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Fri 4th Sep 2015 - Propel Friday News Briefing

Story of the Day:

Abokado to support Jamie Oliver campaign by levying 10p sugar tax: Abokado, the healthy eating chain, has announced it is joining forces with Jamie Oliver by levying a 10p sugar tax on all its drinks that contain added sugar. It is the second restaurant business to impose the tax after Leon reported it would do the same. The proceeds of the tax will be donated to The Children’s Health Fund, initiated by Oliver and run by the charity Sustain, to support healthy food initiatives in schools across Britain. Abokado founder Mark Lilley said: “We’re proud to be supporting Jamie in this campaign. It’s essential that we raise awareness of the dangers of consuming too much sugar, particularly amongst children. When Jamie explained to me first-hand how widespread the shocking consequences of excessive sugar consumption are amongst children, it was clear to me that we had to act. At Abokado, we’re fortunate to have a very wide range of all natural, freshly made drinks, the vast majority of which have no added sugar whatsoever. So our customers have a wonderful choice of healthy options. But that’s certainly not the case across our industry. As a father-of-four, I believe restaurant operators should take some responsibility for guiding the nation’s children towards healthier lifestyle choices. This step will not in itself fix the problem, but it will draw attention to the issue and divert funds to a worthwhile cause.” The levy will be made against all added sugar drinks, including Coca Cola, across Abokado’s 26 London stores from 30 September.

Industry News:

Martin Wolstencroft to present at Propel Multi Club Conference: Martin Wolstencroft, the founder of Arc Inspirations, arguably Yorkshire’s most successful independent bar and restaurant operator, is to present at the Propel Multi Club Conference on Thursday, 5 November at the Lancaster Hotel, London. He will talk about running multiple concepts, overcoming challenges, best-in-class profit conversion, innovation and expanding over the Pennines in the company’s 15th year. Multi-site pub, restaurant and foodservice operators can book two free places per company. Anyone who would like to book places should email Adam Dickinson on

Operators confirmed for panel at Technomic and Propel UK and US food trends conference: Four leading operators are to take part in a panel discussion on current food and beverage trends at the Technomic and Propel UK and US menu trends conference on Friday, 18 September (see bottom of email for more details). Panel members are Perry Huntley, head of food at Stonegate Pub Company, Kate Eastwood, director of business development at Revolution Bars Group, Amir Ali, chef category manager at Mitchells & Butlers, and Sean Kelly, executive chef Europe at Marriott Hotels.

Paul Chase – ‘minimum pricing been struck a potentially fatal blow’: Leading on-trade alcohol policy commentator Paul Chase has argued that minimum pricing in Scotland has been struck a potentially fatal blow by yesterday’s European Court of Justice Ruling on the subject. Writing for Propel Friday Opinion, he stated: “It is pretty clear that the Advocate General was not a fan of Nicola Sturgeon’s pet project and that his opinion struck a potentially fatal blow to the whole ill-conceived measure. Amongst other things he found that fixing a minimum price for a unit of alcohol could only be justified if the Scottish government could prove that alternative means of curbing excessive consumption, such as increasing taxation, would not deliver the same, or substantially the same benefits – but without restricting trade and the free movement of goods. He concluded it was “difficult to justify” minimum pricing as it appeared “less consistent and effective” than increasing taxes and “may even be perceived as being discriminatory”.” (See Propel Friday Opinion for the full article)

Craft beer delivery service HonestBrew launches on Crowdcube: Craft beer delivery service HonestBrew has launched on crowdfunding platform Crowdcube, looking to raise £300,000 in return for 15% of its equity. The pitch states: “We work with some of the best craft breweries from around the world, delivering their beer to thousands of customer’s homes and workplaces all across the UK. The HonestBrew platform is designed to provide a service that gives our customers access to the expertise and variety that they would expect from a craft beer pub – wherever they are in the UK. We have beers from over 50 different breweries from the UK, Europe, USA and Australasia.” HonestBrew claims to ship thousands of bottles across the UK every month, with 9,000 users and 28% growth on average for each month for 12 months prior to June 2015. Yesterday (Thursday, 3 September), the company had attracted £132,210 of investment from 59 investors, with a largest single investment of £100,000.

Imano secures third site after Covent Garden rent hike forces Cafe Des Amis sale: Futuristic restaurant brand Imano, originally launched in Soho and now operating also in Regent Street, has taken over the stalwart Cafe des Amis, one of theatre-land’s longest established brasseries, after the rent almost doubled overnight. The Oriental fusion brand, where guests order from illustrated menus projected onto their tables, will move into the Covent Garden site this autumn. Cafe des Amis, tucked away in Hanover Place, opened in 1980 and was a firm favourite with theatre-goers. But industry sources said the rent would have been in excess of £300,000 after the review. “The owners decided it was time for a change and accepted a lower premium reflecting the new rent,” said Morris Greenberg, of CDG Leisure, which handled the sale. Greenberg, a leading commentator in the London restaurant market, added: “Inamo has created an incredible buzz with its unique hi-tech restaurant experience, including an ordering system beamed onto tables from overhead projectors and its great food. It is has quickly branched out to three outlets and being in Covent Garden will help it make even more fans.”

Chipotle to deliver to US college campuses: Chipotle Mexican Grill has signed a new partnership with Tapingo, a mobile commerce app, to deliver to 40 US college campuses nationwide this autumn, and at more than 100 campuses by spring 2016. The partnership with Tapingo expands Chipotle’s existing delivery programme. The company also has nationwide delivery partnerships with Postmates, a delivery service that operates in several key Chipotle markets, and with OrderUp, which provides delivery service in several smaller Chipotle markets.

Company News:

BrewDog produces Crowdcube investment levels: Scottish brewer and retailer BrewDog has begun to provide figures on its Crowdcube fund-raising push. Its four-year mini-bond aimed at raising £6m has so far raised £592,000 from 198 investors whilst its equity offer has raised £110,960 from 200 investors. The company has also produced figures claiming to have the best-selling craft beer, fastest growing and the highest price points in the off-trade. Its BrewDog Punk IPA has sales of £5.1m (Innis & Gunn Original is second with sales of £3.8m), up 88.7% year-on-year and an average price-point of £4.74. The company’s Dead Pony Pale Ale is eighth in the ten best sellers list with sales of £1m, up by 168.5% year-on-year and an average price point of £5.28.

YO! Sushi plans three more US openings this calendar year, taking managed route: YO! Sushi is to open three more sites in the US before the end of November to take its US estate to five sites in total. The venues will be run directly by the company in line with the first two shopping mall YO! Sushi sites that were opened in April. The company decided a year ago, it has emerged, to run its US sites itself rather than franchise them – two lapsed franchise agreements with different companies preceded the decision. New sites will open in shopping centres in New Jersey and Florida with a third site at an upmarket outlet shopping centre called Woodbury Common, which is located about 20 minutes outside of New York. Chief executive Vanessa Hall told Propel: “The new openings are a good progression for us – we are very pleased with the first two openings. The brand does translate over there and we are establishing ourselves and learning with each new site.” Hall said the company’s priorities were the US, Middle East and transport hubs in terms of overseas expansion, with three openings planned for the Middle East. Meanwhile, YO! Sushi reported total sales in the year to 30 November were £75.8m, up 7% on the previous year (£71.0m) driven by sales initiatives to attract new guests, particularly families and continued product innovation such as the launch of the Oishii Bun and Super Mega Bowls, providing “generosity and value for money”. It reported eight new UK openings in the period including Heathrow T2, Baker Street, London, and Leamington Spa showcasing the new individual restaurant designs positioning the group for further UK growth. It had strong underlying like-for-like sales growth of 3.8% and Ebitda of £10.06m, up 7.8% on the previous year. Sign-ups to YO! Sushi’s loyalty club YO! Love Club increased by 25%, driven by innovative marketing campaigns such as World Cup based #TeamTwo. Since the year-end, there have been eight further openings including two existing sites in the US, bringing the total number of restaurants around the globe to 87 with another seven currently under construction. Hall said the introduction of new quirky menu items with good price points had driven like-for-likes. The introduction of its YOLO limited edition menu included the J-Dog, a Japanese-inspired hot dog, Japple Pie, an eastern take on apple pie and ice cream, and Furi Furi Fries, launched this September.

Hand Picked Hotels reports reduced losses: Hank Picked Hotels, the operator of 17 hotels owned by financier Guy Hands and his wife Julia, has reported operating losses of £675,264 for the year to 27 November 2014, a reduction in operating losses of £1,880,584 the year before. Turnover increased 3.6% to £60,230,896 from £58,148,686 the year before thanks to increased occupancy and average room rates. Losses before tax and after interest payment were £3,931,243 compared to £9,093,890 the year before. Ebitda before fixed asset impairment has increased to £9.5m compared with £8.8m in the prior year. During the year, it added a hotel on a management contract – it already has three sites it runs under a management contract. The company stated: “The group is well-positioned to growth as the market recovers, driven by investment that will increases in sales and Ebitda.” The company has a £22.8m liability on interest rate swaps and owes the Hands circa £25m.

East Dulwich Deli founder Tony Zoccola to launch juice bar and greengrocer concept in London: Tony Zoccola, the founder of East Dulwich Deli and a founding partner in the Great British restaurant in Mayfair, is to launch a juice bar and greengrocer concept in London. Zoccola is opening Potager in Forest Hill Road, East Dulwich, in October. He has taken a ten-year lease on an 800 sq ft site and is spending about £100,000 converting the former DIY store. Potager, which means kitchen garden, will sell fresh produce from the UK and Europe, which will also be used to make the products for the juice bar. Zoccola told Propel: “Everything has had a bit of a renaissance recently in terms of retail and I just wanted to do something with a grocery aspect. Fresh produce has a low margin so having something alongside it makes it a more viable business model. This idea has been in the back of my mind for quite a while. There’s no one else really doing it. There are lots of juice bars popping up everywhere but no one is doing the retail and grocery aspect as well.” Zoccola said Potager would probably be “just the one site” and does not see himself rolling out the concept. He added: “I’ve always had local businesses and never ran anything on a grand scale. That’s when you have to get involved with private equity firms and I think it’s important to stay independent.” Zoccola ran the East Dulwich Deli for 14 years before selling it in 2014 and also had a cafe concession at Harrords for eight-and-a-half years, which he decided not to renew in 2013. He also owned artisan bakery Born and Bread Bakery, which he started in 2003 and sold in 2012.

Hotcha considering three investment offers after withdrawing £1m Crowdcube mini-bond: Hotcha, the Chinese takeaway chain franchise with ambitions to roll-out nationwide, is considering three investment offers from private equity and institutional lenders having withdrawn its £1m mini-bond from Crowdcube. The company’s co-founder James Liang told Propel he was now discussing the opportunities further with partner Andrew Emmerson. Hotcha received the approaches during its £1m mini-bond offer on Crowdcube and as a result decided to withdraw the offer, which gave investors 8% interest over four years, in August. At the time of the withdrawal, the bond had raised £600,000 since launching in July. Liang said: “We do have three offers on the table and me and my business partner Andy will need to discuss this further in order to make a decision. We will keep you updated as soon as this is closed.” Hotcha currently operates ten stores across the south west of England and aims to open another 22 sites in the next three years, which will see the company fulfill its ambition to become the first national chain of Chinese takeaways. Having achieved circa £4m turnover and Ebitda of circa £265,000 in the financial year ending 31 March 2015, Hotcha estimates turnover will grow to circa £19m by 2019 with Ebitda of £3.7m. In prior years, the company has accumulated losses of circa £2.3m. As of 31 March 2015, the directors had investments of circa £3m in the company, made up of circa £1.1m in equity and circa £1.9m in unsecured loans that bear no interest and have no fixed repayment date. Additionally, the company has unsecured loans from third parties of circa £633,000, which it used to fit out existing sites.

Fuller’s launches specialist craft lager bar at Southsea pub: Fuller’s has launched a specialist bar selling craft lagers at one of its pubs in Southsea, Hampshire. The company has added The Beer Vaults at The Vaults in Albert Road with 11 of the beers on tap and a selection of bottles and cans. The Beer Vaults will also host its own events, including food and drink tasting sessions throughout the year. A new food menu has also been launched at the pub while the other bars are still serving ales and wines. General manager Helen Stevens told the Portsmouth News: “The Vaults is an iconic space in Southsea not just for dining, but also for enjoying a relaxing drink with friends and family. With four bars across three floors, including our new Beer Vaults, there is undoubtedly something for everyone.”

Indian celebrity chef Jaswant Mehra launches first UK venture: Indian celebrity chef Jaswant Mehra, who has been a head chef at the Yorkshire Aagrah chain of restaurants, has launched his first UK venture. Mehra has opened 29 States – The Indian Kitchen in Tower Street, York, opposite Clifford’s Tower with co-directors Naiya Khatri and Arpit Arora. They have taken on the remainder of a 20-year lease on the two-storey premises, which was a former Chinese restaurant. The 70-cover venue also features a beer garden. Khatri, who is married to Arora, told Bdaily: “We really liked the look of the premises and decided to go ahead and develop a restaurant serving authentic Indian cuisine with a modern twist. We hope to provide our customers with a different Indian restaurant experience which is not all about curries as well as offering careers to young people looking to go into the hospitality sector.” Mehra has featured in more than 300 episodes of television cookery shows in his native India and has also appeared with UK celebrity chefs James Martin and Kenny Atkinson.

Carluccio’s submits plans for Beverley site: Carluccio’s has lodged plans to open a restaurant at Beverley in East Yorkshire. The company has applied to East Riding of Yorkshire Council to convert the former Burton’s menswear store on Toll Gavel into its latest venue. It proposes to invest more than £500,000 refurbishing the building into a 90-seat restaurant with outdoor seating, creating 35 jobs. The company is also seeking to install new shop fronts, with two awnings and outdoor plant equipment. The restaurant would be open from 8am to 11pm and also include a retail area selling Italian food products. Carluccio’s development director Alison Stanton told the Beverley Guardian: “We chose Beverley because we think it’s the right demographic and we do very well in similar market towns.”

The Coaching Inn Group plans artisanal pizza offer at flagship Market Harborough site: The Coaching Inn Group is to launch an artisanal pizza offer next year at its flagship hotel in Market Harborough, Leicestershire. The company, led by Kevin Charity and chaired by Andrew Guy, plans to serve up homemade artisanal pizza at The Three Swans next summer. It has spent £350,000 so far refurbishing the hotel, which the company bought in 2013, including a new restaurant and revamped terrace, which is heated and illuminated. The company has a £20m plan to double in size over five years after securing a £4.5m investment from the Business Growth Fund. It has already acquired the Royal Oak in Welshpool this year and spent £250,000 upgrading the site while it is in advanced talks to add two high-profile freehold sites to its eight-strong portfolio. The Coaching Inn Group was previously called the Bulldog Hotel Group but rebranded itself in August as it aims to become the sector leader.

Plans submitted to create distillery and one of Ireland’s largest craft brewers:
A new distillery set to open in the heart of the Boyne Valley will create more than 80 jobs as part of plans to become one of Ireland’s largest craft brewers. The €20m (£14.8m) Boann Distillery and Visitor Centre will open in Drogheda in 2016. It will comprise a whiskey distillery, Boyne Brewhouse craft brewery and taproom, a visitor centre, which will host distillery and brewery tours, a 120-seater restaurant, whiskey bar, private event space and a gift shop. With plans to produce craft whiskey, gin and an “innovative range of craft beers” for the domestic and export market, craft beer production is nearing commencement in the 50,000 sq ft building. Minister for business and employment Ged Nash said the project is “fantastic news” for the area. “The 80 new jobs in the distillery, brewery and the visitor centre will be a really welcome boost to Drogheda but will also add huge value to the area as a tourist destination,” he added. “I am delighted that my department, through Enterprise Ireland, is supporting the new company.” Internationally renowned master distiller John McDougall is consultant distiller to the project and will be working with Áine O’ Hora, head distiller and brewer. The Boann Distillery and Boyne Brewhouse are the realisation of a long-held ambition of the Cooney family, which has a long tradition in the Irish drinks industry.

JD Wetherspoon logjam in North Walsham, Norfolk, set to be cleared: A logjam stalling the arrival of JD Wetherspoon in North Walsham (population: 12,000) looks set to be cleared next week. North Norfolk District Council’s cabinet is expected to start a chain of events that could see the former doctors’ surgery on Northfield Road become a new home for North Walsham Town Council and all other tenants of the New Road council offices. That would solve a major headache for the district council which has agreed a price, in principle, with JD Wetherspoon, which wants to buy the New Road building, and spend £1.6m converting it into a family restaurant, creating 50 jobs. District council chiefs said JD Wetherspoon is waiting to know if it will get vacant possession of the building before submitting planning and licensing applications for the site and going forward with the sale.

Entrepreneur launches Kickstarter campaign to back upcoming restaurant offering unique Vietnamese burger: Entrepreneur and chef Andy Le has set up a Kickstarter campaign to generate support for his new concept, Pho & Bun, Soho. Le, who owns Vietnamese street food restaurant Viet Eat, has so far raised £909 from ten backers, having 22 more days to reach the £35,000 target. This will contribute towards kitchen and bar equipment and to the cost of shipping authentic furniture from Vietnam. Pho & Bun will sell London’s first Vietnamese burger, using 28 days aged beef and steamed milky buns, as well as serving traditional Pho noodle soup. Viet Eat, Holborn, was founded in July 2013 and produced a turnover of more than £300,000 in the first nine months, seeing this double the following year. Le hopes to replicate this success with the new concept, offering the flavours and culture of Vietnam, using organic free range meat and authentic spices in its dishes.

SSP Group wins five-year £23m contract to operate three new outlets at Brisbane Airport:
UK-based transport hub foodservice specialist SSP Group has won a five-year deal worth about £23m to operate three new outlets at Brisbane Airport’s Domestic Terminal. The company will operate pan-Asian eatery Chop Chop Chang’s, American burger brand Carl’s Jr and SSP’s bespoke concept The Marketplace, which has been designed to reflect Brisbane’s food and art scenes. The Marketplace is scheduled to open in October and Chop Chop Chang’s and Carl’s Jr will begin trading in mid-2016, reports The Moodie Report. SSP Asia Pacific chief executive Chris Rayner said: “We have been working with Brisbane Airport for some time to understand how to deliver their vision. Our extensive research into the local market has enabled us to create an offer that encapsulates the true character of Brisbane and will help the airport to achieve its aspirations.” Brisbane Airport general manager, aviation and retail management, Andrew Brodie added: “SSP has worked extremely hard to bring point of difference food and beverage retailers to Brisbane Airport’s Domestic Terminal and will ensure quality products that offer a unique and a memorable experience.” The new outlets will take the total number of units operated by SSP at Brisbane Airport to six with its contracts there valued at more than £40m over their lifetime.

New homemade milkshake and cookie concept to launch in Gloucester: A new cookie and milkshake cafe concept Mylk Bottle is set to open on Westgate Street, Gloucester, selling an assortment of home-baked treats such as ice cream sandwiches, cookie shakes and hot puddings. The company plans to use milk from the Cotteswold Dairy, Tewkesbury, and serve drinks in traditional glass milk bottles. Dairy drinks distributor and owner Hitesh Veghela will also be selling his own range of protein shakes and cookies. Veghela believes there is demand for independent businesses, citing the recent success of Hubble Bubble coffee house in Gloucester as evidence. He said: “There are quite a few chains that have arrived recently so I thought we are perfectly placed to do this. There isn’t anything like this in Gloucester but I had an uphill battle to find an appropriate place.” Mylk Bottle will also offer home delivery in the evenings.

Former Saltaire brewhouse team leader launches micro-brewery: Adrian Chapman, the former brewhouse team leader at Saltaire Brewery in Yorkshire, has launched his own micro-brewery. He has opened The Wishbone Brewery in Chesham Street, Keighley, with wife Emma. She told the Keighley News: “We hope to provide a wide range of beer styles to suit everyone’s tastes, from easy drinking pale ales through to stronger styles for the more adventurous drinker. We do have room for future expansion, but we will be concentrating on what we have built so far for now. We are a ten-barrel brewery with five fermenters of two different sizes. We aim to brew two to three times a week to start with.” The couple has brewed its first beer called Wishbone Blonde using German and Polish hops. Adrian Chapman left his job last December as brewhouse team leader at Saltaire Brewery after five years to start the venture.

Arran Brewery reveals ‘free beer’ gaffe: Arran Brewery has revealed an administrative gaffe has seen customers receive internet orders for free for the past six months. The company admitted people got orders if they had not paid for their beer and in some cases sent out even if their order had not been completed. It blamed “an over-zealous” member of staff who had been trying to get stock out quickly but declined to reveal the amount of beer that had been given away. Managing director Gerald Michaluk told the BBC: “This is a well-intentioned employee who thought he was doing the best for the customers and the company by getting stock out quickly. It was not until an audit showed a shortfall in receipts that the mistake was realised. We will now be writing to all those who have received stock in error with a request that they pay for the goods, or allow us to collect them. This was a very serious breach in our protocol and we will be tightening up on training and system documentation so that this cannot happen again.”

Punch launches new business plan to help would-be licensees: Punch Taverns has created a new, industry-leading business plan to ensure the pub application process is as clear and efficient as possible for people looking to run one of its pubs. This business plan, which has recently been endorsed by the British Institute of Innkeeping, is split into two sections, the first of which covers the strategy behind the pub; namely what the potential Punch partner (ie publican) intends to do to make the site a success, including the evaluation of local demographics and competition, the existing offer and how this will change, the team, SWOT analysis and assets and liabilities. This first section also provides Punch with valuable insight into the potential partner’s capital expenditure and loan costs. The second section covers the financials; including a first 12 month profit and loss forecast, a 12 month cash flow forecast, sensitivity analysis, which enables Punch and the potential partner to identify any shortfall and therefore amend that pub’s strategy in light of this, and also financial forecasts for years two to five so that potential partners have absolute clarity on the future success of their business. The five-year forecasts are particularly beneficial as they provide an understanding of what the pub’s financial position should be each year, allowing Punch and its partner to adapt and be on the front foot with any changes to price points, and labour costs. A panel of ten accountants nationwide has also been trained by Punch on this section of the plan to provide support. Duncan Garrood, Punch chief executive, said: “We are absolutely committed to developing a high quality estate and supporting our partners to deliver the best possible experiences for our pub customers. We are therefore keen to work with credible, entrepreneurial people who believe they could be successful running a Punch pub and so we want to make the application process as straightforward as possible, while also giving a complete picture of what the venture will entail and its potential success. It’s important to us that we support our operators from their initial enquiry right through to their entry into the pub, and beyond, and this clear yet thorough business plan is part of this.”

Chef Omar Allibhoy set to open fourth tapas restaurant, this time in Birmingham: Spanish-born chef Omar Allibhoy will open his fourth contemporary tapas bar concept Tapas Revolution in the Grand Central shopping centre, Birmingham, this month. Allibhoy, nicknamed the “Antonio Banderas of cooking” by Gordon Ramsay, aims to bring the culinary culture of his hometown Madrid to the UK, offering a variety of dishes from breakfast to dinner, using ingredients from small artisan producers in Spain. The full tapas menu is divided into fish, meat and vegetable sections, featuring hand carved Jamon Iberico and sweeter options such as churros, something Alibhoy believes will “revolutionise the sweet treats scene in Birmingham.” Tapas Revolution also sells authentic Spanish drinks including Spanish style coffee, craft beers and exclusive gins. Alibhoy said: “Birmingham has a great food scene and is increasingly becoming a destination city – for tourists and for businesses. I wanted to get involved in the buzz happening here and bring a real taste of Spain to the city centre.” Tapas Revolution also has sites in Westfield London, Bluewater shopping centre in Kent and Shoreditch.

Otley-based Italian restaurant Buon Apps set to start expanding with second site:
Otley-based Italian restaurant Buon Apps is to start expanding with its second site in the West Yorkshire town. The company, founded by Alessandro and Elena Sofia, along with Alessandro’s brother Vittorio, is to open a restaurant on the David Wilson Homes Garnett Wharfe development on the site of the former Garnett paper mill by the River Wharfe. David Wilson Homes is building 235 homes at Garnett Wharfe, which will also feature a visitor centre and office space, and the restaurant is due to open in February 2017. Alessandro Sofia told the Bradford Telegraph & Argus: “Elena and I feel like our dreams have come true with the purchase of our new premises where we will continue to offer our fresh authentic Italian cuisine in a beautiful setting with picturesque riverside views. We will retain our Italian heritage by bringing in our Italian architects and designers to work with us, ensuring our new restaurant both compliments and is complimented by the surrounding area and is delivered using sustainable British materials and incorporates energy and waste efficient technologies.” The first Buon Apps restaurant opened 13 years ago at the Wharfebank Business Centre in Ilkley Road.

Alton Towers founder buys Cornwall theme park: Alton Towers founder John Broome has bought a Cornwall theme park that he intends to turn into a “premier European resort”. Broome has acquired the Crealy Great Adventure Park, near Wadebridge, and nearly 200 acres of adjoining farmland. The Camel Creek Resort project includes up to 236 holiday villas, courtyard properties, tree houses, a pool, spa, restaurant, pub and convention centre and the plans are due to go before Cornwall Council next month. Broome’s spokesman John Williams told the BBC the development would see the current theme park updated but it would not resemble Alton Towers and there would be no large new rides. He said it would create at least 950 full-time jobs and construction could start in the new year. Williams added the plans include a tropical lake, the largest in Britain, and admission to the resort would be free to people within a one-kilometre radius, while a discount would be offered to those living nearby. The park currently contains a range of family rides, attractions and animals including meerkats, horses, caiman and snakes. Broome took control of Alton Towers in the 1970s, turning it into a major theme park before selling to the Tussauds Group in 1990.

Truro restaurant-bar owners acquire pub: Truro restaurant-bar owners Simon and Victoria Radcliffe are expanding their portfolio after buying their first pub. The couple, which run The Old Grammar School restaurant-bar and mobile catering and cocktail bar Nomad Weddings and Events, have acquired the freehold of The Thomas Daniell in Infirmary Hill. They have redesigning the bar and restaurant menus with the pub now offering craft ales, beers and wines from local breweries and suppliers. Simon Radcliffe told the Cornish Guardian: “It has always been my dream to own a real pub. Coming from Yorkshire I have fond memories of what a pub should be, and am looking forward to making The Thomas Daniell the place to be. When the opportunity came up to purchase the freehold we jumped at the chance. To finally add a proper pub to our portfolio is just brilliant.”

Flypay hires Steve Mansfield as chief sales officer: Flypay, the state-of-the-art mobile technology for the hospitality industry, has appointed Steve Mansfield, formerly of Fourth Hospitality, to the newly created role of chief sales officer. Mansfield will have responsibility for continuing the rapid growth in global markets currently being enjoyed by the business, together with increasing turnover, profitability and sales growth in line with the business strategy. Mansfield joins Flypay from Fourth Hospitality, the leading cloud-based end-to-end provider of hospitality management systems in the world. He held the position of chief sales officer for over three years, with board level responsibility for global cloud-based sales across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and the Americas, where revenues grew substantially from an already considerable level.

Speaker programme confirmed for The Bar and Nightclub Conference:
The full speaker programme has been confirmed for The Bar and Nightclub Conference, which is being held on Tuesday, 27 October at Bafta Piccadilly. Speakers are: Kate Nicholls, chief executive of the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR), Phil Tate, chief executive of CGA Strategy, Simon Chaplin, director and head of leisure and development at Christie + Co, Trevor Watson, executive director of Davis Coffer Lyons, Graeme Bunn, director of Fleurets, Glendola Leisure managing director Alex Salussolia, Riz Shaikh, co-founder of the Columbo Group, Dave Henkes, vice-president of Technomic, Peter Marks, chief executive of Deltic Group, Exeat Leisure founder Stephen Thomas, Tokyo Industries founder Aaron Mellor, Reuben Harley, chief executive of Eclectic, Alex Hazzard, co-founder of the Burning Night Group, leading licensing barrister Philip Kolvin QC, Luke Johnson, of Risk Capital Partners and Adam Marshall, founder of Grand Union Group. The conference, the first stand-alone event for this part of the market, examines the key issues affecting the market with contributions from key figures within the sector. Tickets are free for operators and cost £145 for ALMR supplier members and £195 for ALMR non-suppliers. Tickets can be booked by emailing Jo Charity on

Technomic and Propel partner for UK and US foodservice trends and direction conference: Insights and research firm Technomic is partnering Propel for a full-day conference looking at UK and US foodservice trends and perspectives. The event is on Friday, 18 September at One Moorgate Place in London and attendees will also get a free copy of Technomic’s Top 500 US Chain Restaurant Report and the UK’s leading 100 foodservice brands worth a combined £800. Technomic’s vice-president Dave Henkes will give an industry update on UK foodservice and compare it with the US as well as providing forecasts and beverage trends in both markets. Fellow vice-president Darren Tristano will examine best practice in menu, concept and service among growth concepts as well as looking at consumer demands. Technomic’s Patrick Noone will provide insights on current UK trending menu flavours and preparations and consumer priorities and attitudes. Paul Damico, group president of Focus Brands – which operates several fast-food concepts in the US including Schlotzsky’s Bakery & Café and Moe’s Southwest Grill – will share best practices around creating a unique positioning, culture and growth strategy. Propel managing director Paul Charity will also lead a discussion of senior executives about current consumer trends, menu and beverage trends. Those taking part are: Jon Yantin, commercial director of the ONE Group, Chris Gerard, founder of Innventure, James Nye, managing director of Anglian Country Inns and Ben Levick, director of operations, TCG Group. Tickets are priced £295 plus VAT for operators and £495 plus VAT for suppliers and are available by emailing

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