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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Wed 24th Jun 2015 - Propel Wednesday News Briefing

Story of the Day:

Report shows ‘night time economy’ continues growth despite increased regulations: A new report shows the “night time economy” is continuing to grow – generating revenues of £66bn a year in 2012, nearly 6% of the UK’s GDP – despite increased regulations. The Forward Into the Night report, commissioned by the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA), reveals between 10% and 16% of a town centre’s employment comes from the night time industry while of the 1.5 billion day visits to the UK in 2014, 300 million named their focus as a meal or night out. Urban centres outside of London such as Manchester, Newcastle and Liverpool are also benefiting from a thriving “night time economy” with Newcastle attracting 1.9 million visitors and contributing £404m to the UK economy in 2012. With London’s tube network preparing to become a 24-hour service, the importance of night time industries to the UK economy is more significant than before, says the report. This is despite the industry being increasingly subjected to regulations including reduced opening hours and stricter alcohol licences, making it difficult for late-night venues to remain open. NTIA chairman Alan Miller, said: “The industry needs to bind itself together and present a united front to policy makers as it seeks to challenge and re-address the conversation around the UK’s night time economy. The socio-cultural trends steering the UK towards a 24-hour economy should be accounted for with fairer regulation and at the national level licensing frameworks – both alcohol and planning – should be more inclined to create an environment through which this important industry can prosper, rather than suffocating it.” The report adds while night time industries are “consistently and unfairly” associated with violent crime and recorded crime, violent crime has decreased by 8.2% since 2011-2012, and recorded crime is 38% lower than 2002-2003. The NTIA, which represents and supports bar, nightclub, pub and restaurant owners and festival and live music operators, was set up in 2015 by Miller, founder of the Old Truman Brewery and chief executive of the Vibe Bar, which closed in 2014 following disagreements on licensing rules.

Industry News:

CNN – South African brands targeting UK as test-bed for global success: South Africa’s influence on the UK’s restaurant scene is growing to new heights, as major companies trial their brands here, a report by CNN has claimed. London is a cosmopolitan kaleidoscope, with a restaurant scene to match, CNN Marketplace Africa has argued. “All brands across the world are testing their models in London,” said Spur UK director David Maich. “If it works here it will work anywhere. We’re now positioning ourselves for the UK market, which is more vibrant, more cutting edge, punchy – and this cries out to the customers and to me this is the way to go.” Of Nando’s success in the UK, Maich added: “It’s a tremendous success because they have been a flexible, adapting concept; not a copy and paste rigid brand standard they adopted.”

Greene King completes acquisition of Spirit: Greene King completed its acquisition of Spirit Pub Company yesterday (Tuesday, 23 June). Rooney Anand, chief executive of Greene King, said: “I am delighted to announce the completion of the acquisition of Spirit, bringing together two successful companies to create the UK’s leading managed pub company. Our focus now turns to building a combined business of our best brands, people, locations, and processes to ensure we succeed in the eating and drinking out markets for the long term. As we begin this exciting new phase in our history, Greene King will continue to focus on creating a great place to work for our people, delivering industry-leading value, service and quality to our customers and maximising value for our shareholders.”

St Austell Brewery now exporting to 23 countries, up from two in 2011: St Austell Brewery now exports to more than 20 countries around the world, Business Cornwall has reported. Brazil, Japan and Canada are among the nations now enjoying beers created by the brewery. Export manager Mike Morris said international sales are growing strongly, with the brand now available in 23 countries compared to just two back in 2011. “We began with Denmark and Italy and now you can find St Austell Brewery beers being served around the world,” he said. France and Russia are key growth areas for St Austell Brewery, with about 550 barrels exported to both countries since November. “The world outside of the UK is very interested in craft beers and those that are stronger and more powerfully hopped,” said Morris. He added that new markets were emerging all the time and although exports make up just a small part of the brewer’s business, it is an area that will continue to thrive over the coming years. “We have a few strong markets and there are also emerging areas like Slovenia, Switzerland, Malta and Japan,” he said. “When you add these venues together, you start to see a very strong business for the brewery.” Future expansion plans include the possibility of exporting to the Baltic States and China and there are also hopes that the Cornish brand will break the difficult American market.

Milan Expo – British Brewers’ confidence at 25-year high, BBPA chairman tells Europe’s brewers: Three beer duty cuts and a new spirit of entrepreneurship has led to more confidence in Britain’s brewing industry than at any time in the past 25 years, British Beer and Pub Association chairman Jonathan Neame, told a seminar at the Milan Expo. The previous UK government policy of large beer tax rises under the “escalator” had cost 58,000 jobs, he told delegates, but now British beer was experiencing growth. Neame also highlighted a big and positive reputational shift on responsible retailing over the past six to seven years, through measures such as the Responsibility Deal, the billion unit reduction pledge, a very strong performance on labelling, and support for Drinkaware.

UK-based Crowdcube one of five crowdfunding platforms licensed in New Zealand market: Crowdcube, the Exeter-based crowdfunding platform, has become one of just five crowdfunding platforms licensed in the New Zealand market. Cloud software firm Collect Group is seeking to raise $1m from the public to turn its marketing and loyalty software into a global hit – its crowdfunding campaign is the first to be run through Crowdcube. The crowdfunding platform Crowdcube is being run in New Zealand by Wellington boutique investment bank Armillary Private Capital.

Website launched to highlight opportunity in pub sector:, the first inclusive and independent platform championing the industry as a whole, has been launched. Chief executive of industry body The Perceptions Group, Suzanne Jackson, said: “As an industry, we have been selling ourselves short. We have displayed growth year on year, drawing customers in with an endless supply of creative and innovative concepts and the market is only set to get bigger. The achievements made already highlight the scope of possibility for the future and we must enable our progress by becoming attractive to the highest calibre of young person. (The website) is designed for us to work together to build positive public perception, signpost careers, encourage and showcase collaborative industry work, engage the media and establish two-way communications between young people and the industry and we’re incredibly pleased to be launching it today.” The website is the next phase of The Perceptions Group’s Pub & Bar Careers campaign, shining a light on the wide range of career opportunities available in the industry.

Company News:

BrewDog’s UK bar division reports small loss in 2014: BrewDog’s UK bar division has reported turnover of £10,860,270 for the year to 31 December 2014, up from £6,893,622 the year before. It made a pre-tax loss of £45,505 compared to a profit of £33,800 the year before. The company opened seven new sites and its first BottleDog in London. Co-founder James Watt said: “With 2014 under our belt, we are ready to burn up 2015.” BrewDog has unveiled a new guest bar list to be made available across its UK bar estate. Five beers will be available across all bars. The company stated: “We are launching a brand new list, which has been painstakingly curated to provide a fantastic choice of different breweries, and covering the full range of styles. From up and coming breweries to all-time classics; we are hugely excited to say that the guest bottle list in our bars will now be better than ever.” They are: Ballast Point Sculpin (5%), Wild Beer Indigo Child (8%), Firestone Walker Union Jack (7.5%), Siren Mum’s the Word (5%) and Mikkeller Beer Geek Dessert (11%). 

Social Bite unveils fifth opening, eyes sixth: Sandwich shop chain Social Bite, which employs people who have been homeless, has unveiled plans to open in Aberdeen next month, its fifth outlet. The business, founded by social entrepreneur Josh Littlejohn, also plans to open in Dundee later in the summer. One-quarter of Social Bite’s staff is made up of formerly homeless people. Social Bite also operates a “suspended” coffee and food programme through which customers can pay for a hot drink or food for a homeless person and the business donates its profits to good causes. The social enterprise already has shops in St Vincent Street and Bothwell Street in Glasgow and in Shandwick Place and Rose Street in Edinburgh. Littlejohn said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to be opening in Aberdeen after many months of planning. The people of Edinburgh and Glasgow have really bought into what we call our ‘social business’ model and we’ve had a lot of requests to expand into Aberdeen.” Social Bite has been awarded a grant of £175,000 by the People’s Postcode Lottery to enable its expansion into Aberdeen. The business, which employs 60 people, has also launched a corporate catering division recently.

Former Patisserie Valerie executive takes top job at Muffin Break operator: Muffin Break and Jamaica Blue operator Foodco has hired Lisa Brook as its UK general manager. The company has more than 420 fresh food and coffee retail outlets worldwide, with 58 in the UK. Brook has been appointed to increase market share, sales and profitability through Foodco’s network of franchised and company stores. From 2011 to 2014 Brook held the position of director at Flour Power City Bakery, a role for which she was recruited by sector investor Luke Johnson. She remained at the helm of the company as she led it through a successful merger into Patisserie Holdings. Brook then joined Philpotts, an acquisition of Patisserie Holdings in 2014, successfully launching the Cafe Philpotts concept. Brook said: “I am very excited to join Foodco and looking forward to growing our UK brands, Muffin Break and Jamaica Blue. I am very impressed by Foodco’s success and its strong, well-received brands. Foodco UK has a clear strategy and I am looking forward to leading the company and increasing market share and brand loyalty.”

Artigiano Espresso Bars founders to develop craft beer concept: Joe Hill and Steve Keogh, owners of the five-strong Artigiano Espresso Bars business, plans to open a new concept, The Terrace – A Craft Brew Bar, in the multi-million pound Guildhall redevelopment in Exeter. The venue could be open as early as next spring and will take over the top two floors of the revamped Guildhall in February. The Terrace – A Craft Brew Bar would occupy the top floor and include a roof terrace and outside fireplace while specialising in craft beers, boutique wines and a menu featuring quality, locally and ethically sourced ingredients. The craft beer terrace would boast views over the cathedral. Downstairs, the Club Lounge would encompass a cocktail lounge and a late night bar/club. Hill said: “The idea evolved from the Artigiano concept which is a successful duel purpose model – a speciality coffee house by day and a busy bar in the evening. What we’ve found with our Exeter Artigiano is that there’s a huge demand for high-quality places to eat and drink, serving high-end wines, spirits and cocktails in a really nice environment, but because of its size, we can’t meet that demand there.”

The Real Italian Pizza Company eyes roll-out as it expand beyond Bath: The Real Italian Pizza Company is to expand beyond its Bath base with an opening in Cardiff. The family-run business, which already operates an outlet in Bath, has signed a 15-year lease for a unit on Trinity Street in the city centre. The venture will create more than 15 jobs and is expected to be open from August with the capacity for 120 diners including al-fresco seating for 24. The restaurant will be the first for the family-run business outside of Bath and is part of larger UK expansion plans for the company. Tim Coffey of The Real Italian Pizza Company, said: “We’re really excited to launch our restaurant in Cardiff. We have experienced excellent success in Bath for serving quality homemade pizzas. Cardiff really appealed to us as an up and coming city which is really making its mark on the food scene, particularly with independents.”

Starbucks signs deal to sell French cookies in Manhattan: Starbucks plans to sell cookies made by a French bakery at some of its coffee shops in New York, part of a test that could be expanded. Cookies from Michel & Augustin, a company based in the Paris area, will be offered at 25 Starbucks locations in Manhattan. The partnership was signed on Friday after officials from the French company visited Starbucks chief executive Howard Schultz in Seattle. The roll-out may extend to coffee shops in France and the UK later this summer. The deal with Michel & Augustin comes less than a week after Starbucks announced plans to close all 23 of its La Boulange bakery cafes by the end of September. Starbucks acquired La Boulange and its recipes for $100m in 2012 to make its food offerings more upscale.

Bill’s and Itsu gets Leeds go-ahead, Itsu confirms Cambridge opening: Bill’s and Itsu have secured approval to redevelop Leeds city centre sites. Bill’s has secured permission to change the use of the grade II-listed 1 Albion Place and to remodel the interior. The property was built in 1795 for Leeds surgeon William Hey and has been home to the Leeds Law Society for almost 100 years. Outside, the façade of the Georgian townhouse is to be retained although the existing railings, added as part of a restoration in the 1990s, will be altered to allow external seating. Meanwhile, Itsu has received permission for its plans to install its branding and layout at a prominent location in Leeds city centre for its first operation in the north. The shop will be based at 36-38 Commercial Street, on the approach to Trinity Leeds, and was formerly a longstanding home of Barratts, with the shoe shop having a presence there since 1930 until its closure. Elsewhere in the city, Enterprise Inns has been granted a change of use permission to open a restaurant/bar at 36 Wellington Street in a venue last used as a lap-dancing club, although the pubco does not have any immediate plans to open an establishment at the location. Meanwhile, Itsu is set to open in Cambridge in the former Austin Reed shop on Sidney Street on 17 July.

Byron and Gourmet Burger kitchen to open in Canterbury next week: Better burger brands Byron and Gourmet Burger Kitchen are set to go head-to-head in Canterbury, opening new sites within four days of each other. Byron is set to open its restaurant in Burgate on Thursday 2 July, just four days before the arrival of GBK. Byron plans to give away as many free hamburgers as can be served on its opening day together with a sampling of Camden Town Brewery’s craft beer.

McDonald’s launches brand Snapchat geofilters in the US: McDonald’s has launched the first branded Snapchat geofilters, allowing users to add McDonald’s-themed overlays to their images, according to Marketing magazine. Geofilters are an additional feature of Snapchat that allow users to overlay graphics onto their “snaps”. They are location specific – so a Snapchat taken by the London Eye will unlock a graphic relevant to the landmark. Snapchat does not provide all the filters itself, instead encouraging artists and designers to upload their own original artwork for approval. It is currently beta testing sponsored filters, with McDonald’s becoming the first brand partner, but only in the US. Snapchat users at a McDonald’s restaurant anywhere in the US can add sponsored illustrations to their posts, including a double cheeseburger, French fries, or hearts embedded with the Golden Arches.

Gordon Ramsay opens third Bread Street Kitchen in Singapore: Gordon Ramsay Group has opened its third Bread Street Kitchen, this time in Singapore – the celebrity chef’s first restaurant in the country. The 149-seat two-storey venue is at Marina Bay Sands along the waterfront at the south promenade of The Shoppes. It will be led by executive chef Sabrina Stillhart, who has been with the Gordon Ramsay Group for nearly a decade and was in the opening team of the original Bread Street Kitchen in London. The first floor of the Marina Bay Sands restaurant has a dining area and bar serving both classic and distinctive cocktails, as well as a selection of world wines. The basement offers a peek into the kitchen, and a 14-seater private dining area. The food menu includes pork belly, shepherd’s pie and the BSK Burger, featuring melted Monterey Jack cheese and spicy sriracha mayo in a brioche bun. The original London restaurant is located in Bread Street near St Paul’s Cathedral, and it has another venue in Hong Kong’s Lan Kwai Fong suburb. Bread Street Kitchen joins a cast of nine celebrity chef restaurants in Marina Bay Sands, including Adrift by David Myers, CUT by Wolfgang Puck, db Bistro & Oyster Bar by Daniel Boulud, Long Chim by David Thompson, Osteria and Pizzeria Mozza by Mario Batali, Sky on 57 by Justin Quek, Spago by Wolfgang Puck (upcoming) and Waku Ghin by Tetsuya Wakuda.

Spearmint Rhino in Bournemouth looks to end probation period: A Bournemouth lap-dancing club put on probation by the council’s licensing board is seeking a renewal of its entertainment venue licence. Spearmint Rhino in Yelverton Road was given a six-month licence on a probationary period last December and warned it needed to take the opportunity to “prove itself”. This six-month probationary period is now up and Spearmint Rhino applied to renew its licence on 12 June, signalling the start of a 28-day consultation period in which anyone can make representations for or against the renewal. If there are any objections, the application will go before the council’s licensing committee again who will decide whether or not the licence can be renewed. The decision in December followed a six-hour meeting of the licensing committee, in which councillors heard claims the club had “exploited” some customers, including one man who had spent more than £6,000 in one evening at the club. Two other people made allegations the club had taken unauthorised payments from their debit cards.

Former brewer launches new ‘beer bar’ concept Tap & Bottle in Knutsford: Tap & Bottle, a new “beer bar” concept focusing on local and global real ales, is launching its first venue in Knutsford, Cheshire. The company, started by former assistant brewer at Tatton Brewery Rick Hoskins, is opening in Minshull Street in mid-July. As well as acting as a “beer bar”, it will also sell local and global beers for people to buy and take home. Hoskins told The Knutsford Guardian: “Tap & Bottle will provide a range of products and experiences from all over the globe. As I have a huge passion for real ales and the hard work and love that goes into them, I intend to stock quality ales that range from everyday easy drinkers, to that ‘something special’. I wish to create the excitement of beer and provide a relaxed ‘pub’ atmosphere in which to enjoy it at affordable prices. I will be showcasing Tatton Brewery as my house beer along with real ales from local breweries.” Tap & Bottle will be open from 9am to 2am from Monday to Saturday, and 10am to 10.30pm on Sunday. The building, which is owned by Tatton Estate management, will be home to the only drinking establishment in Minshull Street and replaces a closed shop.

Crooked Billet chef buys first site: The Brasserie in The Courtyard in Settle, North Yorkshire, has been bought by head chef Richard Wright in a deal set up by the agent Colliers International. Mark Hancock and Simon Robinson opened The Brasserie, a restaurant specialising in locally sourced dishes, in 2012 as part of their development of The Courtyard, a barn conversion south of Settle on the A65 that houses independent local businesses. Wright trained as a chef in his home town of Harrogate before progressing his career in the home counties including at the original gastro pub, The Crooked Billet near Henley-on-Thames. Haydn Spedding, associate director for hotels agency at the Manchester office of Colliers International, secured the sale and said: “Mark and Simon understood that the quality of their food offering was critical to the success of The Brasserie and having achieved that goal, wanted to pass the business on to another quality operator to ensure their high standards were maintained. We were tasked with finding the new owner and believe that Richard, who has a wealth of experience in the catering industry, is ideally placed to take the business onwards and upwards.”

The Criterion restaurant slips into administration: The Criterion restaurant in London’s Piccadilly has gone into administration, according to The Caterer. The restaurant, once owned by Marco Pierre White, is part of the 120,000 sq ft Criterion Theatre block, which is owned by the Crown Estate. The Grade II-listed venue is famed for its neo-Byzantine golden mosaic ceiling. Current owner Vox Restaurant, operated by Georgian entrepreneurs Irakly and Nino Sopromadze, took the venue over from Pierre White in 2009 promising a “gentle and sympathetic” restoration of the business.

Agent offers freehold Chobham pub for £525,000: Agent AG&G is offering the freehold of the Castle Grove in Chobham, Surrey, for an asking price of £525,000 – the pub is a converted railway station. “Back in the day, there was a plan to run a light railway the few miles from Bisley rifle ranges to the Castle Grove which was originally built as the line’s terminating station,” said AG&G’s Panayiotis Themistocli. “It never happened and the unused station became a pub. After more than a century, it could change use again, given that the building lies on a site of just under 0.45 of an acre at a prominent junction of three roads and is neither listed nor in a conservation area. We’re expecting unconditional offers of more than £525,000 for the freehold interest with vacant possession.”

Entrepreneur to open champagne and seafood brand in Southend: Entrepreneur Antonia Waite, whose family operates a well-known Italian in Southend, is opening a seafood and champagne concept called Oyster Creek Kitchen in the seaside town in a fortnight’s time. Waite has transformed the former sun shelter, in Western Esplanade, Westcliff, into the brand. The restaurant will specialise in seafood, serving oyster platters and lobster, but chicken and burgers will also be on the menu to cater for other tastes. A breakfast and brunch menu will start at 9am, with pancakes, full English, eggs Benedict and more traditional fare, before the main menu kicks in at noon, with Oyster Creek staying open until 11pm.

Market and rooftop bar concept Playground & Proof launching in east London: Market and rooftop bar concept Playground & Proof is launching in east London on Saturday, 4 July. The venture is a weekend market run on the surrounds of the London Fields courtyard with a 150-capacity in-house bar overlooking the Hackney park on the roof of the Hothouse Building. The market part – known as the Playground – features food traders The Cheese Truck and Hector & Milo’s Ice Cream Sandwiches alongside a range of wares from east London’s finest makers and designers. Rooftop bar Proof will stock spirits from mezcal specialists Quiquiriqui, which will be at the heart of a seasonal cocktail menu, cider from The Cider Box and beer from Hackney-based craft brewers Five Points Brewery. Promoter Daz Guerin said: “We’ve carefully selected each partner and trader to ensure they are bringing something innovative to both Playground’s market and Proof’s rooftop bar.” Playground will run every Saturday from 10am-6pm and Sunday from 11am-6pm, while Proof opens from noon-11pm on Saturday and Sunday and 6pm-11pm on Thursday and Friday.

Five-star hotel, spa and restaurant in north east set to get go-ahead: Plans to redevelop the derelict Woolsington Hall into a £23m five-star hotel with spa complex, golf course and restaurant look set to be approved by councillors. The luxury property is expected to create almost 200 jobs and boost the local economy by almost £9m. The property is a grade II-listed country house in a 92-acre estate, which was bought by Sir John Hall’s Cameron Hall in 1994. The planning statement submitted by Darlington-based consultancy England & Lyle on behalf of the applicant Cameron Hall Developments states that Woolsington Hall will be restored and extended, along with its associated buildings, to provide a 32-bedroom boutique five-star hotel with a restaurant. Some existing farmstead buildings on the site would be demolished to allow for the erection of a new-build spa complex, while the remaining farm structures would be used to provide staff accommodation. According to the statement, the economic impact of the five-star hotel has been estimated at £8.9m, while 187 full-time jobs will be created. 

New restaurant modelled on outdoor food market to open at Dublin Airport: A new restaurant modelled on an outdoor food market will open at Dublin Airport at the end of August, creating 80 jobs. Marquette, which will feature a vintage Citroen van selling freshly made omelettes and crêpes, will be based in Terminal 1 near the security screening area. The venue, which has capacity for more than 260 people, will offer locally sourced produce and fresh artisan bread. Dublin Airport’s food and beverage manager Brendan Dee said the restaurant had been designed specifically for good customer flow to ensure people are served quickly. Dublin Airport, owned and managed by DAA, serves more than 20 million passengers a year. 

Linen Hill secures second site: Northern Ireland restaurant Linen Hill has secured a second venue after winning a £15,000 funding package. The company, which opened its first operation at The Outlet Village in Banbridge in 2013, is also creating ten new jobs with the loan it received from the Northern Ireland Small Business Loan Fund. John and Fiona Robinson established the business with chef and partner Shaun Hanna. John Robinson said: “The restaurant has been open at The Outlet for two years now and we have experienced tremendous success. We have a passion for local produce and source many of our ingredients locally, some ingredients such as herbs and salads we grow ourselves. Each morning Fiona bakes all our breads and scones in store so our customers get the freshest produce possible.” The company also operates a street food van at various events such as rugby matches at the Kingspan Stadium, the Dalriada Festival and the Balmoral Show.

Whitbread prepares to re-submit plans for £10m Premier Inn in Blackpool: Whitbread is preparing to re-submit plans for a new £10m Premier Inn and Brewers Fayre restaurant in Blackpool. The company saw its initial application for the 150-bedroom development on the site of the former Yates’ Wine Lodge in Talbot Road turned down by Blackpool Council in April on the grounds of design and lack of parking. Whitbread will now try for a second time to get the plans approved for the hotel and restaurant, which would create more than 50 jobs. It has altered the design and while there is still no parking included, the company has put together a detailed highways assessment anticipating most guests would travel by train with those arriving by car using existing car parks. The six-storey building would feature the restaurant on the ground floor. Acquisition manager for Whitbread Hotels and Restaurants Nick Johnston said: “Blackpool is an iconic seaside resort in the UK, and with this comes high demand for high quality and affordable accommodation. The site of the former Yates’ Wine Lodge is the perfect location for a new Premier Inn hotel. It is close to the world famous Blackpool Tower and Pier and is metres from Blackpool North train station and town centre.” The site has been vacant since Yates’ was destroyed by fire in February 2009.

Imported beer volumes grew by 13% in the US in first quarter of 2015: Imported beer volumes in the United States increased by 13% to 231.2 million gallons in the first quarter of 2015 on a year-over-year basis. The value of US beer imports increased by 18% to $1.1 billion in 1Q15 from the corresponding quarter of the previous year. The quarter saw a rise in beer imports from key regions like Mexico, the Netherlands, Belgium, Ireland, and Canada. Mexico accounted for about 59% of the imported beer value in the first quarter. The growing Hispanic population in the United States is a primary growth driver for the rise in Mexican beer imports. According to the United States Census Bureau’s population projections, the Hispanic or Latino population is expected to account for 17.7% of the total US population in 2015 and 19% by 2020. Based on the latest projections, the Hispanic population should reach 57 million in 2015.

Marston’s franchised pub becomes first in Hull to include interactive Bluetooth technology following £250,000 revamp: Marston’s franchised pub the Goodfellowship Inn in Hull has re-opened after a £250,000 refurbishment – and is the first pub in the city to include interactive Bluetooth technology for its customers. The pub in Cottingham Road, which is operated by Spectrums Leisure, features booths containing Bluetooth connections and television screens allowing customers to play their own music and films. Goodfellowship marketing director Tommy Stewart told the Hull Daily Mail: “We have built these interactive pods and family booths, which are very big, so we can get families of at least six or eight in them. It was an idea we saw in Canada and thought it was a really, really good thing to bring across to England. They can choose their own music and it is up to a level where others can’t hear it outside, but those inside the booth can hear it easily.” The pub also has a new food station that will serve a carvery in the day that turns into a burrito bar in the evening.

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 tenth 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 and 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 United States in the past year. Jamie Barber talks about how his Brazilian barbecue brand Cabana was developed from scratch, its birth, evolution and future prospects. 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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