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Thu 19th Jan 2023 - Exclusive: Stem & Glory launches £2.5m series A round to support further growth
Exclusive – Stem & Glory launches £2.5m series A round to support further growth, FY like-for-like sales up 35.5% on pre-covid levels: Plant-based restaurant brand Stem & Glory is launching a £2.5m series A round to support further growth and saw like-for-like sales for the year ending 31 March 2022 up 35.5% on pre-covid levels, Propel has learned. Stem & Glory – which opened its third site, in London’s Liverpool Street, in November – also saw year-on-year like-for-like sales up 10% on 2021, and a 49% increase in group sales compared with December 2021. Founder and chief executive Louise Palmer-Masterton said: “While the hospitality sector has undoubtedly faced some bumps in the road in 2022, Stem & Glory met the cost of living challenges head on with a combination of creative pricing, changes to team scheduling, its tier two sponsor scheme, and tendering its main suppliers. Implementation of these strategies has been successful in improving margins and profitability, putting the business in a good position for further growth. The business has also reviewed its growth strategy in favour of refurbishments rather than new-builds for immediate future sites, which also gives the potential for accelerated growth, if market conditions continue to improve.” While the business conducts conversations with potential lead investment for its series A round, Stem & Glory will offer £500,000 of the round to its existing shareholder community, made up from more than 1,640 individuals who have invested in multiple crowdfunding rounds since 2018. Palmer-Masterton said: “Stem & Glory is seeking partners to both capitalise the business for growth, and also to bring industry experience and expertise as we resume our ambitions to become not only known throughout the UK, but also in strategic destinations across the world.” Palmer-Masterton launched Stem & Glory in Cambridge in October 2016 and also operates a restaurant in London’s Barts Square. The company uses only 100% renewable energy, operating at less than 20% lower emissions than the average restaurant, and earlier this year received carbon neutral certification. It is also aiming to have 40% of its workforce made up by migrant workers.

James Watt – BrewDog would have to charge £27.50 for a pint of Punk IPA and £48.75 for a burger and fries if we put up prices in line with soaring energy bills: BrewDog co-founder James Watt has said the business would have to charge £27.50 for a pint of Punk IPA and £48.75 for a burger and fries if it put up prices in line with its soaring energy bills. He warned that sector companies, “which are facing the crippling combination of the worst cost inflation for decades and squeezed consumer spending power” will see the situation worsen when the government rows back energy support from April. “We’re only in the foothills of a crisis that poses a far bigger threat to companies than covid,” said Watt. “The sad reality is there are many great businesses that simply will not survive 2023.This climate is incredibly challenging for BrewDog. Fortunately, we have the scale and backing to survive. Many smaller businesses aren’t so lucky.” He added the government “threw the kitchen sink at covid” but unless it acts quickly tens of thousands of businesses vital to employment and the economy “will wither and die”. “Why would anyone start a business in the UK today?,” said Watt. “I’ve seen more breweries, bars and restaurants than I can name go out of business in the past few months and that trend is only going to accelerate.” Watt has outlined five things he would do if he was in government. These are cutting business rates for six months or abolishing them; a VAT holiday for hospitality for a year; cutting national insurance; state-backed loans to protect smaller businesses; and cutting a deal rather than trying to ban strikes, “which cost the business more than £1m in December alone”. He added: “If this means spending a bit more money to support business through this nightmare now, it’s better than spending the money on unemployment benefits if thousands of businesses go under. Without more help, we’re sleep-walking towards utter disaster for the tens of thousands of businesses in the UK.”

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