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Wed 20th Jun 2018 - Propel Wednesday News Briefing

Story of the Day:

New partnership to ‘revolutionise’ hospitality workers’ pay: Fourth, the software partner to the hospitality industry, has partnered with Wagestream in a ground-breaking move that will combine their technologies to give hospitality workers complete control over when they get paid. Employees can withdraw the pay they have earned up to that point, including tips, at any time during the month. The companies said the exclusive partnership demonstrated their commitment to supporting the hospitality industry in a revolutionary move that would improve the financial health and welfare of employees while reducing the churn rate of workers and associated training costs. They added that in the current competitive environment, this was particularly important for back-of-house roles such as chefs. Under the agreement employees will be able to see the total amount of money they have earned in a month via an app and instantly access their pay whenever they need it. Employees will typically be able to access between 30% and 40% of pay ahead of their monthly payment date. There will a £1.75 administration fee per transaction regardless of amount, which can be paid by employee or employer. All payments facilitated by Wagestream will be deducted from the normal monthly pay cycle overseen by Fourth, meaning there is no impact to the normal payroll process or company cash flow. Fourth chief executive Ben Hood said: “Hospitality employees will now have more control over their cash flow, removing one-off payment pinch points to reduce the negative impact of financial stress and giving the opportunity to work an extra shift on a Friday to be able to buy the latest Nike trainers being released the next day. The power of this cannot be underestimated. This will make a fundamental difference to the lives of thousands of workers and, in doing so, generate a more motivated workforce while reducing sick day frequency and creating a tangible point of difference in attracting and retaining the best staff – particularly among millennials and centennials, who demand autonomy and control. This is the future of payment and we’re delighted to be at the forefront.” Wagestream chief executive Peter Briffett added: “This move will further encourage all employers in the industry to put the financial and mental wellness of staff firmly at the top of the agenda.” 

Industry News:

Sector investor Luke Johnson talks to Propel’s Paul Charity in next video for premium subscribers: Sector investor Luke Johnson is interviewed by Propel managing director Paul Charity in our next 30-minute video for Propel Premium subscribers, sent out this Friday (22 June). Johnson talks about Company Voluntary Arrangements, the sale of Draft House, his current views on the economy, US versus UK foodservice, the dangers of rolling out sites too fast, and a host of other subjects. Premium subscribers now receive regular video recordings of key speakers from Propel events and conferences. Propel Premium subscribers also receive their morning newsletter 11 hours early at 7pm the evening before our 6am send-out, and have access to our database of 1,100 multi-site companies. Propel managing director Paul Charity said: “We plan to compile an invaluable library of senior leaders and advisors offering insights and advice, a resource Premium readers can tap into.” An annual premium subscription costs £345 plus VAT for operators and £445 plus VAT for suppliers – plus £50 each for additional team members. Email anne.steele@propelinfo.com to sign up or call her on 01444 817691.  

Deliveroo teams up with refugee chefs: Deliveroo has teamed up with refugee chefs to bring world dishes to north London for Refugee Week, which runs until Sunday (24 June). Working with charity Welcome Kitchen, chefs who fled Syria, Libya, Eritrea and Ivory Coast are using Deliveroo’s Crouch End Editions kitchen to create dishes inspired by their home countries. Deliveroo is covering the cost of hosting the chefs and the delivery fee, with every penny raised going to the charity. Deliveroo founder and chief executive Will Shu said: “Refugee Week is the perfect opportunity for Deliveroo to help the chefs involved take the next step in their dream of a restaurant with its own bricks and mortar site. We want more Londoners to try these amazing meals so we are supporting the project’s set-up costs and covering all the delivery fees so every penny goes to Welcome.” Refugee Week is marking its 20th anniversary.

EP Business in Hospitality appoints former Olympic swimmer to bolster business development through sport: Business thinking and opinion communicator EP Business in Hospitality has appointed former Olympic swimmer Kate Haywood to support its business development strategy and spearhead a campaign that encourages the reinvention of ex-athletes into the corporate business world to change and develop culture, leadership and trust. The company believes businesses can learn from the sporting world to improve current problems in productivity, culture, leadership and behaviour. Haywood’s focus will be to draw on her own sporting experiences and look at the ways sports professionals such as herself can take on varied business roles and use their skills to create change for the better. She said: “I’ve never worked in an office before but my belief is it’s not dissimilar to the sports environment. There are a lot of valid lessons in trust and leadership the corporate world can learn from sport. As an Olympic swimmer, I learned quickly that challenge and failure are the elements that also foster success, as well as helping one to develop and grow. Strong team spirit is compulsory in sport and I truly believe athletes can be great role models for culture and help to drive much-needed change in the business world.” EP Business in Hospitality chief executive and founder Chris Sheppardson added: “Productivity is such an important issue in the workplace today and we can learn real lessons from the world of sport in terms of behaviour, mind-set, teamwork and culture. Kate will be a great campaigner for this and help us make a strong case for change.”

Operators to showcase vegan offerings at new festival: Old Truman Brewery in Shoreditch, east London, is to host a new vegan lifestyle festival called V For. Taking place throughout August, V For will offer a platform for vegans, vegetarians and the “V curious” to celebrate “plant-based food and conscious living”. The event will feature an expansive edition of London’s vegan night market Vegan Nights on Thursday, 2 August, while Juju’s and Ninety One will offer new vegan menus on 11 and 12 August. Meanwhile, Brick Lane Food Hall will open its doors to exclusively vegan and vegetarian food traders for the first time on 4 and 5 August. American-Mexican fusion concept DF/Mexico will launch its own vegan menu during the festival as part of its ongoing offering in Hanbury Street. V For will also showcase the best of ethical fashion as well as health and wellness activities such as yoga and fitness workshops.

Company News:

Bourgee creditors left with estimated deficiency of almost £1m: Creditors of steak-lobster lounge concept Bourgee will be left with an estimated total deficiency of almost £1m, newly filed documents have revealed. In their statement of proposals filed at Companies House, joint administrators Mark Upton and David Scrivener, of Ensors, said the expected total deficiency would be £962,848. The report also showed Bourgee owed Colchester Zoo Holdings, which held a legal charge in respect of the company’s leasehold property and a fixed and floating charge debenture in respect of the company’s assets, about £1m at the date of the administration. Colchester Zoo Holdings’ shortfall is estimated to be £536,132 with unsecured creditors, excluding Colchester Zoo Holdings, having an estimated shortfall of £426,716. The report stated: “Based on present information, we estimate the value of the company’s net floating charge property to be circa £16,000. Arising from this, the value of the unsecured creditors’ fund is estimated to be about £5,600. Please be aware the value of this fund is likely to fluctuate during the course of the administration and further updates will be provided in our progress reports in due course.” Colchester Zoo Holdings called in Ensors in October last year to carry out a financial review of Bourgee. Subsequently, discussions took place between the directors regarding the settlement of Bourgee's liability to Colchester Zoo Holdings and a possible agreement in relation to the separation of the group but the talks were unsuccessful. The document showed Bourgee sold its restaurants in Bury St Edmunds, Chelmsford and Southend in a pre-packaged administration sale for £400,000. As previously reported by Propel, Bourgee directors Dominique and Anthony Tropeano, who are also behind Colchester Zoo, acquired the restaurants and have since reopened the Chelmsford and Southend sites under new concept Colenzo’s. The Tropeanos have branched out into the restaurant industry in recent years and were two of the directors of Bourgee when it was founded in 2015, alongside chef Mark Baumann and entrepreneur James Welling. The report revealed an initial consideration of £300,000 was received on completion of the sale with the balance of £100,000 to be paid once the lease was formally assigned. The Bourgee name and brand was excluded from the sale and the Bourgee Bites – Bar – Luxe Lounge at London Southend airport continues to trade under Welling and Baumann’s ownership.

Ei Group paid £1m consideration for 51% stake in PubLove: Ei Group paid a consideration of £1m to acquire a 51% stake in PubLove, newly filed accounts have revealed. PubLove, the six-strong London group founded by Ben Stackhouse, became the seventh partnership under the Ei Managed Investments programme when it acquired the stake in April last year. The sum was revealed in accounts filed at Companies House for the year ending 30 September 2017. The net book value at the end of the period increased to £2,233,000 compared with £1,003,000 the previous year. The report stated: “The company also owns 75% of Hippo Inns, 51% of the ordinary share capital of Mash Inns, 75% of the ordinary share capital of Frontier Pubs, 51% of the ordinary share capital of Hunky Dory Pubs and 75% of the ordinary share capital of Marmalade Pubs. During the year the company subscribed for 75% of the ordinary share capital of Dirty Liquor, 51% of the ordinary share capital of Six Cheers, 51% of the ordinary share capital of Hush Heath Inns and 75% of the ordinary share capital of Bestplace (Beta). During the year the company also acquired 51% of the ordinary share capital of Bestplace, trading as PubLove, a small boutique hostel operator in London, for a consideration of £1m.” Ei Group now operates ten managed joint ventures having launched The Old Spot Pub Company last month with partners Dave Ford, director of Field To Fork, and Bernard O’Neill, director of Productivity Mentor. Meanwhile, Ei Group has partnered with University College Birmingham (UCB) for its first food strategy immersion day for regional managers and divisional directors. Held at the UCB campus, the training day focused on informing and upskilling key members of the group’s field-based teams. Participants will now be able to share best practice and tips with publicans, enabling them to improve their food offer and boost sales. This year Ei Group has introduced two food and drink offers across its Ei Publican Partnerships portfolio – Barrel Top Pizza and the Beerista coffee offer. Focusing on building knowledge of the group’s latest food strategy, the training day anchored on training seminars hosted by Ei Group head of food Paul Farr, workshops by suppliers such as Booker, and a session on how Barrel Top Pizza can benefit a publican’s business.

Hart brothers pass £2m mark in crowdfunding campaign to take Barrafina to King’s Cross: Harts Group, the parent company of London restaurants Barrafina and Quo Vadis, has passed the £2m mark in its fund-raise on crowdfunding platform Crowdcube. The campaign was launched with an initial £750,000 target and raised more than £1.6m within the first two hours. The company is offering 9.12% equity in return for investment, with the funds to be used to support an expansion to King’s Cross. The brothers want to open a Barrafina site in Coal Drops Yard in October offering 34 covers inside, 60 on a terrace and a 20-cover private dining room. So far, 607 investors have pledged £2,044,240 and the campaign is “overfunding” with 25 days remaining. The largest investment has been £150,000. It is the first time the company, which is led by Sam and James Hart, has offered a chance to invest in the business. Harts Group’s Ebitda growth has averaged 19.9% per year since 2013. In 2017, the company turned over £10.3m with Ebitda of £1.04m. Quo Vadis is a British restaurant offering produce-led food from much-respected chef Jeremy Lee. It also has a members’ club in Soho. Barrafina offers top-quality Spanish tapas, bar dining and private events spaces. The original Barrafina opened in Soho in 2007, with two more launching in 2014 and 2015 in Adelaide Street and Drury Lane, Covent Garden. The brothers also teamed up with Crispin Somerville to launch tortilla factory and taco bar Tortilleria El Pastor in Bermondsey in April.

Rola Wala evolving format as it ‘pushes to next level’: Mark Wright, founder of Indian-inspired street food concept Rola Wala, has told Propel the company is evolving its format as it “pushes to the next level”. The company recently opened its first “sit-down” restaurant – within Selfridges at Birmingham – to complement its grab-and-go offer in Spitalfields, London, and the Trinity Centre, Leeds. Wright said: “We are looking at ways we can move forward and Selfridges looked a really good fit so we took the opportunity. Selfridges wanted a young emerging concept to go into its Birmingham store and it gives us a whole new audience. Right now, we’re concentrating on making the most of the assets we’ve got and making them work really hard. We’re now pushing that to the next level and the restaurant concept is really interesting for us given where we’ve come from in east London and the Trinity Centre. Selfridges is that next step and Birmingham has one of the biggest Asian populations in the UK.” Meanwhile, Wright admitted the company had taken a “considerable hit” by closing its site at the Westgate Centre in Oxford just six months after launch. He added: “It wasn’t quite what we expected and we took the view it was better to leave. We will learn from it and move forward.” He said trade was “not quite as buoyant as a year ago” but added: “You just have to get better at what you do and, if you keep delivering great-tasting food, service and value, people will come.”

East Midlands multiple operator takes on fifth Star Pubs & Bars site: East Midlands multiple operator Johnny Parr has taken on a fifth Star Pubs & Bars site, The Cock Inn in Werrington, Peterborough. Parr will run the pub with partner Sabrina Iredale, and Damo Wallace and his fiancé Katy Glindon. The Cock Inn is currently closed for a £280,000 refurbishment that will see the pub transformed and offer food for the first time in years when it reopens at the end of August. The number of covers is being increased from 69 to 88. The food will include tapas-style sharing platters and light bites in the day and a full menu of fresh home-cooked pub classics in the evening. Drinks will include premium lager, champagne, prosecco, extensive wine and gin menus and cocktails made to order. Parr also operates The Square in Market Deeping, The Manor House in Wortham, the Mason’s Arms in Bourne and the Black Swan in Spalding with Star Pubs & Bars. He said: “We had been interested in The Cock Inn for a number of years as we knew it had great potential with the right investment. It was quite run-down so when we heard Star Pubs & Bars was planning a major refurbishment we knew the time was right to take it on and they would do a great job as they have done at our other sites.” Star Pubs & Bars regional operations director Paul Linton added: “The Cock Inn, like other pubs, needs ongoing investment to ensure it continues to be relevant to the local community it serves. Peterborough has changed enormously in recent years and the area is crying out for a pub of this kind – a good-quality, family-friendly pub serving great food and drinks.”

The Hatton Collection acquires eighth site: The Hatton Collection, which owns seven hotels and inns across the Cotswolds, Somerset and Jersey, has acquired The Little Thatch Inn in Quedgeley, near Gloucester, off a guide price of £800,000. The company has bought the grade II-listed venue from Jacky McDougall, who had owned it since 1970, through agents Christie & Co. The property dates to 1351 and has 24 en-suite rooms. The Hatton Collection chief executive Darren Hiscox said: “We have been eager to expand our portfolio in the Gloucester area and The Thatch is a perfect addition. We plan to sympathetically refurbish all areas of the property over the forthcoming months starting with the bar and public areas.” Matthew Smith, director of Christie & Co, based in the Bristol office, added: “The Little Thatch Inn provides a superb opportunity to further expand, with plenty of trade available due to the recent commercial and residential growth of the Quedgeley area.”

Cheshire-based Italian restaurant Cibo acquires lease of former Carluccio’s in Hale for third site: Cheshire-based Italian restaurant Cibo has acquired the lease of a former Carluccio’s in Hale for its third site. Cibo, which has a restaurant in Wilmslow as well as a sister site in Disley called Sasso, has taken over the remainder of a 25-year lease expiring in 2039 for the venue. The property in Victoria Road extends to 3,519 square feet across the ground floor and basement and the restaurant will now undergo a refurbishment to reopen under the Cibo brand. Savills director Tom Cunningham, who brokered the sale, said: “We are very pleased this restaurant will be given a new lease of life, reopening as Cibo Hale following the closure of Carluccio’s. Hale continues to be a popular eating out location with a thriving restaurant trade.” Smith Young acted for the landlord.

Ciro Salvo bringing Neapolitan pizzeria concept to central London next month for UK debut: Master pizzaiolo Ciro Salvo is set to bring his Neapolitan pizzeria concept to central London next month for the brand’s UK debut. 50 Kalò di Ciro Salvo will open in Northumberland Avenue, near Trafalgar Square, on Thursday, 12 July. Salvo specialises in “high-hydration dough” and his new venue will involve a “continuous search for the best Campanian produce and raw materials and, when possible, sourcing from the best suppliers available locally”. The menu at the London venue will be similar to the brand's flagship Naples restaurant and, as well as traditional pizza, the concept will offer fried pizzas such as the Parmesan-topped Montanara alongside ricotta and filled fritti, Hot Dinners reports. Wine will come from the Campania region of Italy, alongside Italian craft beer and champagne to encourage customers to enjoy a mixture of “pizza and bubbles” when dining.

DSC Group launches zero waste tap bar in Tooting: DSC Group, the operating business behind Donostia Social Club, The Tapas Room & DSC Imports, has launched zero waste tap bar Tap 13 at Tooting Broadway Market. The venue has opened in a space at the market called The Cave, which also houses Filipino sizzling dish concept Ulam and pasta specialists Mamma Mia! Tap 13 offers 13 taps but no bottles, mixers, disposable glasses or straws, with customers able to purchase a reusable growler to take beer home. Four taps offer craft beer, including three pale ales from south London-based Bullfinch Brewery, with the others dispensing cocktails from One Point Eight, cider from The Real Al Company, and wine from Borough Wines, all from recyclable kegs. DSC Group chef and owner Paul Belcher launched his concept The Tapas Room at Broadway Market in May last year. Earlier this month, he opened a second Tapas Room, in Deptford Market Yard. The new Basque-inspired wine shop, tapas bar and delicatessen is larger than the Tooting space and offers counter dining and banquette seating alongside a central tasting table.

Gusto Italian takes new direction with summer menu launch: Casual dining group Gusto Italian has launched a summer menu inspired by a food research trip to Milan. The menu sees a new direction for the brand, promoting its fresh-from-scratch cooking style and capitalising on the burgeoning healthy food trend with new vegetarian and vegan dishes. New dishes include five-hour slow-cooked ragu, Milanese-style meatballs, whole salt-baked rainbow trout with Salmoriglio marinade, and a rainbow superfood salad for vegans. In addition, the 19-strong group has partnered with type 1 diabetes charity JDRF to help raise awareness and funds through sales from its new menu. People with type 1 diabetes must count carbohydrates before every meal to know how much insulin to inject before eating. Gusto Italian managing director Matt Snell said: “This is an exciting menu change for us and heralds a new direction for the Gusto Italian brand. Our fresh-from-scratch cooking is a real competitive advantage and this menu starts to tell our story more overtly. It’s the beginning of a breakthrough strategy for the business. Working with independent professional dieticians we’ve carbohydrate-counted our entire new summer menu, providing essential information to our customers. We’ll also donate 25p from the sale of every Romesco chicken salad to JDRF as well as £1 for every booking made by JDRF supporters.”

Long leasehold of Brixton site sub-let to Dip & Flip goes on market for £1m: The long leasehold of a site in Brixton, south London, which is sub-let to roast meat sandwich and burger specialist Dip & Flip, has gone on the market for £1m. The offer, marketed by agents Christie & Co, comprises the ground and lower-ground floor of the premises in Atlantic Road. William Langton, business agent at Christie & Co, who is handling the sale, said: “We anticipate strong levels of interest, not only due to the location but also the attractive sub-lease that is in place to an operator of good standing with multiple sites in the south west London region.” Christie & Co is seeking offers of £1m for the long leasehold, which holds an unexpired term of 107 years at a peppercorn rent.

Yum! Brands sends Pizza Hut down healthier path as it commits to chicken raised free of antibiotics: Yum! Brands is sending Pizza Hut down a healthier path after committing to serve chicken raised free of antibiotics that are important to human medicine by 2022. The company said the commitment covered all chicken, including WingStreet wings, and comes roughly a year after the brand completed the removal of antibiotics important to human medicine from its chicken used on pizzas. As part of its healthy push, Pizza Hut has already eliminated partially hydrogenated oil and MSG. During the past six years, Pizza Hut has also removed three million pounds of salt from its ingredients. Pizza Hut chief brand officer Marianne Radley said: “We are dedicated to listening to our customers and serving better food. This announcement to no longer serve chicken raised with antibiotics by 2022 demonstrates our commitment to serve food that not only tastes great but customers can feel good about eating. Our customers are our business and we will continue to push ourselves to ensure we are delivering the quality food and experience our customers expect and deserve.”

Bintang team launches ramen concept in Kentish Town: The team behind pioneering pan-Asian fusion restaurant Bintang has launched a ramen concept in Kentish Town. Bintang has been operating in Kentish Town Road for more than 30 years, evolving to offer imaginative delicacies from Malaysia, China, Indonesia, Japan, Vietnam and the Philippines alongside a bring-your-own drinks policy. Now the team has launched Ramo Ramen in the same street at a site formerly occupied by Pit Stop Café, which closed last year. Alongside ramen, the venue offers bubble tea and a signature mango peach pie dessert, the Kentish Towner reports.

Grosvenor Pubs co-founder launches pasta concept Bancone in central London: David Ramsey, who co-founded pub company Grosvenor Pubs with former Busaba chief executive Jason Myers, has launched pasta concept Bancone in central London. Ramsey has partnered with restaurateur William Ellner to open Bancone in William IV Street, close to Trafalgar Square. The kitchen is led by Louis Korovilas, who trained under Michelin-starred chef Giorgio Locatelli. His menu focuses on fresh pasta dishes and hyper-seasonal small plates. Dishes include pappardelle with kid goat and rosemary ragu and plates such as lamb-neck ravioli with spring vegetables. The bar caters for aperitivi and cicchetti alongside Italian wine by the glass from lesser-known growers. The decor features living walls and glass cabinets for drying pasta. Ellner, who operates Joanna’s restaurant in Crystal Palace, said: “I am thrilled to have Louis on board at Bancone. He’s incredibly passionate about Italian food and produce and comes from a prestigious restaurant background. Italian food – particularly pasta – is enjoying the limelight in London once again.” Grosvenor Pubs is backed by Downing LLP and aims to build an estate of high-quality pubs with rooms.

Birmingham-based Indian Brewery to open second site, in August: Birmingham-based street food bar and restaurant Indian Brewery is to open its second site, in Solihull. The company will open the new venue in Station Road in August. The 50-cover site will feature an open kitchen and have more of a “family-friendly feel”, according to co-owner Jaspal Purewal. He told Birmingham Live: “We had been looking for a new site for a year. I studied in Solihull so I know the area well and thought it would be a great place to open the second restaurant – somewhere that feels relaxed and informal. The Solihull eatery will have more of a family-friendly feel but the menu and interior will be very much the same. Of course, we will also offer our craft beer.” Indian Brewery expanded its site in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter earlier this year to accommodate 100 people.

Gravy-dipped burger concept Nanny Bill’s to take over John Lewis’ Oxford Street rooftop space: Gravy-dipped burger concept Nanny Bill’s is to take over John Lewis’ Oxford Street rooftop space next month. Nanny Bill’s will take over from chicken sandwich concept Butchies at the flagship store from Wednesday, 4 July. Nanny Bill’s offers burgers such as The Dalston Dip (aged beef patty with mustard glaze, caramelised onions and a pot of gravy for dipping), and the vegan Lula Burger (black bean and quinoa patty with grilled teriyaki pineapple, vegan cheese, pink onions and spicy mayo). The concept also offers a range of salads alongside specialist side dishes such as mac ‘n’ cheese croquettes, Hot Dinners reports. Nanny Bill’s is the brainchild of Darren Simpson, who took inspiration from his grandmother to started serving food from a 1970s Citroen HY truck in spring 2015. Following a number of pop-ups and appearances at events, Nanny Bill’s opened its debut bricks and mortar site in Kensal Rise in early 2017. It also operates a residency at basement bar Birthdays Dalston.

Team behind Liverpool-based Italian restaurant opens second site: The team behind Liverpool-based Italian restaurant Nicolas has opened its second site in the city. It has launched Cucina Italiana in Hardman Street in the former Bistro Jacques site that was operated by Bistro Qui. Cucina Italiana serves authentic dishes including pasta, pizza, fish and carne. Spokeswoman Karen Yilmaz told the Liverpool Echo: “Liverpool city centre has completely changed. It’s a really up and coming place and I think we’ve managed to pick the right location at the right time. What we do is about family so we’ve ripped the bar out and put a pizza oven in instead, where children can make their own pizzas.” Nicolas is in South Road in the Waterloo area of the city.

Bristol-based operator opens second site for Greek restaurant concept: Bristol-based operator George Kotsias has opened a second site in the city for his Greek restaurant concept Taka Taka. The venue has opened in Bridewell Street, creating 40 jobs, and is seven times larger than Taka Taka’s debut site in Clifton Triangle. The concept offers kebabs and other Greek speciality dishes such as souvlaki, salad and gyros wraps. The new site includes a supermarket that stocks Greek products, building on the success of the brand’s deli counter in Clifton. Kotsias, who also owns Opa restaurant in Baldwin Street, told the Bristol Post: “We have done really well at our Clifton branch since opening nine years ago and our new restaurant will build on our growing popularity. It’s much bigger and customers can buy virtually any product you’d be able to buy in Greece in our new supermarket as well as being able to eat food in or take it away.”

Review Hotels adds wine and cheese bar to Newmarket hotel: Review Hotels has introduced a wine and cheese bar at The Rutland Arms Hotel in Newmarket following its acquisition in April. The drinks list includes more than 40 varieties of wine and champagne, while there is also a menu of British, Spanish, Italian and French cheeses. Review Hotels has also conducted staff training programmes guided by Sean Melville, executive head chef of sister hotel the Bedford Lodge Hotel & Spa, on the new menus and food offering. Chief executive Noel Byrne told Insider Media: “The launch of the wine and cheese bar is one of the first in a series of renovations we’re undertaking since acquiring The Rutland Arms Hotel. Our ongoing plans to invest, refurbish and develop the hotel, creating jobs along the way and ultimately a space for guests and the local community to enjoy, are firmly under way and we’re excited to see them come to fruition.”

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