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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Fri 18th Jul 2014 - Breaking News - JD Wetherspoon quits the BBPA
JD Wetherspoon quits the BBPA: JD Wetherspoon has resigned from membership of the British Beer and Pub Association, it has emerged. The company, which was a member of the BBPA for less than two years, tendered its resignation just over a year ago but was required to provide a year’s notice, meaning its membership lapsed only recently. Wetherspoon is the latest high profile managed operator to leave the organisation in favour of the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR). The company follows Mitchells & Butlers (M&B), Spirit and Greene King in resigning from the BBPA – M&B and Spirit have joined Wetherspoon in focusing their efforts on the ALMR. Greene King has chosen not to join any trade body. A source close to Wetherspoon told Propel: “It was explained to the BBPA that our departure is nothing personal – it’s just that it was felt better to devote our resources to a trade body focused on representing retailers.” The ALMR, led by chief executive David McHattie and chaired by Tragus chief executive Steve Richards, has enjoyed several years of 30% per annum membership growth with large numbers of new multi-site pub and restaurant companies joining it, including TGI Friday’s, La Tasca, LT Pub Management, Loungers, Smith & Western and Lovely Pub Company. An ALMR source told Propel: “Over the past two years the ALMR has worked hard to offer a clear, distinct voice for retailers without a conflict of interest and established a broad coalition of vibrant, dynamic operators spanning the whole retail spectrum. If you operate in licensed hospitality, we are now the go-to organization and the focal point for retail representation with government.” In May, the ALMR reported it now represents 170 companies, between them operating 14,000 outlets and employing over 350,000 people in pubs, clubs, bars and restaurants. Income in 2013 grew by 26% with membership income increasing by 25% and event income also growing by the same figure. ALMR chief executive David McHattie said in May: “Last year (was) a fantastic year for the ALMR, with our membership breadth and depth continuing to expand and the incorporation of dynamic and vibrant new members. That is reflected in the makeup of our council and we are delighted to welcome Eddy Passey, of Red Hot Buffet, one our newest members, to join the vital work our council does. We have seen some major political gains and have had enormous success getting our message across to politicians and policy makers – firmly underlining our standing as the leading voice for licensed retailers.”
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