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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Fri 9th Dec 2022 - Propel Friday News Briefing

Story of the Day:

Kaspa’s founder sees runway for up to 500 UK sites and plans international expansion: Kaspa’s founder Azhar Rehman sees a runway for up to 500 UK sites for the dessert concept, with his next roll-out focused on smaller stores and kiosks. Kaspa’s has grown to more than 100 UK sites since being founded in 2013 and opened its first international site, in the capital of Pakistan, in 2020. It is set to open a 90-seater store in Plymouth today (Friday, 9 December), followed by a takeaway/delivery only site in Cardiff on Tuesday (13 December). Its 2022 pipeline will then conclude with a 60 inside/14 outside-cover branch in Chatham, Kent, on Saturday, 17 December, and a 90-seater branch in Stevenage a week later. In January, Kaspa’s will then launch its second overseas market with an opening in Morocco. “We’re looking at around about 20 next year in the UK, and then we’ve got various discussions going on internationally, including the UAE, and we’re close to having Turkey secured,” Rehman told Propel. “The UK sites opening will be nationwide. We used to open in 150-200 square metres, but the market has changed with the delivery side really picking up, so now we’re trying to remodel. With that, we’re anticipating anything from 300-500 stores in the UK through opening smaller stores and kiosks. We already have two flagship outlets in Cardiff, therefore the new outlet will be takeaway and delivery only. We will review the progress of these new outlets and see how they prosper, and if they do well, this new model could be something quite positive for us. I think in the beginning there were reservations about the longevity of dessert concepts, but it’s proven itself now and shown there is a market out there.” Rehman, through his Longplan Investment Group business, also operates the 12-strong burger brand Fat Twins, founded in 2018, which has a pipeline of six stores lined up for next year. “We are looking to grow the brand, with good franchise interest already building up,” he said. Also in Rehman’s portfolio is the UK, Ireland and European master franchise rights for Doner & Gyros, which already has a presence in the Middle East, US, Canada and India. “We have two UK stores open and have sold 50 UK territories so far, and we looking to open eight-plus stores next year – Manchester, Somerset, Midlands,” he added. “We will be looking to roll out the brands in Europe in the very near future once we have mastered the UK market.”

Industry News:

Will Beckett to speak at Restaurant Marketer & Innovator European Summit 2023, open for bookings: Hawksmoor chief executive Will Beckett will speak at the Restaurant Marketer & Innovator European Summit 2023. The event is a partnership between Propel and Think Hospitality, aiming to build a community, promote the sharing of ideas, recognise talent and define the future of eating out. Bookings are now open for the two-day conference as the centrepiece of the January event series, taking place on 24 and 25 January at One Moorgate Place in London. Beckett will discuss the better business agenda, why Hawksmoor is championing change and how it’s central to future performance and growth. More than 50 industry and agency leaders will take to the stage over two days representing brands including Cornish Bakery, Burger King UK, The Alchemist, Gail’s Bakery, Searcy’s, Press Up Hospitality Group, Vapiano, Popeyes UK, Inception Group, Oakman Group, New World Trading Company, Peggy Porschen Cakes, Krispy Kreme, KellyDeli, Tattu Restaurants, Red Engine, East Coast Concepts, Coco di Mama, The Cocktail Club, Hilton, Elior, Flat Earth Pizzas, MJMK, Lollipop, Chotto Matte, Ping Pong, Nobu, Gusto Italian, BrewDog, Kaleido, Darjeeling Express and Six by Nico. For the full speaker schedule for day one click here, and for day two click here. Day one themes will be consumer and sector trends, start-ups, concepts and creativity and digital evolution, while day two focuses on purpose and responsible business, strategies for growth and communication and culture. Tickets for operators for the two days are £600 plus VAT and £350 plus VAT for one day. Tickets for suppliers are £950 plus VAT for the two days and £525 plus VAT for one day. Tickets can be purchased by contacting Jo Charity at Propel on
Constant uncertainty of rail strikes is killing business, says London steakhouse owner: Sophie Bathgate, who owns Sophie’s Steakhouses in London’s Soho and Chelsea, has said the constant uncertainty caused by the festive rail strikes is killing business. Bathgate said brutal trading conditions over the past two years have already “obliterated” the headroom in her balance sheet, forcing her to abandon investment plans. Rail strikes announced earlier this month for next week have already hit the business hard, with Bathgate losing one quarter of her December bookings on Tuesday (6 December) alone. Further strikes announced between 24-27 December have dealt a further blow, and while Bathgate would normally open on Boxing Day to cater to shoppers flooding into London to snap up high street bargains, this year she may not bother. “It’s usually a huge day for us,” she told The Telegraph, “but if no one is going to be able to get into the West End, what’s the point? If you take away the biggest days of the year, that is basically all your profits gone. We are just living with this constant uncertainty and it’s killing business. Much as I am sympathetic with the cause, it seems like the whole world is on strike at the moment. Hospitality has had a kicking for two years in a row now. The wins you think you are going to be able to rely on just keep getting pulled out from under you. It feels like everything’s in limbo.” In an attempt to blunt the impact of the industrial action, Sacha Lord, Manchester’s night-time economy adviser, has urged people to buy restaurant vouchers for friends and family this Christmas that can be spent on meals out in January and February. However, chef Tom Kerridge – who owns restaurants in Marlow, Buckinghamshire and London and predicts the strikes will have a “mixed effect” depending on your area – said he sympathises with striking railway workers. “While it affects the hospitality industry and business owners, I think the workforce understands why it’s being done, and the devastating effect causes people to talk about it,” he said. “My message to the government is I cannot believe it’s taken this long to get to this point. We’ve had transport secretaries who weren’t even meeting the unions. It could have been headed off with some form of negotiation.”
CBI urges government to decide which industries get energy support: The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has called on the government to urgently set out details of how it plans to extend the energy bill relief scheme for firms with large bills beyond March 2023 and to decide on which industries will receive support. The government has said further support will be provided beyond that date for firms in certain industries but has not yet said which. Businesses had been expecting clarity before Christmas as they draft financial plans for 2023. The CBI believes the most vulnerable businesses, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), still need to be protected from April 2023 onwards. It said it had identified several policy options the government should explore to help businesses overcome the rising energy costs in the short to medium term, including direct support to help vulnerable firms pay their energy bills. It said: “That means targeting the Energy Bill Relief Scheme to significant energy users that are most exposed to higher energy costs. Importantly the scheme should also go beyond the definition of energy-intensive industries to include other industries such as automotive and food and drink manufacturers, for example. The government should also make grant funding available to SMEs through local authorities, enabling local leaders to manage risks to businesses in strategically important sectors or locations.” It also said the government should provide additional cash flow support to enable companies to adjust to the high-cost energy environment and use policy to drive a step change in business energy investments to improve the security and resilience of the system. 
Doner Shack named UK’s top fast-casual franchise, more F&B brands in top 100 than last year: Döner Shack, the fast casual kebab concept, has been named the UK’s top fast-casual franchise just three years after launching. The four-strong brand, which is gearing up to open site number five in London’s Baker Street, was the highest ranked fast-casual franchise (89th overall) listed in this year’s Elite Franchise Top 100. It competed against hundreds of entries across every sector, including large fast-food brands like Subway and Papa John’s. Co-founders Sanjeev Sanghera said: “We’re incredibly proud to have been recognised as the number one fast-casual franchise in the UK, particularly as we are new entrants to the table. Thanks to our robust operational systems, authentic recipes, innovative and targeted marketing strategies, strong financial model and a long-term growth strategy, we have continued to develop and support our brand. This recognition in the industry is a very welcome boost for the year ahead, especially as we are still only at the beginning of our growth.” Subway was once again the top food and beverage brand in the list, despite dropping from fourth to seventh, while Papa John’s was again the second highest, despite falling from sixth to 11th. Chopstix dropped three places to 35th and Southern Fried Chicken eight to 71st, while Really Awesome Coffee climbed three places to 45th and Kaspa’s climbed one to 67th. New entrants included Triple Two Coffee in 47th, Chicken Cottage in 54th, Mooboo in 56th and Heavenly Desserts in 99th. Among the leisure brands, Anytime Fitness climbed three places to eighth, while Snap Fitness was a new entrant at 37th, and Flip Out was up 17 places to 73rd.
Job of the day: COREcruitment is working with an independent education contract in Harrogate that is looking for a general manager or chef manager with exceptional organisational and hospitality skills. A COREcruitment spokesman said: “You will be responsible for managing all the catering aspects for this high-volume establishment. You will come from an independent education or business and industry background with experience in large volume catering and hospitality. You will have great people management and a passion for high quality food and service.” The salary for the position is up to £45,000. For more information, email

Company News:

Star Pubs & Bars to pump tens of millions into refurbishing more than 580 pubs next year, focusing on work-from-home and premiumisation trends: Heineken-owned Star Pubs & Bars will pump tens of millions into refurbishing and repairing more than 580 pubs next year, focusing on work-from-home and premiumisation trends. The works will create 700 jobs and range from redecorating exteriors to major internal refurbishments, with more than 100 pubs set to receive full makeovers that will cost more than £125,000 each, in addition to £10m ring-fenced for repairs. At the end of 2022, Star Pubs & Bars will have invested more than £115m in pub improvements since covid hit, bringing the total to more than £300m since 2014. “Refreshing and renovating pubs is vital to ensuring existing pub customers remain excited by their local, but it also helps attract new and curious customers to venues,” said Star Pubs & Bars head of property Chris Sladen, writing exclusively in Propel’s Friday Opinion. “The investment has been targeted to ensure pubs can maximise footfall and revenues by tapping into key consumer trends. As we prepare for the new year, we will continue to monitor trends and changing consumer behaviours to ensure our investments in the pub industry continue to yield positive results.” Among the key trends will be ensuring the renovations include space where customers can “work comfortably” so operators can “take advantage of new revenue streams such as the continued working-from-home trend”. Star Pubs & Bars will also be investing in new bars and kitchens to allow for the premiumisation of traditional pub dishes “in a way that can be a cost-effective way to increase spend per head at a time when many people are looking to cut back”. Sladen will share more of his thoughts in this week’s Friday Opinion, which will be published today (Friday, 9 December) at 11am.
UK arm of Odeon receives boost after parent company refinances $500m loan, reports significantly reduced losses: The UK arm of cinema operator Odeon has received a boost after its parent company refinanced a $500m loan to provide additional financial support. The UK business said it has received a letter of support from AMC Entertainment confirming it has the ability to and will provide the financial support required for the UK business to meet its liabilities following the refinancing in October this year. It comes as the UK business reported turnover was up 107.3% to £136,799,000 for the year ending 31 December 2021 compared with £65,991,000 the previous year. However, turnover was still down on the £246,425,000 for the year ending 31 December 2019 – the last full year before the pandemic. Food and beverage revenue was up to £37,464,000 from £17,412,000 the year before (2019: £65,547,000). Pre-tax losses narrowed to £37,199,000 from £76,211,000 the previous year. (2019: profit of £10,780,000). Odeon said attendance levels remained “significantly” behind pre-pandemic levels. A total of 9.5 million people visited its cinemas in 2021 – up from 5.2m in 2020 but way down on the 21.4 million in 2019. Average ticket price rose from £7.63 to £8.03 while average food and beverage spend increased to £3.94 from £3.34. During the period, the business received £7,590,000 through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (2021: £15,255,000). No dividend was paid (2020: nil). Two refurbishments to its Luxe format were completed during the period, taking the total across the estate to 23. Odeon operates 110 cinemas in the UK.
London luxury gelato brand opens second international franchise site, eyes Asian expansion: London luxury gelato brand Snowflake has opened its second international franchise site. Following last year’s opening in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Snowflake has now launched a store in Hamad international airport, Doha, Qatar. “Located in the new contemporary central concourse, the area has been created to offer an immersive environment with state-of-the-art facilities that include a large indoor garden,” the company said. “Providing theatre for every traveller, the site has been optimised for both grab and go, as well as cafe-style dining. A special menu has been created to include new breakfast items featuring smashed avocado pancakes, fresh pastries, and Sicilian breakfast brioche buns alongside our freshly made waffles and crepes. While our expansion across the Middle East begins to take shape, we’re already looking at phase two, which will see our gelato and desserts on offer across Asia and beyond.” Snowflake also has six London sites – in Soho, Marble Arch, South Kensington, The O2 and Westfield White City and Stratford.
M&B opens Toby Carvery delivery kitchen, to begin Arrowsmiths roll out: Mitchells & Butlers (M&B), the All Bar One and Harvester operator, has launched its first delivery kitchen site for its Toby Carvery brand. The Toby Carvery Kitchen has been launched out of the company’s O’Neill’s site in Clapham High Street, through Just Eat. Phil Urban, M&B chief executive, told Propel: “This is more about taking the brand to places where we don't have a site. Toby also works well on delivery. So far it is going well but it is not a priority.” The business has also lined up a second site featuring its new competitive socialising concept Arrowsmiths. The interactive darts experience was launched in the O’Neill’s in Solihull this summer. It features six individual booths for groups of up to 12 people. Guests can book 90-minute sessions for £7 per person for the Arrowsmiths experience, which includes electronic scoreboards and table service. Urban said: “Arrowsmiths has started very well and the second will be on site in January in Watford. We see it as being a neat solution for our pubs that have unused capacity.” Urban said the business is yet to debate how big the Arrowsmith opportunity could be.
Lane7 lines up opening in Bath: Boutique bowling company Lane7 has lined up a new opening for next year, in Bath, Propel has learned. The Tim Wilks-led business is set to open on the former Century Casino site in the city’s Saw Close. Wilks told Propel the opening would have a “James Bond Casino Royale” feel about it and again would be unique compared with the group’s other sites. Earlier this year, the business opened the debut site for its family entertainment centre concept – Level X. The venue, inside a 30,000 square foot space in the St Enoch Centre in Glasgow, features a range of futuristic, immersive attractions that have been sourced from around the globe. Level X also features Disney-style “load and play” RFID wristband technology that allows customers unlimited access on entry to all the gaming features within Level X as well as the ability to tap and pay for food and drink. Wilks said he already has plans to open at least four more Level X venues across the UK in the next 18 months, with a 65,000 square-foot site in the centre of Middlesbrough next in line to open under the concept. Lane7 now has 11 sites across the UK after opening in Durham earlier this year, with plans to open a further six in the next 18 months. Will Biggart, of Torridon, acts for Lane7.
Coffee#1 launches click-and-collect service, opens new Bristol site as it eyes geographical expansion: Coffee#1, the Caffe Nero-owned brand, has launched click-and-collect across its 107-strong estate and opened a new Bristol coffee house. The click-and-collect launch follows its recent successful delivery roll out with Just Eat. It comes as the business makes it seventh opening post-pandemic, on the corner of Union Street and Broadmead in Bristol city centre. Creating 12 jobs, the store is split across two floors and has covers for up to 119 guests. Operating stores mainly across Wales, the south west and the Midlands, Coffee#1 is the fourth largest coffee shop brand in the country. Coffee#1 managing director, Bruce Newman, said: “Adding click-and-collect to our operation is reflective of the evolving needs and habits of our customers. It’s a logical step for us to make and has been well received since launch. I’m delighted with our new store in Bristol. Along with Cardiff, the city is very much the spiritual home of Coffee#1, and to be opening in the heart of Bristol is an exciting moment for the company. We will continue to add stores in locations where we have an existing brand awareness. However, our ambition to expand the footprint of the brand with openings in new geographies remains on track.” Last month, Coffee#1 reported strong trading levels, with like-for-like sales hitting 117% of their 2019 levels as the business rebounds from the pandemic. 
You Me Sushi lines up Cheltenham opening: You Me Sushi, the London restaurant and takeaway concept, is set to open its first site in the south west, with an opening in Cheltenham. The 16-strong business is understood to have secured the former Stagecoach Travel shop in the Gloucestershire town’s High Street. Earlier this year the business opened 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 opened its latest site in New Barnet at the end of the summer. In August, Propel revealed You Me Sushihad appointed Amit Fridman, formerly of Nina’s Bakery and Gail’s, as its new managing director. 
Heavenly Desserts to make international debut tomorrow with Canadian launch: Artisan dessert restaurant Heavenly Desserts will make its international debut tomorrow (Saturday, 10 December). The company will open the restaurant in the district of Mississauga, near Toronto in Canada. It plans to set up shop in Montreal, Vancouver, Ottawa, and Calgary during the next two years. The company, which opened its first store in 2008 and has 42 UK sites, already has master franchise agreements in place for countries including the US, Pakistan and Denmark. The Mississauga location will offer indoor seating for up to 60 people. Heavenly Desserts managing director, Mohammed Imran, said: “We will finish the year with close to 50 UK stores and our first international store, which is an exciting feat for our team, our customers and our family of franchisees – who have dedicated much of their time and efforts to creating a brand that prides itself on delivering luxury in both customer experience and in taste.”
The Wolseley Hospitality Group to open long-awaited Manzi’s restaurant in May: The Wolseley Hospitality Group will open its long-awaited seafood restaurant Manzi’s in London’s Soho in May. The venue, located at “Bateman’s Buildings” – a wide alleyway running south from Soho Square – had been due to open in late 2020 but had to be mothballed due to the pandemic. Manzi’s will pay homage to its much-loved forefather, a restaurant that famously served Londoners off Leicester Square for more than half a century. Set over two floors, Manzi’s will be an all-day, seafood focused restaurant with dishes “encompassing everything from moules marinière, to a wide range of crustacea, a ‘catch of the day’ and a classic Dover sole”. The venue will also have a large outdoor terrace and private dining room. 
Costa Coffee set to open debut site in Austria: Costa Coffee, the Coca-Cola Company-owned chain, is set to open its debut site in Austria, early next year, at Vienna airport. The site will be operated by Lagardére Travel Retail, which acquired the franchise rights for the UK-based coffee chain’s 145 stores across Poland and Latvia last November. Lagardère also operates circa 60 Costa Coffee cafés and 60 Costa Express vending machines in the Czech Republic via a franchise partnership formed in 2008. Julian Jäger, joint chief executive of Vienna airport, said: “Together with our longstanding airport partners Lagardére Travel Retail and Rewe Group, we are expanding our brand offering up until the spring of 2023 for travellers. With Billa Corso, Burger King, Costa Coffee and Relay, we are offering something catering to every taste, from an Austrian premium supermarket to international restaurants and shops with top brands.” Last month, Costa opened its first outlet in Georgia in partnership with Turkish catering company BTA Food & Services, at Tbilisi international airport. It followed other recent launches in Oman and Morocco.
Multiple operator opens third pub with Greene King: Multiple pub operator Clive Davison has opened his third pub with brewer and retailer Greene King. The Lupset, a former Greene King Flaming Grill site in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, has reopened following a £220,000 investment from Greene King’s leased and tenanted division. Davison also operates The Sitwell Arms in Whiston and The Shepley Spitfire in Totley. He said: “I am delighted to have taken on The Lupset, our third pub with Greene King, and expand our multiple pub operation. The pub has been transformed with Greene King’s investment and we are excited for the future of this wet-led, community pub.”
Gladwin brothers set to launch farm shop at south west London lounge bar and dining venue: The Gladwin brothers, Richard and Oliver, are set to launch a farm shop at their lounge bar and dining venue The Fat Badger, in Richmond, south west London. The Fat Badger Farm Shop will open in January, offering customers a changing seasonal selection of premium British produce, all sourced sustainably from small UK growers. It will have a greengrocer counter offering organic produce, with any leftovers utilised the same day in the restaurant’s ever-changing produce-led menu. There will also be specialist fish and meat counters offering a seasonal array of rare cuts of meat, game, fish and shellfish. Branded recipe cards will be on display outlining how to prepare and cook the produce at home, and there will also be monthly masterclasses and workshops, including in butchery. Alongside the farm shop, The Fat Badger, which the brothers opened in November 2021, will remain an all-day dining destination “combining rustic countryside charm with a specialised offering of produce and cuisine”. They also operate Sussex in Soho, The Shed in Notting Hill, Rabbit in Chelsea, Nutbourne in Battersea, the Nutbourne Vineyard in West Sussex and their most recent addition, The Black Lamb in Wimbledon, which launched in June.
Northumberland operator acquires historic Holy Island pub: Northumberland operator Terry Maughan has acquired the historic The Ship Inn, in Marygate on Holy Island. Known as the Northumberland Arms until 1995, the traditional coaching inn has been a feature on Holy Island for several hundred years. Previous owners Andrew and Janice Hnat have retired after owning the inn for the last 17 years. Maughan already operates several hospitality businesses across the Northumberland region, the most recent being Alnwick Squash Club, which he acquired in September. The venue features two squash clubs, a gym and bar and also houses a nightclub called I Won’t Tell. Maughan also owns The Manor House Hotel, another Holy Island business, and the Marsden Grotto pub and restaurant with rooms in south Tyneside. David Cash, director in Christie & Co’s hospitality team, who handled the sale, said: “The Ship Inn is a fantastic example of a centuries-old inn incredibly well maintained by its former owners. The Northumberland coast continues to be incredibly popular with our buyers. Demand continues to outstrip supply, and we’re actively seeking to bring new opportunities to market.”
TRG independent non-executive director to step down: The Restaurant Group (TRG) has announced Alison Digges will step down as an independent non-executive director at the start of next year. Digges, who joined the board at the start of 2020, is a member of the audit, nomination and remuneration committee. TRG chairman Ken Hanna said: “On behalf of the board, I would like to thank Alison for the valuable contribution she has made to the company over the last three years.”
Plans for leisure-led extension of Sheffield’s Meadowhall shopping centre get go-ahead: Plans for a leisure-led extension to the Meadowhall shopping centre in Sheffield have been given the go-ahead. British Land submitted an application to the city council in late 2020 for The Meadowhall Masterplan project. The hybrid application includes outline plans for a leisure hall extension to Meadowhall, an extension to the existing cinema and new large format retail space. It also includes plans for the change the use of The Source from a training academy to a mixed-use commercial building. Planning permission was previously granted in 2019 for an extension to the centre, but this lapsed in 2021 without being implemented. The new application proposes a smaller extension but includes the new retail park and change of use of The Source. Following the revisions, the outline elements of the scheme now comprise a 335,000 square-foot extension for the new leisure hall, an 18,000 square-foot extension to the existing cinema complex and 90,200 square feet across the new retail units.
Belfast cafe Maggie Mays set to open chip shop for fourth site: Belfast cafe Maggie Mays is set to open a chip shop for its fourth site in the city, and first in four years. The company, which is owned by husband-and-wife team Moya and John Pollins, already operates cafes in Malone Road, Castle Street and at Botanic. It has now taken to social media to announce the forthcoming opening of Maggie Mays Belfast Chippy, at 30 University Road. A Facebook post said: “Hey folks, the secrets out! Maggie is opening her very own chip shop! We are pleased to announce we will be opening Maggie Mays Belfast Chippy. Big shout out to all who have been involved in getting the place up and running. Keep your eyes open for our new menu packed with loads of Maggie Mays classics, plus some chip shop favourites.”
Vegan Caribbean concept Jam Delish to open debut permanent restaurant: Vegan Caribbean concept Jam Delish is set to open its first permanent restaurant. Jam Delish first popped as a dark delivery kitchen in Wimbledon, south west London, alongside appearances at various Kerb markets and festivals, as well as hosting several residencies. Co-founder Jordan Johnson, who started the concept as a pop-up when  was furloughed during lockdown, is opening a permanent restaurant in Islington on Friday, 16 December. Nathan Collymore, an ex-Jamie Oliver's Fifteen alumnus, is heading up the kitchen. “We’re taking Caribbean food to the next level,” Johnson told Hot Dinners. “It’s not fine dining, but it’s also not casual in terms of how the food is plated and the ingredients we're using.” The menu will include jerk baba ghanoush, plantain hummus, burnt spring onion, chilli butter and grilled roti; and jackfruit and wild mushroom “oxtail” stew, butterbeans, herb cassava dumplings, plantain and Jamaican sweet potato. The restaurant will have its own bar space serving signature cocktails along with a range of vegan wine, champagne and beer. 
Glasgow coffee shop brand to open eighth site and seventh in the city: Glasgow coffee shop brand Grand and Grind is set to open its eighth site, and seventh in the city. The team first opened its doors at 50 Battlefield Road in 2018 and is now looking to open a site in Old Castle Road, although there is no opening date yet, reports Glasgow Live. Its other Glasgow sites are at 393 Victoria Road, 45 Old Dumbarton Road, 109 Clarkson Road, 204 Fenwick Road and 742 Pollokshaws Road, and it also has one Inverness venue, at 1 Tomnahurich Street.

Fireaway opens Sidcup site: Fast pizza brand Fireaway, the Mario Aleppo-led business, has opened a site in Sidcup, south east London. The restaurant has opened in High Street, reports the News Shopper. Fireaway launched in London in 2017 and now has more than 125 stores. In October, Fireaway secured new investment from six new backers, which values the company at £18.7m. Earlier this year, Aleppo told Propel that he sees the potential for the brand to grow to 500 sites within the next ten years.

Domino’s plans new Dorset opening: Domino’s Pizza has applied to open a new outlet on the site of a former bank in Gillingham, Dorset. It plans to open in Sydenham House, which until June was used by TSB. An application to change the use of part of the two-storey building’s ground floor is with Dorset Council.

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