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Fri 4th Nov 2022 - Propel Friday News Briefing

Story of the Day:

More than a third of sector businesses reducing opening hours to cut costs, 81% introduce price increases: More than a third of sector businesses (35%) are reducing their opening hours to mitigate the impacts of the economic crisis, according to new research by hospitality specialist Haysmacintyre. Its October 2022 Hospitality Snapshot Survey also showed 37% are reducing the services offered, including menu variety, while 23% are making greater use of technology, such as mobile payments or ordering systems as they look to alleviate cost and labour pressures. More than four fifths (81%) have introduced price increases. Two in five businesses (40%) reported energy costs as their most significant challenge for the next six months, whereas 28% identified staff recruitment as their greatest hurdle to overcome. Respondents ranked a cut to VAT rates as the measure they would most like to see prioritised by the government, closely followed by business rates relief. Almost half (49%) continued to experience significant issues in recruiting the staff they need over the last three months and a further 19% have found it harder to recruit. The survey also showed just 19% of operators are optimistic about the industry’s prospects, down from 26% in the last survey in May. When it comes to the prospects of their own business, confidence is lowest among pub and bar operators, with 55% either not confident, or not at all confident about their business’ future. Hotels and restaurants’ outlook is slightly less gloomy, with 25% and 27% reporting a lack of confidence respectively. Gareth Ogden, partner in Haysmacintyre’s hospitality team, said: “To say it has been a turbulent year for the hospitality industry is an understatement – businesses building back confidence post-covid-19 have only been hit with greater economic turmoil. The winter ahead is set to be wrought with challenges.”
 

Industry News:

Next edition of The New Openings Database to be sent to Premium subscribers today, to show details of 211 new sites, 10,000-word report included: The next edition of The New Openings Database, which will be sent to Propel Premium subscribers today (Friday 4 November), at midday, will feature 211 new sites. It will include 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, and there will also be a website link to the businesses. Premium subscribers will also receive a 10,000-word report on the new additions to the database. Premium subscribers also receive access to three other databases – the Propel Multi-Site Database, produced in association with Virgate; the Propel Turnover & Profits Blue Book, produced in association with Mapal Group; and the UK Food and Beverage Franchisor Database. 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 with Steve Richards, chief executive of Parkdean Resorts and chairman of UKHospitality: Propel brings back its Friday Wrap video for a one-off special today (Friday, 4 November) at 3pm. The series, which is sponsored by innovative staffing solution provider Stint, sees Mark Stretton, former sector journalist and now head of sector PR firm Fleet Street Communications, and Propel group editor Mark Wingett discussing this week’s key issues facing the UK’s hospitality sector, with a leading sector operator or expert. They talk to Steve Richards, chief executive of Parkdean Resorts and chairman of UKHospitality, about the current challenges the sector is facing, the key issues UKHospitality is talking with the government on, and the launch and importance of the Hospitality Rising campaign. 
 
Aaron Mellor simultaneously opens immersive club experience in New York and hotel in York: Leading UK bar, nightclub and festival entrepreneur Aaron Mellor has opened his debut site on the US east coast. Mellor, who is behind bar and nightclub operator Tokyo Industries, has opened a 650-capacity immersive club experience called The Stranger in New York. A joint venture with the teams behind New York’s TheBOX and SleepNoMore, and London’s Immersive Everywhere, it is located in a former church in Billionaires Row and entered via an actual news stand on West 57th Street & Broadway. The space spreads over three floors and features performers and covert actors, hidden rooms, passageways, portals, halls of mirrors and an animatronic panda. At the same time, Mellor has extended his UK portfolio by opening The Impossible Motel, a 15-suite experience hotel at 5 St Helen’s Square in York. It features 11 “superluxe” suites set in former 19th century bank offices. A new pink cocktail bar called Penelope’s also expands over the former banking hall on the ground floor. Mellor operates 48 bars, clubs and venues in the UK, plus eight international sites including Desert Hills in Palm Springs; B12 Gallery and event space, Cotton Beach and Hanger 8289, all in Ibiza; and Dis(order) in Los Angeles. He is also behind the Lost village festival in Lincolnshire and a summer long private island festival of arts, well-being and creative music in Croatia.
 
Beef and pork prices still climbing but British lamb costs ease: Beef and pork prices are still climbing but the cost of British lamb has begun to ease, analysis by catering butcher Birtwistles has shown. Cattle prices trended upwards in October with the average price for all prime cattle averaged 436.9p/kg, an increase of 3.1p compared with the previous four-week period. Prices remain at historical highs, sitting 27.1p above the prices recorded this time last year. Beef production is expected to decline by 0.6% for the remainder of 2022. British deadweight pig prices stayed above the landmark £2/kg price as markets remain strong. However, weekly price increases have been more subdued in recent weeks compared with earlier in the year, the report said. EU pig meat production is expected to decrease further by 5% in 2022. British new season lamb prices eased in October following seasonal trends. Throughputs have picked up over the latest four-week period, but remain down compared with numbers seen during the same period a year ago, the report said. Global production of chicken meat is forecast to grow 1.8% to 102.7 million tonnes in 2023 as consumers seek lower-cost animal proteins amid rising food prices. 
 
BBPA – sector facing even more pressure as interest rate rise will see consumers tighten belts further: The rise in interest rates will see consumers tighten their belts further, putting even more pressure on sector businesses, the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) has warned. The Bank of England pushed rates up by 0.75 percentage points to 3% – the biggest rise since 1989. BBPA chief executive Emma McClarkin said: “The last thing pubs and brewers want to do is put prices up for loyal customers but are stuck between a rock and hard place. The cost of running their businesses has become completely unsustainable, the price of key ingredients and utilities are rocketing, and now their customers will, understandably, be tightening their belts even further following the news of interest rates rising. If the government wants to help our industry keep a trip to the pub affordable this Christmas, we need the beer duty freeze to be reinstated as soon as possible, and a wholesale look at the cost of doing business. Spiralling inflation is driving our pubs and brewers to breaking point and many more will be forced to shut their doors for good if urgent action isn’t taken to save them.”
 
Hospitality heavyweights turn out to support Hospitality Rising launch: Some of the biggest names in hospitality attended a launch event in London to kick off the industry’s biggest ever recruitment campaign. Industry leaders and colleagues turned out in their droves to support the launch of the Hospitality Rising movement at a special networking event held in BrewDog Waterloo. A host of prominent speakers from the hospitality industry discussed how the campaign could help tackle the sector’s crippling jobs crisis that stands at around 400,000 vacancies. The event saw talks from the campaign’s brainchild, Mark McCulloch; Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the British Beer & Pub Association; David Sheen, public affairs director at UK Hospitality; and Hospitality Rising chairman David Campbell. The recruitment campaign, “Rise Fast, Work Young”, is backed by more than 300 businesses. McCulloch said: “The enthusiasm from those attending our event was phenomenal, and we are optimistic the momentum behind this campaign will now only become greater.” #RiseFastWorkYoung aims to attract the next generation of new recruits by showcasing the opportunities and promise that come with a career in hospitality. A dedicated site has just gone live at www.hospitalityrising.com highlighting the current vacancies across the entire industry. 
 
Almost all home workers interested in potential ‘work from the pub’ packages: Almost all home workers (98%) have said they would be interested in “work from the pub packages”, including unlimited hot drinks and a light bite, according to research from Heineken-owned Star Pubs & Bars. More than half of those surveyed (55%) said they would be open to working from a pub, irrespective of packages, and of these, 45% would consider doing so as frequently as once a week, and 65% at least a few times a month. The most open to working from the pub are 18 to 34-year-olds, while comfortable chairs (74%), fast internet (72%) and quiet spaces (65%) matter most to those considering it. Caren Geering, Star’s central operations director, said: “It’s clear there is a groundswell of interest in working from a pub. For those who can offer comfortable seating, a quiet space and fast internet, it offers an opportunity for additional income, a great way to attract new loyal customers as well as providing a community service. Offering unlimited hot drinks and a light bite as part of a work from the pub package would appear to be an essential part of the attraction.”
 

Company News:

Page – looking to sign on Spain and Ireland in next few weeks, Real Greek doing really well, still looking at smaller Franco Manca format: David Page, chairman of Fulham Shore, the Franco Manca and The Real Greek owner, has told Propel the company is looking at signing deals to launch in Spain, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland in the next few weeks. It comes after the business launched a franchise site in Athens, Greece, earlier this year. Page said: “Greece is doing okay. It’s obviously had the same sort of disruptions as we’ve had. Ukraine happened the week it opened. It’s still chugging along. It’s never going to be a big territory for us. We are looking, as we have been for about six months, in Spain and north and south Ireland, which we hope to sign in the next few weeks. We’re also looking at bigger territories in France and Germany. Spain will be big if we sign it. As I said before, overseas franchising is sort of two to three years out really in terms of contribution to the company.” The business operates 25 sites under its The Real Greek brand, after most recent openings in Gloucester Quays and Solihull. The first The Real Greek in Scotland, located in the new shopping scheme St James Quarter, Edinburgh, is also being fitted out ready for a December opening, while a further opening under the brand is scheduled before the end of the first quarter next year. On the brand, Page said: “It’s doing really well. We’ve always said it’s good for shopping centres, where Franco Manca isn’t as popular. And we’ve also said we do big sites with bars and so the volumes per site are actually bigger than Franco Manca, which tends to be much smaller with much lower prices. I think The Real Greek is now running at about £16-17 a head whereas Franco Manca it’s just over £10.” On the prospect of launching a smaller, more delivery-focused version of its pizza concept, Page said it was still being explored. He said: “We are flirting with one off-pitch site in London, south of the river, which will be very few seats but a delivery hub, but that’s a long way off and we have other things to think about at present.”
 
Hall – Three Joes feels like it could be a roll out brand: Tim Hall, co-founder of Sourdough South, operators of the Three Joes sourdough pizza concept and The Stable brand, has told Propel that Three Joes feels as though it is “a roll out brand that could look like a future-facing contemporary restaurant chain”. The company opened its fourth Three Joes site at the start of last month in the Cornhill Quarter, Lincoln. It also operates sites under the concept in Winchester, Farnham and Sheffield Meadowhall. Hall said: “The exciting news for us is the opening of our first new Three Joes for three years, in Lincoln city centre. It’s a significant investment for us and the first few weeks have been tremendous. Obviously, you’ve got to look at it for a period of at least six, if not 12 months, to establish whether it’s bedding in but it does feel as though that’s a roll out brand that could look like a future-facing contemporary restaurant chain. It’s very different from the other sourdough pizza offerings in the market, more premium in terms of the environment and the space. I suppose it’s a little bit more innovative, is the way we would see it.” Hall told Propel earlier this week all the group’s sites, which include nine The Stable restaurants, are profitable. He said: “They’re all in growth. If it were not for these macroeconomic conditions, I’d probably be announcing a number of new store openings, but we’re not going to do that over the next 12 or 18 months. We’re just going to just make the most of what we got and get through the recession.”
 
Leon opens first 24-hour site in UK: Natural fast food brand Leon has opened its first site in the UK that is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The new site in the arrivals hall at London Stansted airport opened earlier this week in partnership with HMSHost International. Last month, Leon, owned by EG Group, launched stores in London’s Battersea and Euston Road. As well as an opening in Brixton, Leon is planning to expand in other areas of the capital, including Clapham and Southbank later in the year. It said these new openings represent a major part of Leon’s overall growth plans, which will see it have a total of 100 sites by the end of the year. As well as other recent London openings, Leon has also expanded further afield with sites in Harrogate and Milton Keynes.
 
Cattle Grid founder set to open new bar and diner in New Malden: Steve Novak, founder of steakhouse concept Cattle Grid, will add to his London estate of bars and restaurants with a new opening in February, in New Malden. Propel understands Novak has lined up the former Lloyds bank in New Malden High Street for Harlen NYIT, a New York Italian bar and diner. He currently operates Betty in Chiswick, Hannah in Battersea, wine bar Heidi in Balham, and two pubs – The Earlsfield in south west London, and The Charlotte in Southwark. He also operates the last remaining Cattle Grid site in Windsor.
 
Bao plans Marylebone opening: London operator Bao – which was founded by Shing Tat Chung, Erchen Chang and Wai Ting Chung, and is backed by JKS Restaurants – is planning to further increase its presence in the capital, with an opening in Marylebone. Propel understands the business has lined up the former Sidechick site in James Street. Bao, which currently operates five sites in the capital, will also join the food and beverage line-up at the Battersea Power Station development next year. Earlier this year, Jyotin Sethi, co-founder of JKS Restaurants, which also backs the likes of Hoppers and Berenjak, told Propel that Bao was seen as one of the group’s growth brands. Patty & Bun, the better burger concept led by Joe Grossman, opened a debut site for Sidechick, its delivery-only concept, in James Street last May, but closed it earlier this year.
 
Peruvian-Japanese fusion concept Bamboo Mat to open second site: Bamboo Mat, the Peruvian-Japanese fusion restaurant based in Leyton, is to open a second site in London’s Stratford, Propel has learned. Bamboo Mat will open a new site at 21-24 Victory Parade, East Village. The opening comes after the success of the first Bamboo Matt site, which opened earlier this spring in Leyton High Street. It is the brainchild of Denis Gobjila, who previously worked at Chotto Matte and his business partner Victor Rosca, who worked at Sushi Samba, Lucky Cat by Gordon Ramsay and Roka. The concept’s menu ranges from fresh sushi to Nikkei sharing dishes, ceviches, tempura, grilled fish/meat, plus cocktails. Ben Weinberg of Stonebrook London, acted on behalf of Bamboo Mat on the Stratford deal, while Soraya Tavakoli, of Distrkt, acted on behalf of the landlord, Get Living.
 
Stange & Co to open tenth site next spring: Stange & Co, which operates venues in Merseyside and North Wales, will open its tenth site next spring, in the Wirral. The business, which is chaired by Brunning & Price co-founder Graham Price, acquired the Ring O’Bells pub in West Kirby from brewer and retailer Greene King just before the start of the pandemic in 2020. It has now announced work on the pub has started. The company said: “The Ring O’Bells is one of England’s oldest pubs set in the quaint and conservation old village of West Kirby. The pub has changed hands several times over recent years but has come to rest in ours as we take it forward and restore it back to its original glory as a traditional country pub serving great local ale, quality world wine and a fantastic menu of British classics and seasonal specials. The pub is currently and will remain closed whilst we undertake a sympathetic yet extensive refurbishment both inside and out.” Stange & Co’s other pubs, some with rooms, include The Glengower in Aberystwyth; The Cottage Loaf and The Snowdon, both in Llandudno; and The Fox & Hounds, The Jug & Bottle, and The Ship, all in the Wirral.
 
Pure Leisure Group profits soar following sale of three holiday parks ‘at £56.5m in excess of book value’: Holiday park operator Pure Leisure Group saw its profits soar in the year ending 31 January 2022 following the sale of three of its holiday parks “at £56.5m in excess of their book value”. Billing Aquadrome and Cogenhoe Mill, both in Northamptonshire, were sold to RoyaleGroup in September 2021, while Primrose Bank in Lancashire was sold to Hanley Parks in June 2021. This after it acquired Cockerham Sands, Coniston View and Six Arches, all in the north west of England, in May 2021. As a result, pre-tax profits rocketed from £13,623,000 in 2021 to £76,723,000. The company said: “Three holiday parks were sold during the year as part of the group’s portfolio strategy, contributing to the profit before tax, with the parks sold at £56.5m in excess of their book value. Three holiday parks were acquired during the year. The group is and remains cash generative and has met its bank covenant tests throughout the financial year.” The business, which also operates Gledfield Highland Estate in northern Scotland and the Royal Westmoreland golf resort in Barbados, now has 16 holiday parks across the UK. Turnover was up 16% from £57,340,000 in 2021 to £66,491,000. Since the year end, the group has acquired a luxury country estate, golf course and lodge in Perthshire for £13.5m, and sold Docker Park holiday park in Carnforth, together with an undeveloped site with planning permission for a holiday park, for “an estimated gain” of £9m. It also repaid its bank loans from HSBC in full. As in 2021, no dividends were paid. The company is also contesting a $5,257,390 water bill from the Barbados Water Authority, received in January 2022, relating to a long running dispute that dates to 2008.
 
Darjeeling Express set to return to its Soho roots: Darjeeling Express, Asma Khan’s Indian restaurant in Covent Garden that closed earlier this year, is set to return to its Soho roots. Khan closed the concept’s original debut site, at Carnaby’s Kingly Court, which had opened in 2017, early in 2020 ahead of its move to Covent Garden. But that site was forced to close too when the building that housed it, at 2a Garrick Street, was sold. It is now set to open in Kingly Court once more. Khan posted on Instagram: “We are returning to our spiritual home – and in a bigger space! This was where we began our journey five years ago – an #AllFemaleKitchen serving the food of our families. It is a joyous #Homecoming!” Since the summer, Khan has been operating Darjeeling Express as a pop-up at Kensington gastropub The Pembroke. 
 
Poke House reports most successful launch ever, in London’s Battersea: Poke House, Europe’s largest poké restaurant chain, has reported its most successful launch ever, in London’s Battersea. In the two weeks following its opening at Battersea Power Station on 14 October, the site sold more than 15,000 bowls of poke, including 3,000 of its signature house bowls. Matteo Pichi, co-founder and chief executive at Poke House, said: “Battersea Power Station is one of the most iconic locations for Poke House. We believed in it from the beginning, and we are really proud of the results we are getting. The UK is strategic to Poke House's expansion plan, and with Battersea Power Station, we are sure to add an important piece to Poke House's international growth.” Founded in 2018, Poke House has more than 100 restaurants around the globe. Having launched in the UK late last year, it now has ten sites here, all in London. Last month, Propel revealed the brand would make its regional debut early next year, with Cambridge to be its first site outside the capital.
 
West Midlands hotel Hampton Manor to shut Michelin-starred Peel’s restaurant as it consolidates F&B operations: West Midlands hotel Hampton Manor is to close its Michelin-starred restaurant Peel’s as it consolidates its food and beverage operation. The restaurant, housed in the original dining room, will shut on New Year’s Eve after 14 years. The hotel also operates farm-to-table restaurant and development kitchen Grace & Savour, wood-fire concept Smoke and Danish-inspired The Bakery. Hampton Manor stated: “Undeterred by the difficulties of the past three years, we opened our new immersive dining space with five garden suites in February of this year. Grace & Savour has opened to critical acclaim, with an early entry into the Michelin Guide, four AA rosettes and inclusion in the top 20 restaurants in The Good Food Guide. The recent demand for UK foodie staycations allowed us the opportunity to continue operating both Peel’s and Grace & Savour alongside one another this year. However, it has always been our vision and goal to continue to move forward as a culinary destination, and as we look forward we want to concentrate our team and resources around the next chapter of our story. Many of the team will move across to help take the vision at Grace & Savour forward to its fullest expression, and some will strengthen our growing passion for cooking on fire at Smoke. The changes will allow us to strengthen and broaden our vision for creating an estate for all food-lovers.” Meanwhile, the original Manor House will launch a new all-day dining menu as it “leans into a more accessible lifestyle hotel vibe”. 
 
Glasgow gastropub The Loveable Rogue to launch second site: The Loveable Rogue, the Glasgow gastropub concept, is to open a second site in the Scottish city. Owners Joe Lazzerini and Amalia Colaluca will launch The Loveable Rogue East End in Whitehill Street in Dennistoun. They will take over the site previously occupied by Six By Nico's Beat 6 restaurant, which closed last month with plans to reopen in a new Glasgow location in early 2023. The new Loveable Rogue site will feature a 35-cover neighbourhood restaurant that showcases a “seasonal well-crafted daily breakfast and brunch menu, evening small plates menu and Sunday roast menu using quality ingredients and local produce”. Lazzerini said: “New to our east end location will be a varied daily menu of classic breakfast and brunch dishes alongside Rogue's heartier fare as well as introducing our signature Sunday roast to the neighbourhood – served all day every Sunday." Colaluca added: “The east end of Glasgow, known for its friendly community spirit and independent businesses, is the ideal location for our second site.”
 
Caring reveals opening date of new Mayfair restaurant: Caprice Holdings, the Richard Caring-backed business, will open its new restaurant, Bacchanalia, in London’s Mayfair on Thursday, 24 November. As previously reported, the serial sector investor will open the Mediterranean-influenced restaurant on the ex-Porsche Garage site in Mount Street. The dining room will feature four Damien Hirst statues, hand-painted ceiling murals and an array of 2,000-year-old Greek and Roman artworks. In the kitchen, chef Athinagoras Kostakos will curate a menu inspired by Greek and Italian cuisine, with dishes “flamboyantly” finished at tables to offer guests an immersive experience. Seasonal dishes will include crab salad, seabream carpaccio, risotto nero for three and turbot for two. A wine list selected by Caprice group wine director Terry Kandylis will feature more than 650 choices from Greece, Italy, France and beyond, including 25 Italian 100-point wines. The space will also feature private dining room Artemis, with live performances and DJs and large windows overlooking the restaurant, and exclusive members’ club Apollo’s Muse, which will offer a bespoke menu and a weekly programme of members-only events.
 
Bridlington cafe owner acquires bed and breakfast for second site: Bridlington cafe owner Richard Preston has acquired a bed and breakfast in the East Yorkshire town for his second site. Preston has bought the former Seacourt Hotel from Anne Mountain, who had owned the business for more than 30 years, in a deal brokered by Christie & Co. The three-star bed and breakfast features 11 bedrooms, a separate sitting and dining room, and a function room and bar. Three-bedroom owner’s accommodation located to the rear of the property was also included in the sale. Preston, who operates the nearby Richies Café Bar, said: “The intention is to rebrand the ground floor bar and restaurant as ‘The Seacourt Carvery’ and have the bed and breakfast operation fully reopen by the February half-term. Beyond that, we intend to invest further significant funds over the next 18 months in the complete refurbishment and remodelling of the building, with the aim of creating a superb boutique hotel of which the town of Bridlington can be proud.”
 
Phil Howard to open new pasta restaurant later this month: Michelin-starred London chef Phil Howard has confirmed an opening date of Monday, 14 November, for his new pasta restaurant, Notto. The venture, with business partner Julian Dyer of Pots & Co, will be a first bricks and mortar site for the concept, having initially launched as an online delivery service in May 2021. Notto, which will be based in Piccadilly, will offer “authentic pasta dishes flanked by simple, freshly prepared snacks, starters and desserts”. Eight pasta dishes will be available daily and will change according to the season, with highlights including gnocchetti with smashed sausage, white wine, fennel and chilli; and pappardelle with slow cooked shin of beef, oxtail and red wine. The 74-cover site will also feature a central open kitchen. Howard said: “It would be fair to say I have spent my career to date cooking a certain kind of ingredient at a certain kind of price point. I’ve loved it all, and continue to do so, but it is exciting to have a project that can be delivered without compromise, at a price point that is wholly accessible to all. The fact pasta is the medium is the icing on the cake.” Howard – who is behind Elystan Street, Church Road, and Kitchen W8 – last month amended the restaurant’s name from Otto to Notto following a legal issue.
 
XP Factory to open three more Boom Battle Bars this month: XP Factory is to open three more Boom Battle Bars this month. It will start with a franchise site in Southampton’s Westquay shopping centre on Thursday, 10 November, followed by company-owned sites in Leeds’ Victoria Centre on Thursday, 17 November, and London’s Oxford Street on Saturday, 26 November. The 15,000-plus square-foot London venue will offer augmented reality axe throwing and darts, shuffleboards, karaoke rooms, beer pong, Escape Hunt adventures and ‘crazier golf’, alongside a new cocktail menu and ‘Boom bites’. It follows the opening of three new sites in a week last month – in Edinburgh, Plymouth and Chelmsford – the latter a franchise site. It also opened a franchise site in Bournemouth last month.

Cosmo shuts Nottingham site permanently: Buffet brand Cosmo has shut its Nottingham site permanently after seven years trading from the city’s Milton Street. A company spokesman said the restaurant, which only reopened following the pandemic a year ago, has been forced to close after the group terminated the operation agreement with the outlet’s operator. In common with other Cosmo restaurants, the Nottingham’s branch was run under a franchise agreement with a separate company, Iris Trading. “We were delighted with the way Nottingham embraced our world dining concept and have had many happy years serving the people of this city,” it told the Nottingham Post. “We are hugely grateful to the very many loyal customers who made Cosmo Nottingham such a success and apologise for any inconvenience for anyone who was looking forward to a forthcoming visit.” The circa 20-strong brand recently opened sites in Liverpool and Newcastle, and earlier this month secured a site for an opening in Preston’s Animate leisure complex.

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