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Morning Briefing Strap Line
Mon 25th Jun 2018 - Propel Monday News Briefing

Story of the Day: 

Government plans compulsory calorie count on menus: Restaurants, pubs and cafes will be forced to print calorie content on their menus in a proposed drive to cut child obesity. New laws are being drawn up by the government to ensure parents can make an informed choice about what they feed their kids. Experts believe they will eat less if they know the fat content of fast food such as kebabs, pizza and curry before they order. The calorie count scheme is part of a package of measures aimed at halving the number of obese children within 12 years. Supermarkets will be banned from displaying sweets and chocolate at checkouts to stop kids using “pester power” on their parents. There will also be a crackdown on buy-one-get-one-free deals on unhealthy food. The health secretary Jeremy Hunt said he wants to give parents more power to make good food choices for their kids. Tough new restrictions will be place on television and online advertising of sugary or fatty products aimed at children. The government will consult food and retail chains about its action plan. Hunt said: “The cost of obesity – both on individual lives and our NHS – is too great to ignore. So we are taking steps to ensure by 2030, children from all backgrounds have the help they need for a healthier, more active start in life.” The crackdown on foods high in sugar, fat and salt will be coupled with initiatives to keep children active. All primary schools will be expected to encourage pupils to run or jog a mile a day, or cycle to lessons. UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “The out-of-home sector supports workable efforts to promote healthier eating habits, as demonstrated by the proactive actions already in reformulating menus to reduce calories and increase transparency and choice for customers. However, the introduction of mandatory menu calorie labelling would represent a significant burden for businesses, particularly smaller operators. Many venues already choose to show calorie content on their menus, with many high street brands giving customers an unprecedented level of information but the reality is smaller businesses will struggle to do so. It would impose a serious additional cost for many businesses facing tightening margins, increased operating costs and wider economic instability. Furthermore, it would hamper venues’ endeavours to incorporate seasonal ingredients and ‘specials’ to attract custom, as well as restricting smaller restaurants’ ability to innovate, particularly when tackling food waste. Furthermore, calorie labelling would largely fall outside of the government’s targeting of obesity among lower income children, as obesity in that demographic is less likely to be caused by dining in restaurants.”
 

Industry News:  

UKHospitality and Tourism Alliance back Heathrow expansion: UKHospitality and the Tourism Alliance have backed a move for expansion and a third runway at Heathrow to “cement the UK’s position on the global stage for tourism and trade”. The industry bodies outlined the importance of increasing aviation capacity in the UK, especially for regions outside its main cities. London currently captures more than 50% of the revenue and employment generated by tourism to the UK. The bodies said the monopolised opportunity was not what the tourism industry, government or regions wanted. Therefore, reserving 15% of slots for domestic routes was critical. The joint statement reads: “The UK tourism and hospitality industries are among the most successful in the world. Included in the 200,000 tourism-related businesses operating in the UK we have the world’s largest hotel group, the world’s second-largest entertainment company and the world’s second-largest international airport. Feeding into this, the UK’s world-class hospitality sector plays a lead role in providing visitors with outstanding restaurants, bars and pubs – not to mention thriving hotel and B&B businesses. The expansion of Heathrow and a third runway would see the UK cement its position on the global stage for tourism and trade, further connecting Britain to the rest of the world. The current need for increasing aviation capacity in the UK cannot be overlooked. Without expansion the potential for economic growth is becoming severely restricted. Moreover, as a result of capacity issues airlines have been forced to switch slots from serving domestic destinations to international ones, making it increasingly difficult for overseas visitors to explore beyond major cities like London. The UK has more to offer across the country so we need to make the decision now to ensure we are paving the way for the future growth and investment for the entire country – not just our capital.” The UK is ranked the fifth most competitive tourism destination in the world and sixth most popular global destination. The 38 million overseas visitors a year contribute £27bn to the economy and generate half a million jobs and an estimated £5bn to HM Treasury in VAT and Air Passenger Duty. In the past 12 months, inbound tourism also generated £2.5bn in export earnings and created 45,000 jobs.
 
Lager drinkers put taste and quality above price as premiumisation movement grows: Lager drinkers prize taste and quality above price as the move to premiumisation continues to grow, according to new research by YouGov and Camden Town Brewery. Taste is the most important factor for 95% of lager drinkers when choosing a brand, followed by quality (83%). Cost was the most important factor for little more than three-quarters (77%) of those questioned. Almost half (49%) of British lager drinkers claim the provenance of a lager brand is important to them when choosing a drink, while more than two-thirds (70%) claim to have consumed premium lager brands in the past six months. When looking for a good-quality lager, more than half (58%) of British lager drinkers go for a premium brand over mainstream options. Quality, which includes ingredients and packaging, is key for most millennials, with more than four-fifths (85%) of 25 to 34-year-olds ranking quality as an important factor compared with fewer than three-quarters (74%) of 18 to 24-year-olds. Premium lager continues to convert drinkers, the report stated, with more than two-thirds (70%) of 25 to 34-year-olds claiming to have consumed the product in the past three months, more so than any other age bracket. Almost three-fifths (59%) of British lager drinkers said the quality of lager is more important to them now than it was five years ago and optimism for the category remains high, with 83% of 18 to 35-year-olds surveyed predicting the popularity of premium lager would continue to grow during the next five years. Camden Town Brewery founder Jasper Cuppiage told Propel: “We have seen premiumisation become more important in food and beverage. We’ve seen it in coffee and crisps and now beer – people are more conscious of how these things are made. People are drinking less in terms of volume but we are seeing an increase in terms of revenue. It’s clear attitudes to beer are changing. New breweries are opening all the time so there’s plenty of choice for consumers but we’re concentrating on looking at ourselves rather than other people. Our strategy is to continue building our brand as we strive to make the greatest lager in the world.”
 
BBPA brands BT Sport and Sky Sports price rises ‘disappointing’: The British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) has branded the above-inflation rise in pub subscriptions announced by Sky Sports and BT Sport “disappointing”. BT Sport, which will broadcast 52 Premier League games per season from 2019-20, said it would increase pub subscriptions by 4.9%. Sky Sports, which will broadcast 128 Premier League games per season from 2019-20, announced “no pub or club would see a price rise of more than 5%”. BBPA chief executive Brigid Simmonds acknowledged how supportive both broadcasters had been to the pub industry. However, she added: “It is disappointing Sky Sports and BT Sport have both announced increases above inflation. This is a blow to pubs, which already face considerable cost pressures. Both companies are offering more help for licensees. Sky will continue to use 2010 revaluation figures, where these are lower than the rateable value for 2017, and BT will cap increases for all existing customers. Both are offering training for licensees to help them better promote their businesses and are widening when and how much sport is available. Sky Sports and BT Sport are both very supportive of our industry and recognise live sport continues to be a big draw to the pub. For a pub to offer all televised live sport, however, it needs Sky, BT and perhaps now Amazon. The cost of this for pubs is considerable.” Amazon will show 20 Premier League games from 2019-20 although it has yet to reveal pricing arrangements.

Bidvest Logistics begins trading under new name: Foodservice distributer Bidvest Logistics has officially started trading under its new name – Best Food Logistics. There will be a short period of transition while the new name and logo is introduced across the business on its website, uniforms and signage. The business recently agreed new long-term contracts with restaurant brands including PizzaExpress, TGI Friday’s, Azzurri Group-owned ASK Italian and Zizzi and, notably, KFC. The company said it was also working on a “number of exciting opportunities that would unlock long-term partnerships for further restaurant chains”. Business unit director Paul Whyte said: “Best Food Logistics reflects what we’d like our brand to convey – to be the best in every part of our business and make things easier for our customers and the relationship more enjoyable. Not only have we shortened our name, we’re shortening response times with our new real-time customer service portal.” Mark Hayes, supply chain director at KFC UK and Ireland, added: “We are delighted with how Bidvest seamlessly transitioned our northern supply chain operations into its shared user network.”
  
European hotel industry reports revpar rise in May: The European hotel industry saw a rise in revpar and average daily rate in May despite a fall in occupancy levels. STR data showed the continent’s revpar rate for the month rose 0.6% to €84.31, while the average daily rate increased 1.5% to €113.35. Occupancy levels fell 0.8% during May to 74.4%. STR’s data focused on three countries – the UK, France and Portugal. France saw a rise in all three key metrics, with occupancy up 3.2% to 69.6%, revpar rising 4.9% to €84.18, and average daily rate increasing 1.7% to €120.87. The increase in revpar was the 11th consecutive month for France helped by the upscale hotels segment, which posted the largest jump (9.1%). Portugal saw huge leaps in revpar (up 14.5% to €94.98) and average daily rate (up 16.8% to €123.11), both the highest for any May in STR’s Portugal database. Overall revpar growth was helped by the upper midscale hotels segment, which rose 33.9%. The increases came even as slower demand (minus 2.0%) lowered occupancy levels (down 2.0% to 77.2%). As previously reported, occupancy levels in the UK rose 0.5% to 79.8%, while revpar fell 0.3% to £74.47. Average daily rate also fell (0.8% to £93.31), the UK’s first year-on-year decline since October 2016. The decrease came even as strong demand (+2.0%) outpaced healthy supply growth (+1.4%). London’s overall performance was negative with revpar down 4.5%, mainly due to the largest average daily rate decrease in the market (minus 3.7%) for any May since 2009.
 

Company News: 

Yummy Pub Company site suffers fire: The Somers Town Coffee House, operated by Yummy Pub Company suffered a large fire on Friday (22 June). The London Fire Brigade said it was called to a blaze in Chalton Street, a few hundred metres from Euston, King's Cross and St Pancras, at 8.06pm. Witnesses reported seeing flames and plumes of smoke coming from the pub. There were at least 72 firefighters tackling the blaze at one stage, the brigade said.
 
Authentic Alehouses passes £6m mark in £10m crowdfunding campaign: Leeds-based Authentic Alehouses, led by Burning Night Group boss Allan Harper, has passed the £6m mark in its £10m fund-raise on crowdfunding platform Crowdstacker. The company launched its funding bid in July last year to revive the fortunes of underperforming pubs by attracting a new generation of customers with a menu of “quality artisan food and drink, updated decor and a variety of entertainment”. It opened its first venue in November by relaunching The Albert Hotel in Hull following a £1m refurbishment. Its other venues are The Fountain Inn in Barnoldswick, Lancashire; The Countess Of Rosse, near Bradford; and the Albert Hotel in Southport. Authentic Alehouses is offering investors a 6.5% per annum interest rate through a peer-to-peer loan. Backers are also given the potential to earn income tax-free by investing via Crowdstacker’s Innovative Finance ISA. Authentic Alehouses’ campaign has so far raised £6,144,815. The next closing date is Monday, 23 July. Authentic Alehouses plans to use the capital to refurbish sites in prime locations, streamline and modernise its operation to cut waste, and introduce higher-quality food, a broader range of drinks, and more family-orientated entertainment.
 
Jamie's Italian opens sixth Royal Caribbean site: Jamie's Italian has opened its sixth restaurant with Royal Caribbean – this time on the newly refurbished boat, Mariner of the Seas. The ship arrived in its home port of Miami on Friday (22 June) before setting sail with guests on board next week, bound for the Bahamas. The restaurant will offer customers on board Italian antipasti planks, fresh pasta made every day, fresh salads, grills, a healthy kids' menu, a complete drinks menu and more. Nick Schapira, chief operating officer of the international side of the Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group, said: "We're thrilled to be part of yet another exciting Royal Caribbean venture, hot on the heels of our restaurant opening on board Symphony of the Seas. The refurbishment of Mariner with a new Jamie's Italian on board is a testament to our successful partnership with Royal Caribbean, the dedicated service and incredible food we provide to customers, even while at sea. We look forward to exploring many more opportunities with Royal Caribbean in the coming years."
 
Brighton tea business sees revenue top £2m: Revenue has topped £2m at a Brighton tea business that was set up by a couple from their bedroom six years ago. Bird & Blend Tea Co was founded in 2012 by Kristina Smith and Mike Turner. It now has seven stores, including a flagship site in Brighton. Smith told Insider Media: “Although I’d worked for a tea blend company previously, Mike and I wanted more flexibility over our working hours and knew starting our own business would allow us to do this. We noticed a growing demand for alternative tea blends but spotted a gap in the market for tea mixologist boutiques in the Brighton area. Once we established our flagship Brighton store, we decided to expand our network across the country.” The business gained the backing of the Start Up Loans Company, securing £12,500, and now employs a 75-strong team. Start Up Loans Company managing director Joanna Hill said: “It is fantastic to see the amount of progress Bird and Blend Tea Co has made within the past six years. Generating £2m in turnover is an impressive achievement for any startup and it’s tantamount to the hard work and commitment Mike and Kristina have for their business.”
 
Soho House to open Amsterdam site next month: Soho House will open a site in Amsterdam next month. Soho House Amsterdam will have 79 bedrooms, a rooftop pool, a floor of club space, and a Cecconi’s restaurant and Cowshed spa on the ground floor that will be open to the public. In addition, the property will include 75 bike racks and a small workshop for repairs. Soho House Amsterdam will be housed in the six-storey Bungehuis building, previously part of the University of Amsterdam. On the fifth floor, the main members’ area will overlook a canal. The public area will feature a large open fire, while the adjacent library will have its own bar and workspace area. On the other side, House Kitchen will serve food and drinks throughout the day, with an open kitchen and deli counter. A performance and members’ events space will have its own lounge and bar. The House Gym will be on the fourth floor overlooking the canal. The 79 rooms will be spread across three floors, reports Hotel Designs. Soho House was founded by Nick Jones in 1995 in Greek Street, Soho. It has since expanded to have “houses” around the world.
 
Sushimania to open ninth site in Cambridge: Sushimania is to open its ninth site this week, this time in Cambridge. Sushimania is opening the branch in Christ's Lane, replacing the closed Giraffe eatery on the corner next to Drummer Street bus station. The upmarket city centre street has boarded-up shops but is finally set to see new businesses open – a year after being hit by a sudden spate of closures. A Sushimania spokeswoman said: "We opened our first branch in 2011 at Golders Green, London and expanded to a total of four London restaurants. We also have branches in Nottingham, Brighton, Reading, Oxford and our newest branch in Cambridge. We offer fresh and affordable Japanese cuisine with more than 200 dishes to choose from. Unlike a traditional buffet of pre-made food, we take customers orders from our easily designed sheet and make the food fresh to order.”
 
Inn Collection Group makes pair of senior appointments: Pub operator The Inn Collection Group, acquired by Alchemy Partners last week, has made a duo of senior appointments. Expansion plans across the group’s north east of England stronghold have led to the promotions of Paul Brown as operations manager and Gary Turner as commercial and compliance manager as the company develops its senior team. Brown, an experienced operations manager who has worked in the sector for 25 years having held roles at Shearings Holidays and JD Wetherspoon, joined the group in 2014 to head up its Cleveland unit, The King’s Head Inn at Newton under Roseberry. He will spearhead operations and drive performance at the seven-strong group, which is set to open an eighth unit in Northumberland later this year. Turner, who joined the group to manage its 53-bedroom operation, The Hog’s Head Inn in Alnwick, Northumberland, five years ago, has been promoted to take up the new company role of commercial and compliance manager. He brings with him 17 years’ leisure and travel tourism industry experience, working in the sector with Bourne Leisure and Haven. The Inn Collection Group managing director Sean Donkin said: “Both Paul and Gary have been tremendous assets to the company since joining and have been involved in operations that have had significant impacts on our performance. Their appointments come at a pivotal time for the group as we begin to roll out strategic ‘buy and build’ growth plans as part of the company’s continued evolution journey. Both Paul and Gary will play an integral role in our expansion while maximising trading operations at our existing sites.”
 
Social Entertainment Ventures opens first Puttshack site, in Westfield London: Social Entertainment Ventures has opened a first site for its mini-golf concept Puttshack as part of Westfield London’s £600m expansion. The company, which is also the parent of Bounce ping-pong bars, has opened a venue comprising four nine-hole courses that are based on computer, arcade and fairground games. One hole features an interactive quiz, while a pinball-themed hole sees the ball activate light and sound to help players achieve a higher score. A patented ball-tracking and scoring system, Trackaball, unlocks new levels while mini-computers inside the ball record video highlights from each round. The food offering includes popcorn chicken, pizza, tacos, salads and burgers alongside cocktails, The Handbook reports. Further Puttshacks are due to open at No1 Poultry in the City and Intu Lakeside, with the intention to roll out further sites in the next five years. In March, Social Entertainment Ventures appointed former D&D London chief operating officer Toby Harris as chief executive as it enters a “new phase of expansion in the UK and US”. Founded by Adam Breedon, the company also holds the licence for Flight Club in North America.

Two Heads Beer Co further extends £350,000 crowdfunding campaign: Independent craft beer retailer Two Heads Beer Co has further extended its £350,000 fund-raise on crowdfunding platform Crowdcube as it looks to open four stores. The company, which is led by former BrewDog head of retail acquisitions James Hickson, increased its equity offer to 14.9% last month from the original 10% and extended the campaign. This has now been pushed on a further two weeks and so far 210 investors have pledged £312,500 with 14 days remaining. Hickson said: “Following a strong day of investments, with £12,000 pledged in a single day and with momentum behind our campaign, we have agreed with Crowdcube to extend our pitch for another 14 days. This allows us to continue building that momentum, with a steady stream of investments arriving every day. It also lets us continue a couple of important conversations with potential investors. We have also been working on some exciting plans that would enhance our customer experience and generate a significant chunk of new revenue.” Earlier this month, Two Heads Beer Co made offers on outlets in Surbiton, Surrey, and Herne Hill, south London, as it looks to add to its six-strong portfolio. Two Heads Beer Co trades as The Beer Boutique and We Brought Beer brands. The company generated revenue of more than £958,000 in 2017. Hickson founded We Brought Beer in 2014. It merged with fellow bottle shop business The Beer Boutique in January, with founder Jon Kaye becoming executive chairman of Two Heads Beer Co.

Red Mist Leisure unveils new commis chef and chef de partis apprenticeship schemes: Pub operator Red Mist Leisure has partnered with Farnborough College of Technology for two new apprenticeship schemes targeting commis chefs and chefs de partis. The company is offering apprenticeship opportunities from September that involve working four days a week in one of its pub kitchens, combined with one day attending Farnborough College of Technology. The college work will be a mixture of theory and practical assignments and the course will take just over one academic year to complete, to also include the time needed to take the end assessment. In addition, each apprentice will have an assigned tutor who will visit them in their kitchen to check progress and assist in any areas they may need further guidance. Red Mist Leisure managing director Mark Robson said: “Apprenticeships offer a fantastic opportunity for people to gain the skills they need for the pub jobs of the future and for pubs like ours with a strong emphasis on fresh, seasonal and local food, a good and reliable chef is critical to the operation, so we hope through launching our new apprenticeship scheme, we can continue to focus on attracting, retaining and developing these sought after professionals. The Red Mist Leisure commis de chef and chef de partis apprenticeships provide a real opportunity for someone that is passionate about quality food and for strong team players who are ambitious and enthusiastic to learn, progress and achieve.”
 
Bottles & Battles co-founders to open Italian wine bar in Spitalfields Market: A new Italian wine bar is opening in Old Spitalfields Market in London next month. Franco Mancini and Daniele Marano, co-founders of Bottles & Battles in Mercato Metropolitano in Borough, have teamed up with pop-up restaurant Sood to launch Bottles. The focus at Bottles, which will open on Friday, 6 July, will be on quality wine made by independent producers and small farms, showcasing regional and indigenous varieties and often exploring forgotten grapes. While distinctly Italian, the wine list will also feature international varieties among its 180 labels. Sood will lead on the food offer as it makes Bottles its new home after a year-long residency at Kitchens in Old Spitalfields Market. The menu will include wild sea bass crudo with a spicy cantaloupe sauce and octopus tortelloni. The venue, which will be spread over two floors with entrances to Brushfield Street and Old Spitalfields Market, will accommodate up to 50 covers. An outside terrace with heaters and additional seating for up to 25 will lead on to the market. The first floor will feature a refrigerated display of cured meat and cheese, while there will be a bespoke mozzarella bar at the market entrance.
 
Japan House London opens with restaurant headed by former Engawa head chef: Japan House London has opened featuring an eatery headed by Akira Shimizu, former head chef of Soho restaurant Engawa. The site in Kensington High Street is one of three locations the Japanese government is launching to offer insights into the country ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics – the others are in Los Angeles and São Paulo. Akira offers Japanese-style omotenashi hospitality with ingredients cooked over a Robata grill. Dishes include sushi specialities and chargrilled kushiyaki skewers made from wagyu beef, pork, chicken, seafood and vegetables. Rice is prepared in a donabe (clay pot), complemented by cocktails including rare sake, yuzu and shiso. Spread over three floors, Japan House London also offers exhibition and events space, a library, shop, and snack bar The Stand, which offers Nel Drip coffee. London mayor Sadiq Khan said: “The Japanese community in London makes a huge contribution economically and culturally to the capital.”

Ei Group launches open morning initiative for suppliers: Ei Group has launched an open morning initiative that gives industry suppliers an opportunity to pitch their products and services to the business. The first open morning takes place on Wednesday, 25 July at Ei Group’s head office in Solihull, with the event to be repeated monthly. Prospective suppliers will be allocated a 20-minute slot in which to pitch their product or service to key members of Ei Group’s procurement team. Ei Group procurement director Miles Selby said: “We are always on the lookout for the next product or service that will add additional value and give our publicans the edge when it comes to driving footfall. This new initiative will allow us to discover fresh and innovative products while also giving new suppliers the opportunity to build relationships with Ei Group through driving our retail excellence agenda forward. In turn, this will further enhance the support we offer to our publicans and enable them grow their business.” The initiative was launched following Ei Group’s annual Retail and Supplier Conference. Addressing delegates, Ei Group chief executive Simon Townsend said: “Our new mantra is ‘better, not more’ allied to a relentless focus on consistently delivering quality across everything we do. My challenge to suppliers is to think differently about how they can help us drive sales for our publicans, reduce costs and use their expertise to deliver a better customer experience.”
 
Irish chip restaurant company Chipmongers opens third Northern Ireland site: Irish chip shop company Chipmongers has opened its third site in Northern Ireland. Chipmongers, a franchise owned by retail and wholesale company Musgrave, has opened the restaurant in Ballymoney Road in Ballymena. There are also franchises in Lisburn and Belfast. Gareth Montgomery, who runs Patton’s Bar in Cloughmills, and Katrina Fox are behind the new venture. Montgomery told the Irish News: “I think the time is right in Ballymena for a fresh, modern twist on a traditional favourite.” Chipmongers has ten sites across the Republic and Northern Ireland with restaurants “coming soon” in Portlaoise and Limavady, according to its website.
 
PizzaExpress launches summer menu: PizzaExpress has launched its new summer menu. Additions include a prawn and tomato seafood starter served with dough balls, a gluten-free artichoke and spinach risotto, and three new pizzas. The Vegan Giardiana pizza is the lightest on the menu at 491 calories, while chicken-breaded escalope Pollo Milanese returns to the menu and can be paired with a rocket and roasted tomato salad or a Caesar salad. The other new pizzas are Quattro Carni Romana, which combines “everything Italy is renowned for”, and Barbacoa Romana, which features pulled beef and a spicy chipotle salsa. New desserts are a limoncello and blackcurrant semifreddo and a raspberry honeycomb slice, while the drinks list sees five new summer-inspired drinks including Sicilian still lemonade.
 
Heavenly Desserts to open Bradford site next month: Artisan dessert restaurant Heavenly Desserts is to open a site in Bradford next month. The company will launch the venue on Saturday, 14 July in Great Horton Road, creating 20 jobs. The menu includes pancakes, waffles, fondants, cakes and slices as well as an artisan tea range, coffee and soft drinks. Heavenly Desserts regional manager Simon Robinson told Insider Media: “Our new team will undergo intensive artisan dessert training ahead of our opening so every waffle, pancake and sliced cake is picture perfect.” Heavenly Desserts was founded in 2008 and has 13 sites, while seven more are listed as “opening soon” on its website, including Cardiff, Coventry and Sheffield.
 
Swiss cheese specialist Jumi to open debut bricks and mortar site, in Stoke Newington: Swiss cheese specialist Jumi, which trades at Borough Market, is to open its debut bricks and mortar site, in Stoke Newington, east London. The new venue will launch in Newington Green on Sunday, 8 July and host raclette evenings and a cheese school while featuring a “cheese cave”. The venue will also bake its own bread, including zupfe from Switzerland’s Bernese region, and has applied for a licence to sell wine. Many of the cheeses on offer will be perfect for raclette. Manager Marcello Basini told Hot Dinners: “People really enjoy our cheese because it’s something unusual. Looks-wise it will remind you of Switzerland. We’ve turned a gigantic cheese pot into a fridge that will be in the middle of the shop. People can come in and choose the type of raclette they want for their meal and pair it with wine and bread. It’s a pretty small area – no more than five tables. It will be an intimate, cosy experience.”
 
Plant-based restaurant concept CleanSlate fails in £150,000 crowdfunding bid: Plant-based restaurant concept CleanSlate has failed to hit target in its £150,000 fund-raise on crowdfunding platform Crowdcube to launch and grow the brand. Founder Zoey Henderson, who has previously opened juice bar and coffee shop ventures in London, was offering a 16.67% equity stake in return for investment but the campaign has now closed. The pitch stated: “CleanSlate will bring plant-based eating into the London cafe culture – a creative menu and an inclusive environment that champions the ingredients used, not the ones left out. From your morning coffee and a gooey brownie to flavourful pasta and a glass of wine, CleanSlate will be a destination for all. Due to ethical, environmental and health benefits, we feel adopting a plant-based diet is not a fad or trend that will go out of fashion. We see this as the beginning of a more sustainable lifestyle movement that is here to stay. I have started two businesses in the artisan coffee and fast casual sector and wish to develop into the plant-based market by showcasing an all-day dining concept that puts plant-based eating into the mainstream using artisan products and innovative twists on healthy, delicious and familiar food.”

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