success of the sector VAT campaign. For some, he fears, closure is inevitable – “they are simply located in the wrong place.” But McVeigh added: “A key reason pubs cannot survive in less-affluent areas is the competition from supermarkets, which sell alcohol at below-cost price for volume purchases to drive traffic into their stores, and which do not pay 20% VAT on food. The government needs to find a way to create a level playing field.” McVeigh also reported that an early move outside of London may be on the cards for Draught House because of the difficult property market. The business now has four sites in London, in Battersea, Clapham, Charlotte Street and Tower Bridge, and McVeigh plans to open two to three sites this year. “That said, it’s March and I still haven’t found any,” he said. "There is huge demand and insufficient supply. As a result, we’re considering – sooner than we would like – expanding Draft House outside the capital.”
Gordon Ramsay to focus Nightmares on ex-pats' restaurants in Spain: The next series of Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares will focus on advising expatriates who have opened restaurants in Spain. A source told the Daily Mirror: “He will visit restaurants on the Costa del Sol to try to help them. The Spanish economy has crashed and people have no money to spend so a lot of restaurants are really struggling. Gordon will be helping ex-pats try to get customers back through their doors.”
Dundee seeks to attract Jamie Oliver and Marco Pierre White restaurants – through Twitter: Council chiefs in Dundee have taken the unusual step of trying to induce Jamie Oliver and Marco Pierre White to open restaurants on the city's waterfront by tweeting them about site availability. The official account for the waterfront has posted messages to the chefs, encouraging them to bring their business to Dundee. Tweets directed at Oliver mentioned the arrival of the V&A in 2016 and the nearby championship courses at Carnoustie and St Andrews. White was also reminded – via his Twitter account – of the plots that are still available on the waterfront.
London house buyers prioritise living near a pub over a park: Londoners are more likely to prioritise buying houses near pubs than parks. A new study conducted by the manufacturing company Hygena reveals that Londoners are the least likely out of all UK residents to value living near green or open spaces. Instead, the survey has found that 23% of Londoners view pubs as a major factor when looking to move. In some cases, movers have even suggested they would be happy to have toilets in their kitchens or beds in their living room if it means they could live nearer a place to drink, with almost half – 49% – willing to compromise on house layout.

Bidvest 3663 managing director to present at Arena Savoy Lecture: Bidvest 3663’s group managing director, Alex Fisher, will presenting Arena’s Savoy Lecture 2014 on the evening of Monday 24 March. He will be addressing industry colleagues on the key issues affecting the hospitality and foodservice industry. The networking event starts at 5.30pm, with Fisher’s presentation at the Savoy Hotel in central London, followed by a drinks reception and three-course dinner. Tickets cost £195 plus VAT for Arena members and £245 plus VAT for non-members. For further information and tickets visit or contact Lorraine Wood on / 07803 853 618.

Operators warned of fluctuating menu staples: Operators are being warned that the price of many menu staples will continue to fluctuate, despite the fall in the headline UK inflation rate. The newly-published Spring 2014 edition of the Lynx Purchasing Market Forecast reveals that while the impact of the UK’s terrible weather at the start of the year has so far been limited, factors ranging from rising global demand for key product lines to disease in some farmed species are having an impact on prices. John Pinder, managing director at Lynx Purchasing, said: “The overall CPI rate of food inflation was 1.9% in January, with food inflation at 1.8%. However, caterers tend to pay higher prices than the headline rate, which reflects deals and promotions by supermarkets.”

Company News:

UK a bright spot for McDonald’s as global sales slip 0.3% in February: McDonald’s has reported that like-for-like sales slipped 0.3% in February, with continued weakness in the United States undermining results. Chief executive Don Thompson recently said the company has lost relevance with some customers and needed to improve its menu offerings. Among its current challenges, franchisees and executives have said the McDonald's menu became too complicated, with more new items being added, slowing service and turning off customers. McDonald's said February global sales fell 0.6%, though they increased 2.2% excluding currency fluctuations. In the US, like-for-like sales at restaurants open at least 13 months shrank 1.4%, which the company blamed on "challenging industry dynamics" and severe winter weather. In Europe, like-for-like sales improved 0.6%, reflecting continued strong performance in the UK and positive results in France, which were offset by ongoing weakness in Germany. The Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa region posted 2.6% lower like-for-like sales, primarily because of weakness in Japan. McDonald's said it plans to focus on menu variety and other initiatives to improve performance in the region.

Flat Iron secures second London site: Flat Iron, the single steak concept founded by Charlie Carroll, has completed on a second site – the brand will open in London’s Denmark Street in the summer. The brand was launched in Beak Street at the end of 2012 and is understood to be taking £40,000-a-week net and turns tables more than seven times a day on average. The business, which includes former Mitchells & Butlers operations manager Mike Palmer and Benito’s Hat chairman Jay Travis, was originally launched as a pop-up in the upstairs area of The Owl and Pussycat pub in Shoreditch. Flat Iron is a butcher’s cut that comes from the shoulder area, traditionally not highly prized because it is supposedly a little tougher because it’s not cross-grain but is, in fact, very tasty. Carroll is a former operations advisor at Wahaca and a graduate of the University of Cambridge.

Las Iguanas opens second Scottish restaurant:
Las Iguanas, led by the former Wagamama chief executive Steve Hill, has opened its second Scottish site. It has taken over the former Aspecto retail unit in West Nile Street, Glasgow's. The restaurant has an open-plan kitchen that allows diners to watch their meals being prepared, seating for 200 people both inside and on the outside piazza, and a cocktail bar serving classic Latin tipples and Caipirinhas. The launch of Las Iguanas in the city, which was founded in Bristol in 1991 and is now the UK's leading Latin American restaurant chain, has created 70 full and part-time jobs in the city. The Glasgow opening comes after the successful opening of an Aberdeen restaurant.

Nando’s stages free chicken social media promotion
: Nando’s staged a free chicken offer yesterday at two of its restaurants for an hour. Both Norwich restaurants offered free menu items between 11.30am and 12.30pm to its Facebook followers under the hashtag #NandosDash because, the chain said, it "gets a kick out of being generous”. Free menu items were a quarter chicken, pitta or burger to each of its Facebook fans on a first-come-first-served basis. The offer added: “You need to pay for any extras, including sides or drinks (only if you want them!)” Previous #NandosDash promotions have included restaurants in Castleford, Kentish Town, Watford and Newcastle.

Gary Lineker’s brother opens his first UK nightclub: Wayne Lineker, the brother of England football legend Gary, officially opened his first UK nightclub on the High Street in Newport, Gwent last night with a string of cast members from the MTV reality show The Valleys in attendance. Wayne opened the first "World Famous Lineker's Bar" in Playas de las Americas, Tenerife, in 1988 and now owns bars and in Spain, Portugal, Cyprus and the Canary Islands. Lineker, along with friend John Paul James and former business partner Peter Boult, is planning to expand the Linekers Bar brand across the UK, with targets including Swansea and Cardiff. In 2006, Lineker was jailed for a £220,000 tax fraud for two and a half years by a judge at Southwark Crown Court after he admitted conspiracy to defraud the Inland Revenue, and he was declared bankrupt at the Kingston upon Thames County Court in 2012.
Chinawhite set to re-appear in Dubai: The five-star Grand Hyatt Dubai hotel is to be home to the ‘rebirth’ of the renowned Chinawhite nightclub, according to the London nightspot’s original founders. Chinawhite co-founder Rory Keegan said: “I’m really excited to launch Chinawhite in Dubai – it will be everything that the original brand was and more. We aim to go higher with the new club here and take it to the next level, bringing a modern touch and further glamour and glitz to the region.” The venue is set to re-launch at the beginning of next month.

Stonegate investment continues with £300,000 spend in Swindon, new £275,000 Slug & Lettuce in Hampshire: Stonegate Pub Company investment is continuing with a £300,000 spend on one of Swindon’s most historic pubs, the Goddard Arms, pub and hotel on the High Street in the Old Town, which re-opens on Wednesday 26 March. Food is to become a big focus at the pub with a brand new menu being introduced including dishes such as open chicken pie, twice-cooked lamb ribs and a choice of dishes under 500 calories. The pub will also be introducing a new Sunday roast menu: a choice of three meats, a 35-day-aged British rib-eye beef served with freshly made Yorkshire pudding, British free-range pork loin or Norfolk-reared turkey, accompanied by crispy roast potatoes and roasted parsnips, seasonal vegetables and a selection of sauces. Meanwhile, Stonegate will open a new Slug & Lettuce in Fareham, Hampshire on 20 March having spent £275,000 converting the former Bramwell Vanguard site on West Street. The Slug and Lettuce will open every day offering breakfasts lunch and dinner options, including, again, an under 500-calorie menu, with items such as the chicken and pepper skewer (416 calories) and the aubergine and tomato bake (430 calories). Offers include 50% off food bills on "Happy Mondays", while "Tikka Tuesdays" sees two-for-one curries and "Wine Down Wednesdays" see all wines (except sparkling and champagne) on sale for £11.45 a bottle.

BrewDog opens Sheffield site: Scottish brewer and retailer BrewDog has opened its 13th UK site in Sheffield. The new bar, on the site of a former Starbucks outlet at 108-110 Devonshire Street, is BrewDog’s third launch of 2014, after openings in Sao Paulo, Brazil in January and Tokyo, Japan last week. BrewDog Sheffield is the second bar to be opened in Yorkshire by the brewery, after the launch of a Leeds bar last year. It has a capacity for 110 people, and will feature 20 beers on tap, both BrewDog’s own beers, and craft beers from breweries all over the world, including Stone, Elysian, Mikkeller, To Øl, Alesmith, Anchor, Stillwater and 8 Wired. Regular "Meet the Brewer" events will be held at the bar for a chance for customers to discuss all things beer with some of the featured breweries. The food will be locally sourced artisanal bar snacks. This year, BrewDog aims to open eight new UK and international bars as well as a string of off-licences in the UK, having secured the site for its first "BottleDog" in Kings Cross, North London.

Iconic Dalston mural to be renovated before Antic structural work:
The future of the iconic Dalston Carnival Peace Mural in East London, which features on the cover of Hackney band Rudimental’s debut album Home, is at risk of coming away from the brickwork after years of vandalism and neglect. But at a Dalston ward forum meeting last week Hackney Council revealed plans to carry out urgent restoration work on the 1984 artwork on the side of 15 Dalston Lane, which is currently deemed structurally unsafe. The project will be completed before £420,000 of structural renovations are carried out on the adjoining property and neighbouring buildings up to number 19 by the pub company Antic London, which leases the row of three terraces.
Tortilla seeks to establish healthy eating credentials:
Tortilla, the largest fast-casual burrito restaurant group in the UK, has won scientific backing for its healthy eating credentials. The company commissioned independent, in-depth research by a professional nutritional analysis firm, which found Tortilla burritos were higher in protein and lower in fat and calories than most high-street sandwiches. Tortilla provided samples and recipes for every one of its toppings and fillings to an accredited nutritional analysis firm which then analysed the information. A regular Tortilla chicken burrito has just 12.2g of fat and only 4.1g of saturated fat, against 24.8g of fat for a typical packaged chicken and avocado sandwich. Tortilla reported its "naked burrito", a medium bowl of all the ingredients minus the wrap, is 125 calories per 100g. The "naked burrito", a medium bowl of all the ingredients minus the wrap for those looking to go carb-free, is 125 calories per 100g, against a typical club sandwich at 206 calories per 100g.
Enterprise Inns chief commits to best efforts to open controversial Otley pub in time for Tour de France: Enterprise Inns' chief executive, Simon Townsend, has promised that the company shares the local focus on getting the controversial Black Horse Hotel open in time for the Tour de France. Otley Pub Club wrote to Enterprise Inns to stress the need for the business to be trading again for the race's appearance in Yorkshire. The hotel holds a prominent position in the town centre and, standing on Westgate's corner with Kirkgate, looks out directly onto the route the Tour riders will be taking. But the Black Horse is currently shut and has been closed several times in recent years, prompting some, including local MP Greg Mulholland, to fear that the empty building could “blight” the cycling celebrations on Saturday, 5 July. In a letter to Otley Pub Club, Townsend said: “The local management team are actively recruiting for the Black Horse and are already in discussions with a number of interested applicants. Enterprise shares the same desire for the Black Horse to be open and fully trading in time for the Otley Cycle Races and the Tour de France, as the site is indeed extremely well located for both events. Furthermore, we realise the importance of the Black Horse to Otley and are seeking a committed individual who will establish this public house as the heart of the community.”
Brasserie Bar Co set to move on site for third pub venue: Brasserie Bar Co, led by Mark Derry, is set to begin work on its third pub site under the White Brasserie Banner, a Spirit Pub Company leased site in Orpington, Kent that is expected to open within four or five months. Derry said: “We are in various stages of negotiation and planning on five units now. Some of these might take a year to come to fruition because they’re all requiring development.” The company plans 20 new sites over the next three year, 85% of which will be pubs.
Drake & Morgan hires Gabi Clipp as head of people: The seven-strong London bar operator Drake & Morgan has hired Gabi Clipp as its new head of people. Clipp has worked as human resources manager at Nobu Restaurants in London, Ignite Group and D&D Restaurants, among others. She said: “Drake & Morgan has a great philosophy when it comes to staff; recruiting talented people from the offset, inspiring them during the day-to-day running of the business, and encouraging them to achieve their goals. I can’t wait to be part of their development!” The company has also appointed Richard Underwood, as general manager of The Fable. He was previously operations manager at Novus Leisure responsible for the seven businesses under the Lewis & Clarke fascia.

SSP signs Helsinki airport deal: SSP, the UK-based transport hub foodservice specialist that is considering an IPO, has signed a ten-year, €300m (revenue) deal with the airport company Finavia to operate food and beverage outlets at Helsinki Vantaa Airport and the regional airports of Turku, Oulu and Rovaniemi. SSP will run 11 outlets at Helsinki and nine across the regional airports. It will invest €6.5m (£5.2m) at Helsinki and €1.5 million at the other airports. Finavia is embarking on a two-year programme of commercial redevelopment at Helsinki Vantaa, where it recently appointed World Duty Free Group to run retail operations. SSP's chief executive, Kate Swann, said: “Helsinki is a fast-growing hub airport, and it aims to see annual passenger numbers rise from 15 million to 20 million by 2020. We’re delighted to be building on our long-standing relationship with Finavia and will continue to deliver outstanding food and beverage over the next ten years to help it achieve its aims.”

ETM holds slider decider burger competition at the Gun in Docklands: Gastro-operator ETM Group is to hold a "slider decider" competition for professional chefs, aimed at finding London’s best mini-burgers, at the Gun pub on the Isle of Dogs in Docklands, London. Judges include Rebecca Seal from Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch, restaurant critic Tracey MacLeod, the London Evening Standard’s food editor, Victoria Stewart, and the editor of Restaurant magazine, Stefan Chomka. The deadline for applications is 14 April and the event takes place on Thursday 5 June.

Two apprentices from Robinson’s cater at Downing Street reception: Two apprentices from the North West of England brewer and retailer Robinson’s helped cater and serve at a special reception at No10 Downing Street in support of National Apprenticeship Week. 120 guests attended the event, including learners and employers showcasing their talents to educational policy makers. David Bremner, director of marketing at Robinsons, said: “Too often hospitality is overlooked as an industry with progression possibilities. Those involved love what we do – running British pubs and bars – and we want to see the next generation viewing this as a career decision with clear development opportunities and not just a temporary position. These apprenticeship schemes will help young people learn skills and responsibilities that will facilitate their next step up the career ladder.”

Starbucks opens Disney site with unique features: Starbucks and Disney have partnered to open the first company-operated Starbucks location at Downtown Disney in Anaheim, California. The new store is the first of four to be operated by Starbucks at Disney properties in the US. The new Downtown Disney Starbucks has technology and content designed specifically for the store, including introducing customers to the story behind Starbucks coffee via a 10-foot video installation. Bill Sleeth, Starbucks' vice president of design for the America, said: “The store’s coffee passion wall video is rendered to look like an animated painting or drawing. That handcrafted look is a reflection of the handcrafted beverages we serve every day around the world.” Starbucks opened its first location at a Disney resort in 2009 in Disney Village at Disneyland Paris.
Michelin-starred Lima London acquires a second site: The owners of the Michelin-starred Peruvian restaurant Lima London has acquired a second site, to be called Lima Floral. The new restaurant, which will have 70 covers plus 30 in the basement, will be on Garrick Street in Covent Garden, central London and will open in July, on the site of the former Robert Siegler restaurant the Forge. Gabriel Gonzalez, co-owner of Lima, said: “We are so excited to have found a beautiful site in Covent Garden. After two years of operating Lima, we thought it was time to develop a casual and fun offering with serious food credentials in this foodie destination. The cuisine will be of very high quality, using traditional and unique cooking techniques." Lima Floral will be split in two spaces: the main restaurant and a piqueos bar, serving traditional Peruvian tapas dishes.
Tiger Bills franchisee signed for India: The Lifestyle Hospitality Group has signed a franchisee for India. The latest franchisee to be recruited comes after the signing of a London Master Franchisee in January, which will mean nine new restaurants to be launched in the Greater London area over the next three years. Lifestyle Hospitality Group’s chief executive, James Eyre, said: “We are delighted to reveal that we have just completed a pan-India master franchise agreement with Shristi Hotels, one of the largest hotel groups in India. This marks a major milestone in the evolution of the Tiger Bills brand and illustrates that it truly can become a global entity.” Shristi Hotels aims to develop a "contemporary hospitality and lifestyle enterprise to explore relationships that combine a traditional lifestyle based on Vedic wisdom and philosophy in harmony with environmentally friendly practices”. The Tiger Bills brand was first launched in Exeter in 2006, offering an "East meets West" menu of Western grills and Thai street food.

ItradeNetwork’s closes iTradeNetwork has taken the decision to close, the online ordering website for the drinks industry, which features suppliers such as Molson Coors and Heineken. It is to be replaced by individual supplier websites built by iTradeNetwork, that will provide customers with an improved and more tailored ordering experience. All customers will be able to continue ordering online via their existing suppliers' new websites. Alex Walters, iTradeNetwork’s European sales director, said: “As online ordering has become the norm for more hospitality operators the expectation of what an e-commerce website should offer in terms of design and functionality has been significantly raised. iTradeNetwork have been working in the food and drink industry for many years and have created the ‘Storefronts’ platform to be the leading solution for suppliers and wholesalers who want to offer their customers the highest levels of customer experience.”
Jumpstart to brief brewers on making R&D tax relief applications: Jumpstart, the company created to support UK businesses make successful HMRC research and development (R&D) tax relief applications, is to tell hundreds of the country’s micro-brewing businesses how they can secure substantial sums from their research and development expenditure. The company will be speaking to attendees at BeerX on 12-15 March 2014. BeerX, to be held at iceSheffield, is a key event in the Society of Independent Brewers (Siba) beer festival calendar, with more than 300 of the UK’s best beers scheduled to be represented. Each beer has already won its heat in regional Siba Beer competitions and will be available for sampling by thousands of beer enthusiasts. Jumpstart, which numbers many well-known brewers, including BrewDog among its clients, will tell visitors that while many brewing companies have already been successful in their tax relief claims to HMRC, the sector as a whole is still failing to secure a potential financial windfall from the millions that go unclaimed each year. Jumpstart has managed to claim more than £77,000 for some breweries in a single year, but it calculates that the average initial claim size for breweries is in the region of £30,000. James Watt, managing director of BrewDog, said: "We got a really big chunk of cash back from HMRC. We don’t have time in our business to faff about with tax claims. In fact, we hate doing anything that takes us away from our business.”

Lincoln operator takes on second site: The Lincoln-based operator Jez Nash, who runs the Strait and Narrow bar in Lincoln, has taken over the former city nightclub known as SCY, which is set to reopen this summer. After undergoing structural work and being given a rebrand and a new interior, the venue will re-open as an "alternative" nightclub. Nash hopes to bring the relaxed ethos of the Strait and Narrow to the new venue. He said: “Unlike the bar, the new venue will be run as a nightclub with live DJs. We will be bringing along our quality service and safe environment.”

Blumenthal’s Heathrow site to be called The Perfectionist’s Cafe: Heston Blumenthal’s first airport venue, to be opened in June at Heathrow airport’s Terminal 2, will be called The Perfectionist’s Cafe. Blumenthal said: “The demands of an airport outlet are quite different from our other restaurants. Some guests will have very little time to spend with us and others, in transit or with longer check-ins, will have time to linger. The restaurant will of course cater to both, but we want to deliver food that is fun and familiar – food that is stimulating to the palate and at the same time easy to enjoy.” The menu takes inspiration from the chef’s "In Search of Perfection" television series, which was based on Blumenthal’s many years of research and development work.

McDonald’s marketing director – free fruit is the natural evolution of the Happy Meal: McDonald’s UK marketing director, Nathalie Pomroy, has described the introduction of free fruit on the first Friday on each month as “the latest step in the evolution of the Happy Meal”. She told Drum magazine: “We were quite surprised by the government figures, which showed only one in ten kids in the UK are getting the recommended five-a-day, and the trend is similar amongst our own customer base. Despite many customers being aware that we introduced fruit bags ten years ago, in recent years the number of people choosing these options has fallen. Crunchy Wednesday was introduced when France was in a similar situation to what we’re experiencing now in the UK, and as a result of Crunchy Wednesdays, McDonald’s in France found a 19% increase in sales of fruit in their restaurants outside of the promotional days, so it really changed behaviours and put fruit back onto customer’s radars. Since then McDonald’s has become the number one restaurant in France where kids eat the most fruit and we want to emulate those results in the UK. Eight out of ten families come to McDonald’s once a month for a treat so we thought, as they’re already with us, how can we make healthier choices more accessible to our customers.”

Craft Beer London app producer seeks crowd-funding: Blue Crow Media, which creates apps for consumers to discover casual food and drink establishments in London and New York, is seeking to raise £50,000 in return for 5% of its equity through the Seedrs crowd-funding platform. The company said: “Our award-winning apps include London's Best Coffee, Craft Beer London, Burgerapp, New York's Best Coffee and Craft Beer New York. We want to go further. We intend to create a complete series of curated lifestyle apps for discovering the best on offer in London, New York and further cities to compliment our existing apps. We are raising seed funding in order to embark on a more aggressive plan of development involving more products in more cities.”

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