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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Tue 5th Dec 2023 - Drake & Morgan results, Häagen-Dazs to relaunch franchised ice cream shops in UK
Drake & Morgan experiencing record Christmas bookings as full-year turnover increases to £43.3m: Drake & Morgan, the London bar and restaurant group backed by Bowmark Capital, has said it has experienced record Christmas bookings across the estate, which are up more than 20% on last year. The company, which operates 18 sites, said it has seen robust trading in its current financial year with new immersive weekend events driving sales. Ongoing investment in terraces has supported revenue post-summer, with igloos installed at The Sipping Room and a revamped outside bar at The Parlour, both in Canary Wharf. It comes as the business reported turnover increased to £43.3m for the 52 weeks ending 26 March 2023 compared with £35.9m last year. Adjusted Ebitda profit was £4.1m; (2022: £5.0m), mainly due to the impact of rail strikes. The business successfully exited its company voluntary arrangement in June and has extended its banking facilities until December 2025. Chief financial officer David King said: “We have been extremely pleased with the underlying performance of the business with our core weekday trade now being complemented by some fantastic weekend events, helping to deliver continued sales growth. This is further reflected in our bookings for Christmas 2023, which look set to deliver a record festive season. This performance has been delivered despite ongoing industrial action on the railways, which we estimate impacted sales and Ebitda by £2.5m and £1.4m respectively in FY23. We were pleased to see the outcome of the recent RMT ballot and urge others to reach a resolution that will allow the business to reach its full potential. We remain confident in our ability to offer all our customers – leisure and corporate – exceptional experiences and look forward to an exciting year ahead.” Drake & Morgan features in the Propel Turnover & Profits Blue Book, the latest edition of which will be sent to Premium subscribers on Monday (11 December). Its turnover of £43.3m is the 205th 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.

Häagen-Dazs to relaunch franchised ice cream shops in UK: Häagen-Dazs is relaunching franchised ice cream shops in the UK, with a focus on Greater London as a first step. The brand has recently returned to London for the first time since closing its Leicester Square store in 2015, with a pop-up store within John Lewis’ flagship in Oxford Street. Häagen-Dazs said it is now ready to expand and contract with multi-unit franchises “sharing a common passion for high quality products and excellent consumer service”. The company stated: “As a franchiser, Häagen-Dazs is passionate about three things: continuing to empower its reputation of excellence, providing its customers with the highest quality ice cream in the world, and providing its franchisees with exceptional support and success opportunities. The brand has been a franchiser since 1976 in more than 40 countries. Häagen-Dazs shops offer a selection of 24 premium flavours, seasonal specialties, limited editions as well as signature creations and drinks, pastries and cakes to cater to different moments of the day and seasons throughout the year. This luxury ice cream wishes to identify franchise partners to open at least 25 stores across the UK over the next five years, fitting the following profile :a passion for the Häagen-Dazs brand; operational and management experience in the retail and/or restaurant sectors; relevant real estate acquisition experience; the organisational, operational and financial capability to build and run multiple Häagen-Dazs stores; and a commitment to developing multiple stores in a defined area.” Founded by Reuben Mattus, Häagen-Dazs has been making ice cream since 1960. Launched with three flavours – chocolate, vanilla, and coffee, today the company is sold in major supermarkets, convenience stores, foodservice channels and through a network of 850 shops globally. Häagen-Dazs is part of General Mills, a food company founded in 1866 and headquartered in Minneapolis, USA. Häagen-Dazs will feature in the next Propel UK Food & Beverage Franchisor Database, which features 225 companies either franchising or looking to franchise in the UK. 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. 

International kebab house brand to make UK debut with Oxford Street opening: Kebhouze, the international kebab house brand, is to make its UK debut later this month, with an opening on London’s Oxford Street. Kebhouze’s London store, which opens on Thursday, 21 December, follows the opening of 24 stores in two years across Italy and Spain. The London opening will be its largest site, spread over three floors, each “packed with everything from interactive arcade games, table football and street art to world-class premium kebabs”. Kebhouze’s menu includes traditional wraps alongside burgers, healthy bowls, plus fries, onion rings and nuggets. The company said: “Tradition meets innovation on the Kebhouze menu, with a range of unique toppings including bacon, olives and cheddar cheese. For the little ones, Kebhouze offers its Kebby Meal – a goodie box including a mini kebab burger, French fries, soft drink and a special Kinder surprise. Across the top floor of the UK’s largest kebab house, guests will find a Kebhouze-themed arcade offering free games to keep kids and big kids alike entertained. From arcade classics to its very own foosball table, there’s something for everyone.” Oliver Zon, general manager at Kebhouze said: “When it comes to the UK, you either go big or you go home. We of course decided to do one better than that and go for the biggest, opening the nation’s largest ever kebab house. Unlike the kebabs most Brits are accustomed to, we offer premium ingredients at a low cost, and prioritise variety, so whether you fancy a wrap, bowl or burger, Kebhouze is here to satisfy your cravings. Our three-floor store in Oxford Street is one of a kind; an immersive kebab house packed with entertainment for all ages. Our mission is to ensure Londoners can enjoy kebab in an entertaining and fun setting – all while keeping costs low and quality high.” The concept was developed by a group of Italian entrepreneurs in May 2021, who noticed a gap in the food retail market.

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