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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Tue 21st Feb 2017 - Propel Tuesday News Briefing

Story of the Day: 

Social platform that helps nightclubs and bars fill their venues closes crowdfunding campaign after raising more than £103,000: Licklist, a social platform that helps nightclubs and bars fill their venue, has closed its fund-raise on crowdfunding platform Seedrs having raised more than £103,000. The company, co-founded by Brad Nobbs and Ian Hope, was offering a 7.58% equity stake as it looked to raise £100,000 to expand its operation. It has now closed the campaign having raised £103,288. The pitch stated: “Licklist is a pioneering social platform integrated with an international directory of nightclubs, bars and music festivals. We solve a two-fold problem. For 18 to 30-year-olds we provide a 360-degree solution to organising the perfect night out. For nightclubs and bars we provide innovative tools to fill a venue both cost-effectively and efficiently. With the funding in place we will assemble a sales team spearheaded by former Time Out chief commercial officer Kimberley O’Hara. The funds will allow us to build a sales operation that introduces venues not only in the UK but in Europe to the Licklist solution. We align ourselves with the likes of TripAdvisor, which dominates the market for hotel reviews, and Just Eat, which does the same for takeaway restaurants. We’re looking to do the same and dominate the market for nightlife and establish Licklist as the only brand people want to be associated with.”

Industry News:

Handful of places left at Propel Multi Club Conference: There are now only a few places left at the Propel Multi Club Conference on Thursday, 9 March at the Millennium Gloucester Hotel, 4-18 Harrington Gardens, London SW7 4LH. Paul Hemming, managing director of AlixPartners, will provide an overview of current mergers, acquisitions and refinancing trends in the UK market – and reflect on market growth. Michael Ingemann, chairman of the ground-breaking Copenhagen-based Claus Meyer Holdings (founders of Noma), will talk about learnings from launching a food hall and a fine dining restaurant in New York’s Grand Central station last year while also launching a culinary school in Brooklyn. Andrea Ferraz, analyst at Morgan Stanley, will look at the impact of third-party delivery on the UK foodservice sector, compare progress in the UK with other major markets and give her views on how third-party delivery will develop in the UK. Nick Pring, co-founder of Urban Pubs and Bars, will talk about creating a unique market position in London suburbs, building a business the second time around, finding property and repositioning JD Wetherspoon pubs, creating a pizza concept, and opening a 12,000 square foot pop-up at Stratford Westfield. John West, head of franchising sales for Coffee Republic, will set out how the company has revived its fortune in the UK and overseas, its USPs, its position within the coffee market, its franchising strategy, and future plans in the UK and abroad. Jason Myers, chief executive of Busaba Eathai, the concept created by Alan Yau, will talk about evolving the brand, staff recruitment and retention, prospects for the Thai market, brand longevity, and developing its delivery and takeaway business. Kevin Charity, founder of Coaching Inn Group, will set out the benefits of taking Business Growth Fund investment two years ago, including his reflections on the process and how it has quadrupled the value of the business through the execution of a business plan that has included buying new sites, strengthening the management team, leveraging head office costs, and growing site Ebitdas through investment and operational improvements. Dan Einzig, food and beverage entrepreneur and chief executive of sector design agency Mystery, will look at current trends in Los Angeles and London and the learnings from innovative brand concepts his agency has helped to develop, including Bubbleology, Za Za Bazaar, Yorica, Rawligion and Dub Jam, its own Caribbean barbecue and reggae rum bar concept. Jayne Baker, managing director of Wright & Bell, will talk about the ground-breaking £3.2m Imbiba-backed Kitty Hawk, the department store of dining concept – combining shopping, drinking and dining – its progress at its first site in South Place, and future prospects. Atholl Milton, co-founder of StreetDots, will speak about the company’s development of a unique street food business model, the size and quality of the market, connecting and developing high-quality street food traders, and the way he sees street food developing in the future. Steve Locke, co-founder of Be At One, will set out how the company has developed its own distinct position in the cocktail market with a focus on staff training and development, progress in the regions, and future prospects. Multi-site companies can book two free places each by emailing anne.steele@propelinfo.com or calling 01444 817691.

Winner of Polaris’ Six Nations rugby competition revealed: The winner of a pair of tickets to the England versus Italy Six Nations rugby match at Twickenham on Sunday (26 February), courtesy of Polaris Elements, is Honest Burger financial accountant Joe Carey.

City of London launches Square Mile coffee cup recycling scheme: The City of London Corporation has partnered with coffee chains and Network Rail to launch dedicated coffee cup recycling facilities in stores, offices and on the street in an effort to prevent five million cups a year going to landfill. Wendy Mead, chairman of the corporation’s environment committee, said the aim of the Square Mile challenge was to recycle half a million cups in April, adding that the City would be the “first area in the UK to undertake such a significant commitment”. The first 30 businesses with more than 500 employees to sign up to the scheme will receive a year’s free membership to collection services provided by Simply Cups, while all other businesses involved can access discounted collection rates. Last month, Whitbread-owned Costa Coffee announced it would expand its recycling scheme by collecting used cups in its 2,000 stores, which are picked up by waste management company Veolia to be recycled in a specialist plant. Starbucks is trialling a fully recyclable coffee cup – the Frugalpac. Up to seven million paper cups are disposed of in the UK every day, with fewer than 1% recycled, The Guardian reports.

Deliveroo has ‘created more than 6,000 jobs’: Deliveroo has created more than 6,000 jobs in the UK, according to a new study commissioned by the food delivery company as it reaches the fourth year since making its first delivery. The company saw UK orders increase by 650% in 2016 as it undergoes rapid expansion. The company has created 6,300 jobs since its launch, according to research by Capital Economics commissioned by Deliveroo, although the study gives no details of the average pay or hours worked in the jobs created. The study also finds that Deliveroo has generated £200m in revenue for restaurants in Britain. Alasdair Murdoch, chief executive of restaurant chain Gourmet Burger Kitchen, said Deliveroo had produced a “positive impact in a number of areas of our business, including an increase in sales”, which had “led to us employing more people right across our business”.

UK food and drink exports grew 10.5% in 2016: Total exports of food and drink grew by 10.5% in 2016 to a record figure of more than £20bn as UK manufacturers responded to rapid growth in demand for quality produce, the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) has said. Exports of branded food and non-alcoholic drinks led the way in 2016 with growth of 11.5% to £5.2bn, the 16th year of consecutive growth. Excluding alcohol, the UK’s top three export categories remain chocolate, salmon and cheese, with exports of salmon up 16.4%, driven by large increases to France (up 32.2%), Ireland (up 24.6%), and Germany (up 98.9%). The US is now the second-largest export market for the UK and the largest outside Europe, with exports increasing by 13% to £2.2bn in 2016. This now means the UK’s two largest export markets, Ireland and the US, together buy more than a quarter of all UK food and drink exports. Sales to non-EU markets continued to grow at a faster rate than to the EU. However, 71.4% of food and drink, excluding alcohol, was sold to EU member states. Demand was up in every single one of the UK’s top 20 markets in 2016, with China the fastest growing market, up 51.1% on 2015 to £439.5m. Highlighted as a priority export market in the joint Government-Industry International Action Plan for Food and Drink, China’s appetite for branded UK food and non-alcoholic drinks also rose by 50% in 2016, to £84.7m. While the fall in the price of sterling has helped to boost UK export competitiveness, it has also made essential imports more expensive and the UK’s food and drink trade deficit grew 5.7% to minus £22.4bn.

Company News:

Marco Pierre White franchised estate to hit 40 sites this year, opening in Swindon next month: Marco Pierre White’s franchised restaurant company Black and White Hospitality is to open a Bardolino Pizzeria Bellini & Espresso Bar in Swindon next month following openings in Bristol and Birmingham. The celebrity chef’s franchised estate is set to hit 40 sites this year, with a total of seven due to open in 2017. The new 80-cover restaurant will be in Wood Street at the site of former The Old Bank restaurant. Manni Madhani will operate Bardolino under licence from Black and White Hospitality and will also manage The Bank bars, which are located on the first and second floors of the building. White said: “Bardolino represents affordable, friendly and casual dining with authentic recognisable Italian dishes. After months of planning for the opening, I’m very much looking forward to opening the doors and offering a real taste of Italy to Swindon diners.” Nick Taplin, chief executive of Black and White Hospitality, added: “Marco and I have a great relationship with Manni and we’re looking forward to working together on this venture. Bardolino is designed to offer a fresh alternative, where authentic, uncomplicated food served promptly is absolutely essential.” White is an active shareholder and investor in Black and White Hospitality. The company owns the franchise rights to five Marco Pierre White restaurant brands – Wheeler’s of St James’s, Steakhouse Bar & Grill, Mr White’s English Chophouse, Marco’s New York Italian, and Bardolino Pizzeria, Bellini & Espresso Bar. Black and White Hospitality works alongside hotel owners to provide a branded, profitable food and beverage solution to their hotel business. The company currently has 34 restaurants across the UK and Northern Ireland.

200 Degrees lines up sixth site, in Cardiff: Nottingham-based coffee roaster and retailer 200 Degrees has lined up its sixth site, this time in Cardiff. The coffee shop and barista school will take up HK4 Group’s recently closed Base + Barley venue in Queen Street. The site will undergo a £250,000 refurbishment, with the opening scheduled for late spring. 200 Degrees operates two sites in Nottingham and others in Birmingham and Leeds. The company’s fifth venue will open in Leicester on Thursday, 16 March. 200 Degrees co-owner Tom Vincent said: “The area is one of the city’s main shopping streets with a castle at one end, so in that sense it feels a lot like our first shop. Cardiff is a vibrant city and we’ll be bringing our own signature roasts and individual style of comfortable interiors, which we hope will be as popular here as they are elsewhere. We will be setting up one of our barista schools upstairs and look forward to becoming part of the growing independent coffee scene in Cardiff. Our customers are a nice mix of business people, shoppers, students, friends meeting up and a good number of people just wasting time on social media, we aim to keep them all happy. Being near Queen Street station means there’s also a need to be properly focused for people on the go and we’ll bring all our experience from our Nottingham station site to make sure the service is up to speed and spot on.” Vincent added that the company is planning more openings, with two venues already at offer stage.

Shaker Group expands into hotel sector with third venue: Shaker Group has expanded into the hotel sector after acquiring its third site. The company has bought the Old Rectory House in Redditch, Worcestershire, through agent Christie & Co off an asking price of £1.45m. The company also owns and operates Euston cocktail bar Shaker & Company, Birmingham restaurant Gas Street Social and hospitality consultancy Shaker Bar School & Consultancy. Shaker Group is undertaking a £500,000 investment in the Old Rectory House Hotel. The programme at the ten-bedroom, three-acre hotel and grounds includes creating a 70-cover Orangery Restaurant, 60-cover terrace and gardens, 30-seater cocktail lounge, and 14-seater private dining and conference facilities. The menu will specialise in fresh, seasonal and shareable modern European cuisine, including Himalayan salt dry-aged steaks, and a drinks menu featuring handcrafted signature cocktails and sharing drinks created by the Shaker consultancy team. The Doomsday Book lists a building on this site in 1086, during which time Lady Godiva’s son was lord of the manor. The great grandson of Sir Christopher Wren also lived in the house for more than 40 years and made a number of alterations. He modernised the original Elizabethan house in 1812 by adding a Georgian facade to the front elevation of the building. Shaker Group managing director Adam Freeth said: “We are delighted to have acquired grade II-listed Old Rectory House, which has stood on the Redditch site for several hundreds of years. Old Rectory House will sit well within our eclectic mix of hospitality businesses. We look forward to restoring the former glory and family spirit that has characterised this historic venue.”

Brunning & Price opens the Fox Revived in Norwood Hill: Brunning & Price, the 58-strong pub division of The Restaurant Group, has opened the Fox Revived in Norwood Hill, Surrey. It isn’t the first time Brunning & Price has been involved in the history of the pub – the founding partnership of Jerry Brunning and Graham Price first ran the pub as the third in their estate in the 1980s. Eventually the partnership left Surrey to concentrate on pub opportunities around Chester, but now the company has spread further afield to once again return to the area. This is the first pub the company has opened in 2017. Later in the year there are plans to open the Dinorben Arms in Bodfari, Wales, and the Haycutter in Oxted, Surrey. A spokesman said: “We are currently recruiting for around 40 crew members for each pub and are fortunate to have sister pubs around both our new developments, which will enable us to take on brilliant people as we find them and work with them to get them up to speed before we have even finished the developments.”

Health and leisure resort Champneys reports turnover and profit boost: Champneys, the health farm and leisure resort business owned by Dorothy and Stephen Purdew, has reported turnover rose 7.2% to £32,490,307 in the year to 30 April 2016. The business, which added Eastwell Manor in Kent to its existing portfolio of four resorts in November 2016, reported pre-tax profit of £1,818,425 (2015: £1,625,410) after exceptional items of £1,353,608 (2015: £1,643,394). The total number of guests visiting Champneys resorts rose to 166,970 (2015: 255,404), with average revenue per guest of £170.13 (2015: £170.86). The company earned royalty income of £1,441,283 in the year (2015: £1,469,217).

Heineken gives £50,000 to Pub is The Hub: Heineken has given £50,000 to Pub is The Hub, with the funds directed towards the initiative’s Community Services Fund and regional hub of advisors. The fund was launched in 2013 to kick-start pub diversification schemes run by licensees in the form of grants of up to £3,000. Support for the regional hubs will help with running costs, marketing and its small team of advisors around the UK. Heineken corporate affairs director David Paterson said: “We are delighted to build on our support of Pub is The Hub. We warmly welcome the government’s announcement last month that it will fund the organisation and we are pleased to join the government in its support and match its donation of £50,000. Heineken has partnered with Pub is The Hub for some years and, with 1,050 pubs in our Star Pubs & Bars estate, we share Pub is The Hub’s belief that the pub should be the centre of vibrant community life.” Pub is The Hub chief executive John Longden added: “We are thrilled Heineken has chosen to support Pub is The Hub with such a generous donation. It recognises that great licensees and their pubs play an enormously important role in communities across the UK. With Heineken’s help, we can continue to support these small businesses with advice and small grants. In turn, these schemes will continue to change peoples’ perceptions of pubs, drive local economies, support local employment and provide important community hubs.”

BrewDog opens DogTap Columbus: Scottish brewer and retailer BrewDog has opened its brewery outlet in the US – DogTap Columbus – featuring a dozen taps of the company’s own craft beer alongside curated guests from the US. The company plans to double this offering to 24 taps when the BrewDog brewhouse is fully operational. To celebrate the doors opening, the company air-freighted BrewDog beer direct from its kegging line in Scotland, while further beers will be supplied by the new brewery in Columbus, Ohio, which is due to start production soon. DogTap Columbus is also offering a range of wines and liquor, sodas from Boylan’s Bottling Company, and freshly roasted barista coffee. DogTap Columbus, which is in Gender Road, Canal Winchester, has a range of different seating options, ranging from full table service to bar stools. DogTap also has a restaurant serving freshly cooked-to-order burgers, salads, pizzas, bar bites and sharing boards. The taproom features a gaming area with shuffleboard and pinball machines.

London Cocktail Club launches membership scheme ahead of double opening in the capital: London Cocktail Club (LCC) has launched a membership scheme ahead of its opening of two new sites in the capital this spring – in Monument and Bishopsgate. The free “club-style scheme” will reward customers with a wide selection of perks true to the brand’s “family and friends-oriented personality”. The openings will be the seventh and eighth sites for LCC, which is owned by JJ Goodman, while the membership programme will offer tailor-made deals on the first day of every month. Offers will include 20% to 50% discount on drinks at selected venues, a #SecretServe cocktail deal, exclusive access to events and invitations to members-only events, queue-jumping opportunities, free sharing cocktails, and a free birthday cocktail. Goodman said: “We’ve been dying to launch membership. It gives us the opportunity to give back to those who love LCC as much as we do. It was always an inevitable offering from us and we can’t wait to see how far we can take it!” London Cocktail Club’s venues are in Bethnal Green, Covent Garden, Goodge Street, Islington, Oxford Circus, Shaftesbury Avenue and Shoreditch.

Eat4Less to open eighth UK store, in Middlesbrough: Eat4Less, the expanding fast-food sandwich chain, is set to open its eighth restaurant, this time in Middlesbrough. The new venue will open in Linthorpe Road later this week. With its signature £1.49 11-inch baguettes, the company offers some of the high street’s cheapest sandwiches. Alongside 30 different sandwich fillings, paninis and jacket potatoes, it also offers a range of hotdogs, burgers and chicken nuggets, Gazette Live reports. Alongside cut-price meals, the new store will offer extensive breakfast bar seating. In the long term, there are plans to expand upstairs and into the cellar to offer more seats. A total of 15 staff have been trained at the Eat4Less store in Newcastle before starting work at the Middlesbrough site.

Living Ventures to open Alchemist site in Newcastle next month: Living Ventures will open the latest site for its The Alchemist brand next month, in Newcastle. The bar will open at the new Grey’s Quarter dining complex at the Intu Eldon Square shopping centre on Tuesday, 21 March. The Alchemist will join brands including Red’s True Barbecue, Handmade Burger Co, Casual Dining Group-owned Bella Italia, Azzurri Group-owned ASK Italian, and Crepeffaire in the £25m development that opened in October. The Alchemist managing director Simon Potts told Chronicle Live: “Our designers have worked on eye-catching plans for the venue that will reflect the rich history of this fantastic city and we look forward to wowing guests with our molecular mixology and creative food offering.” Earlier this month, Living Ventures said it had lined up a site in Nottingham, which would be the first for The Alchemist in the East Midlands. The company has also exchanged contracts on a site in Oxford, while another venue in MediaCityUK, Salford, is due to open in the summer. The other Alchemists are in Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester (two venues), Leeds (two venues) and London, alongside its first suburban site, in Alderley Edge, Cheshire.

Marston’s to open new-build pub at Dalton Park shopping complex: Marston’s is to open its new-build pub at the Dalton Park shopping complex in Murton, County Durham. The company will open The Dancing Betty this summer, creating 35 jobs. It will have an outdoor patio and seating area, pergola and children’s play area, with staff accommodation upstairs. The look of the building has been inspired by traditional coaching inns, taverns and pubs and has been aimed at being a place for “social family events”, reports the Sunderland Echo. The pub restaurant is part of the £45m phase two expansion of the shopping outlet, which is on the site of a former colliery. It already features a Cineworld cinema, KFC, Prezzo, The Restaurant Group brand Frankie & Benny’s and PizzaExpress.

Cardiff-based cafe bar chain KIN+ILK partners with Keep Wales Tidy: Cardiff-based cafe bar chain KIN+ILK has partnered with Keep Wales Tidy to encourage customers to ditch single-use cups. KIN+ILK is now selling reusable “Keep Cups” at its Cardiff sites in Pontcanna and Capital Quarter, with one pound from every sale donated to Keep Wales Tidy. Many single-use cups are made of a difficult-to-recycle mix of paper and plastic, with the majority ending up in landfill or as litter. Keep Wales Tidy research has shown drinks-related litter was found on 45% of streets in Wales in 2015-16. KIN+ILK director Alex Jenkins told Business News Wales: “Reducing waste at KIN+ILK is high on our agenda, being an ethical and sustainability-minded organisation.” Keep Wales Tidy operations director Louise Tambini added: “Our message to coffee-lovers is clear – make the right choice and take in your own reusable cup when you visit cafes and coffee shops.”

Bea Vo to launch Famous Flames burger concept in Camden Market on Saturday: Soul Food Enterprises, which is led by Bea Vo and operates US diners Stax and Boondocks, will launch its third concept – Famous Flames – in Camden Market on Saturday (25 February). Vo, who also founded Bea’s in Bloomsbury, will launch the new venture in Kentish Town Road, opposite the entrance to Camden Town station, with a focus on flame-grilled burgers and fried wings. The site covers 870 square feet over ground-floor and basement levels, while a new 15-year lease was agreed at a rent of £65,000 per annum exclusive. The restaurant will feature 15 seats, with the larger emphasis on takeaways and deliveries. The burgers will be thinner than at Stax Diner and Boondocks and served in potato buns from the US. There will be four styles of deep-fried wing buckets – Southern, Korean, Buffalo, Memphis BBQ and Filipino – alongside the Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich, which will be served with cayenne butter sauce. Desserts will include soft-serve cones dipped in chocolate or butterscotch glaze, Hot Dinners reports. Stax Diner brought Vo’s American Deep South concept to Kingly Court in Carnaby in 2015. Last year, she opened Boondocks, which offers chicken and waffles from a site behind Moorfields Eye Hospital.

Chicago Rib Shack devises soul food menu for music hotel, diner and cocktail bar concept coming to Kilburn: Authentic American barbecue restaurant chain Chicago Rib Shack, which operates five sites in London and six in total, will supply the menu for Soul Store West, a music hotel, diner and cocktail bar concept set to launch in Kilburn. Chicago Rib Shack has devised a new soul food menu for the north London venue, with dishes including a soul sandwich, and spicy fried catfish and fire thigh burger, alongside more classic dishes such as baby back ribs, St Louis and beef ribs. The venue will also offer wings and, for the more health conscious, a superfood salad and cajun bean burger, Hot Dinners reports. The cocktail menu has been inspired by the legends of Motown and will feature corn whiskey and the hailstorm peach julep, made from Bacardi rum and powdered sugar. Music will be at the heart of the new venture, with soul and funk records played all day and live music four nights a week. The all-day venue will also offer bottomless brunches at the weekend. Chicago Rib Shack, which is led by Christian Arden, operates sites in Aldgate East, Camden, Clapham, Stratford and Twickenham – and one in Leeds.

Former apprentice becomes one of UK’s youngest restaurateurs with Hartlepool launch: Jack Hunter, 20, has become one of the UK’s youngest restaurant owners after opening Hunter’s Restaurant in Hartlepool. The 40-cover venue has launched in Marina’s Navigation Point offering modern British food with a “few crowd pleasers like burgers and steaks” as well as a vegan menu, all using locally sourced produce. Hunter undertook a Level 2 apprenticeship in hospitality and catering and Level 3 in professional cookery while working at Krimo’s restaurant in the town. Hunter told BDaily: “Working as an apprentice taught me how to handle responsibility. I had to learn the fundamentals fast. You have to get it right and move quickly because of the high-pressured environment of a fully working restaurant. You get rewarded for working hard. In two years as an apprentice, I moved from being a commis chef to sous chef. To get a full qualification and to work at the same time was important to me. If I didn’t have the apprenticeship, I wouldn’t be where I am now. I raised my own money and got help from my dad, a bank loan and money from other investors but the name on the lease is mine and, at the end of the day, it all rests on my shoulders. It’s always been my dream to open my own restaurant, I just didn’t think it would be this early!”

Eden Project wins consent to open new hotel: The Eden Project has been granted planning permission for a new 109-bedroom on-site hotel. The £8.5m hotel has been designed to blend into the countryside and have high standards of accessibility, energy-efficiency and sustainability. Eden plans to start construction in late 2017 and open the hotel in April 2018. It is estimated that 35 to 40 jobs will be created by the opening. David Harland, Eden Project executive director, said: “Our ambition has always been to build a hotel at Eden so we’re pleased to have been granted planning permission. We feel the hotel will be a positive addition to the already excellent accommodation available in our local area and will help bolster our reputation as an attractive venue for events, conferences and weddings. We feel the design is eye-catching but in keeping with its surroundings and we’re proud to say it will be built to the highest environmental standards.”

Yard Sale Pizza opens third London site: Yard Sale Pizza, winner of Time Out’s “most loved restaurant” in the 2016 Love London Awards, has opened its third site in the capital, this time in Walthamstow. The restaurant in Hoe Street offers an exclusive brunch, which includes garlic, rosemary and sea salt pizza bread with a dippy egg. Yard Sale Pizza has built a loyal following over the past two years from its sites in Clapton and Finsbury Park, which offer hand-made, stone-baked pizzas made from double-fermented dough. Pizzas come in 12-inch and 18-inch sizes and include The Holy Pepperoni (Cobble Lane pepperoni, Napoli piccante and crumbled Nduja sausage), and TSB (broccoli, parmesan, pine nuts, garlic and olive oil). Homemade dips, salads, sides such as cheese and marmite garlic bread, Nonna’s gelato, local London beers, Borough Wines, and soft drinks will complete the line-up. The venue is the first Yard Sale Pizza restaurant to have an outdoor yard with tables, while indoors it features a dining room with comfortable booths and a takeaway counter.

Inverarity Morton hires Steve Annand as sales director: Inverarity Morton has hired Glasshouse Drinks founder and director Steve Annand as its new sales director, starting 1 March. Scotland’s leading independent drinks wholesaler revealed in December that sales director of seven years Donald Campbell would take a step back in his role to focus on key account management as part of a planned soft retirement. Following an intensive two-month internal and external recruitment process, the board unanimously decided on Annand, former head of on-trade sales in the UK for Magners, as his successor. Inverarity Morton managing director Stephen Russell said: “Steve’s CV is very impressive. Here is a man who has worked his way to the top of the sales ladder for several major drinks corporations in just over a decade. He then puts all his acquired skills and experience into consulting on-brand development and sales and marketing strategies for emerging and established drinks producers.”

Work begins on new Essex restaurant development: Work to create a new restaurant development in Stanway, near Colchester, Essex, is about to start. Stane Park will have a pub and coffee shop, as well as sites for restaurant brands Nando’s, The Restaurant Group-owned Coast to Coast, KFC and Casual Dining Brand Bella Italia, among others. Roadworks are set to take place this week to create the park, which is off London Road. The scheme was originally turned down by Colchester Council but a planning inspector overturned the decision and gave it the go-ahead last summer following an appeal.

M&B to open second Miller & Carter site in Nottinghamshire with Crown Carveries conversion in Arnold: Mitchells & Butlers is to convert its Crown Carveries site in Arnold, Nottinghamshire, into its second Miller & Carter steakhouse in the county. The company will refurbish The Seven Mile Inn in Mansfield Road into its 70th Miller & Carter site, which will open in mid-May. It will be the second Miller & Carter restaurant to open in Nottinghamshire following the rebranding of the Toby Carvery in Wollaton Vale in September, reports the Nottingham Post. As well as an exterior refurbishment, the restaurant will also include booth seating and modern artwork. Miller & Carter serves 12 cuts of Red Tractor Farm Assured meat, including rib-eye, fillet and chateaubriand. Last month, Mitchells & Butlers revealed it plans to open more than 25 Miller & Carter sites this year as it continues expansion of the brand.

Dirty Bones to launch NYC apartment-inspired venue in Soho, fourth London site: US comfort food restaurant Dirty Bones will launch its fourth site in London this spring, bringing its signature design style combined with old school hip-hop, soul and funk to Soho. The 1,600 square foot restaurant and bar in Denman Street will take inspiration from the post-industrial chic look championed by loft apartments in NYC’s Brooklyn borough. The menu will feature New York-style comfort food and creative cocktails. Julia Wilkinson, portfolio and group restaurant strategy executive of Shaftesbury, landlord of the site, said: “Dirty Bones’ relaxed menu and bespoke NYC loft-style fit-out will add a cool and stylish new dimension to the Denman Street restaurant line-up and complements the successful recent launch of Kricket’s Mumbai-inspired sharing plates concept two doors down.” Dirty Bones founder Dipak Panchal added: “We’re very excited to be working with Shaftesbury on the opening of our next location, right in the heart of Soho in Denman Street. Dirty Bones Carnaby has seen great success over the past year, making Soho the perfect location for our next site.” Dirty Bones’ other sites are in Kensington, Carnaby and Shoreditch.

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