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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Fri 18th Feb 2022 - Propel Friday News Briefing

Story of the Day:

Rockfish founder sets up seafood academy, aims to create talent pool ‘outside of the big cities’ and help tackle recruitment crisis: Mitch Tonks, founder of south west-based seafood restaurant group Rockfish, is setting up a seafood-focused academy in a bid to build on the brand’s success and create a new pool of talent in the region. Having built Rockfish to an estate of eight (soon to be nine, with plans for a tenth) restaurants over the past 12 years, Tonks sees the Rockfish Seafood Academy as the next stage for the concept. Writing exclusively in Propel’s Friday Opinion, Tonks said, having established a “pool of talented individuals”, Rockfish is at the point where “we can take the next step and invest in a real training programme”. Tonks aims to use the academy to help tackle hospitality’s recruitment crisis by paying chefs a proper salary (including paid overtime) while providing rounded and intensive training and sensible working hours. He said: “Over four weeks, we will invest time to give the chefs the Rockfish experience, from being part of a kitchen team to seeing the boats and going to the fish markets to pick the catch of the day. Each trainee will be assigned a head chef who will not only look after them for the four weeks but continue to mentor them all the way through their Rockfish career. We want to help people understand why hospitality is such a fantastic industry to work in right from the start.” Tonks also wants to use the academy to “celebrate the talent outside of the big cities”, saying the south west has seen many brilliant restaurants open. “We should be going to the colleges and finding that talent – creating a new world of opportunities in an area which lives and thrives on hospitality,” he added. It will also get involved in community projects outside the restaurants, such as helping clean plastic and rubbish out of the ports. Tonks will share more of his thoughts in this week’s Friday Opinion, which will be published on Friday (18 February) at 11am.
 

Industry News:

Latest edition of Propel Turnover & Profits Blue Book being sent to Premium subscribers today: The latest edition of the Propel Turnover & Profits Blue Book, which is produced in association with Mapal Group, will be sent to Premium subscribers today (Friday, 18 February) at midday. The latest Blue Book sees a further 28 companies added, taking the number of UK pub, restaurant, cafe and hotel operators featured to 536. The Blue Book, which is updated monthly, shows the full damage done to the sector by the pandemic, with 340 companies making a combined loss of £7.4bn compared with 196 companies in profit – making a combined £788.4m. Losses now outstrip profits in the sector almost ten times over. Total turnover of the companies stands at £26.7bn. The Blue Book provides a five-year overview of turnover and profit, ranking companies according to turnover, pre-tax profit and profit conversion. It also provides details of directors’ earnings and highest paid directors. 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. 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 jo.charity@propelinfo.com to upgrade your subscription. 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.

Propel Friday Wrap video series continues with Glenn Edwards, managing director of Leon Restaurants: Propel’s Friday Wrap video series continues today (Friday, 18 February) at 3pm. The series, which is sponsored by Mr Yum, the mobile menu, ordering and payment platform used by leading hospitality and entertainment venues, sees Mark Stretton, former sector journalist and now head of sector PR firm Fleet Street Communications, and Propel’s group editor Mark Wingett discussing this week’s key issues facing the UK’s hospitality sector, with a leading sector operator or expert. This week they are joined by Glenn Edwards, managing director of Leon Restaurants, to discuss how the EG Group-owned brand is rebounding from the crisis, it’s move into roadside locations, and how the business can further evolve into new categories.

Deliveroo – takeaway orders still at pandemic levels despite the lifting of hospitality restrictions, vegan orders up 117%: The majority of UK customers are ordering takeaways with a similar or higher frequency than a year ago, despite the lifting of lockdown restrictions, research by Deliveroo has found. Changing attitudes towards food has also seen Deliveroo experience a 117% increase in demand for vegan food over the last 12 months, its Share of Stomach report reveals. It showed 82% of customers surveyed have tried vegan food, while 60% said that they want to be able to control the nutrition in what they eat. Of those who said they were vegan, a quarter claimed to be doing so primarily for sustainability reasons, while just under a third claimed to have gone vegan in the past year. As a result of these changing attitudes, Deliveroo now has 15,000 plant-based and vegan friendly restaurants on its roster. Carlo Mocci, chief business officer UK & Ireland for Deliveroo, said: “The pandemic has certainly been tough on the restaurant industry, and even with restrictions now lifted, it’s clear the appetite for food delivery is here to stay. Understanding exactly what customers want and how their tastes and ordering habits have changed over the past couple of years is going to be vital as restaurants seek to bounce back. Food delivery will continue to boost their revenues, and Deliveroo is proud to be helping restaurants reach new customers and grow their businesses.” 

Michelin-starred chefs to cook alongside regional emerging talent at Northern Restaurant & Bar: Six Michelin-starred chefs, including two of the newest additions to the guide, will cook alongside the best regional emerging talents at Northern Restaurant & Bar (NRB), Manchester Central, on 15-16 March. The show will bring some of the industry’s most highly regarded chefs to its Chef Live stage, demonstrating signature dishes and ground-breaking techniques. Cal Byerley from Pine, in Northumberland, and Nathan Cornwell from The Barn at Moor Hall, in Lancashire, became the latest chefs to receive Michelin stars this week and will appearing at the event. They will be joined by fellow Michelin starred-chefs Lisa Goodwin-Allen from Northcote in Lancashire; Tommy Banks from The Black Swan at Oldstead in North Yorkshire; Paul Leonard from Forest Side in Cumbria and Alex Nietosvuori from Hjem in Northumbria. Also appearing will be Ellis Barrie of Lerpwl in Liverpool; Nina Matsunaga from the Black Bull in Sedburgh; Exose Grant from BLVD in Manchester and Alysia Vasey, better known as The Yorkshire Forager.

Job of the day: COREcruitment is working with a bar/venue/restaurant group that is looking for a managing director to help develop the company. The group has four sites and has plans to expand and diversify. The managing director will oversee all four properties within the portfolio, launch all new sites across the London area and grow the overall image and reputation. They will also help in the overall business strategy for the group, working on financial, marketing and all business related aspects including acquisitions. The role is south London based and has a salary of £110,000 plus bonus and benefits. For more information and to apply, email Stuart@corecruitment.com
 

Company News: 

Wingstop CEO – UK business on track for record year: Charlie Morrison, chairman and chief executive of Wingstop, has said the UK market is on track for a record year and in terms of expansion its business here is “on fire right now”. Talking to investors after the chicken brand’s fourth quarter update, Morrison said: “I'm really excited about the potential for our international expansion now that we've gotten through the worst of this pandemic. And our markets are back to where they were in 2019 levels. I'm also excited about the pipeline for international deals. I mean, if you combine our domestic pipeline with our international, we've got more than 1,100 potential new sites for the brand, a big chunk of those are in international markets. We're getting ready to open Canada, probably late in the first quarter or early in the second quarter. We are on track for a record year in the UK, with strong average unit volumes more than $2m (£1.46m) per store. We're looking at a lot of expansion, not only in expanding in Western Europe, the Middle East, but we also are looking at Asian expansion as well. China's certainly on our radar.” Morrison said the group's potential expansion strategy in Canada could follow the route taken in the UK. He said: “We think it could be a big market, 100 restaurants is a great representation of the potential for the brand. We haven't talked about what we see beyond that, what I will say is, usually our international development deals have a slow ramp that includes one to three restaurants in the first year of operation, followed by a pacing up to five to ten restaurants as we get through years, two, three, and four, and then sustain from there. We saw that with the UK and they're on fire right now and growing quickly. So, I think if you use the UK as a benchmark of what we think the potential is, that would follow suit.” Lemon Pepper Holdings, which is rolling out the US chicken brand across the UK, currently operates 18 sites here. It is set to add to that tally this year, with openings secured in Bromley, the Trafford Centre (Manchester), Brighton, Wood Green and Nottingham. 

Goldex Investments Group to become first UK-based Costa franchise to develop brand overseas with Morocco deal: Goldex Investments Group is to become the first UK-based Costa franchise to develop the brand overseas, Propel has learned. The company, which operates circa 45 Costa sites across Kent and Sussex, has signed on its first site in Marrakesh, with an opening planned for May. Further stores are planned in Casablanca for later in the year. Led by Diljit Brar, Goldex is also a franchisee for Kaspa’s Desserts and recently acquired the master franchise for Doner & Gyros in the UK and Europe. It is currently the largest doner-based business in the world with 150 stores worldwide.

Rosa’s Thai lines up Wimbledon opening as it gears up for Wales debut: Rosa’s Thai, which is backed by TriSpan, is to further add to its presence in London, with an opening in Wimbledon. Propel has learned the Gavin Adair-led business is set to take on the Fielders retail unit in Wimbledon Hill Road, for an opening later this year. The 27-strong group, which also operates a handful of dark kitchen units, will open its latest site at the start of next month, in Cardiff. The opening in Cardiff’s Church Street scheme, which currently houses Pho, Mowgli, The Botanist and Honest Burgers, will mark the brand’s debut in Wales. It will follow this up with an opening in Caledonian Road, King’s Cross. The company has also secured the ex-Joe’s Kitchen unit in Coney Street, York, for a future opening. At the end of last year, it appointed Steve Seager, formerly of Cote Restaurants, as its new property director, to further accelerate site growth. Thomas Rose, of P-Three, acts for Rosa’s. 

WatchHouse launches Enterprise Management Incentive scheme: Edition Capital-backed coffee concept WatchHouse has announced it has become the first employer within the hospitality industry to offer employees both the London Living Wage and access to share options through its new Enterprise Management Incentive (EMI) scheme. Last December, the nine-strong business announced it was to pay a real living wage as a minimum across the entirety of its 200-plus workforce following its London Living Wage accreditation. Building on this, it has now introduced its EMI Share Options Scheme, which will see shares allocated to employees within the business. Founder and chief executive Roland Horne said: “From the moment I started the business I had a very clear belief that all employees are of equal importance as the next – nothing more, nothing less. This view has become a north star of sorts and guides every element of the business; it is what makes WatchHouse unique to the standard coffee company. This being the case, I am delighted WatchHouse is the first within the industry to offer employees both a real living wage and access to our new EMI Share Options Scheme. This is in addition to a number of other progressive changes we have made to our employee benefits, reflective of our intention to be a best-in-class employer bar none.” The company opened its latest site at the end of last year, in Seven Dials. This will be followed by the arrival of further sites in Marylebone, Mayfair and Camden, in addition to the opening of a site in Bath, its first foray outside of London.

Gordon Ramsay Restaurants plans Street Burger opening in Edinburgh: Gordon Ramsay Restaurants is planning to open a site under its Street Burger concept in Edinburgh. Propel understands Gordon Ramsay Restaurants has applied to open a site in St James Crescent, which is part of the St James Quarter scheme. The company currently operates eight sites under the Street Burger name, six in London, and one each in Reading and Woking. The chef is understood to have also applied to take the ex-By Chloe site at One Tower Bridge for his fast-growing burger concept. Earlier this month, Gordon Ramsay Restaurants opened the latest site for its Bread Street Kitchen & Bar premium casual dining concept, in Liverpool. Ramsay has launched the venue in the former Jamie’s Italian in Liverpool ONE. Ramsay currently operates three Bread Street Kitchen & Bar sites in London, plus a Bread Street Cafe in Ealing, and recently opened a Bread Street Kitchen in Edinburgh. The chef is also understood to be in the running to take space on the upper floor of 22 Bishopsgate in the City.

Former Snug Bars director Ashley Moore takes MD role at SFG Club: Ashley Moore, former director of the Home Counties-based operator Snug Bars, has become managing director of competitive socialising concept operator SFG Club. Since leaving Snug Bars, Moore has been working as an industry consultant, aiding the likes of Yummy Pubs. Earlier this month, SFG Club, which operates competitive socialising venue Roof East in Stratford, east London, confirmed it was opening a second site in the capital under its crazy golf experience, street food eatery and cocktail bar concept Birdies. The new site will open at Angel Central in Islington. The concept has agreed a deal with CBRE Investment Management to take on the former JD Wetherspoon site, The Glassworks. The 5,558 square foot venue will launch in the summer. Birdies opened its debut site in Battersea in 2019.

Parogon gears up for ‘massive expansion plans’ with three new appointments and £200,000 staff training programme: Staffordshire-based Parogon Group, which operates nine restaurants across Staffordshire, Cheshire and Shropshire, has made three new appointments as it gears up for “massive expansion plans”. It has also invested £200,000 in staff training, with a three-year e-learning development programme via a new provider. Iain Crosby, Parogon’s head of operations, said: “Technology has a key part to play in the evolution of the Parogon Group, ensuring that we offer the best customer experience time and time again. As such, it was important to us to create the same positive experience for our staff throughout their training and development. This new platform encourages a combination of practical in-house training as well as vital online learning. It also allows us to track the training progress of every venue and individual through a central hub which, with over 500 team members, is vital.” As well as hiring new front-of-house and back-of-house skills trainers, Parogon has brought in Chris Morgan as group learning and development manager. Crosby added: “As the Parogon Group continues to expand and our workforce grows, Chris’s role is a much-needed addition to the company.” Parogon also rewards its staff with a 50% discount in its restaurants, birthday vouchers, flexible working and 24-hour access to an employee assistance programme. In October, Parogon opened its long-awaited ninth site, The Broughton, near Crewe, the launch having been delayed by the pandemic.

Gerry’s secures £2m loan to support development of drive-thru Costa sites and refurbishment programme, paid £1.4m for 24-strong portfolio of two fellow franchise companies: Costa Coffee franchisee, Gerry’s Offshore Incorporation UK, has secured a £2m loan from one of its directors to support the development of its drive-thru format and planned refurbishment of 40 stores over the next three years. It has also been revealed the company, which operates 57 Costa sites in the UK, paid £1.4m to acquire Coffee Snob and South West Coffee, which operated 24 Costa stores in total, in August 2020. Gerry’s stated: “Under the existing franchise arrangements the company is required to refurbish stores every five years. At the end of January 2022, refurbishments are being planned for 40 stores within the group, including certain stores acquired as part of the transaction with Coffee Snobs and South West Coffee. Of these stores, 12 have been scheduled to be refurbished in 2022 with the remainder expected to take place in 2023 and 2024. The average cost to refurbish a store is typically circa £80,000. To support the post year-end store refurbishments and development of drive-thru's, Anis Wali Mohammad, a director of the company, has invested £2m in the company in January 2022 under a loan agreement. Interest is payable on the loan at 2% and the loan is repayable in January 2029.” It comes as Gerry’s reported turnover of £9.1m for the year ending 30 June 2020 versus £12.2m the year before. It made a pre-tax loss of £192,000 versus a profit of £43,000 the year before. The company received government support totalling £1.4m. Since the year end, Gerry’s has begun operating Wok To Walk franchises in the UK and IHOP restaurants in Pakistan and become the master franchisee for Flower Burger in the UK, which has two sites here. 

Wagamama rolls out lunchtime delivery-only concept BOX: Wagamama, The Restaurant Group-owned business, is rolling out its lunchtime delivery-only concept BOX after a successful trial. Propel revealed last year the Thomas Meier-led brand was trialling the new offer, which emerged from Wagamama’s ongoing noodle lab programme of innovation. Following trials of five signature boxes filled, the concept proved a huge success, and is now expanding through the group’s delivery kitchens in London and into Leeds to continue bringing food to those working from home or in the office. The boxes include: miso mixed veg, aromatic chicken, chicken katsu, teriyaki pulled duck and yasai katsu as well as a selection of side boxes and soft drinks, and are available with free delivery for new customers via Deliveroo in London in Bow, Balham, Forest Hill, Hackney, Old Street, Peckham, Sutton and Walthamstow, and also in Leeds, Max Simons-Dukes, Wagamama’s senior brand manager, said: “We’re on a mission to disrupt the lunch category, while leveraging the credentials of our well-loved Wagamama brand. The expansion of BOX throughout London and now into Leeds is a clear testament to its success and we’re excited for what’s to come in the future.” The launch comes as Wagamama gears up to open its fifth site in Essex, at the Braintree Shopping & Leisure Park. 

Virtual Hero to launch first physical site for virtual fried chicken concept next week: Virtual Hero – which is owned by Hero Brands, the company behind German Doner Kebab, Choppaluna and Island Poké – will next week launch the first physical site for its virtual fried chicken concept, Sides. Developed in collaboration with YouTube collective The Sidemen, Sides launched in November 2021 as a delivery-only concept. Facilitated by virtual restaurant operator Reef, it is currently available only in the UK and UAE but has plans to expand to the US and open 200 sites globally by the end of 2022. Sides’ debut physical site will open at Boxpark Wembley on Thursday, 24 February, with a menu that allows customers to choose their chicken or plant “protein” in either a “sando”, slider or salad and be “loaded up” with the choice of seven different flavours. Harry Lewis, who is WroeToShaw in The Sidemen, said: “Opening our first Sides restaurant at Boxpark Wembley is a huge moment for us. We are on a mission to bring our food to all our fans across the world and are delighted to be partnering with the team at Virtual Hero as we work to develop the brand.” Virtual Hero chief executive, Robin Mehta, added: “At Virtual Hero, we are responding to emerging consumer trends in this fast-growing market and building the virtual brands of the future. We’re excited to work alongside The Sidemen and look forward to giving Boxpark customers a unique and delicious food experience.” Earlier this month, Virtual Hero appointed Adam Maddock as marketing director and Gordon McDermott as head of food to work on its ambitious expansion plans for the Sides brand.

Mao Chow’s flagship site to close next week, founder to open new restaurant venture next month: Vegan Chinese restaurant Mao Chow’s flagship site in Hackney will close next week – ahead of the opening of a new restaurant venture by founder Julian Denis next month. Denis opened Mao Chow’s first permanent site, in Mare Street, Hackney, in 2019 after starting it out as a pop-up in nearby Dalston. It expanded to a second site, in Islington’s Nag’s Head Market, last year, which has now closed, although its Boxpark Shoreditch site remains open. Mao Chow’s Hackney site will close permanently on Sunday, 26 February, ahead of the opening of Denis’ Facing Heaven, just around the corner in Bayford Street, on Friday, 11 March. Named after the potent Sichuanese chilli at the heart of its cuisine, the 28-seater Facing Heaven is an “evolution of Mao Chow”, according to Denis, which “will stay true to its essence but with a more matured feel”. Influences will include regional Chinese flavours like Cantonese, Yunnan and Shaanxi, plus those from Puerto Rico, America and Portugal, with a focus on sharing plates and family dining. Highlights include spicy and numbing twice-fried Jerusalem artichokes with green chilli dip and stir-fried blood sausage with lacto chilli and fresh garlic, and among the drinks will be natural wine, craft beer and baijiu cocktails. The menu will also feature weekly specials. Denis said: “The success of Mao Chow has been overwhelming, and a huge learning curve. Having a kitchen space which literally used to be a coffee shop counter inspired and challenged us every day, but it also had its limitations. The kitchen at Facing Heaven will be bigger, so naturally we can use more cooking techniques, which in turn means the menu will be elevated and better thought out.”

Return to office sees Just for Eat Business orders rocket: The end of work-from-home guidance and gradual return of workforces to the office has seen Just for Eat Business’ orders rise by 81% in January from November. The business also saw a 622% increase year-on-year from January 2021 to January 2022 in order numbers, and a 73% increase in January on last year’s peak month of October. Matt Ephgrave, managing director at Just Eat for Business, said: “Ordering food to offices is not a new concept – it’s always been a key business meeting staple and often used to treat teams. Unsurprisingly, the number of office orders in lockdown decreased, encouraging us to pivot to make sure workers still received our service at home through our Pantry Packages and Just Eat Pay allowance. However, we’ve seen office orders spike in the past two months, strongly indicating a confidence in office return as well as business leaders understanding the need for food and its role in developing workplace culture.”

Yorks Cafe secures flagship Birmingham site: Yorks Cafe, the coffee roasters and eatery concept, has secured a flagship site in Birmingham, at the Paradise development. The four-strong business will open a new cafe and all-day-dining restaurant in the heart of the £700m development in Centenary Way this spring. The new Yorks unit will be located on the ground floor of Two Chamberlain Square where the brand will join Rosa’s Thai Cafe and, by spring this year, wine bar and restaurant Vinoteca. Both Yorks and Vinoteca will be starting their fit outs this month. Yorks currently operate from outlets in Stephenson Street and at Ikon Gallery at Brindleyplace in Birmingham, along with locations in Stratford upon Avon and Leamington Spa. At 2,900 square foot, Yorks’ flagship new base at Paradise will offer a “spacious place for people to enjoy a relaxed atmosphere and a cutting edge, all-day food menu”. Simon Ford, founder and owner of Yorks, said: “This is a major step for Yorks and we can’t wait to bring our Birmingham roasted coffee and all-day-dining food menus to the millions of people who walk through Paradise every year. As a company born and bred in Birmingham, it’s exciting to be coming home to the heart of the city as part of the region’s finest development project and to be part of this new corner of the city.”

Michelin-starred chef Rob Palmer to open fine-dining restaurant in Solihull: Michelin-starred chef Rob Palmer is opening a new fine-dining restaurant at Mell Square, Solihull. Toff’s will offer a tasting menu of up to seven courses of British cuisine “guided by the seasons” to ensure the restaurant has fresh produce sourced locally. The venue will seat up to 26 guests and will be led by Palmer who previously helped Hampton Manor to achieve its first Michelin star. He said: “Solihull town centre has a good range of independent eating houses from street food, brasseries, east and west Asian to Italian but currently lacks a tasting experience like the one we will offer. My plan is to bring an independent fine-dining restaurant to Solihull and push the food scene here even further.” The restaurant, set to launch next month, will be open for lunch Thursday to Saturday and dinner Tuesday to Saturday.

Inn Collection Group gets go-ahead for multimillion-pound redevelopment of debut Tyneside venue: The Inn Collection Group has been given the go-ahead for a multimillion-pound redevelopment of its debut Tyneside venue, The Park. The company has had its plans approved by North Tyneside Council to transform the art deco venue in Tynemouth into a family-friendly pub with rooms. The redevelopment includes extensive remodelling to the former Park Hotel’s current bar and dining areas along with the site’s existing bedrooms. The venue will feature an ice cream parlour and fish and chip takeaway while new outdoor seating areas and terraces will be added. A previously underused function area will be reconfigured to create an additional 20 bedrooms, including sea view rooms and dog-friendly ground-floor suites. The site will offer on-site car parking with EV charge points. The Inn Collection Group managing director, Sean Donkin, said: “The building is an institution on the coast in Tynemouth but has been in decline for a considerable length of time. We’re looking forward to giving this stunning venue a new lease of life.” The venue is expected to reopen in the autumn and will create 70 full-time equivalent jobs. The group purchased the 53-bedroom property in Grand Parade in March last year. Outside Tyneside, the group has 30 further inns across Northumberland, County Durham, Teesside, Yorkshire, Cumbria, Lancashire, Wearside and North Wales. Earlier this week, the group was bought by a new company backed by the Harris family working with Kings Park Capital in a £300m deal.

Starbucks cuts back sale of Fairtrade coffee in UK: Starbucks is cutting back on the amount of Fairtrade coffee it sells in the UK. Starbucks told Fairtrade it will be reducing the amount of coffee it purchases from Fairtrade suppliers. It is understood Starbucks will retain its Fairtrade supplies for certain blends of coffee but has axed relationships with other suppliers. The change will reduce the 12-year partnership between Fairtrade UK and Starbucks. Fairtrade said Starbucks will continue to purchase its coffee globally but will reduce purchasing in Europe as part of changes to the firm’s supply chain. Peg Willingham, executive director of Fairtrade America, which leads the global relationship with Starbucks, said: “Starbucks remains a valued partner of Fairtrade both in the UK and globally. Starbucks has confirmed it will continue purchasing Fairtrade coffee globally, and that there will be a gradual reduction of some commitments over time in Europe, the Middle East and Africa as it looks to increase its focus on its own in-house programme. A Starbucks spokeswoman added: “As outlined in a recent meeting between Starbucks and Fairtrade, we will reduce the amount of Fairtrade coffee we purchase in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Our commitment to ethical coffee sourcing remains a priority through our Coffee and Farmer Equity practices programme.”

Staycity opens third aparthotel of 2022 and 30th altogether: Aparthotel operator Staycity has opened a new-build 269-apartment property at Germany’s Frankfurt airport, its third opening in 2022 and 30th altogether. The Frankfurt site offers studio and one-bed apartments with well-equipped kitchens/kitchenettes and dining spaces, while communal facilities include a guest lounge, gym, grab-and-go pantry, laundry room, 24-hour reception and Staycafe selling hot and cold drinks and snacks. It’s the Dublin-based group’s third location in Germany, following the 2019 opening of a Wilde Aparthotel by Staycity site, at the former Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin, and the 2021 opening of a 299-room property in Heidelberg. Further locations are set to open this year in Dublin, Paris and London, meaning by the end of 2022, Staycity will operate 5,500 apartments across France, Germany, Ireland, Italy and the UK. Plans are also in the pipeline for openings in Cambridge and Lisbon, Portugal. Formed in 2004 by Tom Walsh, Staycity also operates in Birmingham, Bordeaux, Edinburgh, Liverpool, Manchester, Marseille, Paris, Venice and York. Its other 2022 openings so far are a Wilde Aparthotel by Staycity in London’s Paddington, and a 256-room aparthotel in Manchester’s St Peter’s Square.

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