Time Out Markets reports revenue recovery, to devote more resource to expansion: Time Out Market revenue increased by 295% to £11,867,000 in the six months to 31 December 2021. Adjusted Ebitda was minus £619,000 (2020: minus £4,847,000). Listed building consent has been submitted to open in London Spitalfields. New markets are due to open in Porto in 2023 (directly owned and operated) and under management agreements in Abu Dhabi in 2024 and Prague in 2025. Chief executive Chris Ohlund said: “More resource would be committed to realising the potential of the Time Out Market as we respond to landlords wishing to introduce this leading concept to key properties in cities throughout the world”. The company added: “(Results) reflect a gradual return of customers to our Markets despite the requirement for vaccination record checks and the continued use of masks. International travel is now gathering some momentum and together with a return of office workers, we are optimistic that this trend will accelerate into the spring and summer. Operating expenses have increased in line with revenue and continues to benefit from cost saving initiatives implemented in the previous periods. Market central costs have increased as we invest in resource to continue to develop and progress the strong pipeline of future markets. As we emerge from the pandemic, our teams have been focussed on ensuring the Markets doors have reopened with the highest quality line up of concessionaires and activations and events that showcase our connection to the local community all of which is attracting new customers who come back regularly. These included the ever-popular drag bingo nights in Miami, a ticketed Tupac vs. Biggie-themed event in Chicago which featured on local television stations, whilst the DJ van on the patio went viral on Tik Tok with 5.4m views and increased bar sales by 60% after 10pm. The New Year’s Eve celebrations across all North American Markets generated revenue close to pre-pandemic levels. Collectively these actions have resulted in the Markets being well placed to capture the return to city life, as can be seen in the encouraging performance of those Markets in regions which have been quickest to return to ‘normality’. Time Out Market continues to serve up the unique combination of a city’s best food, drink and cultural experiences, in a premium engaging environment, supported by strong consumer-led marketing and a cost-effective structure for restauranteurs. At a time when commercial landlords and real estate developers face the increasing challenge of attracting customers, the Markets transform spaces that become the anchor in prime locations to drive consumer footfall. Our engagement with landlords has continued, albeit with the conclusion of new agreements being delayed due to pandemic-related restrictions, most notably the curbs on travel. As a result, we expect to sign more management agreement sites in the year ahead, growing the Group’s recurring earnings stream, without the need for further capital expenditure.”
One day to go before release of updated Premium Database of Multi-Site Companies, 69 businesses being added: A total of 69 new multi-site companies, operating 496 sites, have been added to the next edition of the Propel Premium Database of Multi-Site Companies, which will be released tomorrow (Friday, 1 April), at midday. The updated Propel Multi-Site Database, which is produced in association with Virgate, includes a number of expanding hotel companies, regional pub and restaurant operators and growing entertainment and gaming concepts. Premium subscribers will also receive a 5,156-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 eighth edition of the New Openings Database, which is produced in association with StarStock, on Friday, 8 April, at midday. It focuses on newly announced openings and upcoming launches in the sector and is updated every month. The eighth edition also includes a 18,100-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. Premium subscribers are also to be given exclusive access to a new database early next month. The UK Food and Beverage Franchisor Database will be an exhaustive guide to the companies offering a food and beverage franchise in the UK and be updated every two months. The first edition will feature more than 100 companies, providing insight on the offer, locations, cost and other key details. The first edition provides almost 25,000 words of content. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Ambrette owner to shut Margate site as he seeks better ‘work-life balance’: Dev Biswal, chef-owner of the Ambrette Anglo-Indian restaurants in Kent, is to close his Margate site as he seeks a better “work-life balance”. The restaurant in Fort Hill will shut on Sunday (3 April) after ten years. Biswal said he wants to dedicate more time with his family after covid made him realise “what’s important”. He runs another branch of The Ambrette in Canterbury and a delivery and collection-only kitchen in Ashford. Biswal told Kent Live: “I lost close family members during the covid period and I could not go to see them due to work pressure. I would like to consolidate and focus on one unit and hope my regulars from Thanet will make it a special occasion to dine with me in Canterbury.” Staff at the Margate restaurant have been offered positions in Canterbury or Ashford. For those that isn’t appropriate for, Ambrette said it is working with other operators in Thanet to offer them positions more local.
Westmorland plans new Cheshire motorway services with hotel plus farm shop and kitchen: Motorway services and hotel operator Westmorland has submitted plans for a new service station in Cheshire, complete with a hotel and farm shop and kitchen. The family-owned business, which started with Tebay Services in Penrith in 1972 and also operates sites including Gloucester Services on the M5 and Cairn Lodge Services on the M74, plans to develop the new site, Tatton Services, at junctions seven and eight of the M56. It has partnered with Tatton Group, which manages a portfolio of developments on the Tatton Estate, where the site is proposed, for the project. The farm shop and kitchen would be located in a 70,000 square-foot amenity building next to a 100-bedroom hotel and petrol station, and the site would feature no franchises. The application will now be decided by Cheshire East Council.