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Mon 7th Nov 2022 - Propel Monday News Briefing

Story of the Day:

High street brand meal prices rise by up to 26% over two years: Prices at some of the most popular high street restaurants have risen by as much as 26% since 2020, according to new research. Analysis by The Observer of menu prices at high street chains found that at Nando’s, a half chicken has risen from £6.75 to £8.50 (up 26%) since October 2020, while ten chicken wings are now £11.75 instead of £9.60 (up 22%) and a chocolate cake dessert has risen from £4.15 to £4.75 (up 14%). Over the same period at Zizzi, in central London, the price of a spaghetti chorizo carbonara meal has risen from £11.70 to £14.25 (up 22%), while a chicken and prosciutto salad has gone from £12.25 to £14.50 (up 18%) and sweet potato fries from £3.90 to £4.25 (up 9%). At the 25-strong Real Greek chain over the same period, the price of a portion of halloumi fries has gone from £5.95 to £6.95 (up 17%), while a souvlaki wrap has risen from £6.45 to £7.50 (up 16%) and a portion of salt cod has gone from £6.90 to £7.95 (up 15%). It follows analysis earlier this year by coffee supplier UCC, which found that between August 2021 and July 2022, the price of coffees had increased by as much as 22%. The drinks, purchased at outlets in Buckinghamshire, included a small Starbucks espresso, which had gone up from £1.80 to £2.20 (22%), and a Pret a Manger medium cappuccino, which had gone up from £2.75 to £3.05 (11%). Last week, a study from CGA and Fourth found that average food menu prices had increased by 13% over the year, and that drinks prices had risen by 11%. Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UKHospitality, said businesses are being forced into price rises by a combination of rising costs, soaring inflation and staff shortages. “The sector has been overwhelmed by one crisis after another and is incredibly fragile,” she added. “We lost about 10% of the industry during the pandemic and could lose as many businesses again if we do not get more support.” Nando’s said its price increases in the past year had been below the annual 13% menu price inflation found by CGA. A spokesperson added: “Like many, we’re impacted by the rises in the cost of ingredients and in running our restaurants. Some items have only increased marginally, and well below both inflation and the industry as a whole, as we try to absorb as much as we can for our customers.”
 

Industry News:

Next edition of Propel’s Turnover & Profits Blue Book to feature 656 companies, with 18 more added: The next edition of Propel’s Turnover & Profits Blue Book, produced in association with Mapal Group, will feature an additional 18 companies, taking the total to 656. They are turning over a collective £33.6bn. The Blue Book shows 354 sector companies reporting total profits of £2.1bn while total losses of £4.0bn are being reported by 302 companies. The next edition will be sent to Premium subscribers on Friday (11 November), at midday. The Blue Book, which is updated every month, provides an insight into UK operator turnover and profitability over five years, profit conversion and directors’ earnings. Premium subscribers also receive access to three other databases: the Propel Multi-Site Database, produced in association with Virgate, the New Openings Database, 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.

NTIA renews calls for major UK cities to appoint night time economy advisors: The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) has renewed calls for major UK cities to appoint night time economy (NTE) advisors. To date, only two have been appointed in the UK – Sacha Lord in Manchester and Carly Heath in Bristol – while London has night czar Amy Lame. In the past week, the Irish government has committed to introducing a NTE advisor in nine major cities across the country, while a growing number are being appointed to US cities. This has led to important work in areas such as noise, soundscaping, training and safety. The NTIA launched a campaign last December calling for a UK roll out of NTE advisors, but with no new appointments made since then (although the West Midlands is currently looking to hire one), the trade body has again highlighted the benefits of such roles. It specifically targeted Liverpool, Brighton, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Swansea, Nottingham, Sheffield, Leeds, Leicester, Belfast, Hull, Newcastle and Southampton as cities which should be looking to appoint them. “I am calling on every major city across the UK to work with us in creating these vitally important roles in our cities,” said NTIA chief executive, Michael Kill. “We have been calling for a consistent and considered approach post pandemic – deregulation, licensing and planning easements, retraining of enforcement officers to truly understand our industry and culture – but we are confronted with austerity, taxation and noise abatement notices. If we are not careful, our world leading night time economy will lose ground on the rest of the world. Let’s not get left behind because of political and local indifferences – our industry is fundamental to the economic recovery of this country and needs greater consideration.”

Energy firms face investigation into bill ‘profiteering’: Whitehall officials are investigating possible profiteering by energy companies amid claims that some suppliers of gas and electricity are charging inflated prices for fixed-rate deals. The Times reports ministers launched the Energy Bill Relief Scheme last month to help businesses cope with soaring energy prices. However, trade body UKHospitality complained that the difference between the price that energy companies were paying for power on the wholesale market and how much they were charging their customers had soared, despite government intervention. This had resulted in businesses being quoted deals “substantially” above the wholesale cost, it claimed. Kate Nicholls, the body’s chief executive, said that there was “no reasonable explanation for this colossal increase in margins”. She wrote to Grant Shapps, the business secretary, last week to call for a probe by the Competition & Markets Authority and the energy regulator Ofgem before Christmas, adding: “There needs to be an avoidance of doubt that energy suppliers are profiteering from the current crisis.” The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy said: “We are aware a small minority of businesses have reported that some energy suppliers have set prices that undermine the benefits of the Energy Bill Relief Scheme. We are working with Ofgem to ensure licence conditions have not been breached and businesses are able to see the full effects of the support.” Last week, the price for electricity was set at 53p per kWh. However, hospitality businesses have reported receiving quotes of up to 80p per kWh for fixed electricity contracts. At present, businesses get a government rebate on their bills, but this system ends in April, and the concern is that businesses arranging longer term contracts could be locked into paying much higher rates. UKHospitality also complained of a lack of choice in the market and of suppliers demanding “excessive” deposits to take on new customers. Mark Selby, chief executive of the restaurant chain Wahaca, said he would be facing an increase in his yearly energy bill from £1m to £3.6m when the rebate scheme ends, adding that he had rejected one contract when the supplier demanded a £750,000 deposit.

NatWest admits interest on around 150 CBIL debts is unenforceable: NatWest has written to around 150 business customers to tell them they will not be charged any interest on their Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan (CBIL). It said the CBILs are “unenforceable through the courts” due to a “technical error”, which it blamed on the rush to distribute the cash at the height of the pandemic, reports The Telegraph. In a letter to borrowers seen by the newspaper, NatWest said: “We want to let you know that due to product and system constraints when setting up your CBIL, the annual statements you will receive for your loan will be incorrect. As a result of this technical error, we are unable to charge interest on your CBIL…this also means that the debt is unenforceable through the courts.” Despite this, the bank will still demand the loans are repaid in full, and will use other methods to enforce repayment.  A NatWest spokesman said: “Due to a technical issue, a very small number of our business customers who took a CBIL will no longer be charged interest on their loan. We have written to this impacted group, who are still liable to repay their balance in full.” Introduced in March 2020, the CBIL scheme allowed businesses with annual turnover of between £100,000 and £45m to take out emergency loans ranging from £50,000 to £5m. The Treasury guaranteed 80% of the loan, while borrowers did not have to pay any interest during the first year.

Roadmap to zero carbon brewing launched: The Zero Carbon Forum and the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) have launched an expanded, targeted roadmap for UK brewers to help the sector decarbonise at pace to reach net zero. Launched to coincide with the start of COP27 in Sharm El Sheikh, it is designed specifically for the brewing sector and provides guidance to support brewers  on a pathway to net zero emissions. Industry specialists Carbon Architecture, as lead consultant, have provided a deep dive into brewing emissions, from optimising hot liquor systems to the decarbonisation of ingredients and transportation fleets. Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the BBPA, said:  “As an industry, we are already taking huge steps to be more environmentally friendly, from improving energy efficiency and reducing carbon dioxide to lowering water consumption, but this roadmap will further support brewers in reducing their environmental footprint.” Mark Chapman, chief executive of Zero Carbon Forum, added: “Many of the initiatives detailed in this enhanced roadmap will also improve efficiency, grow sales and de-risk supply chains, helping brewers survive the immediate crises as well as tackle the climate crises.”
 
John Gaunt & Partners to run licensing and legal drop-in during this week’s Propel Multi-Club Conference: Licensing solicitor John Gaunt & Partners will be running a licensing and legal drop-in during the Propel Multi-Club Conference this Thursday (10 November). John Gaunt partner Tim Shield and senior solicitor Leigh Schelvis will be on hand to provide advice about any legal issues you or your company may be experiencing. Areas around licensing that may be of interest could be onerous conditions on your premises licence and ongoing costs to them, regulatory issues occurring within your estate or advice around the due diligence that should be undertaken on acquiring businesses or sites. Please schedule a time for a private chat by emailing lschelvis@john-gaunt.co.uk.
 

Company News:

Wendy’s UK franchisee lines up Lincoln opening: Papas Hospitality Group, which Propel revealed last week is one of the first franchisees of Wendy’s in the UK, has lined up an opening under the US quick-service brand in Lincoln. The company, which is behind the Papas Fish & Chips chain, plans to open a Wendy’s in the former Monsoon Store, on Lincoln’s High Street. Propel understands that Papas has set up a new business – Square Burger Ltd – to oversee its partnership with Wendy’s. Papas Fish & Chips was founded in 1966 in Margate, Kent, and operates ten sites under its eponymous brand across Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and Blackpool. The company has applied to open a Wendy’s site in a vacant former phone shop in Sheffield High Street. Last month, Propel also revealed that Wendy’s, the third-largest quick service restaurant chain in the US, had also signed up franchisee Blank Table to open sites under the brand across the east of England. It is understood Blank Table is a new company launched by Aly Kachra, managing director of the 30-strong Peterborough care home business, Country Court Care. It is thought to be targeting drive-thru sites and leisure and retail parks, with locations including Bury St Edmunds, Cambridge, Hertford, Hitchin, Ipswich, Kings Lynn and Letchworth Garden City under consideration. In August, Todd Penegor, chief executive of Wendy’s, said the business had six traditional franchisees approved in the UK who he expects will begin opening restaurants in early 2023. Wendy’s, which returned to the UK last year, has so far opened restaurants in Reading, Stratford, Oxford, Croydon, Brighton, Ilford, Camden, Romford and Maidstone, plus more than ten sites with dark kitchen operator Reef. It is understood to have further openings lined up in Sutton, Kingston, Colchester, Peterborough and Uxbridge.

US juice bar brand used 50% rate discount scheme for British debut, eyes estate of 25 UK sites: Juice bar brand Smoothie Factory has said it utilised a 50% rate discount scheme to make its British debut, and is eyeing an eventual estate of 25 UK sites. The American franchise brand, established in 1996 by US Olympic athlete James Villasana, has more than 120 stores in 20 countries and opened its first UK store in Belfast’s Titanic Quarter. It chose the venue in order to take advantage of Northern Ireland’s Back to Business scheme, which offers 50% rate relief for up to two years when former retail premises that have been empty for 12 months or more become occupied. Andrew McQueen, managing director of Smoothie Factory UK and Ireland, said: “The Back in Business rates support was really key in our decision in choosing Belfast, and in particular this property, which had been vacant for almost five years. With soaring energy prices and rising inflation, the financial assistance offered by the scheme has been very welcome. Northern Ireland was an also an obvious choice to launch our flagship store as it allowed us to easy access to expand not only to other parts of the UK, but to Ireland as well. There is a lot of interest from further afield in the city and Northern Ireland as a whole due to our location and the option to do business in both regions. This is only the beginning for Smoothie Factory, and we’re delighted with the opportunities to roll-out to some of Northern Ireland’s bigger towns as well as London.” McQueen said he sees Belfast as only the starting point of a global franchise, with plans for 25 further stores across the UK and Ireland in the next five years. This will include more sites both in Belfast and further afield in Northern Ireland, and in mainland UK, where London and Bournemouth are likely to be the first sites. 

The Alchemist to open in York: Bar and restaurant group The Alchemist has further strengthened its 2023 openings pipeline after securing a site in York. The Simon Potts-led business is set to open at its The Coach House building in York next year after it agreed a letting with Helmsley Group, the property investment and development group. The 20-strong The Alchemist is set to take the ground and basement levels of The Coach House, which offer almost 5,000 square feet of open-plan floor space. Paul Mitchell, property director at The Alchemist, said: “York has been a location we’ve long had in our sights for an Alchemist. Amongst numerous options The Coach House was the outstanding choice because of its prime location and the opportunity to put our own stamp on it. When we met the team at Helmsley we were immediately impressed with their passion for York and the positive impact they have had on the city, alongside their ambitious vision for Coney Street Riverside. We are excited to be working with them to contribute to the success of the city.” The Alchemist, which will make its international debut next year with an opening in the German capital Berlin, is gearing up to open its second site in Scotland, Glasgow’s George Square. The Palatine Private Equity-backed business, which made its debut in Scotland last autumn with an opening in Edinburgh’s St James Quarter, will also open a further site in the Scottish capital, at 51 George Street, next year. It is also understood to be in talks on a further opening in central London.

Scottish chef Jimmy Lee to open third Salt & Chilli Oriental site: Chef Jimmy Lee is set to expand his Cantonese street food business with a third opening under his Salt & Chilli Oriental concept in Scotland. The chef will open the new restaurant on 13 November on the ex-McFly’s Chicken site in Glasgow’s Southside. The new 60-cover site will offer Peking ribs, chicken satay, bao buns, katsu curries, and the concept’s signature salt and chilli dishes. The original Salt and Chilli Oriental is based in Glasgow’s West End, with a second following in Edinburgh’s St James Quarter. Lee, who has appeared on BBC show Great British menu and presents STV cookery series Julie and Jimmy’s Hot Woks, said: “Shawlands was recently named as one of the coolest neighbourhoods in the world, and I’m delighted that we’re able to expand our portfolio to Glasgow Southside. I live in the area, so it’s a neigbourhood that my family and I know well. With the opening of Salt and Chilli Oriental Southside this November, I hope to add something new to the incredible amount of food and entertainment options the area has to offer residents and visitors alike.”

Waitrose once again offering loyalty card holders free teas and coffees: Supermarket chain Waitrose will from today (Monday, 7 November) again offer holders of its myWaitrose loyalty card a free coffee or tea in store. Customers can claim a hot drink from any of the supermarket’s 331 shops, with no minimum spend required, but must bring their own reusable cups. A similar scheme run previously by Waitrose was scrapped during the pandemic. The offer was first brought in for all cardholders in 2013 – even those who had not bought anything in the store – but was updated in 2017 so shoppers needed to buy something before claiming their free drink. The supermarket has since partnered with Caffè Nero, to offer the 650-strong coffee house’s range of drinks. Charlotte Di Cello, commercial director for Waitrose, said: “Our customers loved the myWaitrose free coffee offer, so we are really excited to bring it back, with premium beans from The Nero Roasting Company. The partnership is an ideal fit, helping customers enjoy quality coffee both in-store or at home – with even more benefits in the pipeline.”

JD Sports Gyms returns to profit as turnover approaches £50m: Gym operator JD Sports Gyms has reported turnover increased to £48,566,000 for the year ending 29 January 2022 compared with £13,254,000 the previous year as it benefited from an extended period of trading from its Xercise4less acquisition. JD bought the 40-strong chain in July 2020 and operated 74 UK sites at the end of the period, 11 of which still remain under the Xercise4less banner and are expected to be converted in due course. JD said the 28 conversions to date had been “very positive”, with average membership numbers across those sites up by more than 20%. JD saw a pre-tax profit of £6,402,000 compared with a loss of £5,062,000 the year before (2020: profit of £1,128,000). Membership numbers stood at 409,000 (2021: 179,000). In their report accompanying the accounts, the directors stated: “The lockdowns over the last two years have brought into sharper focus the physical and mental health benefits of regular exercise. It has therefore been particularly pleasing to see a significant increase in demand following reopening, and further endorsement of the strength and broad appeal of the JD proposition, which combines great locations, stylish decor, exceptional gym provision and excellent service.” The business received £567,000 through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (2021: £1,328,000) and £2,113,000 in business support grants (2021: zero). In December 2021, JD bought GymNation, which operates seven sites in the United Arab Emirates, for circa $48m.

Archie’s reopens original Manchester venue with new experiential concept following £1m refit, plans roll out across UK: North west burger, shakes and waffles concept Archie’s has opened its original Manchester venue following a £1m refit, giving life to a new concept it plans to take across the UK in a multimillion-pound roll-out. The first Archie’s – opened by brothers Amer, Imran, Asim and Irfan Rafiq in Manchester’s Oxford Road in 2010 – has been closed for the last six months while undergoing a refit to become the first Archie’s Atomic. This new concept will see the ten-strong group introduce vast 200-seater restaurants that will include all-pink bowling alleys and entertainment hubs. The Oxford Road site has been themed as an all-pink New York subway station, complete with a subway train in the basement, and with new click-and-collect and kiosk options. The business is now eyeing several sites in London for the concept, as well as looking further across the UK. “It’s important for us as a business to reinvest in our restaurants, as well as to grow with new sites across the UK,” Imran told the Manchester Evening News. The company is hoping its estimated £20m in turnover last year will be doubled in 2023 with the Archie’s Atomic roll-out, and the team plan to invest between £4m-£5m on each new site. Ross Mackay, from Creative Leisure, who has been overseeing the project, said: “With Archie’s Atomic, we’re looking at 30,000 square-foot sites where we can have 200-plus seater diners and a leisure aspect too. Think boutique bowling with all-pink lanes, all-pink pool tables, pink arcades and Archie’s roller-discos. We are in discussion on sites across the UK as well as global opportunities.”

Cornish Bakery opens second Scottish bakery: Growing independent chain The Cornish Bakery has opened its second Scottish site, a 2,500 square-foot unit at Caledonia Park designer village in Gretna Green. Steve Grocutt, founder at Cornish Bakery, said: “We are excited to have opened our second bakery in Scotland at Caledonia Park as a complement to our recently opened location at Annandale. Our focus remains on launching in settings which return distinctly high yield results. Caledonia Park provides us with new opportunities to engage with new consumers, marking it as a key step forward in ambitious expansion plans across the UK.” Cornish Bakery passed the 50-site mark with an opening in Whitby in September, as it pushes forward with plans to grow to 100 sites. Johnstone Property Consultants and Time Retail Partners acted for Caledonia Park, while Cornish Bakery were advised by GCW.

London’s The Theatre Cafe launches new immersive cafe concept: London’s The Theatre Cafe has launched its new immersive cafe concept, located at 154 Shaftesbury Avenue in the West End. The Theatre Cafe Diner spans 2,455 square feet over two floors and features a singing waiting team, who perform popular musical theatre numbers while serving customers. Visitors also have the option of booking one of the concept’s exclusive booths, custom-designed around hit productions. An American-style diner food and drink offering will be named with theatrical themes. Joe Davey, managing director of The Theatre Cafe, said: “The launch of our new Diner Cafe concept in Seven Dials is perfectly placed in the heart of the West End. It is an amazing opportunity for us to be expanding our offer and to work with Shaftesbury on this new dining experience.”

Kaspa’s opens site in Basildon: Dessert parlour brand Kaspa’s has opened a site in Basildon. The restaurant has launched in the Essex town’s £25m East Square development. Kaspa’s has more than 100 restaurants around the UK providing a range of hot and cold desserts, including ice cream, gelato, waffles, crepes, milkshakes, sundaes and smoothies. A spokesperson for Kaspa’s said: “We are excited about opening our latest store in Basildon. At Kaspa’s, our mission is to create an environment where enjoying authentic desserts with family and friends is an unforgettable experience.”

Holiday park operator Holgates reports turnover and pre-tax profit exceeds pre-pandemic levels: Holiday park operator Holgates has reported turnover increased to £19,506,207 for the year ending 28 February 2022 compared with £14,469,327 the year before. It also exceeded the £15,640,077 reported in the last full year before the covid pandemic in February 2020. The company – which operates ten sites across Lancashire, Cumbria and the Ribble Valley – saw pre-tax profit grow to £7,446,643 from £4,628,858 the previous year (2020: pre-tax profit of £4,618,437). The business received £241,674 through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (2021: £624,004). In their report accompanying the accounts, the directors stated: “Since reopening, trade has recovered very well, and the group has benefited from the trend for more vacations within the UK; bookings are now back to pre-covid levels. Cash reserves remain positive, enabling the group to finance operations and service existing group loans without the need for further borrowing.”

Swansea brewery sold out of administration: Swansea brewery Boss Brewing Company has been sold out of administration. Boss was incorporated in 2014 and had a turnover of nearly £700,000 in 2020. Following the effects of Brexit on trade with the European Union, coupled with the pandemic and national lockdown, the company saw its sales and profits cease almost overnight, administrators Gary Thompson and Michael Kiely, of Quantuma, said. With the cost-of-living crisis then affecting businesses and individuals nationwide, customer demand for products reduced while trading costs increased, causing the company major financial distress. The sale to an unnamed buyer has now ensured the survival of Boss Brewery, and its single factory site will continue to operate as a result. Thompson said: “Our priority is to achieve the best outcome for Boss Brewery, and the pre-pack sale was the way to ensure its longevity. The company faced a barrage of obstacles, but not only has the sale saved the brewery, but ensured the continuation of jobs for all eight employees.”

Strathmore Hotels returns to profit as it builds back from pandemic: Strathmore Hotels, which operates eight sites across Scotland and the north of England, has reported turnover increased to £13,223,007 for the year ending 31 December 2021 compared with £8,368,693 the year before. However, revenue remained below pre-pandemic levels, with turnover of £18,793,483 reported in 2019. The business saw a pre-tax profit of £2,475,045 compared with a loss of £95,711 the previous year (2019: pre-tax profit of £2,503,089). Strathmore received £783,686 through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (2020: £1,522,444). In their report accompanying the accounts, the directors stated: “Due to our historic strategy of only operating units within key tourist and conference locations, the company was, and is, always placed well to recover swiftly from any forced restriction on trade.”

Leeds doughnut shop operator set to double up with sandwich shop opening: Leeds doughnut shop operator Tom Stafford is set to double up by opening a sandwich shop in the city. Stafford, who opened Doh’hut in Trevelyan Square in January 2020, is now preparing to launch gourmet sandwich bar Things In Bread in an 862 square-foot space at 34 Boar Lane. “I kept walking past the empty retail space and thought how it would be perfect for a sandwich spot,” Stafford said. “It’s going to be that perfect spot to grab a quick sandwich on the go. My existing Doh’hut retail outlet is based in Trevelyan Square, next door to Boar Lane, so it is very convenient. Last year, we found a growing demand for our doughnuts and decided to stop our sandwiches and pasta so we could focus on them, as space is limited in the Trevelyan Square shop. But I’ve always had a love of sandwiches, so opening our new shop fulfils my dream.”

Hollywood Bowl opens new £2.8m Liverpool bowling alley: Hollywood Bowl Group, the UK’s largest ten-pin bowling operator, has opened a new £2.8m bowling alley in Liverpool. The Liverpool venue, located at the New Mersey retail park in Speke, has created 30 jobs. It features 16 state-of-the-art bowling lanes with high-tech scoring, as well an arcade area and American-style bar and diner serving hot dogs, burgers, shakes and cocktails. It is the second Hollywood Bowl site in the city following the one in Edge Lane, which has been open since 1990.

Manchester restaurant concept Juniper to open fourth site: Manchester restaurant concept Juniper is set to open its fourth site. The venue will launch in St Ann’s Street in the city centre, reports Manchester’s Finest. Juniper offers an all-day artisan, internationally inspired menu alongside a diverse list of drinks. The concept currently operates sites in Bramhall, Hale and Wilmslow.

Birmingham Thai food stall to double up with debut restaurant: Birmingham Thai food stall Buddha Belly is set to double its presence in the city with its debut bricks and mortar restaurant. Buddha Belly has been operating from Hockey Social Club – the food hall, bar and coffee shop from the team behind Digbeth Dining Club – for the past ten years. It has now taken a unit in Pershoe Road, in the Stirchley district of Birmingham, for a permanent restaurant. A Facebook post from the company said: “So, this year marked ten years of Buddha Belly, we wondered what’s the best way to celebrate ten years? And we thought, let’s sign a lease for our very own eatery. And here we are! Stirchley, some serious Buddha Belly action is coming your way.”

Family behind Leeds restaurant Salvo’s opens new bar: The family behind Leeds restaurant Salvo’s has opened a new bar in Headingley. Salvatore’s Bar and Street Kitchen is located four doors from the Italian restaurant in Otley Road. The grandson of founder Salvatore Dammone is the chef patron behind the bar and kitchen, which will offer a small range of Italian street food alongside Yorkshire pale ale, cocktails and wine. Dammone, who is named after his grandad, has 11 years’ experience in the sector, including Michelin star restaurants such as Locanda Locatelli’s in London and La Foresteria in Sicily. He told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “Salvatore’s is something we have wanted to do for a long time, and we feel like now is the perfect time to bring something different to Headingley.”

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