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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Wed 2nd Jun 2021 - Hot Bank Holiday produces sector sales boost
Hot Bank Holiday produces sector sales boost: Figures from S4 Labour show the hospitality sector saw a 63% jump in like-for-like sales over the most recent Bank Holiday weekend, comparing Saturday to Monday trading with the same Bank holiday weekend in 2019. The breakdown of the figures saw an increase in drink sales of 42.9 % and food sales skyrocketing 90.7%. S4labour’s chief innovation officer Richard Hartley said: “While we believe this was attributed to a favourable weather spanning through the weekend, it demonstrates the potential appetite the UK has for hospitality and just what a great job our sector has done to be able to meet that demand with restrictions still in place.” Since reopening indoors, hospitality like-for-like sales are up by 34%, comparing figures from the two weeks since the 17 May, when rules allowed for indoor service, with the same two weeks in 2019. The increase was mostly driven by food sales, that grew by 51% and drink sales advancing 20%. Hartley added: “With this level of demand, the sector will be watching government announcements closely, praying that social distancing and other barriers to trade are removed once and for all on 21 June.”

Propel Premium subscribers to receive first edition of new sector turnover and profit database: The first edition of a new database for Premium subscribers, The Blue Book, will be released at midday on Friday 11 June. The new database, which will be updated and expanded each month, ranks the top 200 sector operators by turnover and then by profitability. It also has a five-year overview of turnover and profit and shows what percentage of turnover is converted to pre-tax profit – or otherwise. The first edition of the Blue Book shows there are 106 companies in the sector turning over more than £30m, with 76 of them turning over more than £50m and 43 turning over more than £100m. The Blue Book shows companies with franchise and tenanted operations converting turnover to profit very efficiently, with family brewers for example also performing well. The Blue Book also sees strong performances from some of the outstanding UK restaurant brands and operators. Propel managing director Paul Charity said: “Our Blue Book is the only place where it is possible to compare the performance of our the major UK operators with a five year overview. It is fascinating to see where companies rank on profit and profit conversion. My favourite local UK pub operator, for example, seven strong south Lincolnshire-based Knead Group, shows quality shines through by ranking a mighty 27th in UK terms based on profit conversion – converting 12.6% of turnover to profit mean it ranks slightly higher than Hard Rock Cafe which has a lot of high margin merchandise income. Each month we will be expanding the scope of The Blue Book – we want to add any company either turning over more than £5m or making a £1m pre-tax profit. Email me on to add your company to the Blue Book universe. The Blue Book will start to show the devastating impact of the pandemic on company profitability but in due course will chart the sector’s bounceback. It’s a fascinating document.” Propel Premium subscribers have just received their monthly update to the multi-site database, which has had 108 companies added since the last release at the end of May. They not only received the database as a PDF and an Excel spreadsheet, they were also sent a 14,000-word report on the businesses added during May. The go-to database, which now features 1,822 companies that collectively operate 59,197 sites, 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. A single subscription rate of £395 plus VAT for operators and £495 plus VAT for suppliers remains the same. Email to sign up.

Tim Martin calls for liberal immigration system: JD Wetherspoon founder Tim Martin has called for more EU migration to help tackle the shortage of bar staff working in the UK. He urged Boris Johnson to introduce a “reasonably liberal immigration system” controlled by Britain rather than the European Union. He recommended the prime minister adopt a visa scheme for workers from the bloc to help the country’s pubs and restaurants hire more staff as they recover from the coronavirus pandemic. Martin also suggested that countries geographically closer to the UK could be prioritised for the programme. He told the Daily Telegraph: “The UK has a low birth rate. A reasonably liberal immigration system controlled by those we have elected, as distinct from the EU system, would be a plus for the economy and the country. America, Australia and Singapore have benefitted for many decades from this approach. Immigration combined with democracy works.”

Krispy Kreme to float in US: Krispy Kreme plans to float on the US stock market after a five-year gap, with sales of its doughnuts up as customers treated themselves during the pandemic. The US company, which will list on New York’s Nasdaq under the “DNUT” ticker, on Tuesday announced record revenues for last year – although it remained unprofitable. Sales of doughnuts jumped to $1.1bn in 2020 – a 17% increase compared with 2019 – thanks in part to a switch to online deliveries. It was the first time annual sales have risen above $1bn (£700m) in its 83-year history. The trend has continued in the first quarter of this year, with its stock market filing showing revenues up 23% to $321.8m. Krispy Kreme hopes to target international expansion in a market for “indulgences” that it said was worth $650bn, as well as increasing the frequency of regular customers at cabinets in supermarkets including Sainsbury’s and Asda in the UK as well as its own shops. The stock market filing said that “almost all consumers desire an occasional indulgence”. This desire existed “during good times and bad”, including during the pandemic, the company said. However, it added that the pandemic had dented its money-making ability despite the success of a promotion in March to offer a free doughnut to anyone in the US who received a covid-19 vaccination. The company said: “We believe market conditions will remain highly favourable as global consumers’ longstanding demand for quality indulgence continues to grow.” In mandatory risk disclosures, Krispy Kreme highlighted that it could be vulnerable to changes to consumer tastes or litigation or regulation related to dietary requirements. That could include the “perception that the practices of food service companies have contributed to nutritional, caloric intake, obesity, or other health concerns of their guests”, it said. The company sold 1.3bn doughnuts in 30 countries in its 2020 financial year. Almost two-thirds of those sales were its “original glazed” sugar-coated variety, which contain 24g of sugars per 100g. In the UK, sales to 3 January 2021 were £71.9m with the company making a loss of £3.5m. The year before sales were £94m, producing a pre-tax profit of £8.5m.

Nusara Thai to open in Poole: Nusara Thai is to open its second site, taking over the grade II Listed, ex Royal Navy command headquarters building in Poole. The site is set to be a flagship investment by Nusara with a Chiang Mai cocktail bar, 80 cover heated alfresco patio and a vaulted wine cellar. Nusara forms part of the Fired Up Hospitality born in 2020 out of the pandemic which manages Zim Braai, Nusara and Old Thatch brands. Fired Up Hospitality managing director Andy Lennox said: “It’s been an incredibly tough year for the industry and our teams and as we look to come out of the covid-19 pandemic it’s now time to look to the future. We now feel the time is ripe to invest into an iconic building with years of history which has sadly laid empty for many years. The regeneration of Poole starts now.” 

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