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Thu 4th Aug 2022 - Propel Thursday News Briefing

Story of the Day:

Watt – cost pressures have the potential to destroy more businesses than the pandemic: James Watt, co-founder and chief executive of Scottish brewer and retailer BrewDog, has said the current inflationary pressures the sector is facing have the potential to destroy more businesses than the pandemic. He said: “The inflation numbers are lying to us. The official numbers tell us inflation is almost 10% in the UK, and this is the highest it has been in 40 years. Unfortunately, this is nothing like the full picture. It costs us 25% more to make a case of Punk IPA today than it did in 2021 and our input cost prices continue to rise rapidly. We have seen huge increases in the prices of electricity, gas, transport logistics, wages, malted barley, hops and our packaging materials. Furthermore, if we were to increase our prices to retailers by 25%, our beer would end up costing 38% more on shelf in store. Though revenues were up strongly last year, the continued investments we are making into the business and our people means we still reported a small operating loss – we don’t have huge margins we can eat into to help us through this economic storm. Businesses are faced with two devastatingly difficult options at the moment: either pass on huge price increases at a time when consumers have less money to spend or make an inferior or smaller product and charge the price they were previously charging for the real deal. Both options are grim for consumers and for our economy. We would never compromise on the quality of our beer and we want to do all we can to manage our prices and offer great value to our customers but unfortunately our beer is going to become a little more expensive. The only other option would be to compromise on the quality of our beers or our commitment to sustainability, which we simply will not do. We are a strong business. We will manage our way through this new challenge. But make no mistake, this crisis has the potential to destroy more businesses than the pandemic, crippling the UK economy over the medium to long term. With the UK facing the slowest growth rate of any of the world’s developed economies it is clear the government needs to do more to help UK businesses. Instead of this squabbling between the leadership candidates and their supporters, how about they all start addressing the real issues?”

Industry News:

One day to go before next edition of The New Openings Database release, to show details on 356 new sites, 18,300-word report included: The next edition of The New Openings Database, which is produced in association with StarStock, will show the details of 356 newly announced site openings and upcoming launches for Premium subscribers when it is published tomorrow (Friday, 5 August), 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. The next edition of the database features expanding hotel and pub operators, niche cuisine, and new experiential concepts. Premium subscribers will also receive a 18,300-word report on the new additions to the database. Premium subscribers also receive access to three other databases. The latest Propel Multi-Site Database, which is produced in association with Virgate, was sent to Premium subscribers last Friday (29 July). The database contained 43 new companies, bringing the total number of businesses listed up to 2,572. The 217 sites run by those 43 new additions means the entire database of sites has reached 66,223 sites. Premium subscribers also received a 3,200-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. There is also 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, and the UK Food and Beverage Franchisor Database, which is an exhaustive guide to the companies offering a food and beverage franchise in the UK and is updated every two months. 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. 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 video series – facing up to supply chain fragility: In a new series of Propel videos in partnership with Fourth, leading industry provider of inventory and workforce management solutions, Propel group editor Mark Wingett talks to leading supply chain experts about the current challenges facing the sector and how they are navigating them. In the latest video, he is joined by David Ross, chief financial officer at Stonegate Group, the UK’s largest pub company, to discuss continuing to invest in a challenging market, the significant role technology is playing to find cost efficiencies, and balancing the needs of the group’s managed business and its tenanted estate. The video will be available today (Thursday, 4 August) at 9am. 

Government launches independent review into labour shortages in the food supply chain: The government has launched an independent review into labour shortages in the food supply chain. It has appointed John Shropshire, an industry veteran who stepped down from his role as chief executive of major horticulture producer G’s Fresh Group last year, to chair the review. He will be supported by an expert panel that draws in expertise from across the farming, fisheries, processing and manufacturing aspects of the supply chain. The final report will be published in 2023. UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “The unprecedented disruption to the food supply chain has created chaos for hospitality businesses already under immense pressure following the pandemic. Therefore, this appointment is a positive step for the sector as it continues to recover. However, labour shortages extend well beyond the supply chain and continue to be one of many challenges for hospitality businesses. Support is urgently required to help businesses fill thousands of vacant roles that can boost the economy and start individuals on rewarding career paths. Further government action, including a root and branch reform of business rates, is also needed.”

New UK scholarship programme launched for black hospitality workers: A new scholarship programme has been launched in the UK to help support access to skills building and mentorship for black hospitality workers. The Seat at the Table Fund has been launched by Mars Food’s Ben’s Original brand in partnership with Be Inclusive Hospitality, the not-for-profit organisation founded by former Corbin & King head of procurement Lorraine Copes. Together with education provider Leiths School of Food and Wine, the programme will offer 15 funded places on selected courses offered by the culinary institution. The courses range from shorter specialised courses that run over a couple of days – food styling and knife skills – to longer accredited professional courses that run over a ten-week period – chefs skills, plant-based essential cooking and nutrition in culinary practice. Successful candidates will also be offered three hours of mentorship over the course of three months via Be Inclusive Hospitality. Ben’s Original is investing £50,000 in this first year of the programme, which will run until early 2023. Applicants will need to have two years of experience working in hospitality and applications will close on Friday, 30 September.

Job of the day: COREcruitment is working with an entrepreneurial company that is looking to add an accomplished business applications manager or head of business applications to the IT team. A COREcruitment spokesman said: “At its heart, it is a real estate company, but it combines cutting-edge technology to enable better decisions. Key to the business is its co-working brand – but it is also a community that is home to start-ups, small and medium-sized businesses, and well-established companies too. Optimum technology and high-end design provide members with immediate access to intuitive technology through its state-of-the-art properties.” The salary for the position is up to £80,000 and based in London. For more information, email hayley@corecruitment.com 

Company News:

Baton Berisha linked to The Wolseley Hospitality Group CEO role: Baton Berisha has been linked with joining The Wolseley Hospitality Group (TWHG) as its new chief executive, after suddenly stepping down as managing director of D&D London, after only four months in the role. D&D London announced on Wednesday (3 August) that Berisha would be leaving the business to take up a position as chief executive of a “rival restaurant group”. According to industry sources, that rival group is TWHG, which declined to comment. In April, D&D confirmed the appointment of Berisha, the former chief executive of the Ivy Collection, Bill’s and Caprice Holdings, as its new managing director. Following his departure, David Loewi will revert to his role overseeing the group’s operations as chief operating officer. D&D also said that central London restaurants were recovering from the pandemic downturn far more slowly than those based in major provincial cities. The company, which owns a string of venues in the capital such as Quaglino’s and Le Pont de la Tour, said its restaurants in Manchester and Leeds were trading well above pre-covid levels. However, in central London the climb back to 2019 normality was constantly being set back by “bumps in the road” such as transport strikes and the heatwave. During the two-day heatwave in July, revenue at its London venues dropped 30% while revenue at its Manchester and Leeds restaurants increased by 10%. Earlier this week, TWHG expressed disappointment at its landlord’s decision to close Café Wolseley at Bicester Village “on a lease technicality”, despite reporting “exceptionally strong trading”. TWHG, which changed its name from Corbin & King in June, has said the venue will be closing within the coming days and no later than Wednesday, 10 August. TWHG said it will now focus on its expansion plans and the successful operation of its other restaurants – The Wolseley in Piccadilly, The Delaunay in Aldwych, Brasserie Zédel in Soho, Colbert in Chelsea, Fischer's in Marylebone, Soutine in St John’s Wood and Bellanger in Islington.

KFC UK system sales down 8% in second quarter, first decline since start of covid pandemic: Yum! Brands has reported KFC system sales in the UK fell 8% for the second quarter, ended 30 June 2022, compared with the previous year – the first decline since the start of the covid-19 pandemic. In the year to date, KFC UK system sales are down 1%. The UK accounts for 8% of KFC’s system sales worldwide. Globally, KFC like-for-like sales in the quarter fell 1% with US like-for-like sales falling 7% – system sales worldwide dropped 5%, partly due to the company exiting its Russian operations. Operating margin fell 3.3%. KFC opened 405 gross new restaurants in 54 countries during the period. Operating profit fell by 8.8% to $293m, mainly due to the exit from Russia, which accounted for 4% of the brand’s market. Meanwhile, Pizza Hut system sales in Europe, including the UK, were up 13% – the continent accounts for 8% of Pizza Hut’s system sales globally. Year-to-date sales are up 20% in the region. Pizza Hut sales in the quarter were down 3% globally, with like-for-likes also falling 3%. US system sales, which account for 43% of global sales, were down 3%. Pizza Hut opened 287 gross new restaurants in 43 countries during the period. Operating margin fell 2.1%, Operating profit fell 10% to $93m with the company closing 53 restaurants in Russia during the period. Taco Bell like-for-like sales increased 8% and system sales were up 10%. Operating profit increased 9% to $215m. Taco Bell opened 82 gross new restaurants in 13 countries during the period. Yum! Brands’ total revenue in the quarter was up 2% to $1,636m.

Southend airport hires former Leon boss as chief executive: London Southend airport has hired former Leon boss John Upton as its new chief executive, effective September 2022. Most recently, Upton was chief executive of No1 Lounges, the £40m international airport lounge business backed by NVM and Santander. As chief executive he put in place an operational structure that enabled the business to double in size, opening new sites across the world, as well as securing new deals with airlines and airports. Prior to No1 Lounges, he worked as managing director of natural fast food brand Leon, and was a member of the senior team during 13 years at McDonald’s UK. Upton said: “I’m thrilled to be joining London Southend airport and to have the opportunity to work alongside such a fantastic team. Its relentless focus on our customers, our airline relationships and working as true partners with our local stakeholders and suppliers is remarkable and really sets us apart from our competitors. There’s still so much more to come from London Southend airport and, powered by our people, I firmly believe the future will be even brighter.”

White Brasserie Co secures Dorset site: The White Brasserie Co, the Alchemy Partners-backed pub business, has secured a new site in Dorset, Propel has learned. The Richard Ferrier-led business has secured the former Maison Sax, at Ashley Cross, Poole, with plans to reopen the site in October under its old name The Britannia. The site, the first acquisition since Alchemy acquired the business, will reopen with 150 internal covers and a further 150 externally. The 32-strong Brasserie Bar Co was acquired earlier this year by Alchemy in a circa £40m deal. Talking to Propel in March, Ferrier said the business had built a large pipeline of new openings and would look to secure up to ten new sites a year, with the emphasis on growing its pub estate over its Brasserie Blanc business.

You Me Sushi appoints Amit Fridman as new MD: You Me Sushi, the London restaurant and takeaway concept, has appointed Amit Fridman, formerly of Nina’s Bakery and Gail’s, as its new managing director, Propel has learned. Fridman, who founded Nina’s, the Kentish Town business, was previously operations director of the 16-strong You Me Sushi. He also previously had stints at Planet Organic, Gail’s and Apostrophe Cafes. He replaces Paul Turner, who left You Me Sushi earlier this summer to join Scoffs Group – the largest Costa Coffee franchisee in the UK, as its chief operating officer. Fridman appointment comes as the business has recently opened new sites in Hampstead and Reading, with the latter marking its regional debut. You Me Sushi, which was founded in 2008, launched its first franchise store, in Stratford, last year, and has a further opening lined up in New Barnet. 

Prince Charles’ holiday lets enjoy record demand: Prince Charles’ holiday lets have recorded a surge in bookings this year. The Duchy of Cornwall has been running holiday cottages in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly since 2004. It now owns 25 of them – in Lostwithiel, St Tudy, Newquay, Wadebridge, Ladock and St Mary's. The duchy, which traditionally goes to the monarch's eldest child, provides income for the prince and his family. The estate's annual report showed “record bookings and visits” this year, partly thanks to the uncertainties surrounding international travel. Industry-wide chaos – flight cancellations and airport delays – helped occupancy levels at the duchy's properties rise to 92% in the 2021-22 season, compared with pre-pandemic occupancy rates of 87%. The duchy said the holiday lets have performed “much better than expected”, leading to plans to build a further ten cottages in the next 18 months to cope with soaring demand. The estate started with two cottages but has since expanded the portfolio, spending £7.1m and creating seven full-time jobs to “diversify our income stream and allow significant but justifiable investment in redundant property”. A spokesman for the duchy said “people were eager to secure staycation holidays”, with many wanting to “retreat to the countryside to holiday with friends and family”.

Gong Cha appoints Paul Reynish as global CEO: Gong Cha, one of the world’s fastest-growing tea brands, has appointed Paul Reynish as its new global chief executive with immediate effect. Reynish was previously president and chief executive of Five Guys International in Amsterdam, where he oversaw the brand’s international expansion, launching in 11 countries in less than three years. He has also held senior global roles at Dunkin’ Brands, where he served as vice-president of business in Japan and managed 5,000 stores in the Asia Pacific region, and was previously chief executive of international franchisees at Subway. As part of his global remit, he will lead Gong Cha’s ambitious European expansion strategy, through which he hopes to open a new site each day on average, and to take the brand into three new countries over the next 12 months. By 2027, the global bubble tea market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 7.5% to approximately £3.6bn, with the fastest growth set to be in Europe. Since venturing internationally in 2009, the brand has grown significantly to number nearly 1,800 sites located across 22 countries, including ten in the UK. It made its UK debut in 2019, in Manchester. Reynish will be based in Gong Cha’s global headquarters in London and succeeds Martin Berry, Gong Cha’s founder and chairman who has served as chief executive on an interim basis. He remains as chairman. Berry said: “Paul’s extensive background in franchise operations, impressive business development skills, and passion for the Gong Cha brand makes him the ideal leader to build on the momentum we’ve created over the past several years.” Reynish added: “Bubble tea is a rapidly growing sector, and with its scalable business model, innovative master franchise programme, and talented leadership team, I believe Gong Cha is uniquely positioned to become one of the world’s largest franchised brands.”

Caledonian Heritable sees profits more than double: Scottish pub, hotel and leisure operator Caledonian Heritable saw its profits more than double in the year ending 31 October 2021. It reported pre-tax profit of £10,964,382, up from £4,653,409 the previous year. Overall turnover was up from £31,021,787 in 2020 to £35,392,184, although this was primarily due to the sale of diesel particulate filters in one of the group’s non-hospitality operations. The Edinburgh company, owned by leisure industry entrepreneur Kevin Doyle, operates several pubs and bars and a golf resort alongside haulage, plant hire and property interests. Turnover for its bars, restaurants and nightclubs was £14,976,429 (2020: £15,556,655). Turnover for its golfing activities was £4,807,543 (2020: £4,057,181). Turnover for its spa and event facilities was £3,382,314 (2020: £1,893,974). It received £3,400,527 in Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme payments (2020: £4,771,573) and £1,149,050 in governments grants (2020: £0). No dividends were paid. The group said it is “well placed to take advantage of any opportunities it identifies”, while its directors are satisfied it will “remain profitable and in a strong financial position”.

Sykes Holiday Cottages creates additional 100 jobs with salaries of up to £80,000 on offer: Holiday property rental business Sykes Holiday Cottages is creating an extra 100 jobs at its Chester headquarters having already taken on more than 300 new starters so far this year. The company is looking for people of all levels of experience to fill a variety of hybrid working roles based at its headquarters. This includes positions within its operations, property recruitment, tech and customer relations teams, with salaries of up to £80,000 a year on offer. Chief executive Graham Donoghue said: “It’s a pivotal time for Sykes as we accelerate our ambitions to become the leading name in UK tourism and, as a result, we’re expanding at an incredible rate.” Last month, Sykes, which is backed by Vitruvian Partners, revealed that cancelled bookings because of the covid-19 pandemic led to the business missing out on £12.4m worth of sales in its last financial year. However, the company reported turnover of £86.4m for the 12 months to 30 September 2021 – a rise from the £70.1m it posted for the prior year. Its pre-tax profits surged to a record £30.1m, up from £5.9m.

Various Eateries appoints Lyndsay Anderson as new marketing director: Various Eateries, the Hugh Osmond-founded business, has appointed Lyndsay Anderson, formerly of Dirty Bones, as its new marketing director, Propel has learned. Anderson stepped down as marketing director of Dirty Bones earlier this summer after almost two years with the business. Previous to that she had stints at Park Chinois and StreetDots. Last week, Propel revealed Various Eateries had realigned its growing Coppa Club estate with a “nod to the locality or property it’s in”. Still described as “clubhouses in beautiful locations, with relaxed spaces to eat, drink, meet, work and stay”, sites in the group’s portfolio now include Coppa at The Picture House in Maidenhead and Coppa between Bridges in Putney. It comes as the ten-strong brand gears up to open a site in Bath, The Bath Townhouse, and eyes further openings in Cardiff and Guildford. It is understood to have lined up a site at The Hayes scheme in Cardiff. It is thought to be looking at taking part of the former David Morgan department store in the grade II-listed property, which could become the Cardiff Townhouse. It is also in talks to take the former Gap site in Guildford.

Castledine – we need to make UK a place people want to visit, a third of guests new to holiday parks: Making the UK a place holidaymakers want to visit rather than one they’re forced to is the aim of Away Resorts founder, Carl Castledine. The recent trend for staycations led to a “purple patch” for the 27-strong holiday park company, which Castledine told Propel last month has ambitions to grow to a “sweet spot” of 35 to 40. In fact, Castledine said while footfall and demand has stalled, the company is still tracking 10% up in volume versus 2019, and a third of his guests are new to UK holiday parks. He said: “What’s important now, with foreign travel opening up once more, is providing an experience to keep people choosing UK holidays. It [covid] dragged a lot of consumers into the space that weren’t here before, which brought different expectation sets. But it also brought something of a renaissance in terms of people thinking of the UK as a viable primary destination rather than a short break. In truth, I’d like it to be a place people go on holiday to because it’s an amazing destination, not somewhere they have to go to. I do understand why there’s UK fatigue when you’ve done it for three years.” To that end, Castledine has been investing in improved entertainment and food and beverage offerings across the estate. He said. “We implemented mixologists, 104 gins across our bars, things you’d recognise on the high street. In terms of menu construct, it’s about healthy living. People don’t want to come away and just throw burgers and beer into themselves any more. During the pandemic, we launched Away Resorts Live, which is a live stream broadcasting entertainment, and that now is a retained part of our DNA, broadcasting four nights a week. It’s the same with accommodation – our Rock Star and Zen accommodations are both bespoke environments built to target a new user. But I think we need to do more to make it fit for a future generation.” Two parks – Appletree in Lincolnshire and Mill Rythe on Hayling Island – have been remodelled, and Castledine sees the latter as a template for the future. For all that, Castledine has been careful not to be tempted into premium pricing to match a premium offer. “We were thoughtful about how far we should stretch rather than how far we could,” he added. “You can win an awful lot of people very quickly and then suddenly be looking for them again if you get accused of price gouging.”

Lucky Voice invests in employees’ mental health with a new support programme: Lucky Voice, the social entertainment brand, is extending its employee assistance programme (EAP) to include mental health and well-being support services. The company, which operates four bars in the UK and one in Dubai, said the move demonstrates its “commitment to maintaining a creative, fun, productive and fulfilling work environment”. The company said: “Based on the core value that work at Lucky Voice should feel like a positive in life, the latest addition to Lucky Voice’s EAP aims to protect and enhance the mental, emotional and physical well-being of its employees. This includes a suite of resources and self-help tools aimed to support employees both physically and emotionally, from managing anxiety to simple breathing techniques. The support goes beyond just the well-being of individuals, too, with additional assistance regarding debt management, household budgeting and civil disputes.” Central to the offering is a four-week self-help programme, covering everything from sleeping better to changing habits such as smoking and alcohol consumption. Charlie Elek, managing director at Lucky Voice, said: “Lucky Voice would be nothing without its people, and we have always placed great emphasis on mutual respect between employer and employee, flexibility for life, and day to day happiness in the workplace. We’re proud of the fact that our staff retention levels are among the best in the hospitality sector, with our people staying with us for several consecutive years. By incorporating mental health support as part of our wider support programme, we hope to encourage in our employees a continued confidence in the business.”

Nightcap to open biggest The Cocktail Club site to date, in Birmingham next month: Bar operator Nightcap will open the biggest site to date for its The Cocktail Club brand, in Birmingham next month. The site in Temple Street will be the brand’s 15th and the venue, set across two floors and three rooms, will have capacity for 450 people. Founded by John James “JJ” Goodman and James Hopkins, the first site opened in London’s Goodge Street in 2009. A further eight sites were opened in the capital across the following eight years, with their first regional opening coming in 2018, in Bristol. Following a rapid period of growth after being acquired by Nightcap at the beginning of 2021, The Cocktail Club is now expanding further in the regions. Goodman said, “We can’t wait to launch our biggest site to date in Birmingham with an explosive bang. The Cocktail Club is all about giving guests a good time; a place where people can truly let their hair down. We live by our mantra, ‘welcome to the party’, and we’re so excited to bring this to Birmingham.”

Dubai ramen restaurant to open in UK: Dubai ramen restaurant Kinoya Ramen is heading to the UK. Chef-owner Neha Mishra – a self-trained chef who ran a supper club in Dubai before opening Kinoya at The Onyx Tower 2 – is opening the restaurant at Harrods in London next spring, reports Hot Dinners. The menu at the izakaya-style restaurant will focus on five key ramens but also serve sushi and dishes from the robata grill. Kinoya's signature dish is the Shio Paitan ramen, Mishra's take on Shio ramen that uses a creamy, dense chicken broth with burned garlic oil on top and noodles made fresh in-house. Ashley Saxton, general manager of restaurants at Harrods, said: “The restaurant will offer our customers a celebration of Japanese food and culture through its authentic ramen and izakaya cuisine.”

The Lakes Distillery secures funding to accelerate growth: The Lakes Distillery has secured funding from Beechbrook Capital, which will enable it to accelerate its growth plans, in a deal supported by prominent advisers. The funding comes as the company, which attracts more than 30,000 visitors to its whisky distillery in Keswick each year, is increasing its production of single malt whisky. The company is also beginning to export the brand to markets such as the US, France and Japan. Beechbrook Capital provides loans and minority equity capital to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across the UK and Europe. Its investment into the distillery represents the sixth investment from its UK SME Credit III fund, with the transaction being facilitated by Jon Petty, investment director and Jake Taylor, associate director. David Robinson, chief financial officer at The Lakes Distillery, said: “This is another important step in our ongoing growth plans as we continue to deliver our ambitious strategy and create award-winning products.” Petty added: “We are delighted to be supporting The Lakes Distillery having worked with the team closely to build a bespoke debt package that fits with the company's growth ambitions.”

Ambl appoints Simon Gaske as chief marketing officer: Ambl, the new tech platform that seeks to combat late cancellations by matching people with real-time availability, has appointed Simon Gaske, formerly of Novus, Davy’s Wine Bars and Stonegate Group, as its new chief marketing officer. Gaske stepped down as sales director at Stonegate earlier this summer after joining the business in September 2019. Previous to that he spent four and a half years at Novus, the majority as marketing director. Before that he was head of sales and marketing at Davy’s for more than a year. Earlier this summer, Ambl completed its third pre-seed funding round. It raised a further £700,000 from investors including serial entrepreneur Mark Gordon, who became its chairman, to take its total investment since June 2021 to £1.3m. Due to officially launch across London in September, the pre-seed investment will accelerate product development and test the product during its soft debut across Chelsea and surrounding areas. Ambl said no-shows for reservations made at pubs and restaurants cost the sector £17.6bn a year, and its mission is to fill those empty seats. 

Honest Burgers joins forces with Singapore Tourism board for limited-edition menu launch: Honest Burgers and the Singapore Tourism Board have joined forces to launch a limited-edition menu, which will be available throughout August across the restaurant company’s 43 restaurants in the UK. Launched ahead of Singapore’s National Day on Tuesday (9 August), the cereal chicken burger is inspired by Singapore’s Zi Char cuisine. Loosely translated as “cook and fry”, Zi Char is a fusion of local dishes cooked to order and eaten communally. A firm favourite on a Singaporean Zi Char menu is cereal-prawns, which inspired Honest Burgers to create the new burger after a recent visit to Singapore where the team was inspired by local restaurant Keng Eng Kee. As with all Honest Burger’s limited editions, the burger will be paired with an exclusive craft beer. On this occasion, the beer is the result of a collaboration between Singaporean brewery Off Day Beer Co and UK brewery Northern Monk. 

Contract caterer plans to create 100 jobs: A contract caterer is planning to create in excess of 100 jobs this year ahead of an anticipated 25% increase in its gross profits. Ashby-based Wilson Vale has seen its revenue increase by 6.5% in 2022 and has now revealed plans to add to its 650-strong team. Led by joint managing directors David Anderson and Phil Hindmarch, it serves a range of clients in the business and industry, private education and conference venue sectors. Anderson said: “Our secret is our consistency – we will never lose sight of what we currently have to chase turnover. We forge lasting client partnerships that from day one to the present day, have the same amount of importance and dedication invested into them. This means our retention rates are something we are incredibly proud of.”

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