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Tue 22nd Feb 2022 - Shepherd Neame appoints Jonathon Swaine as managing director of its pubs division
Shepherd Neame appoints Jonathon Swaine as managing director of its pubs division: Kent-based brewer and retailer Shepherd Neame has announced the appointment of Jonathon Swaine, formerly of Rank Group and Fuller’s, as managing director of its pubs division. The company currently owns and operates circa 310 pubs in Kent and the south east. Prior to the last three years as managing director, Retail at the Rank Group Plc, Swaine spent the majority of his career in the pub industry, initially at Bass (1997-2005) where he rose to national account manager (South) before joining Fuller, Smith and Turner plc for 14 years (2005-2019). During his time at Fuller’s he had various roles, latterly as managing director, Fuller’s Inns from 2012 to 2019 (the largest division of Fuller’s with c 400 pubs, 800 bedrooms with £280m of revenue) developing and growing the business significantly. Jonathan Neame, chief executive of Shepherd Neame said: “We are delighted that Jonathon is joining Shepherd Neame. He is an operator of considerable experience and is highly respected within the industry. Jonathon and the team will help us develop Shepherd Neame on the next stage of our journey as we emerge from the pandemic in good shape and ambitious to resume our growth trajectory.” Swaine said: “Shepherd Neame is a company that I have known and admired for a long time. They have unique heritage, strong culture and values. In addition, the pub estate is very high quality, with further development opportunities, and will benefit from the ongoing infrastructure investment in its Kent heartland. I look forward to working with the team and board.”

Variety of coffee and bakery concepts set to join updated Premium Database of Multi-Site Companies: A variety of coffee and bakery concepts are among the 49 new multi-site companies being added to the next edition of the Propel Premium Database of Multi-Site Companies, which will be released on Friday (25 February), at midday. The updated Propel Multi-Site Database, which is produced in association with Virgate, features Bristol-based The Crafty Egg, which is owned by Ben Bennett, and is opening its second site next month in Bristol’s Fishponds Road. Also added this month is family-run cafe concept Society Cafe, owned by Jane and Adrian Campbell-Howard. The company is opening its fifth site, at Alliance House in Bristol. In addition, Gloucester-based Janes Pantry, which is led by Neville Morse, and currently operates ten sites across Gloucester and Cheltenham, will be included. Meanwhile, husband-and-wife team Billy and Charmayne Gray – who have operated Gourock Bakers in Greenock for the past six years – have now opened Café Gray, their debut cafe in the town. Premium subscribers will also receive a 3,750-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. Premium subscribers will also receive the seventh edition of the New Openings Database, which is produced in association with StarStock, on Friday, 4 March, at midday. It focuses on newly announced openings and upcoming launches in the sector and is updated every month. The seventh edition also includes a 12,600-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. 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.

Pret’s airport sales soar with bankers out of office: Pret A Manger’s transactions last week suggested traders, asset managers and corporate lawyers left their desks in pursuit of ski trips or winter sun during a UK school vacation. Pre-boarding sales of coffee and sandwiches at London’s airports climbed more than 15% from a week earlier, according to Bloomberg’s latest Pret Index. Meanwhile, sales fell 6% in London’s City and Canary Wharf financial districts, where transactions are otherwise almost entirely back to normal as workers return to their offices. The areas could be set for a further step-up as the UK government moves to end all covid-19 restrictions. “I hope we’ll see increased foot traffic thanks to those measures easing, especially in the City,” Pret chief executive Pano Christou said. Although the relaxing of restrictions is encouraging, the chain will keep some measures in place to ensure the safety of employees and customers, he said. The Index said it’s possible that many Britons also opted to go to Paris last week, where Pret’s transactions surged to a new pandemic high and are now at 92% of pre-covid levels.

Business activity accelerates at its fastest rate in eight months: The economy has exceeded expectations this month as customers return to hospitality venues after the drop in Omicron cases, according to a closely watched survey. The Times reports the composite purchasing managers’ index, a monthly survey conducted by IHS Markit and the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply, has risen to an eight-month high of 60.2 in February, up from 54.2 the month before and far higher than the 50 mark that separates growth from contraction. Economists had predicted that it would reach 55. The rise was driven by an increase in spending on services. The index for the sector rose from 54.1 in January to 60.8, according to the survey of 1,300 services and manufacturing companies, conducted from 10 to 17 February. The manufacturing index remained at 57.3, slightly above the level of 57 predicted by economists. The results suggest that there has been a sharp rebound in GDP this month, according to Gabriella Dickens, at Pantheon Macroeconomics, the consultancy. “February’s PMIs chime with other timely indicators that suggest activity has picked up in recent weeks,” she said. “For instance, transport usage data showed rail passenger numbers in the week to 14 February rose to 63% of their level in the same days of 2019, up from 60% a week earlier. In addition, the ‘standardised turnover balance’ of the ONS business insights and conditions survey in the two weeks to 6 February was 0.6% higher than in the previous two weeks, albeit still 0.4% below its late September peak.” However, the vast majority of the companies surveyed are still increasing their prices. The combination of a revival of economic activity and widespread price increases means that the Bank of England’s monetary policy committee is likely to increase interest rates to 0.75% from 0.5% at its next meeting on 17 March, Dickens said.

Women advance across the board but there is little room at the top: Women filled almost four in ten roles on executive boards at FTSE 100 companies last year, but were vastly underrepresented in the top roles, a government-backed report has found. The Times reports about 39% of board members were women, up from 36% in 2020 and 12.5% a decade ago, according to the latest annual FTSE Women Leaders Review. However, there were only eight women chief executives in the 100 companies, and 16 chairwomen. The number of chief executives is unchanged from 2020 and only three higher than in 2011, while the number of chairwomen had increased from eleven in 2020 and just two in 2011. The percentage of women on executive boards fell slightly to about 37% when looking at the wider group of FTSE 350 companies. The report, which succeeds the Hampton-Alexander review in monitoring representation of women in 24,000 positions on the boards of FTSE 350 companies, found that there were four companies with women in the chair and chief executive positions in 2021. These were Admiral Group, the insurer; Severn Trent, the water company; Pennon, the utility group, and Direct Line, another insurance company. Bina Mehta, chairwoman of KPMG, the professional services group, in the UK, which sponsored the report with the government and Lloyds Banking Group, said that momentum must be maintained to improve the representation of women in leadership roles. “Forty is the new thirty when it comes to women’s representation targets on boards and in senior leadership roles,” she said, “but beyond the numbers, it’s just as important to ensure that the overflowing pipeline of well-qualified and capable women translates into more women chairs, senior independent directors, chief executives and chief financial officers.” Susanne Thorning-Lund, a partner in board practice at Odgers Berndtson, the executive search company where women are in the majority on its executive board, said that having a “strong pipeline” of women able to take up senior roles was important for improving representation at the top. She said there were some businesses where it was structurally more difficult, adding that sectors such as construction were “putting a huge emphasis on learning and education to attract people”.

Mr Lyan to open new cocktail bar at One Hundred Shoreditch next month: Bar entrepreneur Ryan Chetiyawardana, aka Mr Lyan, will open a new cocktail bar, Seed Library, at east London’s newest hotel next month. Launching in One Hundred Shoreditch at the beginning of March, it marks a return to an area where Chetiyawardana opened his first bar, White Lyan, in 2013. Featuring a “lo-fi, analogue approach to bartending”, Seed Library will offer a frequently changing cocktail list, featuring new takes on classic mixes, alongside low-intervention wine and craft beer. The food menu will feature sharing snacks and seasonal picks, including guest dishes. Chetiyawardana said: “Seed Library marzks our return to east London, which has been home to the Lyan team since the brand’s inception a decade ago. The project is exciting for us as it provides the opportunity to explore a totally different facet of our philosophy – giving a creative route for the team and I to really challenge ourselves and the western approach to bartending, and create a bar that is very much reflective of the spaces where we’d want to hang out.” Seed Library will be open Wednesday to Sunday, from 5pm-1am. The Mr Lyan bar group includes London venues the Mr Lyan Studio and Lyaness at the Sea Containers hotel, plus Super Lyan in Amsterdam and Silver Lyan in Washington DC. Debut site White Lyan closed in 2016, replaced by another Mr Lyan project, sustainable restaurant Cub, which itself shut in 2020. One Hundred Shoreditch, from the Lore Group, will be home to 258 bedrooms and suites, six restaurants and bars and five meeting and event spaces when it opens next month. The food and beverage offerings will include seafood-focused restaurant and wine bar Goddard and Gibbs, a rooftop bar and terrace and a lobby bar and coffee shop.

Cornish Bakery opens in Rye with six further sites to follow: Growing independent chain The Cornish Bakery has announced the opening of another bakery in Rye in late January, with six other sites currently in development in Plymouth Barbican, Bury St Edmunds, Stamford, Beverley, Bakewell and Caledonia Park at Gretna Green. The company said that after just three weeks of trading in Rye, the first Cornish Bakery in full re-branded livery and styling has swiftly become “a hit with locals and visitors alike” with an impressive net promoter score (NPS) of 82.9%. Founder Steve Grocutt said: “Rye has been incredible. We always knew this would be a perfect fit, but it has already far exceeded our wildest expectations. Alongside positive comments about our new look and feel, we’re gaining glowing five-star reviews and consistent NPS scores of above 82%. I would like to thank our brilliant teams for pulling off another successful opening. Their dedication and continual striving for industry leading standards stuns me all the time. Our performance overall is far exceeding our expectations but what amazes me the most are the incredible customer and team scores we achieve. Here we go – another one open. Bakery is most definitely the new coffee shop!”

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