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Morning Briefing Strap Line
Mon 31st Jan 2022 - Propel Monday News Briefing

Story of the Day:

Mackenzie – we need a concerted effort from government and employers to encourage workers and tourists to return: Nick Mackenzie, chief executive of Greene King, has said that the sector needs a concerted effort from government and employers to encourage a return of workers and tourist and help “revive our city centres to the thriving social hubs they were before the pandemic”. Mackenzie told Propel: “Despite the end of work-from-home guidance, we expect trade to take some time to recover. In particular, the viability of some city centre pubs, particularly in London, will remain an issue until we see workers and tourists return to our cities. That’s why we need a concerted effort from government and employers to encourage this return and help revive our city centres to the thriving social hubs they were before the pandemic. We also need the government to give positive messaging around pubs being the safe socialising environments we all know them to be, and the governments in Scotland and Wales to follow England and remove all restrictions on hospitality venues. While we have experienced some short periods of good trading, this will not be enough to rebuild the sector, and we need longer-term structural support from the government such as extending the lower rate of VAT in pubs, freezing business rates and removing the current cap on rate relief to ensure our sector comes back stronger this year. We would also welcome support around licensing and planning regulations for the expansion of external drinking areas, which will help regenerate our city centres.” Mackenzie hopes the ‘new normal’ means not just an end to restrictions, but also to “the threat of sudden changes, unclear rules, damaging restrictions and potential lockdowns”. He said: “It’s been an incredibly challenging two years and we can’t rule out more ups and downs. We do, however, want to see a more stable situation that gives our pubs and colleagues the certainty they need to plan for the future. I think the new normal will mean we need to get a much deeper understanding of our customers’ needs and expectations. Covid has accelerated many trends we were all aware of prior to the pandemic, and in some cases, has changed customer behaviour for good. We need to be much more agile and purposeful in the way we respond to those changes over the coming months and years.”

Industry News:

Sponsored message – Airship and Toggle announce their ‘minifesto’: Hospitality marketing technology specialists Airship and Toggle have released their “minifesto” for 2022, revealing their development focus on each platform and goals around customer success, under the title of 2022 The Year of More. Chief executive Dan Brookman said: “There’s a great opportunity this year, and we want to help our customers deliver it. There is more data flowing through hospitality than ever before, and so we are putting our focus into insight, rewards, data building, personalisation and automation. Toggle will soon roll out new tools for ticketing, corporate sales and top-up. In addition, we have developed new tools and processes to accelerate the integrations with new platforms down to two weeks. Our Airship Pages landing page builder launches next week, and this follows quickly on the heels of Apple Wallet integration for Toggle.” Read the “minifesto” here. If you have a sponsored story you would like to see featured in this newsletter position, email

Host of seafood restaurants added to the sixth edition of The New Openings Database, 26,100-word report included: A host of seafood restaurants have been added to the sixth edition of The New Openings Database, which is produced in association with StarStock. The database will show the details of 495 newly announced site openings and upcoming launches for Premium subscribers when it is published on Friday (4 February), at midday. The database shows the details of which company has opened a site or its plans to open one in the future. It will have details on what type of site it is and its location. There will also be a website link to the businesses so you can find out more about them. It is published on a monthly basis. In the sixth edition of the database, it features South African seafood concept Ocean Basket, which is opening its debut site in the spring at Bromley’s Market Square, and Goodards & Gibbs, which is opening a new restaurant at the Lore Group’s One Hundred Shoreditch hotel next month. Also included is south west-based restaurant group Rockfish, which is on course to expand its eight-strong restaurant chain to ten in the spring with openings in Sidmouth and Salcombe. In addition, chef Neil Wagner has opened Off The Hook, which also operates as a fishmonger and fish ‘n’ chips takeaway outlet, in Gauging Square, Wapping, east London. Premium subscribers will also receive a 26,100-word report on the new additions to the database. Premium subscribers also receive access to two other databases. The latest Propel Multi-Site Database, which is produced in association with Virgate, was sent to Premium subscribers on Friday (28 January). The database contained 87 new companies, bringing the total number of businesses listed up to 2,293. The 918 sites run by those 87 new additions means the entire database of sites has reached 63,489 sites. Premium subscribers also received a 6,500-word report on the new businesses added. 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. In a new feature this year, there is a synopsis of what the business does and significant news associated with it. Premium subscribers also receive the Turnover & Profits Blue Book, which is produced in association with Mapal Group. The Blue Book, which is also updated every month, 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; regular video content and regular exclusive columns from Propel group 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 single subscription rate is £445 plus VAT for operators and £545 plus VAT for suppliers. Email to upgrade your subscription.

Report forecasts UK foodservice industry to grow by 27% in 2022: The UK’s hospitality and foodservice sector will grow by 27% to £95bn this year compared to 2021, achieving the nearly the same levels of revenue as 2019, according to a new report. ‘The Next Era for Foodservice, 2022 to 2025’, produced by sector analyst and FutureFoodservice founder Simon Stenning, forecasts total market valuation for all hospitality/foodservice (excluding accommodation) for 2022 to grow to £95.6bn, increasing substantially from £75bn in 2021 but still lower than the £98bn achieved in 2019. The 100-page report forecasts more apparent polarisation between value-driven social refuelling and the experiential, premiumised dining, with challenges for those stuck in the middle, plus a continued growth in fast food brands and increasing Americanisation of the market. It also sees a continuation of the ‘Polo-Mint’ effect, with city centre trade migrating to suburban locations, driving growth in neighbourhood cafes, pubs and restaurants. The report also forecasts new food models coming to the fore, including dark kitchens, virtual brands and make-aways, along with new central production units, food preparation systems, and delivery solutions. It says that challenges for operators include VAT reverting to 20% in April, reducing net revenues by 7.5p percentage points unless price rises are passed onto consumers, plus inflation rising and squeezing consumer discretionary spending, while consumer confidence remains in negative territory. Other challenges will arise from an increased tax burden from April, with National Insurance rising at the same time as the National Living Wage, and from high levels of employment, forcing changes to staff scheduling or curtailing trading days or hours. By the end of 2022, the report forecasts that total market revenues will have reached 2019 levels, and for 2023, the market will grow to more than £101bn before growing further in 2024 and 2025. Stenning said: “While the past two years have been incredibly challenging for all in the industry, the Next Era, from this year onwards, sees exciting new concepts growing, an increase in experiential dining providing consumers with persuasive reasons for eating and drinking out of home, and new technology enabling more efficient experiences. Value-driven, convenient, fast-food solutions will also become more important, meeting new consumer demands, especially from those who are cash-poor and time-poor, but also as the way we live changes and we try to fit more in. There are still challenges at the start of 2022, with the increased tax burden and rising inflation, and the industry has to be careful of dampening nascent consumer demand by pushing more price rises onto them. But if the focus is on delivering exceptional experiences, the best operators will thrive.” The report is available to purchase, with details at

Welsh pubs and brewers welcome easing of hospitality restrictions but call for more government support: Welsh pubs and brewers have welcomed the easing of hospitality restrictions in the country but have called for more government support to ensure they survive in the long term. Last Friday (28 January) saw the Welsh government lift the table service-only, two-metre social distancing and rule-of-six restrictions in pubs and restaurants and end the legal requirement to work from home. Welsh people also no longer have to wear face masks in cafes, pubs, restaurants and nightclubs, as covid cases in the country return to pre-Omicron levels. However, although the country’s nightclubs have been able to open again, covid passes will remain a necessity for entry, as well as to cinema and theatres. Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the Welsh Beer and Pub Association, said: “Restrictions in Wales decimated consumer confidence, and in turn, our trade, which is why we are delighted to see the back of these measures. We are grateful for the support the sector has received. However, there is much more to be done to secure the long-term survival of our much-loved pubs and breweries. We are calling on the Welsh government to support our calls to extend the current lower level of VAT, lower beer duty, and introduce business rates reform that reduces the disproportionate burden paid by pubs.” Welsh Conservative health spokesman, Russell George, called for remaining restrictions to be scrapped too, saying: “We need dates on when we can learn to live with the virus with no further threats of lockdowns to deal with hypothetical variants. This means removing harmful business restrictions, making facemasks a matter of choice and self-responsibility and scrapping coercive, ineffective and pointless vaccine passports that still have no proof that they work.”

Guidance on new calorie labelling laws released: UKHospitality has produced guidance on the new calorie labelling legislation, due to be implemented in April, to help affected businesses and ensure consistent enforcement. The guidance has been compiled in conjunction with the UKHospitality Nutrition Group and covers a summary of the legislation as well as answers to FAQs. These include which foods and business are exempt, how the legislation affects franchised businesses and tied pubs, what calorie information must be shown and how it must be displayed. The advice will be updated on a rolling basis as additional queries and details emerge. Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UKHospitality, said: “These new rules come into force at a very challenging time for our industry. While working to ensure the sector is prepared and able to comply with the new guidance, we at UKHospitality are working hard to press the case for a delay in implementation and a light touch on enforcement of the rules post-April.” The guidance can be read here.

Leaders from Brewhouse & Kitchen, Buzzworks, Caffe Nero and others share their ‘digital influence’ data in new report: Yapster, the mobile communications platform for hospitality teams, has published a report illustrating in data how chief executives, managing directors, operations directors, regional managers, executive chefs and general managers from across the industry communicate with their teams online. Each featured leader has a published ‘influence score’ and a data footprint of their internal communications activity over the second half of 2021. “This report proves in numbers that modern leaders are increasingly making time to personally communicate with colleagues across their organisations,” said Yapster chief executive Rob Liddiard. “We can all moan about the challenges facing the sector on Twitter or LinkedIn, but the individuals featured in this report are actually walking the talk in personally affecting their company’s employee engagement, productivity and retention efforts.” A free copy of Yapster’s Social Leadership Report 2022 is available here.

Job of the day: COREcruitment is looking for a highly qualified legal counsel to oversee the legal aspects of a global hospitality business in London. A COREcruitment spokesman said: “You will safeguard the company’s reputation by guaranteeing it strictly follows law guidelines and give legal advice to management about all relevant issues. They will effectively ensure legal conformity and minimise probability of exposure. The legal counsel’s responsibilities will include helping with international expansion – including franchise – supporting with employment contracts, intellectual property and copyright support. They will give accurate and timely counsel to executives in a variety of legal topics including labour law, partnerships, international ventures and corporate finance. They will also collaborate with management to devise efficient defence strategies.” For more information and to apply, email

Company News:

Arc Inspirations secures £14m refinancing, including separate £5m to support site expansion: Leeds-based multi-site operator Arc Inspirations has secured a new £14m banking agreement with HSBC to replace its existing debt facilities with Santander, including a separate £5m to underpin the group’s expansion. The £5m growth element will support investment in several new sites for Arc, which currently boasts an 18-strong estate across its Banyan, Box and Manahatta concepts. The Martin Wolstencroft-led company is actively looking to grow its footprint in prime locations in key cities, predominantly in the Midlands and the north. Tim Knockton, Arc’s finance director, said: “We’re delighted to have successfully concluded this process – it is clearly a massive endorsement for both the Arc Inspirations business and for the wider hospitality sector too.  From a very early stage we were extremely encouraged by the number of banks that came forward to effectively compete to support this refinancing and are very pleased to be partnering HSBC, who are long-term supporters of the sector.” The group opened a new Manahatta in Birmingham and a new Box in Manchester towards the end of last year and has secured sites for two new openings later this year, with a Manahatta in Newcastle believed to be in the pipeline. This follows an encouraging period of trading in the second half of 2021, with sales up 42% from mid-July to mid-December versus the same trading period in 2019. This included a group record sales week in August, when it achieved sales of more than £1m across its venues. On the back of this strong return to trading, Arc expects to produce another record performance in terms of both profit and sales for its full financial year to 31 March 2022. “The business is in an excellent position to capitalise on forthcoming growth opportunities, and we are very pleased to be entering this partnership with HSBC,” said co-founder and chief executive Wolstencroft. “We’re delighted with our recent openings and are excited about the opportunities we have in front of us.”

Otherworld prepares to take its experience into home VR sets, announces record-breaking sales week and closes crowdfund after raising £1.4m: Otherworld, the Imbiba-backed immersive entertainment business, is preparing to take its experience into home VR sets, “significantly advancing” its “metaverse ambitions”. The virtual reality experience company currently has two bricks-and-mortar sites in London and will soon launch a third, in Birmingham, with expansion to Leeds, Manchester, Glasgow and overseas sites planned too. But it has also taken a big step forward in its multi-channel strategy, with a successful demonstration of a future home VR solution. This would see high-resolution Otherworld experiences streamed to home and mobile VR headsets, which it hopes will become commercially viable in the next three to five years. The company said: “Existing standalone home VR solutions rely on chipsets similar to those in mobile phones, requiring game developers to downsample and reduce the quality of their experiences. We believe the quality of a VR experience is critical for immersion, and that lo-fi mobile experiences fall far short of VR’s potential. Our solution will render VR graphics at full quality and resolution and stream them in real time to mobile headsets. This achievement significantly advances our metaverse ambitions and our vision to transport people from around the world to Otherworld through home and mobile devices, as well as our premium high street portals.” This follows a record week of sales for Otherworld, with its two London sites taking £72,800 of gross advance bookings excluding VAT. “We think this is a clear sign that covid anxiety is reducing and that people across London want to get back out and enjoy fantastic experiences together,” the company added. Otherworld has also closed its latest crowdfund, which it launched on Crowdcube last month to raise £600,000 towards future expansion, with a total 236% of its target. It finished with just over £1.4m raised through almost 800 investors, who were offered 6.08% equity.

Hickory’s Smokehouse reports like-for-like sales up 25%, plans five openings this year: American-style smokehouse and barbecue brand Hickory’s Smokehouse, which has been backed by Piper since 2014, has reported a 25% increase in like-for-like sales since December 2021. The 14-strong business posted sales of £19.5m for the year ended 30 April 2021 in accounts recently filed at Companies House. The company reported like-for-like sales up 40% since May 2021. Since its year end, the company, which was founded in Chester by Neil McDonnell in 2010, has opened two new sites, in Wilmslow and Nuthall. Propel understands it hopes to open five further sites this year. Last November, Propel revealed the business had appointed advisory firm BDO to help review its funding options for its next stage of growth. During the pandemic, Hickory’s At Home was launched, which the company said was born out of a desire to help local communities and struggling families. Working alongside Cash For Kids, the team provided thousands of meals, raising more than £135,000 for the charity in just 11 months. The project won ‘Best Community or Charity Initiative’ at the recent Restaurant Marketer & Innovator Awards, staged by Propel and Think Hospitality. Hickory’s managing director, John Welsh, said: “After these testing couple of years, we’re pleased with this latest set of results. I’d like to thank all our teams for the extraordinary work and dedication they have shown throughout the pandemic. As we hopefully enter the final stages of the pandemic, we look forward to building on this success and bringing the fun and spirit of Hickory’s to many more guests.” In October 2014, Piper invested £6m to support the roll out of the then three-strong brand. As part of the deal, Paul Campbell, the former chief executive of Clapham House Group and current non-executive director at Hawksmoor, Vinoteca, Tortilla and Yard Sale Pizza, became chairman of Hickory’s.

DRG Group profits take sharp dive but business ‘resilient’ and ‘better placed than most’, first English outlet ‘performing well’: Scottish restaurant operator Di Maggio’s Restaurant Group’s (DRG) profits fell sharply in the year to April 2021, but co-owner Mario Gizzi insists the business has shown resilience in difficult trading conditions and is better placed than most. Pre-tax profits at the group behind the Di Maggio’s, Café Andaluz and Amarone brands fell to around £500,000 in the year to April 2021, from £2.6m the previous year, while turnover in the same period dropped to £11.5m, from around £32.5m. “In the circumstances, these results show the resilience of the business, especially when you consider that we endured lockdown after lockdown and that the industry as a whole has been badly damaged,” Gizzi, who owns the business with fellow director Tony Conetta, told Yahoo News. “It is no secret that operators are facing hugely challenging times in the year ahead, and we are no different. However, relatively speaking, we are better placed than most to come out of the pandemic intact.” A group spokesman said it expected pre-tax profits in the current financial year to be higher due to restaurants being able to operator for longer and the temporary reduction in VAT. DRG opened its first English restaurant, a Café Andaluz outlet in Newcastle, last October and said it had “performed well in the circumstances of covid”. The spokesman said Gizzi and Conetta were paid around £1m in dividends, up from about £900,000 the previous financial year, but said the directors had invested a further £2.9m to support the business in the period. DRG’s 21-strong portfolio includes four Di Maggio’s, six Café Andaluz and three Amarone restaurants, as well as four other Glasgow restaurants, a further one in Edinburgh and three food court operations. Although one of the Glasgow restaurants remains closed and another is open for takeaway only, the group plans to open them fully again in due course. Gizzi also described the government furlough and business loans schemes as “vital lifelines for the hospitality industry”, adding: “Without them, our sector faced being essentially wiped out.”

Giggling Squid launches first breakfast menu: Giggling Squid, the Thai restaurant brand backed by BGF, has launched its first ever breakfast menu. Currently on trial at its Sutton Coldfield restaurant, the menu includes Thai breakfast specialties as well as classic brunch dishes with a Thai twist. Running daily from 8.30-11am, the offering is designed to “cater to the appetite for elevated brunch and breakfast experiences and support the brand’s ambitious growth plans”. Co-founder, Pranee Laurillard, said: “Thai people love food, including breakfast! Think lots of eggs, pancakes and sausages with a Thai spice kick. I love early mornings in Thailand, the gentle low-key bustle of friends and families starting their day. I can’t wait to see our restaurant filled with the same morning buzz.” Propel revealed earlier this month the 42-strong business, which opened its latest site, in Welwyn Garden City, at the start of the year, is planning a double Cardiff opening for its Welsh debut later in 2022. Giggling Squid also plans to open its first North Yorkshire site, in Harrogate, this spring, and has secured further sites in Cheshire, Manchester, Winchester and Maidstone for openings later this year. It is also thought to be in talks on a site in Liverpool and exploring opportunities in Edinburgh and Glasgow, and is set to add to its delivery kitchen estate with a unit in Brent Cross.

HotBox closes flagship London restaurant after investor pulls out: American barbecue restaurant HotBox has closed its flagship restaurant in London’s Spitalfields after December’s “Plan B” restrictions saw its investors pull out of the business. Having shut the venue in Commercial Street, HotBox continues to trade from its concessions at the Market Halls sites in Fulham and the West End. HotBox opened a site at Hawley Wharf in Camden in September, but that has since closed. In an Instagram post, HotBox said: “HotBox started as an idea almost ten years ago. The founding team travelled throughout Texas, hauled a one tonne smoker around east London and eventually found our first restaurant in an amazing property in Spitalfields. Seven years on from opening, we look back nostalgically to the innocence of just wanting to make the best barbecue we could. It is with profound sadness that we are closing the doors of our E1 restaurant. The reasons for closing are all condensed within the rollercoaster that has been the last two years. And after working so hard over the past six months to reinvigorate our business, the December debacle meant that our investors pulled out. We are so grateful for the time we had. You can still find us at Market Halls, doing our best to create incredible smokey treats. But for now, from our home, it’s goodbye.”

Bubala set to double up with Soho opening: Middle Eastern vegetarian concept Bubala, which opened its debut site in Spitalfields in 2019 following a string of pop ups and supper clubs, is set to double up with a second restaurant, in Soho. The 50-cover restaurant, with an eight-seat counter-style bar overlooking an open kitchen, is due to open in April. Bubala, which is Yiddish for “darling”, is the brainchild of Marc Summers, co-founder and former general manager of Berber & Q. Executive chef Helen Graham will be serving up some new creations, many of which will be grilled on the restaurants’ yakitori grill, including hispi cabbage with mandarin and ras el hanout ponzu, and Yemeni malawach with stracciatella, kalamata olives and smoked aubergine honey. These will sit on the menu alongside Bubala classics from the Spitalfields site like halloumi with black seed honey and confit potato latkes with toum and Aleppo chilli. Among the drinks on offer will be wine on tap, bottled natural wine, UK beer and Gazoz house sodas. Summers said: “The past two years have been unimaginably hard for our entire industry, so I feel incredibly lucky to have one site, let alone opening a second. It’s always been a long-term goal for Bubala to grow, but it’s a step that I wanted to take carefully and one that I didn’t want to rush. I feel like we’ve got the best possible team now and the site feels perfect. I just can’t wait to open and bring a bit of Bubala to central London.” Adam Bowers of onepoint2 acted on the Soho deal.

Leon returns to Bluewater, further London site to open next month: Natural fast food brand Leon, which is owned by the EG Group, has made its return to Kent’s Bluewater. The brand’s original Bluewater site was its first outside of London when it launched in 2009, but it only lasted a few years before closing. Leon managing director, Glenn Edwards, said: “We are thrilled to continue our expansion with this exciting return to Bluewater. After closing our previous Bluewater location, we had many locals write in to tell us how much they missed us, so it’s with pride that we return.” Among the offerings will be carbon neutral burgers, grilled wraps and some special Veganuary additions to the menu, including the vegan everyday dahl. It will be a digital-first restaurant, with kiosks for ordering and payments, while all Bluewater staff will receive a 10% discount. Leon’s Bluewater return will be followed by an additional new store in London’s Kings Road next month, and a drive-thru in Gildersome, Leeds, coming soon. Last month, following it’s £100m takeover by EG Group, Leon announced plans to accelerate its expansion plans from an original target of 20 new UK restaurants to more than 50 over the next three years. This will include new formats like drive-thrus and smaller branches on petrol forecourts and in Asda stores, plus Leon To Go coffee shops, while a series of openings in the Netherlands will be followed by a wider European push.

TJK Hospitality opens second Leeds site: TJK Hospitality, owned by renowned DJs Tom Zanetti and Kane Towning, has opened its second Leeds site, late-night eating venue Playhouse. The duo first launched cocktail and brunch bar Dollhouse, located in the city’s Call Lane, in 2019, and their latest venture originally had the working title of Baby Doll. Now called Playhouse, the two-floor venue, located at Electric Press, offers a ground floor lounge and VIP tables, as well as a heated indoor courtyard and outside terrace in Millennium Square. The first floor plays host to a restaurant and luxury VIP booths, alongside a private dining area for up to 30 people. The restaurant serves up small and large plates, sides, sauces, and desserts including sticky beef, baked lobster tail and duck rolls and a tomahawk sharing steak. Zanetti said: “It’s a one of a kind, and we’re looking forward to welcoming the people of Leeds, and visitors to this amazing city, to something fresh, cool and different.”

Sussex Inns adds to portfolio and reopens Chichester pub: Sussex Inns has reopened The Partridge Inn in Singleton, Chichester, after adding the pub to its portfolio at the end of last year. The company’s estate encompasses a range of hospitality venues including hotels, bars and a nightclub. It has brought in a whole new set of kitchen staff and front-of-house team to its latest venue. Nick Marshall, designated premises supervisor for Sussex Inns, told Chichester Live: “It has always been a nice site and we are very happy to be in there. We found out about it from the landlord Stonegate, and then it all happened rather quickly. It is getting busier and busier, and we are looking forward to welcoming back past customers and new ones.” Last April, Sussex Inns took on a substantive lease at The William Hardwicke in Bognor Regis, following a £275,000 refurbishment with Heineken-owned Star Pubs & Bars. Its other sites include The Town House in Arundel, The Horton Inn in Wimborne, The Playground in Portsmouth and The Vestry and Southgate Sushi, both in Chichester.

West Yorkshire-based takeaway delivery app expands to Leeds: Pronto, a local takeaway delivery app launched by husband-and-wife team Cat and Mark Barrett in Ilkley during lockdown, has branched out to Leeds. From 1 February, users will be to order from independent Leeds takeaways including Joel’s Chicken Buns, Doh’hut, Slap and Pickle, Manjits Kitchen, Humpit and Crowd of Favours through the app. Promoting a “fair and ethical system”, Pronto charges 10% commission and allows restaurants to use its rider network or their own drivers. Cat said: “We’re delighted to be able to expand into Leeds and work with some of our favourite restaurants after all these years eating at them ourselves. There are so many incredible different types of food to discover. For us, it’s not just about creating a business, it’s about bringing communities together. The fact that we can bring great, independent businesses together with people living in West Yorkshire gives us a spring in our step every day.”

CH&Co brings procurement and supply chain teams together with new role: Independent caterer CH&Co has promoted its head of operational procurement, Samantha Davis, to the new role of group procurement and supply chain director. The move brings the business’ procurement and supply chain teams together “under one strong leader and vision”. Davis has been part of CH&Co for five years and now leads the team supporting more than 900 sites across workplaces, education and healthcare, destinations, venues and events in the UK and Ireland. The team ensures a sustainable supply chain across the business, forging long-term beneficial relationships with supply partners and managing and maintaining the environmental, social and governance (ESG) objectives for CH&Co and its clients. Davis said: “ESG is such an important topic, and I want to ensure we have a sustainable supply chain fit for the future that continues to meet the needs of our operators and our clients.”

Magpie Brewery closes its first ever pub after eight years: Nottingham’s Magpie Brewery has closed its first ever pub after eight years of trading, leaving it with just two others in the city. The brewery, which started in 2006, branched out into operating pubs with the opening of the Crafty Crow, on Friar Lane, in 2014. It has since opened Doctor’s Orders, Nottingham’s first micropub, in a former pharmacy on Mansfield Road, and The Barrel Drop, another micropub based in Hurt’s Yard in the Market Square. It also operates a taproom and bottle shop at its brewery headquarters in Ashling Court. The company said: “It is with great sadness, that after a challenging (to say the least!) couple of years, we have made the difficult decision to close our doors here at Crafty Crow for good. We’d like to thank all of our lovely customers for your support over the past eight years, and our wonderful staff for all their hard work.”

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