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Thu 27th Jul 2017 - Propel Thursday News Briefing

Story of the Day:

Steve Easterbrook – McDonald’s delivery is ‘meaningful opportunity’, check sizes are ‘1.5 to two times overall restaurant average’: McDonald’s chief executive Steve Easterbrook has told analysts delivery is proving to be a “meaningful opportunity”, with increased check sizes and customers ordering in quieter periods at restaurants. He said: “Delivery illustrates our ambition to redefine convenience for our customers. In the US during January, we piloted delivery with a couple of dozen restaurants in Miami. The initial tests went well and we’ve moved quickly to expand. We’ve now scaled this initiative by launching delivery at more than 4,000 restaurants in markets from the US to Australia. Delivery also shows how McDonald’s can leverage size and scale, as nearly 75% of the population in our top markets are literally within three miles of a McDonald’s, giving us an unmatched advantage in bringing great-tasting food to customers quickly. In each of the markets where we’ve launched delivery this year, our size and scale has provided an additional advantage. We’ve been able to partner with the strongest third-party operators, like UberEats, to pick up food from our restaurants and deliver to our customers. We’re encouraged by the results we’ve seen so far with expansion of delivery. They give us confidence there’s meaningful opportunity with the customers we want to regain. And we’ve only scratched the surface. In many of our markets around the world, we’re seeing average check sizes between 1.5 and two times higher than our overall restaurant averages. And, in most of our markets, we’re utilising our location advantage and operational efficiencies on customers’ orders, getting food from order to doorstep in an average of fewer than 30 minutes. With 60% of orders being placed in the evening or late night, we’re seeing an opportunity to serve more customers during some of our slower periods. This expansion of delivery is in addition to the 3,500 restaurants, primarily in Asia and the Middle East, where we’ve been in the delivery business for over 20 years. So we’re now offering delivery in almost 8,000 restaurants, in 47 countries, across six continents.”

Industry News:

Nominations open for ALMR Late Night Awards: Nominations have opened for the 2017 Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) Late Night Awards, with the winners announced at this year’s Dusk ’til Dawn event on Monday, 9 October at London’s Café de Paris. The Late Night Awards will follow the annual Bar and Nightclub Conference for the late-night sector and night-time industries at BAFTA in Piccadilly Circus, with both events held in association with Propel. Nominations can be made via the ALMR website in the following categories – late-night food, late-night drink, late-night entertainment, service and team development, marketing and promotions, and best new venue. They are open to hospitality venues trading beyond midnight, including pubs, bars and restaurants as well as nightclubs and live music venues. Initial nominations of self or peers need to be submitted by Friday, 8 September. Nominations should be for the company rather than individual outlet, with the exception of the best new venue category. The top three in each category will be announced in advance of the ceremony, where the winners will be crowned. ALMR chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “The UK’s late-night sector encompasses so many varied and innovative businesses, from nightclubs to restaurants, incorporating a fantastic, dynamic range of entertainment from live music to cabaret. The Late Night Awards is an annual celebration of this fantastic sector. Nominations are open to ALMR members and non-members and we encourage businesses to get involved and celebrate the venues that contribute so much culturally and economically. This is a fantastic opportunity to spotlight some of the best we have to offer.” Tickets are £89 plus VAT for operators who are ALMR members and £129 plus VAT for non-ALMR members. Supplier tickets are £165 plus VAT for ALMR members and £225 plus VAT for non-ALMR members. To book tickets, call Jo Charity on 01444 810304 or email jo.charity@propelinfo.com. To enter your nominations, click here

Pubs Code Adjudicator reveals 156 cases for arbitration in first year of new law, 48 awards made: Pubs Code Adjudicator (PCA) Paul Newby has accepted 156 cases for arbitration in the first 12 months since the Pubs Code became law. Of the 156 cases, 131 relate to the Market Rent Only (MRO) option. Other issues include compliant rent assessment proposals and independent assessor determinations of market rent. The PCA has made awards in 48 cases and responded to criticism at the pace of the process by stating tenants and pub-owning businesses were both “testing the new law robustly”. Of the 156 cases, the breakdown of pub-owning businesses was Marston’s (1-10), Punch (11-20), Star Pubs & Bars (11-20), Greene King (21-30) and Ei Group (more than 30). There were no cases involving Admiral Taverns. The breakdown of the 131 MRO cases was Marston’s (1-10), Star Pubs & Bars (1-10), Punch (11-20), Greene King (21-30) and Ei Group (more than 30). There were no cases involving Admiral Taverns. Newby said: “These figures reveal a significant level of activity. They demonstrate tied pub tenants are aware of their rights and are taking up those rights. As might be expected, they also show the largest pub-owning businesses are involved in the most cases. I have now made awards in 48 cases and this shows cases are progressing through the arbitration process. I am aware concerns have been voiced about this progress being slow. However, tenants and pub-owning businesses are both testing the new law robustly. Parties in a dispute are entitled to a proper opportunity to put their case and rebut that of the other party. In my role as arbitrator, I seek to ensure this happens, especially where there is an imbalance between the parties. This is one of the reasons why more cases have not yet completed the process. But as cases are completed and principles published, I fully expect to see progress over the coming year. I am also awaiting the results of the fact-finding exercise on access to the MRO option. This will provide evidence on how the code is working and how effective it is in delivering its core principles. When I have those results, I will decide what action is appropriate.” To mark the first anniversary, the PCA has launched six videos on its website that explain key Pubs Code processes. 

Haysmacintyre and Propel extend benchmarking survey deadline: The deadline has been extended for people to complete the fourth annual haysmacintyre UK Hospitality Index benchmarking survey. The survey for multi-site pub, restaurant and foodservice operators, launched in association with Propel, will now close on Tuesday, 1 August. The foremost financial benchmarking study for pubs, restaurants and bars – covering trading, staffing, capital and funding and property – the survey report will deliver quality financial data and benchmarking intelligence to help hospitality businesses understand their sector better and improve operations. To complete the survey and receive the final report, click here. Information provided will be reproduced anonymously in this year’s haysmacintyre UK Hospitality Index report, which will be published in September. Data and comments will not be attributed to respondents.

Deliveroo – ‘algorithm has cut delivery times by 20%’: Deliveroo claims it has reduced its delivery times by 20% by using a new algorithm – called “Frank”. The company said its UK-built technology had enabled it to reduce average delivery times to 29 minutes. Frank uses “machine learning” to evaluate the most efficient way to distribute orders based on the location of restaurants, riders and customers. Frank can also tell Deliveroo’s 10,000 restaurants in the UK how long it will take them to prepare a meal based on time of day and type of order. Deliveroo said Frank had allowed its 15,000 riders to complete more deliveries per hour, thus earning more money. Deliveroo chief technology officer Mike Hudack told Business Insider: “Deliveroo’s British-built technology is the most exciting thing being developed in Europe right now and we want our new London HQ to be where global innovations happen. We’re building an algorithm that can cope with millions of simultaneous orders while continuously refining itself and improving the experience for our riders, restaurants and customers. Our investment in the engineering team is testament to that ambition, and we are working on new, trailblazing technology that will make that ambition a reality.” In January, Deliveroo announced it would hire 300 additional engineers in 2017.

Trivago gives hoteliers access to five billion room rates around the globe: Hotel price comparison site Trivago has allowed hoteliers to become more competitive online by giving them access to data on market demand and room rates. Its new Rates Insight feature makes more than five billion room rates visible to hoteliers around the world. The feature aggregates rates from more than 250 websites, giving data on traveller demand and competitor prices so hoteliers can compare them by variables such as room type. Trivago managing director Johannes Thomas told Hotel Owner: “We were quick to realise the price comparison data we provide to travellers is equally valuable for hoteliers. Therefore, we created a rate shopper that gives hoteliers easy and actionable access to this data, as well as data on traveller search volume that reveals fluctuations in demand. No other rate shopper has this combination of data in this amount and with this granularity.”

Company News:

Children of Red Hot World Buffet founders open Rickshaw Rick’s in Leicester: Brother and sister Simran and Shireen Dhaliwal, whose parents founded Red Hot World Buffet, have opened a new restaurant, Rickshaw Rick’s, in Leicester’s Granby Street, housed in a former Walkabout bar. The menu at Rickshaw Rick’s offers “global comfort food with a street food take”, according to Shireen Dhaliwal, who designed the restaurant. She added: “I wanted it to have a street feel, be a bit rough around the edges. It’s casual but comfortable and filled with fun.” As well as being an experienced restaurateur, Simran Dhaliwal has worked as a bartender at a number of high-profile venues in London, including Dishoom King’s Cross and Clarendon Cocktail Cellar, and has created the cocktails at Rickshaw Rick’s. The venue is divided into two – the first part with a lounge feel offering coffee and cake during the day and cocktails at night. The second space is for casual dining, with the food and drink menus focusing on sharing, with dishes taking influences from around the world, including Asia, the Americas, and Europe.

Davis Coffer Lyons assigns Dabbous lease for six-figure premium: Agent Davis Coffer Lyons has completed a restaurant property assignment of Michelin-starred Dabbous in Fitzrovia on behalf of co-owners Ollie Dabbous and Oskar Kinberg. The 2,600 square foot premises in Whitfield Street has been taken on by Mathieu Germond, former co-owner of the nearby Pied á Terre restaurant. He plans a new restaurant inspired by his upbringing in Noizé in the Loire Valley, based on simple and seasonal ingredients with a rustic cooking style. A six-figure premium was secured for the lease, which has 14 years remaining and includes the ground floor and basement. The new restaurant’s kitchen will be led by head chef Ed Dutton, who worked with Germond at Pied á Terre and Pied Nus. Restaurateur David Moore has also advised on the concept. In February, Dabbous and Kinberg announced Dabbous would close at the end of June so they could focus their efforts on a new and larger project to launch in 2018. Rob Meadows, director of agency and leasing at Davis Coffer Lyons, said: “This has been an interesting project to work on, particularly because of the perceived inactivity or appetite for paying premiums for lease assignments. It is a fantastic example of a well-located restaurant held on a solid lease with the benefit of a well thought out and high-spec fit-out selling well. The decision to make the sale of Dabbous public was in fairness to staff and suppliers and was a good way to enhance awareness. This, combined with our market knowledge, generated strong interest. The deal shows that appetite in the market for quality assets in strong locations is unwavering. I wish Ollie, Oskar and their team the best for the new venture.” Dabbous said in February: “We have been offered an amazing opportunity that enables all of us to grow and evolve. Naturally we are sad to be closing Dabbous but at the same time we are all looking forward to the next chapter. It’s a phenomenal site and we can’t wait to get started.” Restaurant Property acted for Germond.

Goodbody – trading update behind our expectations for Marston’s Destination & Premium division, likely to see small downgrades: Leisure analysts at Goodbody have argued Marston’s trading update yesterday was “slightly behind” its expectations. A note stated: “This morning’s update is slightly behind our forecasts. Destination & Premium is running behind where we would have expected at this point and the last 12 weeks are disappointing given the warmer weather recently. Other divisions appear broadly in line. On forecasts, we have £104m FY17 profit before tax at present, which represents 7% year-on-year growth. While the group states it is confident of delivering profitable progress, the lower like-for-likes in Destination & Premium means there is a risk to this number coming down slightly (circa 1% this year and circa 3% for FY18). We have a ‘Hold’ recommendation on Marston’s at present as we believe better opportunities lie elsewhere in the sector.”

Fazenda founders close Bossa site: Fazenda’s founders have closed their Bossa grill restaurant in Leeds, with staff being “redeployed”. The Brazilian grill restaurant opened less than a year ago near Leeds Corn Exchange. Bossa is the brainchild of City District, which trades as Fazenda. The company said it would focus on the expansion of Fazenda and open its latest site in Edinburgh next year. South American-inspired Fazenda launched at Granary Wharf in Leeds in 2010 and expanded into Liverpool in 2013 and Manchester in 2015. The Leeds site was expanded in 2015, with the three restaurants now offering almost 600 covers in total. The company also owns the Picanha brand, which has a site in Chester. City District co-founder and director Tomas Maunier said: “We tried the casual dining market and it wasn’t as successful for us as we anticipated. However, we have not ruled out opening Bossa in the future when the casual dining market is more stable and less saturated. The other brands are flourishing and we will concentrate on Picanha and Fazenda – doing what we do best in the premium casual market. We look forward to the Fazenda opening in Edinburgh in 2018 and we’re looking for new locations for Picanha. We are a growing company unafraid to innovate with new concepts. That means talented people in our Bossa team can gain opportunities in other locations. We’re in a great position to carry on developing people’s careers in the restaurant business.”

Be At One reports ‘unprecedented’ growth in revisits since Feed It Back launch: Be At One, the specialist cocktail bar group with 33 sites, has reported “unprecedented” growth in revisits since going live with Feed It Back, the EPOS-linked guest feedback service. Feed It Back is the only guest feedback system that integrates in real time with Zonal’s Aztec EPOS system, among others, enabling feedback questions to be personalised to the guest’s visit. Be At One operations director Andrew Stones told Propel: “Since going live in August last year, 54,000 guests have signed up to our marketing database through Feed It Back. At the end of the survey, guests are presented with a digital scratch card, which reveals either a free cocktail or, for the lucky one in 50 guests, a £25 bar tab. Either prize can be claimed on their next visit. With the help of our party booking team encouraging those guests to come back to claim their prize, we have seen a fantastic redemption rate of 40%. Feed It Back brings a high volume of feedback, averaging 360 pieces of feedback per venue each month. The size of the sample means the real operational issues are easily identified because they arise consistently. That enables us to make solid conclusions quickly, which leads to fast decisions and improvement actions. Flexibility has been another key reason for the success because we can change settings and questions easily ourselves and the changes are made in real time. For example, if we see a piece of feedback suggesting problems with the volume of music at a venue, we can immediately add a question about music volume for that venue only, to rapidly reach a conclusion and take action if required.”

Adnams pays tribute to life president: A former managing director and chairman of Suffolk brewer and retailer Adnams has died aged 92. John Adnams, grandson of the company’s co-founder Ernest Adnams, joined the board in 1956 and became managing director in 1963, remaining in the post until 1973 when he became chairman. On his retirement in 1995, he was appointed president (later becoming life president) of Adnams and continued to serve as a non-executive director until 2005. In an announcement on its website, the company said Mr Adnams died peacefully in the early hours of Saturday, 22 July. The statement read: “John was held in great esteem and respected by all who came into contact with him, both within Adnams and across the wider industry. John oversaw huge growth in Adnams’ beer production and the modernisation of a brewery that had been unchanged since 1896. John was also instrumental in setting up Broadside Farm, a forward-thinking business that used waste products from the brewery to feed pigs on Adnams Farm. John was a highly effective and confident chairman who held true to a sense of identity for Adnams in fast-changing times. Our heartfelt and sincere condolences go to John’s family at this difficult time.”

Grannie Annie’s threatened with legal action over ‘trademark breach’: A new pub in Sunderland, Grannie Annie’s, is being threatened with legal action over breach of trademark. Grannie Annie’s opened in the former Smugglers pub in Marine Walk, Roker, on Friday (21 July). The Granny Annie’s Group in Northern Ireland, which runs a chain of bars in the province, said the Sunderland pub was in violation of its registered trademark. A spokesman from the Northern Ireland company told the Echo: “The Granny Annie’s Group would like to make you aware this venue is in breach of our UK trademark and we will be taking legal action against the premises for this breach. There are currently four Granny Annie’s throughout Northern Ireland, with three additional venues due to open in the province in the next six months. The group also plans to expand into England and Scotland in the near future.” The Northern Irish company, which launched its first Granny Annie’s in November 2014, also pointed out similarities in the design of the Sunderland premises to its own. Smugglers, which closed in December, has been taken over by South Tyneside businessman Stephen Ski, whose portfolio of pubs also includes The Sand Dancer in South Shields and Beggar’s Bridge in East Boldon.

Deliveroo offers £5,000 prizes to mark 50-site delivery with Five Guys: Deliveroo is offering five £5,000 cash prizes to mark delivery expansion to 50 locations. Deliveroo is giving away five 3D-printed golden burgers, which come with a £5,000 cash prize. Customers need to order a Five Guys on Deliveroo before 11.59pm on Friday (28 July). Deliveroo’s Caroline Hazlehurst said: “We’re so happy to give Deliveroo customers from Aberdeen to Wimbledon a chance to get their hands on a five-of-a-kind golden burger. Five Guys is an amazing partner and we’re thrilled to be working with the company exclusively in 50 locations!”

Star Pubs & Bars invests £4.6m in north west pubs: Star Pubs & Bars, owned by Heineken, is investing £4.6m in its 192 pubs in north west England. Work includes the £490,000 refurbishment of The Weld Blundell in Lydiate, near Liverpool, which operator MSR Pubs will reopen in late October. A 50-cover dining area will be built at the rear of the pub, which had been closed for 15 months. MSR Pubs director Mike Reeve said: “I’ve known The Weld Blundell for 30 years. It made me sad to see it boarded up. I was hooked when I found out a refurbishment was planned and it was with Star as I already enjoy a good partnership with them at my two other pubs.” Star Pubs & Bars managing director Lawson Mountstevens said: “We’re pleased to invest with Mike on another business venture. He is an outstanding licensee and passionate about creating a great local.”

Young’s acquires Bristol riverside pub: Young’s has acquired the freehold of the Chequers Inn in Hanham Mills, Bristol, in an off-market transaction brokered by agent Fleurets. The Chequers overlooks the River Avon and offers 140 internal covers and 120 covers on the riverbank. Young’s acquisitions manager Brendan Brammer said: “The Chequers is an exceptional waterside pub, which is an ideal addition to the Young’s estate as we look to expand further in the region.” Young’s also recently acquired The Riverstation in Bristol city centre. Kevin Conibear, head of retail leisure and restaurants at Fleurets, added: “The Chequers is an extremely popular riverside pub given its picturesque setting and high-quality accommodation, attracting custom from Bristol and further afield. The availability of businesses of this calibre is rare and we are delighted to have completed a sale to Young’s.”

Craft Beer Co secures eighth site: The Craft Beer Co, which operates six sites across London and one in Brighton, has secured a site near London’s Old Street station. Formally the Canvas Bar and before that the Nelson’s Retreat, Craft Beer Co expects to open the site in Old Street in mid-September following a major refurbishment. The news comes as The Craft Beer Co opens an extension to its Limehouse site after the venue “massively exceeded expectations”, according to managing director and founder Martin Hayes. Talking about the new site in Old Street, he said: “This is a really key development for the business and one we’re very excited about. The business has been founded on working hard to get sites that are typically just off-pitch and developing them. This site, however, is positioned in an area of extraordinarily high footfall and I expect us to hit the ground running.” The site will offer a range of beers through 25 keg and eight cask lines, alongside a wide range of bottles and cans from brewers in the UK and around the world.

Sushi Shop plans two London openings: Sushi group Sushi Shop will expand its UK portfolio by opening two new London sites. With venues in Marylebone, South Kensington and Notting Hill, the new locations will be the brand’s first outside central London. Opening in Hampstead and Richmond, both will follow the tried and tested Sushi Shop footprint, offering a wide range of Japanese and Californian-inspired sushi, sashimi, poké and tartar for collection or local delivery. The openings mark the first in a series in London as the company looks to expand further in the UK market, with additional “neighbourhood” venues planned for 2018. Established by two French entrepreneurs in 1998, Sushi Shop has grown to encompass more than 130 “shops” globally, including in France, Belgium, Luxembourg, United Arab Emirates, the Netherlands and Spain. Co-founder Gregory Marciano said: “Sushi Shop has long been known for its creativity as a brand. We continually strive to find interesting individuals to work with, bringing our customers exciting new products while maintaining high standards for all our sushi. The new sites are the continuation of our ongoing love affair with the English. We are delighted with the warm welcome we’ve received from Londoners over the past few years and hope the new sites prove just as popular.”

Fever-Tree chief executive sells £29m stake: Fever-Tree co-founder and chief executive Tim Warrillow has sold almost one-fifth of his stake in the premium carbonated mixer supplier for nearly £29m, the Financial Times reports. His move has been revealed following forecast-busting results announced on Tuesday (25 July), which prompted shares to rise as much as 18%. Fever-Tree’s stock has gained 1,110% since November 2014. In a regulatory filing, the company revealed Warrillow sold 1.5 million shares after the half-year results were announced – 19.5% of his holding – bringing in £28.9m. The sale reduces his stake in Fever-Tree to 5.4%. Warrillow founded Fever-Tree with Charles Rolls in 2005. Rolls sold about one-quarter of his shares in the company in May. Non-executive chairman Bill Ronald has also sold some of his smaller stake in the company, generating £1m. In its results for the period ended 30 June 2017, Fever-Tree reported revenue up 77% to £71.9m. Adjusted Ebitda was up 102% to £25.2m. It reported exceptional growth of 113% in the UK as distribution gains continued to drive performance. 

Stonegate Pub Company takes on two Punch sites: Stonegate Pub Company has taken the lease on two Punch sites – The Hole In The Roof in Deal, Kent, and The George in Rugby – as it continues to expand its pubs, bars and venues business. Stonegate will invest £400,000 in The Hole In The Roof to create an “independent” venue, Queen Street Tap. The company said the new venue would create 25 additional jobs and be “tailored to local needs”, with the introduction of craft beer, cocktails, street food, live music, screened sports and an industrialised design. Stonegate Pub Company chief executive Simon Longbottom said: “This is an exciting expansion for Stonegate. Creating independent venues with local people at our core is massively important to us, so to have the privilege of developing a venue demonstrating the love for pubs and craft beer in the area is great. We can’t wait to welcome customers, the existing team whose jobs have been saved, and our new recruits.” Stonegate Pub Company operates more than 690 pubs split into two divisions – Branded (Slug and Lettuce, Yates’s, Walkabout, Common Room and Venues) and Traditional (Proper Pubs, Town Pub & Kitchen, and Classic Inns).

Starbucks donates £250,000 to support farms in East Africa: Starbucks has donated £250,000 to support farmers in East Africa. The company has collaborated on a new project with international development charity Send A Cow to help farming communities in Rwanda develop effective and sustainable farming practices. A three-year Coffee + Cows project has launched that will directly benefit more than 3,000 people by training them in sustainable farming techniques, gender and social development, and livestock supply. The partnership began when Starbucks staff visited a project in Rwanda run by Send A Cow. They were so inspired they began a fund-raising campaign in Starbucks’ UK stores that raised £100,000, equivalent to 153 farming families being provided with a dairy cow. For the Coffee + Cows project, Starbucks will donate 50p from every sale of at-home coffee, including bags of whole bean coffee, espresso capsules and VIA. Customers will also see the Send a Cow partnership displayed on Starbucks’ Chilled Classics range in supermarkets and convenience stores until October. Starbucks EMEA president Martin Brok said: “This partnership was born from the passion of our partners (staff), something we are incredibly proud of.”

Former fish and chip operators open fifth Papa John’s: Former fish and chip shop operators Gurinder Atwal and his brother Sukdevha have opened their fifth Papa John’s site, this time in Maidstone, Kent. Their other sites are in Chatham, Rainham, Strood and Canterbury. Gurinder Atwal said: “Before joining Papa John’s we ran several fish and chip shops.  However, we were looking at investing into a business with good prospects and all the ingredients to allow us to open multiple outlets. Papa John’s was, and still is, about growth.” Anthony Round, business development manager at Papa John’s, added: “We are running an incentive scheme to help franchisees set up. This includes a royalty reduction programme, some free equipment, plus a marketing launch package provided by Papa John’s. This targeted support has been specifically designed to help franchisees in their first year of trading to improve cash flow, reduce capital spending and drive sales from day one.”

Rola Wala opens second site, in Spitalfields: Indian street food brand Rola Wala has opened its second site, this time in Spitalfields, east London. Founder Mark Wright launched the concept, which means “man that rolls” in Hindi, at Trinity Kitchen, Leeds, in 2014. The new site in Brushfield Street references the Indian roadside diners that first inspired Wright, with the concept evolving while operating on streets and festivals across the UK. It features timber cladding, pendant lighting, scaffold polls, and metal shelving stocked with spice jars. The focal point is a large service counter, where guests can customise their food for a grab-and-go working lunch, while two rows of high metal stools provide seating for those eating in. Rola Wala will open a site at the £440m Westgate Oxford development in October.

TGI Friday’s launches staff app: TGI Friday’s has launched an app exclusively for staff. Academy App acts as an employee hub, with users able to access online learning courses, appraisals, internal news announcements, and a social learning network. The app also offers a social side, with staff able to share videos and photos, celebrate team success, and enter competitions with prizes such as festival tickets, white-water rafting experiences, and cash for the most engaged team. Jacqui McManus, culture and people development director at TGI Friday’s UK, said: “People are our number-one priority at Friday’s and that’s why we wanted to create a digital resource like Academy App especially for them. We hope the arrival of this new employee store will unite all our team members up and down the country, allowing them to learn more from one another and share fun Friday’s content too.” 

Caprice Holdings opens Ivy Cafe at Tower Bridge: Caprice Holdings, owned by Richard Caring, has opened a site at London’s Tower Bridge. The latest Ivy Cafe all-day restaurant has launched at Berkeley’s One Tower Bridge mixed-use development. Floor-to-ceiling windows make the most of the venue’s riverside location, while a 50-cover Parisian-style terrace and bar offers “relaxed yet sophisticated dining” overlooking the Thames. The Ivy Cafe joins Rosa’s Thai Café and Coal Shed at One Tower Bridge, alongside a Welsh restaurant from MasterChef: The Professionals star Tom Simmons, and Sir Nicholas Hytner’s and Nick Starr’s 900-seat Bridge Theatre. Caprice Holdings is also continuing regional expansion of its Ivy concept, with an Edinburgh venue to open in autumn for its first site in Scotland and a brasserie launch in Bath. It also hopes to open in Harrogate, Manchester and York this year, with further sites lined up in Birmingham, Canary Wharf and Exeter.

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