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Tue 3rd Nov 2015 - Propel Tuesday News Briefing

Story of the Day:

Harry Ramsden’s opens first overseas outlet in more than a decade: Fish and chips brand Harry Ramsden’s has opened its first overseas outlet in over a decade with more set to follow. The company, led by Joe Teixeira, has launched a restaurant in Doha, Qatar, with franchise partner AHB Trading and Contracting Company. The 100-cover restaurant is located at the Pearl development in the capital. Teixeira said: “We are delighted that Harry Ramsden’s first overseas outlet in over ten years has now officially opened. As our brand continues to go from strength to strength in the UK as a result of our successful repositioning, we are now turning our attention further afield. With the master franchises for Qatar and Saudi Arabia signed, further openings are imminent. Currently, we are also in talks with various international parties so we anticipate new Harry Ramsden’s outlets opening in different parts of the world, in the not too distant future.” Earlier this month, the company also signed a franchise agreement that will see 28 outlets open across Essex, Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire within the next six years.

Industry News:

ALMR National Restaurant Association Study Tour to Chicago opens for bookings: The Propel and Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) 2016 Chicago Study Tour is now open for bookings. The trip, sponsored by CPL Training and Sky, takes place between Thursday, 19 May and Monday, 23 May 2016. The National Restaurant Association (NRA) draws 58,000-plus industry professionals from all 50 states and 100 countries, seeking the newest innovations and up-to-the-minute information about trends and issues. The ALMR trip provides: insights from industry experts on the rise in fast-casual dining, social media, new and emerging brands, menu development, staff management and a host of other issues – with 70 free education sessions at the NRA show. It also involves two tours of Chicago’s hottest concepts and a market overview briefing sessions from US experts. Paul Charity, managing director of Propel Info, said: “The NRA show combined with our tour of Chicago is a fantastic opportunity to find fresh inspiration and understand the emerging trends shaping the fast-changing US market.” To get more information or to book, email jo.charity@propelinfo.com

G1 Group targeted by anti zero-hour contracts campaigners: Scotland’s biggest independent managed operator G1 Group has been targeted by anti zero-hour contracts campaigners. A group of about 40 mainly young trade unionists held a funeral procession from G1 Group’s Glasgow west end headquarters along Byres Road to Ashton Lane, which hosts some of the group’s most popular bars. The activists then sang songs and chanted, calling on G1 Group chief executive Stephan King to end “exploitative work practices”. It was the latest action in Better than Zero’s campaign against employers who, it alleges, exploit the non-unionised status of many young people working in bars, restaurants, cafes and other service industry workplaces. Jennifer McCarey, chair of Glasgow trades council, told CommonSpace: “We are out to highlight exploitative work practices, particularly amongst young people such as zero-hour contracts, people having to pay for their uniforms, having no safe route home at night and having to pay their own taxis, all sorts of scams to cut peoples wages and tips. That’s all really predominant in the hospitality industry in this city.” G1 group has 45 bars and restaurants, mainly in Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Boris Johnson unveils increase to London Living Wage: The London Living Wage is to rise to £9.40 an hour from next year, Boris Johnson has announced. The mayor said the voluntary rate in the capital would be increased by 25p – well above that being brought in by the government next year. The National Living Wage outside London is increasing by 40p an hour to £8.25, and both figures dwarf the national adult minimum wage of £6.70 an hour. Chancellor George Osborne announced earlier this year that a new National Living Wage of £7.20 per hour for adults would be introduced from next year, and would rise to £9 per hour by 2020. The number of firms paying the National Living Wage in London has increased from 429 to 724 in the past year. Johnson said paying the voluntary rate was a “point of pride”. Announcing the new rate in an Oliver Bonas store, he said: “It is a mark of esteem companies have for their staff. As our economy continues to grow and employment on London increases it is essential all hard-working Londoners receive a fair share of the proceeds of the capital’s success.”

Caffeine-free coffee shop opens in New York: A coffee shop that only serves caffeine-free, “100% chemical-free” coffee opened in Manhattan over the weekend. The Swiss Water Decaffeinated Coffee Company, makers of the Swiss Water Process method of decaffeination, opened a pop-up studio that features a “sensory experience that includes espresso, hand crafted manually brewed coffee and cold brew options”. Most decaf coffees use carbon dioxide as a solvent to remove caffeine from unroasted, green coffee beans. The Swiss Water Process uses water. Because it’s a longer, more costly process, is used almost exclusively on expensive organic coffee.

New mobile app set to launch telling users about the latest deals as they walk past a pub, plans to roll it out nationwide: A new mobile app is set to be launched telling users about the latest deals as they walk past a pub – with plans to roll it out nationwide. London-based entrepreneur Sam Amrani has launched Crowdit, already a success in Copenhagen, after buying it from brewing giant Carlsberg, which has retained a 10% stake in the new company. He said he hopes the app, which tells users of happy hour deals and what beers are on tap, will help save traditional pubs and the “electronic flyer” will provide them with a high-tech business boost. Rather than send bar staff onto the street with paper flyers, offers can be sent electronically to entice customers inside. Amrani said: “Crowdit offers something completely unique and means that you’ll never miss out on all the latest deals in your favourite pubs and bars. For businesses, it’s a great way of championing the British pubs and bars, some of whom don’t have the resources to advertise or manage a social media account.” The app was created in 2012 as a mobile marketing channel for Carlsberg to promote special offers, deals and events.

Starbucks – mobile ordering and payment off to a good start: Starbucks has reported mobile ordering and payment has go off to a good start. Mobile payment accounted for 21% of Starbucks transactions — and mobile ordering and payment accounted for about five million transactions — in October, although the mobile app roll-out to the chain’s 7,500 company-owned units across the US was only completed in September. Consumers are adopting the technology faster than the company had anticipated, especially in high-volume locations where lines are the longest. That has increased capacity for those units, said Cliff Burrows, group president for the Americas region and the Teavana brand. “So every part of the country is now live, and we are seeing activity from mobile orders in every part of the country,” Burrows added.

Horizons – two-thirds of operators report food sales increased year-on-year: Confidence remains relatively strong amongst the UK’s eating out operators, with nearly two-thirds of those taking part in the latest Eating Out-Look survey saying their food sales had increased year-on-year. However, compared with last year, a smaller proportion of operators reported a growth in sales, with nearly a third saying they had experienced no real change in food sales over the past 12 months, a significant increase on the 18% of operators who said that this time last year. The survey, conducted amongst a cross-section of foodservice operators by JRA on behalf of Horizons, is designed to gauge operators’ impressions of how the market is performing and their expectations for future growth. Looking ahead, over 70% of the operators, which included representatives from the restaurant, hotel, pub and bar, and contract catering sectors, were optimistic food sales would rise over the next 12 months, while a quarter expected no real change in food sales in the future. This represents a significant fall on last year’s survey results where nearly 90% of operators expected some growth in the forthcoming 12 months. “Having recovered from the economic downturn, the eating out market is now levelling out and growth is likely to be much more conservative illustrated by the declining number of operators still expecting to see sales growth,” said Horizons’ analyst Liz Land. “Feedback from the market suggests that consumers are still being cautious over spending. This demonstrates the need for operators to keep their prices competitive.”

There’s A Beer For That survey – beer one of most misunderstood tipples in UK: Beer is one of the most misunderstood tipples in UK, according to a new survey. The study by There’s A Beer For That found one in ten Brits (12%) think half a pint of beer has more calories than a small glass of wine (175ml) but it has 91 calories compared to 141 in wine. A quarter of Brits (25%) think a pint of beer has more sugar than a frappuccino but the former has just 2.5g of sugar in half a pint, compared to 35g in a tall frappuccino. A third of adults (39%) thought drinking beer makes them fat, with 29% under the impression that a half a pint of beer has more calories than a burger. The study of 2,000 British adults revealed a quarter of Brits (25%) believe a pint of beer has more fat than a chocolate bar, despite a 4% ABV beer having no fat at all. Nutritionist Fiona Hunter said: “People often talk about the health benefits associated with wine, red wine in particular, but some don’t realise that studies show that consumed in moderation, as part of a healthy balanced diet, beer is also associated with reduced risk of heart disease.”

CPL Online revolutionises employee learning and communications with launch of free ‘Console App’: The 700,000 employees of sector customers already using CPL Online’s console now have access via smart phones and tablets thanks to CPL’s revolutionary, free to download, ‘Console App’, launched yesterday. As well as opening up access to training at any time, anywhere, the app is set to revolutionise communications and engagement within businesses. CPL Online’s six-figure investment into the innovative technology now enables every single member of staff to communicate with each other, share information, videos and news via the app, with push notification technology providing instant alerts to maximise use of the features. David Dasher, managing director of CPL Online, said: “We have taken great care to develop the vastly advanced features on the app, always with the user in mind. Positive responses, from feedback groups, the first to see the app, have been a real boost for the Online team, especially the resounding applaud for the enhanced communications features we’ve installed. The social learning section has particularly gone down a storm. Employees have the facility to upload videos; audio or written posts to the app making the sharing of best practice a reality now for all our customers. Businesses are effectively creating a bespoke archive of peer-to-peer learning tools, which are sense checked before they ‘go live’ to uphold the quality of content on the app.” The ‘Social Learning’ element acts exactly like social media with ‘like’, ‘share’ and ‘comment’ options, but unlike YouTube channels, remain discreet to each business, with a rigorous sign off process. Employers have explained to CPL Online how they will use this feature to incentivise engagement, such as rewarding posts with the most number of ‘likes’ and ‘shares’. “Employers also told us that the facility for them and their employees to receive and post messages in real time on the app is a great step forward,” added Dasher. “Until now company wide communications have been limited to busy email traffic, largely cascades from managers, often dismissed or read too late. Businesses tirelessly attempt new communication processes to overcome the problem, without much success. This app will completely revolutionise business-wide communications in a modern, efficient way.” The downloaded CPL branded ‘Console App’ is available free for all current customers.

Legal update: Solicitors John Gaunt provide a useful monthly update on legal and licensing issues and the latest can be accessed here

Company News:

Gordon Ramsay borrows £13m from Barclays to fund expansion: Gordon Ramsay has borrowed £13m from Barclays to fund the expansion of his restaurant empire. Ramsay’s Kavalake company is believed to be keen to expand its presence in the US and Asia. Ramsay has used Barclays for his business banking and funding needs since 2013. Kavalake was previously with Royal Bank of Scotland. According to its last set of accounts, Kavalake made a pre-tax loss of £2m on turnover of £44.7m for the year ended August 31, 2014. However it says that its 2015 revenues have come in 12.6% higher at £50.3m, while its earnings before exceptional items, taxes and other costs have increased by 39.2% to £5.7m. Kavalake managing director Stuart Gillies, formerly a senior chef for Ramsay, told the Daily Express: “We are very pleased with the growth in sales and earnings over the past year. The new banking facilities that have been put in place will further strengthen the group going forward.” Earlier this month, Ramsay opened up a Dubai outpost of his Bread Street Kitchen restaurant chain, which has sites in London, Hong Kong and Singapore. Kavalake has 31 restaurants in total.

YO! Sushi opens first New Jersey site: YO! Sushi has opened its first New Jersey restaurant at The Mall at Short Hills. “The Mall at Short Hills is the perfect destination for our next New Jersey restaurant,” said Alison Vickers, business and international development director. “The clientele is health-conscious, time-pressed and in search of a great quality dining destination. I am also personally excited to return to The Mall at Short Hills because at the beginning of my career in the restaurant business, I actually worked at the Joe’s American Bar & Grill located right across from our new location. If you had told me back then that I would return to this mall 20 years later, I never would have believed it.”

Giraffe operations director Tom Crowley becomes non-executive director at emerging Bristol concept Thali Cafe:
Giraffe operations director Tom Crowley has become non-executive director of five-strong emerging Bristol-based Thali Cafe, which was founded by Jim Pizer. Crowley was retail director at Mitchell & Butlers’ Premium Country Dining division before joining Tesco in January 2014. The Thali Cafe brand supplies meals in traditional Indian Tiffins – and reports 10,000 Thali Tiffins in homes across Bristol. Crowley told Propel: “Jim Pizer is creating something quite unique in casual dining, demonstrated through a recent refurbishment at their Southville, Bristol, site.” The Thali Cafe website states: “The Thali Cafe was born nearly 15 years ago in the fields of summer music festivals. Inspired by our travels in India and disappointed with the Indian food we found in restaurants back home, we decided to introduce the UK to authentic Indian street food. We’ve been lucky enough to win some awards, including an Observer Food Monthly Award and BBC Radio 4 Food & Farming Award, and we’ve grown and diversified our events business to cater for events of all sizes, from major festivals like Glastonbury to weddings and corporate events.”

River Cafe co-founder to open second restaurant: River Cafe co-founder Ruth Rogers is to open a second restaurant almost 30 years after launching the venture in Hammersmith, west London. The American-born co-founder of the Michelin-starred landmark, whose protégés include Jamie Oliver and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, plans to create an Italian sister restaurant at a site in the heart of Mayfair. She hopes to open the as yet unnamed venue in 2017, three decades after setting up the River Cafe with her friend and business partner Rose Gray, who died in 2010. It famously started life as a staff canteen for the offices of her architect husband Richard Rogers – now Lord Rogers – before becoming the famous Italian restaurant in London through recipe books such the River Cafe Cook Book. Lady Rogers told the Evening Standard: “Most other restaurants that started at that time have two or three more by now, but every time we thought about opening a new restaurant we did a new cookbook instead or just concentrated on making the River Cafe even better. Also, the restaurant we have is all about the light, the view and the gardens. Every time we went to see a site it never offered us that. We wanted an open kitchen on the ground floor and it is very difficult in central London to find a site with a footprint big enough for that. So when we were shown this place, it was love at first sight. It is quiet, hidden in Mayfair and like the River Cafe it will become its own destination.”

New Vietnamese restaurant concept Fold to open in London next Monday: A new Vietnamese restaurant concept will open in London next Monday (9 November). Rachel Filer and Frederique Nguyen, who started Fold Catering in 2014, are opening their first restaurant on Brick Lane. Also called Fold, the contemporary Vietnamese restaurant will specialise in foldable food and rice paper dishes, reports The Handbook. The rice paper will be available steamed, grilled, soft or fried and fresh folds will include tiger prawns with lemongrass and hot mint and roast beef with sesame and purple shiso. Small plates will include grilled squid lollipops and Nuoc mam chicken wings, served with dipping sauces. Also available is Vietnamese favourite Pho with choices including Hanoi chicken or Canh Chua, a tamarind broth with caramelised garlic, rice paddy herbs, pineapple and okra served with noodles. Drinks include wine on tap, prosecco, beer, dark roast drip coffee and cocktails. The 65-cover restaurant will feature a bar and lunchtime takeaway kiosk.

Malhotra Group launches in-house brewery: Newcastle-based pub, restaurant and hotel operator Malhotra Group has launched an in-house brewery at one of its pubs with the aim of producing up to 2,000 pints a week. The company has set up the micro-brewery in the cellar of the Three Mile Inn in Gosforth. It has created two core ales, with plans to add seasonal and special lines in the coming months. Head brewer Chris Shorter, who leads a three-strong team at the new Artisan Brew Co, told Business Quarter: “Many of our customers are experts on beer and ale and they were our inspiration. It became apparent they were looking for something different, so, we decided it was about time the customer, rather than the brewery, dictated the recipe of an ale or beer.” Artisan Brew Co’s inaugural ales are Simple Blonde, a golden, pale ale and ABC (Artisan Brew Co) IPA; a copper-coloured IPA with the aroma of traditional, English, Fuggle hops. Although the ales are currently only available at The Three Mile Inn, there are plans to roll them out across other Tyneside venues owned by the group.

Mitchells & Butlers warns on fraudulent wine producer emails: Mitchells & Butlers has warned suppliers about fraudulent emails. The company stated: “The company is aware that a number of wine producers have received fraudulent emails/calls purporting to be from Mitchells & Butlers and ordering large quantities of goods via a credit facility. They do not originate from Mitchells & Butlers.”

Red Dog Saloon to open third site in Soho this month: Red Dog saloon will open its third site in Soho’s Berwick Street on Thursday, 19 November. The brand specialises in authentic American barbecue techniques using the “slow and low” cooking method. The highest quality cuts of meat are slow-roasted over aromatic hickory wood in Red Dog Saloon’s smokers, which have been specially imported from the US for the task at hand. The meat is smoked for up to 16 hours.

FrogPubs makes move into off-trade market after agreeing deal to sell four craft beers in French supermarkets: FrogPubs, the French group of bars, restaurants and microbreweries led by Paul Chantler, has made its move into the off-trade market after agreeing a deal to sell four of its craft beers in Monoprix supermarkets. The company’s Pearl (4.1% ABV pale ale); Natural Blonde (4.2% continental blond), Ginger Twist (4.2% amber ale) and Kersplat (4.0% wheat beer) beers are available at 118 stores across the Paris and Ile de France region. FrogPubs founder Paul Chantler said: “This deal is a key step in our mission to reach a larger audience with our own craft beer, brewed with the same passion and dedication since 1993. It also marks the first steps FrogPubs have made into the off-trade market and we couldn’t have dreamt of a better start than to be working with a company as renowned as Monoprix. We very are proud that our beers are now available through these stores, as we recognise in Monoprix and their clients similar values in the dedication to sourcing and promoting quality local products, and the sense of community that implies. Creativity and inspiration are a part of our DNA, these qualities have always driven our brewers and the rest of the team and we know that they are qualities we share with Monoprix.” FrogPubs currently produces a range of nearly 30 beers.

Wyn Ellis – Whitbread’s Premier Inn brand is facing growing market risks: Numis Securities leisure analyst Wyn Ellis has reduced his recommendation on Whitbread shares amid “growing market risks” for its Premier Inns brand. He said: “Whitbread is a strong business with an excellent organic growth track record. Over the last decade it has achieved outstanding success with Premier Inn and Costa: both have market-leading positions in the UK and have, credible, ambitious roll-out plans. However, we believe that the current FY17 price-to-earnings ratio of 19.2x fails to reflect growing market risks for Premier Inn. This report highlights three key concerns: UK hotel revpar growth is slowing; Travelodge has been rejuvenated and is likely to provide tougher competition, and; that the impact of the sharing economy (Airbnb etc) will become increasingly disruptive. We have cut our price target from 5,600p to 4,440p and move to ‘Reduce’ from ‘Add’.”

Carluccio’s opens second department store site: Carluccio’s has opened its second site in a department store, this time in Colchester. The company has launched the venue at Williams & Griffin in the High Street, replacing its self-service restaurant. The department store is undergoing a £30m overhaul, which includes increasing its retail space by 50%. As part of the package, the store, owned by Fenwick, has replaced its restaurant with a Carluccio’s restaurant on the second floor. The shop is being redesigned on four floors with a new extension built at the back. The store is also undergoing a name change to become Fenwick, in line with the company’s other shops. Carluccio’s opened its first department store site at Fenwick in Newcastle.

Barburrito to reach 25 sites within 18 months: Mexican brand Barburrito will reach 25 sites within 18 months after acquiring five-strong Pinto Mexican Kitchen. The operation will initially continue to operate under the Pinto brand and then will rebranded under the new look Barburrito brand over the next six months. Barburrito is backed by growth capital provider BGF, which has provided a total investment of £11.35m to the business since March 2012. The total funding to date covers the business’s existing estate of 12 restaurants, supports Barburrito’s expansion plans including the acquisition of Pinto, and the continued roll-out of its restaurants across the UK with plans to increase the number of sites Barburrito operates to 25 over the next 18 months. Morgan Davies, chief executive of Barburrito, said: “We are thrilled to have acquired the Pinto business. It is a well-run operation with five great locations in Scotland, a key focus area for us. Having grown up in Scotland, I am personally delighted that we are expanding here. We are serious about establishing Barburrito as a UK-wide operation and this key acquisition in Scotland, affirms our position as the leading burrito bar operator outside of London.”

Bradford Brewery to open bar and shop in the city’s new shopping centre: Bradford Brewery is to open a bar and shop in a prime location in the city’s new shopping centre, The Broadway. The Made of Bradford outlet will be the first and only bar in The Broadway when it opens on Thursday (5 November) offering thirsty shoppers a choice of seven Bradford Beers on tap with Bradford Brewery bar snacks. The new centre opens with a performance from pop star Alexandra Burke on Thursday 5 November, and has created around 2,500 new jobs in Bradford. Made of Bradford customers will also be able to buy cans of the first-ever Bradford Lager which has just been launched – and The Broadway will be the first retail outlet offering this product on sale. The Brewery’s Hockney Pale Ale will also be available to buy in bottles. But the Made of Bradford venue will be so much more than just a bar and bottle shop. As well as selling a full range of souvenir glasses, tee-shirts, hoodies and other Christmas gifts, the aim is to provide an outlet for a range of Bradford-branded items. The brewery is keen to involve as many Bradford businesses and craftspeople as possible to add a local flavour to the centre’s offering. Bradford Brewery managing director Matthew Halliday said: “Since we opened at the beginning of this year, we’ve been working hard with our Independent Quarter neighbours and other local businesses around the city to make sure the Bradford revival was already well underway, with a broad, rounded offer in place, ready for The Broadway opening. The feedback we have been getting was that people are tremendously excited about all the big national brands coming into Bradford via The Broadway, and we were very humbled when The Broadway got in touch and offered us the opportunity to add an independent Bradford business to the mix. We have been in the process of looking for our second site in BD1 for quite a while and this is just ideal.”

Sector law firm Freeths reports profit surge: Sector law firm Freeths has hailed a “very successful year” after newly filed accounts revealed pre-tax profits have surged by almost a third. Sales also climbed by more than £16m following a period of consolidation across its 11 offices. Results filed for the year to 31 March 2015 revealed that Freeths generated turnover of £56.6m, up from £40.2m a year earlier. Pre-tax profit also increased by 30% to £21.2m, compared to £14.8m in 2014. Freeths has almost 140 partners and directors operating alongside 700 members in 11 locations. The law firm has practices in Nottingham, Leeds, Manchester, Birmingham, Derby, Leicester, Sheffield, Milton Keynes, Stoke, London and Oxford. A statement signed off by chairman Colin Flanagan said the firm’s performance was “broadly consistent” across its network of offices, including its newest base in Leeds, which “contributed well to overall growth” in its first year of trading.

SSP to open Cafe Ritazza at Newcastle airport: SSP, an operator of food and drink brands in travel locations across the world, is to open a Caffe Ritazza at Newcastle International Airport. The Caffe Ritazza, which is part of a first phase redevelopment of the airport’s landside facilities, will welcome its first customers later this year. Created especially for the travel sector, the Caffe Ritazza concept is inspired by the coffee-drinking culture of Italy and it will serve hot drinks and a broad selection of food. Simon Smith, chief executive of SSP UK and Ireland, said: “Working in partnership with the team at Newcastle International, we have carefully analysed the needs of passengers at this important gateway to the north east. Great coffee, a good range of alcohol products and hot food throughout the day were top of the list. Caffe Ritazza will enable us to meet all these requirements from one outlet.”

London-based pizzeria concept Santa Maria to start expanding with second site: London-based pizzeria concept Santa Maria is to start expanding by opening a second site in the capital in February. The traditional Neapolitan pizzeria, which was launched by Pasquale Chionchio and Angelo Ambrosio in Ealing four years ago, is opening a new site in Chelsea. The new restaurant nestles between the King’s Road, Fulham Road, and Stamford Bridge – the home of Chelsea FC – and will serve up the same pizzas and daily specials as its sister site in Ealing, which has been “full from the off”. Santa Maria said it prides itself on using the very best ingredients, cooked freshly and onto plates quickly.

Lake District Hotels drops asking price of Cumbrian hotel: Lake District Hotels has dropped the asking price for the George Hotel in Penrith, Cumbria – which has been on the market for a year – from £3m to £2.85m. The company, owned by Kit and Charles Graves, is disposing of the three-star hotel in Devonshire Street through agents Colliers International. The grade-II listed building, which dates from the 18th century, has 35 en-suite bedrooms, a restaurant, bar, conference room, ballroom with minstrels’ gallery, and manager’s accommodation. Colliers said The George achieved a turnover in excess of £1.5m in the year to March. Lake District Hotels has owned The George for more than 15 years. It also operates the Borrowdale and Lodore Falls hotels in Borrowdale, the Inn on the Lake at Ullswater, and the Skiddaw, Inn on the Square and Kings Arms in Keswick. Kit Graves told In-Cumbria: “The George is very profitable and we have invested an awful lot in it over the years. We just feel we’d like to concentrate on the Lake District. It’s the only one of our hotels that isn’t in the national park.”
 
Artigiano to open third site in Cardiff: Artigiano, which runs coffee bars that transform into wine bars in the evenings, is to open a third site in Cardiff. The company has signed for a 2,000 square foot unit at the Queens Arcade shopping centre, reports Property Week. Artigiano has two other sites in the Welsh capital – in Working Street and Queen Street. The company also has venues in London, Reading as well as Exeter where, as previously reported, it plans to open a two-floor craft beer bar and restaurant at the Guildhall shopping centre and also launch a pizza and beer restaurant concept called Base and Barley.

Speaker programme for Propel Multi Club Conference: The full speaker programme for the Propel Multi Club Conference this Thursday (5 November) at the Lancaster, London, the best-attended conference series in the sector, has been confirmed. 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.

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