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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Thu 28th Oct 2021 - Update: Various Eateries, C&C Group, The Restaurant Group
Various Eateries reports Coppa Club like-for-likes up 21%: Various Eateries, the owner, developer and operator of restaurant, clubhouse and hotel sites in the United Kingdom, has reported very encouraging trading since the recommencement of trading on 12 April 2021. The company stated: “Like-for-like revenue across the Coppa Club estate was up +21% from full reopening on 17 May through to 3 October 2021 against the same period in 2019 (pre-covid). Several Coppa Club sites delivered record sales months. Despite being in the centre of London’s office district, Tavolino also delivered a strong reopening performance, building to positive monthly like-for-like sales versus 2019 in September 2021. At period end the group was operating 12 venues including Coppa Club Clifton Village, which opened most recently in Bristol in July 2021 and Coppa Club Cobham, which opened in December 2020. Both venues are performing ahead of internal budgets, with the ‘all-day’ clubhouse concept being embraced by the community and guests using the venue for breakfast, for coffee, as a study/workspace and of course for lunch, supper and drinks. The company will be opening a further substantial Coppa Club in November by the river in Putney. It has also signed terms for Coppa Club Haslemere, which is expected to open early in 2022 and will deliver the full clubhouse experience, including bedrooms. Several further sites are agreed or in advanced negotiations, with many others under consideration. Management is confident both in the strength of its concepts and in its ability to expand further and faster across the UK. On the other hand, the macro-economic climate remains uncertain. With its considerable experience over many decades, the team continues to mitigate the effects of sector-wide issues, including labour shortages and increasing supply chain costs, and is well placed to meet new challenges. As anticipated, excellent new sites are becoming available in the aftermath of the pandemic and the company expects this availability to improve further when the rent moratorium ends in March 2022.” Chief executive Yishay Malkov said: “Since our venues have re-opened, we have seen strong demand, particularly at sites outside of London. The way Coppa sites are being used throughout the day alongside the excellent customer feedback we’ve received shows not only the relevance of our brand, but that our underlying proposition is landing exactly as anticipated in a world where people spend less time in the office. We have a highly experienced leadership team and a robust, established business; we are well funded, and we have a clear, compelling growth strategy that puts us in a strong position. We will continue to roll-out our concepts in a sensible and sustainable way, and are confident of growing Coppa Club and Tavolino into leading nationwide brands.”

One day to go before release; 66 multi-site companies set to join updated Premium Database of Multi-site Companies: A total of 66 new multi-site companies, operating 446 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 5,124-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 14,700-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.

The Restaurant Group confirms Ken Hanna will be next chairman: The Restaurant Group has confirmed Ken Hanna is to replace Debbie Hewitt as chairman – Hewitt stands down at the end of the year to pursue her new role as chairman of The English Football Association. Hanna will join the TRG board as a non-executive director on 1 December 2021 and will take on the role of chairman with effect from 1 January 2022. The company stated: “Ken is a hugely experienced chair and brings a wealth of relevant business experience from both his executive and non-executive careers. His executive career has included the roles of chief financial officer of Avis Europe, chief financial officer of United Distillers, chief financial officer of Sygen International, chief financial officer and chief executive of Dalgety and chief financial officer of Cadbury. Since embarking on a non-executive career, Ken’s roles have included non-executive director of Tesco, and chairman of Inchcape, Shooting Star Chase, Aggreko and RMD Kwikform. Ken is currently chairman of Arena Events Group.” Graham Clemett, senior independent director, who led the search said: “On behalf of the TRG board I would like to thank Debbie for the outstanding contribution she has made as chairman, successfully navigating the company through the various challenges of the last five years and also the invaluable personal support she has provided to all of us on the board. We are delighted to announce the appointment of Ken Hanna as chairman to replace Debbie. Ken is a well-respected chairman with the right breadth of commercial and leadership experience to lead the TRG board, and we are all looking forward to working with him.” Ken Hanna, chairman designate, said: “I am delighted to be joining the TRG board. The short term challenges facing the Hospitality sector, including labour availability and supply chain issues, are well known, but TRG has a strong and experienced management team and an excellent range of brands, which have emerged stronger from the pandemic. I am very much looking forward to working with Andy Hornby and the wider management team to continue to position TRG for the long term.”

C&C Group reports return to profitability since June: C&C Group has reported net revenue increased 65.0% to €657.3m in the six months to 31 August, reflecting the progressive reopening of the hospitality sector during the latter months of the first half. The company stated: “In line with the easing of on-trade restrictions, the group returned to profitability from June onwards. Demonstrating the strength and resilience of the business, C&C recorded an operating profit of €16.0m for the first half despite some restrictions still in place.” Chief executive David Forde said: “Following the easing of on-trade restrictions over H1 FY2022, we are delighted to be back serving our customers and consumers in both indoor and outdoor hospitality across our core markets of UK and Ireland. We are encouraged by how quickly the on-trade recovered and we are pleased to report that trading in the first half has been ahead of plan and our inherent cash generating strengths are reflected in the return of the business to cash generation from June 2021. With our well invested manufacturing facilities, close to the markets we serve, we have been able to react to demand and allocate resource accordingly, to maintain our output, notably being self-sufficient in CO2, navigating the supply issues faced by the industry. Further, we have been partly insulated from the on-going UK capacity constraints due to driver shortages through our network being owned and operated in-house, in addition to the advantages afforded by our leading scale and reach. This has allowed us to broadly meet demand over the peak summer trading period, ensuring we put our brands and our partner’s brands in the hands of the consumers who enjoy them. With this backdrop, I would like to personally thank all of our people who played a part in delivering this performance, their commitment, skill and experience is an invaluable asset to our business. We have continued to progress our strategy, notably building our brand strength through investment in a multi-channel advertising campaign for our Magners, Bulmers and Tennent’s brands. This has in part been reflected by a robust performance in the off-trade and encouraging brand health scores. Our system strength has been enhanced by completion of the GB network optimisation, which will in time both improve service whilst drive efficiencies and reduce emissions. In addition, we have begun work on creating a One C&C GB business, aligning our three trading businesses, Tennent’s, Matthew Clark and Bibendum under one leadership team. This initiative will simplify our business while improving our overall customer experience. Lastly, we continue to progress our ESG initiatives with a full transition out of single use plastics in our product ranges at our Wellpark brewery and since April 2021, 100% of the electricity for our main sites is from renewable sources. We entered the second half in a good position and we are focused on continuing to build a better business by developing brand and system strength, while navigating the near-term capacity constraints the industry faces.” 

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