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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Fri 11th Aug 2023 - Propel Friday News Briefing

Story of the Day:

Canadian pancake brand aiming for 25 UK sites by 2025 and eventual 100-plus estate, set to introduce dessert cafe concept: Canadian pancake brand Fluffy Fluffy has told Propel it is aiming for 25 UK sites by 2025 as it works towards an eventual estate here of 100-plus, and is set to introduce a new dessert cafe concept. The Japanese souffle-style pancake brand, which first launched in Toronto in 2018, made its UK debut in October 2022 with a site in Manchester’s Whitworth Street. Following a strong launch in the city that exceeded sales and footfall expectations, it will be followed by two further sites opening this month – Leicester and Reading – and then another launch in northern England set for mid-September. Further regional expansion will see sites open in eastern parts of the country in early 2024, and it has also submitted plans to open another venue in the north west this year. The company will also look to make its London debut next year. “We’re looking to have at least five sites open by the end of 2023 and 25 by the end of 2024, and we could easily go to 100-plus in the next few years,” Hussein Umar, Fluffy Fluffy’s business development lead, told Propel. “We’re developing a kiosk concept, which will help with a speedier roll out, and we’re also heading towards being more of a dessert cafe. Leicester will continue our pancake house concept while our future sites at Reading and beyond will showcase new and exciting things. We are also developing our own brand of coffee for this concept. It’s been going really well since we launched in Manchester – we’ve always had queues there and have expanded the seating and introduced more takeaway options as a result. It’s such an Instagrammable product and affordable too. It’s like a mixture between souffle and traditional North American pancakes, but three times the size of normal pancakes and two and a half inches thick.” As far as other markets go, there are single sites in China (its first overseas location) and Paris, and it has just made its US debut with a site in Orlando. A second French site will open early next year, and there has been “a lot of interest” from the Middle East. Next Wednesday (16 August), Propel will launch the UK Food and Beverage Franchisee Database – the first time that profiles of 100 of the top food and beverage franchisees have been available in one place in the UK. The go-to database, which features many of the big franchise operators running Costa Coffee, McDonald’s and Domino’s sites, brings together a wealth of information on an increasingly important part of the market, and the first edition will feature more than 32,000 words of content. The sixth major database exclusive to Premium subscribers, it will be sent out bi-monthly, including new entries and updates to existing entries. The companies, listed in alphabetical order, will have their most recent results reported as well as broader information around the company’s background, site numbers and board make-up. 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.

Industry News:

KAM to present exclusive research at Propel Talent & Training Conference, open for bookings: KAM managing director Katy Moses will be among the speakers at the Propel Talent & Training Conference. The all-day conference takes place on Tuesday, 3 October at One Moorgate Place in London and is open for bookings. Moses will share exclusive research on the key trends impacting the sector’s ability to recruit and retain staff. The conference will showcase examples of outstanding people culture among companies within the sector and how the industry is attracting talent. For the full speaker schedule, click here. Tickets are £295 plus VAT for operators and £395 plus VAT for suppliers and can be booked by emailing
Next edition of Propel’s Turnover & Profits Blue Book to be released today: The next edition of Propel’s Turnover & Profits Blue Book will be sent to Premium subscribers today (Friday, 11 August), at midday. It now features 745 companies that are turning over a total of £50.6bn. A total of 509 companies are making a profit while 236 are making a loss. The profit being made by sector companies is now outstripping losses by £1.33bn. The Blue Book shows the total profit of the 745 companies in the list is £3,272,517,901 and losses are £2,761,785,504. The Blue Book is updated each month and ranks companies by turnover, profit and profit conversion, listing directors’ earnings for the past five years. Premium subscribers also receive access to the Propel Multi-Site Database, produced in association with Virgate; the New Openings Database; the UK Food and Beverage Franchisor Database; and the Who’s Who of UK Food and Beverage. Next week, Propel will launch the UK Food and Beverage Franchisee Database – the first time that profiles of 100 of the top food and beverage franchisees have been available in one place in the UK. The go-to database – which will be released on Wednesday (16 August) and features many of the big franchise operators running Costa Coffee, McDonald’s and Domino’s sites – brings together a wealth of information on an increasingly important part of the market, and the first edition will feature more than 32,000 words of content. The companies, listed in alphabetical order, will have their most recent results reported as well as broader information around the company’s background, site numbers and board make-up. 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 being given exclusive access to the recording and slides to Propel Multi-Club Conferences. They 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.

Pressure group urges prime minister to stop ‘predatory purchasing and asset-stripping of historic pubs’: Pressure group The Campaign for Pubs has written to prime minister Rishi Sunak, urging him to change the law to stop the “predatory purchasing and asset-stripping of historic pubs”. It follows the case of the Crooked House in Himley, Staffordshire, which was shut and put on the market by Marston’s for £675,000 and subsequently bought by the landfill company based next to the pub (with whom the pub and pub tenant had disputes regarding access). Shortly after, the world-famous pub burnt down in what police are investigating as an arson attack, and then, without permission from the local authority, the current owners demolished it. The Campaign for Pubs, which has called for the Crooked House to be rebuilt brick-by-brick, has highlighted the weakness of the planning system in protecting pubs. Campaign director Greg Mulholland said: “What has happened to the historic and unique Crooked House pub is a national scandal, as well as a loss to the local community and its history and heritage. As well as a full investigation and appropriate action, this sad and unnecessary destruction of a world-famous pub must be the catalyst for change, to stop cynical and unscrupulous owners buying up pubs to convert and develop them. We need a simple change to planning law so that no historic pub can be sold for alternative use, converted or demolished until it has been properly marketed for at least a year at the independently valued price as a pub. This would stop the cynical destruction of pubs and allow licensees, local breweries, entrepreneurs and communities to buy our historic pubs and make a success of them.”
Job of the day: COREcruitment is working with a growing property company that is looking for a non-executive director. A COREcruitment spokesperson said: “As a key member of the board, you will play a crucial role in providing strategic guidance, growth, and independent advice to the executive team. This fundamental role is aimed at a founder, chief executive or managing director within the real estate, hotels, or property industry with previous experience gaining investment, sustainability, and steady growth.” The salary is up to £80,000, with a commitment to one to two days per month and is based in London. For more information, email 

Company News:

Insomnia Cookies gears up for UK launch with double opening: Insomnia Cookies, the Krispy Kreme-owned late-night bakery brand, will make its debut in the UK later this month, with a double opening in Manchester. As revealed by Propel last year, the brand will open in the city’s Royal Exchange in Cross Street. At the same time, it will also launch a site at the city’s University Green. Both sites, which will deliver warm cookies across the city until 3am, will launch over the August bank holiday weekend, as the brand eyes further expansion across the UK. Ben Lacey, managing director at Insomnia Cookies UK, said: “It’s a massive milestone for us to be opening our first bakeries in the UK. Manchester is a city that knows what it means to be up all night, so it was a no-brainer for us as our first location. We’re excited to be bringing the authentic, cult-favourite taste of Insomnia Cookies to the UK – including all the classics, plus some delicious limited-edition flavours to boot. Late-night dessert shops are big here, but there’s long been a gap in the market for warm, fresh cookies hand-delivered to your doorstep all day and late into the night.” The brand was founded by US entrepreneurs Seth Berkowitz and Jared Barnett while they were students at the University of Pennsylvania. Opening its debut site in upstate New York, it now has circa 230 sites across the US and was acquired by Krispy Kreme in 2018. Insomnia Cookies made its entry into the Canadian market this summer, in the Greater Toronto area. As well as cookies, it offers cookie-based shakes, ice cream, brownies and ice cream sandwiches.
Turkish brand secures ex-Gordon Ramsay site for third UK opening, eyes 20-strong estate: Turkish restaurant brand Bursa Kebap Evi has secured its third site in London, in Islington, as it eyes a 20-strong estate in the UK, Propel has learned. The brand – which operates circa 100 sites across Canada, Germany, the United Arab Emirates, Iran, Iraq and Turkey – has acquired Gordon Ramsay’s former Street Pizza site in Upper Street. Propel understands the IGC (International Gastronomy Company) Group, which is led by Cem Ulubay, acquired the master franchise rights for the brand in the UK, last year. It has since opened sites at the Brunswick Centre and in Connaught Street, Hyde Park. The business said its first target is to reach five sites under the brand in the capital and then grow to “20 branches in the UK as soon as possible”. Last autumn, Ramsay converted his Street Burger site in London’s Islington to his Street Pizza concept. The chef opened a Street Burger restaurant on the former Byron site in Upper Street in summer 2021. Marc Rogers, of MKR Property, acted on the Upper Street deal. 
All Star Lanes reports trading to date ‘continues to be encouraging’: Boutique bowling alley operator All Star Lanes, which is backed by Luke Johnson's investment vehicle Risk Capital, has said its trading to date in 2023 “continues to be encouraging”, in spite of ongoing disruption associated with train and underground strikes. Signing off its accounts for the year to 25 December 2022 at the start of July, the four-strong, London-based business said it had commenced a “significant investment plan” to ensure it continues to provide a “unique and competitive proposition to its customers”. It said: “Additional revenue streams have been added to Holborn, with the addition of a karaoke suite. Brick Lane and White City have had additional gaming machines fitted and an immersive gaming experience in White City. Shuffleboards are planned in both Brick Lane and White City. Our Stratford site has undergone significant refurbishment, with the addition of a gaming lounge, two karaoke rooms and an enhanced cocktail bar.” It comes as the business said it had “successfully traded” through 2022, which started with the ongoing impact of work-from-home guidance associated with Omicron, and ended with significant disruption due to train and underground strikes. It said: “Revenue closed at £12.5m, substantially ahead of the prior year, with the uptick in performance being delivered by all sites. Effective cost control was maintained throughout the year, resulting in Ebitda before exceptional income of £1.3m, despite significant inflationary pressures.” During the year, the company reclaimed VAT on bowling and other leisure activities paid to HM Revenue & Customs during 2021. The business said it successfully argued the temporary reduced rate of VAT introduced to assist the hospitality and leisure industries recover from the effects of the pandemic should be applied to these revenue streams. It said: “£358,000 of this reclaim related to the 2021 trading period, and has therefore been declared exceptional income.” In May, Propel revealed the Graham Cook-led business was working with advisors at BDO on its options. Risk Capital acquired the then five-strong business, which was founded in Holborn in 2006, through a pre-pack administration process in September 2019. 
Jamie Oliver confirms name of comeback restaurant, says new site is ‘pivotal moment’ in his career: Chef Jamie Oliver has confirmed his upcoming restaurant in London’s Covent Garden will be called Jamie Oliver Catherine Street, with an opening scheduled for November. Propel revealed earlier this summer that Oliver had trademarked the Jamie Oliver Catherine Street name, as he geared up to return to London’s restaurant scene with the opening of a new “landmark” site. Oliver, who currently operates more than 70 restaurants across 23 countries, closed his UK restaurant business, which included the Jamie’s Italian chain, after its collapse in 2019. Housed in a grade-I listed building in Covent Garden, Jamie Oliver Catherine Street will be an “independent, produce focused restaurant”. At the helm of the kitchen will be head chef Chris Shail, who comes with 20 years of experience, along with pastry chef Emma Jackson, who has worked at the Soho Farmhouse and Petersham Nurseries. The duo will work alongside Oliver to create a menu that is “reflective of Jamie’s love of Britain’s rich and diverse food culture, and champions independent makers and suppliers”. Heading up the front-of-house team will be general manager Caezer Cruz, who has worked with Oliver for 16 years. Within the 130 internal covers and 30-cover terrace, the business said diners can expect favourite dishes from Oliver along with new recipes bespoke to Jamie Oliver Catherine Street. Oliver said: “I’m excited to be opening Jamie Oliver Catherine Street in the heart of Covent Garden, and stepping back into the UK restaurant industry that I love so dearly. My hope is Jamie Oliver Catherine Street will be a wonderfully welcoming, happy place to dine, with great service, and delicious food at its heart. We’ll be going big on daily specials and have a robust menu that offers something for everyone. It definitely feels like a pivotal moment in my career, and some of the very best of my restaurant teams over the years have come back to join me on this next part of the journey.”
Roxy Leisure plans third Nottingham site: Roxy Leisure, the operator of the Roxy Lanes and Roxy Ball Room concepts, is planning to open a third site in Nottingham. The business already operates sites under its Roxy Ball Room brand in the city’s Thurland Street and the Cornerhouse. It has now applied to open a 15,000 square-foot site in The Pod, a development on the corner of Bottle Lane and Fletcher Gate, under its Roxy Lanes concept. It currently operates six Roxy Lanes sites across the UK. Propel reported earlier this week that Roxy Leisure is planning to open a Roxy Ball Room on the former JJB Sports unit in Glasgow’s Argyle Street. Earlier this month, Propel reported Roxy Leisure had reapplied to open a site in York, having previously submitted plans to open a Roxy Lanes venue at a vacant site in St Mary’s Square. It has now submitted a licensing and planning application for a Roxy Ball Room in Stonebow House, in the city. It would be the 20th site for the Roxy Leisure group, further to its most recent launches in Edinburgh, Birmingham, Cardiff and Leicester, with its next site set to open in Cheltenham in September.
Taiwanese bubble tea brand looking to expand UK base through franchising: Taiwanese bubble tea brand Truedan is looking to expand its UK base through franchising. Founded in Taipei 2010, the brand, which specialises in brown sugar bubble tea, has been expanding globally since 2018 and now operates more than 100 stores and kiosks in 11 countries. It made its UK debut last year when it opened at Unit K1 in London’s Brunswick Centre in February 2022, followed by a further site at South Quay in Canary Wharf six months later. The business exhibited at the recent British Franchise Association show in London and is offering potential franchisees £8,000 in start-up materials for free, for a limited time only. Investment amounts range between £250,000 and £500,000. The company said it has been opening two to three new stories in Taiwan every month since the start of 2023, and since opening in the Brunswick Centre, has welcomed an average of more than 10,000 customers per month there. It added: “Just as it was founded, Truedan remains committed to using natural and additive-free ingredients. Moreover, we take great care in sourcing the majority of our raw materials from Taiwan, ensuring their quality through comprehensive production records and inspection reports.”
D&D London appoints Gabriele Barysaite as marketing director: D&D London, which owns and operates circa 40 restaurants across the UK and internationally, has appointed Gabriele Barysaite, formerly of Hawksmoor, The Restaurant Group (TRG) and PizzaExpress, as its new marketing director. Barysaite joins D&D after a year and a half as head of brand marketing at Hawksmoor. Previous to that, she spent nearly three years as senior brand and partnerships manager at TRG and more than five years at PizzaExpress, including three years as the brand’s national marketing manager. Propel reported earlier this week that second round bids are due today (Friday, 11 August) for D&D, with circa ten parties believed to have shown interest in the business. As previously revealed by Propel, first round bids for D&D were due to be submitted on 21 July. Interested parties in D&D are understood to include co-founder and former chief executive Des Gunewardena, who is thought to still own a circa 14% stake in the company. A group of private investors, which are believed to have engaged Simon Wilkinson, ex-chief executive of Byron and La Tasca, to help them, are also believed to be involved in the process. Wilkinson began his career in five-star hotels and fine dining. The sales process, which goes under the name Project Sandon, is being overseen by advisory firm Interpath.
Deliveroo adds ‘premium’ delivery option, ‘actively promoting value’ through app: Deliveroo has launched a new “premium” delivery option and said it is “actively promoting value”, including highlighting where restaurant and grocers are matching prices to their dine-in or in-store prices. It comes as the business reported it had significantly cut losses in the first half of the year and said it is considering paying its first dividend to shareholders as it closes in on profitability. The company said: “While we face short-term macroeconomic headwinds, the industry is still early in its maturity and there remains ample room for growth. An important part of unlocking this is to get the basics right: build the best consumer value proposition (CVP) by continually improving factors such as consumer experience, selection and price/value. In the UK and Ireland, we have launched a premium delivery option, allowing consumers to pay a small fee to guarantee that the consumer’s order is brought directly to them ahead of any other order; if a premium delivery arrives after the estimated delivery time, the fee is fully refunded. We are also offering consumers the opportunity to top up their restaurant order with a Hop grocery order through the order tracking page, with no additional fees. We have continued to enhance the selection available to consumers, adding more merchant supply and taking the total number of restaurant and grocery partners to around 182,000. Price and value is another key component of the CVP, particularly when the cost-of-living crisis is impacting consumers’ spending power. While we do not set menu prices, we are actively promoting value in the app. Examples include highlighting where restaurant and grocers are matching prices to their dine-in or in-store prices, as well as using targeted promotions to provide value.”
Wingstop to double up in Edinburgh: Lemon Pepper Holdings, the company behind the rollout of Wingstop in the UK, has secured a second site for the brand in Edinburgh. The business, which opened a site at the city’s St James Quarter scheme in December 2021, is set to open at Fountain Park, just west of Edinburgh city centre, before the end of the year. Last week, Lemon Pepper Holdings told Propel it has an “exciting roadmap of openings ahead”. The company said it was seeing strong performance across its 35-strong estate, including record £100,000-plus weekly sales at its flagship site in London’s Cambridge Circus. Lemon Pepper Holdings recently secured its second standalone site in Scotland, in Glasgow, adjacent to Nando’s at the St Enoch shopping centre. The brand, which already operates out of a Deliveroo Editions site in Glasgow, also operates a restaurant at the St James Quarter scheme in Edinburgh. Last month, Propel revealed the business had added a site in Southampton to its 2023 openings pipeline. It has taken on the ex-Bok Shop site in the West Quay scheme. New restaurants will also be opening this year in Islington’s Upper Street, Birmingham’s New Street and London’s Wood Green. The company is understood to also be in discussions to bring restaurants to Hounslow and Clapham this year.
Capital Karts and Taco Bell among new tenants at Birmingham scheme: Indoor go-karting track Capital Karts and Mexican restaurant brand Taco Bell are among the operators that have signed for sites at Star City, the 410,000 square-foot leisure-led mixed-use complex just outside Birmingham city centre. Capital Karts, which operates sites in Barking and Canary Wharf, has signed for 39,000 square foot on a 20-year lease, from early 2024, to operate what will be the longest and fastest karting track in the Midlands. The 800-metre double-height track will have a fleet of electric karts that can reach up to 45mph. Taco Bell has taken 2,700 square foot on a ten-year lease to open its first restaurant in central Birmingham. Meanwhile, Indian street food brand Chaiiwala has also signed a ten-year lease on one of Star City’s last available kiosk units, totalling 386 square feet, replacing Subway, which has moved to a larger space at Star City. Pakistani and Indian restaurant Shere Khan’s is expanding its existing 6,612 square-foot premises to incorporate an additional 7,772 square-foot unit, merging both units to a total of 14,384 square feet on a 15-year lease. The new combined premises will be refitted and will include banqueting facilities. Quadrant, the UK real estate asset management and development company, is the asset manager on the complex.
Wendy’s and Coco Di Mama part of F&B at new Gravity Max opening in Liverpool: Experiential leisure operator Gravity has opened its new flagship Gravity MAX at Liverpool ONE, complete with a food and beverage offer that includes Wendy’s and Azzurri group-owned Coco Di Mama. As Gravity’s biggest investment to date at £10m, and its largest site at 100,000 square foot, the venue features the brand’s first outside space and the city’s largest roof terrace, as well as more activities than any other Gravity venue. The company said Gravity MAX Liverpool ONE is anticipated to attract more than 700,000 visitors per year, providing 12 immersive and experiential activities for up to 2,500 people at any given time across its two floors. Activities include a multi-level e-karting track, augmented reality bowling, 18-hole Tech Street Golf, e-sports arena, batting cages and Liverpool’s largest pool hall. A schedule of live bands and singers provides visitors weekly entertainment, accompanied by DJ sets, themed nights and shows. The food hall features a variety of cuisines including Wendy’s, 800 Degrees Pizza, Coco di Mama, The Athenian and Creams. The four bars include two Gravity Social bars, Eden cocktail bar and The Terrace, with automated, self-service beer taps and a retractable roof. Michael Harrison, co-founder and chief growth officer at Gravity, said: “The opening of the new Gravity MAX flagship at Liverpool ONE is an exciting time for the brand as it represents a landmark moment in our journey. This has been our biggest investment to date and cements Gravity’s position as market leaders and trendsetters within the leisure and entertainment sector.” Metis and Stärka acted for Liverpool ONE while Stärka represented Gravity.
Wok&Go offering franchise of High Wycombe store to armed forces veterans: UK noodle bar brand Wok&Go, from Dough Dough operator Pheby Food Concepts Group, is offering the franchise of its High Wycombe store to armed forces veterans looking to enter the sector. The site, located at 1 Denmark Street in the Buckinghamshire town’s Eden shopping centre, opened in 2019 but recently closed unexpectedly. “We at Wok&Go like to think of ourselves as being pretty innovative,” the company said. “We like to try new things, push the boundaries, look for new opportunities and new markets. With that in mind, when we had an unexpected store closure in High Wycombe, we decided we wanted to try to do something different with it and offer this store to a very specific target. Armed forces veterans, listen to this offer. Fully fitted store, no franchise licence fee, monthly rent, no hidden costs and three months’ royalty fee holiday. After three months, fees will be fixed at a very low £175 a week. This store is ready to go and has good location in a shopping centre, and full training is provided. The store has achieved £8,000 net sales a week previously, but this must be an owner operator, and at this stage, this offer is only for armed forces veterans wanting to start their own business.” Wok&Go currently has 18 locations around the UK, and in June made its Northern Ireland debut with a unit in a new food hall in the former Danske Bank building in Belfast. Milad Nawaz and Salman Qureshi became UK master franchisees for Wok&Go in 2019, and last summer, having also taken on the master franchise for no-sugar ice cream and frozen yogurt brand Yolé, opened both concepts under one roof in Shoreditch, east London.
Knoops opens sixth London site and 12th overall: Luxury hot chocolate shop Knoops has opened its sixth site in London and 12th overall. It has opened at 199 Portobello Road, in Notting Hill, joining its other London locations in Chelsea, Covent Garden, Kensington, Knightsbridge and Richmond. Knoops also has regional sites in Brighton, Cambridge, Manchester, Oxford, Rye and St Albans. The new Portobello site offers outside seating, with a range of coffee and bakery options for guests to eat in or take away, alongside its signature iced chocolate, milkshakes and hot chocolate. Knoops last month secured a £6m loan from French aristocrat Eléonore de Lubersac to support its growth plans and appointed William Gordon-Harris as its new chief executive, replacing Tori Nunn, who stood down after six years in the role. The business, which is also lining up an opening in Bath, plans to open more than 120 sites in the UK, and 3,000 globally, within the next seven years.
Former Great British Menu chef puts Scottish Borders restaurant on market: Former Great British Menu chef Ally McGrath has put his restaurant in the Scottish Borders on the market. McGrath, who appeared on the BBC show in 2017, is selling Osso Restaurant in Peebles through agent Christie & Co. The contemporary style restaurant can seat up to 40 customers and is known for its high quality, locally sourced dishes. The restaurant also features a small bar area. McGrath returned to his native Peebles and opened Osso in 2007 having trained under Richard Corrigan. Osso Restaurant is on the market at the freehold asking price of £235,000.
Former Birmingham property consultant takes on first McDonald’s franchise, sets her sights on more: Former Birmingham property consultant Anne-Marie Clarke has taken on her first McDonald’s franchise, in the West Midlands. Operating as AMC Restaurants, Clarke, who is also a former operations manager for Amazon Logistics, has been training as a McDonald’s franchisee since August 2022. “I am delighted and honoured to share I have acquired my first McDonald’s franchise,” she said. “As the youngest franchisee in the West Midlands, trading as AMC Restaurants, this is a dream come true and I am excited to start this journey with McDonald’s. This is an incredible organisation, absolutely obsessed with its customers and people, and the market insights and planning are exceptional. This is the start of many more additional restaurants in the coming years, and I look forward to supporting the ongoing success of McDonald’s.”
London hotel The Hari returns to profit as turnover exceeds pre-covid levels: London hotel The Hari, operated by the Harilela Group, returned to profit in the year ending 31 December 2022. The five-star venue, located at 20 Chesham Place in Belgravia, turned a £1,143,318 pre-tax loss in 2021 into a profit of £924,267. This compares with a profit of £1,034,370 in the last full year before covid, ending 31 December 2019. Turnover rose from £5,239,517 in 2021 to £11,834,834 (2019: £11,739,893). The company received £6,001 in government grants compared with £371,669 in 2021. No dividends were paid (2021: nil). In January 2023, the company agreed to restructure its £7,797,504 loan from parent company Hotel Holdings (BVI), with a repayment date of December 2025 and interest at 0.5%. The Hari director Aron Harilela, in his statement accompanying the accounts, said: “Although the hotel market has recovered since covid-19, the present economic outlook of the UK economy has meant there are rising operational costs relating to inflationary pressure and availability of staff. As such, management is closely monitoring the hotel operation and taking appropriate measures when required.” Harilela Group also operates hotels in Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Japan and China.
Cornish cider company acquires Falmouth beach café: Cornish cider company Healeys Cyder has acquired the Gylly Beach Café in Falmouth. The business has become part of Cyderhouse Co, a new subsidiary of Healeys Cyder, off a guide price of £3.5m. The venue includes an in-house bakery, takeaway, beach shop and water sports centre. Cyderhouse joint managing director Joe Healey said: “We have admired Gylly Beach Café from afar for many years, and when it became available, we knew we had to act quickly in order to secure it. It perfectly complements our long-term ambitions to own and operate unique quality venues.” Healeys Cyder founders, Kay and David Healey, started the business in 1980 when they took on a 150-year-old farm in Truro, opening the first Cornish distillery in 300 years, hosting events and experiences as well as making cider. They handed over the business to sons Sam and Joe, as joint managing directors, in 2017.
Mojo Bars confirms August opening for new Liverpool site: Voodoo Doll, the company behind the Mojo Bars business, has confirmed its new Liverpool venue will open later this month. Following 15 years at Back Berry Street, it will be moving to a new unit in the Liverpool ONE complex, as previously reported. Opening on Friday, 25 August, the site will be a larger, two-storey venue spread over 3,500 square feet, and with longer opening hours. The venue, which will stay open until 3am, will offer a menu of more than 100 cocktails, beer pong, cocktail masterclasses and bottomless brunches, as well as a second-storey private bar space. It will also offer a pizza menu with dishes inspired by iconic musicians, including a “Sgt Peppers” pizza in tribute to The Beatles. Mojo managing director Martin Greenhow said: “We can’t wait to welcome guests to a new era of Mojo Liverpool in Liverpool ONE, with longer opening hours and an additional floor to celebrate on.”

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