Propel Morning Briefing Mast HeadAccess Banner  
Propel Morning Briefing Mast Head Propel's LinkedIn LinkPaul's Twitter Link Paul's X Link

McCain Banner
Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Fri 25th Aug 2023 - Propel Friday News Briefing

Story of the Day:

Christou – no reason Pret can’t reach 1,500 sites in UK, SSP to begin rolling brand out in Asia: Pano Christou, chief executive of Pret A Manger, the JAB Holdings-backed business, has said there was no reason why the brand couldn’t in time reach as many as 1,500 sites in its UK home market alone. In an interview with Bloomberg News, Christou said the working from home trend is here to stay, adding that most people are only in the office three days a week. “I don’t see that changing,” he said. “We need to adjust to that.” According to the Pret Index, which it puts together with Bloomberg, transactions in the brand’s sites in London’s West End are still below pre-covid levels. In the City of London last week, transactions were 79% of pre-pandemic levels. Pret’s fastest-growing stores are currently in Yorkshire, the suburbs and at London airports. Only seven of the 78 stores Pret has opened since April 2021 are in central London. Christou said: “We have huge opportunity for Pret to grow over the next five to ten years.” Under JAB, which bought Pret from the private equity firm Bridgepoint for £1.5bn in 2018, the chain has expanded further internationally – it currently has 621 sites globally. Earlier this month, it opened a new store in New York’s Hudson Yards district, while earlier this year, it made its debut in India, in Mumbai. Up to 13 sites will open in India by the year-end. SSP Group is currently rolling out Pret sites in transport hubs in four European markets, not including the UK. It plans to have about 30 Pret stores there by the end of this year. Christou said SSP will soon begin rolling Pret out in Asia, making it one of its global brands. On whether JAB’s future plans for the chain include a stock market listing, Christou wasn’t drawn, except to say: “Sometimes you don’t get a choice if a market is in a great place.” Pret’s best seller, a tuna and cucumber baguette, has risen from £2.99 in December 2021 to £4.25 today — an increase of 42%. According to Christou, the above-inflation price rises are due to mounting energy costs — up 300% this year — higher wages and the increased cost of raw materials. Christou predicted 2024 would also be challenging as homeowners move out of fixed mortgages onto higher interest rates.

Industry News:

Updated Premium Database of Multi-site Companies to be sent out today, 62 businesses added: A total of 62 new multi-site companies, operating 323 sites, have been added to the next edition of the Propel Premium Database of Multi-site Companies, which will be released today, Friday 25 August, at midday. The updated Propel Multi-Site Database, which is produced in association with Virgate, includes regional coffee shop operators, growing restaurant brands, and expanding experiential concepts. Premium subscribers will also receive a 4,000-word report on the new additions to the database. The comprehensive database is updated monthly and provides company names, the people in charge, how many sites each firm operates, its trading name and its registered name at Companies House if different. The database now features 2,943 companies. Premium subscribers also receive access to five other databases: the New Openings Database; the Propel Turnover & Profits Blue Book; the UK Food and Beverage Franchisor Database; and the Who’s Who of UK Food and Beverage. Premium subscribers have now received the new 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 features 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. 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. In this week’s Propel Premium, Wingett talks to Wagamama chief executive Thomas Heier about keeping the sector-leading brand ahead of the pack, which consumer demographic is coming under the most pressure, expansion plans and growth in the US.

Buzzworks Holdings MD to speak at Propel Talent & Training Conference, open for bookings: Kenny Blair, managing director of Scottish independent restaurant and bar operator Buzzworks Holdings, will speak 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. Blair will speak about creating recruitment initiatives – including a cash referral scheme to attract new talent – its use of TikTok to find new employees and how it is helping the business find and retain staff. 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

NTIA – devastating impact of prolonged rail strikes threaten Bank Holiday weekend: The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) has said the “devastating impact” of prolonged rail strikes threatens the success of the Bank Holiday weekend for sector businesses. The biggest rail union, the RMT, said 20,000 members across 14 train operators will walk out on the two key Saturdays at the end of the summer holidays – 26 August and 2 September. The train drivers’ union, Aslef, will also stage a one-day strike on Friday, 1 September, and mount an overtime ban the following day. NTIA chief executive Michael Kill said: “The night-time economy and hospitality sector, already struggling to recover from the economic setbacks of the pandemic, are now staring down the barrel of a staggering £3.5bn loss in trade since the start of the industrial action. We call on the trade unions, rail service providers and government to step up, resolve their differences, call off the action this weekend and ensure that our Bank Holiday weekend remains unscathed. The public deserves better than to be held hostage by the actions of a few.”

Night shift workers exposed to ‘significant health effects’: Working night shifts could impair memory by up to 79% in middle-aged and older adults, a study suggests. A team analysed data on 47,811 adults which included information on employment, work schedules and results of cognitive function tests. One in five participants reported having been exposed to some kind of shift work in their careers. Those working night shifts in their current job had 79% higher rates of cognitive compared with those who did only day work. And those who had worked night shifts during their longest job had 53% higher rates. The authors said disruption to the our body clock may be to blame. Writing in the journal Plos One, the team from York University in Canada said: “The findings suggest a potential link between shift work exposure and cognitive function impairment. We speculate that disruptive circadian stimuli may play a role in neurodegeneration contributing to cognitive impairment.” Previous research found night shift work was also “significantly associated” with an irregular and fast heartbeat and was also linked to an increased risk of coronary heart disease. Figures from the Office for National Statistics revealed the number of night shift workers in the UK has dropped in recent years, from 9.5 million in 2016 to 8.7 million in 2022.

Job of the Day: COREcruitment has partnered with a “very interesting” hospitality concept with big plans, looking for a chief financial officer (CFO). The client has multiple concepts it is looking to roll out both in the UK and globally. It has the funds, strategy and drive to do it but now needs a really committed CFO with “founder mentality” who can come in and help. As well as the normal finance functions, a lot of the role will involve deals and M&A activity over the next few years. Global experience is good but not essential for the role, which is more about drive, determination and industry knowledge to do the best deals with the best partners and make the company a success. The salary for the position is up to £220,000 and based in London. For more information, please contact

Company News:

Pair of ex-Harcourt Inns sites acquired for circa £9m: A pair of London-based pubs previously owned by Harcourt Inns, including the Hero of Maida, have been sold in a deal believed to be valued at circa £9m, Propel has learned. It is thought that the Hero of Maida, which is based in Maida Vale between Warwick Avenue and Little Venice and is currently closed, and The Coach in Clerkenwell have been take on by the team behind The Pelican in Notting Hill. Public House Group, the umbrella company from the team behind The Pelican, recently opened its second site, in Oxfordshire. The company, which is led by James Gummer and Phil Winser, counts French entrepreneur Olivier Van Themsche as a fellow director. Gummer, Winser and Van Themsche are listed as directors of The Coach Clerkenwell and The Hero of Maida, two companies that were set up earlier this spring. The business is also currently operating a pop-up in the ex-Pizza East site in Notting Hill. Gummer’s career in hospitality began at The Smile in New York, followed by roles at The Wolseley and the Santa Cruz group’s Isabel in Mayfair. Fellow founder Winser returned to London from New York, where he spent the last 12 years operating the Silkstone Group and The Fat Radish (including co-writing The Fat Radish Kitchen Diaries). James McCulloch founded Harcourt Inns in 2014 with the acquisition and refurbishment of The Harcourt in Marylebone. He subsequently went on to develop The Three Cranes in the City, The Coach in Clerkenwell, The Hero of Maida in Maida Vale, The Crown in Chiswick and KPH in Notting Hill. A number of the freeholds of the former Harcourt Inns sites were placed on the market last autumn through Savills. DCL is understood to have acted for the buyer on deal for the Hero of Maida and The Coach in Clerkenwell.

Brakspear reports profits and Ebitda ahead of pre-pandemic levels: Pub operator Brakspear has reported profits and Ebitda ahead of pre-pandemic levels for the year ending 25 December 2022. It reported underlying profit before tax recovered to £6.5m (2021: £3.2m), which compares with £5.8m in the last full year before covid, ending 29 December 2019. Total profit before tax was £9.9m (2021: £5.8m), compared to £6.4m before covid, as the business benefited from a £3m gain on the revaluation of its investment property portfolio. Turnover was up from £26.8m in 2021 to £35.4m (2019: £35.3m) with underlying Ebitda of £10.6m up from £9.1m in 2021 (2019: £10.0m). Net debt reduced by £1.4m to £22m (2021: £23.4m) following capital investment of £7.6m across the estate. This included the acquisition of the Ghyll Manor Hotel near Horsham and the Royal Standard pub in Wandsworth. It also included an extensive redevelopment of The Bull on Bell Street in Henley and a refurbishment of The George in Shipston on Stour. There were also three pub disposals during the year. Chief executive Tom Davies said: “In all respects, our business performed very well in 2022, with a high level of stability across our leased and tenated family and changes made to our Honeycomb Houses managed business delivering the expected efficiencies. We have moved on from the pandemic, and 2022 showed just how resilient and strong our business is. That strength and resilience has been tested again in 2023 as inflation and other cost increases have impacted us, alongside the cost-of-living pressures affecting our guests. I am certain that our leased and tenanted operators and Honeycomb House teams will rise to the challenge yet again, to ensure Brakspear pubs continue to offer the best hospitality available.”

Breal Group acquires Brew By Numbers out of administration: London-based investment firm Breal Group has made its third acquisition in the UK brewery space with a deal to purchase Brew By Numbers out of administration. Brew By Numbers was founded in 2011 by Tom Hutchings and David Seymour. The business produced more than 350 beer varieties and has supplied supermarkets including Tesco, Sainsbury’s and M&S. The company’s original brewery and taproom opened in Enid Street, Bermondsey. By 2021, the business moved its main production to a new brewery site in Morden Wharf, Greenwich, and opened a 400-person capacity taproom and outdoor space. The brewery shut its Bermondsey taproom earlier this year in the face of mounting costs, while Hutchings sought a pre-pack sale of the business earlier this summer. Evelyn Partners was appointed joint administrators to the business in June. The Modern Wharf taproom continues trading as normal. Earlier this year, the Breal Group, which describes itself as a multi-disciplinary equity, lending and advisory services group, acquired North Yorkshire-based Black Sheep Brewery, as well as its shop and pubs, out of administration for a total consideration of £5.04m. It followed this up with the acquisition of London-based brewer Brick Brewery in a pre-pack deal for a consideration of circa £318,000. On Brew By Numbers, a spokesperson for Breal said: “This, the third acquisition in our expansion into the brewing sector, we are excited to be able to onboard Brew By Numbers. It has a unique, well established product range, and equally well-known brand. They will add considerable value to the wider product offerings of Brick and Black Sheep breweries that are now a part of their brewing family.” Earlier this week, London-based wine bar, shop and restaurant concept Vinoteca was acquired out of administration by Breal Group for a total consideration of £305,000.

Tortilla adds former JD Wetherspoon finance director to board as NED: Tortilla, the UK’s largest fast-casual Mexican restaurant brand, has added former JD Wetherspoon finance director Keith Down to its board as non-executive director. “Keith brings a wealth of leadership experience gained across a broad range of consumer-focused businesses,” the company said: “He has held senior positions at companies operating across a wide range of sectors including retail, leisure, and hospitality.” As well as his finance director and company secretary roles at Wetherspoon, Down has also been group finance director at Go-Ahead, chief financial officer at Dunelm and, most recently, finance director of Selfridges Group. He is currently the senior independent director and audit committee chair of Topps Tiles. He will take on the role of Tortilla’s senior independent director and becomes chair of the audit committee. Emma Woods, chair of Tortilla, said: “Keith has a huge amount of highly relevant experience from several very successful consumer-facing businesses. I have no doubt that the board will benefit from his skills and insights as Tortilla continues to deliver against its long-term growth strategy.” Down added: “Tortilla has a differentiated and highly compelling customer proposition and very exciting opportunities to further expand both across the UK and internationally. I am looking forward to working alongside the rest of the board to support the group’s future successes.”

True North Brew Co acquired out of administration for £237,604: Sheffield-based True North Brew was acquired out of administration earlier this month for a total consideration of £237,604, Propel has learned. The business, which was founded by Kane Yeardley in 1992 and operates 12 licenced venues across South Yorkshire, as well as its own brewery and distillery, was acquired in a pre-pack administration process by Cocktails and Craft Beers, of which Yeardley is a director. Cocktails and Craft Beers also counts True North Brew Co finance director Sean Kelly and operations director Alex Liddle as directors. Howard Smith and Rick Harrison, from Interpath Advisory, were appointed joint administrators to True North Brew Co on 2 August, after a sales process was understood to have been carried out on the business under the name Project Bewick. A statement from the administrators said: “Covid-19 had a materially adverse impact upon the company’s financial performance, as government restrictions forced the business to close for extended periods of time between 2020 and 2022. As such, the company’s revenue decreased by £8.9m in the 12-month period ending 28 March 2021, to £3.7m, and the company generated a loss before tax of £1.3m. Despite revenue returning to pre-covid levels in the 12-month period ending 27 March 2022 (£13.1m), restrictions still had an impact upon the financial performance of the business as the company was forced to close during December 2021 as a consequence of omicron. This period is the company’s most profitable trading period, and as such, the company made a loss before tax of £400,000 during this year. In recent months, the company has also faced rising costs that include, but are not limited to, energy, labour and food. As such, the company generated a loss before tax of £800,000 in the 12-month period ending 27 March 2023. At this date, the company’s balance sheet showed a net liability position of £800,000.” The statement added: “The losses incurred by the company resulted in a significant deterioration of the company’s working capital position, leading to increased creditor pressure being placed upon the business. In addition, the company also accrued material HMRC arrears during this time. As per the directors’ statement of affairs, £2.4m was owed to HMRC by the company as at the date of our appointment. Barclays historically provided the company with mortgages for several premises, in addition to CBILS loans, a credit card facility and relevant current accounts, and benefited from fixed and floating charges over the company’s assets. However, prior to our appointment, the company agreed the sale and leaseback of three freehold premises in July 2023, which repaid certain amounts owed to Barclays as well as injecting additional funds into the business.”

Loungers opens first site in the north east: Cafe bar operator Loungers has opened its first site in the north east, in the Northumberland town of Morpeth. The Nick Collins-led business has opened Martino Lounge on the former Laura Ashley store site in the town’s Sanderson Arcade. It is the group’s 198th site under its Lounge concept and 236th opening overall. It is also set to open a further site in the north east when it launches Muro Lounge on the former Argos site in Hexham in October. Talking last year, Collins said the north east was a region the company was “gradually starting to edge into” with Lounge openings in Northallerton, Rippon and Scarborough – but there was “an awful lot that we still got to go for”. The business is set to expand its opening rate from 29 sites to 34 next year and had identified potential for at least 600 Lounges across the UK.

Harts Group eyes Battersea for El Pastor opening: Harts Group – the London-based restaurant company that owns Barrafina, Quo Vadis, Casa Pastor and Parrillan, is planning an opening under its El Pastor concept, in Battersea. Propel understands that the business, which is led by Anna Watkins, is in talks to open a site at the Circus West Village part of the Battersea Power Station development. The business currently operates three sites under the Mexican taquerias concept, in Borough Market, King’s Cross and Soho. Earlier this month, the Harts Group reported turnover climbed to £14,987,128 in the year ending 31 July 2022 (2021: £8,196,588) aided by the opening of Barrafina Borough Yards. Its pre-tax profit stood at £435,184 (2021: £678,087). Harts Group opened the fifth site for its Barrafina concept, in Borough Yards, last summer, and the company said the performance of the site had so far been “good”. Gross profit margin was 76.4% against 77.8% the year before.

Haven invests £18m in transforming Kent holiday park into flagship site with new name and concepts: Holiday park operator has Haven invested £18m in transforming a Kent holiday park into flagship site with a new name and concepts. The business, which was acquired by Blackstone in 2021, has renamed the Haven Allhallows Leisure Park as Haven Kent Coast and added a waterside “Adventure Village”, a state-of-the-art 1,200-seater Marina Bar & Stage and a 100-seater terrace. Guests will also be able to enjoy recently developed food and beverage outlets such as the new Seaside Treats, Burger King, Papa John’s and Cook’s Fish & Chips. It forms part of Haven’s £170m development plan across its parks in 2023, following the £230m already invested across 2021 and 2022. Haven said it has seen strong demand from the UK staycation market, with an increase in holiday bookings of 18% year on year for the January to July period, and with the Kent site welcoming more than 20% more holidaymakers this year. In total, Haven is set to host 3.5 million holiday makers throughout 2023, while summer holiday bookings have exceeded pre-pandemic levels, which are up 32% compared to 2019. Simon Palethorpe, managing director at Haven, said: “We are thrilled to have transformed and relaunched Haven Kent Coast, not only because it showcases our ambitious developments, but because it promises our UK holidaymakers an unrivalled, elevated holiday experience. We are always striving to ensure we are giving our guests the UK holiday they deserve, and this huge investment into the park ensures we can provide the best entertainment and dining experiences.”

Puttshack builds US pipeline, signs on first Maryland site: Indoor mini golf experience Puttshack has continued to build its pipeline in the US, with 13 new openings lined up, including its first in Maryland. The company, which operates four sites in the UK, currently has nine sites in the US, with venues in Dallas and Nashville projected to open in late 2023. It has now signed a new lease in Maryland at Baltimore’s Harbor East – a premier retail, dining, and entertainment destination. Puttshack’s Baltimore outpost will be the company’s first in Maryland and is projected to open in late 2024. The almost 25,000 square-foot space will feature three tech-driven nine-hole mini golf courses, two full-service bars and an outdoor patio space with seating for around 50 customers. Alongside the openings in Maryland, Dallas and Nashville, the brand has a further ten sites in its US openings pipeline, including sites in Minneapolis, Dania Beach (Florida), Philadelphia, Reston (Virginia) and Scottsdale. Last October, Puttshack completed a growth capital round of $150m (£135.9m) from funds managed by BlackRock and continued support from Promethean Investments. The company said the new funding would support its “rapid growth strategy in the US, bringing its cutting-edge and high-energy experience to more cities across the nation”.

PureGym reports new site openings and increased membership drives strong year on year profit growth: PureGym, Britain’s biggest health and fitness club operator, has said new site openings and increased membership are driving strong year on year profit growth. Announcing its second quarter and half year results for the period ending 30 June 2023, the business said its gym expansion continued at the rate of over one site per week in the first half of the year, including 20 new gyms in the UK and seven under franchise in the Middle East. Revenue increased by 17% to £272m, from £233m in 2022, driven by a growth in membership and increased average revenue per member. Operating profit was up 43% from £28m in 2022 to £40m, while adjusted Ebitda grew 28% from £49m in 2022 to £63m. Both gym and membership numbers were up 11%, with the gym count growing from 525 in 2022 to 582, while membership was up from 1.665 million to 1.855 million. “The group’s performance recovery is gathering momentum with good progress across all areas of the business, including growth in revenue and like-for-like revenue, profitability, ongoing estate expansion, member numbers and cost control in an inflationary environment,” it said, “Membership growth in new UK gyms is performing ahead of plan, demonstrating the strength of the proposition and the importance of health, well-being and fitness to consumers, despite the cost-of-living crisis. A robust liquidity position of £356m provides a solid foundation for ongoing expansion, while preparation for refinancing of bonds is well advanced and a key focus for the management team in the second half of the year.” Humphrey Cobbold, chief executive of PureGym Group, added: “Demand for our low cost, flexible gym memberships remains strong and I am particularly pleased with the join up rates at our new sites – we have opened 92 corporate-owned sites since the end of the last covid lockdown period in April 2021. It is satisfying to be able to report that trading since the period end in June has remained strong and we continued to move forward with seven new corporate-owned openings since the end of the first half. Looking ahead, we have a clear strategy for growth built around restoring pre-covid performance across our legacy estate, consolidating our position in Denmark and continuing our expansion plans through new sites in the UK and Switzerland, and with franchise partners overseas. We believe that the group has a leading market position in its core markets and a proposition to export to international markets.”

Europe’s first nerf family entertainment centre launches this week: Manchester leisure group Rocafella Leisure will open Europe’s first Nerf entertainment centre today (Friday, 25 August) ahead of a planned UK roll-out. Nerf Action Xperience (NAX) will open at Manchester’s Trafford Palazzo, under licence from toy and game company Hasbro and in partnership with entertainment discovery platform Fever. The family-friendly experience will also provide adult groups with competitive play with Nerf Blasters. The experience will include the UK’s first Nerf dedicated retail store, an 8,000 square-foot shop, and will be the first location in a UK-wide rollout over the next five years. Chris Hayes, chief executive of Rocafella Leisure Group, said: “We’ve worked exhaustively with our partners Hasbro to curate and deliver what we know will be a first-class venue for highly active, fun-filled and adrenaline-packed activities and challenges for all the families and adults. The UK hasn’t seen anything like this before so we simply can’t wait for people to join us and see what’s in store.” Rocafella is also behind the Total Ninja in Manchester’s Trafford Park, while Hayes launched the first site for the now seven-strong trampoline park Jump-INC.

Lina Stores to open ‘hidden aperitivo bar’ at Soho site, deli to add evening wine bar offer: Delicatessen brand Lina Stores is set to open a “hidden aperitivo bar” at its Soho site. Bar Lina will open this autumn underneath the Lina Stores deli at 18 Brewer Street. The entrance will be through the delicatessen’s original entrance and down a staircase to the basement, which was previously the store’s pasta kitchen. The space has been transformed into an intimate, candle-lit bar with 28 covers, including ten bar seats. The cocktail menu will offer “creative twists on classic Italian serves” as well as wines from independent, low intervention growers from regions throughout Italy. Guests will be welcomed with complimentary bar snacks, while the menu will pair such snacks with freshly sliced cured meats and formaggi. The upstairs deli will also undergo an evening transformation and transform into an intimate wine bar with 12 covers, serving Italian wines by both the bottle and glass along with meats, cheeses and antipasti straight from the counter. Guests will also be able to continue their shopping until late into the evening. Head chef Masha Rener said: “Bar Lina is a real reflection of the vibrant bar scene in Italy and Soho, a reminder of that late-night Negroni or second glass of wine with friends old and new. It feels incredibly special to breathe new life into our original delicatessen and to continue the history of Lina Stores within Soho.” Lina Stores operates six restaurants and delis across London, the latest having opened in Clapham in June.

St Austell Brewery launches campaign to fit defibrillators to its pubs: South west brewer and pub company St Austell Brewery has launched a campaign to fit defibrillators across its circa 180-strong pub estate. The Heart of the Community campaign was launched after the brewery identified 55 of its pubs in places which don’t currently have access to a defibrillator. To kick off the campaign, St Austell Brewery has already installed defibrillators on the wall outside the County Arms in Truro and the Borough Arms in Bodmin. Pub goers can help save lives by purchasing a portion of fish and chips (25p per portion will go towards the defibrillator campaign) or by scanning a QR code on posters. St Austell Brewery will match fund every £1 donated by the public. The brewery has partnered with the Ronnie Richards Memorial Charity (RRMC) to buy the vital equipment. Piers Thompson, St Austell Brewery’s external relations director, said: “We’re really excited to be launching this campaign to ensure public access defibrillators are available to many of our pub’s local communities. We have sites in some of the most popular places in the south west, and often in remote locations. Installing lifesaving devices in over 50 of our sites is very important to us, and more importantly, it will increase the likelihood of lives being saved.”

Popeyes confirms September opening for Barnsley drive-thru and 30th UK site: Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, the US fried chicken quick-service brand, has confirmed its latest drive-thru site will open in Barnsley next month. The restaurant will launch at the town’s The Peel Centre on Friday, 29 September – the brand’s 11th opening in 2023 and 30th since launching in the UK in 2021 (including dark kitchens). Popeyes’ second restaurant in Yorkshire following its opening in Rotherham, it will offer 88 seats indoors and 24 outside. It will also have a dual-ordering lane to reduce queueing times, plus two waiting bays and kerbside collection from six designated bays for online orders. Guests can also tuck into Popeyes’ new breakfast menu, including breakfast rolls, muffins, cajun hash browns and Louisiana buttermilk biscuits served with cinnamon sugar or Nutella.

Michelin-starred Birmingham restaurant set to permanently relocate: Michelin-starred Birmingham restaurant Carters of Molesey is set to permanently relocate. Chef director Brad Carter opened the restaurant, at 2c St Mary’s Row on Wake Green Road, with partner Holly Jackson in 2010. It will relaunch at a new venue in 2024, although a location has not yet been revealed. In the meantime, the restaurant has temporarily moved to Evesham, as a pop-up at one of horticulture business Westland UK’s glasshouses, until 5 November. Alongside an £85 tasting menu, there will be a wine list focusing on artisanal growers and a selection of specially designed cocktails from mixologist Rob Wood. Carter said: “Westlands UK is committed to sustainability, so our responsibility throughout summer is to support their ongoing mission of work – the menu sits at around 75% of produce grown in and around the dining space.” Will Boers, managing director at Westlands UK, added: “We’re so proud to welcome the highly regarded Carters of Moseley on-site here. Brad and I have worked closely together for a number of years and feel this collaboration is an epic match.”

Japanese restaurant and bar concept Osaka to double up: Japanese restaurant and bar concept Osaka is to begin its roll out with an opening in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. The concept, which opened its debut site in Reading at the start of 2020, will open a second site later this autumn on the former Gap unit in the town’s Eden Centre scheme. Led by Kaman Lam, the business launched its debut site on the ex-Café Rouge site in Reading’s The Oracle development. The concept says it serves dishes “inspired from the streets of Japan” such as sushi, ramen, Katsu curry and noodle soup. It said: “We offer a different Japanese restaurant experience for the price you pay, serving a variety of quality food and drinks. Our dishes are a perfect mix of fresh and filing that you will find so satisfying. We believe food is one of the best tools to create meaningful connections regardless of age, race or gender.”

Former Scottish fine dining restaurant bought to market: The former Brian Maule at Chardon d’Or fine dining restaurant in Glasgow has been bought to market after the company behind it last month went into administration. The restaurant, which was led by award-winning chef Brian Maule, had traded at West Regent Street for 22 years. Christie & Co, on behalf of joint administrators Alistair McAlinden and Blair Nimmo, is now marketing the property, which occupies a B-listed 1803s building. Situated over two floors, it can accommodate up to 140 customers across the main restaurant, basement and small bar areas and has two fully operating industrial kitchens. Tony Spence, associate director at Christie & Co, who is handling the sale, said: “The property recently traded as a fine dining restaurant for the last 20 years and remains well-placed and equipped to cater for other cuisines.”

Hiden Japanese curry lab set to open second site: Hiden Japanese curry lab is set to open its second site, in London’s Finsbury Park. The business opened its debut site, at Coal Drops Yard in King’s Cross, in December 2020. It is now preparing to open a 23-cover site in the former Seasons site at 53 Stroud Green Road later this month, reports Hot Dinners. Hiden serves up three types of curry – original beef, a mild chicken version and vegan red lentils option – to which guests can add eggs, kimchi and salad, with everything made entirely in-house.

Return to Archive Click Here to Return to the Archive Listing
Punch Taverns Link
Return to Archive Click Here to Return to the Archive Listing
Propel Premium
Pernod Mailibu Banner
Meaningful Vision Banner
Mccain Banner
Casula Dining Banner
Heineken SmartDispense Banner
Contract Furniture Group Banner
Pepper Banner
Heinz Banner
Alcumus Banner
Santa Maria Banner
Cruzcampo Banner
Propel Banner
Nutritics Banner
Heinz Banner
Zonal Banner
Access Banner
Propel Banner
Christie & Co Banner
Sideways Banner
Kurve Banner
CACI Banner
Airship – Toggle Banner
Wireless Social Banner
Payments Managed Banner
Deliverect Banner
Zonal Banner
HGEM Banner
Pepper Banner