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Tue 29th Sep 2015 - Propel Tuesday News Briefing

Story of the Day:

Remarkable Restaurants hires Elton Mouna as managing director: Remarkable Restaurants, which owns 15 high quality predominantly freehold pubs in London and operates the Dragonfly micro-brewery, has hired Elton Mouna as its managing director. The little-known Remarkable Restaurants operates landmark pubs in areas such as Shoreditch, Victoria Park in Hackney and Tredegar Square in Bow. Mouna said: “Expansion of both the brewing and retail business is an integral part of the Remarkable strategy and I am actively looking for very good people to help achieve this. Our pubs are unique and different in many ways. The drinks range includes Litovel, a beer we import directly from the Czech Republic and we also brew a wonderful range of beers in our own Dragonfly Brewery, a micro-brewery located at the George and Dragon in Acton. Our food menus are devised by each kitchen team resulting in a different unique menu in each business.” Mouna is former head of corporate communications at Fuller’s and has latterly worked as marketing director at brewpub operator Brewhouse & Kitchen. He joined Fuller’s as a general manager in 1995 running The Fleetwood, near Moorgate tube station, where he won The Griffin Trophy (Fuller’s Pub of The Year) and the Vintry in the City of London. He worked his way through the ranks becoming head of retail marketing and head of corporate communications. Litovel is directly imported by Remarkable Restaurants from Litovel in Moravia in the Czech Republic and decanted into kegs at Fuller’s Griffin Brewery in Chiswick – and then distributed exclusively around Remarkable’s pub collection. Mouna begins his new role on 1 October.

Industry News:

MP calls for display of food hygiene scores to be made compulsory at restaurants and takeaways in England: Conservative MP Michael Fabricant has called for the display of food hygiene scores to be made compulsory at restaurants and takeaways in England. Fabricant, who is MP for Lichfield in Staffordshire, also said owners who make improvements and want a quick re-grading should pay the inspecting council themselves – and not the taxpayer. It is the law in Wales that all premises must display their score on the door and Fabricant said it should be introduced in England. Currently, all hygiene ratings are displayed at The MP has tabled Parliamentary Written Questions to ministers at the Department of Health to encourage the legislation. He told the Burton Mail: “Hygiene ratings should be visible with the scores being ideally placed in the restaurant window or door before you enter. TripAdvisor scores are often on display, but they don’t indicate the safety of the food being served. This has got to change. At present, many restaurants can get away with poor standards unless they are closed down by the local authority – but that is the ‘nuclear’ and costly option.”

Pubs minister hails Pub is The Hub scheme: Pubs minister Marcus Jones has hailed the success of the Pub is The Hub scheme after witnessing the initiative first hand. Jones popped into the Star Inn at Vogue near Redruth, Cornwall, where Punch Taverns licensees Mark and Rachel Graham opened a micro-library in December 2013, with support from Pub is The Hub and Cornwall Council’s library services. In addition, the pub is also home to a hairdressing salon six days a week. Jones said: “I am amazed at the variety of different services that Pub is The Hub has encouraged over recent years and congratulate (founder) John Longden and his small team for the work they are doing with pubs all over the country.” Pub is The Hub has been able to offer small grants to licensees to support diversification projects since 2013 when it was able to launch the Community Services Fund with the financial backing of Diageo and the Department for Communities and Local Government.

Pret A Manger boss – ‘I gave myself 18 days off from emails’: Pret A Manger boss Clive Schlee has reported the beneficial outcome of giving himself 18 days off from reading emails during his August holiday. Writing in his blog, Schlee said: “The encroachment (of emails) is becoming a problem. I wanted to set an example, and so between 14 August and 1 September, I gave myself 18 days off Pret emails. Tell your colleagues, business partners, and teams about your plan. Most of them will congratulate you. Persuade one of your colleagues to look over your emails once a day. It will seem scary but there are many people within Pret to whom I would have entrusted this task. Knowing that there is someone keeping an eye on the business in your absence makes you feel responsible and allows you to let go. If you don’t feel you can do this step, write a carefully crafted out of office message. I am happy to report that the impact of the detox is entirely positive. The relaxation effect of the holiday is increased by at least 100%. This is a wonderful result and needs no explanation. Your team will send each other fewer emails. They know you aren’t reading them and they will make more decisions for themselves. They told me they enjoyed my detox as much as I did. You will find that when you skim through your emails on your return, most of them are trivial or no longer relevant. Who now needs to know the sales in Pret US on Tuesday last week? I have concluded that a great deal of business email is motivated by the need to belong and stay involved and does not generate genuine commercial benefit.”

Fleurets chairman Barry Gillham to step down: Property agent Fleurets has announced long-serving industry veteran Barry Gillham will stand down as chairman on 30 September, having spent his entire career with the firm. Gillham said: “The moment has arrived for me to spend more time on other interests and, particularly, taking more long-distance holidays. I have worked at Fleurets for over 50 years so it will obviously be strange to wind down. However, the company’s new chairman Martin Willis and I have worked together for over 30 years and, as managing director for the past ten years, Martin is the ideal person to guide the board going forward. I shall keep my hand in by doing some rent reviews and arbitrations until I fully retire.” Willis said: “On reaching the age of 60, it was always my intention to let someone younger take over the day-to-day management of the firm. Graeme Bunn, who joined us in 2000, is the board’s unanimous choice as the next managing director to take the business forward now that the recession has passed.” Bunn added: “I am greatly looking forward to my new challenge. I take over the reins at a time when the business is in rude health and my colleagues and I look forward to driving Fleurets’ reputation and experience across all leisure sectors. As a director for nine years, I have worked closely with Martin and am delighted that I have his, and the other directors’, full support.”

Carlsberg launches crowdsourcing for green ideas: Carlsberg has launched the “Cheers to Green Ideas” competition in partnership with Copenhagen-based Think Tank, Sustainia. Organisations, companies and members of the public around the world are invited to take part in the competition by submitting ideas on how to make Carlsberg beer more sustainable. The ideas provided must help Carlsberg improve the environmental impact of beer, from production of raw materials, to brewing and transportation, all the way through to recycling of packaging. They should also inspire positive change in consumer behaviour to help drive a more sustainable future. Examples could include, but are not limited to: innovative packaging ideas, ways of incentivising recycling, and technologies to increase energy/water efficiency.

Anti-gentrification protestors target Cereal Cafe in Shoreditch: Hundreds of anti-gentrification protestors have targeted the Cereal Cafe in Shoreditch. Customers used furniture to barricade the doors of the cafe on Brick Lane as hundreds of people holding fire torches gathered outside. Co-owner Gary Keery said the protest should be treated as seriously as the London riots and the damage to his business had been contained to the outside of the building. Protesters scrawled the word “scum” on the cafe’s window and threw paintballs at it. He said: “I could not believe it when I heard what had happened. They are nothing but criminals. When I came down I just thought it was ridiculous. I thought this cannot be real. We are a business like anyone else in this street. But this was not an accident. They were throwing cornflakes at the shop. We seemed to be the targeted business. Maybe we are an easy target – but there are chain cafes opening up the road which are being ignored.”

Taco Bell launches online ordering and payment in US: Taco Bell, the brand owned by Yum! Brands, has launched a website allowing customers in the US to order and pay across all devices, not just mobiles. The company‘s new site has the URL: – pronounced ta-dot-co – that it said is designed to be fun and easier to access. Tressie Lieberman, vice-president of digital innovation and on demand, told Nation’s Restaurant News: “It’s like using an emoji,” noting the full URL will also bring users to the same website. “We think ease is the new loyalty.” Users can place an order, customise their meal, calculate nutritional values or even look for a job on the website. With about five million users visiting the website each month, the company’s goal was to bring them the same elevated experience the app offers, which will ultimately redefine the e-commerce experience for quick service, Lieberman said. The next step is to integrate a loyalty program, which Lieberman said would debut late this year.

Money-saving app Frugl looking to attract more bars and restaurants by offering commission-free period: Frugl, London’s newest money-saving app, is looking to attract more restaurants and bars in the capital to the platform by offering a commission-free period until the end of October. The app, developed by former PR director Suzanne Noble, helps restaurants and bars looking to fill seats on the fly, reduce waste and reach new customers across web and mobile. Frugl gives vendors the ability to list any deal £10 and under or free on their own terms and the company take a small commission (less than 10%) per sale. Users purchase the offer directly off their phone with the money going directly to the vendor’s account a week after the sale is made. Daily deals remain on the app for up to a week for users to view. The new iPhone and Android app went live this month after a year trialling a version on iPhone that now has over 20,000 users in London. Anyone interested can email

Liverpool City Council urged to dismiss levy: The Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) has reiterated its message that a late night levy in Liverpool could have negative consequences for the area’s night-time economy and the introduction of a levy by a local authority should only be considered as a last resort. Yesterday (Monday, 28 September), Liverpool City Council began its consultation on the introduction of a late night levy in the area. ALMR chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “We are once again repeating our call for local authorities to have caution when considering a levy and reminding them of the work already being carried out by the sector to address harms. The government’s own guidance on levies and EMROs states that they should be used as a measure of last resort when other efforts have proven fruitless and a problem still exists. Pubs and bars spend a great deal of time engaging in voluntary and partnership schemes to ensure that their venues are safe and responsible places to drink. Late night venues in Liverpool are also contributing much financially to the local economy in the form of taxes and business rates and any additional levy is a punitive measure against hardworking businesses. We are urging Liverpool City Council to work with local businesses, not against them, and to consider all other options before introducing an additional tax on businesses.”

Company News:

Veeno reveals plans to expand to 80 sites by 2019: Italian wine cafe Veeno has revealed plans to expand to 80 sites in the next four years. The company, led by Nino Caruso and Andrea Zecchino, so far has four venues in Manchester, Leeds, York and Liverpool with its fifth opening in Nottingham next month. Veeno wants to roll-out the concept to at least ten major cities in 2016 – including Bristol, Birmingham and Edinburgh – after help from equity investment and bank funding and then have a total of 80 by 2019. Aided by the Master Key Group – a second company owned by the Italian duo, responsible for interior design, fitting and graphics – Veeno is looking to expand its reach further across the UK. Zecchino told the Manchester Evening News: “We have worked hard in the past months to create an organisation that can support the growth into the future. This means working on systems, processes and procedures that will be crucial to manage and drive the expansion. We want to replicate our successful concept without compromising on the quality of our products and services and without losing efficiency.” Veeno’s wine list features wines exclusively from Nino’s family vineyard in Sicily, Italy, where the first vines were planted in the late 1800s. Each wine is then paired with a selection of Italian meats and cheeses.

Joule’s secures 40th site in off-market deal with Stonegate: Shropshire brewer and retailer Joule’s is to take control of the Crown Hotel, Codsall, tomorrow (Wednesday, 30 September) in an off-market deal with Stonegate Pub Company – it is Joule’s biggest investment to date. The company plans to invest £275,000 in the refurbishment of the pub and will reopen as a Joule’s tap house in March 2016, its 40th freehold pub. Chrissie Brook, managing director of Joule’s, said: “I know the Crown well from my time at Mitchells & Butlers (M&B). I looked at it as a potential Ember trial site in the mid 1990s, the demographics are very strong and the population figures very good. It was retained for a number of years by M&B before it was transferred to Stonegate. We had to dig deep to acquire it but it’s a grade A site and we are confident that we have the offer to make this a great pub for Codsall. The location also fits really well within our estate and allows us to enter the fray around Wolverhampton as we have in Birmingham from our tap house in Boldmere, Sutton Coldfield. For the first time in a long while we don’t have any prospect sites, the market at the quality end where we are most interested is really thin, so this purchase was especially important to us to maintain our momentum for 2016.”

Howard Schultz – Starbucks is in the early days of making unprecedented cultural and social impact:
Starbucks chief executive Howard Schultz has sent his end of fiscal year message, claiming the company is set to make unprecedented social and cultural impact. He said: “Given all we have accomplished, it can be hard to believe that we are still in the early days of making unprecedented cultural and social impact in communities beyond our own, as well as for our own. With 23,000 stores in 68 countries, the Starbucks brand and in-store experience has never been stronger or more relevant. Our global growth and development coupled with the innovation of mobile and digital customer-facing proprietary technology linked to loyalty, personalisation, and My Starbucks Rewards are also in their infant stages. New store formats and designs, and Starbucks Reserve stores, are evolving to have lives of their own. Soon, the next generation of Teavana stores will be unveiled, and The Roastery will open in cities around the world following our stunning debut in Seattle. This week we will expand our commitment to sustainability with an innovative effort to distribute one million coffee trees to farmers in coffee growing regions around the world.”

Davy’s wine bar hires Jerry Marks as operations director:
London wine bar brand Davy’s has hired Jerry Marks as its new operations director, reporting to chairman and chief executive James Davy. Marks previously worked with Smollenskys, Wagamama, Giraffe and Center Parcs. Marks said: “There are exciting opportunities in driving forward a family wine business with its rich history of service excellence and quality. Driving sales through a focused and consistent offering are high on the agenda, whilst also elevating Davy’s brand awareness. The acquisition of El Vino’s adds yet another interesting dimension to the business.” Davy added: “We’re delighted that Jerry is joining the business and look forward to drawing on his extensive experience in operations to increase sales and deliver targets.”

Coaching Inn Group to roll-out coffee and patisserie offer to Lincolnshire site: Coaching Inn Group, led by Kevin Charity, is to roll-out out its coffee and patisserie offer to its White Hart site in Boston, Lincolnshire. The hotel bar in Lincolnshire is set to be transformed into a restaurant and coffee house as part of a £100,000 refurbishment. The three-week project at the White Hart Hotel in Boston got underway yesterday (Monday, 28 September), and will result in a private dining area with 14 covers, as well as a coffee and patisserie area. Hotel manager Adam Charity said: “We are finding afternoon trade is getting busier and so are working with an award-winning coffee roaster to create a new menu of top quality coffees, which will be accompanied by an array of fresh delicious patisseries.” The company operates eight venues, which includes hotels in Leicester and Northampton.

St Austell Brewery celebrates successful 18 months as own brand sales continue to soar: St Austell Brewery has seen its own brand sales continue to soar in the past 18 months – and celebrated the success with a beach party for employees, partners and friends. The company reached the landmark figure of 100,000 brewers’ barrels of its own brand beers brewed and sold in a calendar year in March – the first time the milestone amount has been reached in the company’s 164-year history. The success of the brewery’s own brands beers, including its Tribute Pale Ale, Proper Job IPA and Korev lager, has continued with St Austell looking to further extend its own record again this year with production of its own brand ranges on course to reach 110,000 barrels. Managing director James Staughton said: “Our own brand beers continue to grow in popularity both in pubs and in supermarkets throughout the UK thanks to all those who are part of our pub estate, our commitment to a quality product and fostering longstanding relationships.”

Paisley-based multi-site operator brothers set to launch fourth site: Paisley-based multi-site operator brothers Riccardo and Stefano Cardosi are set to launch their fourth venue in the Scottish town. The Cardosis are opening Pendulum Bar and Grill on the site of the former Arnotts store in Gauze Street next June. The 120-seat restaurant, which will cover the entire ground floor, will offer a British and continental menu. Stefano Cardosi told Renfrewshire 24: “Things in the town are moving at such a fantastic rate and we want to complement what is already available by creating a new, exciting bar and grill. Pendulum will offer a varied menu, beer, wine and cocktail list in a stylish, contemporary setting currently not available in Paisley.” The Cardosis also own the family’s Italian restaurant, Cardosi’s Espresso Bar coffee shop and Allan’s Chip Shop in Paisley.

Loungers lodges plans for new site in Newcastle-under-Lyme: Bristol-based cafe bar Loungers has lodged plans to open a new site in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire. The company has applied to Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council to convert the former Co-op bank building in Ironmarket into the Capello Lounge Bar. The bistro would sell sandwiches and burgers as well as cocktails, reports the Stoke Sentinel. A statement to planners said: “Loungers is a food and drink operator with a focus on the continental-in-style cafe/bistro concept, creating an informal and neighbourhood food-led cafe and restaurant. It will open all day, every day, where family, friends, and local residents can meet, eat and drink in a relaxed and comfortable environment. Conceptually, all of Loungers operations are similar in terms of location, within suburban areas with strong shopping characteristics.”

Starbucks’ first UK franchisee opening 14th site, this time located in Bournemouth: Starbucks’ first UK franchisee 23.5 Degrees is set to open its 14th site in Bournemouth, Dorset. The company is opening the 1,978 square foot store at Lansdowne in Holdenhurst Road this autumn after securing a 15-year lease paying a rent of £25,000 per annum. 23.5 Degrees, named after the latitude measurement where the “coffee belt” can be found, is run by New Forest entrepreneurs Mark Hepburn and Anil Patil. The pair became its first Starbucks franchisees in the world when they opened a branch in Liphook, Hampshire, in February 2013. They currently operate 13 stores, with four more lined up before the end of October, and plan to open over 200 sites in the next five to seven years. Starbucks has previously announced plans to appoint between 20-25 franchisees to operate within the UK and Ireland.

Stonegate Pub Company to reopen single site acquisition in Crowborough this week: Stonegate Pub Company is set to reopen the White Hart on the Green in Crowborough, East Sussex, a single site acquisition, after a £500,000 investment, creating up to 30 jobs for local people. The newly named “White Hart on the Green” next to Chapel Green, will open on Friday (2 October) as a traditional British country pub. It will serve freshly prepared classic pub food. The pub will also be celebrating the British love of pies with a two-month festival, featuring eight pies. Customers can choose from gourmet British beef or venison, pulled Lincolnshire ham or a creamy fisherman’s pie.

Shrewsbury-based coffee shop Stop to open third site: Stop, the Shrewsbury-based coffee shop brand, is to open its third site in the Shropshire town. The company, started by Mike and Nicola Dalton three years ago, is taking over the running of the coffee shop in the town’s University Centre learning and research base in Frankwell Quay, creating four jobs. Stop @UCS will offer the same coffee and homemade food that features at its other two sites – the Stop coffee shop in Greyfriars and the Stop cafe bar in the Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery. Nicola Dalton told Shropshire Live: “We are absolutely thrilled to be opening Stop number three at the University Centre. Since we heard that the institution was coming to the town we’ve been looking forward to the positive impact it will have on Shrewsbury. We are particularly proud that the University Centre has chosen us, a local, family-owned independent business to run the coffee shop.”

Greggs signs for new headquarters in Newcastle: Bakery company Greggs has agreed a deal for a new headquarters office in Newcastle. Greggs has signed a ten-year lease on a 30,715 square foot building at Quorum Business Park, which is also home to Fabricom, Aesica, NCFE and British Engines. Quorum has seen more than 20 new businesses arrive on the park, occupying more than 500,000 square foot of office space, since 2009. Fergus Trim, from park asset managers Broadoak, said: “Demand for office space in Newcastle is strengthening, and to attract the national headquarters of a FTSE company like Greggs is a real milestone for Quorum.” Sanderson Weatherall acted for Greggs. Knight Frank and Cushman & Wakefield acted for the landlord.

North west-based Indian restaurant brand opens fourth site, plans further expansion: North-west based Indian restaurant brand Armaan Exquisite Indian Cuisine has opened its fourth site – and has plans for further expansion. The company has opened a 170-seat venue in Radcliffe, Greater Manchester, creating 34 jobs. It has converted a former Blockbuster store in Outwood Road into its latest site. Senior manager Sky Miah told the Bury Times more restaurants were planned for the future although he was unaware of potential locations at this time. He said: “This is the fourth restaurant in our chain. We have two in Warrington and another in Saddleworth. We chose Radcliffe because we felt the town needed something nice and that there was no upmarket restaurant. We are delighted to have the restaurant in Radcliffe and we want to do as much as we can to help the local community and work together.”

Cinema operator Everyman Media Group reports turnover boost: Cinema operator Everyman Group has reported revenue for the six months to 30 June 2015 up 31% to £8,159,000 (half one 2014: £6,212,000). Six new venues were added in the period, expanding the current estate to 16. The company has exchanged on new sites in King’s Cross and Chelmsford, both due to open in 2017. These sites further grow the opening pipeline of the company, adding to those previously announced in Bristol, Harrogate, Cirencester and Stratford-upon-Avon. Chairman Paul Wise said: “The first six months to 30 June 2015 marked an important turning point for the business with new site openings, the broadening of our new site pipeline and an equity raise to fund the acquisition of four Odeon sites. At the same time, the 2014 committed investment in the central head office overheads is being realised. The board believes this increased central resource (including the appointment of our new chief executive, financial director and other key roles) ensures the successful delivery and growth of the business in the coming years.”

Football club submits hotel plan: Football club Brighton & Hove Albion have lodged plans to develop a 150-room hotel and specialist cancer treatment centre adjacent to their American Express Community Stadium in Falmer. The hotel complex is expected to provide an additional £5.8m in revenue each year to the local economy and create approximately 80 jobs. The hotel, which would be known as the Brighton Aloft, will help the Seagulls develop a “stronger residential conference centre offering” to help serve and increase the non-matchday business at the stadium. The site straddles both Brighton & Hove City Council and Lewes District Council boundaries and will be considered by both local planning authorities in early 2016. If approved, it will open to guests in the summer of 2017.

Use of mobile phones detrimental to the dining experience, social experiment finds: The use of mobile phones is detrimental to the dining experience, a social experiment has found. The study, exploring the impact of the “iPhone effect” on the dining experience, was carried out by Digital Blonde and Food Marketing School founder Karen Fewell. 25 strangers, varying in age, were invited to a four-course dinner in a disused railway carriage and after beginning to share their experiences on social media, they were asked to put their phones in a box in the centre of the table. The research found in the absence of mobiles, guests appeared to talk more about the food and its flavours. All participants agreed the conversation flowed better without the presence of phones while the majority felt they engaged and connected with other diners more deeply than they would have done with their phones present. Almost 70% felt restaurants should not ban phones, however over 80% felt people should put their phones away at the table. When it came to what guests missed the most about not having a phone during the dining experience, sharing via Twitter and Instagram were highest on the list. Fewell said: “Without many of us realising it, mobile phones have become a central part of the eating out experience, whether as a conversational aid, a connection to the rest of the world or as a way to share the occasion with others. While all of these can be seen as positives, I truly believe that the best moments in life happen around a table when we are eating and drinking with the people we love. For brands, marketers, chefs and hospitality professionals there is a lot to think about. Social media can be great for spreading awareness and interacting with customers, but if it’s desensitising and decreasing a guest’s overall enjoyment, somehow, a balance needs to be struck.”

Soho House Brighton decision set for November:
A decision will be made in November on a resubmitted plan by Soho House Group to redevelop The Terraces in Brighton. Its restaurant brands Pizza East, Chicken Shop, and Dirty Burger have all been earmarked for the development. There are also plans for a fish-and-chip restaurant, and a retail unit with a cafe. A similar application in August last year was withdrawn following complaints from residents, who said the view of the sea from Marine Parade would be obscured.

Hotel operator Llangoed acquires third site: Hotel operator Llangoed has acquired the Swan Hotel at Hay-on-Wye in Wales – its third site. The company, led by Calum Milne, has bought the 19-room hotel that dates back to 1821 for an undisclosed sum from a private owner. Llangoed also operates Llangoed Hall in Brecon and Sudbury House in Faringdon, Oxfordshire. Milne, who will oversee a £1.2m refurbishment of the Swan Hotel, said: “The intention will be to bring the Swan up to the same multi-award winning standard as the other two hotels in the group – Llangoed Hall was Hotel of the Year in 2014. All three operate as independent companies but offer the very best in hospitality and fine cuisine.” Peter Brunt, hotels director for Colliers International, which marketed the property, said: “The Swan is an ideal place to stay and enjoy the town and explore the outstanding countryside including Brecon Beacons National Park, the Black Mountains and the Golden Valley.”

Topland Group launches joint hotel venture, lines up first site in Manchester: Topland Group, led by Sol Zakay, is launching a joint hotel venture with real estate company Marick Real Estate and property developer Mill Lane Estates and has lined up its first project. The trio is set to open the Trafford City Hotel following the purchase from Peel Holdings of a 1.75-acre development site opposite the EventCity venue at the Trafford Centre in Greater Manchester. Planning permission is in place for a new 203-bedroom hotel and it is expected work will start in early 2016. The Trafford City Hotel will be operated by Tower Hotel Management, which is part of the Peel Group. It is anticipated the Trafford City Hotel will be the first of many projects undertaken by the partnership. The Topland-led venture follows the company’s successful collaboration on the construction of a 190-bedroom Hampton by Hilton hotel at London City Airport, for which Topland provided Marick with a £22m development finance facility. Mill Lane Estates is the development manager on the Docklands project, which is expected to open for Christmas 2016.

Speaker programme for Propel Multi Club Conference unveiled: The full speaker programme for the Propel Multi Club Conference on Thursday, 5 November at the Lancaster, London, the best-attended conference series in the sector, has been unveiled. Ian King, presenter of the Sky News show Ian King Live, and former Business and City editor of The Times, looks at the key economic trends over the past 12 months and the 12 months ahead and gives his views on their impact on the hospitality sector. Peter Hansen, founder of leading mergers and acquisitions advisory Sapient Corporate Finance, which has advised on sector transactions worth more than £2bn in the past five years, looks at the key sector trends in 2015 for those buying and selling businesses. Andrew Ball, of accountancy firm haysmacintyre, offers his top tips on tax minimisation for multi-site operators. Paul Harbottle, commercial director of Enterprise Inns, talks about building an 800-strong managed pub estate and investment and progress in the leased and tenanted part of the business. Toby Smith, chief executive of Novus Leisure, explains how the company is evolving its food, drink and entertainment offer, along with digital capability, to stay at the forefront of the late-night market in London and the regions. Martin Wolstencroft, founder of Arc Inspirations, arguably Yorkshire’s most successful independent bar and restaurant operator, talks about running multiple concepts, overcoming challenges, best-in-class profit conversion, innovation and expanding over the Pennines in the company’s 15th year. Scott Shaw, founder and chairman of marketing and information analysis business Fishbowl, explains how US restaurant businesses are using guest information to drive marketing and sales. He is joined by data expert Mike Lukianoff, founder of Czar Metrics, now owned by Fishbowl, who will talk about the ground-breaking work his company is doing in the US with a host of well-known restaurant brands, using data to shape menu and price engineering, media efficiency and trade area analytics. Nick Collins, managing director of Loungers, talks about evolving the brand, maintaining company culture, fulfilling growth ambitions, new trading locations and stepping into the shoes of founder Alex Reilley. Kris Gumbrell and Simon Bunn, co-founders of Brewhouse & Kitchen, talk about how they have developed the UK’s largest brewpub chain, food quality, recruiting brewers, brewing experiences, EIS funding and the market potential for the company. Ann Elliott, chief executive of leading sector public relations and marketing firm Elliotts, presents the findings of a survey of senior industry executives on the subject of “outstanding leadership”. Elliotts strategy director James Hacon talks to former Spirit chief executive Mike Tye, Thorley Taverns operations director Phil Thorley, Ego Restaurants chief executive James Horler and Ann Elliott about the principles of high quality leadership. Multi-site pub, restaurant and foodservice operators can claim up to two free places by emailing Adam Dickinson on

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