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Thu 3rd Nov 2022 - Mike Tye appointed chairman of Arc Inspirations
Mike Tye appointed chairman of Arc Inspirations: Mike Tye, the former chief executive of Spirit Group and current chairman of the Big Table Group, has been appointed chairman of Arc Inspirations, the Martin Wolstencroft-led business, which operates the Banyan, Box and Manahatta brands. Tye, who previously served as chairman of Haulfryn Group and Moto Hospitality Group, has more than 30 years’ board and leadership experience in the UK hospitality sector. He will support the senior team at Arc, led by Wolstencroft, in the ongoing development of the business. The appointment of Tye comes as Arc embarks on a phase of significant growth, having recently posted record group sales and profits, and revealed plans to open five sites in key cities in the next 12 months. The new openings will see three new Manahatta cocktail bars open in Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield, alongside two new BOX premium sports bars, in Nottingham and Birmingham, creating 500 new jobs in total. It follows a £19m investment by BGF earlier this year, paving the way for a doubling of the 18-strong business over the next three-to-five years. The appointment of Tye comes after non-executive director Steve Richards, who is also the current chief executive of Parkdean Resorts and chair of UKHospitality, decided to step down after nearly five years in the role. Wolstencroft said: “This is a cornerstone appointment for us following the successful conclusion of our recent investment process with BGF, as we take our business into the next phase of its growth and development. Mike is one of the standout business leaders in our industry; his knowledge and expertise is absolutely second to none, and we are delighted to welcome someone of his calibre to Arc Inspirations. It is a real coup for us and speaks volumes for the strength of our business and the opportunities we have in front of us.” Tye, who is also a former non-executive director of The Restaurant Group and previously led Costa Coffee, David Lloyd Leisure and Premier Travel Inn, said: “I’ve followed Arc’s progress for a number of years, and it’s clear that Martin and his team have built a high quality and brilliantly well-run operation, with great consumer propositions and outstanding growth prospects. I’m delighted to join the board and am looking forward to what promises to be an exciting time ahead, as we work together to bring even more success to the business.” Of Richards’ contribution to Arc, Wolstencroft said: “We are extremely grateful to Steve for the invaluable guidance, support and wise counsel he has provided to the business and the management team over the past five years. In that time, we have significantly developed the strategic framework of the business and our brands – around our cluster model – and we have massively increased and upskilled the capability of the organisation. At the same time, we have worked through the challenges and stresses of the pandemic, refinanced the business with HSBC, brought in external investment with BGF and delivered a record financial performance in our most recent year.  He has played a key role in helping us to deliver all of this and in shaping our business into the thriving operation it is today, and one that is ready to expand further and grow.” In September, Arc posted record group sales and profits of £38.9m and £7.5m (adjusted ebitda) respectively, for the financial year ending March 2022. The business said it continues to “perform strongly” and expects to produce another record year of revenue in the financial year to 31 March 2023, “notwithstanding the current macroeconomic challenges”.

One in three nightclubs set to shut by end of 2022 as closure rate accelerates: One in three nightclubs are set to shut by the end of 2022 as the rate of closure accelerates, according to new research. Figures by CGA Vanilla show there were 1,446 UK nightclubs in December 2019. That fell to 1.191 in December 2021 and was at 1,068 in September this year. The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) warned if nightclubs were to close in line with the current trajectory for the remainder of 2022, it would see one in three nightclubs lost since 2019, up from one in five at the end of 2021. NTIA chief executive Michael Kill said: “The government is ripping the heart out of nightlife, with cost inflation accelerating closures of nightclubs. This inflationary circle is taking its toll on our sector, with businesses trading 15% down across the board, costs up more than 30% taking the shine off the golden quarter. Independent nightclubs across the UK are fighting to survive, managing cash flow on a day by day basis, waiting on a Budget that has failed them twice before. The chancellor must consider support based on the important role this sector plays in the economic recovery of this country. Independent businesses across the night-time economy need him to reinstate the alcohol duty freeze, extend business rates relief and reduce VAT across the board for everyone.”

Just 8% of multi-site leaders confident about next 12 months: Just 8% of leaders of multi-site businesses feel confident about the next 12 months for the eating and drinking out market, according to the October Business Confidence Survey from CGA by NielsenIQ and Fourth. This is a sharp drop from the figure of 23% in the last survey in June, which in turn was a steep fall from 65% in March. The proportion of leaders feeling confident about prospects for their own business over the next 12 months is higher at 29% – reflecting the greater resilience of multi-site operators than independents, who have borne the brunt of closures in recent months. However, this number has also dipped, from 53% in the last survey. The research highlights the escalating costs facing businesses at the moment, with 86% of leaders reporting significant inflation in the prices of both energy and food. Challenges have been deepened by a chronic shortage of staff in hospitality, and 11% of roles are currently vacant. While four in five (80%) leaders said their business is still operating at a profit, more than half (53%) report margins lower than they were before the covid-19 pandemic. One in eight (13%) expects their business to be either running at a loss or unviable by the end of 2022. Karl Chessell, CGA’s director – hospitality operators and food, EMEA, said: “Hospitality businesses have shown remarkable resilience since the start of the pandemic, but these figures show they are facing their greatest challenges yet. With no sign of relief on inflationary pressures for firms and consumers alike, sales and margins will be under severe strain and thousands of companies are now vulnerable. Political upheaval and market shocks have only made things worse, and urgent and targeted government support is needed to sustain the sector through this very difficult period.”

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