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Tue 24th Oct 2017 - Propel Tuesday News Briefing

Story of the Day:

Propel to launch sector’s most comprehensive marketing conference: Propel is to launch the most comprehensive marketing conference the sector has seen with a two-day event. Restaurant Marketer & Innovator, in partnership with Think Hospitality, will take place on Wednesday, 17 January and Thursday, 18 January at One Moorgate Place in London. The two-day event will bring together marketers, strategists and business leaders from the foodservice sector to understand trends, share success and define the future of the sector. A total of 40 speakers from four countries, representing more than 30 brands, will provide advice and insight. They include Pizza Hut Restaurants, Wagamama, Costa Coffee, YO! Sushi, Las Iguanas, Cabana, Mitchells & Butlers, New World Trading Company, Thaikhun, Revolution Bars Group, The Breakfast Club, Pho, Giggling Squid and Claus Meyer Restaurants. The first day, curated and moderated by James Hacon, will include senior marketing executives from Cabana, New World Trading Company and Las Iguanas revealing their strategies for 2018, sharing their successes from 2017 and giving a glimpse of how marketing is managed at their companies. There will also be an exclusive insight report from Roger Perowne, of Morar HPI, on how diners make decisions. The second day, curated and moderated by Ann Elliott, will feature insights and strategy development from companies including Wagamama, Mitchells & Butlers, Costa Coffee, Pizza Hut, Revolution Bars Group, YO! Sushi, Darwin & Wallace, Giggling Squid, The Breakfast Club and Albion & East. Propel managing director Paul Charity said: “We are delighted to partner with Think Hospitality to launch the most comprehensive and stimulating marketing conference the sector has seen. The changing landscape of the food and beverage sector, with the exponential growth of multi-site brands and companies, has seen marketing become an ever more important part of the sector. This two-day conference will provide attendees with a multitude of insights and perspectives as 2018 gets underway.” Prices for the two days are £525 plus VAT for operators and £795 plus VAT for suppliers. A one-day rate of £345 plus VAT is available to operators only. To book, please click here. For more information or any queries please contact either Jo Charity on 01444 810304 or jo.charity@propelinfo.com or Anne Steele on 01444 817691 or anne.steele@propelinfo.com

Industry News:

High-yield casual dining restaurant chains' margins under pressure, says Moody's: Fierce competition, rising inflation and the potential erosion of consumer confidence will make it tougher for European high-yield casual dining restaurants to defend margins while maintaining or growing sales in the next 12 to 18 months, according to ratings agency Moody's. Moody's rates PizzaExpress, Wagamama, and Stonegate Pub Company as well as Burger King France in the European high-yield casual dining sector. Moody's assistant vice-president and analyst Emmanuel Savoye said: "While more people are eating out and casual dining chains are winning market share from independent restaurants, operating conditions will be tough into 2018 as intense competition, rising inflation and the potential for Brexit to knock consumer confidence in the UK will make it tricky for the sector to both maintain margins and grow sales." In its report, Moody's said it expected continued pressure on margins for all companies due to competition and, for UK companies, the annual increase in the National Living Wage that started in April 2016. It said PizzaExpress' margins remain the highest although they have narrowed in the past 12 months because of cost inflation. Burger King France's margin had improved thanks to a good performance by the newly opened and rebranded Burger King restaurants. Stonegate and Burger King France have the highest leverage, according to the report. Stonegate's leverage increased because of a dividend recapitalisation at the beginning of the year. Moody's said it expected Burger King France's leverage would improve as it completes its conversion plan and opens new restaurants. Moody's said retained cash flow generation is adequate across the sector. However, the agency said it expected limited free cash flow generation because companies continue to invest in new restaurant openings. Because spending to expand is discretionary, it could be scaled back to improve liquidity if needed, the report said. It added: "However, overall liquidity is sufficient for most issuers, with no maturities due in the next 18 months. Cash balances are generally good, companies have access to revolving credit facilities, and benefit from positive retained cash flow generation."

Foodservice companies pledge to include more vegetables in meals: Restaurant, breweries and food-on-the-go retailers have revealed plans to put more vegetables into meals. They will make a “Pledge for Veg” at today's (Tuesday, 24 October) Vegetable Summit in central London, organised by food think tank the Food Foundation. Research has shown eating too little vegetables contributes to 20,000 premature deaths in the UK every year and people should all be eating at least an extra portion every day. Data previously released by The Food Foundation showed UK consumers are buying two-thirds fewer vegetables than the amount recommended by health experts. In response, companies are making pledges to add millions more portions of vegetables to meals. They include Cardiff-based brewer and retailer SA Brain & Co, which will offer more vegetables in its children’s meals. Meanwhile, Greggs has pledged to sell an additional 15 million portions of vegetables between January 2018 and October 2020 by including at least one portion of vegetables in its soup and leaf-based salad range and increase the volume sold. Contract caterer BaxterStorey, which is working with PwC; Healthy Food Company; Interserve and Sodexo have all pledged to add more vegetables to their meals and recipes. Bidfood is also promising to feed its 5,000 staff with more vegetables at no extra cost. Supermarkets Tesco, Sainsbury's, Lidl and Co-op have also pledged to pack more vegetables into their meals. Elsewhere, Cardiff will declare itself a "Veg City", along with Aberdeen, Birmingham, Brighton and Hove and the London Borough of Redbridge. A number of member organisations are also pledging support, such as the National Farmers Union, the Sustainable Restaurant Association and the Soil Association. Food Foundation executive director Anna Taylor said: “Our consumption of vegetables remains stubbornly low, with dangerous consequences. The pledges made today by these companies and public sector organisations have the potential to add up to millions of extra portions of vegetables on our plates every year.”

BBPA distributes more than 200,000 ‘Cut Beer Tax’ beer mats to 2,000 pubs: The campaign for a cut in beer tax has moved up a gear with the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) distributing more than 200,000 beer duty-themed beer mats, produced in conjunction with the TaxPayers’ Alliance. The beer mats are being sent to 2,000 pubs across the UK. Most have been distributed nationally through BBPA members but will also feature in key pubs near the Houses of Parliament. The beer mats highlight the 39% tax rise beer drinkers have endured over the past ten years, and asks customers to write to their MP about the issue through its campaign website. The BBPA said this would help to drive support for the campaign for a penny cut in beer tax in the upcoming Budget on Wednesday, 22 November. BBPA chief executive Brigid Simmonds said: “I want to thank BBPA members and the 2,000 pubs that are joining the Cut Beer Tax campaign, by highlighting to customers the dangers of another beer tax rise, on top of the 39% increase we have seen over the past ten years. Let’s encourage beer drinkers to write to their MP voicing their concern about yet another, planned tax rise in the Budget on 22 November.” TaxPayers’ Alliance chief executive John O’Connell added: “UK beer duty is already three times the EU average. We’ve already had a 4% rise this year, and with current economic uncertainty, pubs, their workforce, and their customers simply can’t afford another tax increase.”

UberEats nudges US operators towards virtual restaurants: Delivery service UberEats is nudging operators in the US towards virtual restaurants. The company is looking to use its data to identify locations virtual concepts would work to bring a new weapon to the competitive delivery battlefield. UberEats is actively testing virtual restaurant opportunities in Chicago, Atlanta, Denver, San Francisco, Philadelphia and Toronto. It approached Chicago pizzeria owner Simon Mikhail, who had been working with UberEats for about a year after spotting users of the delivery service’s app in his neighbourhood had been searching for “chicken”. Mikhali launched the virtual Si’s Chicken Kitchen, which has been open for about a year and averages about $1,000 per week in sales of fried chicken, chicken tenders and chicken pizza – all made in the pizzeria’s kitchen. Sales have already surpassed delivery sales of the original pizza concept. The move toward virtual restaurants was an extension of the trust UberEats had built with its restaurant partners, said programme manager of restaurant innovation Elyse Propis. She told Nation’s Restaurant News: “That’s what we’re working to build. Not only do we provide them an additional revenue stream, but we’re also providing data insights.” Starting the year in only 56 cities, UberEats now works with 65,000 restaurants around the world, in 29 countries and 130 cities. By the end of the year, UberEats expects to be in 200 cities.

ALMR urges Welsh government to explore ‘more nuanced approach to alcohol-related harm’ rather than ‘blunt measure’ of Minimum Unit Pricing: The Association of Multiple Retailers (ALMR) has urged the Welsh government to explore a “more nuanced approach to alcohol-related harm” rather than the “blunt measure” of Minimum Unit Pricing. Chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “Minimum Unit Pricing is a very blunt measure and we would encourage the Welsh government to continue to explore a more nuanced approach to alcohol-related harm. The trends over the past decade or more are clear – fewer people are consuming less alcohol, and this is particularly true of young people. We would welcome measures that encourage a shift back towards consumption in the responsible environment of pubs, bars, restaurants and clubs. This approach, rather than reducing the disposable income of all who consume alcohol in the home, would help continue to boost Welsh businesses as well as tackling perceived areas of harm.”
 
European hotel industry reports positive performance in third quarter: The European hotel industry has reported a positive performance in the third quarter of 2017. Data from STR showed revpar increased 6.9% to €94.36 compared with the previous year while average daily rate was up 4.5% to €119.17 and occupancy rose 2.2% to 79.2%. In Germany, the absolute levels for revpar, average daily rate and occupancy were the highest for any quarter on record in the country. STR analysts said performance was driven primarily by weekdays, which indicates strong corporate business in the country. Occupancy was up 1.9% to 75.9%, average daily rate increased 2.0% to €102.21 while revpar rose 3.9% to €77.60. Despite a slight dip in occupancy by 0.5% to 86.4%, Portugal’s average daily rate (up 13.7% to €137.65) and revpar (increase of 13.1% to €118.89) were the highest for any third quarter on record in the country.

Highest-grossing non-chain US restaurants revealed: The highest-grossing non-chain restaurant concepts in the US have been revealed. The list, compiled by Restaurant Business magazine, saw Tao Asian Bistro in Las Vegas come top for the fourth consecutive year with total food and beverage revenue of $42,470,345. The company’s other restaurants to crack the top ten were Tao Downtown in New York City at number three, with $33,401,819 in total sales, and Lavo New York at number seven, with $26,822,655 in total sales. Showing even the biggest restaurants aren’t immune to the industry’s tough climate, all three reported sales down from the previous year, with the Las Vegas spot down from nearly $48m in 2015. Of the top 100 grossing restaurants, New York City leads with 30 restaurants, and Las Vegas has 14 restaurants on the list. The top ten was 1. Tao Asian Bistro (Las Vegas): $42,470,345; 2. Joe’s Stone Crab (Miami Beach): $37,243,159; 3. Tao Downtown (New York): $33,401,819; 4. Carmine’s (Times Square, New York): $33,147,017; 5. Old Ebbitt Grill (Washington DC): $32,662,051; 6. The Boathouse (Orlando): $30,814,369; 7. Lavo New York (New York): $26,822,655; 8. Smith & Wollensky (New York): $25,961,337; 9. Bryant Park Grill & Cafe (New York): $25,400,000; 10. Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse (Chicago): $24,700,825.

Company News:

Jeremy Roberts – private equity deal could be right for Blackhouse: The chief executive of Living Ventures Group has told Business Insider another private equity deal could be on the cards next year to expand steakhouse business Blackhouse. Jeremy Roberts, who co-founded Living Ventures with the late Tim Bacon in 1999, has played a key role in building several hospitality brands down the years. The Knutsford-headquartered bar and restaurant operator also acquired Est Est Est in 2005 and rebranded the chain as Gusto in 2007. Gusto then underwent a management buyout in 2014, with mid-market private equity firm Palatine taking a majority stake in the business. Similarly, Living Ventures launched The Alchemist in Manchester in 2011, which underwent a £13m management buyout backed by Palatine in 2015. Now attention is turning to Blackhouse, which currently has two sites in Manchester, one in Leeds, one in London and one in Glasgow that all trade under the name “The Grill on...”. Living Ventures recently relaunched the Blackhouse brand and has refurbished all of its restaurants apart from the Glasgow site. Roberts said: “Blackhouse came out of our acquisition of Est Est Est and we’ve been trading the business for many years. We’re now looking to start to expand that business next year and that’ll be a refinancing led by managing director Scott Grimbleby. It might be a joint venture, it might be a straight banking deal, but private equity is our usual option. I think the steak market is dominated by casual dining offers such as say Miller & Carter and then the other end of the spectrum is Hawskmoor and Gaucho but there’s never been very much in the middle and we think we operate in that area. We’re not much more expensive than Miller & Carter but our offer is much better. We’re very excited about Blackhouse because we think that’s going to exploit a gap in the market.”
 
James Watt – next share trading window will provide stern test of BrewDog’s true value, IPO only an option if we can protect ‘sacred cows’: James Watt, co-founder of Scottish brewer and retailer BrewDog, has said its next share trading window will provide a stern test of the company’s true value. The company’s 60,000 “Equity Punk” investors may only sell during annual windows decided by the company and Watt, the largest shareholder with a 25% stake. It means people who invested in the first of BrewDog’s five crowdfunding rounds may be sitting on a paper return of 2,765% – and some have happily cashed out – but such a rise has yet to be tested under normal market conditions. In the last trading window, hosted on the trading platform Asset Match, BrewDog protected its share price by dipping into the market, buying shares to plough into a staff equity reward scheme, known as Hop Stock. The next trading window is due in 2018. Watt told The Guardian: “If there are more sellers than there are buyers then that will obviously impact the share price. It’s almost a microcosm for conditions when we might become a public company.” Earlier this year, BrewDog sold a 22% stake to US private equity firm TSG Consumer Partners for £213m, giving BrewDog an enterprise value of £1bn. Watt revealed the company had received sizeable takeover offers with the last one that came in just two weeks ago, rejected out of hand. He insisted the company could only look at an initial public offering (IPO) if it could protect its sacred cows, such as its 20% profit giveaway, with half shared among staff and half going to charity. Another option under consideration is an Initial Coin Offering, in which firms raise funds via cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin. BrewDog launched its fifth round of Equity for Punks last week, looking to raise £10m, with the potential to extend to £50m. The company said it has raised £1m in the first two days of the campaign as it looks to further its global expansion. This includes constructing breweries in Australia and Asia, opening 15 craft beer bars in the UK, increasing capacity at its UK brewery, and creating a dedicated craft beer television network.
 
Carlsberg UK slips to a loss after losing off-trade market share: Carlsberg UK lost almost £50m in turnover in its most recent year as it lost market share in the off-trade, according to newly filed accounts. The Danish-owned company, which has its UK headquarters in Northampton, made a pre-tax loss of £10.7m in the year to 31 December 2016 as turnover dropped from £521.3m to £473.3m. Carlsberg UK said the beer market continued its long-term decline during the period, while it scaled back its logistics operations and ceased production of some products. During the year the company signed a new distribution agreement with Brooklyn Brewery, which started in January 2017, and with Celia, its own gluten-free organic beer from its Czech brewery, which started in November 2016. Carlsberg decided in June 2016 to no longer provide porterage services and would transfer its secondary logistics operations to DHL Tradeteam. The transfer has been phased over 2017 and will continue into 2018. A statement in the annual accounts said: “During 2016 the market continued the long-term trend of marginal decline, ending the year 1% down on the prior year. The market continued to fragment with a shift towards premium beers within the world and craft categories that continued to outperform the beer market as a whole. Within Carlsberg, the business lost share within the off-trade, where it mutually agreed with a customer to exit from certain large pack formats during 2015. In addition during 2015 the business reviewed its SKU range and decided to cease production of certain high-complexity, low-volume pack types, resulting in further volume decline. The full effects of these changes were felt in 2016.” Carlsberg employs more than 400 people in the UK.
 
Payment app for hospitality sector gives further insight into £3m fund-raise as it prepares to launch: Zapaygo, a lifestyle/payment app for the sports, concert/leisure and hospitality sectors, has given further insight into its £3m fund-raise as it prepares to launch. The app allows users to pre-order and pre-pay for food, drinks or goods in advance of arriving at a venue or destination, or have them delivered to a table or home. Zapaygo, which is based in the West Midlands, is about to launch with its initial partners The NEC Group, which has six million customers annually and a market reach of 40 million people, and Verteda EPOS, which has about one million weekly users. The company stated: “We are initially seeking to raise £500,000 to finance going live with our key contracts that will give the business a firm foundation on which to grow, while a second tranche of £2.5m is anticipated during 2018 to exploit further opportunities (the company would consider £3m now). Future plans include further UK-based deals and international expansion.” The startup has forecast revenue of £736,000 with Ebitda of £104,000 in year one, growing to revenue of £6,603,000 and Ebitda of £3,071,000 in the second year and revenue of £15,015,000 and Ebitda of £8,689,000 in year three.

Drake & Morgan to launch bar and restaurant The Listing in City next month for 23rd site: Drake & Morgan is to launch bar and restaurant The Listing in the City of London next month for its 23rd site. The venue will open at the new Cannon Green building in Bush Lane on Monday, 13 November offering cocktails and all-day dining. The Listing will feature a sleek bar space with marble-topped tables and mirrors and offer bespoke cocktails, hot toddies, wine, champagne, spirits and craft beer. The menu will include breakfast, mains, flatbread, superfood salads and sharing boards, with the venue open from 7.30am until midnight, Monday to Friday. The decor will feature curved booths and a terrace with views over Suffolk Lane. Drake & Morgan has just opened its 22nd site – The Allegory, on the ground floor of Brookfield’s 600,000 square foot mixed-use office, residential and retail space in Bishopsgate. As previously revealed, Drake & Morgan will also open a venue in St Peter’s Square, Manchester, before the end of the year.

Bistrot Pierre confirms next two openings: Private equity-backed restaurant group Bistrot Pierre has confirmed its next two sites as it continues its UK expansion. The company has secured a site in Coventry while it will open in Southport next month. The new Coventry bistrot is due to open in summer 2018, located at Cathedral Lanes shopping centre, and will have space for 124 diners. Meanwhile, Bistrot Pierre will open its Southport restaurant on Friday, 17 November. The venue in Lord Street will have capacity for 140 customers. Rob Beacham, who founded the group with school friend John Whitehead in 1994, said: “We’ve had Coventry and Southport on our radar for quite some time. Both have seen considerable investment recently and we’re delighted to be supporting their growth and bringing our offering to the food and drink sectors there.” Shearer Property Group, the developer for Cathedral Lanes, worked with Bistrot Pierre to secure the deal for the unit in Coventry while Southport’s Jenics secured the premises in Lord Street. Bistrot Pierre, which currently operates 21 sites, received £9.8m from private equity firm Livingbridge in 2015 to support its expansion plans. Sites in the pipeline include Preston and Worthing.

Be At One removes plastic straws, refreshes app and menu: Cocktail bar specialist Be At One has becomes the latest sector company to remove plastic straws from its bars – and has replaced them with an environmentally friendly alternative. The company has switched to corn plastic straws, which are fully compostable and biodegrade in just eight weeks, amid rising concerns over global plastic pollution. Chief operating officer Andrew Stones said: “As a business, we are committed to reducing our impact on the environment and becoming a more environmentally sustainable operation. Plastic has a devastating environmental impact and is particularly harmful to our oceans and marine life, and as such, we are pleased to be able to switch away from plastic straws.” The introduction of the corn plastic straws comes alongside the launch of a new menu, focused on a music theme. The menu has more than 100 drinks and features a “New Mixes” page to showcase some of the new cocktails now available. In addition, the company has also introduced a “Premium Spirits & Mixers” section, Be At One has also redesigned its website and refreshed its app as part of a brand evolution and new “Life Is What You Mix It” campaign. A new feature called Drinkr allows customers to swipe left or right on the menu in order to find an ideal cocktail match according to their personal taste. Further incentives include a £5 cocktail promotion when the app is downloaded. Be At One operates 33 bars across the UK, including 17 in London. Its first bar opened in Battersea in 1998.

Japanese version of Eataly to open in New York: A Japanese version of Italian food emporium Eataly is to open in New York. Japan Village will take up 20,000 square feet in the Sunset Park commercial complex at Industrial City with six food stalls, an izakaya, a sake store, specialty grocery, and more. Owners Tony Yoshida and Takuya Yoshida, who also own Michelin-starred Kyo Ya and grocery store Sunrise Mart, intend to make it feel like “Japan in the US”. On offer will be made-to-order onigiri, bento boxes, breads and pastries, matcha, a juice bar, okonomiyaki, takoyaki, fresh mochi, ramen, sushi, soba, udon, donburiya, tempura and teppanyaki. Japan Village is on track to open in the spring alongside restaurants such as Burger Joint and Avocaderia, which are already in Industry City. It will be the third single cuisine-focused food hall in New York City, behind Eataly and French Le District, reports Eater New York.

Papa John’s franchisee opens fourth site in four years: Papa John’s franchisee Mio Abid has opened his fourth site in four years – this time in Torquay. He also runs sites in Trowbridge, Newbury and Bristol. He used to run a college for international students in London before opening his first site in 2013. “Although tourism plays a big part in Torquay’s economy, we are also looking forward to serving-up Papa John’s pizza to our local community,” said Abid. “Torquay has a population of about 65,000 residents, including many families, plus students attending South Devon College.” Papa John’s, which was founded in the US in 1984, has more than 350 sites across the UK and more than 5,000 stores in more than 40 international markets and territories.

Final food and beverage line-up at Westgate Oxford unveiled: The final line-up of 25 restaurants and bars at the new Westgate Oxford Westgate shopping centre has been unveiled. The £440m, 800,000 square foot development, a joint venture between landlords The Crown Estate and Land Securities, includes the city’s first public roof garden, designed around a kitchen garden concept. It features a series of outdoor spaces for 12 bars and restaurants affording panoramic rooftop views of the Oxford city skyline and the countryside. Restaurant and bar brands including Cinnamon Kitchen, Sticks ‘n’ Sushi, Pizza Pilgrims, Dirty Bones, Pho, The Breakfast Club, The Alchemist and Nando’s will sit alongside a grass “quad”, and boutique cinema chain Curzon Cinemas. East Coast Concept’s Victor’s brand, which offers international cuisine in an East Coast American format, will also join the rooftop line-up. The Westgate Social area is anchored by crazy golf operator Junkyard Golf and also includes food operators Shawa Lebanese Grill from Comptoir Libanais, Ned’s Noodle Bar, Indian street food concept Rola Wala, Tommi’s Burger Joint, Mexican brand Benito’s Hat and Bonnie Gull’s “chippy” sidekick spin-off Salt n Sauce. Other restaurant brands elsewhere at the scheme include ramen concept Shoryu, Le Pain Quotidien, Comptoir Libanais and Pret. Kiosks will also be provided by Grand Caffé Concerto in the open square, as well as Boost, Shake Lab, Crepe O Mania and Krispy Kreme. Davis Coffer Lyons acted for The Crown Estate and Land Securities to secure the lettings. 

Black and White Hospitality to open Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar & Grill site in Hull: Black and White Hospitality, which owns the rights to five restaurant brands belonging to celebrity chef Marco Pierre White, is to open a Steakhouse Bar & Grill site in Hull. The company is opening the restaurant at the new four-star DoubleTree by Hilton in the city centre, due to launch in late 2017. It is the fifth Marco Pierre White venue opened within a DoubleTree by Hilton hotel and the first Steakhouse Bar & Grill site in Yorkshire. The 140-cover restaurant’s menu, curated by Pierre White, will serve steaks, English and French classics, and a selection of premium cocktails. Pierre White said: “As a proud Yorkshireman I’m delighted to be bringing my Steakhouse to Hull, right in the heart of the fantastic UK City of Culture. The menu is all about classic, recognisable dishes, cooked simply using the finest ingredients to deliver delicious food.” Black and White Hospitality chief executive Nick Taplin added: “Following in the footsteps of our Marco’s New York Italian restaurants in Sheffield and Leeds, this will be our first Steakhouse to open in Yorkshire, and the fifth Marco Pierre White restaurant within a DoubleTree hotel. There is a great synergy between our brands and we’re looking forward to bringing something completely different to Hull’s food scene.”

International hotel operator Ellerslie secures second UK site: International hotel operator Ellerslie has secured its second UK site after acquiring the Rutland Hotel in Sheffield for an undisclosed sum. The company has bought the four-star venue off an asking price of £2.65m from Claypenny Hotels through agent Colliers International. The hotel off Broomfield Road has 63 en-suite bedrooms, alongside extensive food and beverage facilities. Ellerslie director Tasneem Watson said: “The potential to increase sales revenue at the Rutland is exciting and we look forward to taking on this challenge. We plan to work closely with the team in Sheffield over the coming months to identify any necessary improvements needed and will likely refurbish the property over time in order to ensure we are in the best possible position to attract and welcome existing and new customers to the Rutland for years to come.” Ellerslie currently owns and operates the Discovery Inn in Leeds city centre.
 
Fourth achieves top 20 place in ‘top companies to work’ for list: Fourth, the software partner to the hospitality industry, has been named one of the best companies to work for in Britain, in a report released by the Chartered Management Institute and job site Glassdoor. The top 20 list, which champions the best companies for culture and leadership in the UK, has been compiled from online reviews posted on Glassdoor by both current and former employees of more than 700,000 companies. Fourth’s employees praised the company for its split leadership structure, maintaining clear distinguished between roles, divided into technical specialists and people specialists. Placed second overall, Fourth was ahead of Facebook, Auto-Trader, RHP, Lookers and SkyScanner. Simon Bocca, Fourth chief operating officer, said: “It’s well documented hospitality operators are facing increasing pressures to attract and retain the best talent in a shrinking pool of people. As a business we work hard to support our customers in staff engagement, establishing positive culture and effective communications, through our people system and the Fourth Engage app. So it’s very pleasing to receive this recognition and demonstrate that as a business we do also ‘walk the walk’ and not just ‘talk the talk’.” The accolade comes in the same year Fourth featured in the 2017 Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For list. In the survey, Fourth’s employees said their managers cared about them as individuals, believed their jobs were good for their own personal growth and felt they had fun with the people they worked with.
 
Molson Coors scoops two accolades at Center Parcs supplier awards: Molson Coors has scooped two accolades at the seventh annual Center Parcs Supplier Awards. Molson Coors won the Supplier of the Year title as well as the Food and Beverage and Retail Supplier honour. The company has been the official beer supplier to Center Parcs since October 2016 after signing a five-year contract. As part of the deal, Molson Coors supplies a range of its brands including Carling, Doom Bar, Staropramen and Pravha to Center Parcs’ five locations across the UK. Molson Coors has developed a bespoke and in-depth training programme for Center Parcs, coupled with a tailored marketing activation plan. Center Parcs head of procurement Martyn Smith said: “Molson Coors has provided excellent training, brilliant support and both fast and effective communication to Center Parcs villages this year. The range of products it offers has had a hugely positive impact for our guests, with guest service scores improving as a result.” The awards, which consisted of 220 nominations across 13 categories, celebrated the best of more than 2,000 Center Parcs suppliers.

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