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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Tue 18th Feb 2020 - Propel Tuesday News Briefing

Story of the Day:

Parkdean Resorts to trial ‘parks of the future’ project as part of £80m investment, reports revenue and Ebitda boost: Holiday park operator Parkdean Resorts, which is led by former Casual Dining Group chief executive Steve Richards, is planning to invest £80m in the business, including a pilot “parks of the future” initiative. The project, in four locations, will create new amenities including accommodation, park facilities and children’s activity-based entertainment such as the Bear Grylls Survival Academy. The group said it saw “multiple opportunities” to develop the business further and its self-funded strategy would see it double its investment in 2020. The company said opportunities identified included extending the holiday season, improving occupancy in off-peak periods and further upgrading the company’s range of accommodation. The group also plans to extend and improve its on-park facilities, particularly the availability of paid-for family-friendly activities. Parkdean revealed its plans as it reported like-for-like revenue growth of 5% to £453.2m for the year ending 31 December 2019, compared with £432.2m the previous year. Adjusted group Ebitda was up to £103.7m, compared with £96.6m the year before. The company reported growth across all revenue streams with holiday packages sold increasing 6% year-on-year. It sold 599,000 holidays of which 80% were short stay (less than four days). Revenue from on-park spend grew 6% year-on-year, while the company achieved a net promoter score of 67%. Owner income was stable with above inflation growth, while holiday home sales rose 4% on the back of a strong second half of the year. A new senior management team is now in place with the appointment of chief commercial officer Catherine Lynn, holiday homes managing operator John McKenzie, property director David Lodge, and HR director Lisa Charles-Jones. Richards said: “Much progress has been made over the past year and it’s fair reward for the passion and unrelenting desire our teams bring in delivering great holiday experiences for our customers. The momentum achieved in 2019 has continued into the current year, which has started strongly with 32% of summer capacity already sold as we take share in what is a growing and resilient market.”

Industry News:

Host of operators sign for Turning Data Into Marketing Strategy & Action Masterclass: A host of operators and brands have signed up for the Turning Data Into Marketing Strategy & Action Masterclass. The event, which will look at why operators should use data and address some of the common myths and language that surrounds it, takes place on Tuesday, 25 February at One Moorgate Place in London and is open for bookings. Companies attending include Young’s, Frankie & Benny’s, Stonegate Pub Company, Bill’s, YO!, Shepherd Neame, Hakkasan Group, St Austell Brewery, City Pub Group, Hall & Woodhouse, Wildwood, The Alchemist, McMullen’s, Franco Manca, Tortilla, MeatTailer, Vapiano, San Carlo Restaurants, Roxy Leisure, Barrio Bars, The Real Greek, Wright Brothers, Urban Village Pubs, Tenpin, Wright & Bell, Rarebreed Dining, MyLahore, Lemon Pepper Holdings and Namco. Propel has partnered with hospitality data consultancy DataHawks for the event. Attendees will also learn how to use data to drive sales and long-term loyalty without sacrificing margin or brand credibility. DataHawks founder Victoria Searl will talk about building and optimising customer journeys, finding new customers and leads, and measuring the impact and effectiveness of offline marketing. Searl will reveal how to prepare for the unexpected by using data and tech; improve the impact and effectiveness of discounts, offers and rewards; retain revenue when closing sites; and what data to collect and why. Meanwhile Dan Brookman, chief executive of Airship CRM, will also talk about knowing and understanding your customers to drive personalisation and conversion. The event will be followed by drinks at The Tokenhouse in Moorgate. Tickets are £295 plus VAT for Propel Premium members and £345 plus VAT for non-members. To book, call Anne Steele on 01444 817691 or email anne.steele@propelinfo.com

BII Summer Event tickets released: The British Institute of Innkeeping (BII) has made tickets available for its summer event, which this year takes place on Tuesday, 16 June. The BII Summer Event will return to HAC Marquee in the City of London this year and will feature the awards ceremony for Licensee of the Year 2020 and a three-course lunch alongside beer, cider and summer cocktails. BII chief operating officer Steven Alton said: “The BII Summer Event has been a highlight in the industry calendar for many years and I’m proud to be part of it for the first time. It’s not only a great event for networking but also gives us the privilege of celebrating the talents of the fantastic operators we see coming through our Licensee of the Year competition. They provide a unique service to their communities you can’t find in other industries.” Tickets are available with preferential rates for BII members by calling 01276 417836, emailing summerevent@bii.org or visiting the Summer Event page on the BII’s website.

Company News:

Number of Ei Group’s management team to stand down following Stonegate deal: A number of Ei Group’s executive management group, including group strategy retail director James Croft and group commercial director Paul Harbottle, will leave the business in due course to explore other opportunities, Propel has learned. As previously announced, chief executive Simon Townsend and chief financial officer Neil Smith will leave the company once the recommended circa £3bn acquisition of the business by Stonegate Pub Company completes. Propel understands Croft, who has been with the business for more than 18 years, will step aside immediately. Legal counsel and company secretary Loretta Togher will depart at the end of May while Harbottle and group HR director Andy Holness will support the integration programme, before also leaving the business. Harbottle, the former JD Wetherspoon chief operating officer and Atmosphere Bars & Clubs chief executive, has been with Ei Group since June 2014. Holness joined the business in March 2013. Ei Publican Partnerships managing director Nick Light will remain in charge of the group’s leased and tenanted business unit. Townsend said: “Stonegate is a very successful business led by a highly experienced management team. Duplication of executive roles is inevitable when two large and successful businesses come together and I would like to place on record my personal thanks to James, Loretta, Paul and Andy who have all made significant contributions to our success story over the years. I have had the privilege of leading a remarkable organisation filled with remarkable people who have achieved an extraordinary amount together and the immediate focus for all our teams remains to support a seamless transition and integration programme while continuing to meet the needs of our publicans, operators and managers.” On Friday (14 February) the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) gave the green light for Stonegate’s acquisition of Ei Group. The combined group will become the UK’s biggest pub company, controlling almost 5,000 pubs and bars. The CMA said it had accepted undertakings given by Stonegate, which included selling 42 sites, to address competition concerns. 

Alex Hunter plans ‘added dimension’ for fish shop concept with second site on horizon, partners on new Soho venture: Alex Hunter, co-founder and managing director of British seaside restaurant concept Bonnie Gull, has told Propel he is on the verge of securing a second site for his Chelsea fish shop, deli and seafood bar concept The Sea, The Sea – but it will have an “added dimension”. Hunter, who launched the concept last year, said it wouldn’t be a traditional restaurant. He added: “We are in advanced negotiations on a site in London and looking at this development for late summer. I can’t say too much for now but although it will have a restaurant element to it that won’t be the main focus.” Hunter spoke as he prepares to partner with The Sea, The Sea executive chef Leandro Carreira to launch Claro in the former Bonnie Gull premises in Bateman Street, Soho, in April. Claro will be loosely based on a modern Portuguese taberna and offer small plates and wine by the glass. Hunter said: “When we made the decision at Bonnie Gull to close the site we tentatively put it on the market. I thought ‘why am I letting the site go?’ so I put in an offer and here we are.” The 26-cover site will have an open kitchen featuring a wood-fired grill and a snug bar. Traditional Portuguese dishes will sit beside progressive plates inspired by Carreira’s travels around the world as a chef. A small wine list will change regularly featuring new and old world varieties with a lean towards organic producers. There will also be a short cocktail list and Portuguese beer on tap. In terms of further projects with Carreira, Hunter said: “I think we’ve got enough on our plates at the moment. There’s potential to do more with Claro, too, but it’s about nailing this one first.” Hunter and Danny Clancy founded Bonnie Gull as a pop-up in Hackney in 2011 before opening a permanent site in Fitzrovia two years later. The Soho site opened in 2016 before being shuttered last month. Hunter added: “We currently feel it’s better when we focus on one restaurant and it’s not diluted. At the moment, it’s about taking Fitzrovia to the next level.”

Nicholson’s to open pub at The O2 this week as M&B continues brand’s expansion: Mitchells & Butlers (M&B) is to open its latest Nicholson’s pub, The Observatory, in London’s The O2 this week as the brand continues to expand. The pub will be the 79th site for the brand when it launches on Thursday (20th February). The Observatory will offer a “classic pub experience” with seasonal pub classics such as fish and chips and pies alongside cask ale, gin and whisky. Nicholson’s operations director William Prideaux said: “We are excited to welcome The Observatory into the Nicholson’s stable. This opening marks the start of the next stage of growth for Nicholson’s as we look to grow the estate further. We have identified a number of opportunities where we can evolve the next generation of great British pubs and look forward to bringing these to fruition.” Earlier this month, Nicholson’s pub The Philharmonic Dining Rooms in Liverpool became the first purpose-built Victorian pub in England to be given grade I-listed status. In the same week, M&B launched the third whisky showcase for Nicholson’s, with select pubs in the estate offering dedicated whisky zones.

Shoreditch Bar Group acquires The Hoxton Pony: Shoreditch Bar Group has acquired The Hoxton Pony in Hackney, east London, Propel has learned. The venue in Curtain Road has a capacity of 380 across two floors. The Hoxton Pony was previously operated by Calabrese House, the three-strong group led by Salvatore Calabrese that went into administration last year. Calabrese House management first put the lease of The Hoxton Pony on the market in a bid to clear trade supplier debt and return some funds to shareholders. The lease was initially valued at £1.5m. An offer was accepted in August but a winding-up petition was filed by HM Revenue & Customs before the sale could complete. With shareholders unwilling to provide additional funding, Calabrese House was put into administration to protect the value of the lease at The Hoxton Pony and the winding-up petition was subsequently rescinded. Davis Coffer Lyons had been appointed to market the lease of The Hoxton Pony. In June last year, Shoreditch bar Group bought the remainder of Novus’ late-night business, which incorporated five sites – Tiger Tiger London, Tiger Tiger Cardiff, Piccadilly Institute, Ruby Blue and Zoo Bar – as well as the company’s head office.

Puttshack signs for Chicago and Miami as it ramps up US growth, appoints chief marketing officer: Indoor mini-golf experience Puttshack is to continue its expansion in the US after signing leases for sites in Chicago and Miami while hiring a chief marketing officer. Puttshack will open its debut US site in Atlanta, Georgia, this year. The Chicago site will occupy 25,000 square feet in the Oakbrook Center leisure complex, with a scheduled opening in late 2020. Puttshack’s global headquarters is in Chicago and the company said there was “huge consumer appetite” for a site in the city. The company will also launch a 29,000 square foot site at Bricknell City Centre in Miami’s financial district in early 2021. The venue will include a terrace overlooking the city. Chicago and Miami will feature four and three nine-hole mini-golf courses respectively alongside food and drink and private events spaces. Meanwhile the company has appointed Susan Walmesley as chief marketing officer, based in Chicago. She joins from multi-site entertainment operator Pinstripes following more than a decade at Topgolf. Puttshack chief executive Joe Vrankin said: “Chicago is exciting as it’s the birthplace of Puttshack. Miami is a real first for us as it’s set to span three stories overlooking the iconic city skyline.” Puttshack, which completed a £30m equity raise with lead investor Promethean Investment this year, opened its third London site, at 1 Poultry Bank, in November. Adam Breeden, co-founder of Flight Club, Bounce and All Star Lanes founded Puttshack with Topgolf and World Golf Systems founders Steve and Dave Jolliffe, opening their first site, at Westfield London, in July 2018.

Megan’s opens eighth London site: Megan’s, the south London-based cafe and deli concept owned by Tossed founder Vincent McKevitt, has opened its eighth site in the capital, in Islington. Megan’s At The Sorting Office has opened in the Islington Square development, just off Upper Street, to add to the dog-friendly brand’s restaurants in Balham, Battersea, Clapham, Fulham, Kensington, Parsons Green and Wimbledon. The name derives from the former post office sorting station at the site. Executive chef Sercan Ugurlu’s menu leans on the brand’s signature Mediterranean influence for a number of brunch options, kebabs, and dishes such as Turkish steak and chips, while the new site features a deli bar for options to take away or eat in, with any produce at half price between 4pm and 5pm daily. The venue also features a large terrace that will be open in warmer weather, Hot Dinner reports. Last month Propel revealed Rod McKie, former chief executive of Welcome Break, had joined Megan’s as non-executive chairman. McKie is also chairman of Tossed and a non-executive director at Sticks ‘n’ Sushi. Megan’s was founded as a daytime cafe in King’s Road in 2004 and was acquired by McKevitt in 2014.

Punch acquires Norwich pub: Punch has acquired The Dog House in the centre of Norwich. The pub also features a function room on the second floor and a patio. Punch operations manager Charlie Ashwell discovered the opportunity to acquire the pub in St Georges Street. Chief executive Clive Chesser said: “We are pleased to welcome The Dog House into the Punch family and look forward to working together with our new publicans and their team. We have plans to invest in the pub and relaunch in time for summer trading. We look forward to providing further updates as these plans progress but, in the meantime, The Dog House will be open and trading as usual.” Punch owns and operates circa 1,250 pubs across England, Scotland and Wales. It plans to invest more than £34m in its people and pubs in the next year. Christie & Co handled the sale.

Taco Bell to make Welsh debut next month: Mexican restaurant brand Taco Bell will make its Welsh debut next month. The 49-seat restaurant in Cardiff’s St Mary Street will open on Monday, 2 March. Lucy Dee, marketing lead at Taco Bell UK, told Insider Media: “We have had our eye on a potential restaurant in Cardiff for a while and we know we’ve got plenty of fans in the area we look forward to welcoming.” The Cardiff restaurant will be the 46th Taco Bell to open in the UK. There are more than 425 Taco Bell sites across 27 markets outside the US, with the goal to expand the brand’s international presence to 9,000 restaurants by 2022.

Bollington Brewing Co to open first conversion for fourth site: Cheshire-based Bollington Brewing Co is to open its fourth site as it doubles up in Macclesfield. The company, led by Lee Wainwright, has been granted permission by Cheshire East Council to transform the former Bathstore premises in Park Green. The move is the first conversion project for Bollington Brewing Co as its other three sites were all pub acquisitions. Wainwright told Propel the new outlet would be a cafe bar with plans to open early for breakfast and coffee, which it would roast itself. He said: “Previously, as the sites we took over were pubs, we had a template to work with but this time it’s an empty unit so we’re starting from scratch. There’s a lot of opportunity out there for us to expand further but it has to be the right site. This is a prominent corner unit with big windows on both sides – it’s perfect.” Bollington Brewing Co was founded in 2005 when the company acquired the Vale Inn in Bollington. The company, which is in the process of relocating its brewery, added the Park Tavern in Macclesfield in 2011 before opening The Cask Tavern in Poynton in 2013. Last year Bollington Brewing Co partnered with the students’ union at Manchester Metropolitan University. Under the partnership The Salutation, a Victorian-era pub run by the union, has reopened following a major refurbishment.

Camberwell wine bar and restaurant Good Neighbour expands to Tooting: Good Neighbour, which launched in Camberwell in early 2018, is to expand by opening a sister south London wine bar and restaurant, in Tooting this month. The concept is the brainchild of Australian chef Paul Williamson, who will open Good Neighbour in Tooting High Street on Wednesday, 26 February offering sharing plates, weekend brunch, coffee and wine. The renovated space will feature banquette seating and bi-folding windows, with Spanish chef Josue Otero in charge of the kitchen. Coffee will come from Caravan, while sharing plates will include harissa roast cauliflower with houmous, flaked almonds and date molasses; and ox cheek with smoked mash, shallots, carrot chips and salsa verde. Good Neighbour’s wine-tasting programme, meanwhile, will allow customers to meet wine buyers and makers. The drinks list will also include beer and cocktails. CDG Leisure acted on the Tooting site.

London-based Italian street food trader to join Elephant Park as it signs for debut bricks and mortar site: London-based Italian street food trader Sugo is to open its debut bricks and mortar site. The concept is the latest to sign for Elephant Park, the £2.3bn regeneration project being delivered by Lendlease and Southwark Council. Having operated food trucks across London, Sugo founder Matteo Grasso will open a 360 square foot space in Sayer Street. He is planning a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter to fund the site, with ambitions to expand the brand into a chain. Sugo offers “innovative and healthy food” commonly sold by street traders in Rome and Palermo. As previously reported, London high-end burger and small plates concept Bobo Social is returning to London this month when it opens at Elephant Park. Having been housed in Charlotte Street until 2019, founder Mike Benson is opening within a 1,740 square foot site in Sayer Street. The restaurant will offer burgers, steak, small plates, cocktails, craft beer and wine. Meanwhile, Caribbean restaurant Tasty Jerk and pan-Asian operator Pot & Rice have now opened their Sayer Street sites. Guy Thomas, head of retail at Lendlease, said: “The recent openings and announcements for Bobo Social, Sugo, Tasty Jerk and Pot & Rice add to the offer for the community and highlights our commitment to building a sustainable and balanced offer of independent operators within Elephant Park.” Other operators to sign for the development include Ecuadorian restaurant Miko’s and Lebanese concept Bayroot, which is opening its second site. Both will launch in the spring. Nash Bond, CF Commercial and Shelley Sandzer represented Lendlease.

Compass Group UK & Ireland bolsters executive team: Contract caterer Compass Group UK & Ireland has bolstered its executive team with a number of key appointments. Ian Cranna has been appointed chief marketing officer and joins the business from Starbucks, bringing more than 25 years’ experience of working for major retail and food and beverage brands. The company said Cranna’s knowledge and understanding of the changing consumer landscape combined with his “personal passion for making a difference through sustainable food and nutrition” would be invaluable. Charlie Brown, meanwhile, has been appointed managing director of Chartwells, the company’s education business, following the departure of Richard Taylor at the end of January. Most recently Compass UK’s transformation director, Brown has held senior operational roles in a number of Compass sectors including Chartwells and was managing director of its Government Services and 14Forty businesses. Before joining Compass, Brown was at Whitbread for ten years. Meanwhile, Sarah Sergeant has joined the executive team as finance director, taking over from interim finance director Kate Dunham. Sergeant has been with the company for more than 12 years, most recently as financial controller of Compass Group. Before that she was chief financial officer for the Asia-Pacific region. Compass Group UK & Ireland managing director Robin Mills said: “We have an exciting year ahead of us and these appointments will be integral as we drive Compass forward on its growth journey and shape our business strategy.”

Dublin-based leisure company to launch first UK interactive escape room, plans roll-out to more than 50 locations: Dublin-based leisure company Creative Events is to launch its first UK interactive escape room, in Liverpool. The move forms part of its plans to roll-out the venture to more than 50 locations. The GPS-activated game involves teams moving around the city centre’s streets solving puzzles, cracking codes and completing challenges. Director Mark French said: “From a business point of view it makes perfect sense for Liverpool to be our first UK location, with its iconic backdrop and proximity to Ireland. It’s a great outdoor activity for team-building and exploring the city in a fun way.”

Owners of cafe on Welsh-English border acquire Indian restaurant for second site: The owners of a cafe on the Welsh-English border have taken on an Indian restaurant for their second site. Chirk Tandoori, in Chirk, has been acquired by the owners of Castle Bistro. Chirk Tandoori will remain an Indian restaurant but has closed until the end of the month for a full refurbishment and will reopen as Castle Tandoori. A spokesman for Castle Bistro told the Owestry and Border Counties Advertiser: “The food will be staying the same and the staff will be staying on as well.”

Bristol free-of-tie pub goes on market: Bristol free-of-tie pub The Lansdown has been put up for sale. Amanda and Charles Yaxley, who have run the Clifton pub for more than 15 years, are marketing the lease with Christie & Co for £175,000. The pub, in Clifton Road, features a raised terrace and large walled garden that is covered and heated during the winter months. This area also features a three-metre screen, while the pub also offers a large function room with its own bar and a three-bedroom flat. Graeme Clifford, business agent at Christie & Co, who is handling the sale, said: “Successful pubs in such a desirable location rarely come to the market and we expect to receive a lot of interest in this lease sale, especially as it is free of tie and has such a strong trading base.”

Brazilian-themed restaurant Rodizio Rico opens fourth site, in Coventry: Brazilian-themed restaurant Rodizio Rico has opened its fourth site, in Coventry. The concept has launched at a former Co-op store in Corporation Street, joining Steakout and Cafe Morso at the development. Rodizio Rico offers charcoal-roasted meat sliced and served at the table. It also offers salad and sides bars, desserts and cocktails. Diners are given a card with a green and red side – holding up green means a diner is ready to eat. Rodizio Rico also operates sites at The O2 and Islington in London as well as Birmingham.

Ascot Brewing Company to launch third fund-raise on Crowdcube: Ascot Brewing Company is set to launch a third fund-raise on crowdfunding platform Crowdcube, Propel has learned. The brewer, which was acquired by local businessmen Chris Davies and Mike Neame in 2018 and is based in Camberley, Surrey, is offering 7.32% equity to investors, which gives the company a pre-money valuation of £1.9m. The company is looking to raise £150,000 to expand brewing capacity, address export enquiries and add a small canning line. Ascot Brewing Company raised £270,680 on Crowdcube in early 2019 to move to larger premises and buy equipment to meet demand. The move came a year after raising more than £270,000 on the same platform. The pitch states: “We have moved into an 8,500 square foot warehouse, acquired more brewing equipment, launched craft beer brand Disruption Is Brewing, and built a 2,500 square foot, 20-tap taproom for our community to enjoy. Now we have the ingredients we can grow our revenues and achieve even more success. We will challenge the accepted order by disrupting the craft beer scene with our Thirst For Knowledge platform – using contactless technology so consumers learn more about the beer they are drinking by tapping their smartphone against the smart pump clips. This raise will enable us to grow our revenues and move towards a possible exit in circa 2023.” 

Eventist Group appoints managing director amid management changes: Events catering company Eventist Group has appointed Glen Sutton as managing director while founder Tim Stevens has become group chief executive. Sutton spent four years as a director at food experience brand and events caterer Rhubarb and three years as managing director of Mustard Catering. The new structure recognises Eventist Group’s acquisition strategy while turnover at the end of 2020 is forecast at £38m, driven by the group’s broad portfolio of hospitality brands, including the recently acquired Alison Price. Eventist Group said it would continue to look for appropriate complementary acquisitions in the hospitality and live events sector. Under the new senior structure, each brand will continue to run independently, with its own dedicated team, separate offices and kitchens and its own individual brand identity and core values. However, it is planned each brand can develop its market share backed by larger buying power, consolidation of costs and greater group resources. Stevens said: “Eventist Group now has the strongest portfolio of events catering brands in the UK and a significant inventory of spectacular venues. We’ve built one of the best teams in the industry and, being a privately owned company, we can remain nimble and react quickly to opportunities. Glen is a welcome addition to our group and shares our collective appetite to be the best.”

Fledgling pub company Small Hands takes on second Liverpool site: Liverpool-based pub company Small Hands, run by husband and wife Dominic and Fiona Hornsby, and Ian Forster, has taken on its second pub in the city. The Denbigh Castle in Hackins Hey, off Dale Street, was a city centre landmark for more than a century before closing in the late 1970s. The building has housed a number of concepts since then. Small Hands plans to reopen the two-storey pub towards the end of March. Fiona Hornsby told the Liverpool Echo: “I like this part of town because there’s always something going on – whether it’s people shopping, going to work or going out to the pubs and restaurants in the area.” Forster said: “We are hoping for a bierkeller kind of vibe downstairs with a flagged floor and bench seating.” Dominic Hornsby added: “There will be more on the horizon but for now we’re delighted to be opening our second pub and excited to expand the company to another part of the city.” The trio’s first pub is The Bridewell, which opened in Campbell Square last year.

Startle adds Six Nations to Predictor game: Interactive music provider Startle has updated its sports Predictor game to include Six Nations rugby. The company trialled the service during the first weekend of this year’s tournament, with more than 5,000 predictions made and 487 free pints won. The service was then rolled out nationwide for the second round of fixtures, with predictions rising to 11,485 from almost 2,700 players. The company said in the first month since partnering with Greene King to launch Predictor as part of the brewer and retailer’s Season Ticket app, customers had made more than 30,000 predictions, with more than 1,000 free pints being handed out. Startle chief executive Adam Castleton said: “It is our objective to appeal to as wide an audience as possible so updating Predictor further with a greater selection of sport is something we are considering.” Startle’s Predictor also covers Premier League, Champions League and Europa League football through Greene King’s Season Ticket app. Startle recently reported a 61% increase in like-for-like revenue to £2.3m last year. Strong growth during the year meant the company became profitable for the first time after only three years in operation, passing the £500,000 mark.

Bibendum announces Wine Minds apprentices for 2020: Drinks distributor Bibendum has selected its Wine Minds apprentices for 2020. London-based Ida Panaro, from The Dairy and Counter Culture in Clapham, and Paulina Wisniewska, of Hawksmoor in Seven Dials, will get the chance to advance their careers through the one-year, part-time scheme. They will undergo WSET Level 3 training, an internship with producers in France and Spain, and a number of masterclasses and trips to wineries across the world. Wisniewska said: “It is a great opportunity to get a more complete picture of wine and the wine industry. I am especially excited about visiting producers.” Panaro added: “Learning about wine is more than a job for me – it’s my life and hobby too. I love working in hospitality – every time you come into work you get the chance to make someone’s day a little bit better.”

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