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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Tue 10th Jul 2018 - Propel Tuesday News Briefing

Story of the Day:

Simon Mitchell – street food scene ‘sustainable in its own right’, some traders turning over more than £1m a year: Simon Mitchell, managing director of street food business Kerb, has said the street food scene is “sustainable in its own right”. Speaking at the Propel summer conference, he told delegates: “It isn’t a flash in the pan or an over-hyped concept as many assumed. It’s not dying – it’s growing. Street food is now sustainable in its own right. When I joined Kerb, all anyone talked about was getting a restaurant. That’s not necessary now. We’ve got traders turning over in excess of £1m and it’s a full-time job. It’s no longer a hobby.” The street food scene will be reportedly worth £1.2bn in 2018, with Kerb alone responsible for £14m in food sales a year. He added: “You can set up and be trading for less than £10,000 – far less than a restaurant. This is a far less riskier way of seeing whether your food concept works and you can do it with much less pressure over more time than if you’ve taken on a big rent or loan or sold your house. You don’t have to have a restaurant any more. There are places like Kerb Camden that will do something like £9m in sales this year. There’s Street Feast, POP Brixton, Boxpark and others where traders can go and earn a real living, have a fixed site, some security and build a proper business.” Regarding growth for Kerb, Mitchell said: “We’re looking for fixed sites for Kerb ventures – perhaps a little row of restaurants so we can give traders that next step up. We may look at a permanent market in the future if it’s the right move for us and our traders – maybe a mini food hall – and we may move outside London.” When questioned where those regional markets might be, Mitchell told delegates: “Our first requirement in a city is a market because that’s where everything starts from. We need a market so we can incubate the talent. Everything grows from that.” He said Kerb had looked at Birmingham, Brighton and Leeds but Manchester was “unlikely”. Asked by Propel managing director Paul Charity if he had found any inspirational street food scenes outside the UK, Mitchell praised food halls in Copenhagen and Oslo. Kerb began as an eight-trader street food collective in 2012 and now operates six markets in London. In April, the company extended its catering arm to 20 venues after becoming official suppliers to Somerset House, the Natural History Museum and Chiswick House.

Industry News:

James Hacon to feature in next video for Premium subscribers: Sector consultant James Hacon, of Think Hospitality, will provide insights derived from the Propel/UKHospitality Study Tour to New York two months ago in the next 30-minute video to be sent to Propel Premium subscribers this Friday (13 July). His presentation includes learnings from time spent with legendary restaurateur Danny Meyer’s business and Danish entrepreneur Claus Meyer, founder of New Nordic cuisine philosophy – as well as key trends in the New York foodservice scene. He also talks about lessons from time spent at the James Beard Foundation. Premium subscribers now receive weekly video recordings of key speakers from Propel events and conferences – the past four featured sector investor Luke Johnson, City Pub Company founder Clive Watson, brand strategist Ian Dunstall and Coaching Inn Group founder Kevin Charity. Propel Premium subscribers also receive their morning newsletter 11 hours early at 7pm the evening before our 6am send-out, access to our database of 1,100 multi-site companies and receive discounts to attend Propel conferences and events. 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 to sign up or call her on 01444 817691

Women’s Entrepreneur Conference open for bookings: Propel has partnered with Elliotts chief executive Ann Elliott to launch the sector’s first conference featuring an all-female line-up of company leaders. The event, which is open for bookings, takes place on Tuesday, 4 September at One Moorgate Place, London. Speakers will be Wahaca founder Thomasina Miers (“How to ascertain if your business idea is genius or madness”); Mowgli founder Nisha Katona (“From barrister to bunny chow: why risk it all for restaurants?”); Sophie Bathgate, of Sophie’s Steakhouse (“What I would do differently next time”); Artizian founder Alison Frith (“How to market a startup”); Cheshire Cat Pubs & Bars founder Mary Mclaughlin (“Growing an idea from startup to sustainable”); Eve Bugler, founder of BabaBoom (“How to keep the joy when it’s all on your shoulders”); Jane O’Riordan, founder of The Dynamo (“The importance of patience”); Sally Jackson, owner of The Pink Pig Farm (“The ten hardest lessons I’ve learned”); Christine Winton, of Siam Eatery (“Can you have work-life balance when you start a business?”); Vanessa Hall, co-founder of Jack & Alice (“The importance of staying true to your values when you start and expand your business”); and Laura Harper-Hinton, co-founder of Caravan (“Why people are key to your success”). Elliott said: “Female entrepreneurs are making an enormous contribution to the hospitality sector – but we need even more of them. The conference is intended as a showcase of some of the sector’s best female entrepreneurs and to encourage even more of them to take the plunge.” Propel managing director Paul Charity added: “If our sector is to truly serve its market, we need more companies led by women at senior levels. We hope companies send their brightest female talent to the conference to pick up inspiration and develop their entrepreneurial talent. We also believe it’s a great opportunity for male colleagues to gain insights into female entrepreneurial skills.” Tickets are £195 plus VAT for Propel Premium subscribers, £245 plus VAT for operators and £395 plus VAT for suppliers and can be booked by emailing or calling her on 01444 817691.

Tourism minister lauds industry as new figures reveal sector worth £130bn: Tourism minister Michael Ellis has lauded the sector as new figures from UKHospitality revealed the industry is worth £130bn. The amount was announced at UKHospitality’s inaugural conference, Shaping the Future, at the Grand Connaught Rooms, London. The trade body also revealed the publication of a forthcoming report that will highlight the economic contribution made by the UK’s hospitality businesses. It will include the fact the sector employs 3.2 million people, has added £72bn to the UK economy – the fastest growing sector – since the economic downturn, and generates £38bn in taxation to fund national and local services. Ellis said: “This is a sector that has supported record-breaking 2017 growth and a £24bn spend by foreign travellers. Perhaps equally impressively, it is not just a preeminent export earner, there is also a huge domestic market too – with UK tourists spending more than £23bn on domestic visits in 2017. The hospitality sector is not, however, just about phenomenal economic success. It is also about enriching people’s lives. Without brilliant hospitality, travellers and visitors to, and around, our astonishingly diverse land would not have the experiences that keep the UK consistently ranked as one of the best global tourist destinations.” UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls added: “The inaugural UKHospitality conference was a fantastic recognition of the vital work being carried out by a dynamic and exciting sector. The figures confirm what everyone associated with the sector already knows – we are crucial to health of the UK economy, providing much-needed growth, investment and jobs in every single region of the UK. The sector is at the heart of communities across the country but is too often overlooked. Hospitality is the third-largest private sector employer in the UK, double the size of financial services and bigger than automotive, pharmaceuticals and aerospace combined. It has played a key part in helping the economy through tough times. Our ambition is to see hospitality is recognised by the government as the major economic and social force that it is; recognised as an attractive and exciting career pathway for young workers and given the support it needs to grow even more. The conference has been a fantastic celebration of the sector and a launch pad for UKHospitality’s future work.”

Airbnb now third of hotel sector in London and Brighton: Airbnb listings have grown to be a third of the size of the hotel sector in London, according to new research. A study by accountancy firm Moore Stephens showed there are about 64,000 Airbnb-listed properties in the capital, compared with 197,970 hotel rooms. It’s not just in London where Airbnb has grown rapidly. It is now 30% the size of the hotel sector in Brighton and 20% of Bristol’s. In Norfolk and Manchester, Airbnb represents 16% of the hotel sector. That is followed by Liverpool (13%), Isle of Wight (13%) and Scarborough (12%). Rounding off the top ten is Surrey (11%) and East Sussex (10%). Rental sites such as Airbnb have faced criticism in many markets for driving up housing prices and competing unfairly with the regulated hotel industry. Moore Stephens director Peter Duffy told the Daily Mail: “Airbnb is increasingly taking market share from hotels. Hotel groups say this is because Airbnb can bypass industry regulations allowing it to undercut the formal industry.” An Airbnb spokesman said: “The UK travel industry is stronger than ever and experts agree Airbnb is only helping to grow and diversify tourism. Last year alone, this put £657m in the pockets of UK families and boosted the UK economy by almost £3.5bn. The typical UK host earns £3,000 by sharing their home for about three nights a month.”

Loyalty programme members redeem gift every nine days: Loyalty programme members redeem a gift on average every 9.4 days, according to new research by customer engagement platform Como. The study also found it takes a member an average of 59 days to complete and redeem a punch card – meaning with an average of ten punches per digital card, it brings customers back at least once a week. The data, which includes insights from almost 400 stores in the hospitality sector across the UK, found 6.45% of loyalty programme members qualify as “champion” members, spending on average 153% more and visiting 30% more often than other members. They also facilitate 14.3% of overall members’ sales. Data also revealed customers in the UK show loyalty to a business where they are members of their programme. Overall, 94% of members are loyal to just one site of a favourite brand. Como founder Liran Mayost said: “Our internal data proves loyalty programmes do work. Retaining customers in a digital age of fierce competition is even more important than winning new customers as they bring in more value and revenue and it requires a mix of exclusivity, personalisation and engagement.” Monday was the slowest day of the week for business in June, with sales down 41.7% compared with the daily average, while Saturday was the busiest, up 79.3% on average. During the past three months, average visits were 112.4% higher at the weekend than during other days of the week.

Bristol receives £250,000 to showcase ‘urban food hub’: Bristol has received funding from VisitEngland to showcase its food and drink offering. The cash was awarded to Destination Bristol from the £40m Discover England Fund. The city submitted one of 11 successful bids, with each receiving up to £250,000. Kathryn Davis, Destination Bristol’s head of tourism, said the funding would go towards showcasing Bristol as an “urban food hub”. She told Insider Media: “The Bristol region is bursting with incredible food and drink and it is so much more than just having somewhere to eat. Often the everyday offer of Sunday roast, afternoon tea or a pint in the local can seem like a fascinating and quirky custom to international visitors. This initiative is about uncovering those experiences – tours, tastings, chefs’ tables and opportunities to meet producers – and getting into kitchens to learn skills. Our aim is to help bring these experiences to market, working with the professional travel trade to ensure they are bookable before travel and are used as motivators to visit the city and create special memories.”

Company News:

Timothy Taylor reports turnover boost: Keighley-based brewer Timothy Taylor has reported a turnover boost helped by a beer launch and the acquisition of a hotel and restaurant in Harrogate. Turnover increased 2% to £22,187,485 for the year ending 30 September 2017, compared with £21,637,292 the year before. Pre-tax profit fell 1.5% to £2,742,083 compared with £2,782,510 the previous year, according to accounts filed at Companies House. In their report accompanying the accounts, the directors stated: “Demand for our beers remains strong, with draught sales showing a like-for-like increase over last year of 2.8% boosted by the successful introduction of the first new permanent beer since Landlord – Knowle Spring Blonde. Boltmaker remains in high demand, selling more than in the year following its success as Champion Beer of Britain in 2014, and sales of Landlord remain strong, with customers prepared to pay the price premium the beer warrants. During the year we acquired the Harrogate Brasserie, a family-owned restaurant and hotel business that has successfully traded from its Cheltenham Parade address for the past 27 years. We believe our beer and an enhanced drinks offer will be the perfect accompaniment to the high-quality food and entertainment for which the venue is already renowned, making it an even more attractive destination not only for locals but for the many leisure and business customers already drawn to its individual character rooms. The Woolly Sheep in Skipton and the Lord Rodney in Keighley both remain popular destinations. Capital investment in the year was £0.8m, which included a refurbishment of the Boltmaker’s Arms in Keighley and improvements to the quality and consistency of our draught beer.”

Starbucks to ditch plastic straws globally by 2020 as it introduces new lids: Starbucks will phase out plastic straws from all its stores in the world by 2020. The company said the change would help it eliminate more than one billion plastic straws per year. To eliminate straws, Starbucks is transitioning from the flat, plastic lids that require them to ones featuring a raised lip customers can drink from. Frappuccino drinks will still be served with dome lids but feature straws made from paper or compostable plastic. Coffee drinkers who prefer straws for other beverages can request the new eco-friendly versions. Some Starbucks drinks, such as cold brew with cold foam, are already served in cups with strawless lids. Starbucks will begin rolling out the new lids for all drinks this autumn starting with stores in Vancouver and Seattle. Chief executive Kevin Johnson called the move from plastic straws a “significant milestone” in the company’s sustainability efforts. Starbucks had already committed $10m to help develop recyclable, compostable cups for hot drinks.

The Naked Deli to make airport debut as it plots wider UK expansion: Newcastle-based The Naked Deli is to open its debut airport site as it plots wider UK expansion. The company, which offers a “health-conscious and clean-eating dining experience with a range of gluten and dairy-free, vegan and paleo dishes”, is launching at Newcastle International airport. The Naked Deli opened its first site in Heaton in 2014 and reached capacity in the first week, leading to a second opening in Gosforth. It has since added an outlet at Fenwick’s Food Hall in Newcastle. The Naked Deli director Kirstie Kimmins said: “Our new The Naked Deli outlet at the airport will enable us to reach not only those who know and love our brand already but those who have come from afar to travel through the airport. This is the first step in us being able to expand into the wider UK market – and who knows where from there!” Dean Ward, head of commercial at Newcastle International airport, added: “It is really important we offer something for everyone here at Newcastle International. With more and more of our customers becoming increasingly health conscious, I’m confident The Naked Deli will go down a treat. Everyone here at the airport is very excited for the opening.” Last month, The Naked Deli received £2.5m of growth capital from independent infrastructure, private equity and investment manager Foresight Group. As part of the investment, John Upton joined The Naked Deli as chairman. He is former managing director of healthy fast food brand Leon and a member of the senior team at McDonald’s UK.

Loungers acquires former Prezzo site in Tewkesbury: Cafe bar group Loungers, which is backed by Lion Capital, has added to its presence in Gloucestershire after acquiring a former Prezzo site in Tewkesbury. The unit in Church Street has been empty for several months after Prezzo closed its restaurant after the company entered into a Company Voluntary Arrangement. A Loungers spokesman confirmed the plans to Gloucestershire Live, with the site set to be home to its Lounges brand. Loungers, which also operates Cosy Club, has two other Lounges in Gloucestershire – Curio Lounge in Stroud and Portivo Lounge in Gloucester Quays. Last month, Loungers chief executive Nick Collins told Propel the struggles of retailers rather than restaurants were providing opportunities to build its pipeline. The company currently operates 127 venues under the Lounge and Cosy Club brands and is on track to reach 140 sites by the end of 2018. Loungers was founded by friends Dave Reid, Alex Reilley and Jake Bishop in 2002.

Revolution Bars Group to open third Glasgow site: Revolution Bars Group, operator of 74 premium bars trading under the Revolution and Revolución de Cuba brands, is to open its third Glasgow site. The company is converting the former Tunnel nightclub in Mitchell Street into its second Revolution venue. The group currently operates a Revolution and a Revolución de Cuba in Renfield Street. An opening date for the new bar has yet to be set. The company states on its website: “We will soon be turning it up in Merchant City in Mitchell Street – less than a three-minute walk from Glasgow Central Station. We’ll be doing what we do best – bringing the finest cocktails and tasty food plus late nights you wouldn’t believe. People of Glasgow, it’s you that make this incredible place and now we’re bringing you the perfect new spot to party.” The company opened its 16th Revolucion de Cuba site, in Newcastle on Friday, 6 July – its 74th site in total.

Evuna eyes Altrincham for fourth site: Evuna, the Manchester-based Spanish wine bar and restaurant, is eyeing a site in Altrincham for its fourth venue. Founded by mother and daughter Frances and Jane Dowler, the company has applied to Trafford Council for an alcohol licence for the former EAT:kaizen site in Stamford New Road. Evuna started as a fine wine house importing Spanish wine from boutique vineyards before opening its debut restaurant in Deansgate, Manchester, in November 2003. A second restaurant followed in the city’s Northern Quarter in 2013 and the Dowlers added a site in Knutsford in October last year. They hope to open their latest venue in November. Jane Dowler told Altrincham Today: “We think it is a great central location in vibrant Altrincham and we are excited to open our fourth Evuna as we approach our 15th birthday. The site is the perfect size for Evuna and will house a long tapas bar seating 24 and 50 restaurant covers and 20 outside on the terrace. We plan to turn the building into a rustic vibrant Evuna in the style of recently opened Evuna Knutsford.”

Green & Fortune to invest £1.5m in Rotunda refurbishment: London-based independent hospitality company Green & Fortune is to close its Rotunda restaurant in King’s Cross for a £1.5m-plus revamp. Owner John Nugent will shut the York Way venue, which opened a decade ago, on Friday, 27 July and reopen it in mid-September. The biggest change will be moving the kitchen from downstairs into the restaurant and opening it up. Nugent will also add in a large meat-ageing cabinet, a chef’s counter, and a semi-enclosed terrace space with heaters for year-round dining overlooking the canal. Nugent told Hot Dinners: “So much has changed in King’s Cross in recent years and I am very proud we were the early adopters of the area. Ten years into any business is a time for reflection and future planning. All our spaces at Kings Place will be transformed, with new menus and drinks offerings.”

Bundobust to launch in Liverpool: Indian restaurant Bundobust is on course to open its first branch in Liverpool after being given permission to convert a city centre venue. The restaurant, which started life in Leeds, has become known for its vegetarian Indian food and large craft ale range. Following a Yorkshire launch in 2014, founders Mayur Patel and Marko Husak opened a much larger restaurant in Manchester little more than 18 months ago, with Liverpool set to be its third location. The restaurant will be based in the vacant first floor of a Bold Street building opposite The Crafty Chandler pub. According to its website, the food at Bundobust is “inspired by the vibrant and varied street food of India, especially from our spiritual home of Gujurat”. Menus are split into sections – munch, additionals, sweets, combos and beer snacks. When the restaurant opens in Bold Street it will be a neighbour to Mowgli, the Indian street food brand that launched in 2014 before opening a restaurant in Manchester. It now has restaurants in Birmingham and Oxford, with an opening in Nottingham set for this summer.

Entrepreneur Tim Chew to open third Devon site: Entrepreneur Tim Chew is to open his third site in Seaton, Devon. The Old Picturehouse will open in Harbour Road. One half of the site will be used as a restaurant and bar, with the other half available for hire. Rhiannon Evans, marketing and events manager at The Old Picturehouse, said: “It is completely what Seaton needs. It’s going to be a really cool atmosphere where people can relax, especially during the summer.” Tim Chew’s other businesses in Seaton are The Royal Clarence and the Munch 2 Go cafe.

Lymestone Brewery closes ‘unviable’ Leek pub: Staffordshire-based Lymestone Brewery has closed its pub in Leek just over a year after opening it. The company, which also runs The Lymestone Vaults in Newcastle and The Borehole in Stone, has shut The Quiet Woman having acquired the site in February last year. Lymestone Brewery opened the pub just over 12 months ago after refurbishing the grade II-listed building in St Edward Street. Managing director Ian Bradford told the Stoke Sentinel: “Our pubs in Stone and Newcastle are thriving and we hoped to do the same with The Quiet Woman. Unfortunately, we’ve not been able to make it work and we’re incredibly disappointed. We are a family business and we put our heart and soul into making our businesses successful. But what has worked so well for us at The Borehole and Lymestone Vaults just didn’t seem to work in Leek and we’ve not been able to attract the footfall needed to make it viable. It is business as usual at The Borehole and Lymestone Vaults, which continue to go from strength to strength, and at the brewery, where we’re on course for a record-breaking year of production in our tenth-anniversary year.”

Franco Manca to continue regional expansion with Cambridge opening this week: Pizza brand Franco Manca, which is owned by Fulham Shore, will continue its regional expansion by opening a site in Cambridge this week. The company will open the site on Wednesday (11 July) in Market Hill at a former West Cornwall Pasty Co shop that has been empty for more than three years, reports the Cambridge News. Franco Manca currently operates 42 sites in the UK along with a franchised site in Salina, Italy. Earlier this year it opened a site at a former Grillstock restaurant in Bath.

East Yorkshire-based Indian restaurant to open second site: East Yorkshire-based Indian restaurant Sonali Spice is to open its second site, in Beverley. Owner Mohammed Hussain has been operating in Horsea for 17 years. Now he is preparing to open a restaurant in early August at a first-floor property in New Walkergate, Beverley, which became vacant following the closure of Rumi’s, which went into liquidation in March. The new restaurant will have a capacity for about 90 diners. Hussain told BDaily: “I have wanted to open a restaurant in Beverley for a long time because it is a busy town and we already have customers who live in the area. This is a nice, big building in an ideal location.” Alan Kirkman, joint owner of the property, added: “We are delighted to have signed a lease with Mr Hussain, who has been running a highly regarded restaurant for a long time. I’ve seen very good reports about the food and service at his restaurant in Hornsea and I’m looking forward to him opening here, with diners able to enjoy stunning views across the rooftops towards St Mary’s Church.”

Rugby-based operators open second site: Rugby-based operators Antonio Catalano and Marcello Magaldi have opened their second site in the Warwickshire town. Catalano and Magaldi, who own the Maia Gelato shop, have launched Maia Cafe at Rugby Art Gallery and Museum in Little Elborow Street. Magaldi told the Rugby Advertiser the success of Maia Gelato, which serves traditional Italian ice cream, inspired the decision to expand the Maia brand. Maia Gelato opened in High Street last year.

YouTube star to launch vegan burger restaurant in Liverpool: YouTube and Instagram star Monami Frost is to open a vegan burger restaurant in Liverpool. The Latvian, who is known for her heavily tattooed look, announced her latest business development on YouTube. She said: “I am so excited to finally announce the biggest, most craziest news. For the past year I have been working hard on opening a burger place. Frost Burgers is coming to Liverpool.” She added she had no company backing and the project was completely funded by herself and her friends, reports the Liverpool Echo. Full details are being kept a secret until further notice. Frost said: “I can’t wait to have you guys here and try my kind of food and be a part of my family because this is going to be my second home. It has been a dream come true to make it the way we want to make it.”

Evesham-based operator submits plans for second site: Evesham-based operator Steve Richford has lodged plans for his second site in the Worcestershire town. Richford has applied to Wychavon District Council to launch wine bar Unwined at a vacant unit in Market Place. He told the Evesham Journal: “It will feature wine from different countries. I hope people will see it as a nice place to go, a bit similar to Veeno in Stratford. It fits the vibe in Market Place as a continental cafe and bar. There will be about 40 gins, malt whisky and vodka as well as other spirits.” Richford also owns The Valkyrie Bar in Market Square, which opened last year.

Carousel launches creative hub in London’s West End: Creative hub Carousel has launched a flagship site in London’s West End, at Seven Dials. The venue has opened at a 2,000 square foot site in Shorts Gardens. Family-run Carousel launched in Marylebone in 2014 as a permanent home for creative production company Shuttlecock, with the creative hub hosting a revolving programme of press events, brand activations, parties, chef collaborations, workshops and art exhibitions. The venue – Carousel: Seven Dials – is split over two floors and combines exposed brickwork with plain white walls and raw concrete. Carousel co-founder Ed Templeton said: “Seven Dials’ vibrant central London neighbourhood is the perfect location for Carousel’s next site. We are delighted to become part of such an attractive, creative area and look forward to helping the exciting brands we work with make some serious noise.” Sam Bain-Mollison, head of retail at landlord Shaftesbury, added: “The addition of Carousel will bring a vast range of creative activities, shows, events and installations on top of the existing offer.” JLL and Nash Bond represented Shaftesbury, while Carousel dealt direct. 

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