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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Wed 27th Oct 2021 - Cost increases could mean pint price could rise by 25p to 30p
Cost increases could mean pint price could rise by 25p to 30p: The price of a pint of beer will have to rise by as much as 30p to help pay for higher wages and energy costs, City Pub Company has warned. On Monday, the government said the National Living Wage would rise to £9.50 per hour in April for those over 23 years old. City Pub Company chief executive Clive Watson said this would cost it about £1m a year. Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said that while increases to the minimum wage and the minimum living rate would be “welcomed” by many staff in pubs, it was a further cost increase for pubs who were “still struggling to recover and face an uncertain future”. “It makes beer duty, business rates and VAT cuts in the Budget on Wednesday all the more important for the viability of our sector,” she added. City Pub Group withstood the pandemic thanks to government assistance, putting 99% of its staff on furlough during the pandemic. “That’s basically kept the industry on life support, but we’re coming off life support now and we need to be able to have a road to recovery,” Watson told the BBC. Last month, the group, which owns 45 pubs, reported that sales had been above 90% of pre-pandemic levels since covid restrictions were eased in May. But now it faces further challenges – not just minimum wage rises, but also higher energy and food costs, as well as employers’ national insurance contributions going up next April. The price of beer “would probably have to go up by 25 to 30p a pint” to take account of all that, Watson said. “We want to do our bit – it’s very important, but at the same time we don’t want everything going up the whole time, because all that will do is stoke inflation,” he told The BBC.
Two days to go before release; 67 multi-site companies set to join updated Premium Database of Multi-site Companies: A total of 67 new multi-site companies, operating 448 sites, have been added to the next edition of the Propel Premium Database of Multi-site Companies, which will be released on Friday, 29 October, at midday. The updated Propel Multi-Site Database, which is produced in association with Virgate, includes a number of brands growing through franchise, regional pub and hotel operators and expanding seafood brands. Premium subscribers will also receive a 5,154-word report on the new additions to the database. The comprehensive database is updated monthly and 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. It features more than 2,000 companies. Alongside this, Premium subscribers will also receive the fourth edition of the New Openings Database, which is produced in association with StarStock, on Wednesday, 3 November, at midday. It focuses on newly announced openings and upcoming launches in the sector and is updated every month. The fourth edition will now include a 13,500-word report on the new additions to the database. Premium subscribers also receive access to another database – the Propel Turnover & Profits Blue Book, which is produced in association with Mapal Group. The Blue Book, which is also updated monthly, provides an insight into UK operator turnover and profitability over five years, profit conversion and directors’ earnings. 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, plus 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. Email to sign up.

Vianet eyes dividend reinstatement as revenues bounce back: Vianet has reported revenue above expectation in its First Half. The company stated: “We are pleased to confirm the strong recovery in the group’s revenues through H1, with turnover up 55% to £6.3m (H1 2020: £4.1m and H1 2019: £8.4m) and pleasingly slightly above our expectations for the first six months of the year given restrictions ran late into the period and our supply chain costs were marginally higher. Whilst new device sales are encouraging the recurring revenues from long term customers have bounced back to being c. 90% of turnover. From the outset of the pandemic, we have worked closely with our customers and have focused on managing our cash. We remain confident that the group has adequate funding to support our ongoing business requirements as well as our planned investment for a sustained period. We remain committed to our strategy of development and delivery of our product roadmap to improve the quality of our existing revenue streams and to take advantage of the exciting growth opportunities we see ahead. Subject to no further lockdowns or restrictions on the hospitality sector and no deterioration of semi-conductor supply, we expect H2 cash generation will enable the board to reinstate a dividend in July for FY2022.” James Dickson, chairman of Vianet, said: “Our focus, throughout the pandemic, has been on working closely with our customers and suppliers, shrewd cash management and ensuring we come through it in a strong position to take advantage of the clear opportunities in remote asset management, contactless payment and market data insights. Whilst covid-19 and Brexit related challenges may endure for some time, our ongoing investment in product and people is creating real momentum, and I am confident that the group has the team and financial wherewithal to drive growth for a sustained period, as the demand for both data and contactless solutions grows. I am pleased to confirm that, subject to no further lockdowns or restrictions on the hospitality sector in H2, and a degree of relative stability in the semi-conductor supply chain, we expect to reinstate a dividend in July for FY2022.”

The Celtic Collection’s latest luxury hotel opens its doors in Cardiff: The Parkgate Hotel, the latest addition to The Celtic Collection portfolio, has opened its doors following a two-year redevelopment. The 170-bedroom hotel is based in two of the city centre’s most historic buildings – the former Head Post Office and the old County Court. Based near the Principality Stadium on Westgate Street, the venue is a collaboration between The Celtic Collection, the Welsh Rugby Union and property developer Rightacres. Event spaces include the Postmaster Suite, holding up to 432 people, and the Telegraph Room, a private dining space for up to 50 people. Joining The Celtic Collection as part of The Parkgate’s management team are sales director Nicola Edmunds, facilities manager Dean Winston and housekeeping manager Deborah Collins, while head chef Justin Llewellyn and food and beverage manager Louise Juniper join from elsewhere within the group. The Celtic Collection boasts the iconic Celtic Manor Resort as its flagship venue as well as the Resort Hotel, the Manor House, Coldra Court, the Newbridge on Usk and Tŷ Hotel Magor, while expansion plans include opening Tŷ Hotel Milford Waterfront in spring 2022, in partnership with the Port of Milford Haven.

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