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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Tue 9th Jun 2015 - Propel Tuesday News Briefing

Story of the Day:

Carluccio’s – we’ve made six adaptations for the US market: Carluccio’s chief executive in the US Cory Waldron has reported the company made six adaptations for the US market prior to its debut in Alexandria, Washington DC, last week. “There was a lot of ear-to-the-ground to understand the mistakes that others had made,” Waldron told the Washington Business Journal. “Then, as we’ve been moving toward opening, there were a lot of ideas from the community at large, and Carluccio’s was open to listening.” The adaptations are: Bar bonanza: Whereas the bar is often secondary at European restaurants, it takes top billing much more often in the US. Americans are much more likely to spend their whole evening – including their meal – at the bar. “We realised this was something we must do to be successful in the US,” Waldron said. “If we didn’t, we would have been awkwardly placed.” Size matters: The Carluccio’s team rethought portion sizes to fit with American standards – portions are larger in the US. The restaurant still wanted to be value-driven, so that meant expanding the “segundi” or entrees section of the menu, as well as the portions to meet “the perception of what should be on your plate for the price” Waldron said. Entree prices range from $15 for a chicken Milanese to $50 for a steak for two; Carb conscious: To please those that may be minimising gluten or carbs in their lives, the US menu has the option for any pasta to be ordered in a half-portion. Pasta dishes cost between $10 and $16; Retail therapy: Carluccio’s in Alexandria has a larger portion of its main floor dedicated to the gourmet market section than in some other locations, in part because American consumers have responded particularly well to gourmet retail. “We’ve noticed how much more drawn the American consumer is to retail; long before we came to the US we had people in our stores abroad asking about gift options to send to the US,” Waldron said; Beer mania: Beer hasn’t traditionally been a focus of Carluccio’s markets or restaurants, but America’s thirst for craft beer is actually coinciding with a rapidly growing craft beer movement in Italy. The restaurant has three rotating Italian craft beers on tap, along with several bottled offerings in the market; Mo’ beverages, no problems: This last category falls under “the little things” according to Waldron, but things that Americans have come to expect nonetheless: things like tap water – European restaurants often only sell bottled – free refills on soft drinks and brewed coffee. All three are offered at the DC site. A second site will open in Washington DC in the autumn.

Industry News:

NPD Group research shows growth in consumer use of deals, with pubs leading the way: Figures from research and insights firm NPD Group have shown deals have been a key driver of restaurant visits in the past three years with visits involving a deal or promotion increasing by 28% at the end of December 2014 compared to 26% in December 2011. The emergence of meal deals in pubs has the segment to the top of the deal ranking (32%) compared to 27% at QSR and 22% at full-service restaurants. The 18-34 age group uses the deals most (67%) while people aged 50 use them least (21%) and the biggest choice and prevalence of deals was in London and the south east (30%). 

Just Eat buys two Italian online delivery companies: Just Eat, the leading online and mobile market place for takeaway food, has acquired two leading Italian online delivery companies, further strengthening its rapidly growing Italian business, JUST The acquisition of Clicca e Mangia, based in Milan, and DeliveRex, based in Rome, cements Just Eat’s leadership in Italy’s two largest online takeaway delivery markets. The transactions will add several hundred new restaurants to Just Eat’s expanding marketplace for takeaway food, and thousands of new customers. David Buttress, chief executive of Just Eat, said: “I am delighted to have added two fast-growing online restaurant delivery networks to our existing operations in Italy. This means more restaurant partners, greater choice and more customers in the most important cities for online takeaway delivery in the country. These transactions reflect our strategy of building strong local positions in markets where we operate, as we pursue market leadership wherever we are.”

Iceland hires sector PR company Elliotts for consumer account: Supermarket group Iceland has hired food, drink and hospitality PR and marketing agency Elliotts for its consumer PR account, PR Week has reported. Elliotts’ work will include handling Iceland’s first “Christmas In July” event for a number of years, plus a programme of media briefings. Marie Hughes, Iceland PR and product manager, told PR Week: “Iceland has always brought innovative food and new trends to our customers, but we have not often raised awareness of doing so. Part of the new strategy is to work with a PR partner that is passionate about food. We want to be surrounded by people who live and breathe food, cooking and dining trends, know about provenance and nutrition and really get what customers want – now and in the future. Ann [Elliott, Elliotts CEO] and her team certainly demonstrate that.”

Coq D’Argent cleared of all blame for fifth suicide leap: D&D Restaurant’s Coq D’Argent site in the City of London did everything it could to prevent a food blogger from leaping to his death, an inquest heard. Wilkes McDermid, 39, became the fifth person to jump from the seventh-floor terrace of Coq D’Argent on 8 February this year. The Coroner cleared the restaurant of any blame saying: “I am aware that this is not the first time someone has jumped from that restaurant. And I know the City of London health and safety officers has visited it and so have I. The restaurant has done all it can to make it difficult, if not impossible, for people to leave the premises other than by the lift or the stairs. There can be no possible criticism of the restaurant. They have taken steps before, and since the incident, have taken more steps to make it extremely difficult for someone to do the same thing.”

Historic Elephant & Castle pub set to become Foxtons branch: A historic pub at the Elephant & Castle roundabout is facing permanent closure with developers putting forward plans to turn the site into a Foxtons estate agents. Consultants acting for the estate agency have written to Southwark Council about plans to turn The Elephant & Castle, off New Kent Road, into a new branch. Though it was built in the 1960s, a tavern of the same name has been there for 250 years – and gave its name to the surrounding area. The pub lost its licence and closed in March after a drinker was stabbed in the head with a pen in January, which became lodged and had to be removed in hospital.

Laine Pub Company site aims to boost Battersea high street with new campaign: Laine Pub Company’s The Candlemaker pub has launched a new campaign, Battersea MyStreet, with the aim of bringing the Great British High Street back to the local residents of the south west London borough. New manager Michele Cremona, of Soho pop-up cafe The Full English fame, aims to make it possible for locals to head to Battersea High Street for their weekly food shop, rather than the supermarkets in the area. Launching this month, the campaign has already received backing from Jane Ellison, MP for Battersea and president of the Wandsworth Chamber of Commerce. As part of the project, Cremona and the pub will be calling on local suppliers – including butchers, fishmongers and greengrocers – to partake in the weekly weekend market along the high street. Here residents can visit with their families, see the produce first hand, while speaking to the suppliers and purchase their food for the week. They will also be seeking to fill the empty shops along the street with three to six month pop-ups from local artists and designers, as well as the aforementioned food suppliers. 

Company News:

Administrator – flood and rushed opening at Mountain Range site contributed to pushing company into administration: A flood at one of Mountain Range Restaurants’ alpine-themed venues was contributory factor in pushing the company into administration earlier this year. Simon Thomas and Nicholas O’Reilly of Moorfields Corporate Recovery were appointed as joint administrators of Mountain Range Restaurants Ltd on 1 April. The company’s estate consisted of The Black Horse and The Chequers in West Sussex, The Swan in East Sussex and The Coney in Kent. Fleurets was appointed by administrators to market the sites for sale. In a report to creditors, administrators said the company was loss-making and had been experiencing cash flow difficulties for some time, giving rise to creditor pressure. In addition, there had been “significant business disruption” at The Coney as a result of a flood in February 2014, which kept the business closed until November 2014. The reopening was “rushed” to coincide with Christmas trade but the team was “relatively unprepared” and “adverse publicity” was received. Attempts were made to restructure the team at The Coney, but the appointment of a new management team at a “significant cost” failed to improve matters and the company consequently suffered further losses. One of the company’s major suppliers, which was owed £30,000, filed a winding-up petition against the business on 27 March. The report also revealed that unsecured creditors are likely to miss out on approximately £645,103, based on estimates. But the company’s liability to NatWest Bank, reported to be £96,754, will be settled in full from fixed charge realisations.

TGI Friday’s set to replace Tampopo in Reading: TGI Friday’s is set to move into the Oracle Shopping Centre in Reading in place of the Asian fusion restaurant Tampopo. The company has applied to Reading Borough Council for a premises licence for the site to supply alcohol from 10am to midnight seven days a week. The new restaurant would replace Tampopo, which is due to close later this month due to soaring rents, reports GetReading. TGI Friday’s has not said whether it will leave its Caversham Road restaurant or whether The Oracle will be its second location in the town. Tampopo will close its doors for the final time on Saturday, 27 June after its rent went up by £65,000 a year. The increase, added to the existing rent, means the company would be paying more than £5,000 a week to remain at the site.

JD Wetherspoon lines up Teignmouth opening and to add bedrooms in Buxton: JD Wetherspoon will open a new pub in Teignmouth, Devon, (population: 14, 749) next month. The new pub, named The Jolie Brise, a £1.6m investment, will open on Tuesday, 21 July, and a spokesman for the firm said that 45 jobs will be created when it opens, with those jobs being a mixture of full and part time. Wetherspoon founder and chairman Tim Martin said: “We have been keen to have a pub in Teignmouth for many years.” Meanwhile, Wetherspoon is expanding its bedroom development strategy by applying to convert the first floor of its Buxton site. The application, which is at an early stage, seeks permission for the “proposed renovation of the under-developed first floor” of The Wye Bridge House on Fairfield Road into “luxury hotel rooms”. The application states the first floor is currently used for a “mixture of storage and ancillary staff rooms to support the existing public house on the ground floor”. Eddie Gershon, spokesman for JD Wetherspoon, said: “Wetherspoon has put in the application because it is looking to develop hotel accommodation on the site and obviously needs planning permission. However, at the moment there is no projected on-site or opening date, and if it does happen it will be a fair while off yet.”

Fitch assigns A rating to Starbucks $750m of new bonds: Rating agency Fitch has assigned an A rating to Starbucks proposed $750 million aggregate issuance of fixed-rate seven-year and 30-year senior unsecured notes. Starbucks has approximately $2.1 billion of total debt. Fitch stated: “Starbucks’ operating results are being enabled by mid-single-digit same store sales (SSS) growth, increasing points of distribution, and management’s ability to effectively manage through volatile coffee cost environments. Revenue and reported operating income grew at an 11% and 21% compound annual growth rate (CAGR), respectively, from fiscal 2010 to fiscal 2014. Global SSS has risen 5% or more for 21 consecutive quarters, rising 7% in the quarter ended 29 March 2015 due to a 3% rise in transactions and a 4% increase in average ticket. Starbucks is on track to open 1,650 net new units in fiscal 2015, representing nearly 8% expansion, opening 722 net new stores during the first two quarters of the fiscal year.”

Chipotle expands benefits to all workers: Chipotle Mexican Grill will expand benefits formerly reserved for salaried workers, including full tuition reimbursements, sick pay and paid vacations, to all US employees on 1 July. “We just made an announcement internally that we are now going to be offering sick pay and paid vacation time for all employees at all levels of the company, including all entry-level employees,” recruitment strategy manager JD Cummings said. “And we’re going to be offering the full-tuition reimbursement that we offer salaried employees to all hourly employees.”

Bobby Hashemi’s Pizza Union to open second site: Industry consultant Adam Hyman ha reported that a new all-day pizza bar is to open in King’s Cross. Pizza Union, founded by Bobby Hashemi, will open its second London restaurant at 246-250 Pentonville Road later this month. He added: “The new 100-cover site will replicate the all-day format of the first Pizza Union in Spitalfields. The menu is inspired by the thin and crispy pizzas of Rome.”

North Lincolnshire Businesswoman of the Year adds to portfolio with Grimsby site: Entrepreneur Liz Parry, 2014 North Lincolnshire Businesswoman of the Year, is adding to her portfolio of sites with a plan to open a bar in Grimsby town centre, on the site of a venue that formerly traded as The Larder. The large two-storey building, which fronts Bethlehem Street, and enjoys access from Abbeygate, has been completely gutted, ahead of a major refurbishment – with a name to be decided. Parry also operates Abbys Bistro, Upstairs @ Abbys and The Riverside in Cleethorpes, by August. The new site is expected to create between eight to ten jobs, on top of the 34-strong team currently employed. Parry said: “We have taken over the premises, and we are still working on the plans, but it will have a lounge feel to it. We are looking at the afternoon and evening market, and we feel it is something the top town needs. We want to top and tail what we offer at Abbys. We hear from customers at Abbys that there is limited choice for a drink before or after a meal, in a similar environment. There is definitely a different atmosphere between a restaurant or bistro and a bar, one is food led and the other drinks, but we feel there is an opportunity to provide something that fills the gap, between that and the traditional pubs.”

Former Newman Arms owner buys Stoke Newington freehold for £1.125m: Experienced pub operator Tracey Bird has completed the purchase of the freehold of The Fox Reformed on Stoke Newington Church Street for £1.125m after agent Davis Coffer Lyons sold the pub on behalf of its long-term owners Carol and Robbie Richards. Bird previously owned The Newman Arms, the former haunt of 1984’s author George Orwell and, which is widely believed to be the inspiration for the dystopian novel’s proles pub, which Davis Coffer Lyons acquired for Shaftesbury, late last year. Paul Tallentyre, executive director at Davis Coffer Lyons, said: “Stoke Newington Church Street is now a desirable destination outside Central London and attracts people from across north and east London as well as further afield. With a wealth of boutique operators having opened recently in the area it is no surprise that landlords like Tracey are keen to take sites and capitalise on this demand.”

Bill’s launches summer menu: Bill’s Restaurants has launched its summer menu featuring a new range of cocktails and light bites. The new cocktails include an apple and peach mojito and a watermelon cooler while the light bites feature nuts and seeds with kaffir lime and chilli, spiced tortilla chips with tzatziki, guacamole and salsa, and crispy chicken and prawn wontons. Bill’s also has a two and three course summer set menu across all its sites offering new lighter options on weekdays from 12pm until 7pm. The company has recently opened a restaurant in Gloucester Quays shopping centre and a new establishment launches in Sheffield next week. Further openings are planned in July at Taunton in Somerset and Colchester in Essex. 

Young’s pub dining hotel The Brewers Inn in Wandsworth relaunches after revamp: The Brewers Inn in Wandsworth, owned by London pub and hotel retailer Young’s, is relaunching on Wednesday, 17 June following a refurbishment. The pub dining hotel in East Hill has undergone a major revamp and features a new kitchen and dining area as well as a new Jones’ wine store and cellar bar in recognition of the fact the pub was called the Two Brewers & Jones’ wine store at the turn of the 19th century. Young’s has more than 160 pubs (including 22 hotels) and 80 tenancies in London and the south east of England.

Plan submitted for boutique hotel in heart of Liverpool clubland: A plan has been submitted to create a boutique hotel in Liverpool’s Concert Square. The scheme would see the conversion of the first floor of the former Ruby Sky nightclub, with the hotel’s entrance on Fleet Street. Details of the proposals are limited, but a planning application registered with the council summarises the bid as a “change of use from existing bar to boutique hotel using the existing first floor of building with designated entrance to Fleet Street and appropriate signage”. Apartment schemes already exist on Concert Square but visitors to Liverpool will get the chance to stay in one of the city’s nightlife hotspots if the plans are approved. The boutique hotel would be in the Holmes Building, part of which is already the subject of a separate planning application by JSM Bar and Leisure Group.

Plans for £3m Enniskillen nightclub unveiled: A £3m plan to transform a vacant Enniskillen building, Cafe Cellini on East Bridge Street, into a three-floor nightclub complex could begin by spring next year. An earlier plan was revealed back in 2011, but has yet to materialise. New plans have been drawn up and subject to planning permission will see extensions and development work to the left of the existing Cafe Cellini building to encompass three floors: two club areas and a wine bar. The old cafe building will remain as a daytime coffee shop. The project could see between 30 and 40 jobs created. Leslie Wilkin, who is behind the project, told The Fermanagh Herald: “There’ll be three floors, the club in the basement, the club on the ground floor and a wine bar on the third floor. You’re looking towards bringing outsiders in. There’s not so much in the town to attract outsiders in and we’d hope people will come in from outside of the county. If you’re heading away for the weekend you look for the shops and restaurants but you also look for the nightlife as well.” Wilkin said he hopes work could start on the project by spring of next year and expects it to be completed within 12 months.

Starbucks launches six new frappuccinos in US and Canada: Starbucks is launching six new frappuccinos in its US and Canadian stores to celebrate the drink’s 20th anniversary. The new flavours, based on customers’ favourite frappuccino combinations, are: Caramel Cocoa Cluster, Cinnamon Roll, Cotton Candy, Cupcake, Lemon Bar and Red Velvet Cake. Customers will be able to vote for their favourite between 19-30 June by giving green straws to their top choices on and the winning flavour will be announced on 3 July. The winner can then be bought from 3-6 July at a special price of $3 for a grande (16oz) size beverage from 2pm-5pm (local time). Starbucks marketing director Renee Jones said: “In celebration of the 20th anniversary of frappuccino and the thousands of flavour combinations created by our enthusiastic customers, we are excited to introduce six fan flavour frappuccino beverages. Over the years we have seen many creative recipes from our customers, and the six beverages featured represent a few of the most popular recipes.”

Burning Group partners Molson Coors for Ice bar installations, to open new site in August: The Burning Night Group has partnered with Coors Light to build ice bars in each of its three key venues. Liverpool One venue Bierkeller will host a Coors Light-sponsored ice bar for 12 weeks from 19 June, Manchester Printworks Bierkeller from 17 June until end of August, and Leeds Bierkeller from 12 June unit the end of August. The bar will be available to enter for 30-minute sessions and features miniature curling and ice sculptures, as well as a photo area and private bottle bar. Participants will get to wear Coors-insulated ponchos and have some great photo opportunities. “Where else can you go and have such an experience in the middle of summer, it’s the perfect way to cool off,” said Alex Hazzard, Burning Night Group co-founder. Entry is priced at £5 per person and will be open between 5pm and midnight on Fridays and noon to midnight on Saturday and Sundays. The price includes a glass of wine or bottle of Coors Light or a spirit and mixer. Meanwhile, Burning Night Group is fitting out its new Cardiff venue, which is set to open this August. It will feature three large bars, fresh dough pizzas, imported Bratwursts and rotisserie chicken.

Warehouse Project secures Manchester site: A well-known nightclub brand, set up by business partners Sacha Lord-Marchionne and Sam Kandel, will return to its Store Street base in Manchester after planners approved an application to use the car park by Piccadilly Station as a music and dance venue. The Warehouse Project has secured another two seasons at the site from this September after Ugly Ducking, the business which is majority owned by Lord-Marchionne and Kandel, was given the green light by Manchester City Council to use the car park to host its club nights. The venue can occupy the space from September until January 2016 and from September 2016 until January 2017. The Warehouse Project, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary, began life in the disused Boddingtons Brewery in Strangeways before moving to the Store Street venue, which can accommodate about 1,800 clubbers. In 2012 it moved to the Victoria Warehouse Hotel before returning to Store Street last year.

Batemans joins Co-op range of locally produced beers: Wainfleet-based Batemans has won a contract to supply almost 15,000 pints to The Co-operative. The deal is part of the Co-op’s drive to boost real ale sales by offering locally brewed products in its regional stores. Nathan Wride, of Batemans, said: “It is tremendous news, it opens up new markets for us and we have seen an overnight uplift in volumes. We are delighted that The Co-operative shares our passion for local real ales and is now stocking our award winning Victory Ale – we pride ourselves on taste and quality and we know this is an approach shared by The Co-operative.” Joe Turner, real ale buyer at The Co-op, added: “The popularity of Batemans beers is impressive and, as a convenience retailer at the heart of the community, this is an important step in our commitment to offering more quality, locally sourced produce in our stores. It’s exciting to collaborate with breweries such as Batemans, and we hope our customers really enjoy the new selection of ales that we now have on offer – we are very pleased to add Batemans’ beers to the increasing range of locally produced ales that are now available in our food stores in communities across the UK.”

HowYa hires Robert Clare as non-executive chairman: HowYa, the “At Table” ratings specialists, has hired Robert Clare as non-executive chairman. Clare is the founding director of Innovation Capital Limited, and a specialist in the technology focused SME market. As a former regional director responsible for commercial banking at NatWest, he has over 30 years of specialist finance and banking experience, facilitating business growth and expansion. He is a chartered banker and a director of the Sussex Chamber of Commerce. HowYa has recently launched its “Premium” and “FREEmium” at table customer feedback systems, the first of their kind to capture and analyse customers views while still in the venue. The products, which offer real time feedback, offer significant benefits over traditional ratings models. Clare said: “I am delighted to be appointed non-executive chairman of HowYa at this really exciting and busy time for the company. I will be working closely with the executive board of directors to help the business shape its strategic road map and deliver fast but sustainable growth. The HowYa product and future development plans have great potential to bring positive disruption to aspects of the casual dining market and to scale-up to a national brand.”

Taco Bell continues expansion in India with first franchisee partner: Taco Bell is continuing its expansion in India into New Delhi through a tie-up with its first franchisee partner Burman Hospitality. The Mexican-style quick service restaurant chain, owned by Yum Brands, will open its first outlet in the city at Ambience Mall, Vasant Kunj, later this month. Taco Bell already has six restaurants in Bangalore and Mumbai and through the tie-up with Burman Hospitality plan to take the store count in India to 25 in the next 18-24 months. It is looking to set up in Punjab, Chandigarh and Uttarakhand, besides Delhi. Taco Bell and Pizza Hut general manager Unnat Varma said in a statement: “With a strong proof of concept in Bangalore and Mumbai, we are eager to increase our footprint across India.” Burman Hospitality has been floated by Gaurav Burman and other members of the Burman family, promoter of consumer goods firm Dabur. Besides Gaurav Burman, his brother Mohit, who is the co-promoter and chairman of Indian Premier League cricket team Kings XI Punjab, and father VC Burman are also partners in the deal. Yum Restaurants India also operates close to 800 Pizza Hut and KFC outlets in the country.

Holiday Inn fined £65,000 after outbreak of food poisoning at Bristol city centre hotel: The company that runs the Holiday Inn in Bristol has been fined £65,000 by the city’s magistrates following an outbreak of food poisoning. At least 44 people are believed to have been infected by the bug, and three were admitted to hospital, in November 2013. All of the guests who had symptoms had eaten a pate dish described on the hotel menu as chicken liver parfait, the magistrates were told. Tests showed the parfait was the source of the infection. Further investigation showed a single batch of parfait had been prepared in advance and served to each of the affected parties over a seven-day period. Interviews with staff indicated a lack of a robust system for ensuring the food was adequately cooked to kill bacteria, the magistrates heard. Eclipse Hotels (Bristol) Ltd, trading as Holiday Inn, Bristol City Centre, pleaded guilty to three reports of food poisoning at the hotel in Bond Street.

Iberica creates exclusive tapas dishes from world’s top chefs for charity campaign: Spanish restaurant brand Iberica is working with chefs at some of the world’s best establishments to create an exclusive collection of tapas dishes for its Great Chefs, Great Causes campaign. The company’s Michelin-starred executive chef Nacho Manzano and group chef César Garci have been entrusted with the relevant secret recipe in order to create the menu. Dishes available during the campaign, which runs until 23 August, include squid parmentier with smoked Spanish paprika from El Cellar de Can Roca in Spain and razor clams with yellow pepper and black quinoa from Virgilio Martinez of Central in Peru. Prices start from £7 and all proceeds of the profits from the menu will be shared equally among the chefs’ chosen charities, which include Fundaciò Oscobe, Unicef Spain, Action Against Hunger Peru and UK and FarmAfrica. Each tapas dish will be rotated on a weekly basis throughout the company’s London restaurants in Canary Wharf, Farringdon and Marylebone while a selection will be available throughout the campaign at the Manchester establishment in Spinningfields. Meanwhile, in a UK first, Iberica will exclusively stock a range of gourmet products in their delis from the end of June. These include the La Cala range by Albert Adrià featuring white tuna belly; razor clams in olive oil; and albacore belly in escabeche sauce as well as Rocambolesc ice creams by Jordi Roca of El Cellar de Can Roca.

Propel Conference on 2 July at the Oxford Belfry: Multi-site operators can book up to two free places at the Propel Multi Club Conference on Thursday 2 July at the Oxford Belfry, followed by the summer party by emailing Cyril Lavenant, of NPD Group, looks at the current performance of the UK foodservice market, areas of growth and how the UK is performing within a European context. Steven Pike, managing director of HospitalityGem, talks about what operators can learn from listening to their customers and how it can drive sales. Berry Casey, founder of pioneering better burger brand Hache, celebrating its 10th birthday, talks about the better burger market, evolving and staying ahead in the increasingly crowded better burger market. Corrado Accardi, founder of Pizza Rossa, talks about transforming the pizza offer, creating an award-winning business plan, going through two rounds of successful crowdfunding and planning to expand the company. Keith Knowles, chief executive of Beds & Bars, explains how the company’s food beverage and accommodation performance has been transformed in the past 18 months. Giggling Squid founder Andy Laurillard, who was previously head of brand strategy and innovation at TUI, talks about his company’s steps towards becoming the first UK national Thai restaurant brand. Industry consultant Eddy Passey provides his top ten operational tips gleaned during a career that has spanned working at high volume beds, bars and buffet businesses. Darren Tristano, vice president of research and insights form Technomic, provides an overview of the most interesting and innovative new concept launches in the US in the past year. Jamie Barber talks about how his Brazilian barbecue brand Cabana was developed from scratch, its birth, evolution and future prospects. James Hacon, managing director of Elliotts, talks about the future of sector marketing with Georgia Hall, brand and marketing manager for Cafe Rouge, Kate Cargill, group marketing manger Hix restaurants and Tim Foster, head of being awesome at Yummy Pubs. Sector investor and Patisserie Valerie executive chairman Luke Johnson sets out the ten key steps in turning Patisserie Valerie into a national brand.

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