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Morning Briefing Strap Line
Tue 18th May 2021 - Propel Tuesday News Briefing

Story of the Day:

Operators reveal extent of success of business pivots during pandemic and how they are set to stay: Operators have revealed the extent the huge pivots they made to their businesses during the pandemic have taken off – and are now set to stay. The Bouncing Back report from Barclays Corporate Banking has gathered first-hand insight from sector bosses about their predictions for post-covid Britain and how they have overcome lockdown challenges. David Ramsey, director at Red Lion Holdings, which owns the Red Mist Leisure and Grosvenor pub brands, said: “We saw huge pivots across many of our sites. We developed a takeaway offering, a pick-up offering, a grocery delivery business – which really took off – and, at one of our sites, we opened a yurt coffee shop, serving high-quality coffee in a brilliant setting. Many of those innovations will stay – not least the coffee shop, which is generating £5,000 to £6,000 a week in revenue. But we will also take that innovative culture forward and use it to continue to adapt our offering on a site-by-site basis, whether that’s with wood-fire ovens in some pubs or taprooms where there’s demand.” Andy Laurillard, co-founder of BGF-backed Thai restaurant chain Giggling Squid, said: “A huge pivot for us was to ramp up the delivery business while the restaurants were closed. Takeaway accounted for about 11% of our revenue pre-covid-19, but was up to 55% of normal revenue levels during the lockdown, with elevated margins. Partnering was a big element of that – Deliveroo was able to upscale really quickly, which was great.” He added: “We think the number of people who will continue to work at home will benefit our takeaway business and see customers coming into sites earlier. Homeworkers might look to order lunch in from us and, without commuting time to worry about, may pop in for a quick meal early evening once they’ve downed tools.” For Suffolk-based brewer and retailer Adnams, innovation took the form of strengthening its subscription model – delivered through its own website – to the point the warehouse became almost overwhelmed. Meanwhile, Adam Councell, group finance director at Fuller’s, said the business has had to take an innovative approach to adapting and delivering its business plan. He said: “Our long-term business model remains unchanged but how we deliver that strategy has been constantly evolving and the pandemic has certainly accelerated our digital innovation. An online ‘order and pay’ system to reduce contact points, along with improved booking, are now fully rolled out, working well and benefiting the business.” Mike Saul, head of hospitality and leisure at Barclays Corporate Banking, said: “The majority of businesses in the UK have had to adapt their models over the past year, but none more so than those in the hospitality and leisure sector. Our report contains fascinating insight for businesses looking to make the most of the challenging landscape they’re operating in, and will also provide inspiration on how to thrive when lockdown conditions ease further.”

Industry News:

Sponsored message – QikServe launches first accessible digital ordering platform: QikServe has launched an accessible ordering platform, enhanced to meet the needs of people with visual, auditory, physical and cognitive disabilities. Offering customised settings, the solution uses direct language and presents an “uncluttered user interface for optimised user clarity”. Its aim is both to help operators run their business and access the widest possible market, as well as to give people living with disabilities the same digital ordering benefits as their peers. Daniel Rodgers, president and founder of QikServe, said: “The market is evolving, digital ordering is being used more frequently by brands – at a small business and enterprise level. The changes are hugely positive for brands and consumers, but it is important new digital services are available to everyone that wants them. Through inclusivity, technology has the power to drive social change.” QikServe’s accessible platform has been developed in line with digital aspects of the Americans with Disabilities Act. It also meets Web Content Accessibility Guidelines’ 2.0 AA standard, which are the guidelines produced by the World Wide Web Consortium as part of its Web Accessibility Initiative. Its goal is to provide a single shared standard for web content accessibility. To find out more click here. If you have information you would like to feature in a sponsored message, email paul.charity@propelinfo.com
 
Operators serving food inspired by Italy well represented on updated Premium multi-site database: New businesses that are setting up restaurants inspired by Italian food are well represented on the updated Propel Premium multi-site database, which will be released on Friday, 28 May, at midday. At least 87 new businesses will be added to the most comprehensive multi-site database in the sector, including seven that have cited Italian food as an inspiration to their offer. New additions include Newcastle-based Zucchini Pasta Bar, Milan-based vegan burger brand Flower Burger, Italian sandwich and bakery brand Spinata, Harrods’ Dining Hall newcomers Pasta Evangelists, Marylebone’s The Italian Greyhound, Remo Mazzucato-led Piazza Italiana and grab-and-go concept A’do’re Fritto. Available only to subscribers, the exhaustive database was most recently sent at the end of April and included the details of 1,717 companies. The go-to database provides company names, the people in charge, how many sites each firm operates, its trading name and its registered name at Companies House if different, and what each business specialises in. In a new feature this year, there is a synopsis of what the business does and significant news associated with it. Companies can now have an unlimited number of people receive access to Propel Premium for a year for £895 plus VAT – whether they are an operator or a supplier. The regular single subscription rate of £395 plus VAT for operators and £495 plus VAT for suppliers remains the same. Premium subscribers are also to receive access to a second exclusive monthly database, The Propel Blue Book. This database will provide an insight into UK operator turnover and profitability over five years, profit conversion and directors’ earnings. It will be available on Friday, 4 June, at midday. Subscribers also receive access to Propel’s library of lockdown videos and Friday Wrap interviews and now also have access to a curated video library of the sector’s finest leaders and entrepreneurs, offering their insights on running outstanding businesses in the sector. Premium subscribers also receive their morning newsletter 11 hours early, at 7pm the evening before our 6am send-out; regular video content and regular exclusive columns from Propel insights editor Mark Wingett. Email jo.charity@propelinfo.com to sign up.

Handa acquires Richoux brand out of administration: Naveen Handa of leisure company The Cairn Group has acquired the Richoux brand and its intellectual property, with plans to expand it in the UK and internationally, Propel has learned. The brand, which had sites in Piccadilly and Mayfair, was part of Dining Street and its two subsidiaries, Richoux and Newultra, which was placed into administration earlier this year. Handa is part of the family that owns The Cairn Group, which has grown to a portfolio of 32 hotels and more than 30 bars and restaurants across the UK. He also backs East Coast Concepts and is a partner in the joint venture behind Vapiano UK. The sale of the Richoux brand follows a separate transaction resulting in the assignment of the former Richoux premises in South Audley Street, Mayfair, to an undisclosed party, which Propel understands is led by Disnesh Nair, part of the founding family of The Leela Palaces Hotels & Resorts business, who is behind the nearby Jamavar restaurant in Mount Street. Handa said: “I am delighted to have the opportunity to develop this much loved, century old brand and continue to elevate for the future expansion, both in the UK and globally.” Steve Absolom, joint administrator at Interpath Advisory, said: “Since our appointment as administrators, we have been struck by the strong affection held for the Richoux brand by customers and people working across the hospitality industry alike, and so we’re delighted to have completed the sale of this iconic brand to Naveen Handa. We are also grateful to the landlord of the Mayfair site for agreeing to work closely with us and AG&G, and for providing the vital breathing space necessary to secure this assignment and the re-employment opportunities it may bring.” Propel revealed last month Crown Partnership, the backer of fried chicken and waffle chain Bird, was understood to have secured more than half of sites operated by Dining Street, the company behind the Richoux, Friendly Phil’s, Villagio and The Broadwick restaurant brands. The catering, hospitality, retail and event services provider has acquired eight of Dining Street’s 15 former sites out of administration.

Surge in bookings reported for indoor dining with sites already at capacity: Operators have reported a surge in reservations as they welcome customers back indoors, with sites already fully booked. Jack Stein, chef director at Rick Stein Restaurants, said the business was set to welcome more than 15,000 guests this week across its restaurants in Cornwall, Marlborough, Winchester, Sandbanks and London. Its flagship Seafood Restaurant in Padstow is fully booked but is accepting walk-ins for dining on its new rooftop terrace. Des Gunewardena, chief executive of restaurant operator D&D London, said: “Most of our guests have saved money during lockdown and are in a pretty celebratory mood when meeting each other after so long stuck at home on Zoom calls. Indoor dining will allow many more people to enjoy reuniting with friends and loved ones.” Marcos Fernandez Pardo, chief executive of Arros and Iberica, said its Arros QD restaurant in London’s Fitzrovia, is almost at capacity in the evenings from Wednesday (19 May) onwards for the next two weeks, and is still seeing heavy demand for outside tables. Luke Garnsworthy, chief executive and owner of Crockers Henley, which operates sites in Henley and Tring, said reservations are “the best they’ve ever been”. He added: “Bookings are looking great for the first week and month, and we’ll be expecting to reach 100% capacity with walk-ins from our locals and lovely regulars. In Tring, we’re fully booked at the chef’s table and at about 50% in the dining room. Henley is also looking fantastic with the chef’s table at about 70% occupancy.” Cyril Baligand, group operations director at Frenchie in London’s Covent Garden, said bookings are “very much ahead” when compared with two years ago. Weekdays are “busy” at lunch and dinner, both indoors and on the terrace, and this weekend is fully booked for lunch and dinner. Chef Tom Aikens said in the lead-up to reopening his Muse restaurant, he has seen “an overwhelming amount of support from our guests with advance bookings and enquiries”. The 25-seat restaurant in London’s Belgravia is fully booked until the end of the month, and almost booked for all of June with just a few midweek tables left. It has already opened September reservations ahead of its scheduled release date. 
 
NTIA warns government any setback to reopening roadmap will be ‘catastrophic’ for sector: Any setback to the reopening roadmap would be “catastrophic” for the night-time economy, the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) has warned. Chief executive Michael Kill said: “Initial feedback from operators following the easing of lockdown from midnight has seen a renewed level of confidence from businesses able to open with many seeing an increase in bookings. However, social distancing still presents some considerable viability challenges and recruitment of staff has been one of the major challenges for opening because many have decided not to return to the industry from furlough. The late night and events sector, following the prime minister’s statement, has been placed under a level of doubt over the withdrawal of restrictions on 21 June. Any delay will cost nightlife in England millions through lost revenue from torn-up plans put in place for reopening. It would be a body blow for an already beleaguered industry. If the government is going to veer off the roadmap, it must act decisively and give businesses enough time to prepare and ensure proportionate levels of financial support and an extension of current reliefs are available for the businesses hardest hit by the change. Otherwise, it will be consigning yet more nightlife businesses across England to bankruptcy.”
 
Sacha Lord ‘punched and attacked’ over sector reopening views: Sacha Lord, night-time economy adviser for Greater Manchester, was “punched and attacked” at the weekend over his views on the reopening of hospitality. Lord, who joined forces with serial sector investor Hugh Osmond in a bid to bring forward the reopening date for pubs and restaurants indoors, announced what had happened via social media. On Saturday (15 May) night, he tweeted: “Sadly, tonight I was punched and attacked regarding my views on reopening. I’m fine, but Demi (Lord’s partner) is beside herself. What sort of a world are we living in?” Lord has received about 2,300 comments of support in response to his post. The following day, he said on Twitter: “Thank you so much for all the kind words of support. Totally humbled. I’ll always speak up for what I believe in and fight for hospitality.” Lord and Osmond had argued the government had not published any scientific evidence to justify why the sector was not allowed to open indoors, in line with non-essential retail, and would be forced to wait a further five weeks to trade. However, a high court judge dismissed the case as “academic” because the hearing would be unlikely to take place before 17 May, when pubs and restaurants in England would be able to reopen for indoor trading.

Pizza Hut UK partners on new national programme seeking UK entrepreneurs with big ideas from diverse backgrounds: Pizza Hunt UK has joined national enterprise charity Hatch to help hundreds of UK entrepreneurs from underrepresented backgrounds turn their business idea into a reality. The New Founder Programme is aimed at existing and would-be entrepreneurs. Aside from joining a community of fellow founders, they will be able to access skills training, and learn from industry experts to develop the business skills that will support the growth of their businesses. The opening events of The New Founder Programme are a six-week launchpad starting on Saturday, 26 June, and a weekend hackathon on 11-12 September. These will be closely followed that month with two further launchpads and an incubator programme that will support entrepreneurs to grow their businesses in a sustainable way. Regina Borda, managing director at Pizza Hut UK & Europe, said: “Pizza Hut is founded on entrepreneurship via our franchise network and we are built to help people start and grow their own businesses. Our success is down to the hard work of our franchisees and this was especially apparent during covid-19. We wouldn’t have managed our way through covid-19 so seamlessly had it not been for the agility and hard work of this network, and we’re delighted to give something back to the future entrepreneurs of Britain. Innovation and great leadership is so important and we want to support young business leaders to take good ideas and make them into something that is real, tangible and good for the community.” Applications for The New Founder Programme are open to anyone based in the UK.
 
Job of the day: COREcruitment is working with a growing gastropub group that is looking to appoint an operations director. An opportunity has arisen for an experienced pub operator to join this group, which is based in London, and has 15 venues, and is looking to add another four sites in the next year. The venues all offer a mix of food and drink, and some have bedrooms attached. It is essential the incoming operations director has similar senior, director level experience and a passion for the industry. Anyone interested can email Stuart@corecruitment.com
COREcruitment is a Propel BeatTheVirus campaign member
 

Company News:

Willingham – we will need to add a bigger group at some point: Sarah Willingham, chief executive of listed bar group Nightcap, has said at some point the business will need to add a bigger group to its portfolio. Last week, the business, which already operates the London Cocktail Club concept, acquired the seven-strong Adventure Bar Group. Speaking as part of Propel’s Friday Wrap series, Willingham said: “We need to add a bigger group at some point. I would like something larger and something I could see going into some smaller towns, for example somewhere like Cheltenham, so you have that scope for 150 to 200 sites. I really want to add something of that size, it might be that we bolt on a couple of littler ones along the way, but I would like to get a chunky one.” In terms of what the business looks for in an acquisition target, Willingham said: “I want really motivated teams, and people who are heavily incentivised in their business and Nightcap, and very capable with the right support of taking their business to the next level. Then I look at the scale of the business, where it currently sits and how far it can go. Can I see 40 or 50 of these, where’s the market in the country? For example, with Adventure Bar Group’s Tonight Josephine concept, there are two in London and one opening this week in Birmingham, but that concept has got Leeds, Newcastle, Sheffield, a couple in Manchester, Liverpool, Cardiff to aim at. It is so perfect for these cities.”

Former JKS and Ole & Steen executives to launch ‘riviera meets Provence’ concept in Harrods for second site: Unlocked Brands, the hospitality group made up of former executives of JKS Restaurants and Danish bakery business Ole & Steen, is to open a “riviera meets Provence” concept in Harrods, Propel has learned. Unlocked brands will launch Juliette in early summer. The residency will see Harrods’ ground-floor restaurant location transformed into an “elegant Provençale Rosé bar” with an events space, indoor dining and expansive outdoor terrace seating up to 100 guests. Unlocked Brands was founded in 2020 by Tristram Hillier, of Kanvass Projects, and Scott Ward, formerly of JKS Restaurants and Maze. The business brought in Simon Ward-Nicholson, previously of Ole & Steen and transport hub foodservice specialist SSP, as managing director earlier this year. Victoria Sheppard, owner of luxury cafe Queens of Mayfair, has joined the team to handle media and marketing strategy and brings valuable expertise in the luxury-lifestyle sector. This is the second site for Unlocked with the first being Homestead on London City Island.

Indian delivery concept Madhu’s2Go opens debut restaurant, eyes UK rollout: Madhu’s2Go, the delivery concept born last year in partnership with Indian caterer and restaurateur Madhu’s, has opened its debut restaurant, with plans to roll out across the UK. Madhu’s2Go aims to offer an array of dining experiences from delivery to in-store collection, as well as dining-in while seated at its signature counter, wrapped around an open kitchen. The first site has opened within Harvey Nichols’ fifth floor dining space. Up to ten up guests can sit at the counter and experience the food cooked before their eyes over hot charcoal by Madhu’s2Go chefs while there is additional seating for another 18 people. Madhu’s2Go aims to open its own outlets in the London region within its first year followed by the rollout of the franchise model across Greater London, the Midlands and subsequently expanding across the UK. The menu includes dishes such as chilli chicken and the vegan wrap. Madhu’s2Go director Tony Lit said: “Our vision and aim is to create a unique food offering and experience, with the world-class Madhu’s know-how and expertise.”

Honi Poke secures tenth London site: Hawaiian poké specialist Honi Poké has secured its tenth site in London by taking a unit in Victoria. The company, which is led by founder Vladimir Martynov and Richard De La Cruz, formerly of two Michelin-starred Sergi Arola and three Michelin-starred Quique Dacosta, has secured a unit in The Tower development in Palmer Street, for an opening this summer. The business, which last month opened its latest site in Jerdan Place, Fulham, also has an opening lined up in one of the food courts at Westfield Stratford.

Knoops to open fifth site, in Brighton: Hot chocolate shop Knoops is to open its fifth site, in Brighton. Founder Jens Knoop is launching the outlet in Market Street in late June or early July. Knoops offers a range of chocolate drinks – the chocolate used ranges from 28% to 100% cocoa and there are a mix of single origins and blends. For those feeling creative, the “Knoopology” process allows customers to choose from circa 20 different chocolates (13 of which are vegan), five different milks, and various flavour options including herbs, spice and fruits. Knoop opened the original site in Rye, East Sussex, in 2013 before adding a site in Clapham Junction in March last year just prior to the lockdown. He then launched a site in Kensington in October and is due to open an outlet in Chelsea next month. Knoops also offers a retail range featuring a variety of chocolate flakes and coffees available from its online shop.

Boom: Battle Bar secures site at Ram Quarter development in Wandsworth: Boom: Battle Bar, the adventure bar concept from the team behind adventure park franchise Flip Out, has secured a site at the Ram Quarter development in Wandsworth, south London. The company has agreed a deal with developer Greenland UK to join the scheme, which is seeing the former home of London pub retailer Young’s being transformed into a leisure and experience-led retail destination. Boom: Battle Bar has taken a 10,000 square foot spot on the development’s riverside promenade, Barley Walk, overlooking the River Wandle. The company has taken a 15-year lease and is set to open the site later this year. The business will join London independent brewer Sambrook’s as well as Strike bowling, Mai Thai Deli and Schooner bar along with Backyard Cinema, fine dining restaurant London Stock, Story Coffee and MoreYoga. Boom: Battle Bar chief executive Elliott Shuttleworth said: “There’s a real buzz about the reopening of London’s nightlife, and we can’t wait to get people back together and give them a night out to remember at Ram Quarter.” Boom: Battle Bar offers games such as axe throwing, augmented darts, beer pong and shuffleboard alongside a central bar and street food-style offerings. Its move to Ram Quarter is part of its expansion drive, building on its current sites in Cardiff and Norwich and the company also has sites lined up in Liverpool, Lakeside, The O2, Oxford, Aldgate East, Eastbourne, Swindon, Aberdeen, Glasgow and Edinburgh.
 
Lucky Onion founders launch third site for Country Creatures venture: Sam and Georgie Pearman, founders of The Lucky Onion Group, which they operated for more than ten years, have launched their biggest opening so far – The Double Red Duke in the Oxfordshire village of Clandon. The site is part of their Country Creatures venture, which specialises in “creating restaurants, inns and hotels that focus on great British hospitality”. Overseeing the menu at the venue is Richard Turner, who has worked under the Roux brothers, Pierre Koffmann and Marco Pierre White. Using Turner’s expertise from working at Hawksmoor and Pitt Cue, the menu focuses on cooking over fire, with an open grill at the heart of the kitchen. Dishes include milk and honey lamb chops with pea and haggis salad, and cheese and onion tart tatin. The Double Red Duke, named after a character from local folklore, has a 12-seat feasting room, a garden room for 40 people and a 14-seat kitchen counter. The 17th century coaching inn, which also has 19 bedrooms, joins Country Creatures’ two other sites – The Chequers in Churchill, and The Swan, in Ascott-under-Wychwood.
 
Rudy’s Vegan Diner opens second site: Rudy’s Vegan Diner, which was founded by Matthew Foster and Ruth Mumma, has opened its second restaurant, in Islington’s Upper Street. Following its debut site in Camden and the opening of the “world’s first vegan butcher” in November last year, the new flagship site’s menu offers veganised versions of classic American junk food dishes, with highlights such as the Ultimate Burger, a take on the classic hamburger with a grilled soya beef mince patty, the Rubenzsandwich with seitan pastrami on fresh rye bread, Mac ’n’ Cheeze and dairy-free freakshakes, plus draught cocktails from Liberation Cocktails. The new site and adjoining vegan butcher covers 14,000 square feet with yellow booths, neon signage and backlit menu boards. There is also a working jukebox for customers to use. Customers can purchase the brand’s signature range of meat-free alternatives such as pastrami, baycon and meatballs from the adjoining Rudy’s Vegan Butcher. Rudy’s Vegan Butcher also opened a concession in Selfridges Foodhall earlier this month. It plans to open three or four more sites in the next 12 months as well.
  
Morrisons invests more than £16m in its cafes: Supermarket Morrisons has invested more than £16m in its 406 cafes as it welcomes customers back for indoor dining. Customers can expect an improved dining experience from the cafes as well as a refreshed and healthier menu, the company said. Highlights include fresh fish and bread that comes directly from Market Street counters, a separate vegetarian and vegan menu, and the inclusion of Morrisons “The Best” products. Morrisons said its cafes are an important part of the community, with many customers choosing to dine on a frequent basis each week and so significant measures have been taken to ensure customers feel safe to return. New technology such as order and pay has been introduced and screens have been installed around all tables to turn them into booths. All indoor dining areas have been given a fresh lick of paint as part of the improvements and new outdoor furniture has been installed at 136 cafes. All cafes are also operating a takeaway service via the Morrisons app.
 
US salad bar chain Sweetgreen planning an IPO: US salad bar chain Sweetgreen is getting ready to file an initial public offering (IPO) in the US. According to Bloomberg, the 121-strong chain is working with Goldman Sachs on an IPO that could be filed as early as later this year. Sweetgreen raised $156m from Durable Capital Partners in January, bringing the company’s total value to $1.78bn. In 2019, Sweetgreen raised $150m in a fundraising round led in part by Lone Pine and D1 Capital. Other financial investors in the company include Fidelity Investments, Live Oak Endeavors, Blue 9 Capital, Big Loud Capital, Reshape Holdings, True Ventures and T Rowe Price. Sweetgreen was founded in 2007 in Washington DC by Nicolas Jammet, Nathaniel Ru and Jonathan Neman. Known for its greens-rich salad bowls and house-made dressings, the company reached “unicorn” valuation status of $1bn in 2018 following a $200m investment. Over the past year, Sweetgreen has invested in dark kitchens, expanded its menu and opened its first drive-thru location, in Colorado, complete with solar panels and multichannel ordering. Earlier this month, the company announced a partnership with and investment from leading tennis player Naomi Osaka.

Anthony Lyon to launch brasserie and wine bar concept in Hackney for second venture: The team behind Lyon’s Seafood & Wine Bar in London’s Crouch End will launch a “modern warehouse brasserie and wine bar” in Hackney in June. Hackney Coterie will be the second venture from Anthony Lyon, who opened nose-to-fin seafood restaurant Lyon’s in 2019. Sommelier and sake master Kelvin McCabe has joined forces with Lyon to launch the site, which has been billed as a “multifaceted dining experience and community hub”. Taking over the former L'Entrepot wine bar premises that was operated by Borough Wines, Hackney Coterie will consist of a brasserie, wine bar, bottle shop and deli, along with an intimate events space that will open later. The food will be seasonally driven and with zero waste in mind but will not be attached to a specific cuisine to allow the kitchen team to “freely explore flavours and ingredients to create the dishes”. To drink, wine will be sourced from small-scale low-intervention vineyards. There will also be a selection of sake, craft beer and cocktails. 

Franco Manca reopens with two new sites and ‘on the go’ menu for Borough Market: Franco Manca, the Fulham Shore-owned pizza brand, has reopened all its sites alongside two new locations in London – Borough Market and Holborn. Alongside Franco Manca’s main menu, the Borough Market site also features a “Sourdough on The Go” menu. It includes Franco’s Panuozzo – a sourdough sandwich filled with buffalo mozzarella, wild rocket and seasonal pesto, with either capocollo, Prosciutto, Dry San Marzano tomatoes or Portafoglio Pizza – a smaller version of Franco Manca’s classics, but folded. Meanwhile, new pizzas on the menu at all sites include roasted courgettes, ricotta, British mozzarella, roasted baby plum tomatoes and Franco & Cantarelli Grana [no tomato base]; and spicy plant-based mince, piquillo peppers, organic tomato, Kalamata black olives, vegan cheese and basil.

Costa Coffee to install rapid EV chargers at up to 200 more drive-thru sites: Costa Coffee, owned by Coca-Cola, is installing rapid electric vehicle (EV) chargers at up to 200 more drive-thru sites across the UK. The company has partnered with InstaVolt to install the chargers at new and existing stores, delivering charging speeds of up to 120kW on a pay-as-you-go basis. Building on Costa Coffee’s existing network of 176 EV charging points at selected locations across the UK, the partnership will further drive the brand’s efforts to support consumers in reducing carbon emissions. Having become a founding signatory to the British Retail Consortium’s Climate Action Roadmap in 2020, the collaboration will also help Costa Coffee contribute to the retail sector’s ambition to achieve net zero by 2040. Costa Coffee UK & Ireland property director James Hamilton said: “We want to ensure we’re playing our part in enhancing our customers’ experience as they switch to more sustainable models of transport in that all-important step to tackle climate change.”
 
Moto appoints first retail director: Moto, the UK’s biggest motorway service area operator, has appointed Nikki Rogers as its first retail director. Rogers, who previously worked for Blakemore as proposition and food solutions director and before that held various senior leadership roles at BP, will report to Moto chief customer officer Nick Tatum. He said: “We have ambitious plans to grow our retail business to achieve our vision, which is ‘to transform the UK’s rest stop experience’. Nikki has a wealth of experience that will be invaluable in helping us accelerate our ambitions.”

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