Propel Morning Briefing Mast HeadAccess Banner  
Propel Morning Briefing Mast Head Propel's LinkedIn LinkPaul's Twitter Link Paul's X Link

Krombacher Headline Banner
Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Mon 13th Jul 2015 - Propel Monday News Briefing

Story of the Day:

Doctors call for 20% tax on sugary drinks: Adding 20% tax on sugary drinks would be a “useful first step” towards the long-term goal of taxing a wide range of products in the fight to reduce obesity, doctors’ leaders have said. With a third of the UK population projected to be obese by 2030, the British Medical Association (BMA) said imposing the tax could reduce the number of obese British citizens by around 180,000. The BMA report, Food For Thought, warns that poor diet costs the NHS around £6bn a year, meaning it has a greater impact on its budget than alcohol consumption, smoking or physical inactivity. It suggests that imposing a 20% tax on all non-alcoholic water based beverages with added sugar, including sugar-sweetened soft drinks, energy drinks, fruit drinks, sports drinks and fruit-juice concentrates, could subsidise the sale of fruit and vegetables. It also criticises the government for placing too much emphasis on industry involvement in developing food and nutrition policy in the UK through the use of public-private partnerships. It said the approach of partnership working has also provided a platform for companies to promote and enhance their own brands, meaning that commercial companies are the main beneficiaries. The report’s author, Professor Sheila Hollins, said: “While sugar-sweetened drinks are very high in calories they are of limited nutritional value and when people in the UK are already consuming far too much sugar, we are increasingly concerned about how they contribute towards conditions like diabetes. We know from experiences in other countries that taxation on unhealthy food and drinks can improve health outcomes, and the strongest evidence of effectiveness is for a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages. If a tax of at least 20% is introduced, it could reduce the prevalence of obesity in the UK by around 180,000 people. We know that the majority of the UK population, particularly low income households, are not consuming enough fruit and vegetables, so financial measures should also be considered to subsidise their price, which has risen by 30% since 2008.”

Industry news:

Healthy snack company Graze signs deal with three major retailers: The healthy snacks-by-post company Graze has signed distribution deals with Sainsbury’s, Boots and WH Smith in a major departure from the company’s online-only and subscription business model. The deals will see a Graze range of “healthier” snacks on sale in 1,200 stores nationwide. It marks the latest stage of an expansion push by Graze, which is controlled by the private equity firm Carlyle Group. In 2013 it introduced its snacks-by-post service to the United States and in the year to the end of February reported a turnover of £68m, an increase of 31% on the prior year. Anthony Fletcher, Graze’s chief executive, said: “It brings Graze one step closer to achieving our vision of becoming the number one healthier snacking brand in the UK.” Sainsbury’s said it will position the “tasty and more permissible” snacks next to tills to target impulse buyers who might ordinarily by tempted by chocolate or sweets. Branded “good to go”, Graze’s range of 12 products includes flapjacks, nuts and pretzels and will be priced between 99p and £1.49. The company said it had already trialled the products in Boots stores, where they had delivered the highest rate of sales of any snack and had proved popular with customers who do not often buy snacks.

Solo dining at restaurants grows by 110% according to new OpenTable survey: Solo dining at UK restaurants has grown by 110% in the past two years according to research by restaurant booking service OpenTable. The survey showed 87% of the 2,000 respondents would eat out alone while 42% would dine solo because they enjoy time on their own. The research also revealed people over the age of 55 are 22% more likely to dine out alone compared to younger diners (18-24). Only 7% of Brits would negatively judge someone they saw dining alone, according to the survey. OpenTable managing director Mike Xenakis said: “Restaurants across the globe are increasingly accommodating the rise in dining alone by installing clever solo seating arrangements, such as extra bar seating, counters where customers can watch chef’s work and single window seating, to enjoy a view whilst eating their meal.” The poll was conducted by YouGov last month.

Company News:

Stonegate Pub Company launching new ‘game-changing’ employee training mobile app: Stonegate Pub Company is launching a new ‘game-changing’ employee training mobile app that has been developed by hospitality sector training and online experts CPL Online. “Albert’s App”, which goes live this month, has been designed to enhance the training available to Stonegate’s 12,000 employees at the touch of a phone. The app is based on Stonegate’s award-winning training platform Albert’s Theory of Progression and builds on the design of the company’s intranet Elsa. Users can access hundreds of “How to” videos, ranging from making the perfect mojito to how to use the back office systems and are also encouraged to upload their own videos to share knowledge and best practice across the business. Employees can also search for key competitors within the local area and access their own online development programme as well as other information. Stonegate’s head of learning and development Lee Woolley said: “Albert’s App is game-changing and offers our employees an extra dimension to their programme of training. CPL Online’s vision has enabled us to turn this idea into reality, bringing training to life and making it interactive for all. The potential to develop the app, by adding further training or communications tools, is huge.” CPL Online managing director David Dasher added: “This is another first for Stonegate who are quick to embrace new ideas and technical advances to support their employees with tools to encourage training. This project, like the development of Elsa, which we created together three years ago now, is truly industry leading.”

Insomnia set to launch in UK in partnership with Debenhams: Irish coffee company Insomnia is set to move into the UK market in a partnership with Debenhams. The coffee company opened its first Debenhams partnership store in Mahon Point Shopping Centre in Cork last month and is now planning its first shops across the Irish Sea in Rugby and Bradford. Insomnia chairman Bobby Kerr told “We’re very proud to announce this new partnership with Debenhams which will see us open our first UK outlets later this summer. As a market leader with an exciting portfolio of lifestyle brands, Debenhams is a natural home for Insomnia. The cosy seating and relaxed atmosphere of our stores will offer tired customers the chance to properly unwind with a cup of our finest premium coffee after a hard day’s shopping.” The first Insomnia opened in a Galway bookshop in 1997. It now operates on a franchise model for its coffee shops, in addition to partnerships with brands including Spar, Eason books, Meadows and Byrne, and Heatons.

Newcastle-based JPG Group launches new cold pressed juice bar concept: Newcastle-based JPG Group, owner of the Sale Pepe restaurant in the Jesmond area of the city, has launched a new cold pressed juice bar concept – and is already eyeing further expansion. The company has opened Clean & Press on St George’s Terrace in Jesmond on the corner of Acorn Road and Osborne Road. Clean & Press offers a range of raw juices and smoothies made from fresh ingredients, and also specially-devised wellbeing drinks. The concept was devised by Nicky Peng Gillender, director of JPG Group, alongside Niyc Pidgeon, founder of wellbeing business Optimallyou. Gillender told Bdaily Business News: “The idea first came during a trip to Los Angeles last summer, where juicing plays a really big part in everyday life and using fresh raw ingredients is commonplace. I wanted to replicate that approach over here, so found this site and began Clean & Press. We are already looking for our second site, which ideally we would like to open this year.”

Better burger brand Burger Craft to open two new locations: Burger Craft, the acclaimed burger company who operate residencies in four out of the six PubLove pubs, is to “complete the set” this summer with openings planned for PubLove’s Docklands and Waterloo sites. Burger Craft has reported overall sales up 144% in Quarter One of its financial year thanks, in part, to the new kitchen in Euston. Like-for-like sales have grown by 55%. Burger Craft spokesman Chris Clawson said: “Sales are being driven by brunch, delivery (via Deliveroo) and our growing reputation for serving up awesome burgers in great pubs.”

Nando’s set to open third Belfast site: Nando’s is set to open its third site in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The company will open at the Boucher Retail Park later this year, which is expected to create 12 jobs, and has started recruiting staff for the restaurant. Nando’s already has two sites in Belfast – in Victoria Square and Bedford Street. Its only other restaurant in the country is in Londonderry.

YO! Sushi opens second Kent site in Bromley: Japanese restaurant brand YO! Sushi has opened its second restaurant in Kent, this time in Bromley. The company has opened a 53-seater venue next to Debenhams on the ground floor at the Intu Bromley Shopping Centre in Bromley High Street, creating more than 25 new jobs. YO! Sushi chief executive Vanessa Hall said: “We’re extremely excited about bringing our kaiten concept to the Intu Bromley shopping centre and reaching a brand new audience. Diners can enjoy the über-cool Japanese dining experience that YO! Sushi offers in a unique setting.” The company has more than 70 sites across the UK including its other Kent restaurant at the Bluewater shopping centre.

Restaurant, micro-brewery bar and cinema set for historic site in Leeds: A restaurant, micro-brewery bar and cinema are set to be built on the site of a historic pin factory in Leeds. The development of The Engine House at Towers Works in Holbeck Urban Village will feature a restaurant and micro-brewery bar on the ground floor and an art house cinema upstairs. Leeds City Council, which owns the grade II-listed building, has chosen construction firm Carillion as its partner for the scheme. Gareth Jackson, development director at Carillion, told The Yorkshire Evening Post: “Our team are developing a thoughtful and high-quality bar and restaurant offer which takes its cues from Holbeck and its emerging community and this announcement means we can begin conversations with independent cinema operators in earnest over the summer.” The site’s Engine House and famed Italianate towers are two of the five listed structures remaining from a factory that produced steel pins from 1860 to 1981. Carillion has already been chosen to develop another part of the Tower Works site owned by the Homes and Communities Agency, which will include 112,000 sq ft of office, retail, restaurant and bar space and 147 residential units.

Harry Ramsden’s rebuts rival’s claim to largest fish ‘n’ chip shop in the world: Harry Ramsden’s has rebutted claims by rival Mr Papas to be opening the world’s largest fish ‘n’ chip shop in Willerby, East Yorkshire with a 10,000 sq ft site offering 280 covers at a cost of £1.25m. Joe Teixeira, chief executive of Harry Ramsden’s, told Propel: “The world record we hold is based on number of covers available – Harry Ramsden’s in Bournemouth, which extends to over 15,000 sq ft remains, in every sense, the world’s largest fish and chip restaurant. Having said that, we wish Mr Papas every success in his new venture, which will no doubt be the largest in the area. Indeed, to celebrate this achievement, we have already extended an invitation to Mr Papas and his family to enjoy a meal at Harry Ramsden’s, with our compliments, when they next visit Bournemouth.” Following a multi-million pound refurbishment, Harry Ramsden’s flagship restaurant in Bournemouth claimed the title of ‘The World’s Largest Fish and Chip Restaurant’ in 2013. The site has seating for 417 diners.

Michelin-starred chef Atul Kochhar appoints agency to expand digital offering at Benares: Michelin-starred chef Atul Kochhar has appointed Manchester digital agency We Are Empire to expand the digital offering at his British-Indian fusion restaurant Benares in Mayfair. Kochhar will work with We Are Empire, which is starting its work by adding online purchasing of gift vouchers and cookbooks and make Benares’ website mobile responsive. We Are Empire operations director Drew Dinneen told Prolific North: “The opportunity to take the next step in the digital offerings of Benares is something we’re all extremely excited about, and the early work is looking fantastic.”

‘High quality’ cafe-bar or restaurant venture sought for North Shields marina: A ‘high quality’ cafe-bar or restaurant venture is being sought for a new development at the Royal Quays Marina in North Shields. Property firm Sanderson Weatherall has been tasked with attracting a food operator to the 1,863 sq ft site, which has full planning consent and is situated in the Albert Edward Dock. Prospective tenants to the building, which includes an extensive outdoor seating area, are being offered new lease terms on a pre-let basis, at a proposed rental of £26,000 per annum exclusive. Sanderson Weatherall’s head of commercial agency in Newcastle Robert Patterson told Chronicle Live: “This is a popular and busy waterfront area that is not currently well served with leisure venues, which is why this is such a fantastic opportunity. With the flexible terms offered we believe that this development is sure to be of interest to the regional leisure market.” The Royal Quays Marina has a current capacity for 350 berths plus 100 boats ashore, with the potential to accommodate 500 berths. There are over 1,000 residential properties on the site, with work due to start shortly on the adjoining Smiths Dock development that will bring a further 800 homes to the area and provide improvements to transport links.

Burger & Lobster set to open Manchester site next month: Burger & Lobster, the brand owned by Goodman Restaurant Group, is set to launch its first restaurant in Manchester on Friday, 7 August. The company is opening the venue in the grade II-listed Ship Canal House in King Street, which was previously an office. The site, which is Burger & Lobster’s third in the UK outside London, features a 200-cover restaurant and a 30-cover cocktail bar upstairs. Marketing manager Maisie Denning told The Manchester Evening News: “When the team think of Manchester, we think great vibes and a fantastic reputation for food and culture. We’re hoping the Burger & Lobster phenomenon will fit in perfectly and the people will enjoy the new restaurant and bar as much as we know we will enjoy the people.” The company has seven restaurants in London and sites in Cardiff and Bath as well as New York. It is also venturing into Sweden by opening a venue in Stockholm later this month. 

Kent chef-entrepreneur launches new fish and beer bar concept in Broadstairs: Kent chef-entrepreneur Adrian Mowl, who runs The Royal Harbour Brasserie in Ramsgate, has launched a new fish and beer bar concept in Broadstairs. Mowl, who was executive chef at the Olympic Village in 2012, has opened Fish and Beer in Albion Street on the site of former Greek restaurant Esme’s. The bar serves eight different beers and various fish dishes including paella and mussels. Mowl told the Thanet Gazette: “It’s a different crowd we are aiming for there. I like Broadstairs and I feel there’s an ambience which will attract what I like to eat and drink. It’s a simple concept with the seafood and the beer and it has more of a continental feel to it. A lot of people like what we do in Ramsgate and I thought I could do a similar thing here.”

Nightclub and restaurant business directors banned for nine years: Two directors of a business that ran nightclubs and restaurants in Bristol and Cardiff have been banned for misusing the annual accounting scheme for VAT and causing companies to trade to the detriment of HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). Following an investigation by the Insolvency Service, Nicholas Pratt and Luke Parker, the directors of Ashperry and Carbris Leisure, have each been banned for nine years, reports Insider Media. The two companies operated Mbargo, Mbargo Lounge and Bunker Nightclub from premises in Clifton Triangle, Bristol, as well as Le Monde Restaurant, Soda Bar, Soda Lounge and Bunker Nightclub from premises in Cardiff. Ashperry was incorporated on 14 May 2010 and went into liquidation on 11 October 2012. Carbris Leisure was founded on 3 May 2006 but did not start trading until 2012 and went into administration on 12 August 2013. Pratt has given a disqualification undertaking to the secretary of state which runs from 4 June 2015 until 3 June 2024 while Parker’s runs from 13 July 2015 until 12 July 2024. The investigation found that the directors took advantage of a scheme designed for smaller businesses in order to accrue large VAT debts undetected by HMRC. In the case of Carbris, HMRC had been advised that the expected turnover would be £78,000 and had estimated the annual VAT at £10,000. The directors failed to tell HMRC the turnover had exceeded this level within a week of trading and after nine months of trading the turnover was over £5.4m, leading to a VAT liability of £392,775. Mark Bruce, a chief investigator for The Insolvency Service, said: “Directly as a result of the directors’ actions, money which had been charged to customers or deducted from employees totalling over £1.25m, which should have been paid to HMRC, was unfairly kept by the company to finance its trading.”

Punch Taverns opens first Champs sports bar in the south of England: Punch Taverns has opened its first Champs sports bar and grill in the south of England. In a joint £550,000 investment with partner Jat Bhardwa, Punch has transformed the former Maguire’s site in Chapel Road in Ilford, Essex, into a premium sports bar with an American theme. The venue has 11 HD TV screens showing wall-to-wall sports matches, together with seating booths with individual TVs. The investment has also created 30 jobs. The bar has a grill menu specialising in ribs and burgers and regular entertainment on Friday and Saturday night with a resident DJ. Bhardwa told The Ilford Recorder: “I’m delighted with the bar’s transformation – Champs is a premier destination to watch the very latest sporting action. I’m looking forward to getting to know our customers over the coming weeks and becoming part of the Ilford community.” The Ilford site is the sixth Champsbar operated by Punch Taverns through a partnership.

JD Wetherspoon set for August opening in Maldon: JD Wetherspoon is set to open in Maldon, Essex, (population: 21,461), in August, creating 45 jobs. The company is spending £1.7m refurbishing the former Punch Taverns pub, The Rose and Crown in the High Street. Wetherspoon’s said it would be retaining the name of the pub, which has been closed since 2013. Pub manager Matthew Shinn told The Clacton Gazette: “It’s a good location and we’re looking to try and get involved with the local community.”

Coffee Republic set to open in Bedford: Coffee Republic is set to open a site in Bedford High Street. A spokesman for the company told Bedfordshire on Sunday the new coffee shop “should be opening in the next few weeks”. The company said its strategy is to expand its coffee bars through a franchise model within the UK and globally, “offering great tasting coffee and freshly made food on site in every coffee bar”. The company plans to double Coffee Republic’s presence in the UK by the end of the year.

McDonald’s refutes allegations that Minions Happy Meal toy sounds like it uses swear words: McDonald’s has refuted allegations its latest talking Happy Meal toy sounds like it uses swear words and has no plans to take it out of distribution. The company introduced a Happy Meal on 3 July with toys inspired by the movie Minions but has had some complaints the talking figures, which say pre-recorded phrases when tapped, are using foul language. McDonald’s issued a statement that said the sounds the small yellow figures make are nonsense words, nothing offensive or profane. It added the Minion Caveman toy makes three sounds – “para la bukay,” “hahaha” and “eh eh”. A McDonald’s spokesman said: “We’re aware of a very small number of customers who have been in touch regarding this toy, and we regret any confusion or offence to those who may have misinterpreted its sounds. The allegation that this toy is saying anything offensive or profane is not true.”

Filmore & Union passes 80% mark in crowdfunding push: Healthy eating brand Filmore & Union, which launched a crowdfunding drive on Crowdcube to raise £500,000 last month, has passed the 80%-funded mark. The company has seen 107 investors pledge £424,870 in return for 13.33% of its equity with four days remaining. Filmore & Union, which was founded in 2011 by Adele Carnell a former wellness clinic owner and Will Pugh, a Michelin-trained executive chef, is now operating at seven locations serving pure, natural and wholesome food both to eat in and take out – and wants to add more sites. The pitch states: “Within our five year forecast we anticipate to have 30 sites with a group turnover of £20m and would target an exit multiple in excess of 2x brand revenue. The Filmore & Union concept is built upon the ever-growing health conscious consumer. Currently located across the north of England, Filmore & Union provides pure, natural and wholesome food. Here at Filmore & Union we believe in using whole foods that are packed with nutritional value, as opposed to sugar-laden, processed products. During a visit to San Francisco in 2010, Carnell visited a number of inspiring restaurants, cafes and delis particularly on Union Street and Fillmore Street which is where the vision for Filmore & Union began. After many months of research and product development the first Filmore & Union restaurant opened in March 2012 in York city centre. All food products are made in house using locally sourced, natural ingredients. This, along with buying in centrally enables Filmore to have complete control over product purchasing and costs.” In 2014 Carnell invested £807,000 into the company for a new central production unit, warehouse and head office to bring total shareholders’ investment to £907,000 – the company also has a bank loan of £130,000.

Spanish bar and restaurant concept La Casita to start expansion with second West Yorkshire site: West Yorkshire-based Spanish bar and restaurant concept La Casita, which launched in Ilkley last year, is to start expanding with a second site in Boston Spa. The company is opening La Casita Boston Spa at the former Fish House site in High Street at the beginning of August. The 30-cover tapas restaurant will also feature a charcuterie bar. Co-owner Simon Miller told The Yorkshire Evening Post: “The success of La Casita Ilkley surpassed our expectations so we felt the time was right to consider expansion. The site at Boston Spa fits our criteria not only in terms of location and demographic but the building lends itself perfectly to the Spanish ‘little house’ look and feel that La Casita is inspired by.”

Highlands restaurant that counts film stars among diners goes on market: A restaurant in the Highlands of Scotland that counts Michelle Pfeiffer and Billy Connolly among its diners is for sale at offers over £550,000. The Badachro Inn in Wester Ross, which has featured in the Michelin Best Pub Guide and has views over Badachro Bay, Loch Gairloch, is being marketed by Strutt & Parker. The restaurant, which has a bar and conservatory, had a net turnover for year ending September 2014 of £334,772 and the property also includes a three-bedroomed flat. Owners Martyn and Lesley Pearson, who have run the business since the late 1990s are selling it because they are now moving into semi-retirement. Euan MacCrimmon, of Strutt & Parker, said: “It’s a very well-known inn. People travel an awfully long distance to go there. The beauty of it is the conservatory is right on the sea – it’s stunning – and the bar area dates back to the mid-1800s.” Pfeiffer dined at the restaurant while filming the romantic fantasy movie Stardust in 2006, while Connolly ate there last year during production of comedy What We Did On Our Holiday.

Pop-up restaurant that suspends diners 25 metres above the ground coming to Tower Bridge in September: A pop-up restaurant where diners are suspended 25 metres above the ground is coming to Tower Bridge in September. The restaurant called London In The Sky comprises a single table that is hoisted into the air, which can seat 22 guests a time. Diners will be securely fastened into their seats before the platform is raised from the ground and their meal served. A line up of top chefs will be taking it turns to provide the dishes including Tom Aikens, Ceviche’s Martin Morales, Chantelle Nicholson of Tredwell’s and Duck & Waffle’s Dan Doherty. London In The Sky will run from September 17-30, serving breakfasts, lunches, dinners and special Champagne flights in association with Taittinger. A similar pop-up ran in Canary Wharf last year.

Brakspear launches campaign to entice more dog owners through its pub doors: Henley-based brewer and pub operator Brakspear has launched a new initiative to help entice more dog owners through its doors. The company has started the Pooches in Pubs campaign that offers practical guidance for licensees to make their pubs more dog-friendly, with a supply of “dogs welcome” posters and drip mats, tips on how to treat canine customers and a handful of recipes for dog meals. It also includes a competition for dog owners inviting them to submit a picture of their pet in a Brakspear pub via social media. Winners receive a charcoal drawing of their dog and runner-up prizes include Brakspear water bowls and frisbees. Brakspear chief executive Tom Davies said: “We know that if dogs are fed, watered and made to feel comfortable in the pub, their owners will spend more time and money with us, so it makes sound business sense as well as being good customer service.” The UK dog population numbers around nine million, a one million increase since 2012.

Boston Tea Party opens first site in Plymouth: Cafe chain Boston Tea Party has launched its first site in Plymouth, creating 35 jobs. The company has opened the cafe-bar in the refurbished historic grade II-listed Jamaica House building bordering Vauxhall Street and Exchange Street in Sutton Harbour. The three-storey building has been restored and two floors transformed to seat 150 inside, while a flower-enclosed outdoor area for 30 people has views over the marina towards the Barbican. The venue has been given its own unique character with an eclectic mix of up-cycled, salvaged and restored furniture and fittings, including old gymnasium flooring on the walls and school chairs. The cafe-bar is open from 7am to 9pm Monday to Wednesday, 7am to 11pm Thursday to Saturday, and 8am to 9pm on Sundays.

Heineken re-enters Myanmar market after opening $60m brewery: Dutch beer company Heineken has re-entered into Myanmar after opening a $60m brewery (2.03bn baht) near Yangon. The company said the new brewery will start by brewing Heineken for the premium segment for the market and a new local brand, Regal Seven, has also been developed. “Myanmar is an exciting new opportunity for Heineken,” chief executive officer Jean-Francois Van Boxmeer said. “We have a strong track record of growing in partnership with emerging markets, investing in the latest technologies, hiring and training local employees, and supporting the communities where we operate.” Heineken established a local partnership with Alliance Brewery Company in 2013, taking a 57% stake in their joint venture APB Alliance Brewery Company. The brewery is expected to create 200 jobs. “Now we can move to the next phase of the project, delivering excellent beer that consumers enjoy and creating a continuous supply of attractive employment opportunities for the people of Myanmar,” Alliance chairman Aung Moe Kyaw said. Heineken has moved into the market, which has been monopolised for decades by the military-run Myanmar Brewery, a month after Carlsberg opened a $75m brewery in Bago in partnership with Myanmar Golden Star Breweries. Heineken and other major brewers suspended their activities in Myanmar two decades ago when the country was hit by international sanctions during the rule of a military junta.

Marston’s Inns and Taverns submits plans for pub in Washington: Marston’s Inns and Taverns, which is owned by Marston’s, has submitted plans to build a pub in Washington, in Tyne and Wear. The company, along with Wildgoose Construction, has applied to Sunderland City Council to build the 100,000 sq ft venue at Teal Farm to the south of Pattinson Road, reports Insider Media. The proposed two-storey building features the pub and restaurant area on the ground floor and staff accommodation on the upper level. The venue would cater for about 120 people inside and 75 outside. The application stated the pub represented a “sustainable development” that will create up to 40 jobs and “there is a need for a facility of this type in the Teal Farm area”. Marston’s operates more than 1,000 pubs throughout the UK, while Marston’s Inns and Taverns has a 41-strong operation.

Leeds-based Northbar submits plans for brewery and weekend tap room: Leeds-based Northbar, which operates North Brewing Co, has lodged plans for a brewery and weekend tap room at a site on the northern fringe of the city. The company has submitted proposals to Leeds City Council to redevelop a unit on Taverners Walk Industrial Estate in Sheepscar Grove, reports Insider Media. The 2,250 sq ft property, which is currently vacant and is part of a terrace of single-storey warehouses, was last used as a motor vehicle repair workshop. Northbar intends to alter the internal layout of the premises to include a small office on a mezzanine floor. The brewery would be situated toward the rear of the ground floor, with a specially installed wet floor. A cold store will be built in the middle of the ground floor to service the brewery and to act as a “cellar” to the Brewery Tap, which would be at the front of the property. It expects the brewing kit to arrive in September and aims to open the doors to its weekend tap room in October. Northbar also operates five bars in Leeds and one in Otley and submitted plans for a new site in Harrogate last month.

Premier Inn buys Park Hotel in Southampton, submits plans for Newbury site: Whitbread-owned Premier Inn has bought the former Park Hotel in Southampton and plans to spend £15m overhauling the building. The company is aiming to more than double the number of bedrooms at the Cumberland Place hotel, which closed earlier this year, from 72 to 157. Premier Inn has bought the hotel from St James Hotel Group for an undisclosed sum although its guide price when it was put up for sale was £2.5m. Head of acquisitions for the south John Bates told The Daily Echo: “We are in the early stages of drawing up plans for the site, which, subject to planning, we intend to have a brand new 157 bedroom Premier Inn. Once we have drawn up our detailed plans we will submit a planning application to Southampton City Council in due course.” Premier Inn, which said the new hotel would create up to 50 jobs, already has two sites in Southampton. Meanwhile, Premier Inn has submitted plans to open a new 110-bedroom five-storey hotel in Newbury, Berkshire, next to Travelodge. The hotel would be built opposite the Parkway shopping centre on an underused car park for neighbouring health club bstFitness, if the proposal is accepted by West Berkshire Council. Premier Inn would lease the site from Rotterdam Properties, which has lodged the application to develop the hotel and also owns the site of the health club. 

New accreditation scheme launched for food service operators to promote themselves as catering for food allergies: National charity Allergy UK has launched a new accreditation scheme to help food service operators promote themselves as catering for food allergies. The Allergy Aware Scheme demonstrates that, on top of legal requirements, staff provide exceptional service for the estimated two million people in the UK with food allergies and intolerances. The scheme comprises detailed expert food allergy training and audit. All outlets are required to sign an Allergy Aware Scheme Charter to ensure best practice and compliance. Interested businesses can join the scheme initially for a 12-month period, and will be subject to renewal on an annual basis. Allergy UK is working with dedicated training provider, Allergy Aware Kitchen to deliver the training. Successfully accredited restaurants will receive a premium listing on an online restaurant and menu directory for the allergic and coeliac community called Can I Eat There? Users can search by location, cuisine or allergy rating and then filter the menu by allergen to see what they can eat. Customers can also read and leave reviews. The website highlights restaurants that are part of the Allergy Aware Scheme, guiding them to the most allergy-friendly venues. The EU Food Information Regulations introduced in December state all catering outlets must now be able to provide information on which of the top 14 allergens (including egg, nuts and milk) are present in every dish served. Allergy UK’s chief executive Carla Jones said: “Severe food allergy is a potentially life-threatening condition. Those with a food allergy know only too well the risk posed when eating out and frequently choose not to. The Allergy Aware Scheme aims to help caterers seize the opportunity to deliver a ‘gold standard’ service to a section of the community that, until now, has been very much excluded. We will provide recognition to businesses that don’t only take allergies seriously, but that are going above and beyond legislation, to deliver an exceptional service for the allergic community.” London’s Rainforest Cafe and Nibsy’s Gluten Free Coffee Shop in Reading are among the first companies to sign up to the scheme.

Propel hosts Professor Chris Muller for Multi-site Management Masterclass: Propel Info is hosting the US’ leading thinker, teacher and author on multi-site foodservice management, Professor Chris Muller, at its next Multi-site Management Masterclass on Friday 2 October. Leading UK businesses such as Mitchells & Butlers and TGI Friday’s have sent staff to be taught by Professor Muller at Boston University’s School of Hospitality – now Professor Muller is returning to the UK to lead this bespoke day. His interactive seminar will include contributions from Welcome Break chief executive Rod McKie and Sticks ‘n’ Sushi UK managing director Andreas Karlsson. The event will provide valuable insights for founders and area managers of small and medium-sized multi-site companies and area managers of large companies. Tickets are £345 plus VAT and £295 plus VAT for ALMR members. To download or view the leaflet as a PDF file please CLICK HERE. To book tickets please contact: Tony Hughes, non-executive director at The Restaurant Group, said: “Chris is THE world authority on the restaurant industry, the go-to man if you want expertise and knowledge and this is a rare opportunity to see a true master giving a Masterclass presentation.”

Return to Archive Click Here to Return to the Archive Listing
Punch Taverns Link
Return to Archive Click Here to Return to the Archive Listing
Propel Premium
Pepper Banner
Butcombe Banner
Contract Furniture Group Banner
UCC Coffee Banner
Heinz Banner
Alcumus Banner
St Austell Brewery Banner
Small Beer Banner
Kronenberg Banner
Cruzcampo Banner
Adnams Banner
Meaningful Vision Banner
Mccain Banner
Heineken SmartDispense Banner
Propel Banner
Christie & Co Banner
Sideways Banner
Kurve Banner
CACI Banner
Airship – Toggle Banner
Wireless Social Banner
Payments Managed Banner
Deliverect Banner
Zonal Banner
HGEM Banner
Zonal Banner
Access Banner
Propel Banner
Pepper Banner