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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Fri 20th Apr 2018 - Update: CGA report reveals brand momentum, Pizza Hut UK sale
CGA report reveals UK brands with ‘momentum’: Costa, JD Wetherspoon, M&B’s Stonehouse Pizza & Carvery and Miller & Carter and Greggs are among the businesses or brands with the most momentum in the out of home eating and drinking sectors at the moment, a new report reveals. The CGA and Stone & River Brand Momentum Report dissects a wealth of CGA data to produce rankings of operators in five key parts of the industry. The result is an analysis of which brands are rising and falling in the eyes of British consumers. The report concludes that Costa is the company with the most momentum in the coffee and food to go sector, followed by Patisserie Valerie. With more than 2,300 coffee shops and 7,000 Costa Express self-service units, Costa is now one of the most visible consumer brands around. In the high street drinks-led sector, JD Wetherspoon emerges as the leading operator, followed by M&B’s All Bar One. CGA’s data shows Wetherspoon has a very wide appeal across demographics, and has sustained momentum through the convenience and value of its offer. Mitchells & Butlers’ Stonehouse Pizza & Carvery tops the report’s list of leading pub restaurant names, ahead of Greene King’s Farmhouse Inns. Stonehouse has rolled out rapidly since launching, and has successfully tapped into two of the most popular areas of eating out in pizzas and carveries. M&B scores a second top spot in the restaurants category, with its steakhouse brand Miller & Carter leading narrowly from fast-growing brasserie concept Côte. Miller & Carter has replaced other M&B concepts in many locations lately, and has built loyalty among older diners in particular. In the QSR category, Greggs continues its dominance by leading the list ahead of McDonald’s, thanks in part to efforts to evolve its formula with more healthy options and sit-in service lately. The report from CGA and Stone & River contains analysis of many more pub, bar, restaurant, coffee and on the go operators, plus insights into the key triggers of brand momentum. It concludes that a straightforward offer, convenience and value are vital elements of success, and emphasises the importance of constant evolution and flexibility in business propositions. CGA has a wealth of further research into momentum to support operators’ ongoing marketing strategies. Karl Chessell, business unit director for retail and food at CGA, said: “Our fascinating snapshot of out of home eating and drinking brands reveals the names that are increasing awareness and generating loyalty and word of mouth – as well as the ones that are slipping behind in public opinion. It shows the simplicity of some of the elements of successful branding – but also how challenging it can be to achieve them on the frontline. Staying on top of consumer habits and opinions is going to be crucial if brands are to generate momentum in this ultra-competitive market, and CGA’s data can help them do so.” Alex Doman, engagement manager at Stone & River, said: “Our momentum index is reflective of an industry in flux, with some sectors experiencing something of a paradigm shift. It points to some key learnings about what it takes to build momentum: having an easy to understand and simple to deliver brand proposition, a focus on creating long term value for the customer and targeting the older generation can all often be beneficial. The index asks a fundamental question: with the industry experiencing mass change, are you set up to compete and win? To answer this there are five key questions that this index throws up: do you understand why your business exists and why the customer should choose you; are you set up to understand what the customer needs and to create value long-term for those needs; is your business model fit for purpose given all the change; do you understand your brand’s maturity; and do you think of innovation in a new-age agile way or an old-school waterfall way. Stone & River works with organisations to help them find these answers.”

Pizza Hut UK set to be sold to management: Sky News has reported that the 260-strong UK arm of Pizza Hut will be sold in the next‎ few days to a buy-out team led by its chief executive, even as rival casual dining chains face painful restructurings or bankruptcy. The transaction will involve chief executive Jens Hofma, who has run Pizza Hut UK since 2009, being backed by debt provided by Pricoa, a US-based institution. It is expected to be signed as early as today, more than two years after current owner Rutland Partners hired advisers to run an auction. An announcement is likely to be made early next week, Sky reported. Hofma and his team have presided over a modernisation programme involving the refurbishment of the bulk of its estate, and are said to be confident in the‎ chain’s future.

Revolution announces chief executive start date: Revolution Bars Group has announced a start date for its new chief executive Rob Pitcher. The company stated: “Following the announcement on 8 February regarding the appointment of Rob Pitcher as chief executive officer, the board is pleased to confirm that he will join the company and the board on 25 June 2018. Following Rob’s appointment, Keith Edelman will revert to his previous role as non-executive chairman.”

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