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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Thu 4th Feb 2016 - Thai Leisure Group eyes ten openings in 2016, passes £30m turnover
Thai Leisure Group eyes ten openings in 2016, passes £30m turnover: Thai Leisure Group (TLG), the Thai restaurant operator, has announced it passed £30m turnover last year – and plans up to ten new sites this year. In 2015, four new sites were opened by TLG, with over £4m total investment. TLG currently has 15 restaurants across the four core brands, Thaikhun, Chaophraya, ChaoBaby and Yee Rah, and is looking to add a further eight to ten new sites this year to its expanding portfolio. The 2016 roll-out plans are being supported by TLG’s openings team, a newly formed internal division created for the sole purpose of ensuring the smooth opening of its new sites. The first site launch of 2016 gets underway at the end of March, with the opening of its authentic Thai street food concept Thaikhun in Newcastle’s Metro Centre, its first foray into the north east. Additional restaurants from across the four brands will be launched in Guildford and Aberdeen, as well as other yet to be announced locations. Ian Leigh, managing director of TLG, said: “We are incredibly proud of TLG and how far it has come in 2015, it was a wonderful year for the whole team, and this is something we want to continue into the coming year. As we go from strength to strength we aim to continue delivering a creative and authentic dining experience for our customers, and we are looking forward to welcoming new customers through our doors. There are very exciting things coming from our brands – so make sure you watch this space!”

Roux dynasty to open two jointly branded restaurants in Scotland, first collaboration in country: Albert Roux and Michel Roux Jnr are opening two restaurants in Scotland – the first time the father and son team has collaborated in the country. They will open the first of their jointly branded fine dining restaurants at Inverlochy Castle, a country house hotel near Fort William, this month. The second venue is at Crossbasket Castle in High Blantyre, a 14th-century building, which will open as a luxury venue in May. The restaurants – seating 50 and 25 respectively – will be run by chefs trained in Roux kitchens. The pair will be supported by Roux Jnr’s daughter Emily, who will focus on menu development. Roux Jnr, who runs Le Gavroche in London, told the Daily Record: “My father and I are classically French in style, whereas Emily is slightly more contemporary in her cooking. It makes for a great dynamic and a very exciting time.” Roux, who runs five Chez Roux restaurants in Scotland, added: “The ‘Albert and Michel Roux Jnr’ restaurants will offer menus in the style of Le Gavroche but with a contemporary and distinctly Scottish twist, focusing on ingredients that are, as far as possible, hyper-local to each location. We have a population that loves food and is becoming increasingly aware of the fantastic produce in the seas, fields and forests.”

Yummy adds cheese and wine bar at Stoke Newington site: Yummy Pub Company is opening a downstairs hidden wine and cheese bar, The Bouverie Road Wine & Cheese Bar, at its latest Stoke Newington Tea House site next weekend. Yummy co-founder Tim Foster said: “Wine can be an intimidating drink to order that’s why we want to give Stoke Newington a space where anyone will feel comfortable walking in, getting away from the noise and relaxing with a tasty glass – wine connoisseurs and novices alike. Our team is fully trained and happy to help.” It will offer over 60 varieties of cheese, with the range on rotation, with new favourites brought in every month. Meat lovers are catered for with a plethora of smoked, dried and sliced salami, chorizo, pepperoni and prosciutto.

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