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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Wed 5th Jul 2023 - Propel Wednesday News Briefing

Story of the Day:

FB Taverns intending to have hundreds of sites within the next few years: James Maizels, co-founder of FB Taverns, the new vehicle targeting wet-led community pubs, has told Propel the business is intending to have “hundreds [of pubs] within the next few years”. The vehicle, which is backed by high-net-worth individual Alexander Embiricos, the co-founder of the US-based virtual office provider Remotion, acquired the 27-strong tenanted division of the north east operator Camerons Brewery earlier this week. FB Taverns has grown its fledgling estate to more than 40 pubs since its inception last year, including the acquisition of six tenanted and two managed pubs from Tadcaster Pub Company in the spring. Maizels said: “We’re focused on being disciplined. If the right deal comes along, we will go for it. And equally, we don’t want to overpay. We are intending to get into the hundreds [of pubs] within the next few years. We have ended up north east-heavy so far, which wasn’t the original plan, but it has been where the opportunities have cropped up so far. I think we’d be looking to pick up Camerons-sized deals for the foreseeable future. Step one is to get to 100. We’ve been going for a year now and we have just over 40, so another Camerons or two will get us there.” The company has partnered with LT Management to operate its growing estate. Maizels said: “One of the reasons we have partnered originally with LT Management is due to its national reach. We’re not really geography specific, we will look at opportunities across the UK. Our sweet spot is wet-led community pubs. In terms of building a management team, I think once you get to a certain level of sites, then we will start in-housing more expertise. At the moment, we’re reliant on LT and very close to LT.” Maizels was previously at Deutsche Bank and worked on Platinum Equity Advisors’ ultimately unsuccessful circa £700m bid to acquire Marston’s at the start of 2021. He said: “That’s when I got interested in the opportunity around community, wet-led-style pubs. My biased view is people are focusing less on food but continuing to have their social drink, which is one of the reasons, along with less labour costs, we think wet-led pubs will remain resilient going forward.” 

Industry News:

Sponsored message – Manchester and London craft beer festivals are coming: We Are Beer’s headline summer beer festivals, Manchester (MCBF) and London (LCBF), are getting ever closer. MCBF hits Depot Mayfield from 21-22 July, with LCBF taking over Tobacco Dock between 11-12 August. These festivals are a “who’s who of the craft beer category”, which is still outpacing the wider beer industry. More than 90 top breweries will be pouring at one or both festivals, including domestic craft pioneers such as Kernel, Verdant, North, Deya and Thornbridge. Imported craft from the likes of Mikkeller, Amundsen and Stone & Wood will be joined by international brewing giants such as Budvar and Duvel. Bars and restaurants can sign up for discounted or free tickets here and select trade tickets on the chosen festival. If you have a sponsored message you would like to see featured in this newsletter position, email
Premium subscribers to receive videos from Propel Multi-Club Conference featuring sector’s finest female leaders and entrepreneurs next Friday: Premium subscribers are to receive access to all the videos from this month’s Propel Multi-Club Conference featuring the sector’s finest female leaders and entrepreneurs. Premium subscribers will be sent 11 videos next Friday (14 July) at 9am, where female sector leaders share the lessons they have learned and moving forward. The videos will include: Ann Elliott, portfolio non-executive and board advisor, who co-ordinated the conference; Debbie Hewitt MBE, former chairwoman of The Restaurant Group; Charlene Lyons, chief executive of Black Sheep Brewery; Helen Charlesworth, managing director of Stonegate Pub Company; Rebecca Mascarenhas, co-owner of Michelin-starred Elystan Street in Chelsea and Kitchen W8 in Kensington; and Anna Watkins, managing director at Barrafina Group. Alison Wright, chief executive of Fitzbillies; Sarah Weir, managing director of Albion & East; and Emma Banks, vice-president food and beverage strategy and development EMEA at Hilton, discuss what it takes to lead successfully in a rapidly changing world. Jackie Marlow, chief operating officer at UKHospitality; Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the British Beer & Pub Association and chair of the Worldwide Brewing Alliance; and Katariina Reissaar MIH, chair of the Institute of Hospitality’s Youth Council discuss how their organisations help women progress and grow within their different sectors. Clare Willetts, founder and chief executive of Not Only Pink and Blue, talks about her journey in the sector and hosts a panel of speakers. On the panel are Amanda Smyth, head of people of Scoffs Group; Claire Clarke, HR director at Aqua Restaurant Group; and Karen Bosher, independent board and business advisor. Lizzie Ryan-Podbury, partner at Imbiba; Linda Nguyenova, investor at BGF; Tania Rahman, investment manager at Praetura Ventures; and Claire Catlin, chief financial officer at Moto Hospitality, discuss how women can progress in finance and investment in the sector. Alice Williams MBE, founder of Luminary Bakery; Sarah Brading, founder of Flat Earth Pizzas; and Zoe Paskin, co-founder/managing director of Paskin, talk about how they established their businesses, their learnings, and their advice to others. Premium subscribers will also receive the next edition of The New Openings Database on Friday (7 July). It will show the details of 48 newly announced site openings and upcoming launches and include a 3,000-word report on the new additions to the database. Premium subscribers also receive access to four other databases: the Propel Multi-Site Database, produced in association with Virgate; the Propel Turnover & Profits Blue Book; the UK Food and 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 £995 plus VAT – whether they are an operator or a supplier. The single subscription rate is £495 plus VAT for operators and £595 plus VAT for suppliers. Email to upgrade your subscription. 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.
Tom Crowley to speak at Propel summer conference and party, three free places per company for operators: Tom Crowley, chief executive of Popeyes UK, will be among the speakers at the Propel Multi-Club Conference and summer party on Wednesday, 6 September, at the DoubleTree by Hilton Oxford Belfry. The all-day conference will focus on “new directions” and will be followed in the evening by the summer party, with a barbecue and five hours of live music, including a three-hour set from the famous house band at Piano Works. Crowley will discuss the brand’s entry into the UK market, the evolution of its offer, its marketing strategy and its expansion plans. Three free places per company for operators can be claimed. A room can also be booked for the evening. For more details, email
High Street Rental Auction proposals would give ‘carte blanche to shut pubs’: Pressure group Campaign for Pubs has written to the secretary of state for levelling up, Michael Gove, to demand pubs are exempted from the government’s High Street Rental Auction proposals. Downing Street has been consulting on plans to give local authorities the power to require landlords to rent out persistently vacant commercial properties to new tenants. But Campaign for Pubs fears this would give “carte blanche to shut pubs” and has outlined its concerns to Gove. “These proposals, as currently drafted, pose a serious threat to pubs in towns and cities,” it wrote. “We understand the rationale for the idea, and indeed for premises other than pubs, we support the aims of this legislation to bring empty shops on high streets/town and city centres back into use. However, including pubs in this in the same way will cause the unnecessary loss of viable, profitable town and city centre pubs and could assist cynical owners and developers who want to replace a pub with more lucrative usage, even though the pub is perfectly profitable. The proposal would rip up the basic protections that pubs have due to not being subject any longer to permitted development rights. If a town or city centre pub is not open, it is often because of a dispute between the property company/pubco and the tenant/lessee, not because the pub itself is not viable. This is very different from where a shop has failed or where a chain has decided to close a store and left it empty. To conflate these two very different scenarios is hugely mistaken and would open the door for the deliberate conversion of pubs by those who would profit from doing so. The reality is that once a pub that may have served its community for many years is converted to another use, it is lost forever.” The group proposes excluding pubs that have been open for 50 years or more, or changing the drafting so such venues can only be reopened as a pub.
Welsh industry businesses highlight importance of sector to deputy minister: Representatives from Wales’ hospitality sector have met with deputy minister for arts, sport and tourism, Dawn Bowden, to highlight the importance of the industry to the economy. UKHospitality Cymru executive director David Chapman said: “It was fantastic to have the deputy minister join us and meet with hospitality businesses, hearing directly about the challenges they’re facing, but also the huge potential that exists within the sector. Hospitality is a lynchpin of our economy, delivering £4bn to the Welsh economy each year and employing 165,000 people. The fantastic experiences we offer are a huge attraction to the millions of tourists that visit Wales each year and are part of what makes Wales a leading visitor destination. The minister recognised the industry’s important role and our members welcomed offers of closer partnership working in the future to help find solutions to some of the difficult challenges facing the sector.”
Job of the day: COREcruitment is working with a premium neighbourhood restaurant group in Woking, Surrey, which is looking for a general manager. This is the second restaurant to be launched by the company and it will be opening another one in September. The sites have a cocktail bar and a garden along with a private dining room for events. A COREcruitment spokesperson said: “This particular site is forecast to take around £3.5m. There is a financial controller to support on all budgets etc, but you will hold responsibility for the P&L.” The salary is up to £65,000. For more information, email

Company News:

Joe & The Juice reports record FY sales, focused on capitalising on existing markets: Juice bar chain Joe & The Juice generated record revenues last year and said it is focused on capitalising on the potential of its existing markets, including the UK, to drive future growth. The company, which operates circa 350 sites globally, including around 65 in the UK, reported a 49% increase in revenue in 2022 to DKK1.7bn (£195.1m). Ebitda increased from DKK271m in 2021 to DKK276 million in 2022, while Ebitda margin for the 12 months was 16.2%. Digital sales accounted for 25% of total sales in 2022. Chief executive Thomas Nørøxe said: “The results cement we are delivering on our strategy to drive Joe & The Juice to robust and profitable growth. In a year marked by the aftermath of covid, we have achieved the highest revenue growth in the group’s history and adapted to a constantly evolving market.” He said the increased top line can be ascribed to, among other things, the fact Joe & The Juice increased revenue in the chain’s physical stores by 30% and opened 23 new bars in existing markets during 2022. In addition, the chain opened six bars in the Middle East with local partners. Nørøxe said: “We have invested in professionalising the support functions in both operations and headquarters. This has matured our core business and given us the robustness we need to fulfil the high ambitions we have for Joe & The Juice’s further development. We are delivering on our strategy, which will make us self-financing in terms of investments in our growth over the next five years. We have a good collaboration with the banks, who have so far provided part of the financing behind our investments.” As part of the growth strategy, the business said it will focus on exploiting “the great potential in existing markets in 2023”. Nørøxe said: "The past few years have underlined Joe & The Juice’s presence as a global brand. We are now so well established in Europe and the US that more than 95% of our juice bars contribute positively to our operations. Therefore, it is crucial for us to continue our strategy of fully exploiting the potential of our existing markets.” In February, Propel reported Joe & The Juice carried out a refinancing last year, as the launch of several digital initiatives helped its UK business swing back into profit. The brand’s UK business posted turnover for the year to 31 December 2021 of £27,355,663 (2020: £20,306,331), with a pre-tax profit of £1,132,288 versus a loss of £4,899,291 in the previous 12 months.
Amber Wood to step down as Cosy Club MD: Amber Wood is to step down as managing director of the Loungers-owned Cosy Club brand next month, Propel has learned. Wood joined Loungers in August 2015 as a regional operations manager for the Lounge brand before moving to managing director of Cosy Club in summer 2017. Prior to joining Loungers, Wood spent nine years at Novus including two years as head of operations. Cosy Club operates 35 sites across England and Wales and is set to open its next site in Oxford’s Cornmarket later this year. Late last month, Loungers opened Icaro Lounge in the new Pioneer Place scheme in Burnley, its 193rd Lounge site and 230th site overall. The company is building its opening pipeline in the north, and in April secured its first site in the north east when it signed on the former Argos site in Hexham, Northumberland, which will reopen as the Muro Lounge. The company has a pipeline of around 35 sites for FY24 and has also secured the former Top Shop in Carlisle and the former Barclays site in Nantwich. It recently opened its second Brightside site, near Saltash in Cornwall, and a third Brightside is set to open on the A303 near Honiton, later this year.

Bob & Berts resets growth goal to 70 sites: Cafe brand Bob & Berts has set its growth goal to 70 sites. The 25-strong business, which is set to make its debut in Yorkshire after last month securing a site in Wakefield, has previously stated a target of growing to 50 sites. Co-owner David Ferguson has now set his sights higher, saying: “We posted record results in 2022 and we are well on our way to our long-term goal of 70 stores. Our offering of quality coffee and food in a relaxed atmosphere has resonated with our customer base in local communities and the stores are performing exceptionally well.” Ferguson was speaking as Bob & Berts won the top award at the British Private Equity & Venture Capital Association (BVCA) Vision 2023 awards in Northern Ireland. Judges praised Bob & Berts as “a real Northern Ireland success story” for its impressive growth in a crowded market, while particular attention was drawn to the business’s continued expansion during the pandemic. Bob & Berts was also recognised for pivoting its food offering to cope with inflationary pressures on margins and embracing new technology with the installation of smart menu boards. Gemma Hamilton, investor at backers BGF, said: “Bob & Berts really has carved a niche for itself in the hospitality & leisure sector, and investment from BGF has seen the company go from strength to strength, with exciting plans for its continued roll-out.”

Backer of Bird and two Michelin-starred Midsummer House expects profits to return to historical levels in 2023, places several subsidiaries into voluntary liquidation: Crown Partnership, the backer of the five-strong fried chicken and waffle chain Bird, has placed several of its subsidiaries into voluntary liquidation and said it expects profits to return to historical levels in 2023. The holding company Crown Holdings, which also operates the two Michelin-starred Midsummer House restaurant in Cambridge, gave the update in its accounts for the year ending 31 July 2022. “In response to market conditions, the partnership remains focused on improving margins and controlling overhead costs wherever possible,” said director Dale Storrer. “To this end, a decision was made to divest a number of group companies during the year. The impact of these businesses are reflected in the performance of the group for the period under review.” The companies placed into voluntary liquidation are Inspirational Bar and Restaurants, which was the vehicle use to acquire Bird out of administration in 2019, Seasoned Restaurants and Tate and Morgan. “The partnership has a number of exciting opportunities, and it is expected that it will see substantial growth over the coming financial year both in turnover and margin,” Storrer added. “The partnership will continue to grow turnover and trade its way out of the restrictions of previous years, expecting a strong return of the hospitality sector. Profits are expected to return in 2023 to levels achieved historically.” It comes as the group slipped to a pre-tax loss of £600,894 in the period, down from a profit of £1,045,752 in 2021. It reported turnover of £17,036,377, up from £9,462,487 in 2021. This compares to £29,856,110 in the last full year before the pandemic, ending 31 January 2019. It received £92,895 in government grants (2021: £1,473,783). No dividends were paid (2021: £479,877). Midsummer House was opened by Daniel Clifford in 1998.
Pret further increases presence in Dubai, demand for the chain in the UAE ‘extraordinary’: Pret A Manger is expanding its operations in Dubai with two new shops this week after the initial success of its first three sites in the country. The brand, which already operates sites in DIFC and DXB Airport Terminals 1 and 3, will open sites this week in the Dubai International Financial District (DIFC), located at Index Mall and Bay Avenue Mall. The expansion forms part of a long-term franchise partnership with Emirates Leisure Retail, which is set to see 20 shops open in the UAE over the next few years, creating hundreds of jobs. Pret already has a strong presence in Asia, with shops in Hong Kong and Singapore, alongside the UAE. The company said its three existing Dubai sites have “already had huge success, as demand for the chain in the UAE has been extraordinary”. Eira Jarvis, Pret’s managing director for Asia said: “Since we launched Pret in Dubai, the response has been incredible, so opening these new shops is a natural next step as we continue growing to meet demand from Pret fans across the city. From office coffee runs to pit stops for breakfast, lunch, or snacks, we’re excited to be bringing our freshly made food and organic coffee to even more people.” Pret currently has more than 600 sites in ten countries. Earlier this summer, the brand made its debut in Italy after signing an exclusive agreement with Chef Express, with the first site opening in Terminal 2 of the Milan Malpensa airport.

Tori Nunn steps down as Knoops CEO: Tori Nunn has stepped down as chief executive of luxury hot chocolate shop Knoops. Nunn has spent four years in the role, having joined in September 2019 following six years with global fintech company IG Group, most recently as its head of commercial finance. She oversaw the growth of the brand from a single site in Rye, East Sussex, to 12 shops, including the opening of its first northern site, and largest yet, in Manchester in April. “It’s been incredible to be part of such a growing company, building out a new sector, and I’m very proud of what we've achieved to this point; from a little shop in Rye to 12 shops with over 200 staff, and being stocked in Selfridges, Harrods and more. Thank you to William Gordon-Harris and Jens Knoop for the opportunity to lead such an innovative idea. I’ll be cheering from the sidelines as Knoops grows and know there’s always a 43% and seasalt waiting for me. I’m starting a new position at the end of the summer which I’m really excited about, but for now, a rare bit of downtime to enjoy with my family and friends.” Nunn told Propel in May 2022 that Knoops was aiming for 100 UK restaurants over the next five years and 3,000 worldwide by 2030.

Chipotle adds Guildford site to UK openings pipeline: US brand Chipotle is set to further strengthen its openings pipeline with a site in Guildford, which would be its second regional opening in the UK. Propel understands that the business will take over the ex-Next site at the entrance of the White Lion Walk scheme, in the Surrey town, with an opening planned for later this summer. The brand opened its latest site, at Westfield London in White City, west London, last month, to take its UK estate to 16 locations, comprising 15 in the capital and one in Watford. Propel revealed in May that Chipotle had also secured a lease on the former Benito’s Hat unit at London’s O2 Centre. Chipotle, which operates more than 3,000 sites in the US, will further increase its presence in London “villages” with an opening in East Dulwich later this summer. It is thought the business has a number of other sites currently under offer and is seeking further outlets in high footfall locations and London neighbourhoods. Earlier this spring, Chipotle opened on the former Caffe Nero site in London Road, Twickenham. 

Caravan secures largest site to date: London-based restaurant, bar and coffee-roasting concept Caravan will open its largest site to date at the end of this year, in Covent Garden. The Active Partners-backed company will open its eighth site in the new workspace Grainhouse on Drury Lane. Spanning two floors, the new opening will feature terrace dining, a lower ground floor for all-day bar and dining and the Green Room, the group’s largest private hire and events space to date. Laura Harper Hinton, Caravan co-founder and chief executive, said: “We are thrilled to be heading to Covent Garden to share our passion for craft coffee, well-travelled food and memorable experiences in a new part of the city. We’re so proud to have created restaurants that all are welcome to visit, at any time of the day, for any occasion and can’t wait to throw open the doors at Covent Garden so we can bring more New Zealand sunshine and hospitality to more of London.” Founded in 2010 by Harper Hinton, Chris Ammermann and Miles Kirby, Caravan operates six sites under its eponymous brand across London, three coffee brew bars, a 10,000 square-foot coffee roastery and the Vardo restaurant in Chelsea. It has been linked with making its regional debut over the coming 12 months, with openings in Manchester and Birmingham mooted.

Taco Bell launches plant protein menu: Mexican restaurant brand Taco Bell has launched a plant protein menu, which will be available across all of its 132 UK restaurants. It has added a twist to core menu classics with plant protein, made with a combination of plant-based ingredients and Taco Bell seasoning. It comes as the company said 20% of Britons currently consider themselves to be flexitarian, with this figure expected to rise to 50% by 2025. As part of the launch, guests can sample the meat alternatives as part of Taco Tuesday deals, when they can get a crunchy taco and regular drink for just £2. The plant protein comes at no extra cost, with guests simply asking their server to swap out the meat on their chosen menu item.

Black Sheep Brewery closes three pubs with immediate effect: Black Sheep Brewery has closed three pubs in Leeds and York with immediate effect – just weeks after the company was bought out of administration by a London investment firm Breal Group.  In a statement, the brewery said the pubs – The Tap & Kitchen and Mr Foleys in Leeds, and the Last Drop Inn in York – had failed to return to pre-covid levels and weren’t trading profitably.  It said: “We are grateful to the staff at all these pubs, who have worked extremely hard over recent years to try to bring their pubs back to pre-covid levels. Despite their very best efforts, this has not materialised. There will also be a small number of redundancies associated with the company’s retail arm, at the head office in Masham. Having recently conducted an extensive review of our business, we have explored every angle to try to keep these locations trading profitably, but without success. Unfortunately, the only avenue left for us was the closure of these premises. It is always the last resort for us to make redundancies, and we are saddened to see such dedicated colleagues leaving us, at this time.” The company also operates the Three Legged Mare in York. Propel revealed last month that Black Sheep Brewery was acquired out of administration by Breal Group for a total consideration of £5.04m. Black Sheep announced at the start of May that it would be appointing administrators after struggling to attract investment. Breal soon emerged as the leading contender to acquire the brewery, which was founded in 1992 by Paul Theakston.

Westbourne Leisure reports turnover and profit exceeds pre-pandemic levels: West Midlands pub, restaurant and hotel operator Westbourne Leisure has reported turnover increased 107% to 23,948,985 for the year ending 30 September 2022 compared with £11,570,646 the year before. Revenue also exceeded the £20,404,677 reported for the year ending 30 September 2019 – the last full year before the pandemic. Pre-tax profit rose to £5,682,068 from £2,948,968 the previous year (2019: £3,185,408). In their report accompanying the accounts, the directors stated: “During the year, the company continued its successful expansion into the hotel sector and is looking to expand its presence in this market still further over the coming years.” A dividend of £2,000 was paid (2021: £2,000).
Multiple Michelin-starred French chef Yannick Alléno makes UK debut: Multiple Michelin-starred French chef Yannick Alléno has made his UK debut. Alléno has opened the restaurant at the Four Seasons Hotel in London’s Mayfair. Pavyllon London focuses on modern French cuisine and techniques but also takes inspiration from London and British produce with dishes including “Badaboum” organic egg with Osciètre caviar and sorrel and Salish smoked salt. The wine offering comes from some of the world’s best vineyards alongside family-owned chateaus, with a significant selection available by the glass. The restaurant sits aside Bar Antoine, which has a culinary-led cocktail list including the Bloodier Mary, with aromatic essences of tomato and celery, and a mushroom-foam espresso Martini. The food offer at Bar Antoine includes the eponymous Antoine’s Burger, with a bun inspired by fried bread from northern Africa combined with teriyaki beef. Alléno has 15 Michelin stars across his 14 restaurants, including three at his Le 1947 restaurant at Cheval Blanc in Courchevel. His three restaurants in Pavillon Ledoyen hold six stars – three at Alléno Paris, two at L’Abysse and one at Pavyllon – making it the most star-rated independent establishment in the world.
Cardiff casino far exceeds pre-pandemic levels of profit and turnover, covid helped attract new members who have ‘stayed loyal’: Long-established Cardiff casino, Les Croupiers Casino, far exceeded pre-pandemic levels of profit and turnover in the year ending 30 September 2022. Turnover more than doubled from £20,413,698 in 2021 to £49,042,386. This compares with £27,270,509 in the last full year before the pandemic, ending 31 March 2019. Of the 2022 figure, £32,531,810 came from drop, £15,864,709 from fruit machine receipts and £645,858 from poker. Pre-tax profit rose from £804,746 in 2021 to £3,204,070 (2019: £734,064). The company received no government grants (2021: £586,473). Dividends of £800,000 were paid (2021: nil). In his statement accompanying the accounts, director Gordon McIlroy said: “The business has recovered from the covid-19 pandemic, with results superseding pre-covid levels. The business benefited from its large premises allowing it to be operational during times when social distancing was in force, thus attracting new customers who appear to have remained loyal since restrictions eased. The directors believe the positive results reflect the continued attention to customer service and engagement, with an increasingly technology-based environment, together with an ability to react swiftly to changing needs. Customer interest in enhanced slot machine offers has continued to grow in the past 12 months. A potential increase in the permitted number of slot machines is being encouraged by our national trade body and our poker room attendance continues to grow.”
Team behind Notting Hill members’ club open restaurant and bakery in Chelsea: The team behind the members’ club and restaurant Laylow in London’s Notting Hill have opened a new restaurant, bakery and deli concept in Chelsea. Lórian – which has launched in Sloane Street – is led by head chef Emily Dobbs, who is working in collaboration with Johnnie Collins, of 180 The Strand. Dobbs, fresh from stints at Petersham Nurseries and Ducksoup in Soho and known for her Sri Lankan-inspired cookery, leads an ever-changing menu at Lórian, “showcasing ingredients in their simplest form”. Current dishes include grilled homegrown greens with lemon and seeds; new potatoes and pumpkin seed romesco; and salt baked beetroot, horseradish and parsley. There are seasonal salads on a takeaway counter, while bread, pastries and cakes are overseen by Lauren Duncan, founder of the bakery Presto London. Lórian is the creation of Taz Fustok and Jonathan Krauss, who built the Notting Hill club and restaurant Laylow.
BrewDog appoints Giny Boer as independent non-exec director: Scottish brewer and retailer BrewDog has appointed Giny Boer, chief executive of clothing retailer C&A, as a new independent non-executive director. Boer has been chief executive of C&A Europe since the start of 2021. Prior to that, she spent 23 years at Ikea, including more than four years as chief executive of the retailer’s operations in Austria. BrewDog co-founder and chief executive James Watt said: “At BrewDog we’re always on the lookout for talent, but I wanted to reserve a special mention for one of the latest, Giny Boer, who hails from the Netherlands and has joined our board as an independent non-exec director. Many of you from the UK won’t be old enough to remember C&A, the clothing store which closed its last shop over here more than 20 years ago. But it still has 1,300 stores in Europe, and Giny has been running it as chief executive since January 2021, working with Allan Leighton, our own chair. As well as being a brilliant retailer, taking over a huge business like that in the middle of a lockdown only goes to show how resilient she is. Apart from overhauling their stores and e-commerce offering, she’s put sustainability right at the heart of C&A, which puts her and BrewDog on exactly the same page. I’m really looking forward to working with her and learning from her huge experience.”
Former Authentic Alehouses pub opens under new owners: A former Authentic Alehouses pub in Hull has reopened under new owners. The Albert, in Anlaby Road, closed in March, despite continuing to trade strongly after Authentic Alehouses went into administration. Alternative plans were considered for the site after it was hit hard by rising energy bills and other costs. An update emailed to investors by secured creditor Crowdstacker, which has been seen by Propel, said: “After a short period of closure, a new management team was put in place at The Albert and the pub reopened last month. The new team was chosen as it has brought investment into both the property and client entertainment to further improve trading.” According to Hull Live, the new owners are former customers of the pub, known only as Gareth and Louise, who said they have “ambitions plans” for the site. “We are trying to bring in a younger generation, a new crowd that will hopefully make it more sustainable,” Gareth said. “We want to make it more family-friendly and we are looking to build a kids’ outdoor play area. We are also turning the rest of the building back into a hotel. We are creating a new cocktail menu and we may look at serving food in the future.” Meanwhile, the update stated that another former Authentic Alehouses pub, the Ponty Tavern in Pontefract, has been remarketed for sale at above its original valuation “as it continues to trade above original expectation” after a previous sale fell through. A third pub, The Fountain Inn in Barnoldswick, is undergoing a slower sales process as “the buyer continues to consider options available to complete”, but a deadline has been set “as it has been off the market for some time”. The once seven-strong Authentic Alehouses, which was launched by Allan Harper in 2017, entered administration in March 2019.
Anderbury reports turnover exceeds pre-pandemic levels: Hotel operator Anderbury, which operates three sites in the UK, has reported turnover increased to £11,116,374 for the year ending 29 September 2022 compared with £6,346,427 the previous year. Revenue also exceeded the £9,609,233 reported for the year ending 29 September 2019 – the last full year before the pandemic. The company – which operates the St George’s Hotel in Llandudno, Hatherley Manor Hotel near Gloucester and Rowton Hall in Chester – saw pre-tax profit rise to £585,645 from £280,032 the year before (2019: loss of £501,693). In their report accompanying the accounts, the directors stated: “The trading period was largely uninterrupted by covid issues. However, trading in late December and early January was restricted by government action to contain the spread of the coronavirus. Nonetheless the period saw a welcome return to strong profitability with particularly good results from Hatherley Manor and the St George's Hotel.” The business did not receive any government grants (2021: £1,206,105). No dividend was paid (2021: nil).
Market Place London to reopen Peckham site this month, reveals operator list: Food hall concept Market Place London will reopen its Peckham site this month and has revealed its list of operators. The Peckham site, in The Aylesham Centre, was one of the original venues for four-strong concept, but it closed earlier this year. It will now relaunch under a new management team on Saturday, 15 July, at the same venue and with a capacity for 250 people across five indoor seating zones. The family and dog-friendly venue will also feature a juice bar, plus free Wi-Fi and hot drinks for people working remotely. Vendors include street food concepts Suya & Lobster (Nigerian), Los Tacos (Mexican), Hawaiian (Huli Huli), Pepper Spice (Indo-Chinese) and KraProw (Thai), plus Baba G’s Indian-inspired burgers, Farm House Kebabs and Argentinian Grill. Blake Henderson, managing director of Market Place, said: “Spotlighting new and innovative street food concepts is central to our ethos as a company. We’re excited to be welcoming ten incredible new vendors to Market Place Peckham this July. Our team has carefully selected each of the traders to ensure we offer something for every palate.” Market Place London also operates sites in Hounslow, Vauxhall and Harrow.

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