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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Thu 25th Aug 2016 - Propel Thursday News Briefing

Story of the Day:

YO! Sushi reports sales and Ebitda increase, chief executive believes brand can grow to 150-plus sites, two new US restaurants to open: YO! Sushi has reported sales grew 10.5% to £83.7m in the year to 30 November 2015 while Ebitda increased 13% to £11.3m. The company opened five new sites across the UK during the year, in Edinburgh, Belfast, Bromley, Birmingham and Derby, bringing its UK total to 73 restaurants. In addition four company-owned restaurants were opened in New Jersey and Florida in the US and international franchisee total number of restaurants grew to 12 with four new openings. The company said it continued to benefit from a rising consumer demand for fast, fresh, healthy dining and its commitment to a menu that appeals to a wide range of tastes beyond sushi, with dishes inspired by Japanese heritage but updated for local markets. Chief executive Robin Rowland returned to the business in November 2015 to lead the management buyout of the business by Mayfair Equity Partners. A full strategy review post sale has led to increased investment in structure and activity to deliver long-term growth for YO Sushi, which now serves more than five million UK customers per year. Rowland said: “The performance of the business in the period has been promising and demonstrates the brand’s continued relevance and popularity with consumers. Looking ahead, and with an exciting programme of investment in new sites, locations and talent under way, we are well placed to capitalise on opportunities in both local and global markets. The strong appetite for fun and healthy eating in the fast casual sector continues and YO! is in a good position to move with it.” Meanwhile, Rowland told Propel the brand has potential to grow to 150-plus sites and is opening two new restaurants in the US. The company is adding to its five restaurants in the US this autumn with sites in downtown Boston and downtown New York, which will be its first outside shopping malls. Rowland said: “It’s early days – there’s a lot of work to be done. It’s not a market you crack overnight. It takes a long time to get it right in terms of place and people. We are very excited by the two new sites we are opening. It’s too early to say what the potential number of sites is for us in the US.” Rowland said the company was currently trading well in the UK and was looking to continue to open five to ten new sites a year. He added: “We’ve opened four restaurants this year, in Bournemouth, Newcastle, Harrogate and Chelmsford. We’re very selective in the sites we choose.” Rowland said the company would also increase the number of franchised sites to 18 by the end of 2016. He added: “We have two partners, one of which is SSP, which is looking at opening at airports in Paris and Sydney.” YO! Sushi is also rebuilding its site at St Pancras station, which is due to reopen in late September or early October.

Industry News:

Host of companies sign up for Professor Chris Muller’s Multi-site Management Masterclass: A host of companies and brands have signed up for next month’s Multi Site Management Masterclass led by Professor Chris Muller. They include Benito’s Hat, McMullens, Bone Daddies, Young’s, Le Bistrot Pierre, Castle Rock, Grand Union, Soho Farmhouse, Jamie Oliver’s, PizzaExpress, Rarebreed Dining, Wright Brothers, Five Guys, Drake & Morgan, Bar Lorca, Anglian Country Inns, Bar Soba, Randall & Aubin, FrogPubs, Bru Brewery, Belgo and Cafe Rouge. The event takes place on Friday, 30 September at One Moorgate Place in London. Leading UK businesses such as Mitchells & Butlers and TGI Friday’s have sent staff to be taught by Professor Muller at Boston University’s School of Hospitality – now Professor Muller is returning to the UK to lead this bespoke day. His interactive seminar will include contributions from Sticks ‘n’ Sushi UK managing director Andreas Karlsson and Eric Partaker, co-founder and brand evangelist at Chilango. The event will provide valuable insights for founders and area managers of small and medium-sized multi-site companies and area managers of large companies. The sessions will include developing multi-unit leaders, leading a team through a strategic growth plan, and a discussion on the importance that transition plays in the practice of management and leadership. Tickets are £295 plus VAT for Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) members and £345 plus VAT for non-ALMR members. To book tickets, email Anne Steele at anne.steele@propelinfo.com

UK burger restaurant estimated to be worth £3.3bn in 2016: The UK burger restaurant market is estimated to be worth £3.3bn in 2016, up 22% from £2.7bn in 2011, according to new research from Mintel. The findings, released today (Thursday, 25 August) to mark the fourth annual National Burger Day showed three in five (60%) Brits have visited a burger outlet in the past three months. Londoners are the most frequent visitors of gourmet burger venues, with one in five (20%) eating at a gourmet burger outlet in the past three months, up from a national average of 7%. When it comes to what makes a burger venue “gourmet”, freshly made burgers top the list. 71% of Brits would expect freshly made burgers from a gourmet burger venue, followed by customisable burgers (54%) and a choice of how the burger is cooked (48%). But whilst some consumers are focused on burger preparation, for others ingredients take top billing. Almost one third (31%) of Brits would expect to see artisanal ingredients at a gourmet burger venue, while one quarter (25%) would expect detailed information on where ingredients come from and 22% would expect information about which cuts of meat were used. For one in ten (11%) consumers it’s not about the burger at all as they would expect to see craft alcoholic drinks on the menu. Indeed, even outside of gourmet burger venues, customisation is a trait consumers are keen to see at fast food restaurants. Two in five (41%) fast food users are interested in seeing customisable dishes, for example selecting the bread, meat and toppings, and 35% are interested in a wider choice of burgers with meat other than beef. Additionally, 16% of fast food consumers would be interested in seeing alcoholic beverages on the menu. Fast food restaurants also need to take note of evolving appetites as near one third (31%) of UK fast food eaters would be interested in trying high-fibre bun options, 23% a wider choice of non-meat options and 14% more gluten-free dishes. Kiti Soininen, head of UK food and drink research at Mintel, said: “Enthusiasm for burgers remains strong with British consumers. Food-themed events, like National Burger Day, can capitalise on the growing popularity of the food trend by giving consumers an excuse to go out and enjoy a treat. And it’s not only in London where we see the burger trend kicking off, as the appeal for burgers is strong across the UK. Consumers see freshly made burgers as the biggest marker of a gourmet burger venue, something that sets them apart as this is not traditionally offered by fast food venues. Customisation is also a top expectation for gourmet offerings, in line with a more general demand for knowing what goes into one’s food and the trend for personalisation. Fast food venues are already looking to incorporate customisation options into their menus and competitors should look to follow suit.”

Good Food Guide reveals nation’s best restaurants: The Good Food Guide (GFG) announces the nation’s best restaurants today (Thursday, 25 August), with the list featuring some unusual gourmet locations, including a motorway service station, a restaurant in a yurt, and a bike shop cafe. Simon Rogan’s L’Enclume in Cartmel, Cumbria, was crowned number one restaurant for the fourth year running – scoring perfect tens for a fifth year in a row. The guide highlights the 17-course tasting menu, offering “clever elements of technical wizardry to keep the ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ going”. Unusual entries chosen by the guide’s inspectors and readers include three restaurants housed in shipping containers – Cook House in Newcastle; Craftworks Street Kitchen in Truro; and Kricket in Brixton. Gloucester Services on the M5 is an “independently-run motorway pit-stop” with a gourmet cafe, while another new entry is Shuck’s at the Yurt, a restaurant housed in a tent in Norfolk. Spoke and Stringer is a “seriously cool cafe” in Bristol that is part of a bike and surf shop. For the first time the guide has revealed the best dessert menus in the country, with top recommendation awarded to The Whitehouse in Lochaline, Scotland, for its North of the Border Tart. Elizabeth Carter, the guide’s consultant editor, said: “The vessel in which a good restaurant sails is no barrier to entry in our guide. We look for great food wherever we can find it – and that’s sometimes in highly unusual places.” The Good Food Guide will be available to buy at Waitrose from Monday, 5 September or preordered at thegoodfoodguide.co.uk

Good Food Guide editor hails ‘golden era for restaurants’: Elizabeth Carter, consultant editor of The Waitrose Good Food Guide, which announces the nation’s best restaurants today (Thursday, 25 August), said her ten years in the position has coincided with a “golden era for restaurants”. She said more affordable startup costs had boosted the restaurant scene in regional cities, while a less formal structure to dining out had led to high-quality food at “everyday prices”. She said: “I’ve certainly seen changes in the UK restaurant scene in my ten years as consultant editor – what a golden era for restaurants it has been. London will always have an extraordinary wealth of top restaurants and chefs but I love the fact the restaurant scene is flourishing beyond the capital; more affordable startup costs outside London have made our great regional cities viable dining destinations. At the same time, dining out everywhere has become less structured, less formal, with more flexible opening times and menus, and with a much broader choice of quality venues in the lower price bracket. It means we’ve all had to come to terms with exposed ductwork, hard seats, small plates and communal tables – but well worth it when you consider the all-day eateries, cafes, pizzerias, seafood shacks and pubs of genuine high quality offering everyday eating at everyday prices.”
 
Top chefs ‘wage war’ on London’s polystyrene waste: Renowned names in the foodservice sector, including Michelin-starred chefs, have sent a letter to London mayor Sadiq Khan calling for a city-wide ban on non-biodegradable polystyrene packaging. The letter is penned by Ed Baines, who co-owns the Randall & Aubin seafood restaurant in Soho, and co-signed by Theo Randall, Mark Hix and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, alongside food critic William Sitwell. In the letter, they claim polystyrene packaging is contributing to London’s “abysmal” recycling performance, adding that the material should be outlawed in restaurants and cafes – as has been done in many US cities, Edie.net reports. “This white foamy material might seem harmless, but it’s not – it is the scourge of Soho,” Baines writes. With my fellow signatories, I feel an obligation to take the lead from more progressive cities of the world such as San Francisco, Seattle and Washington DC and call on you as the mayor of London to introduce a ban on this unsightly and environmentally damaging method of packaging.” Baines said polystyrene was difficult to recycle, with millions of tonnes ending up in landfill every year and polluting oceans and waterways. He added that polystyrene can carry pollutants from the ocean that can be ingested by fish and, later, humans. In response to the letter, a spokesperson for Sadiq Khan said any ban on polystyrene packaging would require government legislation.

Company News:

Andy Laurillard – we’ve 60 ‘definite’ places in mind for Giggling Squid, looking to open larger sites in more populous locations: Giggling Squid co-founder Andy Laurillard has told Propel he has got 60 “definite” places in mind as the company continues its expansion plans. Laurillard reiterated his desire to grow the Thai restaurant brand he majority co-owns with wife Pranee and that is backed by the Business Growth Fund, from its current 15 venues to 150. He said the brand was looking to open in bigger units and more populous places. The average size of the first five sites was 75 covers and the past five about 130 covers. He said: “We are in pretty good shape. There’s no shortage of options. We’ve looked at 650 places, got 60 ‘definite’ spots and 120 ‘possibles’, all south of Birmingham and outside central London.” Giggling Squid will open five sites in the next four months – in Berkhamsted, Brentwood, Farnham, Wokingham and Norwich. Laurillard said of the Norwich site: “I think we will learn a lot from this site. It’s twice the size of the other sites we’ve got and we will be looking to open in similar-sized cities. With Norwich it gives us an inroad into that part of England – it’s where everyone goes. It was a fantastic site that just came up. We will continue to look at acquisitions on a site-by-site basis.” On a mature site comparison, the company has reported 13% like-for-like sales growth, which Laurillard said had been driven by the arrival of Pete Morrison from Chimichanga as operations director. Laurillard added: “Pete has come in and done some fantastic stuff, including with the staff and training and put a proper structure in place. We thought we were doing well with the two of us running eight or nine sites but Pete has come in and taken it to a different level. The like-for-likes have also been helped by us having comprehensive coverage of the business, all-day opening – in most sites we used to close in the afternoons – and a bit of help from Deliveroo, although it doesn’t operate in most places we do. We’ve had a big change in terms of the number of staff at headquarters, up from three to 12 of us in the past year. For example, we’ve brought in Pete, a head of people and a chief financial officer. We are also looking for an executive chef and in the future we’re probably look to recruit a property director.”

Maxwell’s to open new £1m venue as confidence in London’s late-night economy rises: An independently owned London hospitality group that operates some of London’s longest-running bars, clubs and restaurants has announced plans to invest £1m in its late-night operations and expand its portfolio of venues across the capital following an increase in confidence in the future of London’s nightlife. Maxwell’s Restaurants Group, operator of venues such as Café de Paris, Roadhouse and Maxwell’s in Covent Garden, has revealed plans to invest £1m in its late-night venues in the next two years. The announcement follows the successful launch of the 24-hour night tube last Friday (19 August) and the news of the promised appointment of London’s first night mayor announced recently by The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan. In October, the group will open Tropicana Beach Club, a new late-night bar and restaurant inspired by a “tropical paradise” that promises to transport guests to a “hedonistic, immersive and unforgettable” experience, more typical of a luxury Caribbean holiday resort. It occupies the site of the former Guanbara site in Parker Street, Covent Garden. The project is being led by Jim Robertson, group operations manager, Anthony Knight, group sales and marketing manager, and Jonathan Napier who joins as general manager from Inception Group’s Bunga Bunga in Battersea. “We’re keeping as much as possible under wraps for now as we want people to be wowed when they walk through the door for the first time, but imagine you are stepping off the plane into a tropical paradise. There will be palm trees, a lagoon, beach cabanas for hire, and lots of exciting and quirky cocktails, including a four-foot palm tree cocktail sharer, ” said Knight. The club is now recruiting more than 100 full and part-time positions, from bar staff to entertainers and sales and reservations assistants. Robertson added: “It has been a difficult time for nightclubs and late-night entertainment venues in recent years but we are confident in the future of London’s nightlife following the appointment of a London mayor who clearly understands and values the importance of a thriving late-night economy. Maxwell’s Restaurants Group has been around 45 years and ‘seen it all’ – from recessions to the boom years – and we’re more confident than ever that now is the right time to open a new venue.” Independently owned and managed by Brian Stein, the group employs more than 500 staff across 11 venues in London.

CDG to source 100% free-range eggs by 2025: Casual Dining Group (CDG), the leading UK restaurant group, has announced it is to source 100% free-range eggs by 2025 across all brands in a move that supports the company’s commitment to responsible sourcing – in what is believed to be an industry first for the casual dining sector. Currently, all whole eggs sourced by the company for its kitchens are free range, together with eggs used as ingredients for sauces and pasta. In partnership with Compassion in World Farming, CDG will transition the remainder of eggs used as ingredients to free-range systems, and will make every endeavour to achieve this well ahead of the 2025 target. Tim Doubleday, CDG chief financial officer, said: “We are pleased to announce this exciting partnership, which will see us move to entirely free-range egg sourcing, and we are grateful to Compassion in World Farming for their support and wise counsel as we journey through this transition. Although we already source many free-range egg products, this highlights our continuous commitment to source responsibly. We are committed to continuous improvement across every facet of our business, including product sourcing, as evidenced by this move to 100% free-range eggs.”

Newcastle-based Tyne Bank Brewery to move to larger premises next month following crowdfunding campaign: Newcastle-based Tyne Bank Brewery will move to its new site next month having raised more than £210,000 in a crowdfunding campaign for bigger premises. The company – founded by Julia Austin and with Pat Green, part of the founding management team of Black Sheep Brewery, as a director – raised £213,310 on Crowdcube for the project, exceeding its initial £150,000 target. Updating the 359 investors who supported the fund-raise, Austin said: “The crowdfunding raise finally hit our account at the end of June and since then we have been spending it wisely. Several large pieces of equipment are now in place and the toilets and offices are under construction. We will be moving the brewery over by 14 September and hope to have the taproom open at the start of October. Our bar/events manager will be joining us on 5 September and a launch event is planned for shareholders, hopefully around 8/9 October, we will confirm the date as we get a little closer.”

Freehold of London pub sold for estimated £2m: The freehold of a London pub has sold for an estimated £2m. Agent AG&G sold the former King Harold pub (newly named the Leyton Star) in Leyton, east London, for a net initial yield in the region of 5%. The entire property was let earlier this year by AG&G to multi-site operator Electric Star Pubs for a term of 20 years at an initial passing rent of £100,000 per annum. Following significant investment in the property, the pub opened for trade less than a month prior to the purchase by the new investor. Savills acted for the purchaser. A spokesman said: “The sale reflects recent trends witnessed in the market, with investors seeking to gain stronger returns from performing property assets than the reducing levels available from alternative investment classes in this current low-yielding, opportunity-starved environment.”
 
CAU to open restaurant in Leamington Spa next month: Argentinian-inspired restaurant brand CAU, which is owned by Gaucho, is to open a restaurant in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, next month. The brand is opening the venue in Satchwell Court at the Royal Priors Shopping Centre. The venue will be spread across one floor with a separate bar area, as well as outside seating. It will feature the brand’s signature corrugated booth seating and blue sky and grass imagery, as well as an open plan kitchen. Its seasonally changing menus will be served alongside the cuts of beef, cooked from a wood-fired grill, with a host of other options including individual small plates, sharing platters and an express menu. The bar will feature La Gringa on tap, an extensive list of CAU’s own-brand wines as well as a range of cocktails and Clericots – an Argentinian wine-based drink. CAU has 21 sites in the UK and has also agreed a deal to open a venue in Leeds.
 
JD Wetherspoon’s plans approved for former Garforth Liberal Club near Leeds: JD Wetherspoon has had its plans approved to convert the former Garforth Liberal Club, near Leeds, into a pub. The company originally submitted a planning application in May 2015 for work at the Main Street site in Garforth (population 15,394) but, despite a number of residents’ complaints, Leeds City Council has granted the scheme full planning permission. A council report on the decision stated: “The proposed pub is appropriately positioned within Garforth town centre and will bring a currently vacant property back into use and generate employment opportunities. Bearing in mind the site’s town centre location, the nature of the proposed use and the anticipated evening peaks in demand, the proposal is not considered to adversely impact on the highway network.” JD Wetherspoon’s planning application sought permission for internal and external alterations to create “storage, kitchen, customer and staff facilities” that would include a new beer garden, the Yorkshire Evening Post reports.

Hellmann’s names the UK’s six best burgers: The finalists of the Britain’s Best Burger competition, sponsored by Hellmann’s, have been announced ahead of National Burger Day (25 August). Burger Brothers (Brighton), The Grazing Shed (Cardiff), Annie’s Burger Shack (Nottingham), Meat59 (Torquay), Jam Jar (Newcastle), and Burgers and Beers (Edinburgh) have been named as finalists, having had their burgers judged against strict criteria of originality, quality of ingredients, chef skill, range of choices, and customer feedback. Each finalist will receive PR support worth £2,500 to help make their burger brand famous, and go on to the final stage of the competition where one will be named Britain’s Best Burger. The winner will be announced on Tuesday, 30 August and will receive the grand prize – PR support worth £10,000. Gavin Lucas, the popular burger blogger known as Burgerac and owner of Burgerac’s Burgershack, led a panel of judges to decide the six finalists. He said: “We’ve had our work cut out as judges, with hundreds of burgers to check out from high-quality establishments across the country. It’s great to see operators doing the basics well and using the infinitely customisable nature of burgers to inject some real personality into their menu.”
 
Insomnia Coffee opens first service station site as part of Blakemore Retail partnership deal ahead of roll-out: Irish coffee company Insomnia has opened its first site as part of a new partnership deal with food and drink retail and distribution business Blakemore & Son, with more sites to follow in the “next year”. Insomnia has opened a coffee shop at Blakemore Retail’s new £3m Spar petrol forecourt store in Grimsby. The 5,000 square foot site also features Greggs and Subway counters. Insomnia chief executive Harry O’Kelly said: “The cosy seating and relaxed atmosphere of our stores will offer tired customers the chance to properly unwind and recharge with a coffee for their onward journey. Laceby is also our first store in the north east so we are very excited about this new territory.” Blakemore Retail store operations director Chris Bacon added: “The Laceby site is the first company-owned site (for the partnership), and we are looking forward to a further roll-out over the next year.” Insomnia opened its first store in Galway in 1997 and now operates more than 90 company-owned stores in Ireland as well as franchised outlets and partnerships. Its other UK sites are in Bradford, Formby, Hope Valley in Derbyshire, Market Harborough, and Rugby. Family-owned Blakemore, based in Willenhall, West Midlands, employs more than 7,800 staff and has a turnover of circa £1.3bn.
 
Orange Tree Group to open Derby city centre bar next month, seventh site: Orange Tree Group, the East Midlands-based independent pub company, will open its seventh site next month, in Derby city centre. The Orange Tree will open in George Street at a former Bar Five site on Friday, 23 September. The venue will be split over two floors, opening during the evenings with a heavy focus on cocktails to go alongside fine wines from Leicestershire-based Matt Francis, premium spirits, local craft beer and an extensive gin selection. Downstairs, booth seating and snug areas will give the bar a feeling of “stepping back in time to a low-lit private member’s club”. The 100-capacity upstairs bar will also be available for hire. Orange Tree Group founders Ben Hings and Gareth Smith opened their first bar in 1997 in Leicester. The group now operates three sites in the city, plus two in Loughborough and one in Nottingham. Smith said: “We have been looking for a new bar to add to the group for over a year and had our eyes on Derby. We were viewing somewhere else in the city when we came across this place and fell in love with the building. It’s going to be a really great addition to our business.”
 
Ed’s Easy Diner partners with New York Bakery to roll-out ‘Bagel Brekki’ nationwide: Ed’s Easy Diner has partnered with New York Bakery Company to roll-out the “Bagel Brekki” nationwide. The move comes following a trial at six of Ed’s American-style diners in which the meal became one of its customers’ most popular breakfast menu options. Bagel Brekki consists of layers of crispy back bacon, chipolata sausages and a griddled egg sandwiched between a 115g New York-style bagel. Ed’s Easy Diner chief executive Andrew Guy said: “The Bagel Brekki has been a great addition to our breakfast menu and following the trial we are confident it will go down well in our diners across the UK. Bagels are an American staple, making our partnership with the New York Bakery Company a natural match – we both want to bring a taste of the States to the UK!” New York Bakery Company marketing manager Amy Page added: “Our ‘Plain New York Style Bagel’ is a great alternative to bread and growing in popularity as a sandwich carrier. Hopefully there will be more opportunities for us to develop new menu options with Ed’s in the future.”
 
Sugar Hut to start expansion with £1.5m Liverpool launch next month: The team behind Sugar Hut, the Brentwood bar made famous by reality television show The Only Way Is Essex, will start expansion of the concept next month by opening a second site, this time in Liverpool. Sugar Hut Group has invested £1.5m to fit-out the new venue at a three-storey, 12,000 square foot property in Victoria Street, which previously housed the Living Room and Mosquito, both operated by Living Ventures. Sugar Hut Group co-owner Terry Pullen told BDaily: “We are delighted to finally announce our expansion into the north west. Liverpool is a vibrant city and we will deliver a mix of quality food served in a luxury environment with classic cocktails, aspirational entertainment and excellent music.” Paul Davies, of Manchester-based law firm Stephensons Solicitors, which completed on Sugar Hut’s acquisition of the property, added: “The north west is an attractive business proposition to a number of high-profile brands and we expect to see more of this type of activity.” Sugar Hut said it expected the Liverpool launch to be followed by further openings in Newcastle and Cardiff Bay.

Pint Shop to open second site in mid-October: Pint Shop, the award-winning Cambridge beer house, will open its second site in Oxford in mid-September. Extensive work is taking place at the George Street site, which dates to the 1930s and was formerly a building society. The new decor has been designed with this in mind, anchoring it in the 1930s but with modern touches. The laid-back aesthetic will have an emphasis on heritage textures, with lots of wood and tiling throughout. The food at the Oxford site will be an extension of the Pint Shop offer – simple, seasonal British dishes, with an emphasis on meat and local ingredients. The bar snack offering will be particularly enhanced, with planned dishes including a slicing pie, trays of roasted vegetables, and hot chipped potatoes with curry sauce poured over them from a flask. Pint Shop is also developing a stout-based beer bread to be sold at the bar. In addition, Pint Shop has brewed a beer – “Hoog and Doog” (High and Dry) – with Netherlands-based De Molen brewery to celebrate the Oxford opening. It is a pale ale, “dry hopped” with grapefruit and will be ready to serve at the grand opening. Pint Shop co-owner Rich Holmers said: “We are really looking forward to getting the doors open at the Oxford site. We have been working on it since March and can’t wait for our customers to see it. It is an exciting time for Pint Shop, our team have put a lot of work into the site and we hope our new customers love the look and feel of the place.” The Oxford opening will create 60 jobs in the local area. In addition, Pint Shop’s Cambridge senior sous chef, Nolen Page, has been promoted to head chef at the Oxford site.
 
Fazenda team to launch Brazilian rodizio concept Bossa in Leeds next month: The team behind Fazenda, which operates rodizio restaurants in Leeds, Liverpool and Manchester, will launch new Brazilian concept Bossa in Leeds city centre next month. The 110-cover restaurant in Cloth Hall Street will open at a former Azzurri Group-owned Zizzi site on Monday, 19 September. Bossa is Brazilian slang for “doing something with particular charm, natural flair or innate ability” and the restaurant will offer its own take on the rodizio style, offering seven cuts of grilled meat. The menu will include picanha (cap of rump), lamb, chicken thighs and sausages, with a different meat special offered every week. A selection of sides, cooked in a clay oven, and salads will also be available. Group executive head chef Francisco Martinez told BDaily: “Simplicity can go a long way, but when you add the Bossa style to simple things you give them passion, and that is what we think people will feel about our food.” Fazenda co-founder Robert Melman added: “Leeds is growing as a food and drink destination and we are confident Bossa is the right offer for casual diners in the city centre looking for a high-quality, great-value, eating out experience.”
 
Lincolnshire-based fish and chip shop concept to start expansion with second site: Lincolnshire-based fish and chip shop concept Hunters is to start expansion by opening its second site, in Lincoln. The company is opening the outlet in High Street at the former Yo Yo noodle bar site. The site, which follows on from the company’s venue in Louth, is being refurbished ahead of its launch in the autumn and will feature a 25-cover restaurant as well as a takeaway. The Lincoln Hunters will serve locally sourced food, including line-caught fish delivered daily from Grimsby docks and Lincolnshire-grown Maris Piper potatoes. Manager Mark Hinkins told the Lincolnite: “The new branch in Lincoln provides different challenges. Its location in the heart of Lincoln is wonderful but there’s a lot of competition from other food outlets, many of them well-known restaurant brands. The food will be created using our unique recipes and the design will be based around upcycled furniture. It’s a perfect fit and makes our restaurant stand out from a lot of high street brands that look exactly the same, whichever branch you go into.”
 
New Portuguese and Brazilian cafe restaurant concept to launch in Oxford: A new Portuguese and Brazilian cafe restaurant concept is set to open in Oxford. Vera Franca has applied to the city council for a premises licence to launch the concept in the Atkyns Road shopping parade on the former site of the Evolution Reptiles pet shop, reports the Oxford Mail. In the application, Franca said: “The premises will be used as a small Portuguese cafe/restaurant providing Portuguese and Brazilian food and drink. We will provide a seating area at the front of the premises where the bar will be located and also a small seating area at the rear of the premises.” If approved, the venue would open from 8am to 10pm, Mondays to Thursdays, and from 8am to midnight on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
  
Brighton restaurant Moshimo submits plans for £4m ‘lantern in the sky’ extension: Japanese restaurant Moshimo, which is next door to Brighton Town Hall in Bartholomew Square, has submitted plans for a £4m extension to create a “lantern in the sky”. Owners Karl Jones and Nicholas Rohl have submitted plans for a five-storey, 130-cover restaurant that could double up as a skyline wedding venue. The structure would be built in Littlehampton and brought into place by a £1m crane in a bid to minimise disruption. Jones said the unusual construction would mean the square would not be covered in a “forest of scaffolding”, while Moshimo could not afford to close for a long period. He said it would take three days to install the three sections in a maximum five-day window because of high costs hiring the crane. Jones told The Argus: “It’s going to be an amazing space that is going to be very versatile rather than something where we will need to churn out hundreds of covers every day. People like to talk about a landmark building – and it certainly will be that.”
 
Pizza and coffee concept Enzo eyes expansion with second site, in Manchester: Nantwich-based pizza and coffee concept Enzo is planning expansion with a second site, this time in Manchester. The independent company has applied for a licence at a site in Fountain Street in the city centre. As well as pizza, the restaurant prides itself on British home-baked cakes and Australian-style coffee. Enzo owners James Skade and Carrie Slater said the concept is about “creating a menu influenced by Italian cuisine and inspired by the Australian coffee scene”, while “still paying homage to Britain by creating wonderfully delicious hand-made cakes”. The company makes its pizza dough fresh every day and its own pasta and sauces on-site. According to the application, the restaurant would open Monday to Friday, from 7am until midnight.

Fuller’s updates international beer finder: London brewer and premium pub operator Fuller’s has updated its online beerfinder for the US. The beerfinder lets customers know where they can purchase their favourite Fuller’s beers internationally. Data for the US is now automatically updated, so consumers in the country can find out which bars stock Fuller’s products. The online beerfinder works across the globe, so you can also get an idea of which countries sell Fuller’s beers. The page can be found by clicking here. Michael Campbell-Lamerton, head of international brands, said: “This is brilliant news for our customers in the US as well as those visiting who wish to enjoy our beer when travelling. Hopefully this will lead to other countries’ data being as up to date as that of the US. This really does demonstrate how well-travelled our beers are, some go a very long way from their home in Chiswick.”
 
New vegetarian Indian restaurant concept to launch in Cardiff: A grocery store owner is set to launch a vegetarian Indian restaurant concept in Cardiff this autumn. Mangla Dodiya will open Mangla’s Spice of Life in Cowbridge Road East in the Canton area of the city. The idea began after the homemade Gujarati recipes she sells from her nearby grocery store proved highly popular. She told Wales Online: “My customers have encouraged me. I was experimenting and getting customers to try my food and they have been encouraging me to open a place selling my vegetarian food. I want to introduce people to healthy, vegetarian food. I’m a vegetarian and always have been.”
 
New Greek restaurant concept Odyssey to launch in Chesterfield: New Greek restaurant concept Odyssey will launch in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, next month. The new venue will open at the former Queens Head pub in Knifesmithsgate on Tuesday, 20 September, combining traditional English architecture with Greek hospitality, culture, taste and cuisine. Konstantinos Diamantidis, part of the management team at the Greek family-owned business, said he hoped the restaurant would fill a gap in the market. Aptly named “Odyssey”, he said the restaurant promised a journey into Greek flavours and traditions. Diamantidis told the Chesterfield News: “Our intention is to make you feel you are somehow back in Greece or, if you have never been, maybe to give you a taste of your next holiday. My grandmother used to say there is nothing better than homemade food and taught us to eat and cook only the best. Now, years later, we as a family will try to give you a taste of what Greek families believe good-quality Greek food tastes like.”
 
Full speaker schedule for Bar and Nightclub Conference revealed: The full speaker schedule for this year’s Bar and Nightclub Conference, organised by the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) and Propel, has been revealed. It takes place on Tuesday, 11 October at Bafta, Piccadilly, and follows the successful launch of the event last year. ALMR chief executive Kate Nicholls will provide an update on political and regulatory developments. Phil Tate, chief executive of CGA Strategy, which has retailer specialist CGA Peach as a division, will reveal details of new research of usage, areas of growth, food and drink trends, and evolution within the UK bar and nightclub market. Toby Smith, chief executive of bar, nightclub and restaurant operator Novus Leisure, will talk about how the company is meeting the needs of customers in London’s evolving bar and nightclub scene, including offer evolution and social media developments. Luke Johnson, sector investor and executive chairman of Brighton Pier Company and investor in Grand Union Group, will speak about his career in the late-night sector starting at Oxford University, set out his reasons for investing in the sector, evolving the offer at the company, and his perspective on the future for the bar and nightclub sector. Serial sector entrepreneur Roy Ellis will talk about the launch of the ground-breaking Albert’s Schloss concept in Manchester a year ago, its USPs, versatility, first-year performance and roll-out potential – and set out the scope of the involvement of his Mission Mars business in Manchester’s late-night scene. Jimmy Bernstein will talk about his 14-strong US bar and live music concept Howl at the Moon. Bernstein was the keynote speaker at this year’s Bar and Nightclub Convention in Las Vegas. Howl at the Moon has sites in key US cities, including Chicago, New York and Orlando, Florida – the company has also licensed the concept to Norwegian Cruise Line, which operates it on four ships. John Leslie, chief executive of Intertain, will talk about evolving the Walkabout brand and opening new sites, working with new comedy partner Comedy Loft, the regulatory regime, its new Birmingham concept 6 on Broad Street, and the company’s relationship with backer Better Capital. Leading licensing barrister Philip Kolvin QC will provide a personal perspective on the key legal issues and developments facing bar and nightclub operators in the current climate. There will also be a panel hosted by Nicholls with Alan Miller, chairman of the Night Time Industries Association, Mick McDonnell, national co-ordinator of Best Bar None, Paddy Whur, of Woods Whur, Peter Marks, chief executive of Deltic Group, and Richard Stringer, chief executive of Kornicis, about the challenges, opportunities and threats to the bar and nightclub sector. Tickets are priced at £95 for operators who are ALMR members and £145 for non-ALMR members. Supplier tickets are £145 for ALMR supplier members and £195 for suppliers who are not ALMR members. Tickets can be booked by emailing Jo Charity at jo.charity@propelinfo.com

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