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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Sat 16th Sep 2023 - Exclusive: ASK co-founder to launch new concept, Brixton Academy, Center Parcs
Exclusive – ASK and Zizzi co-founder to launch new restaurant concept Chubby Bunny: Adam Kaye, who with his brother Sam, founded the ASK Italian and Zizzi restaurant brands, is to launch a new concept called Chubby Bunny, in central London. Kaye, who is also a shareholder in Tasty PLC, the Wildwood and Dim T operator, will open the new concept on the former Prezzo site at 30-34 New Oxford Street, later this year. Chubby Bunny promises to “disrupt the London dining scene” with its unique concept, which will offer five different cuisines all under one roof. The company said: “The restaurant aims to redefine the dining experience by integrating cutting-edge Artificial Intelligence to offer automatic self-service pizza and self-service candy floss.” The Kaye family were previously the majority shareholders of Prezzo, which was led by Adam’s cousin Jonathan, who returned to the restaurant scene with his new Italian concept, Storia, in 2021. Storia has since grown to three sites, with a further three, all ex-Prezzo sites, set to open over the next six months in Shepperton (September 2023), Woodford Green (November 2023) sand Redhill (February 2024). Adam Kaye is also an executive director at cinema chain Everyman. Zack Azulay at Restaurant Property acted for Kaye in securing the New Oxford Street site.

Premium subscribers to receive all videos from Propel Multi-Club Conference and summer party on 29 September: Premium subscribers are to receive access to all the videos from this month’s Propel Multi-Club Conference and summer party. Premium subscribers will be sent 12 videos on Friday, 29 September at 9am. The videos will include: Karl Chessell, director at CGA Nielsen; Verity Foss, co-founder, and Lina Blythe, operations director of Oowee Vegan; Asad Khan, founder of Snowflake Luxury Gelato; Lisa Buckley, chief executive of Leisure TV Rights; Paula MacKenzie, chief executive of PizzaExpress; Mark Selby, co-founder of Mexican brand Wahaca; Heydon Mizon, joint managing director of Hertfordshire brewer and retailer McMullen; Tom Crowley, chief executive of Popeyes UK; Jack Anderson, chief operating officer of Sessions, the growth platform for food brands and food hall concept operator, and Olivia Reid, its director of food and beverage; and Tom James, managing director of Bill’s. Olivia FitzGerald, chief sales and marketing officer at Zonal; Mark Chapman, founder of Zero Carbon Forum; Heydon Mizon; and Maria Hunter, owner of the Pigs Head, Clapham; discuss how sector companies are saving money as they drive to achieve net zero. Krishnan Doyle, managing director of COREcruitment, leads a panel on the latest recruitment and retention issues being faced across the sector, featuring: Thomas Stroppel, head of learning and development at Dishoom; Maureen Sandbach, people director at Honest Burgers; Rachel Masing, people director at ETM Group and Maven Leisure; Hattie Renshaw, head of talent at Sodexo; and Laura Mills, chief operating officer at The Ivy Collection. Premium subscribers receive all the videos from Propel conferences each year – around 100 in total. Propel managing director Paul Charity said: “This is a great way to keep you team abreast of what’s happening in the sector.” 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 jo.charity@propelinfo.com to upgrade your subscription. Premium subscribers also receive their morning newsletter 11 hours early, at 7pm the evening before; regular video content and regular exclusive columns from Propel group editor Mark Wingett.

Brixton Academy can reopen once conditions are met: The O2 Academy Brixton can reopen once it has met 77 “extensive and robust” conditions “designed to promote public safety”, Lambeth Council has said. The south London music venue’s licence was suspended last December after two people were killed when fans without tickets tried to force their way in. The council held a two-day licencing hearing on whether the academy should be allowed to host events again. The venue’s owner AMG said a timeline for when it will reopen would be announced. The 77 conditions to be met by the venue include stronger doors, new crowd management systems, more detailed risk assessments, a new ticketing system, a centralised control and command centre and new security and management. The council’s cabinet member for safer communities, Mahamed Hashi, said the measures had been “proposed by (owners) AMG (Academy Music Group) at the hearing to support their aim of regaining the venue’s licence so it can reopen, and making sure we never see a tragedy again like the one there in December 2022”. He added that the local authority would continue to support the ongoing police investigation into the incident. In a statement, AMG said it was “immensely grateful” to Lambeth Council for its decision and that the academy would reopen with a series of test events. The Met Police said it would work with AMG and the council to ensure “safety is paramount”. During the two-day hearing, Philip Kolvin KC, representing AMG, expressed “deep sorrow” for the families of the victims. He said his clients had conducted a “root and branch exercise” to determine how to improve safety at the venue. AMG said it would no longer employ AP Security, which has faced criticism for its handling of gigs at Brixton, as well as allegations that guards accepted bribes to admit people without a valid ticket. Showsec, which manages security at AMG’s 17 other venues across the country, will now manage Brixton, and the minimum number of guards on site at gigs will increase. The main doors of the venue, which were breached on 15 December as the crowd surged towards the lobby, will also be strengthened. Michael Kill chief executive of the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA), said: “Brixton Academy has consistently held a special place in the hearts of music aficionados, and its cultural significance is immeasurable. We have consistently advocated for its safe reopening, and today’s decision reaffirms our unwavering commitment to ensuring its continued success as a hub for live music and entertainment. This achievement owes much to our collaboration with the local community, artists, and devoted fans. Together, we have showcased the resilience and unyielding spirit that define Brixton and its dynamic music scene. We are indebted to each and every individual who signed petitions, participated in meetings, and voiced their support through various avenues. We also recognise the profound responsibility that accompanies this, and acknowledge the tragic events of last December, which resulted in the loss of two lives. We are resolute in our commitment to supporting the implementation of the agreed stringent safety measures to prevent any such tragedy from recurring. Our paramount concern remains the safety and enjoyment of all those who enjoy nightlife.”

Sky News – Center Parcs owner in talks with new investors over stake sale: The owner of Center Parcs’ operations in Britain is in talks with some of its own investors about the sale of a stake in the holiday resorts company amid a stuttering £5bn auction. Sky News reported Brookfield Property Partners, which has owned Center Parcs UK business since 2015, has opened discussions with a number of the limited partners in its funds about a potential transaction. The talks are understood to be at a preliminary stage, and may not lead to a deal, a City source said. However, the disclosure of the conversations underlines the fact Brookfield is evaluating serious alternatives to an outright sale of Center Parcs UK and Ireland. Sky News revealed the names of a string of bidders for the company during the summer, including CVC Capital Partners, the real estate specialist KSL Capital Partners and the Singaporean sovereign wealth fund GIC. Center Parcs’ suitors have, however, refused to meet Brookfield’s value expectations amid initial hopes the company might fetch as much as £5bn. One insider said Brookfield was being “creative” in its approach to a deal, with refinancing, recapitalisation and partial sale all under review. It has also not given up on the idea of a full disposal of the business, which comprises six sites in the UK and Ireland, and has enjoyed buoyant trading since the lockdowns triggered by the covid-19 pandemic. The company has been owned by Brookfield since 2015, which bought Center Parcs’ UK operations for a reported £2.4bn. Brookfield has hired Bank of America, Barclays and Eastdil Secured to manage the sale. Center Parcs’ UK and Ireland operations are owned separately to the European business that also trades under the brand.

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