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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Wed 1st Jul 2015 - Drake & Morgan unveils 14,500 square foot deli, bar and grill details
Drake & Morgan unveils 14,500 square foot deli, bar and grill details: Drake & Morgan is to open a new bar and grill concept in King’s Cross in late September, its ninth site. To be called Drake & Morgan at King’s Cross, the site will be the group’s biggest yet at 14,500-square-foot, spread across two floors and comprising two bars and a restaurant, deli and lounge, private dining room and a series of bookable kitchen ‘pods’ as well as an outdoor terrace. The all-day destination will be open seven days a week for breakfast through to dinner and Sunday brunch. The enhanced bar offering includes a new cocktail list by Alex Daulby (Hops & Jigger), a significantly extended wine list, an extensive range of craft beer and artisan coffee to-go. The food menu – overseen by newly-appointed head chef Dave Green (Dean Street Townhouse) under the direction of group executive chef Robert Mitchell – will be divided into meat, fish and vegetables ‘off the grill’ together with a dedicated deli section offering charcuterie and cheese. Managing director Jillian MacLean said: “Over the last few years we’ve watched King’s Cross regenerate and turn into a diverse foodie hub and are extremely excited to have chosen it as the location for the ninth bar and restaurant. The site we’ve selected is perfectly placed with great passing trade and the Google offices directly above us. Drake & Morgan at King’s Cross will be everything that our regular customers have come to love about our brand but with bold new touches introduced across all aspects of the operation from the new menus to the interiors and unique experiential element.” Fusion has been drafted in for a design inspired by innovation trips to places such as Istanbul, California and New York. With the site carved up into smaller spaces, each with their own identity and separated via reeded glass screens, stand-out features include an emerald-green staircase connecting the two floors, an island bar punctuated by swivel stools, and an open-plan kitchen with sit-at dining where the grill is the focal point. Plush materials complete the look – from leather upholstery to elm and walnut flooring – whilst a neutral colour palette includes shades of pewter, mocha and fawn interspersed with burnt orange and striking aquamarine. Dylan Murray, director of operations, added: “Drake & Morgan at King’s Cross will provide an everyday escape for those working in the area with a fully-connected lounge for remote working and a destination bar for everything from entertaining clients to catching up with friends. The new opening will represent an elevated offering for Drake & Morgan in everything from the drinks and food menus through to the service.” 

Survey shows consumers believe healthy eating options have improved, pubs not doing enough: A survey into the UK’s eating out market by guest experience management experts HospitalityGEM has found that 62% of respondents think healthy food choices are more readily available at lunchtime than they were a year ago. Furthermore, 54% believe this is also the case at dinner, and 47% across the breakfast day part. Healthy choices when eating out are seen as a priority for two-thirds of those questioned and the industry seems to be picking up on this trend and reflecting it in their offering. HospitalityGEM’s research shows almost half of respondents believe that supermarkets offer the best variety of healthy choice at lunchtime, perhaps not surprisingly, but counter service outlets are closing the gap and are closely followed by restaurants. With taste, price and nutritional value coming out as the three top factors customers look for when purchasing a grab and go item at lunchtime, Pret A Manger and Tossed were the clear favourites within this sector, offering quick and easy healthy food for a reasonable price. Over half of those questioned believe grab and go operators are leading the way in providing healthy choices. In comparison, HospitalityGEM’s survey found almost two-thirds of respondents believe that pubs aren’t doing enough to provide healthy food options on their menu, with only four per cent stating pubs had the best variety. Unfortunately pubs are clearly lagging behind when it comes to healthy eating options, identifying a gap in the market for pub operators to offer reasonably priced, nutritious food served quickly. Steven Pike, managing director of HospitalityGEM, said: “The survey tells us a lot about people’s attitudes to eating healthily when out and about, and also provides a great insight into the success of the sector’s efforts to meet this trend. It’s fantastic that so many people believe the availability of healthy options has significantly improved in the last twelve months for all day parts of the sector, although this is slightly less so for breakfast.”

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