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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Tue 29th Aug 2023 - Propel Tuesday News Briefing

Story of the Day:

Confidence high amongst hospitality leaders despite ongoing cost and staffing challenges: Optimism among Britain’s hospitality leaders has risen for the third quarter in a row, the new Business Confidence Survey from CGA by NIQ and Fourth reveals. The poll shows 62% of leaders currently feel optimistic about prospects for their business over the next 12 months—an increase of eight percentage points from the last survey in May. The proportion of leaders feeling confident about the hospitality market in general has climbed by five percentage points quarter-on-quarter, to 45%. More than four in five (84%) leaders say they operated at a profit in the second quarter of the year, and 37% did so at a higher margin than in the same period last year. Nearly two in five (38%) leaders of independent operators now feel optimistic about prospects for hospitality—sharply up by 15 percentage points from the last survey. However, all leaders say they are concerned to some extent about inflation in food and drink, and more than nine in ten are concerned about energy prices and contracts (96%) and interest rates (91%). Two thirds (67%) of leaders say their year-on-year sales growth is less than or equal to their cost increases, while one in nine (11%) say their business remains at risk of failing—though this is three percentage points down from the last survey. Businesses are also dogged by personnel issues, with 91% of leaders concerned about staff shortages and 92% by increases in National Living Wage levels. One in nine (11%) roles are currently vacant and open for applications, a quarter-on-quarter increase of two percentage points. Karl Chessell, CGA by NIQ’s director – hospitality operators and food, EMEA, said: “It’s encouraging to see businesses of all sizes looking to the future with such confidence, and with strong underlying demand for pubs, bars and restaurants, the outlook is good. However, ongoing high inflation and staffing issues mean trading conditions will remain challenging until at least the end of the year.” Sebastien Sepierre, managing director – EMEA, Fourth, added: “It’s fantastic to see business confidence return to the hospitality sector in recent months, especially in the face of continuing industry challenges. As these figures show, it’s clear that hospitality leaders remain cautious about key issues such as inflation and staff shortages, which can have a major impact on profitability.”

Industry News:

A variety of exclusive benefits available for Propel Premium subscribers: A variety of exclusive benefits are available for Propel Premium subscribers, including six comprehensive databases: the Multi-Site Database, which is produced in association with Virgate; the New Openings Database; the Propel Turnover & Profits Blue Book; the UK Food and Beverage Franchisor Database; the Who’s Who of UK Food and Beverage; and 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. This exclusive database will be sent out bi-monthly, including new entries and updates to existing entries. 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. 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. 

The Pig Group people director to speak at Propel Talent & Training Conference, open for bookings: Steve Rockney, group people director at The Pig, 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. Rockney will speak about the group’s Chef Academy and how bee keeping, foraging, gardening, pickling and animal husbandry are part of its initiatives to recruit 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

UKHospitality – businesses face being left behind in energy price cap drop: UKHospitality has said it fears businesses face being left behind in this autumn’s energy price cap drop for consumers. It has written to Amanda Solloway, the minister for energy consumers and affordability, urging the government to deliver on the recommendations in the Ofgem review into the non-domestic energy sector. Chief executive Kate Nicholls said quickly enacting Ofgem’s recommendations could see businesses exit high-tariff contracts and help speed up a fall in inflation. “As consumers rightly see the energy price cap fall again from October, there is a real danger that businesses are being left behind to fend for themselves,” she said. “Thousands of businesses are locked into contracts fixed at the height of the energy crisis, way above current market rates, and some energy suppliers are simply refusing to renegotiate. This is despite a clear direction from Ofgem to do so. It really is scandalous behaviour and is a key reason why inflation continues to remain stubbornly high. The government now has a clear set of recommendations from its energy regulator – we expect these to be acted upon rapidly. Those hospitality businesses that have survived so far have seen through almost 18 months of energy pain, but they may not last much longer if Ofgem’s recommendations to rein in energy suppliers are not enacted soon.”

Growing demand for nutritional information on menus revealed: A growing demand for nutritional information on menus has been revealed by CGA by NIQ’s latest Food Insights Report. The in-depth survey of 2,000 consumers shows that 64% now think it is important to know the nutritional content of their meals out of home, with 45% considering it more important to them than last year. While nutritional data about calories, sugar, fat and salt content is now common, the report indicates that there is mounting interest in other elements such as vitamins and protein. It also shows how menus can improve the positioning of vegetarian or vegan dishes. With more than half of all consumers (52%), and nearly two thirds of younger adults (63%), saying they want to reduce their meat consumption, three in five are more likely to order a meal with reduced animal products if they can choose items to substitute. James Ashurst, CGA’s client director – foodservice, commented: “Interest in well-being surged during the pandemic and it shows no sign of slowing. Many consumers now expect food businesses to be able to provide the nutritional information they want in order to support their healthy lifestyles, and venues that don’t deliver risk falling behind competitors. Understanding exactly what these mindful consumers want is crucial, and our report provides the tools that are needed to optimise menus and maximise spend.”

Trade bodies urge government to renew efforts in easing recruitment shortages: Several trade bodies have united in urging the government to renew its efforts in introducing measures to help ease sector recruitment shortages. The British Beer and Pub Association, the British Institute of Innkeeping, Hospitality Ulster and UKHospitality made the plea following a new survey showing that 61% of hospitality businesses are experiencing staff shortages. It said 40% are reducing trading hours as a result (up to 74% midweek and 42% at the weekend), with two-thirds reporting a sales decline of up to 25%. Chefs remain the most difficult position to recruit, with up to 79% of respondents experiencing vacancies, followed by front of house staff (70%), kitchen porters (59%), brewery staff (57%) and housekeeping (52%). In a joint statement, the trade bodies said: “We saw during the World Cup final just what hospitality can deliver. The sector saw a huge 33% uplift in sales, even as this new data shows that almost two-thirds of venues are running short of staff. Just think what we can deliver if our pubs, bars, restaurants and hotels were able to recruit the positions they need. Which is why it’s frustrating that we have seen little progress in addressing these shortages and that our venues continue to plead for a better recruitment environment, particularly from overseas. It’s clear the government recognises this as an issue, but solutions have not been forthcoming.” The bodies said widening the Youth Mobility Scheme and Shortage Occupation List would be “a starting point to solving recruitment woes”.

NTIA slams London's ULEZ expansion: The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) has slammed the expansion of London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) scheme. The scheme’s midnight threshold, coupled with the removal of day travel passes, shows a shocking lack of consideration for the city’s workforce, the trade body said. “The midnight threshold unfairly condemns countless night workers who are unable to afford compliant vehicles to a double whammy of charges,” said NTIA chief executive Michael Kill. “It also brings into question how many night workers are paying double when public transport is limited due to industrial action. This long standing issue will be further compounded by further policy changes which will see parking fines increase and the imposition of outrageous charges for using the Blackwall Tunnel. These unjustified financial impositions, coupled with the impending removal of the day travel pass in January, are unmistakable signals that London's authorities are turning their back on the very essence of accessibility, safety and inclusivity.”

Scottish hospitality leaders join fight against Glasgow’s LEZ: Scottish hospitality leaders have joined a fight against a ban on older vehicles being enforced through Glasgow's Low Emission Zone. The Scottish Licensed Trade Association (SLTA) and UKHospitality Scotland have joined businesses in raising concerns over the introduction of fines for those who travel into the city with non-compliant cars, reports The Herald. Campaigners have highlighted a “damaging consequences on businesses, customers and staff” arising from the scheme. Christian Rose, chief executive of Powerleague, the UK’s largest five-a-side football provider, said: “We are finding many of our customers and colleagues are having to park outside the zone and either walk in or get a taxi here, while suppliers are having to drop off deliveries outside the zone and we need to go and collect it.” Luigi Aseni, owner of Boteco Do Brasil restaurant at Trongate, said: “The impact of the LEZ has been nothing but negative. It’s stopping people from coming into the city centre and businesses across the hospitality and night-life sectors are feeling the effects of it.” Scott McMillan, owner of LGBT venue AXM Club on Glassford Street, said: “Every hospitality business owner I know hates what the LEZ has done. Glasgow is fast becoming the place not to go to rather the vibrant welcoming city we used to be.” Colin Wilkinson, managing director at the SLTA, said: “We are deeply concerned about the negative impact this exclusion initiative will have on the hospitality and night-time economy sectors and those that supply our industry.” Leon Thompson, executive director at UKHospitality Scotland, added: “We have serious concerns about how workers in hospitality, and the night-time economy specifically, are being impacted by LEZ.”

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Company News:

Itsu plans to double size of UK estate, exploring further European territories: Itsu, the healthy Asian food chain founded by Julian Metcalfe, plans to more than double its current circa 80-strong UK estate and told Propel it believes there are still plenty of opportunities for “our temples to health[ier] fast food across UK cities and towns, bustling transport hubs and roadsides”. Earlier this month, the business reported a 59% increase in sales to £138m in the year to the end of 2022, as it saw its “highest group sales in history this July”. It also announced it had signed a new partnership with Scoffs Group, the largest Costa Coffee franchisee in the UK, with the first site set to open in Exeter. Itsu chief financial officer Greg Thorp told Propel: “We expect the majority of restaurants outside of central London to be created with franchise partners but will continue to build our temples in central London. Scoffs will build Itsus across the south and south west, with Exeter high street to be the first later this year. We currently have four UK franchisees – Heart with Smart, Savvi Group, IVI Holdings and Scoffs Group. We’re excited to be talking to proud and professional UK franchisees and expect to start work with new partners in the near future.” Thorp said the business was “very happy” with its two sites in Europe, in Brussels airport (with Autogrill) and Paris (with Groupe Bertrand), and said the brand was exploring further opportunities on the continent. He said: “Our grocery business is already paving the way for our Asian-inspired eat beautiful menu across Europe. We believe Itsu’s health[ier] offering will resonate with customers across Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Spain, Italy and several other European markets.” Itsu plans to open ten new sites this year, with outlets recently opened in South Kensington, Bishopsgate and Oxford Street, and new openings in King’s Cross, Liverpool, Windsor and Glasgow set to follow. It is aiming to add a further 20 new openings in 2024. Jen Hofma, chief executive of Itsu franchisee Heart with Smart Group, told Propel last week that it is planning to add further locations to its five-strong Itsu estate, focusing on expanding the brand in Scotland and the north west. “Our Itsu restaurants in Edinburgh and Aberdeen have exceeded all expectations, in areas we weren’t expecting to do as well as we have,” he said. “Scotland and the north west are definitely ready for Itsu.” Itsu features in the Propel Turnover & Profits Blue Book. Its turnover of £138m for the year ending 31 December 2022 is the 59th highest in the database. The Blue Book ranks companies by turnover, profit and profit conversion, listing directors’ earnings for the past five years. 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.

Le Pain Quotidien parent company pumped £9.3m into UK business before it went into administration, Ukrainian deal fell through due to war: Le Pain Quotidien’s parent company pumped £9.3m into the UK business before it went into administration, new documents have revealed. A statement of administrator’s proposal report by Sarah Rayment and Philip Dakin of Kroll Advisory said the company sustained losses in each financial year since its incorporation in 2020 until they were appointed as administrators in June 2023. These losses, the report said, were funded by the parent company to the tune of £9.3m over the period. Towards the end of 2022, the company took steps to reduce its cost base by exiting loss-making restaurants and hiring a franchise consultant to find a franchise partner to take the business forward, but none was found. It closed two restaurants at the end of 2022 and three more in early 2023 and also entered into discussions with a Ukrainian based company to take over four of these restaurants. “However, due to the impact of the war in Ukraine, just prior to exchanging on these restaurants, the party advised that they would be unable to complete the transaction,” the report said. After incurring further losses at the start of 2023, the company hired Kroll to assess it options, including a possible company voluntary arrangement and launching a sale process. “While offers were received (eight in total), none were capable of being transacted,” the report said. “As a result, all trading ceased on 29 June 2023.” Despite making a loss in each of its financial years, the company’s performance improved during 2022 as it generated turnover of £21m, up from £14m in 2021. “However, while revenues had increased year on year, they were still less than the pre-pandemic level,” the report said. “Further, as a result of high overheads and several loss-making restaurants, the company generated a loss of over £2m.” In the first four months of 2023, the company made an additional loss of £680,000 due to reduced London footfall and increasing operating costs. So far, one lease of the company’s 13 leasehold restaurants has been surrendered, and the process to seek either assignments to third parties or surrender them to the landlords for a premium is ongoing. Non-preferential unsecured creditors are owed a total of £12,052,990 and it remains uncertain if they will receive a payment. The exit route has been left open but the most likely will be a creditors’ voluntary liquidation. Alternatively, the company will be dissolved.

Vinoteca owner Breal Group acquires former We Are Bar sites: London investment firm Breal Group, which has so far this year acquired Brew by Numbers, Black Sheep Brewery, Brick Brewery and Vinoteca, has acquired a pair of former We Are Bar sites in London as it looks to build a portfolio of hospitality businesses. Propel understands that the investment firm has acquired the ex-Jamie’s Wine Bar in Adam’s Court and The Bolthole in Suffolk Lane, both in the City, out of administration, for a total consideration of £100,000. It is thought Breal is in talks on a further three ex-We Are Bar sites. Propel revealed last September that the seven-strong We Are Bar business had been placed in administration. It is understood that Breal will soon relaunch the Adam’s Court site under the name Andreas Bars. Talking to The Times, Neil Gostelow, investment director at Breal, which is funded by private family offices, said the company would acquire other brands and grow its portfolio of pubs, bars and restaurants. He also said craft beer has a bright future in Britain despite the loss of dozens of independent breweries in the past year. “There is growth in craft,” he said. “It suffered badly as a result of covid and the way the people financed the businesses [but] we see real potential in this industry. You need to look at the US – we are probably lagging five years behind the US. It went through that massive expansion and then got into trouble, you saw a lot of small breweries starting to fail. Now you see craft ale is a growing market there. We are getting contacted three to four times a week with other opportunities, but we are very selective. Black Sheep is steeped in history, has a fantastic brand; Brick Brewery is a great brand and product; Brew by Numbers was the golden child of the craft brewing industry when it first launched [in 2011].” Gostelow added that the three breweries would be run independently but with some shared resource, such as a sales team promoting the brands’ products to the same venues. “The brand ethos absolutely stays. The way the brewers are creative is really important,” he said.

Burger King UK signs franchise deal with Scoffs Group, trading ahead of the QSR market: Burger King UK, the Bridgepoint-backed, Alasdair Murdoch-led business, has signed a franchise agreement with the Scoffs Group, the largest Costa Coffee franchisee in the UK, as it remains on track to open 30 new sites this year, Propel has learned. It is understood that Burger King has a few sites in the pipeline already with Scoffs, which is led by Antony Tagliamonti and is also a franchisee of Itsu and Miss Millie’s Fried Chicken. It is believed that a first site under the new partnership is planned to open in Taunton, on the former Carphone Warehouse premises at 34 Fore Street, which has been vacant since April 2020. Over the last couple of years, Burger King UK has signed up several new franchisees, including the Motor Fuel Group (MFG), which has so far opened three restaurants this year with another set to open before year end. Propel understands that Burger King UK continues to make good progress as a business and is believed to be trading ahead of the quick service restaurant market on a like-for-like sales basis. It has opened more than 20 sites to date and still has a number to come in the final quarter to take it to 30 sites by the year end. Earlier this month, Sky News reported that Bridgepoint was in advanced talks about a new franchise deal that will cut the number of new restaurants Burger King is obliged to open each year. It said Bridgepoint is close to striking a long-term deal with Restaurant Brands International (RBI), the US-based owner of the Burger King brand. Sky added: “City sources said that under a new master franchise agreement that would run until about 2034, the owner of Burger King UK would be required to invest in at least 20 new openings annually, rising to close to 40 over time.” A deal is likely to be announced within weeks, Sky added. It follows talks between Bridgepoint and RBI in which the private equity firm is said to have expressed unhappiness about the financial returns it was seeing amid a highly inflationary cost environment.

Subway founders’ relatives in line for windfall following $9.6bn sale: The relatives of Subway’s founders are in line for billions of dollars after the sandwich chain was sold for a reported $9.6bn (£7.6bn). Subway announced last Thursday it had been bought by private equity firm Roark Capital Group, taking the fast-food chain out of family ownership for the first time in six decades. The deal is expected to deliver a windfall to the relatives of the company’s two late founders, Fred DeLuca and Peter Buck. Subway was founded in 1965 when 17-year-old DeLuca received a $1,000 loan from family friend Buck, a nuclear physicist 20 years his senior. He used the cash to open his first sandwich shop, then called Pete’s Super Submarines. Under DeLuca’s leadership, Subway overtook McDonald’s as the largest restaurant chain and now has about 37,000 franchise-run restaurants in more than 100 countries, including 2,100 in the UK. The duo shared 50-50 ownership of Subway’s parent company, Doctor’s Associates, which takes as much 12% in combined royalty and advertising fees from franchise owners, Forbes reported. Following Buck’s death in November 2021, his 50% share of Subway was donated to his private family charity, the Peter and Carmen Lucia Buck Foundation. The other half of Subway belonging to Mr DeLuca, who died in 2015, is now reportedly wholly owned by his widow, Elisabeth. Following Mr DeLuca’s death, his younger sister Suzanne Greco took over as chief executive. However, she stepped down three years later after a series of restaurant closures. Subway’s current boss, John Chidsey, in 2019 became the company’s first chief executive from outside the family. Commenting on the sale, Mr Chidsey said: “Subway has a bright future with Roark, and we are committed to continuing to focus on a win-win-win approach for our franchisees, our guests and our employees.”

Wok&Go owner introducing new dark kitchen franchise as lower entry point, first to open this year, targeting north for expansion: UK noodle bar brand Wok&Go owner Pheby Food Concepts Group is introducing a new dark kitchen franchise as a lower entry point for franchisees, with the first to open later this year. The group is no stranger to virtual kitchens, having introduced several such concepts across its sites in 2018, all of which are treated as fully-fledged brands and marketed as unique delivery experiences. “It’s fair to say buying a franchise from us, or indeed any food brand, is not cheap – circa £200,000 all in for ours, and that’s a mid-market in the sector,” founder Des Pheby said. “We have been looking for ways to substantially lower this entry point cost while adding to the value of our brand. From 1 October, we will launch our dark/ghost kitchen franchise to the sector. It will include our Wok&Go brand and four other internal brands. From £200,000 to under £4,000 fully fitted, all inclusive of licence fee, opening stock, training and a low fixed weekly fee of £250. We aren’t new to dark kitchens, we have been operating them from some of our existing stores for years, and now is time to launch this in its own dedicated locations. We expect to have our first location in the north west of the UK up and running before the end of this year. We are looking for freehold locations to buy in secondary town locations in the north of the UK, with potential for residential conversion of the upper floors and ground floor space, 500-800 square feet.” It comes after the group earlier this month offered up the franchise of its Wok&Go store in High Wycombe to armed forces veterans looking to enter the sector, following its unexpected closure. Founded in Chester in 2008, Wok&Go currently has 18 locations around the UK and in June made its Northern Ireland debut, in Belfast. Pheby Food Concepts Group also operates Crepe Delicious and virtual brands such as The Ramen Co, Go Pho and The Artisan Wrap Co.

Heartwood Collection to add Lichfield pub to inn estate: Heartwood Collection, formerly Brasserie Bar Co, has added a pub in Lichfield, Staffordshire, to its 2024 openings pipeline. Propel understands that the Alchemy Partners-backed group has secured The Crown in Tamworth Street. The pub will open in early 2024 following an extensive refurbishment. It will have 169 internal covers and 73 external covers. Managing director Richard Ferrier told Propel: “We are delighted to have acquired the Crown in Lichfield from a private individual. It is a market we know well and we believe will really suit our offering. It is a high-quality freehold pub and will be our 23rd Heartwood Inn and 37th pub and brasserie overall. We have several other new inns due to complete in early September, including several new inns with rooms, which gives us real momentum as we enter 2024.” Earlier this month, the business opened its latest pub acquisition, The Black Swan in Henley-in-Arden, following an extensive refurbishment. Propel revealed in June that Brasserie Bar Co had rebranded as Heartwood Collection to reflect its “ambitious plan” for growth in freehold premium pubs and pubs with rooms. It is on track to grow to 61 sites and up to 500 bedrooms by 2027 and last month secured £100m of funding to support its growth plans, including £50m from OakNorth Bank and £50m from Alchemy Partners. The business also has the former George Evelyn pub in Long Ditton, Surrey, in its openings pipeline for this year. It has also secured its first site with rooms, The White Hart in Lewes, East Sussex.

Pieminister opens second franchise site, in Derby: Pie and mash restaurant operator Pieminister has opened its second franchise site, in a former betting shop at 34 Victoria Street in Derby. It will offer two-for-one cocktails all day every day, alongside Pieminister’s full range of pies and a selection of lighter filo pastry pies and gluten free choices. There will also be a weekday express lunch offer from £8.50, and at the weekend, there will be Saturday bottomless brunches and Sunday specials. Pieminister’s first franchise site opened earlier this year, in Bath. In June, Pieminister’s Nottingham site became the first to rebrand with a new cocktail, coffee and brunch offering. The site, at 57 Long Row, reopened under the name Long Row Social and is now a mix of a restaurant, cafe and bar, with a full alcohol licence and amended opening hours.

Crepeaffaire opens first Tesco unit: Crepe concept Crepeaffaire has opened its first unit within a Tesco store. The in-store kiosk has opened at the Tesco Extra in Shenley Road in Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, serving crepes and coffees. Daniel Spinath founded Crepeaffaire in 2005, since when it has expanded to 14 UK sites as well a 15 in the Middle East and one in the Netherlands. It also last year launched its smaller footprint Crepe & Roll concept, which originally operated as a food truck in London’s Old Spitalfields Market. In January, Spinath said he is targeting 300 sites over the next five years as he aims to make Crepeaffaire “a global business”.

Asahi partners with Fanzo to bring fans together during Rugby World Cup: Asahi Super Dry has partnered with sports tech company Fanzo to bring fans together during the forthcoming Rugby World Cup. The first-of-its-kind integration of a bar finder into a sports body’s own platform for on trade venues will allow fans around the world to find venues in which to watch the action unfold. Fanzo co-founder Leo MacLehose said: “While 2.6 million fans will watch the games in stadiums across France, millions more will connect with fellow fans across the world to share their passion for the sport and create unforgettable sporting memories. By opening up our technology for the first time and integrating with World Rugby, we’ll be bringing more fans together than ever before to enjoy Asahi Super Dry and the sport at its best.” Eleonore Droulers, global brands director, Asahi Europe and International, added: “We are excited to be partnering with Fanzo and World Rugby to elevate both the customer and on-trade experience ahead of this year’s Rugby World Cup. For fans, this makes it much more convenient for them to come together to watch the matches at quality Asahi Super Dry venues. For our valued on-trade partners, this partnership provides them with the exclusive opportunity to drive footfall and elevate the match experience for their customers.”

SSP appoints new CEO of Nordic region: SSP, the operator of food and beverage outlets in travel locations worldwide, has promoted Bente Brevik from managing director Norway to chief executive of its Nordic region. Brevik joined SSP in February 2018 and led SSP’s entry into Iceland, with two units at Reykjavik airport. She also led the evolution of SSP’s point retail offer in Norway, which has resulted in the start of the company’s retail expansion into new European markets this year, such as Spain and Switzerland. Jeremy Fennell, chief executive of SSP’s European business, said: “The appointment of a Nordic CEO reflects the scale of our European business, which has seen a strong recovery since the pandemic. With new categories, locations and countries opening up across the region in 2024 and an exciting pipeline, the appointment of Bente will allow us to strengthen our operations and be a more efficient organisation.”

Daisy Green to relocate Mayfair site: Australian restaurant group Daisy Green Collection is set to relocate its Ziggy Green site in London’s Mayfair to a larger premises. Ziggy Green, which is currently located at 1 Heddon Street, will close on Thursday, 31 August ahead of a move a few doors down to 4 Heddon Street. Its décor will feature different facets of David Bowie’s life and work – the late singer being synonymous with Heddon Street having been photographed there for the cover of his iconic Ziggy Stardust album. The new site will offer late-night cocktails and a new Syndey-inspired menu when it opens in the autumn. Propel revealed in April that Daisy Green had raised £1.3m in additional equity to support its growth plans, having reported turnover of £13,646,921 (2021: £4,041,656) and company Ebitda of £1,326,905 (2021: £546,098) in the year to 22 April 2022. The 15-strong group’s most recent opening was a restaurant within the National Portrait Gallery in June.

Malhotra Group plans to turn North Tyneside pub into bar, retail unit and apartments: North east pub, restaurant and hotel operator Malhotra Group plans to turn the site of an “unviable” North Tyneside pub into a bar, retail unit and apartments. It has lodged amended plans for The Sandpiper pub in Cullercoats after they were refused by the local authority last year. It wants to replace the pub with 14 apartments, an Asda store and a bar with expanded food provision. A planning statement submitted alongside the application said The Sandpiper “is no longer viable as a going concern”. It added: “The public house has seen decreasing barrelage, trading revenue and profit year-on-year for the past five years. Recent developments at Tynemouth and Whitley Bay, notably the local authority’s flagship Spanish City re-development, have evolved the food and drink offer in the local area, and increased the competition faced by the pub; putting further pressure on its viability.” As well as a property and care portfolio, Malhotra Group operates Leila Lily’s, The Duke of Northumberland and The Market Lane in Newcastle; The Three Mile and Pizza Dough in Gosforth; Osbornes in Jesmond and The Runhead in Ruyton. In September last year, the group outlined a £75m development pipeline over the next five years for its hospitality portfolio. The following month, it reported a strong post-pandemic recovery in demand across its leisure sites, with revenue increasing to £8.8m for the year ending 31 March 2022 (2021: £1.0m) and Ebitda up to £1.8m (2021: minus £0.8m).

Peter Lloyd confirms Islington location for third Sticky Mango site: Chef Peter Lloyd has confirmed the location for his third Sticky Mango site. In a deal brokered by agent Shelley Sandzer, it has taken on the lease of a 2,219 square-foot unit in Islington Square which it is set to open next month. It follows the recent opening of its flagship restaurant in Tower Bridge. Sticky Mango will serve up dishes such as Thai green papaya salad, Malaysian chicken curry puffs and Singapore chilli lobster, with an a la carte menu sitting alongside a sharing-style tasting one. Lloyd said: “Sticky Mango has experienced huge success at the Waterloo site, and following our recent opening in Tower Bridge, we are so pleased to be expanding our portfolio even further and introduce our luxury gastronomic haven to Islington.”

Full F&B line up for Central Bay development revealed: Central Bay, the new waterfront food hall soon to open at Salford’s MediaCity, has revealed the full line up of traders that will take up residence in the kitchens. Featuring 20 different offerings, Kargo MKT will consist of a food hall with a capacity of 400 seats, a 2,000 square-foot outdoor terrace, five waterside shipping container kitchens and a shipping container bar. Kargo will be run by the Blend Family, the team behind Liverpool’s successful GPO food market and Sheffield’s award-winning Cutlery Works. It will showcase the “best in up-and-coming food and drink talent in Salford and the wider region”. The full F&B list in the new foodhall comprises Ad Maiora, Bab K, Baity Palestinian Kitchen, Boba Cha, Chuan Chuan, FEED, Hot & Wild, House of Habesha, Jerk Junction, Leopard Pie, Locale Coffee, Nila’s Burmese Kitchen, Nori, Rio Mex, Rottu Kadai Dosa, TANG, Thatziki, Vnam, What’s Your Beef and Wong Dumplings. Central Bay, which is set to open next month, will also feature 11 Central, a new bar and microbrewery from local brewer and retailer Seven Bro7hers. Matt Bigland, founder and chief executive at Blend Family said: “We take great pride in curating exciting culinary experiences for people, and this is one of the most exciting line-ups of world food we’ve ever put together.”

Former The Fat Duck and Le Gavroche chef to open Mediterranean-inspired London restaurant: Former The Fat Duck and Le Gavroche chef Talia Prince will next month open a new Mediterranean-inspired restaurant in London. Prince, who was also head chef at Lyons Seafood & Wine Bar and held a chef residency at Soho House for her FYR Restaurant concept, will launch Eve at aparthotel lifestyle complex Ember Locke, at 202-220 Cromwell Road in Kensington, on 13 September. The selection of small and large plates will include red Mediterranean prawns with smoked garlic, Bahārāt, lime and chilli butter; herb falafel with tahini and pickles; and Za’atar fried chicken with zhoug mayonnaise. There will also a cafe serving pastries, sandwiches, cakes, juices and hot drinks, and a bar with an adjacent walled garden, terrace and lawn, reports Hot Dinners.

Essex coffee shop concept doubles up with Suffolk opening: Essex coffee concept Sarah’s Coffee has opened its second site by expanding into Suffolk. Accountant Sarah Smy started the business during the pandemic and opened her debut site at Severalls Business Park in Colchester. She decided to open there after working at the park and finding nowhere to pick up her morning coffee or a sandwich at lunch. She has now opened a second site, at Wherstead Park, just off the A14 outside Ipswich. “I am thrilled to open the new coffee shop at Wherstead Park – and it is great to see our offering is already going down a treat with our customers,” she told the Suffolk News. “We offer a range of coffee and tea alongside incredible food from local suppliers. There are so many great treats to choose from – and look forward to sharing our passion for coffee here in Suffolk.”

Activities subscription company set to expand: An activities subscription company is set to expand following a period of growth. Developed by Birmingham entrepreneur Daniel Bridgewater, Buckt is a mystery tickets and activities subscription where every month, subscribers receive five mystery tickets to attractions in their region. In the last year, Buckt has seen its subscriber numbers double following investment from venture capital firm Midven. Having started in Birmingham and expanded to London, Manchester and Liverpool, the business is now set to launch in to Bristol, Bath, Cardiff and Worcestershire. Bridgewater said: “We’ve been overwhelmed by how well-received it’s been in our current regions, and we’re excited to introduce it to the incredible people of the south west and Worcestershire and to work with some of the amazing attractions in those areas. Our current 1,000-plus activity partners offer a huge variety of experiences including cocktail masterclasses, go-karting, wine-tasting experiences, trampoline parks and more. We want to continue this trend of working with the best and most diverse range of partners as we expand into more regions nationwide.”

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