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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Wed 7th Oct 2015 - Propel Wednesday News Briefing

Story of the Day:

Greggs – National Living Wage will put pressure on us to increase prices: Baker Greggs has warned the new National Living Wage will put pressure on the group to raise the prices of its pasties and sausage rolls. Greggs currently pays its shop staff £7.11 an hour. Chancellor George Osborne said in his July Budget the UK’s hourly minimum wage from April next year will lift to £7.20 for over 25s, from its current level of £6.50, and to at least £9 an hour by 2020. The company said it was seeing lower costs in the business and “a stronger consumer environment”. But it warned that the National Living Wage, which comes in next year, would lead to higher costs. Roger Whiteside, chief executive of Greggs, said: “Wage rises will increase inflationary pressure in the business. It is not our intention to raise prices. But ultimately we will see how the market goes.” Meanwhile, Greggs has been refurbishing stores and revamping its products to include healthier options as well as the sausage rolls and other baked goods for which it is best known. It has pushed coffee sales and opened stores early to sell breakfast items such as free-range omelettes and porridge. Additions to the menu for autumn include chicken curry soup and peri peri chicken flatbread. Yesterday’s trading update is the latest positive statement from Greggs, whose shares rose 5% to £11.30. The baker increased its full-year profit guidance for the second time in three months in July.

Industry News:

325 now booked in for Propel Multi Club Conference on 5 November: A record number of attendees, 325 delegates from 166 operating companies, have booked in for the final Propel Multi Club Conference of 2015, taking place on Thursday, 5 November. Multi-site pub, restaurant and foodservice companies can book up to two free places each by emailing Adam Dickinson on See bottom of email for full details of speaker schedule

Pubs and bars invited to join UK’s first National Pub Quiz Day:
Mobile ordering app Orderella and quiz event specialists MyBigIQ are inviting pubs and bars to take part in the UK’s first National Pub Quiz Day on Tuesday, 17 November. The event will raise money for the Team Margot Foundation, the stem cell donor registration charity. The same general knowledge quiz will be played simultaneously and in real time in each venue. It features nine rounds with scores added and leader boards shared nationwide. The faster a team answers, the more points it gets and at the end of the night the National Pub Quiz winning team and venue will be crowned. Applications are open to all pubs and bars across the UK regardless of whether they are part of a chain or independent with 100 venues being picked from the applicants. Successful applications will receive the installation from Orderella and MyBigIQ for the event free of charge. To enter, email for a sign up form. Once venues are confirmed, each team pays a £5 registration fee, which goes to the Team Margot Foundation.

Greene King names Peter Kay its Celebrity Pub Pal of 2015: Comedian Peter Kay has been named the Greene King Celebrity Pub Pal of the Year for 2015. Bolton-born Kay secured the award after a national poll asked: “Which British celebrity would you most like to have a drink down the pub with?” Last year’s inaugural winner, the actor, writer and presenter Stephen Fry, was narrowly beaten by Kay into second place. The third most popular suggestion this year was David Beckham, with Sir David Attenborough and Jeremy Clarkson making up the top five. Dame Judi Dench was the highest placed female suggestion in eighth place with Simon Cowell also featuring in the top ten. The title is awarded annually by leading pub retailer and brewer Greene King and marks out Kay as Britain’s most popular celebrity today. Rooney Anand, chief executive of Greene King, said: “We go to the pub with the people we most want to spend time with, so a fantasy pub pal is a good measure of the popularity of today’s celebrities. It is also gives us a real insight into what the nation responds to and it is good to see a diverse list of characters in the top ten who, in their different ways, would all offer interesting company down the pub. As one of this country’s most loved comic personalities, it was not a surprise to see the irrepressible Peter Kay top our chart this year.”

£150m Resorts World Birmingham to open this month: The £150m Resorts World Birmingham at the NEC will open on Wednesday, 21 October. Casino operator Genting UK has spent two years developing the seven-storey, 538,000 square foot leisure and entertainment complex that features 18 bars and restaurants as well as other shops. The 11-screen Cineworld, including an Imax screen, will open two days later while the Genting International Casino – the biggest in Britain – will open on Monday, 26 October along with the conference and banqueting centre. The four-star Genting Hotel will welcome guests from Monday, 2 November. Genting UK president and chief operating officer Peter Brooks told the Birmingham Mail: “There will be much more to experience at Resorts World Birmingham as the weeks go by and the resort becomes fully operational. We are thrilled Resorts World Birmingham will bring the uniqueness and excitement of a large scale integrated resort offer to the West Midlands region and beyond – and with it transforming the appeal of the NEC campus and the region’s leisure offers.”

BBPA – small businesses should be exempted from apprenticeship levy: The British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) has called for the exclusion of small businesses such as individual pubs, in the government’s proposals for an apprenticeship levy. These, and other detailed comments, are contained in the BBPA’s submission to the consultation on the issue. The BBPA has also commented on the introduction of the National Living Wage, in a submission to the Low Pay Commission. While the BBPA has concerns about the need for a levy, it said any scheme should only apply to larger companies, to avoid placing an excessive burden on very small businesses; companies with over 250 employees would be broadly the right approach. The BBPA has also made a number of detailed suggestions to secure the maximum benefit from the scheme. It wants to ensure the system of vouchers is designed to enable companies to get more out than they put in, if others are not using their allocation of vouchers, and to allocate their vouchers to partners in their supply chain, if they so wish. Employers must also be given the flexibility to decide where their employees are based within the UK where they work across devolved boundaries, and this must be simple to administer.

Company News:

Heineken UK reports strong 2014 performance: Companies House documents filed by Heineken UK showed turnover rose £13.3m to £1,224bn in the UK in the year to December 31 2014. Pre-tax profit was £121.6m, a turnaround from a loss of £45.8m the year before. Operating profit was £52m compared to £10.6m the year before. The company stated operating profit improvements were driven by lower operating costs, primarily a “non-recurring provision release of £6.1m (2013: £11.9m release) with respect to a re-organisation of our supply chain and business support capabilities”. It added: “A robust performance of our brands led to an increase in turnover of £13.3m.”

Peach Pub Company reports £247,879 profit-related remuneration in 2014: Companies House documents filed by Peach Pub Company report group and subsidiary directors shared £247,879 in profit-related remuneration in 2014 (2013: £124,786). The company stated: “Directors are salaried at moderate levels and the majority of potential earnings are based on profits and only payable if cash is available.” In the 52 weeks to 28 December 2014, group normal operations Ebitda rose 6.3% to £2,218,027. Turnover was up 7% to £22m. Profit before tax was £303,043 (2013: £43,144). The company said improved profit before tax was driven by “better sales and improved control in the profit and loss”. Quarter one of its current financial year saw like-for-likes up 1.6%, “which was 1% ahead of the market”.

San Marco Group gets go-ahead to convert former pub into Italian restaurant in Burnley: Preston-based San Marco Group has been given the go-ahead to transform a former pub into an Italian restaurant in Burnley – its sixth site. The company, operated by the Vragagnini family, has been granted permission by Burnley Council to convert the Bull and Butcher in Manchester Road, creating 55 jobs, reports Pendle Today. The building was last used as an Indian restaurant, which closed about four years ago. Hamaad Anwar, from planning agents Fletcher Smith Architects, said: “The proposed application is for the sympathetic refurbishment of the existing building to bring it back to its original glory as a gateway into Burnley. The aim is to retain all features of the front elevation and generally make good existing finishes, bringing the building back to life.” San Marco Group, which was established in 1985, currently runs five bars and restaurants in the Preston area.

New high-end bar, restaurant and entertainment concept set to open in Nottingham: A new high-end bar, restaurant and entertainment concept is set to open in Nottingham’s Lace Market. The Loom is being launched by Poseidon Kumar at the High End Business Centre, creating 17 jobs. Diners will be able to choose from the “contemporary British menu” with “Mediterranean fusion and Asian inspiration” while watching a drama performance or music on the purpose-built stage. Remaining true to the building’s history – and that of the city – a 19th century jacquard loom in the basement is to be made a feature. Kumar, who is making his first foray into the hospitality trade, told the Nottingham Post: “There’s nothing like this in Nottingham. The main thing is once it’s fully operational, we will be holding theatrical productions and live music. Customers will be able to book a table and sit down to live entertainment.” The site consists of two buildings put together, with an 18th-century town house frontage and a lace warehouse at the back, which was running until the 1960s. It has most recently been used as office space for creative businesses.

Christie + Co – we’ve brokered or valued £6bn of assets in past 12 months: Agent Christie + Co has reported it has brokered or valued £6bn of assets in the last 12 months. This includes the sale of 53 pubs previously owned by Tattershall Castle Group (TCG) to Stonegate Pub Company, for an undisclosed sum, last week. The deal follows the sale of 146 tenanted pubs to Red Oak Taverns on behalf of the liquidators handling the GRS group of companies – Christie + Co reports it has also valued two of the largest pub estates in the UK. Of the Stonegate acquisition, Neil Morgan, head of pubs at Christie + Co, said: “We are delighted to have been involved in this major transaction, particularly as TCG is effectively one of the last sizeable managed house portfolios to be sold. The transaction, and further work of the team over the past year, demonstrates Christie + Co’s credentials in the market and that there is certainly renewed confidence and opportunity within the sector.” Yesterday (Tuesday, 6 October), Propel reported Morgan believed the sale of TCG, one of the last medium-sized companies in the managed pub sector, will increase demand for and value of smaller managed companies.

BrewDog founder explains US crowdfunding campaign: BrewDog co-founder James Watt has set out the strategy behind the company’s planned crowdfunding campaign in the US, which forms part of its current £25m crowdfunding push. Watt said: “(The US) fund-raising would serve two purposes; firstly to build our US community and lock in brand ambassadors over there and secondly to enable us to expand our US bar division faster. The ambassador element is key. We can compete in the USA by making the people drinking our beers complicit in our success. It will build a community and help us build the brand faster. This would not be at a discount. The US fund-raising will be directly into a subsidiary company (BrewDog USA) so it will not dilute any investment made on Crowdcube at all.”

Karlsson – Sticks n’ Sushi had to change cultural mindset to become international brand: Andreas Karlsson has reported Sticks n’ Sushi had to change its cultural mindset in order to grow into an international brand. Karlsson, who is UK chief executive of the Danish-owned Japanese restaurant, also said “being foreign” helped when it came to launching abroad into the London market. Sticks n’ Sushi, founded in 1994 by Kim Rahbek Hansen, his brother Jens and Thor Andersen, opened its first UK restaurant in the capital in 2012 in Wimbledon. Karlsson told delegates at the Chris Muller and Propel Multi-site Management Masterclass: “The only thing they (the founders) had in their head was they were going to go abroad. They were going to go to London – London was the place to be. That was the dream. But to go from a small place like Copenhagen to London creates and needs lots of preparation. What they did was change the cultural mindset of the organisation. They started speaking English at meetings, training manuals, agendas, minutes – they were all in English. Then there was the insurance policy, making sure the food was right.” Karlsson, who joined the company in 2011, admitted there were “a few sleepless nights” working out how it was going to take a Danish-owned Japanese restaurant to the UK. But he said it was helped by the success of Copenhagen-based Noma, which has been named the world’s best restaurant four times in the past five years. He added: “Being Danish has been an advantage to us. Denmark as a brand is great so we used that. It’s good to be foreign. We communicated that we are actually from another place but we serve good food and are ultimately a Japanese restaurant. The blessing to open up in London is you always get one chance to get your guests to come in and if you’re then good then you have a chance to survive.” Karlsson said Sticks n’ Sushi decided to open its first UK restaurant in Wimbledon because of its “similarities to Copenhagen”. He added: “The majority of our restaurants in Copenhagen are in areas like that where there are people living 52 weeks a year. They go out, the demographic is right and we have a stable business. That’s what we knew and that’s what we did first. We did not end up going for something in the centre of town before we know what we do best works.” The company now has four sites in London and, as previously reported, will open its UK first venue outside the capital in Cambridge next March.

TGI Friday’s to open new restaurant in Walsall: TGI Friday’s is to open a new restaurant in Walsall – its first in the Black Country. The company is the latest to sign up to the £12m Walsall Waterfront complex in the town centre, off Wolverhampton Street. It will join Greene King’s Hungry Horse brand, PizzaExpress, Chiquito, owned by The Restaurant Group, and Casual Dining Group’s Bella Italia, which secured sites last year. An eight-screen Light cinema anchors the complex, which is due to open by next spring. Walsall Council deputy leader Adrian Andrew told the Express & Star: “I’m delighted that TGI Friday’s is coming to the town, which will no doubt prove to be a huge hit with families. Bringing in such a big name is a sign of real progress for Walsall and I’m really looking forward to the venue’s grand opening early next year.” The company’s other restaurants in the West Midlands are in Birmingham, Sutton Coldfield and Solihull.

Whitbread secures second Premier Inn site in Germany: Whitbread’s Premier Inn brand has secured a deal for a new site in Munich, its second in Germany as it expands into the new market. The company has acquired the freehold for a new-build, 200-bedroom hotel in Munich city centre at Sonnentrasse between Karlsplatz and Sendlinger Tor. The new hotel will be owned and operated by Premier Inn. Construction will start mid-2016 and opening is planned for late 2018/early 2019. Premier Inn announced plans to expand into Germany in 2014 and currently has one site in development in Frankfurt (Europaviertel), scheduled to open in spring 2016. The target is to open eight to ten hotels in prime locations in the biggest cities in Germany in the next few years. Mark Anderson, managing director – property, commercial and Premier Inn, Germany, said: “Securing another prime site like this is great news as we look to build our business in Germany. This Munich deal puts us right into the centre of a vibrant city for business and leisure travel and within walking distance of the train station and all the important sights and attractions of central Munich.”

Michael Caines to launch fine-dining restaurant at north Wales country house hotel: Michelin-starred chef Michael Caines is to launch a fine-dining restaurant at a historic county house hotel in north Wales. Caines has partnered Alan and Angela Harper for the venture at the grade II-listed Palé Hall Hotel at Llandderfel, near Bala. The hotel is closed for an extensive refurbishment and will reopen next summer with additional guest capacity. It will also feature a fine-dining restaurant created in association with Caines, who has gained two Michelin stars during his tenure as head chef at Gidleigh Park in Devon and oversees a number of restaurants bearing his name. Alan Harper, a former director of Vodafone, told the Daily Post: “We both have a passion for the north Wales landscape and a lot of prior experience with historic properties; it was this combination of interests that first brought us to view Palé Hall. We soon realised that Palé Hall offered us an ideal combination of opportunities.”

Yum shares dive after poor China results: Yum Brands cut its earnings outlook for the year after disappointing quarterly results in its China and India operations, sending shares in the owner of Pizza Hut and KFC down sharply in after-hours trading. While the company on Tuesday reported an increase in overall profit, the results for China were the latest setback in its biggest market, which has bedeviled it repeatedly for the past three years with a series of food-safety controversies. Same-store sales in China for the quarter ended 5 September rose just 2%, well short of the 9.6% analysts expected. Yum shares fell 17% to $69.30 in after-hours trading, erasing some $6 billion from its market value and leaving the stock down nearly 5% for the year. Revenue, which includes franchise and license fees, increased 2.2% to $3.43 billion. Total system sales rose 6%, with Taco Bell reporting a 7% increase, KFC a 6% increase and Pizza Hut a 2% rise.

Fuller’s artisan pizza and cider brand The Stable to open first Gloucestershire site: The Stable, the artisan pizza and cider brand in which Fuller’s holds a 51% stake, is to open its first site in Gloucestershire. The company will open in Clarence Street, Cheltenham, on Friday, 20 November, reports the Gloucestershire Echo. Its pizzas are made 100% from scratch on site by dedicated teams of pizza chefs while there are more than 80 varieties of cider. The Stable, which has 13 sites, was created by Richard and Nikki Cooper and Richard’s brother Andy Briggs.

Cote agrees deal to open restaurant on site of bar in Lincoln:
French brasserie Cote is to open a new restaurant in Lincoln. The company has agreed a deal to take over the site of the Craft bar, which opened two years ago and whose owners are also the management behind Home nightclub in the city centre. Cote will invest about £1m refurbishing the High Street site, creating 35 jobs, and aims to open the restaurant in February. Joint managing director Harald Samúelsson told The Lincolnite: “Lincoln is a city steeped in history and culture. Its thriving arts scene and stunning architecture are attracting more and more people from right across the country to visit its sights. We feel extremely proud to be opening a restaurant in Lincoln and we’re looking forward to offering our friendly style and all-day dining to both tourists and locals. It’s great for us to be joining an already flourishing eating out scene while offering something different in terms of value and service. We think that Côte’s classic, but contemporary feel is perfect for Lincoln.” Cote has more than 70 restaurants across the UK.

Shepherd Neame upskills assistant chefs: Assistant chefs at Shepherd Neame’s retail estate in London and the south east are to benefit from an enhanced training programme to ensure structured career development and encourage excellence. Spearheaded by Simon Howlett, Shepherd Neame’s head development chef for managed houses, the programme comprises intensive one-day workshops held twice-yearly, as well as peer-to-peer mentoring by the brewery’s top chefs. Howlett said: “The interactive workshops are jam-packed with information around a central theme. In November, we’ll partner with the Beef and Lamb Agricultural and Horticultural Development Board to train around 50 chefs and assistant chefs in butchering, preparing and cooking different cuts of meat just in time for winter steaks and Sunday roasts. The second half of the day will be dedicated to all aspects of food hygiene and kitchen safety led by an expert independent company. Coupled with the mentoring programme, our goal is to fully equip our assistant chefs with all the tools and knowledge not only to develop their own skills but also to share best practice within their own teams.” Five Shepherd Neame head chefs, who have been handpicked for their longevity of service, experience and outstanding skills, have undergone management training to become mentors. They will be on hand for new chef inductions and ongoing support in menu development.

Five Guys to open new restaurant in Liverpool:
Five Guys is to open a new restaurant in Liverpool city centre later this year – its 31st in the UK. The company is moving into the old Rat and Parrot building in Queen Square, which is currently at the centre of a £1m refurbishment to turn it into a retail and leisure hub. Five Guys has secured a 3,850 square foot unit on the ground floor of the 14,500 square foot building and will join Nando’s, La Tasca, the brand acquired by Casual Dining Group last month, and Buffalo Jacks. Five Guys UK chief executive John Eckbert told the Liverpool Echo: “Five Guys is very excited to be launching in Liverpool – one of England’s proudest and most important cities. Queen Square is a hub of activity from playhouses to galleries, attracting the kinds of customers that will be looking for our fresh burgers and fries. We look forward to opening later this year and serving our first burger on Merseyside.” The company, founded by Jerry Murrell in the US in 1986, has two restaurants in the north west of England – both in Manchester.

Filmore & Union invests £250,000 in expanding Harrogate site:
Healthy eating cafe and restaurant company Filmore & Union has invested £250,000 relocating its Harrogate cafe to bigger premises, creating 30 jobs for the area. The new two-floor restaurant and cocktail bar has undergone extensive renovation before it opens on Station Parade on 26 October, replacing Filmore & Union’s current café at Station Square. Since moving to Harrogate in July 2012, the 16-cover healthy eating cafe has struggled to meet high customer demand, which has led to the company’s decision to move. Founder and director of Filmore & Union, Adele Ashley, said: “It’s such an exciting move for the company and we can’t wait to get in our new premises. Deciding which building to relocate to was so important to us so it’s been tough, but we’re confident we’ve made the right choice and our loyal customers will follow us there as well as acquiring new customers too. We’ve completely outgrown our current café so it’s been a long time coming! It’s a great start to what we hope will be a very successful 2016.” The company, which has eight sites, is expected to announce more plans to expand across the country early next year.

Rye River Brewing plans €4m brewery investment:
Rye River Brewing Company is to invest €4m to build a new brewery and visitor centre in Celbridge in County Kildare. The business said the facility would employ 150 staff within three years during which its construction would create 100 jobs. Rye River produces its own beer brand McGargles, as well as supplying private label contracts with Lidl. It also supplies some exclusive brands to Tesco and Dunnes. Co-founder Niall Phelan said: “This is a really exciting time for the Rye River Brewing Company as we reach this significant milestone in our expansion and development and we have strong plans and targets now in place to increase production to meet our growing export markets.” The Rye River Brewing Company was established in 2013 by Phelan, Alan Wolfe and Tom Cronin. It now employs 60 staff. Phelan added: “We have been lucky in that we have been profitable from 2014 and we’ve been able to use these profits, our own reserves and some borrowing to fund our existing successful operations and capex. The new development will be funded from cash and some investment and we will be seeking further investment over the coming six months.”

Robinsons reports 9% increase in pub standard in three years: Pubs operated across the north west, Cumbria and north Wales by Robinsons have increased standards by 9% in just over three years, according to data from the brewery’s “Perfect Pub” mystery visitor programme. The programme, which is monitored by Robinsons’ third party partner Mystery Eyes, has shown the average score across Robinsons 300-strong pub estate has increased from 75% in 2012 to 84% in 2015. “An increase of 9% across an entire estate is no easy feat,” said Sarah Rogers, retail marketing manager for Robinsons Brewery. “The clear upward trend is confirmation that the programme is working well and our customers are helping to drive excellent standards along with our licensees and their staff.” Since the launch of Robinsons’ “Perfect Pub” in June 2012, over 2,200 secret visits have taken place by “agents” who have signed up via the “Perfect Pub” website. Tasked with completing ten different categories ranging from roadside appeal to bar service, “agents” who partake receive payment for visiting the pub, which in turn has given Robinsons invaluable information.

Simon French – new M&B boss has the chance to stamp his authority: Cenkos Securities leisure analyst Simon French has issued a ‘Buy’ note on Mitchells & Butlers (M&B) shares, with a 320p guide price, arguing there is little downside to its current position and new chief executive Phil Urban has the opportunity to stamp his authority. French stated: “New chief executive Phil Urban has the chance to stamp his authority on the lacklustre Mitchells & Butlers. We have cut our earnings per share forecasts by 3% for FY 2015E and 8-11% over FY 2016-17E to reflect weaker trading and National Living Wage pressures. However, the stock remains exceptionally good value trading on a CY 2016E adjusted EV/Ebitdar of 6.7x, a discount to all of its peers. We see scope for a re-rating when trading trends improve but if they do not then we would expect management to revisit a merger or major shareholders a take-private. Either way we see very limited downside and reiterate our ‘Buy’ recommendation. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Whilst macro-economic data has provided highly favourable conditions for growth – with consumer confidence, disposable income, unemployment and food price deflation all supportive – industry data has been disappointing and M&B has underperformed the industry. It should not be forgotten the group has the best real estate and arguably the best invested assets in the sector so it is doubly disappointing that the share price has fallen circa 34% since 22 June. However, this presents a compelling entry point. M&B has too many brands and too few shareholders. M&B has at least 14 brands/formats and three investors account for circa 54% of the shares. Addressing the first point should help drive superior financial performance, which should increase demand for shares potentially helping solve the second point. At the very least we would encourage phasing out the Crown Carveries brand through conversion to other brands and selling Browns given the lack of sale (25 units) despite repeated attempts to significantly increase its size which have proved only to be a distraction. The Heartland division (circa 520 units) remains challenging but we think Mr Urban acknowledges price cuts are of limited use and investment in amenity is as, if not, more important at the value end of the market. Forecasts cut; valuation compelling. We have reduced our earnings per share forecasts by 3%, 8% and 11% over FY 2015-17E to reflect slower top-line growth and the introduction of the National Living Wage. However, the stock remains the cheapest in the sector trading on a CY 2016E adjusted EV/Ebitdar of 6.7x, against the sector average of 7.9x. We have pushed out our expectation of dividend payments resuming until FY 2016E when we estimate the stock will yield 3.3% on the payment of a final dividend alone.”

Jamie Oliver praises Brighton’s Sugar Smart City initiative: Jamie Oliver has praised Brighton & Hove City Council for launching Sugar Smart City, aiming to tackle sugar levels at schools, food outlets, supermarkets and vending machines at leisure centres and health care settings. The celebrity chef wants restaurants and cafes to charge customers an extra 10p on sugary drinks to tackle obesity as the city strives to become the first in the country to tackle sugar addiction. Across the city last year there were 180 obese reception children and another 294 obese year six pupils. Oliver said: “I am delighted that Brighton & Hove City Council is launching a city-wide initiative to raise awareness around the dangers of consuming too much sugar and the link to obesity and diet related diseases. This is exactly what we need to try to tackle the rise in obesity and diet related disease. Today, studies show, that one in three of our children are leaving primary school overweight or obese and these children are likely to be the first generation that will have a shorter lifespan than their parents. I have recently launched a voluntary levy on sugary drinks in my own restaurants to help raise funds for the Children’s Health Fund, which will be used to support health and educational programmes across the UK. I believe it’s every child’s human right to understand where their food comes from, how to cook it and what effect it has on their bodies. Only through this knowledge will they be able to make the right choices to lead healthier, happier lives. Brighton & Hove City Council is leading the way with Sugar Smart and I hope that we can see real and significant change across the city, giving the children of Brighton & Hove a healthier future. I also hope this inspires other councils around the UK to follow Brighton & Hove’s lead.” Money from the 10p levy at Jamie’s Italian is going to Sustain, a charity working in health and food education.

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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