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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Tue 12th Oct 2021 - Propel Tuesday News Briefing

Story of the Day:

CrepeAffaire plans to triple portfolio over next three years with up to 50 new franchised stores, includes 20 UK and overseas sites in 2022: Crepe concept CrepeAffaire, which currently has 25 sites in four countries, has announced plans to triple its estate by opening up to 50 new franchised stores over the next two to three years. To start the roll-out, the London-based company is on track to open up to ten UK franchised sites and ten more international units by the end of next year. Founder Daniel Spinath said: “We are excited about our growth prospects with existing and new partners. The recent reopening of our London Luton airport store with The Restaurant Group is only the start of a string of new partnerships. This month we will open our first unit in Oxford’s Summertown, in conjunction with a major new hotel development. Meanwhile, despite the challenges presented by the pandemic, our Saudi partner Fawaz Al Hokair has successfully opened five new CrepeAffaire units over the last 12 months and is now on track to open an additional eight by the third quarter of 2022. We are receiving huge levels of interest and are now working on exciting new projects in Europe and other territories, including the roll-out of our low footprint/low capex brand Crepe & Roll.” CrepeAffaire’s formats range from traditional cafe locations to kiosks and food trucks, and that wide flexibility means lower overheads and better options for site selection, according to Spinath. “With London’s extreme real estate costs, CrepeAffaire learned the importance of space utilisation with our early locations,” he said. “Our systems avoid the build-out costs and space requirements of full kitchens and complicated hood ventilation systems. Moreover, our new Crepe & Roll brand requires no water or drainage connections whatsoever, which makes it a highly attractive concept in high footfall locations where space comes at a premium. The units are easy to operate and lend themselves to multi-channel exploitation, including e-commerce. On the whole there’s plenty of scope for growth and we’ve earmarked numerous locations for prime franchise operations.” He added: “Best-in-class cafe chains are lucky to see an Ebitda of 15%, while CrepeAffaire locations consistently average more than 20% Ebitda and range up to 30%”

Industry News:

Host of hotel operators being added to updated Propel Turnover & Profits Blue Book: A host of hotel operators are being added to the updated Propel Turnover & Profits Blue Book. A total of 21 companies are being added to the updated Blue Book, which is produced in association with Mapal Group, taking the combined number to 427 companies, which produce total turnover of £30bn. Of those companies 208 are reporting a profit and 219 are making a loss. Among the new additions are GHL Hotels, which turned over £183.2m in its most recent financial year; Lake District Hotels, which turned over £19.5m and Peel Hotels, which had turnover of £15.6m. The next edition of the Blue Book will be sent to Premium subscribers on Friday (15 October) at midday. The Blue Book, which is updated every month, provides an insight into UK operator turnover and profitability over five years, profit conversion and directors’ earnings. Premium subscribers also receive two other databases – the New Openings Database, produced in association with StarStock, and the Multi-site Operators Database, produced in association with Virgate, which are also updated each month. 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. 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. To subscribe, email
Monitoring engagement to be explored as part of Yapster video mini-series: Yapster has created a mini-series focused entirely on people leaders as part of its Take the Lead Series. In the second episode, chief executive Rob Liddiard chats with Ed Godwin, people and culture director at Rare Restaurants, about leadership and what “people data” looks like today. Godwin also explains about using the right data to deliver operational and cultural business plans. The video will be sent at 9am on Tuesday (12 October).

September sees spending boost for hospitality but rising cost of living a concern for consumers: Pubs, bars and clubs enjoyed significant spending boosts in September as office workers enjoyed evenings out, according to new figures from Barclaycard. Pubs, bars and clubs benefited from a 43.5% boost versus 2019 levels, while entertainment saw its strongest growth in more than two years (28%), with new film releases, gigs and theatre shows encouraging Brits back to venues. However, Barclaycard warned ongoing supply chain shortages and rising food and energy prices have hampered consumer confidence. Its latest report, which combines hundreds of millions of customer transactions with consumer research to provide an in-depth view of UK spending, showed consumer spending grew 13.3% in September compared with the same period in 2019. But the rising cost of living is causing 90% of consumers to be concerned about the impact on their personal finances, and in turn, those who feel optimistic about the economy has fallen month-on-month (31% in comparison to 37% in August). Raheel Ahmed, Barclaycard’s head of consumer products, said: “The return of pupils and workers to schools and offices helped many sectors to see strong uplifts in September. Pubs, bars and clubs and the entertainment industry benefited from post-work socialising. Consumers are, however, starting to feel the impact of rising prices on their personal finances, which is also hampering confidence levels.”
Backman – restaurants face a tipping point on wages: Foodservice analyst Peter Backman has questioned whether raising wages will solve the staffing crisis, with any increase having to be “meaningful and competitive”. Backman said: “This isn’t about switching from one employer to another; it’s about persuading someone to become a waiter rather than, say, a worker on a construction site. The amount has to be meaningful – and competitive. Let’s say 10% is the amount (although, my guess is it needs to be substantially higher). That has a consequence. It means a restaurant’s costs increase by 4% (assuming employment costs are 40% of the total). The restaurant business is a low net profit business, so the increase has to be passed on. And, of course, that increase ignores any other increases due to rising fuel costs, food costs, VAT, and the rest, which also need to be managed. Will customers pay the increase? Some will, some won’t. Whatever happens, a likely outcome for restaurants is a mix of reduced turnover and reduced profits. But there is another significant impact of attempting to pay people more – where are these people going to come from? I get that, for political reasons, they can’t come from overseas; so they need to come from the pool of labour that exists in this country. There are, give or take, a million and a half people looking for a job at the moment. Some of these people (many of them?) will not be suitable or won’t want to work in a restaurant. And some will be tempted by offers from another sector such as the road haulage industry (100,000 jobs to fill), or the nursing profession (40,000 vacancies. Be that as it may, there are big issues in filling staffing roles in restaurants. And raising wages by a significant amount is unlikely to do the trick. Maybe the solution is to address the other part of the government’s exhortation and that is to train the workforce to be more productive. It’s going to be difficult to do that – and the existing productivity hurdle will be raised even higher when wages are meant to grow at the same time. It’s been tried before. Can it actually work this time?”
Welsh nightclub chooses to close early rather than enforce covid passports: A Welsh nightclub has taken the decision to shut early as a “safer option” to enforcing covid passports. New laws that came into force across Wales on Monday (11 October) require those attending nightclubs and other large events to show a pass proving they are doubled vaccinated – or proof of a negative lateral flow test within the last 48 hours. But Bar 236 in Prestatyn has opted to close early instead of asking for the passes – even if it costs it financially. “We feel as though the risks of trying to abide by all the new rules in regard to the covid passport outweigh the benefit of staying open,” a spokesman told ITV. “A lot of our clients on the weekend are from the younger generation who might not abide by the rules. We just feel as though it’s safer and more beneficial for us to close earlier and not have to enforce the rules. They [the club’s staff] may not be able to, or feel confident enough, to ask people for covid passports, or even tell people that they can't stay.” The covid passports legislation scraped through Welsh parliament by a single vote last week, and first minster Mark Drakeford insisted the measures are not designed to penalise business but to allow them to continue to operate safely. He added: “It's very easy to use, it builds our defences against coronavirus and it helps nightclubs and other venues to stay open during the autumn and winter.”
Job of the day: COREcruitment is working with a start-up business as it looks to expand and hire both an account manager and head of account management. The salaries on offer range between £40,000 and £60,000 depending on experience. A COREcruitment spokesman said: “The business operate a dark kitchen concept and has huge growth plans that include expanding its accounts team. We are looking to speak to experienced account managers that understand hospitality and have great contacts as well as individuals who are excellent communicators, entrepreneurially spirited, creative and ambitious.” Anyone interested can email

Company News:

Jones the Grocer concept plans UK launch: Gourmet food and retail concept Jones the Grocer is seeking an operating partner to launch its debut UK site, Propel has learned. The business, which is majority owned by JTG Holdings, has instructed InterCater to aid it in its hunt for an operating partner within the UK market. A UK flagship site will be the first in what is a planned European expansion for the brand. The hybrid concept, founded in Australia 25 years ago, currently has 24 sites across the Middle East – with a development pipeline of another 21 in place. It incorporates an Aussie-style, all-day cafe, speciality coffee and wine bar, a walk-in cheese-room, charcuterie, artisan grocer, bakery and patisserie. The brand also operates a compact grab and go format, Jones Express, which operates three sites at Dubai airport. Three new Jones Express locations are already slated to open at further global travel venues across Asia. Jones the Grocer plans to bring its various store formats to the UK incorporating “incredibly well-designed workspaces featuring casual dining and all the elements of gourmet retail in keeping with today’s more flexible lifestyles, which have become customary over the past year”. Yunib Siddiqui, chief executive of Jones the Grocer and JTG Holdings, which acquired the brand from L Catterton, a partnership with LVMH, at the start of this year, said: “Within the mid to upper tier casual dining arena there are plenty of mono-concepts and they’re all fairly uniform. Our big point of difference is how diversified our model is, combining food retail and a restaurant with all the elements of a food theatre – all within four walls. During covid we saw a 35% bump in our retail sales and home delivery, and these income streams are here to stay. As dine-in returns, as it is now, our revenue run rate is ahead of what it used to be pre-covid. Jones the Grocer is proof of a resilient model that allows a developer to successfully scale our brand. We remain open-minded about where to open in the UK. While London remains attractive, we also believe the route to market might equally be commercially successful in university cities, and places with a commuter belt.” Sammy Weinbaum, founding partner of InterCater, added: “As more people eschew the traditional office environment in favour of remote working, the lines between lifestyle, retail and dining are becoming even more blurred. Conforming to this is a new way of eating which does away with the breakfast, lunch and dinner model. With its merging of restaurant, grocery and home delivery, Jones the Grocer has already successfully established itself overseas.”
Little Yellow Door team plan Soho opening: Kam Dehdashti and Jamie Hazeel, who operate The Little Blue Door in Fulham, the house parties-style bar and restaurant concept backed by Edition Capital, are set to open a new site in London’s Soho, Propel has learned. It is understood the duo have lined up the former Miabella nightclub site in Greek Street for the opening, which would be its fourth in total. Dehdashti said: “We are a young, growing brand pioneering a new slant on the hospitality industry. As the centre of London’s vibrant nightlife, Soho is an exciting location for us to expand our offering.” Last summer, the company launched The Little Orange Door after securing the former Balans Soho Society site in Clapham Common. Last year the company launched The Little Yellow Door in All Saints Road, Notting Hill, at a site formerly occupied by Rum Kitchen. The concept is based on a fictional flatshare with flatmates hosting a series of “house parties” to welcome new friends. The menu takes inspiration from summer barbecues, with dishes such as green herb, mushroom and truffle arancini; bao buns with smoked chilli-glazed pork belly; and fried chicken with red coleslaw and Louisiana chilli. The drinks list includes cocktails. The business is thought to have plans for further sites, with names such as The Little Neon Door and The Little Black Door mooted. Shelley Sandzer acted for The Little Door & Co on the Soho deal.
Former Gordon Ramsay Holdings chief executive Gillies to launch second site: Stuart Gillies, former chief executive of Gordon Ramsay Holdings, is to open a second site under his Bank House Wine Bar and Kitchen concept, Propel has learned. Gillies, who spent more than 15 years working with Ramsay, launched the original Bank House site in Chislehurst in September 2019. He is now set to open a second one in Sevenoaks. It is thought the new restaurant and bar, called Number Eight, will open on the former Prezzo site in the town’s London Road. For the Chislehurst venture, Gillies and his wife Cecilia were joined by Jonathan Aucamp, founder and executive chairman of global proprietary trading company OSTC Group, and Guy Osborn, owner of Dial Investments. The offer features a menu serving “freshly cooked small plates and sharing options matched with carefully selected organic wine, craft beer and bespoke cocktails”. Gillies left Gordon Ramsay Holdings, with no official statement or confirmation from Ramsay, in February 2018. He was succeeded by Andy Wenlock.
RedCat acquires former Cozy Pubs site: RedCat Pub Company, the investment vehicle from ex-Greene King chief executive Rooney Anand, has continued to add to its growing portfolio, with the acquisition of a further pub with rooms in Essex. Propel has learned RedCat has acquired the 30-room Saracens Head Hotel in the market town of Great Dunmow. The boutique 15th century coaching inn, which is five miles from Stansted airport, features a restaurant, “gin, cocktail and wine” bar, health club plus meetings and events facilities. Earlier this month, Propel revealed RedCat had acquired a pair of Essex-based pubs – the Five Bells in Colne Engaine and The Lion in Earl’s Colne – from Caroline and Darran Lingley, who was the British Institute of Innkeeping’s Licensee of the Year winner in 2011. Last month, Propel revealed RedCat had acquired seven sites from Dominion Hospitality, which owns and operates hotels and pubs in the south of England under its Relax and Historic Innz brands, for an undisclosed sum. RedCat was founded earlier this year by Anand to invest in the UK pub sector and is backed by US investment firm Oaktree Capital. Oaktree is thought to have injected £200m into RedCat, of which Anand is executive chairman. RedCat has built up an estate of circa 75 sites since its inception. Christie & Co is believed to have acted on the Saracens Head deal. Cozy Pubs, which was led by Leanne Langman and Timothy Doyle, previously ran The Eight Bells in Saffron Walden, which is now operated by the Chestnut Group, and The Cricketers Arms in Rickling Green, which is now run by Horizon Pub Company. Cozy acquired the freehold of the Saracens Head for circa £1.75m in 2012.
Rare Restaurants appoints new CFO, to open Canary Wharf-based M site next spring: Rare Restaurants, the owner of Gaucho and M Restaurants, has appointed Steve Cramer, formerly of London Union and Eclectic Bars, as its new chief financial officer, Propel has learned. Cramer, who has been working with the business on an interim basis, has now taken up the role permanently. He was previously chief financial officer of Acuity Professional Group, chief financial officer of London Union, and chief operating officer of international communications group Leagas Delaney. Cramer replaces Rob Dawson, who left the business earlier this year, after a year and a half as its chief financial officer. Cramer’s appointment comes as the business announced it would open a third site under its M Restaurants brand next spring, in Canary Wharf. M Newfoundland Quay in Bank Street will overlook both the River Thames and waterways of Canary Wharf. The new 10,000 square foot venue, which was first mooted five years ago, will be housed in a 226-metre diamond tower. The brand, which was founded in 2014, currently operates restaurants in Threadneedle Street and Victoria Street. The two-storey Canary Wharf site will comprise a destination bar, 180-cover dining room, two private dining rooms, wine tasting room, a “wagyu and wine cafe” and private members’ lounge. The company said the new M will also lead the way in “Rare Restaurants sustainability and zero food waste project”. Rare Restaurant chief executive and founder Martin Williams said: “We secured this site in 2016 and creating it (while seeing the spectacular 200-metre tower rise from the ground) has been a five-year passion project, during which time we have seen the M restaurants in Threadneedle Street and Victoria Street become favourites for Londoners and win numerous awards. M Newfoundland will be our most ambitious and spectacular project to date. A gastro-playground that offers our award-winning levels of hospitality and an immersive menu that includes both the world’s highest quality beef and finest wine; I have no doubt it will become the number one drinking and dining venue in Canary Wharf.”
Leon and Simit Sarayi set for Kingston openings: Natural fast food brand Leon and global Turkish cafe concept Simit Sarayi are both set to open in London’s Kingston. The EG Group-owned Leon has commenced the fit out of 61 Clarence Street for an opening later this year. Meanwhile, Simit Sarayi has secured 65-67 Clarence Street. It follows recent nearby openings from Wingstop and Joe & The Juice. Brasier Freeth acted on the Leon and Simit Sarayi deals. Propel reported last month Leon had lined up a further four new openings. The business, which this month will open a site in London’s Kings Road, is understood to have also lined up openings in Beaconsfield, Camden, Dartford and Milton Keynes Intu. It is understood proposals have also been put forward for a drive-thru site under the brand at the Holt Road services, near Wrexham.
Frankie & Benny’s revamps Basildon site in first of three planned major refurbishments this year as brand evolves: Italian-American restaurant brand Frankie & Benny’s, owned by The Restaurant Group, is revamping its Basildon site – the first of three major refurbishments planned this year as the brand evolves. The site is being refreshed and updated to create a “more modern look and feel while maintaining the core identity of the Frankie’s brand”. One of the main elements of the refurbishment is the significant expansion of the kitchen area, “enhancing the team’s ability to deliver on the investment that has been put into the quality of the menu over the past year”. The design has also been altered to accommodate the significant growth in delivery and takeaway operations. The sign above the main door will still be in the signature neon red, but will state "Frankie’s” as part of the brand evolving. Frankie & Benny’s managing director Jonathan Knight said: “We are letting Frankie take centre stage and move the brand forward to a bright future. We are excited to begin refurbishing other restaurants and can’t wait to welcome back customers to Basildon at the end of October.”
Ramsay signs partnership deal to launch restaurants in South Korea, eyes Tower Bridge site: Chef Gordon Ramsay has announced a long-term partnership deal to bring multiple restaurant brands to South Korea. Under the deal, the newly formed strategic partnership of Jin Kyoung C (JK), and Gordon Ramsay Restaurant Group plans to deliver numerous dining outlets across South Korea in the next ten years, starting with the first Gordon Ramsay Burger slated for launch in December in Seoul’s Lotte World Mall. Ramsay said: “Seoul is so vibrant, and the dining scene is incredibly exciting. Korea is at the forefront of a very cool culinary movement where traditional delicacies and modern gastronomy meet Michelin-starred cooking and sit side by side with the iconic street food dishes of fried chicken and kimbap. It’s an amazing and inspiring place to eat out. We have so many ideas to bring to life through this new partnership.” Andy Wenlock, chief executive of Gordon Ramsay Restaurants, added: “To combine JK’s local teams’ success and expertise with our own culinary capability creates the opportunity for a highly innovative dining experience. Food is such an important part of how we connect and communicate and as a business we are excited about the future possibilities of this joint venture in this new market.” This first Gordon Ramsay Burger site opened in Las Vegas almost a decade ago, with a second site opening in London’s Harrods last year. Kim Ok-sang, chief executive of JK, said: “Through this partnership with Gordon Ramsay, JK Co will manualise all the key elements of the business and continue and inherit the brand’s unique values. We will gradually expand and lead the foodservice category in the Korean market.” Propel revealed earlier this year Ramsay was in talks to expand into South Korea, India and China. Meanwhile, Propel understands Ramsay is eyeing a further site in London for his fast-growing Street Burger concept. The chef is understood to have applied to take the ex-By Chloe site at One Tower Bridge. 
Corbin & King reopens Soutine following temporary closure: London restaurant operator Corbin & King has reopened its St John’s Wood bistro-style venue Soutine following a temporary closure due to a staff shortage. The restaurant announced in late September that is had closed the restaurant due to “critical staff shortages” across the wider business and had initially hoped to reopen on 4 October. A week on from that date, the restaurant has open for business once more, much to the delight of general manager Daniel Craig. Soutine, which is inspired by the Parisian café scene, opened in 2019.
Neat Burger to launch in London’s Victoria this week: Lewis Hamilton-backed plant-based concept Neat Burger will launch its latest site, in Buckingham Palace Road, in London’s Victoria, on Thursday (14 October). It will become the fifth site for the vegan burger chain, started by Hamilton in partnership with The Cream Group and Beyond Meat investor Tommaso Chiabara. The Victoria venue will cater for 50 covers and will join the company’s other sites in Soho, Camden, Mayfair and at Finsbury Park’s City North development, which opened in August. Neat Burger has further openings lined up at Canary Wharf, Westfield Stratford, Bishopsgate and Ealing, and last month secured a further site in Chelsea’s Kings Road. Co-founder Zack Bishti said: “We are thrilled to launch a new site in Victoria, with the hope to encourage both plant-based diners and meat eaters alike to visit and sample our vegan burgers and sides, while having an actively positive impact on the planet.”
Star Pubs & Bars launches free cocktail menu builder as venues see post-lockdown sales boom: Heineken-owned Star Pubs & Bars has launched a free cocktail menu builder to help its leased and tenanted licensees capitalise on a post-lockdown boom in cocktail sales. Data from the company’s Just Add Talent (JAT) managed operator pubs revealed cocktail sales have doubled since pubs reopened in May, with cocktails now accounting for 25% of spirit serves in the average pub. The increase has contributed to a 44% surge in spirits’ share of wet sales. Spirits are now the second biggest category at JAT pubs after beer and cider. Star’s new cocktail menu builder has its own website and has been developed with major spirits suppliers. The service enables licensees to access more than 450 different cocktail recipes, search for recipes using spirits they have in stock and create two free personalised cocktail menus a year. Images and spirits logos for menu production are provided as well as templates listing the top ten most popular serves by venue type, ranging from community locals to premium style bars. Star spirits category buyer Ben Ko-Nkengmo said: “Serving cocktails is no longer a ‘nice to have’ even for community pubs. Customers expect at least a capsule menu of four really well made cocktails. This trend will be amplified in the festive season when pub-goers look to treat themselves. Our cocktail menu builder is designed to make it easy for them to tap into demand for cocktails and drive sales with minimum work.”
Benihana confirms Covent Garden move: Benihana, the worldwide Japanese teppanyaki restaurant chain, has confirmed it will open a new site in London’s Covent Garden. As revealed by Propel last month, the company will open on the former Fire & Stone site in Maiden Lane. It comes as the company announced it was closing its site in Piccadilly. In an update on its website, the business said the Sackville Street-based restaurant closed at the weekend. It said: “After more than 27 years as a popular feature on the London restaurant scene, Benihana closed on Sunday (10 October) before moving to a new home in Maiden Lane, Covent Garden in spring 2022.” Benihana's sister site in King's Road, Chelsea, will continue to operate. In 2018, Minor International acquired a 75% stake in Benihana to spearhead the business and oversee its expansion programme. Last year, the company closed its only UK site outside London, in Glasgow, less than a year after its launch.
Gusto to open ‘new-look’ restaurant and bar in Nottingham before Christmas: Premium casual dining group Gusto Italian will open its “new-look” restaurant and bar in Nottingham before Christmas. As revealed by Propel in June, the Matt Snell-led brand, which currently has 12 sites across the UK, is launching the site in the city’s King Street in the premises previously occupied by The Restaurant Group-owned Frankie & Benny’s. The venue, which will create 80 jobs, will be an evolution of the Gusto brand with “immersive pizza experience, open kitchen and a cocktail, coffee and cannoli bar”. The venue will also offer a new brunch menu, including bottomless brunch, unique among Gusto restaurants. Snell said: “We’re thrilled to be bringing a new-look Gusto to the people of Nottingham. The new and improved restaurant and bar will be an evolution of the Gusto brand, offering an immersive experience.” Following this site, Gusto said it was looking to build a pipeline of openings to drive future growth. Snell previously said: “This will be our first site for four years and marks a new chapter for us as we come out of a very tough 18 months.” The Palatine Private Equity-backed group currently operates in locations such as Edinburgh, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester and Newcastle.
Searcys opens new champagne bar in London’s Pall Mall: British restaurateur and events caterer Searcys has opened its latest venture, the 116 Pall Mall Champagne Bar. Once the wine cellars of the Prince of Wales and the United Service Club, it is now open to the public for the first time and serves one of the largest selections of magnums in London, alongside cocktails and bar bites. There is also a private dining room seating up to 50, while a roster of future events includes Champagne masterclasses and dinners. The bar is part of a grade-I listed building that is home to the Institute of Directors, for which Searcys also landed the catering contract in August, managing all catering and service provisions across the venue. This includes flexible workspaces, meeting rooms and event spaces, set across five floors. Also open to the public for the first time is the Carlton Room, which serves afternoon tea, while guests have access to the garden terrace too.
Burger King launches new gourmet burger range: Burger King has started selling its new “Gourmet Kings” range of burgers at UK outlets. The Steakhouse is a revamped favourite featuring oak smoked cheddar, crispy bacon slices and barbecue sauce, while The Argentinian is a new arrival that provides an extra kick with a dash of chilli sauce and a drizzle of Chimichurri mayo. Katie Evans, chief marketing officer at Burger King UK, said: “Our new Gourmet Kings collection has been in development for more than a year, and we’re delighted to finally serve them to customers across our restaurants and via delivery.”
SSP non-executive director to step down: UK-based travel hub foodservice company SSP Group has announced non-executive director Ian Dyson is to step down following his appointment as chair of Asos. Dyson, who has served on the SSP board for more than seven years, will step down following the company’s 2022 annual general meeting. Following the conclusion of the meeting, Tim Lodge will succeed Dyson as chair of the audit committee, which he has served one since October 2020. SSP chair Mike Clasper said: “The board has benefited greatly from Ian’s experience and advice, particularly as audit committee chair. His wise counsel has helped in steering the company successfully through the challenges of the pandemic. Since Tim's appointment last year, Tim has been a valued member of the board and audit committee with significant recent and relevant experience, and we are delighted he has agreed to chair the audit committee.”

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