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Tue 14th Mar 2023 - Propel Tuesday News Briefing

Story of the Day:

Industry calls on government to take action against energy firms: Operators have called on the government to take action against energy firms, as some in the industry come up against 500-600% price hikes. Alex Reilley, chairman of café bar operator Loungers, said: “The stories I’m beginning to hear about the behaviour of energy firms with regards to hospitality energy contracts reminds me of when businesses were forced into interest rate swaps and then the banks colluded to rig LIBOR. This cannot be allowed and the government has to take action. I was speaking to an owner of six cafes and a central production kitchen recently who is on a three-year contract (he was facing a 600% increase in his electricity costs at the time). He’s been told the only way he can get out of his contract is by buying it out – at a cost of £1.3m!” William Lees-Jones, managing director at JW Lees, added: “Grant Shapps, Rishi Sunak, Jeremy Hunt, you really need to do something about Ofgem and unwinding some of these contracts forced on people by unscrupulously brokers – I’m hearing of contracts at more than 60p when market is predicted to be at 15p by April.” Alex Coombes, who runs Perch restaurants in Lancing and Eastbourne, said: “In December energy companies were pushing two-year deals – on the worst rates. The aggression in pushing – we had 30 minutes on a contract to accept or release. At one site we can’t find another provider to quote. It’s rigged, there’s no competition, no choice, overly complicated.” Talking to the BBC, Chris Jowsey, chief executive of Admiral Taverns, called for energy firms to be held to account to “make sure they are not profiteering”. He warned “onerous” energy contracts put many pubs at risk of closure. It comes as UKHospitality called for the chancellor to provide a further “shot of oxygen” for pubs and restaurants in this week’s Budget to help get them through the next six months – including help with energy bills. Talking to GB News, UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “There are three key areas where we need support. Half of hospitality businesses took out energy contracts between July and December last year at the peak of the market. They’re facing a real cliff edge in April when that support tapers away. So, we’re looking for an extension of energy support, incentives for business investment when the super-deduction change happens at the same time as corporation tax, and then measures to boost employment. To give us help, it’s about getting more people back into work to address those labour shortages, which mean at the moment our sector is turning away £25bn worth of revenue.”

Industry News:

Sponsored message – Sybron launches new biotechnology cleaning range SyBio: Sybron, a UK supplier of cleaning, hygiene and catering products to some of the largest names in hospitality, has launched its first own brand, SyBio, a range of biotechnology-based cleaning products. Partnering with BioVate Hygienics, Sybron’s new range replaces harmful, non-renewable chemicals with “adaptive biotechnology that cleans, disinfects and protects”. Sybron stated: “SyBio products combine probiotic, enzyme and plant-based ingredients to maximise performance with minimal environmental impact. The range consists of concentrated cleaners, sanitisers and detergents delivered through wall-mounted dispensers for optimal dosage control. SyBio has 30 times more actives than any other biotechnology-based cleaning range, providing long-term protection. After use, SyBio leaves a layer of good bacteria that protects surfaces against dirt and pathogens for up to 30 days.” Sybron director George Mason said: “We are thrilled with our environmentally-friendly products that provide safer applications, improved performance and reduced costs.” Sybron works with hospitality customers to offer tailored products, dispenser installation and ongoing support. Sybio products are UK manufactured and “non-hazardous in their ready-to-use format, in line with Sybron’s core values of making traditional cleaning more effective, safer and sustainable”. If you have a sponsored story you would like to see featured in this newsletter position, email
Thom Elliot to speak at first Propel Multi-Club Conference of 2023, three free places per company for operators: Thom Elliot, co-founder of Pizza Pilgrims, will be among the speakers at the first Propel Multi-Club Conference of 2023. The conference takes place on Thursday, 23 March, at the Millennium Gloucester Hotel in London’s Kensington, and is open for bookings. The all-day conference will focus on “challenges and opportunities”. Elliott will talk about the group’s award-winning sustainability journey and how it informs all parts of the business, the company’s evolution, and the role its academy is playing in encouraging new generations into the sector. Operators can book up to three free places per company by emailing
Latest Who’s Who of UK Food and Beverage to feature more than 170,000 words of content: The latest Who’s Who of UK Food and Beverage will feature more than 170,000 words of content when it is released to Premium subscribers on Friday (17 March). The database now features 654 companies and this month’s edition includes 42 updated entries. The companies, listed in alphabetical order, have their most recent results reported as well as broader information around Ebitda, plans and trading style available. The database, which will be updated monthly, merges Companies House information, interviews and other public information to provide an easy to reference and exhaustive guide to the sector. Premium subscribers also receive access to four other databases: the Propel Multi-Site Database, produced in association with Virgate; the New Openings Database; the Propel Turnover & Profits Blue Book; 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 to upgrade your subscription. Subscribers also receive access to Propel’s library of 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 are also to be given exclusive access to the recording and slides to Propel Multi-Club Conferences. Premium subscribers also receive their morning newsletter 11 hours early, at 7pm the evening before; regular video content and regular exclusive columns from Propel group editor Mark Wingett.
UK’s first ‘robot-themed’ restaurant closes as utility bills take toll: Robotazia, which was dubbed the UK’s first “robot-themed” restaurant, has permanently closed. The venue opened in Milton Keynes’ Theatre District in August 2020. But management at Robotazia, where customers are served food and drink by wheeled robot waiters, said it has closed after an increase in utility bills. A Robotazia spokesperson told Buckinghamshire Live: “Having battled through the pandemic and absorbed many losses from covid lockdowns, we are faced once again with new significant challenges, driven by steeply rising costs, principally food and utilities, and a decline in revenue as a result of the current cost-of-living crisis. We have explored a number of options to safeguard the future of Robotazia, its staff and the robots, as our popularity and love has grown greatly since opening. But Robotazia's days have come to an end.”
Job of the day: COREcruitment is working with an up-and-coming leisure and hospitality business that is looking for a chief executive. The business has received major funding and is ready for national growth. A COREcruitment spokesperson said: “The team has built the offering extensively and created a diverse model that offers food and beverage, accommodation, and activities and well-being services. One area the investors feel needs major attention is brand growth and marketing. As the team is currently very strong operationally with an operational-focused senior leadership team, the board feels a chief executive who has excellent marketing capabilities, and a strong understanding of customer experience and digital brand growth would be ideal. This is an excellent opportunity for a managing director, commercial director or chief marketing officer to take on a chief executive opportunity for a dynamic, creative, and growth-orientated leisure brand.” The salary is between £150,000 and £240,000 plus package. The position offers flexibility to work away from London during the week, but will include significant UK travel. For more information, email

Company News:

Cornish Bakery founder – remaining independent is key to our jobs being oversubscribed more than 15-fold for new openings: Cornish Bakery founder Steve Grocutt has told Propel he believes remaining independent is key to the ongoing success and growth of the business, and the reason why the brand’s jobs are oversubscribed more than 15-fold in new locations. While many in the hospitality industry have been battling a recruitment crisis since the pandemic, Grocutt said every time he opens a new store, he has more than 200 applications for 15-odd positions. This follows reporting in the company’s results for the year ending 30 May 2022 that Cornish Bakery’s staff turnover is currently the lowest ever recorded, with an “industry-leading” employee net promoter score of 57% at May 2022 and currently 64% achieved across its estate. “It’s difficult to pinpoint but remaining independent is a large part of it,” Grocutt said. “We are continually, and very seriously, investing in our internal culture and motivation. We see good culture as a shared responsibility, and therefore our internal promotions are off the scale. I’ve purposely kept Cornish Bakery private, despite many approaches, and 100% intend to keep it so.” Having reported record sales and profit margins across its tourism locations in the year to May 2022, with a strong recovery also evident in its high street and factory outlet centres, Grocutt said trading since has been “very strong”, with the tourism spike of 2021 dipping off in the summer of 2022, but still well ahead of pre-pandemic levels. Hardly affected by the train strikes, Cornish Bakery had a strong December followed by a “nervous” January, and sales were “well ahead” in February. Grocutt also remains positive over energy prices, despite the government support for businesses set to drop drastically from April. “Last week we did an electricity supply deal until October, which was less than the government support,” he added. “The market seems to have dipped below the level of support, so whereas it’s still more than we were paying before, it’s not so scary. We’ve had to lift our own prices a little bit, like everyone else, and we are hopeful energy prices might even dip further.”
Tokyo Industries JV to launch new cafe, bar and events space in London’s Piccadilly: Bar and nightclub operator Tokyo Industries is to open a new “hang out, meeting point, cafe, bar and events space”, called Neon 194, in London Piccadilly, as part of a new joint venture. Propel understands that the Aaron Mellor-led business has secured the ex-Barbecoa site at 194 Piccadilly for the new venture, which is a joint venture with property developer Mark Wadhwa’s 180 The Strand and Cymon Eckel’s Boys Own record label. The new venue will have a 550 capacity spread over two floors, with an opening scheduled for this spring. The ground floor will feature a café and bar, with the lower floor for exhibitions, music, performances and private parties. Last November Tokyo Industries opened a 650-capacity immersive club experience called The Stranger in New York. A joint venture with the teams behind New York’s TheBOX and SleepNoMore, and London’s Immersive Everywhere, it is located in a former church in Billionaires Row and entered via an actual news stand on West 57th Street & Broadway. At the same time, Mellor extended his UK portfolio by opening The Impossible Motel, a 15-suite experience hotel at 5 St Helen’s Square in York. Mellor operates circa 50 bars, clubs and venues in the UK, plus eight international sites including Desert Hills in Palm Springs; B12 Gallery and event space, Cotton Beach and Hanger 8289, all in Ibiza; and Dis(order) in Los Angeles. He is also behind the Lost village festival in Lincolnshire and a summer long private island festival of arts, well-being and creative music in Croatia.
Gardiner steps down as Hell Yeah Hospitality Group MD: Graeme Gardiner has stepped down as managing director of Hell Yeah Hospitality Group, which operates Pizza Punks, Veganizza and Mamasan, after less than a year with the business, Propel has learned. Gardiner joined the Brad Stevens-founded business last July from Alshaya Group, which operates 80 brands across the Middle East and North Africa. At Alshaya he was responsible for leading the MENA operations of more than 1,000 Starbucks stores across ten markets. Hell Yeah Hospitality Group operates eight sites under its Pizza Punks brand, after opening in Liverpool and Nottingham last year. It also operates sites under its Mamasan concept in Glasgow and Liverpool. 
Wingstop UK to make Wales debut with Cardiff opening: Lemon Pepper Holdings, which is rolling out Wingstop across the UK, has secured its debut site in Wales, in Cardiff. The company has secured the ex-Busaba site at the entrance of the city's Brewery Quarter scheme. The new 80-cover site is expected to open at the end of April/early May. We are thrilled to be opening our first Wingstop location in Cardiff," said Lemon Pepper Holdings director, Tom Grogan. "We believe our unique flavour profile, premium ingredients, and commitment to excellent customer service will quickly make us a beloved addition to the local dining scene.” Wingstop has been steadily growing in the UK since it made its debut in 2018 and operates circa 30 sites across Britain. Last year, the business opened 11 new locations and it said it expects to exceed 2022 development numbers with several new locations already secured for the year, including a site in Wood Green. Meanwhile, Lemon Pepper Holdings has appointed Craig Benson, who previously held senior positions at TGI Fridays, as its new learning and development manager. In his new role, Benson will lead the development of the company's learning and development programmes, ensuring that all team members receive the training and support they need to deliver “exceptional customer service and help drive the company's growth”. Grogan said: “Craig’s extensive experience in the hospitality industry, combined with his passion for developing talent, makes him the perfect fit for this crucial role." AG&G acted on the Cardiff deal. 
Burger & Sauce set to open tenth site as new franchisee comes on board: Burger franchise concept Burger & Sauce is set to open its tenth site later this month, through new franchisee Shahid Hamid. He will manage the brand’s new Sutton Coldfield restaurant, which is set to launch in the town’s high street at the end of March. Saad Masood, founder of Burger & Sauce, said: “We are delighted to welcome Shahid as a franchisee. He has a solid fast-food background, having gained experience working with several household name quick service restaurant brands over the years. He has also run his own commercial and domestic gas installation business, and so understands our relentless focus on great customer service.” Hamid added: “Joining Burger & Sauce as a franchisee is a real career change from running my installation business. I’ve seen first-hand how popular the restaurants are, and following extensive in-store training, I’m now ready to ‘get saucy’!” Burger & Sauce, which Masood founded during the pandemic, has already targeted reaching 20 sites by the end of 2023. Also among its immediate pipeline is three more Birmingham sites – Acocks Green, Bearwood Road and Longbridge – that will take the brand’s presence in the city to seven. It also has sites in Sheldon and Coventry lined up. Burger & Sauce features in the Propel UK Food and Beverage Franchisor Database, an exhaustive guide to the companies offering a food and beverage franchise in the UK available exclusively to Premium subscribers. The database is updated every two months. 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.
Wendy’s franchisee lines up Wisbech opening: Blank Table, Wendy’s second UK franchisee, has lined up a further opening for the third-largest quick service restaurant chain in the US, in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire. The company has secured a site in the Horsefair Shopping Centre in the market town, for an opening later this year. In January, Blank Table opened Wendy’s debut UK drive-thru site at Brampton Hut, located on the A1/A14 intersection. Blank Table signed up to become a franchisee of Wendy’s in the UK last year, with agreement to open sites under the brand across the east of England. It plans to open more Wendy’s restaurants in the south east area this year, including a site in Cambridge. Wendy’s first UK franchisee, Square Burgers, which opened a site in Sheffield at the end of last year, has now secured planning permission to open a site under the US brand, on the ex-Monsoon site in Lincoln. At the start of this month, Todd Penegor, chief executive of Wendy’s, said he expects the brand to have grown its 29-strong UK estate to 45 sites by the end of this year. 
Kudu Collective to open South African tapas-style restaurant with cocktail bar concept relocating to Chelsea: South African restaurant operator Kudu Collective – owned by husband and wife duo, Amy Corbin and Patrick Williams – is to open a tapas-style concept. Little Kudu will take over the space that is home to the group’s cocktail bar Smokey Kudu, which will close on Sunday, 2 April and head to Chelsea. Little Kudu will be a contemporary counter dining restaurant with an open kitchen. Similar to the group’s two other restaurants, Kudu and Kudu Grill, Williams will be bringing his South African roots to the fore at Little Kudu, alongside South African-born head chef Chace Wagenhauser, who is currently sous chef at Kudu. The menu, featuring small plates priced from £4-£23, will include the Little Kudu loaf with Cape Malay butter; smoked peri-peri mussels; and Braaibroodjie (a South African grilled cheese sandwich) with smoked tomato chutney. The concise 30-bin wine list will showcase varieties from South Africa. Meanwhile, Smokey Kudo will reopen at Rixo’s new flagship store in the King’s Road in Chelsea on Wednesday, 12 April. The 30-cover cocktail bar will offer a mix of new and Smokey Kudu favourites – such as the Kudu Pear consisting of pear cognac, ginger liqueur, green apple, cardamom bitters and citrus – and a small selection of sparkling, red and white wine. Corbin is the daughter of Corbin & King co-founder Chris Corbin.
Dirty Bones set to open at Boxpark Croydon through Reef partnership: US comfort food and cocktails brand Dirty Bones is set to open a new outlet at Boxpark Croydon through its partnership with dark kitchens operator Reef. Opening on Thursday (16 March), although delivery is already available, it will be Dirty Bones’ second location in south London following its December introduction into the new Reef food hall concept at Gravity Wandsworth. Among the dishes on offer will be The Classic (a double dry-aged steak burger with American cheese, red onion, gherkins and house relish); Mac Daddy (a double dry-aged steak burger topped with pulled beef short rib, mac and cheese and espresso-spiked barbecue sauce); and Got No Beef (plant-based patty with vegan cheese, sesame slaw, vegan mayo and house relish). Founded in 2013, Dirty Bones has four London sites and one in Oxford. Hero Brands, which is behind German Doner Kebab, Choppaluna and Island Poké, invested in the brand last year to help drive its UK growth. The partnership is expected to increase the brand’s footprint through owner-operated sites, franchisees and via delivery, with “multiple” locations expected in the coming years.
Edinburgh brewer closes crowdfunding campaign to help open Scotland’s first specialist alcohol-free brewery after raising more than £365,000: Edinburgh brewer Jump Ship has closed its crowdfunding campaign on Seedrs to help open Scotland’s first specialist alcohol-free brewery. The company had been aiming to raise £280,000 to support the project and was offering 11.56% equity, giving a pre-money valuation of £2.2m. It has now closed the campaign after raising £366,530 from 312 investors. Founded in December 2019 by Sonja Mitchell, on the back of a successful crowdfunding campaign with her flagship beer, Yardarm, Jump Ship has now expanded its core range to four beers as well as two seasonal releases and two collaborations. It has tripled it sales in the last two years, including 240% growth in wholesale in 2022, driven by strong growth in the on-trade, and is listed with more than 130 independent stockists. It has also made exports to the US and Finland, with a planned roll out to a further 300 Finnish stores this year. Of the proceeds, 71% will go towards installing the brewery and 29% towards expanding the team, by hiring a national account manager and digital marketing manager. Jump Ship sells directly to independent restaurants, bars and bottle shops with a focus on premium outlets, including Buzzworks Holdings and the Signature Pub Group. Future growth plans will focus on expanding distribution to multiple retailers, strengthening its position in the on-trade and growing direct-to-customer sales. Mitchell said: “We’ve found a beautiful site, just outside Edinburgh, where we can install Scotland’s first specialist alcohol-free brewery, and we’re due to sign the lease shortly.”
Toby Smith joins Event UK as chief operating officer: Toby Smith, formerly of City Pub Group, Stonegate and Novus, has joined Event UK, the payment bureau for the hospitality industry, as its new chief operating officer, Propel has learned. Smith, who recently stepped down from the board of City Pub Group, has also held senior positions as chief executive of Stonegate and Novus Leisure. Matt Hegarty, chief executive and founder of Event UK, said: “We are delighted to have Toby on-board at an exciting time for the Event UK business. While we have been working alongside the major hospitality companies for 25 years, the next period is perhaps our most exciting as we launch our industry first technology to source, manage and approve contractor payments. Toby will bring a wealth of experience to enable us to unlock the growth potential that our new technology brings.” 
Team behind Three Eight Four in Brixton to open new venture: The team behind Brixton cocktail bar and small plates concept Three Eight Four is to open a new venture in London’s Crystal Palace. The business, which is led by Jonny Rushton and Liam Brown, has secured the former Joanna’s site at 56 Westow Hill. Inspired by New York speakeasies, Three Eight Four, which opened in Coldharbour Lane in 2014, offers a 100-plus cocktail menu with a seasonal food and drink menu. CDG Leisure acted on the Crystal Palace deal.
Midlands burger concept Phat Buns to make Yorkshire debut: Midlands burger concept Phat Buns is to make its debut in Yorkshire, with an opening in Sheffield. The seven-strong business, which was founded in 2019 by brothers Oubed and Ahtesham Moosa, is due to open in the city’s London Road, at the end of next month. The company, which recently opened its second site in Nottingham, also has an opening lined up in Derby, and is understood to be in talks on sites in Leeds and London.
Scottish tapas brand owner set to open sixth site: The owner of Scottish tapas brand Tinto Tapas is set to open a sixth site after submitting plans to transform a derelict building on Largs seafront. Gordon Craig has applied to turn the former Helter Skelter youth club at 82 Gallowgate Street, which has been lying vacant for years, into a new restaurant. Craig already operates a Tinto Tapas in Largs, at 1 Boyd Street, and has not yet been confirmed if he intends to open another or operate a different concept from the site. Plans show it could seat up to 42 people at tables as well as a further five customers at the bar. Two tables have also been included as street seating, with four customers able to dine at the front of the restaurant. The upper floor of the building would be used as a residential apartment. The property, which has also operated as a “memories cafe” for people with dementia, was put on the market for a six-figure sum in 2021. Craig operates further Tinto Tapas sites in Glasgow, Uddingston, Troon and East Kilbride.
JD Wetherspoon to open £2.9m pub at The O2 next week: JD Wetherspoon is to open its new pub at London’s The O2 next Tuesday (21 March), with the creation of 85 jobs. The company has spent £2.9m developing the outlet at The O2 music, leisure and entertainment venue, Peninsula Square, in Greenwich. As previously reported, the new pub, which will be called The Stargazer, is located within The O2’s Entertainment District, adjacent to Mamma Mia! The Party. The Stargazer will feature a 3,800 square-foot beer garden, offering views across the Thames and Canary Wharf. The pub will be open daily from 10am until 12.15am and managed by Arber Hasani, previously pub manager at The Great Harry in Woolwich. Janine Constantin-Russell, managing director at The Entertainment District and Icon Outlet at The O2, said: “Like The O2, Wetherspoon is a household name, and we’re thrilled it is joining our diverse line-up of bars and restaurants.”
Gaucho opens debut north east restaurant with Newcastle launch: Rare Restaurants, the Martin Williams-led operator, has opened the north east debut site for its Gaucho brand, in Newcastle. The company has launched in the former Virgin Money site on the corner of Market Street and Pilgrim Street. Following a seven-figure investment, the venue offers 140 covers as well as two private dining rooms – one seating up to six diners and the other seating up to 12 – as well as a cocktail bar. Last week, Rare Restaurants confirmed it had closed two of its London sites – M in Victoria and Gaucho in Smithfield – after not renewing the leases while two more venues are set to open this year, including in London’s Covent Garden. 
The Secret Hospitality Group acquires fourth site: Swansea operator The Secret Hospitality Group has acquired a cafe in the city for its fourth site. The business, owned by brother-and-sister team Ryan and Lucy Hole, has bought Verdi’s in Mumbles from the Moruzzi family. The Holes said the venue, known for its ice cream, coffee and Italian food, will “stay exactly the same”, although the number of staff will increase from 80 to 115. Ryan told Wales Online: “The Moruzzi family approached us and asked if we would be interested. We grew up with Verdi's as customers and we've got such wonderful memories with family and friends. Our message is very much that it completely works as it is. There will be no rebrand, no refurbishment, it's business as usual. If we were to expand our portfolio any further, they would have to be unique venues in spectacular locations across south west Wales.” Departing director Marco Moruzzi said: “It is three months short of 30 years that we have been here. We're all getting on a bit and it felt time to hand over to a younger generation who have got a bit more energy.” The Secret Hospitality Group also operates The Secret Bar and Kitchen, The Green Room and The Lighthouse in the city.
Isle of Wight restaurant group set to open fourth site: Isle of Wight restaurant group Smoking Lobster Group is set to open its fourth site on the island. Chef and owner Giancarlo Giancovich opened the original Smoking Lobster grill and cocktail bar on Ventnor Beach in 2017, and in 2020 he enlisted the help of his sister and sake specialist, Cinzia Reckitt, to launch the Drunken Lobster, an Izakaya-style restaurant and bar business. Then, together with a team of family members and close friends, they launched a further Smoking Lobster, in Cowes, in July 2021. Site number four has seen the group team up with Cowes’ Foresters Hall for The Brasserie, inside the hotel itself, opening on Friday, 7 April. “It’s been a great journey so far,” Reckitt told the Isle of Wight County Press. “Having our fourth restaurant as part of a hotel adds an exciting dimension to our group and takes our hospitality footprint to another level.” Sara Curran and Peter Susman acquired the hotel, then called North House, in April 2022, and rebranded it six months later.
South London Italian restaurant opens third site: South London Italian restaurant Sapore Vero has opened a third site. Founded by Guiseppe Le Pera in 2013, the first Sapore Vero opened in Beckenham that same year, followed by a restaurant in Hither Green in 2019. It has now opened a third site, at 18-20 Crystal Palace Parade in Crystal Palace, serving “a mix of traditional Italian cuisine”. Le Pera began the business after feeling that he couldn’t find any “truly authentic” Italian restaurants. He added: “Ultimately, I found the solution to the problem I identified all those years ago, because now, if I want to eat good pizza, I know exactly where I can go – my own restaurant.” The Crystal Palace restaurant can accommodate 20 guests indoors and also has a decking area. As well as its restaurants, Sapore Vero operates a fleet of food trucks, from small trailers to big vans, for events and festivals.
Boparan Restaurant Group opens tenth Restaurant Hub in partnership with Sainsbury’s: Boparan Restaurant Group (BRG) – the owner and operator of brands including Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Carluccio’s, Giraffe and Ed’s Easy Diner – has opened a tenth site for its The Restaurant Hub concept in partnership with Sainsbury’s, in Stevenage. Customers at the Coreys Mill site, in Hitchin Road, can now order meals from brands including Caffe Carluccios, Harry Ramsden’s and Ed’s Easy Diner, to dine-in, takeaway or have delivered. Initially launched in July 2021 inside Sainsbury’s Selly Oak, The Restaurant Hub has also since opened inside Sainsbury’s stores in London Colney, Walthamstow, Bridgend, Chippenham, Kidderminster, Wolverhampton, Sydenham, and Crayford. Elizabeth Newman, Sainsbury’s director of commercial partnerships, told The Comet: “We’re delighted to have opened The Restaurant Hub inside our tenth Sainsbury’s store in partnership with BRG. We’ll continue to roll out The Restaurant Hub to more locations in the coming months, as part of our wider ambition for Sainsbury’s stores.”

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