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Mon 13th Feb 2023 - Propel Monday News Briefing

Story of the Day:

Parogon looking to appoint experienced non-executive chair to help with ‘aggressive expansion’ as refinancing frees up £5m for new sites: Staffordshire operator Parogon has told Propel it is looking to appoint an experienced non-executive chair to help with its “aggressive expansion” plans, as its refinancing is set free up a £5m pot for new sites. The nine-strong group will this summer open its tenth site, following a refurbishment of The Cheshire Tavern in Congelton, which it acquired at the end of last year. “We’re looking to appoint a non-executive chair this year, someone with the experience to help us expand aggressively,” managing director Richard Colclough told Propel. “Someone who has been there and done it before and can advise us on our next phase of growth. We’ve made some approaches and we’ve had some interested candidates. Our refinancing is almost complete, which will see our existing facilities refinanced plus £5m on top for new sites, which gives us a bit of headroom.” Colclough admitted his target of doubling the Parogon estate over the next three years, as told to Propel last April, may have to be revised – but he is still confident of two further openings, on top of Congleton, in 2023. “It’s a bit of an ambitious target now because of what’s happened in the last 12 months,” he said. “As well as the cost of living, the sites just aren’t coming to market and we’re having to work hard to uncover those gems and secure our pipeline. Congleton will be the first of our new approach of building our brands rather than having a distinct one for each site, and it will be our second Orange Tree. We’re now shifting our focus to our Willow brand, which is an all-day dining concept in smaller 100-cover restaurants, and really attracts the grey pound demographic. We’re hoping to secure two Willow sites within the next six months, and then hopefully get them open this year as we already have the format, and they’re a smaller capex spend.” Despite the lack of sites coming to market, Colclough says he won’t be tempted to return to the £5,000 finder’s fee incentive he trialled last year. “We had a huge influx to start with, but not recently,” he added. “We’ll probably use more traditional routes in future, and I think more sites will be coming available.” Parogon was also last year granted planning permission for 13 boutique rooms at The Red House in Lilleshall, and Colclough said rooms remain a big part of the company’s expansion plans. It is also looking to add rooms and a function facility to The Swan with Two Necks in Newcastle-under-Lyme, to “really sweat the asset”.

Industry News:

Sponsored message – S4labour’s Richard Hartley hosts fundraising dinner in aid of Pedalling for Pubs: Richard Hartley, chief innovation officer of S4labour, is hosting a fundraising dinner on Wednesday, 22 March, starting at 6pm, at Hoppers King’s Cross, featuring an after-dinner talk from Scotty Mills. The event is in aid of Pedalling for Pubs, which raises money for hospitality charities Only A Pavement Away and The Licensed Trade Charity. Hartley said he was proud to bring the fundraiser meal to London as he supports Pedalling for Pubs for a second year in a row. The charity dinner will include a three-course Sri Lankan meal and cocktails, inspired by the cyclists’ destination in April of this year. Mills, an ex-marine and advisor to Gareth Southgate during the World Cup, will be in attendance, giving an inspirational after-dinner talk. A host of the industry’s best suppliers and operators will also be present, along with other Pedalling for Pubs riders and representatives from both charities. Hartley said: “It’s really important we recognise the impact that both of these charities have on those affected and the industry as a whole. I’m thrilled to be a part of Pedalling for Pubs for a second time, and welcome those who wish to contribute to this worthy cause to come along for a fantastic evening.” To donate and book, click here.

Restaurant Marketer & Innovator videos to be sent to Premium readers today: Propel Premium subscribers are to be given access to the entire recording of the 2023 Restaurant Marketer & Innovator European Summit Conference. Subscribers will be sent 30 separate video presentations, featuring more than 80 speakers, today (Monday, 13 February), at 9am. The videos include: Alice Leach, head of product and innovation at Cornish Bakery, discussing its approach to new product development and creating the right menu mix, its processes, cross-business workflows and how it goes about testing; Hakim Bukenya, brand partnerships, apps and software at TikTok, talking about how hospitality brands can gain traction with more than one billion monthly active users on the platform; Vicky Barber, marketing director at Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, discussing how the business is balancing efficiencies with customer experience in delivering effective technologies; and Anthony Knight, sales and marketing director at Incipio Group, revealing how to achieve the best results when marketing for multi-concept portfolios. Subscribers also receive the Propel Multi-Site Database, produced in association with Virgate; the New Openings Database; the Propel Turnover & Profits Blue Book; the UK Food & Beverage Franchisor Database; and the Who’s Who of UK Food and Beverage. 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 to upgrade your subscription. Subscribers also receive access to Propel’s library of Friday Wrap interviews and 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. 

Sector businesses still suffering despite UK avoiding recession, trade bodies warn: Sector businesses are still suffering despite the UK narrowly avoiding going into a recession, trade bodies have warned. New figures from the Office of National Statistics showed the economy saw zero growth between October and December. This despite a sharp 0.5% fall in economic output during December, partly due to strike action. Michael Kill, chief executive of the Night Time Industries Association, said: “While the announcement on the December GDP figures suggest we have technically narrowly missed the recession, it is clear that thousands of businesses are suffering the impact of a recession. Independent businesses are particularly vulnerable, and with these businesses making up a huge proportion of the sector, the government must act to protect business most at risk. We need the government to cut VAT in the March budget, for all businesses across the hospitality and night time economy sectors.” Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the British Beer and Pub Association, added: “Pubs and brewers are still operating in extremely tough conditions, with inflation pushing up prices across the supply chain and consumer confidence remaining low. The absence of meaningful growth in our economy is causing an extreme lack of confidence amongst publicans and brewers, with one in three hospitality businesses predicting business failure in the next 12 months. The chancellor needs to make some significant interventions in the spring Budget to turn this around.”  The Bank of England said it still expects the UK to enter recession this year but thinks it will be shorter and less severe than previously forecast.

Scottish venues may soon be able to install outside seating without prior permission: Cafes, bars and restaurants in Scotland will be able to put tables and chairs on the pavement outside their premises without first having to get planning permission, under changes expected to come in at the end of next month. The rules have been backed in a consultation carried out by the Scottish government and are expected to be approved by MSPs. They would come into being from 31 March, alongside other measures including a relaxation of planning rules for converting some properties into cafes and restaurants. Planning minister Tom Arthur said: “More flexible use of outdoor space can help the hospitality industry recover from the pandemic and cost crisis, while making city and town centres more attractive and welcoming. A more streamlined approach to changes of use can help businesses respond more rapidly to shifting circumstances, support reuse of vacant premises and encourage the return of workers and shoppers to our town and city centres.” David Lonsdale, director of the Scottish Retail Consortium, said: “These new flexibilities on outdoor seating are encouraging and should allow eateries to get on and do what they do best – serving customers. Hopefully, they will give people a little more reason to spend time and money on our high streets and inject more vitality into our town and city centres.” Leon Thompson, of UKHospitality, added: “I’m delighted the Scottish government is moving ahead with measures to aid the sectors recovery and contribute to thriving town and city centres.”

UKHospitality urges RMT and government to resume negotiations: UKHospitality has urged rail union RMT and the government to get back round the negotiating table and avoid train strikes causing further damage to the sector. The RMT last Friday rejected new pay offers in a blow to any hopes the lengthy dispute was close to ending, and will start preparing to re-ballot its members when the existing strike mandate runs out. UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “It’s so frustrating that we now seem even further away from this dispute being resolved. Hospitality has suffered enormous pain during the strikes, to the tune of £2.5bn. A functioning rail network is one of the most important pillars of infrastructure in the country and it’s critical for so many consumers, workers and businesses. We’ve seen the damage the December strikes inflicted on hospitality, the wider economy and GDP. The sector, and the country, simply cannot afford that level of economic pain again. I again urge all involved in the negotiations to double down on reaching a resolution as soon as possible.”

Middlemen probed over payments from power giants for signing up SMEs: The energy regulator is gearing up for a crackdown on energy brokers that pocket “secret commissions”, amid concerns that they are ripping off small businesses during the cost-of-living crisis. The Sunday Times reports that Ofgem is understood to be working with the government to look at options to regulate brokers that arrange gas and electricity contracts for small businesses. It comes as London law firms Harcus Parker and Leigh Day begin a potential class-action lawsuit against energy suppliers for not disclosing commissions paid to brokers. Harcus Parker has started writing to suppliers to warn them of the potential legal action, claiming the commissions paid to brokers should be recouped because they are not disclosed in customer contracts. If successful, it could cost suppliers hundreds of millions of pounds. Last year, Ofgem introduced rules to protect “microbusinesses” with fewer than ten staff from rogue brokers. The regulator forced suppliers to disclose the commissions paid by brokers in microbusiness contracts and said they should work only with brokers signed up to the alternative dispute resolution scheme. However, small and medium-sized businesses, which employ between ten and 250 staff, are not protected by the new measures. It comes as ScottishPower became the latest large energy provider to admit some small business customers are yet to receive any of the taxpayer-funded discount to their bills, four months after the government scheme was set up. It told The Times it was applying the discount to most customer accounts, but there was “a small group with more complex accounts that have taken longer to implement”.

‘Disgrace’ of covid business support postcode lottery exposed: A £1.5bn fund to help companies struggling with business rates during the pandemic has been branded a “disgrace” after analysis showed businesses were at the mercy of a “postcode lottery”. The Telegraph reports that official figures show many local authorities paid out only a tiny fraction of the cash they were allocated through the Covid-19 Additional Relief Fund. Many councils failed to award one fifth of the money, while some of the worst offenders handed out just 1% of the cash available. Colliers, a property consultancy, found that payments from the fund quickly descended into “carnage” after the government failed to set clear rules for how they should be awarded. John Webber, head of ratings at Colliers, said: “The picture is a disgrace. Eighteen months on from the time businesses were denied their right to appeal their business rates, one fifth of the allotted £1.5bn had still not been allocated.” Webber claimed the government vastly underestimated the size of the problem and overestimated the capability of local authorities to pay out in an efficient and consistent way. Business rates are calculated using a property’s “rateable value” – or how much it could be let for on the open market. During the pandemic, the government provided business rates holidays to retail, leisure and hospitality businesses, worth an estimated £16bn. Many other businesses did not qualify but felt their rates bills were too high, and many sought to challenge their rates valuations, citing the pandemic as a “material change in circumstances”.

Bums on Seats launches campaign to help operators create business resilience: Bums on Seats, the strategic sales and business development expert, has launched a campaign to help operators create business resilience during tough times for the sector. “No To Last Orders” aims to give operators the tools to build guest loyalty, increase spend per head and capitalise on occasions. These include digital guides, interviews with experienced operators and a webinar outlining quick wins and easy to implement sales, systems and marketing solutions. It will feature content from Bums on Seats, Zonal, Mr Yum, Wireless Social, Airship, Toggle, Datahawks, Feed it Back and KAM. Bums on Seats chief executive Amber Staynings said: “Our industry is facing considerable challenges as we head into 2023. We are determined to help prevent closures and will be offering venues free access to advice and tools which will support them through the crisis. This campaign is a unique collaboration of the sector’s best-known businesses and thought leaders – offering insights into new and expanding routes to market, changing customer expectations, and innovative ways of increasing profiles – all designed to ensure that customers return to put bums on seats!” Operators can find all the content and sign up to receive the digital guide here.

COREcruitment interviews Fred Sirieix: As part of COREcruitment’s continuous support to charities, managing director Krishnan Doyle spoke to Fred Sirieix about The Right Course, the charity that provides industry-relevant training and qualifications in hospitality to learners in prison that leads to employment in the sector. Doyle talks to Sirieix about what The Right Course is and its purpose; why he chose the charity and who were, or are, his inspirations; some success stories within The Right Course; the challenges and the positives; how the restaurant and training programme works; and expansion plans. To watch the video, click here.

Company News:

Steamin’ Billy Brewing boss to launch ‘farm park’ as business further diversifies: Billy Allingham, managing director of Steamin’ Billy Brewing in Leicestershire, is launching a “farm park” as the business further diversifies its offer. Allingham, who opened a farm shop with distillery last summer at Stoughton Grange in Leicester, is now opening a farm park at the site which will feature glamping pods and be home to a variety of animals including rams, pigs, alpacas and donkeys. Stoughton Grange is also home to Allingham’s The Cow & Plough pub. He told Propel: “The farm was sold recently, and we get on well with the new owner. There was an old milking parlour that had been sitting there for 23 years, which we converted that into a farm shop. There used to be a farm park there until the turn of the century, and we’re going to resurrect that. We’ve been waiting two years for planning, and there will be 12 glamping pods, so we’re making the move into accommodation. There’s also a lake and deer that roam – it’s quite spectacular. We want to champion local businesses where we can.” Last year, Allingham sold The Coronation in Derby and is looking to sell another one of his pubs as he looks to consolidate the seven-strong estate. Meanwhile, Allingham has added further activities to his Caddyshackers business in Leicester city centre, which he said has been a “lifesaver”. The venue now also features interactive darts, beer pong and shuffleboard. 

Comptoir Group appoints Nicole Goodwin as marketing director: Comptoir Group, the Comptoir Libanais and Shawa brand operator, has appointed Nicole Goodwin, formerly of Big Drop Brewing Co and Mast-Jägermeister UK, as its new marketing director, Propel has learned. Goodwin joins the Nick Ayerst-led business after almost two years as global marketing director at Big Drop Brewing Co. Previous to that, she spent eight years at Mast-Jägermeister UK as its marketing director. She also spent over five years at Beiersdorf, the owner of Nivea. Goodwin’s appointment comes after Sona Shah stepped down as group marketing director of Comptoir Group last October, after less than a year with the business, to join IHG Hotels & Resorts. Comptoir currently owns and operates 21 restaurants under its core brand and recently closed its Comptoir Libanais site in Leeds Trinity.

Chaiiwala franchisee opens ninth site: Aadil Ashgar, a franchisee with street food cafe franchise Chaiiwala, has opened his ninth store with the brand. Ashgar, who is also a franchisee with bubble tea brand Cupp, has opened a Chaiiwala at 1,424 London Road in Norbury, south London. “After a quiet opening of store eight (Slough Central) late last year for personal reasons, we managed to officially open store nine in Norbury, London,” he posted on LinkedIn. “It’s a proud feeling to announce that we are the 81st store of the Chaiiwala estate and the second store in south London, now on the scene to help alleviate some of that pressure that Tooting has been dealing with for the past couple of years.” Chaiiwala last month opened the UK’s first Indian drive-thru, in Bolton, Greater Manchester, in partnership with the EG Group. The business last year said it had committed to opening 60 new premises in 2023 and intends to create 500 UK outlets overall. Chaiiwala co-founder Sohail Ali will be speaking at the first Propel Multi-Club Conference this year, which takes place on Thursday, 23 March at the Millennium Gloucester Hotel in London. Ali will discuss the concept’s creation, its expansion in the UK and internationally, the size of the opportunity and its move into the drive-thru category. Operators can book up to three free places. Email to book your places. Chaiiwala is also included in the UK Food and Beverage Franchisor Database, the next edition of which will be sent to Premium subscribers today (Friday, 17 February), at noon. Subscribers also receive the Propel Multi-Site Database, produced in association with Virgate; the New Openings Database; the Propel Turnover & Profits Blue Book; and the Who’s Who of UK Food and Beverage. Email to upgrade your subscription.

Fuller’s sues insurance giants in fight over ‘business interruption’ claim: Fuller’s pubs has filed a lawsuit against insurance giants Aviva and Liberty Mutual in a dispute over a “business interruption” claim. The pub company confirmed to City AM it is suing the two insurers “in relation to a claim under our business interruption insurance” but refused to comment further. Fuller’s filed its claim against Liberty and Aviva on 2 February 2023, in the UK’s commercial court, public records show. The pub group’s lawsuit follows a surge in business interruption claims in relation to the closure of hospitality businesses during Covid-19. Insurers, reluctant to pay out policies, later faced a wave of lawsuits after Britain’s Supreme Court ruled in favour of policyholders in January 2021. The case saw Britain’s highest court rule in favour of the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in stating businesses are entitled to pay outs for losses suffered due to closures during covid-19. Insurers have now paid out more than £1bn to companies that closed during the lockdowns, FCA figures show. The court fights saw Axa forced to pay £4.4m to high-end restaurateur Corbin & King over the closure of eight of its restaurants, including The Wolseley in Mayfair and Colbert in Sloane Square.

Tao Group Hospitality opens Ling Ling restaurant in Dubai: Tao Group Hospitality has opened Ling Ling Dubai, a “destination” lounge and restaurant set within the new Atlantis The Royal hotel on Palm Jumeirah. Ling Ling overlooks the luxury resort’s expansive Skypool, Cloud 22, offering views of the Dubai skyline and Arabian Gulf. An offshoot of Michelin-starred Cantonese restaurant Hakkasan, Ling Ling offers contemporary Asian cuisine for sharing, coupled with an extensive drinks menu, with cocktails at the heart of it. Inspired by izakaya, where food accompanies drinks rather than the other way around, its evolving menu will fuse Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese and Korean influences with Hakkasan’s Cantonese origins. This will be overseen by Tao Group’s chief culinary officer, Ralph Scamardella, and Ling Ling chef de cuisine, Steven Nguyen. Highlights include Australian lobster pad thai, tea smoked duck kueh pie tee and 24 karat gold wagyu and lobster maki sushi rolls. The venue will also feature 12-seater private dining rooms and a discreet ‘Ultra Lounge’, for a more intimate experience.

Macdonald Hotels in advanced negotiations to secure £50m loan as it prepares to refinance: Macdonald Hotels, which operates 28 hotels and nine resorts, has said it is in advanced negotiations to secure a new £50m bank loan as it prepares to refinance. In the going concern section of its accounts for the year ending 31 September 2021, the group said as of 26 January 2023, it was financed by a combination of cash balances, bank debt, loan notes and shareholder loans. The loan notes and shareholder loans, which total £13.23m, rank below the bank debt and cannot be repaid until the latter is repaid in full. The group’s banking facilities comprise a fully drawn term facility of £31m and a revolving credit facility of £8m, which expire on 31 March 2023. The group must have a minimum liquidity of cash or undrawn facility of £5m, and if forecasts indicate a shortfall, it is required to consult with the lender to agree steps. Cash reserves amounted to £12.78m at 26 January 2023, and so the group is at an advanced stage of negotiations with a lender to secure a new five-year banking facility, comprising a £50m term loan and £10m revolving credit facility. “The facility has received credit committee approval and is in the process of being documented,” the company said. “Management are confident that the agreement will be completed and signed in February 2023, allowing the group to repay its existing facility in full.” It comes as the group reported a pre-tax loss of £15,163,000 for the year ending 31 September 2021 compared to a profit of £29,409,000 in 2020. Turnover fell from £75,595,000 in 2020 to £66,829,000. Of this, £65.1m came from UK operations (2020: £74.1m) and £1.7m from Spain (2020: £1.8m). During the period, the group’s net cashflow from operating activities was £5.2m, compared to £13.52m in the year to 1 October 2020. It sold four properties during the year and two properties following the year end, allowing it to repay £165m of its banking facility. The two sold in November 2021 were in Manchester and Holyrood, reducing the debt by £96m. It received £6.3m from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (2020: £11.1m). Average staff numbers fell from 2,809 in 2020 to 1,817.

C&C Group independent non-executive directors to step down: Helen Pitcher and Jim Pitcher are set to step down as independent non-executive directors (NEDs) at C&C Group. Both have said they will not seek re-election and will vacate the positions at the conclusion of the group’s 2023 annual general meeting. This follows Pitcher’s recent appointment as chair of the Judicial Appointments Commission. Thompson, meanwhile, has said he is finding it increasingly difficult to dedicate the necessary time required, including travel from the US. Vineet Bhalla will succeed Thompson as chair of the environmental, social and governance committee, while the process to recruit two new independent NEDs will begin shortly. C&C will also appoint a new chair of the remuneration committee, to succeed Pitcher, in due course. C&C chairman Ralph Findlay said: “On behalf of C&C, I want to acknowledge Helen and Jim for their significant contributions and service to the group during their respective tenures on the board. As independent directors, both have brought valuable expertise and unique insights to C&C.”

Nuno Mendes set to open Porto neighbourhood restaurant and bar: London-based Portuguese chef Nuno Mendes will open a neighbourhood restaurant and bar in Largo de São Domingos, Porto, on Friday (16 February). Cozinha das Flores will celebrate the food culture, wines, techniques and ingredients of the north or Portugal, while the adjacent 12-seat bar, Flôr, will serve light breakfasts in the morning and a menu of inventive cocktails through the day and night. Both venues form part of adjoining sister project, The Largo, which will open later this year, featuring 18 rooms across five heritage buildings. “My hope is that both Cozinha das Flores and Flôr will become an integral part of the city of Porto,” said Mendes. “Our aim is to really capture the essence of the region and strike a balance between creativity and authenticity.”

Lower rate of VAT helps Birmingham hotel achieve ‘exceptional year’ of profit: Birmingham hotel and leisure club The Arden has said the lower rate of VAT during the recovery from covid helped it achieve an “exceptional year” of profit. The family-run resort made a pre-tax profit of £1,286,956 for the year ending 30 June 2022, compared with a loss of £957,735 in 2021. In the last full year before the pandemic, ending 30 June 2019, it made a pre-tax profit of £865,207. Turnover rose from £959,254 in 2021 to £5,320,837. This was still below the last pre-pandemic figure of £6,118,455. Director David Gardner, in his report accompanying the accounts, said: “Turnover has increased by 455%, with a slight fall in gross profit margin from 89.2% in 2021 to 88.8% in 2022. Gross margin has fallen by 0.4% but gross profit percentage has still been maintained at a higher level when compared with previous years, and in particular before the pandemic started. The profit before tax for year ended 30 June 2022 has resulted in an exceptional year, and this is primarily due to the VAT rate being reduced to 5% before being increased to the standard rate of 20% from 1 April 2022 in the hospitality sector. The balance sheet continues to strengthen, showing net assets of £2.73m (2021: £2.19m). The company has performed financially, operational and strategically in line with management expectations.” The company received £130,291 in government grants (2021: £800,630) and ordinary dividends of £480,000 were paid. The Arden Hotel was founded in 1968 by John and Rita Gardner and Peter Brotherton, on the site of the former Arden Grill roadside cafe, which had six bedrooms. It has now grown to more than 200 bedrooms along with a restaurant, bar and leisure complex and is operated by John and Rita’s sons, Steve and Dave.

Little Caesars Pizza makes UK return: Little Caesars Pizza, the world’s third-largest pizza chain, has made its UK return. The brand, which currently operates in 27 countries and territories, opened in Riber Drive, Chellaston, near Derby, on Saturday (11 February), offering its £5 hot-n-ready pepperonis and margheritas among other items. Little Caesars Pizza previously operated in the UK but pulled out of the market in 2000. In November, the brand told Propel it expects to have 20 sites open in Britain by the end of 2023. It is planning to follow Derby with openings in Liverpool and London early this year.

Monterey Jack’s closes Glasgow restaurant: Scotland-based, American-style restaurant Monterey Jack’s has closed one of its Glasgow restaurants. The diner chain, whose ten-strong estate included two sites in the city, has closed its Merchant Square venue, at 71-73 Albion Street. Its restaurant at Unit 2 in Glasgow Fort Shopping Centre remains open, as well as other sites in Airdrie, Braehead, Hamilton, East Kilbride, Falkirk, Perth, Dunfermline and Stirling. The restaurant owners wrote on Facebook: “With the cost of energy, goods etc and the cost of trying to survive with our landlord’s levy, we simply cannot survive. This does not affect any new locations or other existing locations.” Monterey Jack’s specialises in burgers, fried chicken, waffles and a range of desserts. Its Braehead site, which opened in December at the town’s XSite entertainment hub, was the company’s first franchise opening.

London’s first grab-and-go cevicheria to open fourth site: London’s first grab-and-go cevicheria is set to open its fourth site. Crudo Cevicheria’s new restaurant, which will be located at 36 Monmouth Street, will feature its distinctive menu focused on the classic Peruvian dish of ceviche. The 362 square-foot space, spanning two floors, will have seating for 20 diners, offering intimate dine-in and an upstairs bar. The concept opened its first site, in Fitzrovia, in 2019, followed by further restaurants in Old Street and Hackney. The experimental menu will include a selection of para picar small plates, ceviches and tiraditos, along with four signature ceviche bowls, while a selection of signature cocktails will be available alongside other drinks. Founders Carlos Soccoro and Maria Yanez said: “We are thrilled to be opening our latest restaurant in Seven Dials, right in the heart of London’s West End. This is an exciting time of expansion for Crudo Cevicheria.” Cushman & Wakefield, Hanover Green Retail and Distrkt represented landlords Shaftesbury while Crudo Cevicheria dealt direct.

Sheffield plant-based concept set to open second site: Sheffield plant-based concept V or V is set to open a second site in the city. The Kelham Island vegetarian and vegan business plans to open in the Orchard Square food hall, Sheffield Plate, offering kebabs, meze, small plates and sides. The business, which also operates a restaurant in Cornish Street, will also launch its first dedicated takeaway service, through Deliveroo and UberEats, from the new site. “When we were approached by Sheffield Plate, we jumped at the chance to get involved it was kind of a no-brainer,” co-owner Matt Burgess told BDaily. “It’s something we’ve wanted to do for a while, and we’re looking forward to adding to the vegan and vegetarian options at Sheffield Plate. It’s virtually impossible to keep this place going as it stands, and we’re doing an incredibly good job sustaining it, but one of the reasons we want to open this new site is to is to reach a broader field of customers and add another string to our bow.”

Boxpark gets green light for £3.5m Liverpool site: Boxpark, the hospitality and leisure operator, has received the go-ahead to build its £3.5m site in Liverpool’s Baltic Triangle. The company agreed a 15-year lease with Terracotta Asset Management for The Canning Hall site, which forms part of the Cains Brewery Village estate, last September. It has now received planning permission from Liverpool City Council to proceed with the 21,000 square-foot venue, which will be Boxpark’s sixth overall and first outside of London. Boxpark chief executive Simon Champion said: “We are delighted Boxpark Liverpool has planning approval as our team has put a lot of work into bringing the Canning Hall at Cains Brewery Village back to life.” Cains Brewery Village managing director, Harj Dusanj, added: “Boxpark shares our passion and enthusiasm to showcase the best independent street-food businesses with world class entertainment in the heart of the Baltic Triangle. Within Boxpark Liverpool, expect greater live experiences and opportunities to engage and celebrate the not-to-be-missed moments at Cains Brewery Village.”

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