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Fri 4th Aug 2017 - Subway opens 2,500th UK site, Bloomberg announces brands at new City arcade, ALMR, Muffin Break
Subway opens 2,500th UK site, roll-out begins of new restaurant design: Subway has opened its 2,500th store in the UK. The new venue in Keynsham, near Bristol, is only the brand’s second in the UK to feature its new Fresh Forward restaurant design following the global launch of the format in Manchester in March. The design features a bright new colour palette and a revamped fresh vegetable display as a focal point, with customer-focused touches such as digital menu boards, free charging ports and special displays. The Keynsham store is one of 16 Subway sites operated by family franchisees Stephen and Sue Pasco, who employ 145 people across Bristol, Gloucester, Somerset and Wiltshire. Sue Pasco said: “We’re hugely proud to be able to open the brand’s 2,500th store and that it’s one of the first UK stores to feature the new-look design.” Subway said the Fresh Forward design pilot store in Manchester was proving a success. Deirdre Anderson, development agent for Subway stores in north west England, said: “The reaction from customers to the new-look store has been incredibly positive and it’s following through in terms of increased sales and footfall.” The Fresh Forward design is expected to be in eight stores in the UK by Christmas, with all stores to be refurbished in the new style during the next few years. Last month, Subway announced plans to increase its number of sites in the UK and Ireland to 3,000 by 2020, creating about 5,000 jobs.

Bloomberg announces first seven restaurants to occupy new City of London dining destination: Bloomberg has announced the first seven restaurants that will occupy its new City of London dining destination. Running through the company’s new European headquarters in the Square Mile, the covered pedestrian Bloomberg Arcade will comprise ten independent restaurants that will be open seven days a week. Curated by Bloomberg’s chief food critic Richard Vines and restaurant adviser Nicholas Lander, the line-up includes Brigadiers, a new concept by JKS Restaurants, which is owned by the Sethi family and whose venues include the Michelin-starred Gymkhana in Mayfair. The concept will offer classic Indian barbecue cuisine in a space inspired by a traditional Indian army mess. The other brands are Hawaiian poké specialist Ahi Poké; Bleecker Burger; restaurant, bar and coffee roasting concept Caravan; better pizza brand Homeslice; Tokyo-style noodle cafe Koya; and wine bar, restaurant and wine shop Vinoteca. Three further restaurants will be announced in the coming weeks. Bloomberg founder Michael R Bloomberg said: “Bloomberg Arcade reflects London’s incredible diversity and our commitment to our employees and the City. It will be a culinary destination unlike any other in the City and it will bring new jobs and life to the area.” Vines added: “In selecting restaurants for Bloomberg Arcade we wanted to do two things. First, we wanted people doing something creative. We didn’t want another sandwich shop, another coffee bar; we wanted something original, people with new ideas and fresh approaches to food. Second, we wanted diversity – cuisines from different parts of the world and different styles of service. Choosing the restaurants was like playing a food version of fantasy football – and we’ve got some of the biggest names in the business.”

ALMR – migration consultation an ‘opportunity for sector engagement’: The Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) has told the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC), which is carrying out the investigation into the benefits of migrant workers in the UK, that its consultation offers an “opportunity for sector engagement”. The ALMR’s letter to the MAC highlights the important economic contribution made by eating and drinking out businesses and the need for access to EU workers to secure growth. It also confirms the ALMR’s intention to provide evidence during the consultation to secure a deal for businesses in the sector. ALMR chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “We have written to the MAC to provide them with the information they need to make an informed decision on an immigration policy that suits employers. We have offered our full support as the voice of eating and drinking out venues and will be responding to the consultation to make sure our members’ voices are heard. This is a good opportunity to engage with the government on an issue that is going to have a huge effect on UK businesses and influence an immigration policy that will have long-standing consequences.”

Muffin Break opens two sites with plans for 15 more: Muffin Break has launched two sites – in Basildon and Chester – and said it plans to open another 15 in the next 12 months to take its estate to 75 venues across the UK. Muffin Break owner Foodco said the brand’s position as a cafe bakery had helped to attract strong interest from franchisees and landlords because its food and hot beverage offering was “much more substantial than coffee and a light snack”. The new stores are both 1,500 square feet and offer 80 covers each. The openings have created 26 jobs in total. Foodco head of estate Joshua Nixon said: “Early trading figures are very encouraging. Muffin Break is a fast-growing, ambitious brand and we’re keen to talk to more landlords as we look to take our UK portfolio to 75 stores by this time next year. Interest from franchisees and landlords is very strong for a number of reasons. However, a key factor seems to be the fact we are a cafe bakery, which means our food and hot beverage offering is so much more substantial than coffee and a light snack. In addition to new store openings, we also have a progressive store refurbishment plan for the remainder of 2017 to roll-out our new contemporary and flexible store model.” Founded in Australia, there are more than 300 Muffin Break sites worldwide.

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