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Tue 12th Jun 2018 - Update: Z Hotels, post-Brexit labour shortage, Domino’s
Oaknorth provides £7.3m of debt finance for Soho hotel development: Challenger bank Oaknorth has provided £7.3m in a debt financing deal to compact luxury hotel brand Z Hotels, City AM has reported. The company has undergone rapid growth since launching in 2011, which now owns and operates eight hotels at sites across London, Glasgow and Liverpool. The new finance will allow the development of a 120-bedroom Z Tottenham Court Road hotel on Poland Street in Soho. It adds to Z Hotels’ existing £15.2m facility from Oaknorth, which the bank provided to fund the development of new sites in Covent Garden and Holborn. “On any given day, London’s hotels now experience 80% occupancy rates, and we’re in the very fortunate position to have even higher figures than this across all of our sites”, said Z Hotels director Jonathan Raymond. “We were delighted to once again be working with Oaknorth to take our growth plans forward.” Oaknorth itself has been in operation since 2015, becoming one of the first challenger banks to reach profitability in just 11 months post-launch.

New survey reveals potential post-Brexit sector labour shortage: The UK hospitality industry could face significant staff shortages if results from a new survey launched by workforce collaboration software company Planday come to pass. The survey, conducted by YouGov, reveals that just over one in ten workers (11%, which is equivalent to around 330,000 staff nationally) working in UK restaurants, catering, bars and hotels are thinking about leaving the UK as a result of Brexit. This is in stark contrast to hospitality managers’ expectations that only around 4% of their workers are considering leaving the UK due to Brexit. 3% of hospitality managers predict they will be forced to close their businesses as a result of Brexit, which nationally could equate to around a £1.1 billion loss for the economy. Almost one in five (18%) of hospitality managers find recruitment harder now than in April 2017. 16% of hospitality managers do not think they will be able to fulfil staffing requirements over the next five years with domestic workers. John Coldicutt, chief commercial officer for Planday, said: “These findings show to us the depth of the potential impact of Brexit on the UK economy, with the hospitality industry being hit especially hard. There’s clearly false confidence within the hospitality sector with almost three times as many workers considering leaving as managers expect. Now more than ever it’s crucial managers make sure they have the right infrastructure in place to engage their employees and build genuine loyalty.” 30% of workers expressed some form of concern about their job as a result of Brexit. Topping the list were immigration worries, with 23% (equivalent to around 86,500 people nationally) of staff polled who are born outside the UK concerned that they would be forced to leave. Other key staff worries amongst all staff focus on expectations of pay decrease (11%) or being made to work longer hours (6%). About a third of managers (32%) who haven’t done so already think they will have to pay higher salaries and will experience labour (21%) and skills shortages (15%) as a result of Brexit. Hospitality managers want more support from the government, calling for the following: Almost half (45%) of hospitality managers want the government to offer some form of assistance to the sector due to Brexit; 30% want specific work permits or visas for hospitality workers post Brexit. Peter Ducker, chief executive of the Institute of Hospitality, said: “Brexit will present some fundamental challenges to our sector if the changes proposed around immigration are approved, given the sheer number of staff and businesses that would be affected. These results clearly show the need across the sector for forward-planning and we are encouraged to see evidence of the industry stepping up to the challenges ahead through increased training and upskilling as well as the many innovative recruitment strategies we know our members are starting to put in place.”

Domino’s chief financial officer steps down with immediate effect: Domino’s Pizza Group has announced that Rachel Osborne is leaving her post as chief financial officer and as a member of the board of directors with effect from 11 June 2018. It will now commence a search for her successor and make an announcement in due course. Stephen Hemsley, chairman, said: “We are grateful for Rachel’s hard work and commitment in helping Domino’s to continue its strong growth. We wish her every success for the future.” Rachel Osborne added: “I’ve very much enjoyed my time at Domino’s and I now look forward to pursuing other career opportunities.” The board reiterates the outlook it gave at the time of its full year results in March, and the confidence in the company’s performance in 2018 and beyond. Interim results for the six months ended 30 June 2018 will be published on 7 August 2018.

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