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Thu 6th Jul 2017 - Propel Thursday News Briefing

Story of the Day:

Ei Group managed joint venture Marmalade Pub Company lines up first three sites: Marmalade Pub Company, the managed investments partnership between Ei Group and The Marylebone Leisure Group, has lined up its first three sites. Its first venue, the Compton Cross, will open in Soho this summer. The venue, currently known as Molly Moggs, will temporarily close for refurbishment work and reopen as a “stylish and vibrant” bar that will serve home-infused spirits and cocktails alongside a range of craft beer. Marmalade Pub Company will take on a second site this summer in Portobello Road, Notting Hill. The Portobello Star will also undergo a significant refurbishment before opening, while The Crown and Treaty in Uxbridge is lined up as its third venue due to open this autumn. Lawrence Santi, co-founder of Marylebone Leisure Group and Marmalade Pub Company, said: “Soho is an incredibly vibrant area of London and we are so excited to be launching our first venue there. Molly Moggs has traditionally been positioned as an LGBT+ venue and we fully recognise the importance of this status for local people. As such we’ve been working closely with London night tsar Amy Lamé to ensure the Compton Cross continues to be a fully inclusive and welcoming venue for all members of the community and visitors to the area. As with all Marmalade Pub Company sites, the back bar will be made up almost entirely of our own spirits and liqueurs, with cocktails made by our fully trained team of mixologists, so we’re bringing something different to Soho.” Ei managed investments operations director Nathan Wall said: “We are delighted to have found some fantastic venues for The Marmalade Pub Company set to open this year, the first of which being the Compton Cross. Our Soho site is the oldest pub in the area having opened in 1731. During that time it’s seen many different guises and has been known as Molly Moggs since 1996. We’d like to thank experienced publican Jimmy McGrath and his team for temporarily running the venue as the much-loved Molly Moggs while we prepare for refurbishment works that will take the pub in a new direction, but one that will continue to embrace all the local diversity and culture of Soho.”

Industry News: 

Jill Harrington joins Propel: Jill Harrington has joined Propel as partnerships director. She brings a wealth of experience and contacts in the industry having previously been with the Morning Advertiser for seven years. Propel managing director Paul Charity said: “We are delighted to welcome Jill to the team. Her experience and knowledge will be invaluable as we continue to drive the business forward and build on our current success.”

Lunch and coffee venues lead industry in reaping rewards of customer insight technology: Lunch and coffee venues are leading the industry in reaping the benefits of new technology that helps them understand their customers’ needs and, crucially, keep them returning and increasing the amount they spend, new research has revealed. A data sample from more than 21,000 customer orders, collected during the past 12 months by customer insight tech provider Ordoo, shows lunch and coffee venues that use the technology increased the size of their average customer basket spend by 9% and 17% respectively. Ordoo said the results showed venues in the lunch and coffee segment had recognised the potential of being able to encourage the sale of higher-value and regularly reordered items through customer intelligence and menu optimisation. Some venues choose to target repeat customers with their most popular products, while others boost promotions such as lunchtime meal deals. Lattes were by far the most reordered item at coffee sites, making up more than one-third (37%) of total product reorders, the data revealed. More than half (50.5%) of people reordered lattes after their first cup. For one lunch venue a Malaysian curry and beef rendang dish accounted for 75% of reordered items, while one coffee business in Bath was able to increase its average customer basket spend by more than two-fifths (42%) in little more than a year. In London, a lunchtime venue boosted its basket spend by 7% through menu optimisation alone, allowing consumers to add extra products such as a drink before an order was placed. These venues were able to learn and optimise in real-time how their customers’ behaviour changed. Ordoo chief executive Tom Dewhurst said: “Finding a simple way to get your customers to spend 17% more, on their terms, is significant. These venues are simply using tech and business insight to better understand their customers and give them what they want, when they want it. Without mobile ordering, this wouldn’t be possible. Now many more venues can compete with the mobile ordering technology possessed by McDonald’s, Starbucks and Wetherspoon. It’s fantastic our partners are reaping the rewards of intelligent customer insight through our customer engagement platform.”

Yorkshire and Humberside restaurant markets cool amid caution for central pitches: The restaurant market has cooled significantly in the Yorkshire and Humberside regions as operators become increasingly more cautious, particularly around central prime pitches, according to Colliers International’s annual Midsummer Retail Report. However, the regions have been bolstered by a rise in foodservice offerings in leisure parks and shopping centres, the agent added, which have proved more resilient than the high street thanks to “round-the-clock” footfall. Tom Cullen, director of retail agency north in Colliers International’s Leeds office, said: “We are seeing less demand for super-prime restaurant units paying £175,000 per annum or more for 3,000 to 3,500 square feet. Only the very best pitches or restaurant units costing £100,000 to £120,000 per annum to rent are seeing any significant demand. Carluccio’s in St Helen’s Square in York was the last super-prime restaurant to open in the region in 2016. The market modus operandi has changed; where once operators would be confident in taking out 25-year leases, more and more are now negotiating five-year break clauses into their contracts to future-proof their business.” Conversely, Colliers said rising confidence in food and drinks offerings located at leisure parks and shopping centres had been demonstrated by the White Rose Shopping Centre in Leeds, which has opened a 65,000 square foot food and leisure extension, and The Moor in Sheffield, which recently delivered phase two of its development that includes restaurants and a cinema. Moreover, the retail market as a whole remains strong for the most part, Colliers said. Across the region, there has only been a marginal decline in rental growth of -0.6% since 2016. The region has seen the most stability year-on-year, with 86% of locations recording stable rents, compared with 70% nationally. Colliers International head of retail development Greg Styles said: “During the past year, there has been a push towards flagship deals by bigger retailers in cities across the Yorkshire and Humberside regions. More than 500,000 square feet of shopping centre space opened in Yorkshire and Humberside in 2016, and a further 1.5 million square feet is expected to open in the next five years.”

Volume and value of Irish hotels fall in first-half 2017: The volume and value of Irish hotel deals completed in the first half of 2017 both fell compared with last year. For the six months to 30 June, a total of 18 venues were sold at a combined cost of almost €75m (£65.9m). For the same period in 2016, 29 hotel sales completed totalling €136m (£120m). Lisa Keogh, of CBRE Hotels Ireland, said that while activity was down year-on-year, momentum was building. She told Insider Media: “The relatively low volume of transactions signed in the (first half of 2017) is largely attributable to a slow start and scarcity of large-scale assets being released for sale compared with last year. A number of assets that were offered for sale in recent months, including the Connemara Coast Hotel in Galway, The Knightsbrook Hotel in County Meath, and the Athlone Springs Hotel in Athlone, are now at an advanced stage of negotiation and expected to reach conclusion imminently. In total, there is currently up to €60m of transactions under active negotiation. When combined with transaction volumes in the first half of the year and hotels that are due to be launched for sale over the coming months, it now looks likely that up to €250m will be transacted in the Irish hotel sector during 2017.”

ALMR Christie & Co Benchmarking Report to launch on Tuesday: The ALMR Christie & Co Benchmarking Report 2017 will launch on Tuesday (11 July). The annual report, which surveyed 55 companies with a combined 5,604 managed outlets, will reveal how operators are addressing the impacts, expectations and how the market is faring in the context of hot topics such as Brexit, business rates revaluation, National Living Wage, and the Pubs Code. The findings will show how the sector has tried to adapt to new challenges and how it may be affected by future challenges, as well as looking at budgetary planning and future investment. There are a few spaces remaining for the event, which takes place at 3pm at Bank of Ireland, Bow Bells House, Bread Street, London. Anyone interested in attending can email

Michelin buys 40% stake in fine wine guide: Michelin has bought a 40% stake in the Robert Parker Wine Advocate, the fine wine guide of influential US critic Robert Parker. Michelin said the acquisition, for an undisclosed sum, would enrich the restaurant guide part of its business. Parker, who has had an unprecedented impact on the world of wine through his 100-point scoring system that can make or break wineries, founded the Robert Parker Wine Advocate in 1978. His publication produces almost 40,000 reviews a year. The Robert Parker Wine Advocate and Michelin have already been working together since 2016 in Singapore, Hong Kong and Macau on upmarket wine and dining events. Alexandre Taisne, chief executive officer of Michelin’s food and travel business, told Reuters: “These services, which are aimed at creating memorable experiences, will be rolled out in Asia, the US and Europe by 2019.” The majority of the capital of Robert Parker Wine Advocate is currently in the hands of Asian investors.

Antitrust ruling against Heineken’s Greek subsidiary upheld: An antitrust ruling against Heineken’s Greek subsidiary Athenian Brewery has been upheld by an appeal court. The Administrative Appeals Court in Athens has upheld the substance of a 2015 antitrust finding by the Hellenic Competition Commission (HCC) against Athenian Brewery for almost two decades of illegal anti-competitive market abuse in Greece. Following a 12-year investigation, Athenian Brewery, which is 98.8% owned by Heineken, was found to have systematically abused its dominant market position in violation of Greek and EU competition law. The HCC found overwhelming evidence that Athenian Brewery, which sells Alfa, Amstel and Heineken in Greece, implemented a targeted policy to exclude competitors from all channels. The Appeals Court upheld the substance of the HCC’s decision and, after a technical adjustment to the original HCC fine, confirmed a record €26.7m fine for Athenian Brewery. Macedonian Thrace Brewery (MTB) launched a damages claim against Heineken and Athenian Brewery in the Court of Amsterdam, commercial division, in February. MTB co-founder Demetri Politopoulos said: “We believe ultimate responsibility for years of market abuse lies at Heineken’s head office in Amsterdam, which is why we have sued both Heineken and Athenian Brewery in the Netherlands to finally get to the root of this problem.”

The Wine Guild UK appoints new chancellor: The Wine Guild UK has appointed Viscount Thurso as chancellor to replace Roy Ackerman, who passed away last month. He is the guild’s third chancellor, following Ackerman and founder Lord Montagu of Beaulieu. Lord Thurso has managed a number of hotels including The Lancaster in Paris, Cliveden House and Champneys. He is chairman of the International Wine & Spirit Competition and has been president and patron of the Academy of Food and Wine Service. He is also a former Liberal Democrat MP and is chairman of Visit Scotland. The Wine Guild UK chairman Paul Breach said: “I anticipate Lord Thurso’s appointment will add impetus to the many initiatives now before us. I look forward to working with him to achieve our goals.”

Restaurant and brewery founders aim to inspire new wave of London entrepreneurs: The founders of Camden Town Brewery, street food concept Kerb, and Mob Kitchen are taking part in a free event on Monday (10 July) designed to inspire the next wave of creative entrepreneurs. Collaborative workspace WeWork is bringing together some of “London’s best creative minds” through a month-long programme of “TED style” talks championing a different theme each week, exploring food, technology, fashion and media. Camden Town Brewery founder Jasper Cuppaidge, Benjamin Lebus of Mob Kitchen, and Kerb founder Petra Barran will discuss the ups and downs of a life in food and predict what trend will be next to hit the capital. Tickets are free and the series is in preparation for the Creator Awards in September, which will see WeWork give away $20m in prize money to aspiring entrepreneurs around the world. Click here for more information

Company News:

Charles Wells’ managed division Apostrophe Pubs reports turnover rise, predicts profitable trading: Apostrophe Pubs, the managed division of Bedford-based brewer and retailer Charles Wells, has reported turnover has more than doubled but losses have increased. The company saw turnover rise to £3,546,000 for the year ending 1 October 2016, compared with £1,743,000 the year before. Pre-tax loss increased to £377,000, compared with £206,000 the previous year because of high startup costs incurred during the roll-out of new sites. The division currently consists of three venues – d’Parys in Bedford, Merlin’s Cave in Chalfont St Giles, and Cox’s Yard in Stratford-upon-Avon – with its fourth, the Old Cock Inn in Harpenden, launching since year-end.  The company stated: “The company commenced trading in February 2014. Apostrophe Pubs represents the Charles Wells group’s return to managed houses in the UK. As a result of the high startup costs being incurred during the roll-out of new sites, including establishing the Apostrophe concept and the pre-opening costs of the sites, the company has reported a loss for the year, after taxation, amounting to £300,000 (2015: £164,000 loss). The directors expect the company to trade profitably going forward and will look to identify further opportunities to be able to add additional managed pub sites to the existing estate.”

Winchester-based pizzeria Pi passes half-way mark in £500,000 crowdfunding campaign for expansion into London: Winchester-based pizzeria Pi has passed the 50% mark in its £500,000 fund-raise on crowdfunding platform Growthdeck as it looks to expand into London. The company, founded by Rosie Whaley, is offering a 30% equity stake in return for the investment. So far, nine investors have pledged £260,000. In the year to 30 April 2017 the business, which has secured its second site in the Battersea area, achieved sales of £415,000 and an operating profit of more than £27,000. It is targeting three London sites by 2020 opening at the rate of one a year. The Pi format is based on 20-inch sharing pizzas with customers able to choose up to three flavour combinations. Everything is freshly made on-site, with the pizza made from Pi’s 72-hour fermented dough. The company is targeting sites of 50 to 70 covers that require circa £100,000 to fit-out in addition to lease premiums. Whaley said: “We are so proud of what we have achieved over the past two-and-a-half years. We believe we have created a concept that is unique in today’s market. We think it is an ideal format to take to London. Diners are very keen on pizza but there is clearly a move towards innovative, artisan offerings as opposed to the more sterile formats of the high-street chains.” The £500,000 is offered to investors in two strips – £250,000 of EIS-qualifying equity and a secured loan of £250,000 paying interest of 8% per annum. The equity strip offers investors the prospect of 8.3 times money return after the benefit of 30% initial income tax relief.

Indian Accent to make UK debut in Mayfair: Indian Accent, the “inventive” Indian restaurant concept owned by Old World Hospitality, is to make its UK debut in the autumn, in London. The restaurant will open in Albemarle Street in Mayfair on a site previously occupied by Old World Hospitality’s other restaurant, Chor Bizarre, which had been there 20 years. The new London restaurant follows Indian Accent’s sites in New Delhi and New York. Indian Accent’s menu has been designed by group chef Manish Mehrotra and combines home-style nostalgic cooking using unusual ingredients from across the globe. The restaurant’s decor will feature reimagined materials familiar in Indian architecture, such as brass, marble and plaster. Combed pearl-lustred plastered walls, reminiscent of Indian Accent's locations in New Delhi and New York, will be incorporated and the lower ground floor will offer private dining. Old World Hospitality founder and chairman Rohit Khattar said: “The decision to close Chor Bizarre was hard. However, it did need major refurbishment after so long and, while we were looking for a home for Indian Accent, we realised there was no space more perfect. We hope London embraces Indian Accent as warmly as New York has.”

Liverpool-based Know Collection acquires Chester hotel: Liverpool-based Know Collection has acquired the Bridge Street Townhouse in Chester. Managing director and co-owner Steven Hesketh said the 30-bedroom hotel, complete with guest gym, bar and a contained apartment was a “stunning addition” to the group and has huge opportunity for further growth. The hotel, based in Lower Bridge Street, will form part of the growing Know Collection that includes The Richmond Hotel, female-only spa Nourish, cafe bar Love Thy Neighbour, which is being rolled out across the north west, Know Property Services and Know Hospitality Academy, all based in Liverpool. Hesketh and wife Nicola started the company after spending many years working in the hospitality sector including time at the former Chester Moat House Hotel, now Crowne Plaza, and Ramada Chester, now the Mercure Chester Abbotts Well. Steven Hesketh said: “We have a passion for bringing young people through the ranks as part of the Know Hospitality Academy, which offers on-the-job training and education. We look forward to rolling this out in the Bridge Street Townhouse as well. We have plans to introduce a fresh food and beverage offering at Bridge Street Townhouse following a rebrand in the coming months. It’s an exciting time for the Know Collection and we’re looking forward to striding into this hot spot and working alongside those who have already made the city the fantastic visitor attraction it is today.” The independent group employs more than 100 staff.

Soho House to finally start work on £60m members’ club on Brighton seafront: Soho House is set to start work on its members’ club on Brighton seafront almost two years after planning consent was granted. The company indicated demolition work on the Madeira Drive site would begin in September with the £60m complex to open some time next year. Soho House initially hoped to open the venue – which will include restaurants, bars, an open-air plunge pool and terraces – earlier this year. It is hoped Soho House, along with new attractions such the Brighton Zip, a zip-wire ride currently under construction, and The Sea Lanes swimming pool, will breathe new life into the seafront east of Brighton Palace Pier, which is operated by Luke Johnson-led Brighton Pier Group. The construction of Soho House is being co-ordinated with its neighbour, The SeaLife Centre. Its general manager Max Leviston told The Argus: “The landlord needs access to the SeaLife Centre to carry out works on Soho House. The SeaLife Centre has some structural works to carry out in this area too.”

Pizza Hut opens first new restaurant in six years: Pizza Hut has opened its first new restaurant in more than six years. The multimillion-pound venue has launched at The Village, the 65,000 square foot leisure extension at the White Rose Shopping Centre in Leeds, creating 50 jobs. Other restaurants at The Village include TGI Friday’s, better burger brand Five Guys, The Restaurant Group-owned Tex-Mex brand Chiquito, and Cote’s all-day American dining brand Limeyard. Wagamama will open a restaurant on Monday (10 July), while an 11-screen Cineworld IMAX cinema is due to launch later this year. The new Pizza Hut features a cocktail bar and additional menu items such as sweet chilli chicken pizza, chicken wings, Kentucky-style barbecue ribs, and American-style waffles. Pizza Hut Restaurants chief operating officer Mike Spencer told BDaily: “Leeds is a real powerhouse with huge economic potential and the extension to White Rose has cemented the shopping centre as a serious destination – a fitting venue for our first new Hut in over six years. The opening marks a significant landmark in our business strategy which has, for the past five years, focused on the restructure of our existing portfolio of restaurants across the UK.” Pizza Hut’s refurbishment strategy has been funded through a £60m investment that began when Rutland Partners acquired the business in 2012.

YO! Sushi boss reveals like-for-likes increase 6.5%, switches salmon supply to Scotland: YO! Sushi chief executive Robin Rowland has said the company’s like-for-like sales increased 6.5% in the past year. Rowland also revealed the company, which is backed by Mayfair Private Equity, had switched its salmon supply from Norway to Scotland, buying 300,000 kilos per annum for £4.5m. He said the company, whose record-holding branch is Terminal 2 at Heathrow, which once made £85,000 in one week, was now recovering its mojo properly after the economic downturn and following a rebrand. He told Management Today: “I felt it was getting a bit too kiddy. Even Disney-like. I wanted to make it more adult and show it takes food seriously.” Rowland said 44% of the company’s employees were non-Brits from the EU. He added: “We have a long history of employing people from Europe and many have introduced us to their friends. Our people are currently very confused by it all and some are already starting to go home. The day after the referendum vote I went round a dozen restaurants to talk to our people to try to reassure them. I think they felt very disenfranchised.” The company pays National Living Wage to all staff, who keep tips. Rowland is also proud the company is top quartile among peers on net promoter and employee engagement scores. YO! Sushi has 77 restaurants in the UK, three in the US and 16 franchised operations in the Middle East as well as a number in international airports. In the year to 29 November 2015, the company had turnover of £84m with Ebitda of £11m.

Michelin-starred chef Gonzalo Luzarraga to open fine-dining restaurant in Fulham this month: Michelin-starred chef Gonzalo Luzarraga is to open fine-dining restaurant Rigo in Fulham, south west London, this month. Luzarraga trained under Alain Ducasse and earned Michelin stars in top European restaurants. He will launch Rigo with Francesco Ferretti in New King’s Road on Tuesday, 18 July. The layout will encompass three rooms, with an open kitchen in the centre, a terrazzo counter and small bar. Luzarraga grew up in Piedmont, north west Italy, with Rigo meaning a “journey of rigorous research” in the Piedmontese language. His six-course signature menu will feature sea urchin with bagna caoda, quail egg and fermented milk. There will also be an a la carte menu comprising four courses plus snacks, which will feature other dishes, and a smaller lunch menu. The drinks list will feature changing classic cocktails and wine. Luzarraga said: “I remember my father while fishing giving me my first sea urchin as a child and to this day it’s still a dish I see as an old friend. It’s a personal narrative about me and the dish, which has developed over the years. Travelling has allowed me to add chapters to that story, full of new ingredients and techniques from Russia and South America to Asia and beyond. Rigo will be a culmination of those experiences – my journey on a plate.”

Heineken launches SmartDispense system across Star Pubs & Bars estate: Heineken has launched its compact draught dispense system, SmartDispense Cool Flow Technology, across its Star Pubs & Bars estate. The system is designed for function rooms and outside bars that can’t be readily served from the cellar, enabling licensees to offer cold draught beer across their whole business. The launch builds on Star Pubs & Bars’ roll-out of the SmartDispense Module cellar system, which is now in 50% of the company’s venues. Star Pubs & Bars managing director Lawson Mountstevens said: “More licensees are developing function rooms and outside bars, and maintaining quality is key to their reputations and success. SmartDispense Cool Flow Technology guarantees great-quality cold draught beer in these areas and will reduce pressure on their main bar. SmartDispense has established great credentials with licensees and we expect a high level of interest in SmartDispense Cool Flow Technology as a result.”

Ennismore to start expansion of Breddos Tacos brand with second London site, in Carnaby: Gleneagles owner Ennismore is to start expansion of Mexican street food concept Breddos Tacos – its joint venture with founders Nud Dudhia and Chris Whitney – by opening a second London site, in Carnaby. The new venue will open in Kingly Street in September with 84 covers – double the size of the debut Breddos Tacos site that launched in Clerkenwell in December. Unlike its sister, the Carnaby site will offer a breakfast menu, with dishes such as smoked brisket, potatoes, fried egg and hot sauce tacos; breakfast quesadillas; cinnamon churro French toast; and confit pork memelas with black beans and scrambled eggs, Hot Dinners reports. The venue will also feature a late-night downstairs bar offering mezcal and margaritas. The restaurant will also offer Mexican pizza alongside new dishes such as crab tostada and Acapulco shrimp with desserts including leche frita (deep-fried custard) and ice-cream tacos. Dudhia and Whitney started Breddos Tacos as a “makeshift taco shack” in a Hackney car park in 2011. Its website states: “Our food is influenced by the hundreds of roadside taquerias and restaurants we have encountered on our travels throughout America and Mexico, while utilising the best of British produce.”

Whitbread faces opposition over plans for Premier Inn in Britain’s smallest city: Whitbread is facing opposition in its plans to open a Premier Inn in Britain’s smallest city – St Davids in Wales. The company wants to build a 63-bedroom hotel in the city, which has only 1,300 residents. However, more than 2,700 people have signed a petition against the plan, including more than 500 locals. Whitbread said the three-storey hotel would create a “sympathetic gateway feature” for tourists in the city. As part of its planning application, Whitbread has promised to fund 38 houses among 70 that are set to be built with the hotel, which would be three-times larger than any other in St Davids, reports the Financial Times. The petition claimed the Premier Inn would “undermine” local businesses and “pave the way for more big chains” to arrive in the city. In a public meeting, 15 people were in favour of the planned Premier Inn, while 270 voted against it.

Turkish restaurant Gökyüzü to start expansion with second London site: Turkish restaurant Gökyüzü is to start expansion by opening a second site in London, this time in Walthamstow. Gökyüzü has exchanged contracts with Capital & Regional to occupy a 6,500 square foot unit in The Mall formerly occupied by BHS on a 15-year lease. Hasan Yavuz launched Gökyüzü in Haringey in 1999. Capital & Regional asset manager Sian Bowen told Property Week: “Gökyüzü will further develop our tenant mix for our loyal customers and adds to our transformational plans for a location that is evolving as one of London’s most vibrant neighbourhoods.”

Rochdale-based Bright Hospitality Group acquires seventh site: Rochdale-based Bright Hospitality Group has acquired its seventh site – the Cheltenham Regency Hotel in Cheltenham. The family-run company has bought the property from Drew Hotels for an undisclosed sum in a deal brokered by agent Fleurets. The hotel has 42 en-suite rooms as well as five suites. There is a bar restaurant with 90 covers, a function room with a further 144 covers and meeting rooms. Having made its first acquisition in 2005, Bright Hospitality Group’s estate includes sites across the Midlands and north of England. Director Mohammad Zaman said: “Cheltenham has been a target location for us for a while and we hope to expand our exposure in this area. We are looking forward to working with the team and bringing the hotel to the next level with, most probably, an international brand.”

Australian fitness franchise secures fifth London site: Australian fitness franchise F45 Training has secured its fifth site in London – at West End Quay in Paddington. The deal follows a recent acquisition at West Works in White City and successful openings in Farringdon, London Bridge and Tottenham Court Road. The operator was founded in Bondi in 2013 and has since opened more than 500 venues across the Asia-Pacific region, the Middle East, North America and Europe. In Paddington, F45 has agreed a new ten-year lease for the circa 2,500 square foot (232 square metre) unit in a deal brokered by agent Savills. F45 continues to seek single-level units of between 1,650 square feet (153 square metres) and 3,300 square feet (307 square metres) in high-footfall locations close to retail and residential areas as well as transport hubs in Greater London and large UK cities. Social fitness is at the heart of F45’s ethos, with a 50,000-strong community of members taking part in team-based fitness experiences. The workouts are continually evolving, meaning members never repeat the same class twice. Luke Armstrong, global franchise director at F45, said: “We are very pleased to be continuing our expansion in London following the rapid growth we’ve experienced around the world.”

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