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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Fri 19th Jun 2015 - Update: Starbucks, BrewDog, Kornicis, Be At One, Greene King
BrewDog choose US architects for new Ohio brewery: BrewDog has chosen US architectural firm Triad Architects to design the new BrewDog brewery in Ohio. “We are super excited to work with the Triad guys on one of the most anticipated BrewDog projects to date,” said Keith Bennet, special projects and business development manager at BrewDog. “We feel extremely confident that Brent, Zach and the rest of the Triad team will help us to nail this project and bring our BrewDog US vision to life in Columbus. The last couple of days in Scotland have been a blast but also very productive and we appreciate the effort and the pace that the guys have injected at such short notice.” BrewDog’s US facility will house a 100-barrel brewing system and will employ approximately 100 people on a 42 acre site. The exact location has not been officially announced, but local sources suggest that the site is located in the city of Canal Winchester.

Palmers Brewery launch cider brand Dorset Orchards: Palmers Brewery in Bridport has launched a new cider company called Dorset Orchards that makes the most of the traditional varieties of cider apples grown in the county. The cider has been created with support from David Sheppy of Sheppy’s Cider, whose family have been making traditional ciders for over 200 years. Dorset Orchards uses only Dorset-grown apples to produce a range of premium keg and bag-in-box ciders. In April this year, the company launched its first cider, Apple Bee, and in early July it is bringing out its second label, First Press. Apple Bee (alc. 4.5% vol) is a modern, refreshing and vibrant keg cider pressed by Sheppy’s from apples sourced exclusively from orchards in Dorset. First Press (alc. 5.5% vol) is a traditional still cider with a distinctive full flavour and refreshing bite, typical of artisan West Country ciders. This is the first time in 221 years that Palmers, who like Sheppys are a family firm, have been involved in cidermaking. Chairman John Palmer said: “Customers in our pubs appreciate quality cider and there has been an enormous growth in demand for the drink in recent years. We’re delighted to have Sheppy’s expertise in creating a premium home-grown Dorset cider.” Apple Bee is already available in most Palmers pubs in Dorset, Somerset and Devon and in selected free houses in the South of England.

Groucho Club sold for estimated £40m: London’s iconic Groucho Club has been sold to group of investors for a rumoured £40m with plan now for a New York site to open. The 30-year-old exclusive private members’ club has been snapped up by Alcuin Capital Partners, owners of the Caffè Nero coffee chain and the Krispy Kreme doughnuts UK franchise. Graphite Capital, the current owner, has sold off its majority stake in the business. Groucho chief executive Matt Hobbs, said in a statement: “I am pleased to be able to confirm that we have today completed a management buyout of the Club, backed by a new group of shareholders which includes the current owners, Graphite Capital. We now also welcome two small institutional investors: Alcuin Capital and Isfield, along with several private individual investors. Happily, I am confident that they all share our passion for the Club and the unique nature of the Groucho and its members. I am delighted to tell you that we have also begun to look for a property in lower Manhattan so that we can have a long overdue home for members in New York, with more news on this to follow.”

Kornicis reports Ebitda up 22% at core sites: Kornicis, which operates 18 London wine bars and Smollenskys business, has reported Ebitda up 22% to £2,203,000 in the year to 27 September 2014. Turnover in the core estate was £13,395,000 compare to £12,459,000 the year before. Overall, turnover was £15,627,303 compared to $17,011,352 the year before. In Companies House documents it stated: “The core estate had another strong year, with like-for-like sale up 7% and site Ebtda up 22%. During the year, significant progress was made on streamlining non-core sites, with three out of the four non-core sites successfully disposed of for premiums. The disposal resulted in a loss of £1.7m versus the net book value, but the disposals will improve group profitability. The Manchester Henry J Bans site is the only remaining non-core site and is currently being marketed.” The disposed of sites in Wimbledon, Chelmsford and the West End resulted in a loss on disposal, including cost associated with the closures, of £1,703,767. During the year, NGBI Private Equity Fund, hich holds 70% of the company’s A shares, agreed to write off £3.5m of the Senior A Loan notes along with the accrued interest of £603,902.

World’s first drive-thru Cornish pasty shop and restaurant to open in Cornwall: The world’s first drive-thru Cornish pasty shop and restaurant is set to open in Cornwall. Marion Symonds, who owns Portreath Bakery, is launching the concept in Wilson Way, Pool, near Redruth, which also features a 100-seater restaurant. Symonds, who once appeared on the BBC show Great British Bake-Off, told the Western Morning News: “The plans have been in the pipeline for 18 months and I am buzzing that it is nearing completion. It was a derelict site before we moved in and we will have something for everyone here, including a cosy corner, superfast WiFi connection, and all our seats will be able to see into the bakery where the products are being made. Everything we sell will be locally produced and we have agreements with Cornish Coffee, Roskilly’s and Rodda’s.”

Be At One’s Smartphone app lands mobile prize at Brand Republic Digital Awards: Be At One, the 25-strong cocktail bar chain, has won the mobile award at this year’s Brand Republic Digital Awards for its Smartphone app. The company, which was the only hospitality business in the category, beat off competition from eight other firms and agencies to land the accolade. The app, which Bar At One says it is continuing to develop with payment launching shortly, includes access to Appi Hour offers where users can get two for one drinks. The app also features bar locations, menu details and how to make Be At One cocktails. The ceremony, held at Freemasons Hall in London, was hosted by comedian Rufus Hound with support by acts from DJs Organic Jam, Le Bon Tong and Scott Mills.

Greene King brand launches pioneering new website allowing beer to be bought and gifted digitally ahead of Father’s Day: Greene King has launched a pioneering new website with its Old Speckled Hen brand that allows a beer to be bought and gifted digitally ahead of Father’s Day. The company has started - an industry first. People visit the site, enter the details of the recipient, who then receives a barcode via email to present at the bar of any Hungry Horse pub to redeem a bottle or pint of Old Speckled Hen or Old Golden Hen. The new website comes on the back of a Father’s Day study commissioned by Old Speckled Hen showing more than a third (38%) of sons and daughters have never been out for a drink with their dad while only 17% of respondents admitting that they will tell dad they love him this Father’s Day. The survey also showed nearly half (45%) of fathers say they secretly do want a fuss made over them on Father’s Day – despite saying the opposite to family. A beer/trip to the pub rates most highly in the list of gifts dad will appreciate most, with a watch and an expensive meal the next most popular options. Paul Brazier, Old Speckled Hen marketing manager, said: “It is apparent that it is not always easy to find the words, or indeed gift, to let dad know how we feel. This is exactly what was designed to address. If you can’t say it, why not show it with the gift of ale?” The 2,000-consumer “Say it with Ale” study was conducted by independent online research company Atomik Research in May.

Starbucks outlines staffing changes and priorities for 2016: Starbucks has outlined plans for 2016 in an e-mail to staff from chief operating officer Kevin Johnson. He said: “The Starbucks Roastery and Reserve Tasting Room in Seattle has gained international attention and has elevated the coffee experience and the Starbucks Reserve brand to new levels. As we look to the future, we plan to export the Starbucks Roastery experience to major cities around the world. Our chief creative officer and president of global innovation, Arthur Rubinfeld, will lead our efforts to expand the number of Starbucks Roasteries globally as well as end-to-end operational responsibility for those stores. Arthur’s history and world class experience in design and development will help us quickly and elegantly scale the incredible experience we’ve begun in Seattle. In addition, Arthur will leverage several of the design elements and our experience with the Roastery to lead our creative and development efforts for a new format of Starbucks Reserve Stores. He will work closely with the retail and operations teams on this new concept and once these new stores are opened, the operating teams in the field will be responsible for scaling and operating these stores as they do other Starbucks store formats in our global footprint. We remain committed to expanding Teavana offerings within Starbucks, in our U.S. Teavana mall stores and internationally. Tea is a $125 billion market and the second most consumed beverage in the world, next to water. Tea represents a very compelling strategic opportunity for Starbucks around the world and we are well under way of executing on our plan to increase our tea business to $3 billion over the next five years. With the integration of Teavana into Starbucks retail stores in the U.S. and Canada now complete, a significant milestone under the leadership of Annie Young-Scrivner, we have up-leveled our in-store tea platform, offering our tea fans new beverages and loose-leaf teas of world-class quality. Now that we have Teavana products in our U.S. Starbucks retail stores, we have decided to move the Teavana business to report into Sharon Rothstein, global chief marketing officer. Under Sharon’s leadership we plan to expand Teavana offerings within Starbucks stores globally, create global awareness of the Teavana brand and elevate the innovation and merchandising of Teavana in Starbucks retail stores. The second stage of our strategy will be the selective expansion of Teavana retail stores in key global markets. Sharon’s deep expertise in specialty retail and merchandising will be important experience for us as we move to the next chapter with Teavana. Effective 1 September, Annie will transition to a new role reporting to Matt Ryan, chief strategy officer where she will lead our efforts to develop our customer loyalty strategy, My Starbucks Rewards, globally.  This includes how we align and implement customer loyalty programs in all company owned markets. Annie will focus on expanding to our key markets including China, UK and Japan.”

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