Story of the Day:
Time Out Market secures 32,000 square foot Waterloo site
Time Out Group, the media and entertainment business, has signed a conditional lease agreement for a new Time Out Market in London, with planning already granted. The company stated: “Right at the heart of the city and the popular South Bank neighbourhood, Time Out Market London will be the centrepiece of Waterloo London, a major retail and leisure development in Waterloo station where almost 100 million passengers flow through every year. Time Out Market London will bring the best of the city together under one roof: its best food, drinks and cultural experiences, based on the editorial curation Time Out has always been known for. Visitors will get to enjoy 17 of the city’s most acclaimed chefs and restaurateurs, three bars and a space for cultural experiences – it will be a handpicked mix showcasing the outstanding talent making up the city, all in one unique space. With the opening expected in 2021, Time Out Market London will occupy 32,500 sq ft over two floors, accommodating around 500 seats. The first Time Out Market opened in 2014 in Lisbon and is now the country’s most popular attraction with 3.6 million visitors in 2017. With seven new sites in the pipeline, the group is in the process of a global roll out of this successful format: Time Out Markets are set to open in 2019 in Miami, New York, Boston (pictured), Chicago and Montreal; followed in 2021 by London – Waterloo and Prague. The sites in Montreal and Prague are the group’s first management agreements. Time Out Market London will anchor a £200m redevelopment of 135,000 sq ft within Waterloo station – led by property and regeneration company LCR – which will bring the former International Eurostar Terminal back into use with a variety of local, independent and national retail and leisure offerings. With planning permission already in place, the long-term lease agreement for Time Out Market London in Waterloo station is conditional on obtaining licence approval. The group has a range of funding options available to it, in order to finance the capital requirements of this new owned and operated market. The company had previously announced a Time Out Market in Spitalfields (London) for which it continues to pursue planning consent with the Landlord’s backing; if successful, opening would not occur before the second half of 2020, providing Time Out Market with a presence in both east as well as central London.” Julio Bruno, chief executive of Time Out Group, said: “London was the birthplace of Time Out in 1968 so it is a true milestone to bring Time Out Market to our city and in such a fantastic location. For 50 years we have helped people go out better in the greatest cities around the world and now we are bringing the best of the city to Time Out Market London. As Time Out has transformed into a global media and entertainment business one thing hasn’t changed: our high-quality professional content about the best things to do in the city remains at the heart of everything we do. This allows us to successfully diversify our iconic brand across digital and physical channels with Time Out Market playing an important role in driving further growth.” Didier Souillat, chief executive of Time Out Market, added: “Time Out Market will be a fantastic addition to London’s South Bank- this is a much-loved neighbourhood with fantastic restaurants, bars, museums and theatres. London is home to an outstanding and wonderfully diverse culinary and cultural scene of which Time Out Market will showcase the very best. It is all about the democratisation of fine dining: making it casual, and casual extraordinary. Time Out Market will be a place where locals and visitors can really get to know and experience the city.”
Costa leads the way as UK sees greatest European coffee shop expansion in 2018, Brexit casts shadow over 2019
Whitbread-owned Costa Coffee helped the UK lead Europe in coffee shop sector growth in 2018 but Brexit is casting a shadow over the next 12 months, according to Project Cafe Europe 2019, Allegra World Coffee Portal’s report on the European market. Costa Coffee is Europe’s largest branded chain, holding 8.7% market share with 2,923 stores across 12 markets, the majority of them in the UK. The second-largest operator, Starbucks, has more than 2,600 stores but operates in twice the number of European countries. McCafé is the third-largest branded coffee chain, with 2,376 outlets across 17 countries, representing 7% market share. Together these chains comprise almost a quarter of the European branded coffee shop market, which totals 33,745 outlets, a 6% rise from 2017. Allegra forecasts the market will reach 42,000 outlets by 2023, displaying five-year growth of 4.8%. The report spans 24 national markets, with 23 of them showing a rise in coffee shops. Romania showed the strongest annual outlet growth rate (25.1%) as eastern European consumers rapidly adopt coffee shop culture. Denmark (14.5%) showed the second-highest growth with Cyprus (11.2%) third. More than half of industry leaders believe like-for-like sales will outstrip GDP in their country during the next 12 months. The UK remains Europe’s most developed coffee shop market, with a burgeoning crop of fifth-wave operators “driving innovation and influence across the continent”. However, Brexit uncertainty continues to hamper planning and investment, with labour shortages, rising costs and diminishing consumer confidence causing serious concern among coffee businesses. The majority of industry leaders surveyed cited good location as having the greatest impact on coffee shop performance, with coffee quality and store atmosphere second and third. More than one-third of industry leaders cited high rent and property costs as their major challenges. Allegra chief executive Jeffrey Young said: “The European coffee shop sector continues to perform well, with healthy growth recorded in a vast majority of national markets and adoption of contemporary cafe culture now widespread. However, the future of the UK coffee shop market, Europe’s most developed, is a key concern as businesses grapple with volatile trading conditions and dampened consumer confidence generated by sustained Brexit uncertainty.”
Creditors of bar company Burning Night Group, which went into administration in September, are facing an estimated total deficiency of £11.2m, a new report has revealed. A statement of proposal by administrators Andrew Mackenzie and Julian Pitts, of Begbies Traynor, showed creditors were owed almost £10.7m. Secured creditor Crowdstacker was owed £7,536,230 together with interest of £894,021. Based on realisations to date and estimated future realisations, the administrators said there would be insufficient funds available to enable Crowdstacker to be paid in full. Unsecured creditor claims are estimated to total £2,259,439 and the administrators said there would be insufficient funds to enable a dividend to be paid. Unsecured creditors include Molson Coors, which is owed £670,000, and Matthew Clark Bibendum, which is owed £690,000. There are no known preferential creditors. The estimated total deficiency is £11,214,154. The report also revealed further details on circumstances that led Burning Night Group to enter administration. The group’s consolidated accounts for the year ended 31 July 2017 showed a loss of £1.5m. Despite this loss, the directors were confident the company could return to profitability and continue to manage creditors successfully in the long term. The company closed its Bierkeller in Cardiff in August, with the impact of a regeneration scheme in the city centre cited as a major factor in the decision to cease trading. The other five sites – in Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham and Nottingham – remain open. Despite the directors’ confidence, a creditor issued a winding-up petition, which was due to be heard on 1 October. While the petition was not advertised and was anticipated to be dismissed or adjourned, another creditor subsequently supported it and the petition was due to be heard on 26 November. To protect its position, Crowdstacker decided to appoint administrators.
Propel and UKHospitality are heading to Los Angeles for their next study tour, which has opened for bookings. The visit takes place between Thursday, 16 May and Saturday, 19 May. After successful trips to Chicago, Las Vegas and New York, Propel and UKHospitality have decided to check out LA. The trip features a jam-packed itinerary, including a variety of restaurant and bar tours, where delegates can explore and learn about the hottest concepts in the city. These include visits to the new h Club Los Angeles, McDonald’s original restaurant and museum, and Corporation Food Hall. As well as two bar tours led by James Hacon and Mystery chief executive Dan Einzig, who is based in LA, the trip includes three nights’ stay at the five-star Kimpton La Peer Hotel and three hosted dinners. Propel managing director Paul Charity said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to gain valuable insight into the trends and concepts that are shaping LA and leading the way in the US market, which will no doubt provide fresh ideas and inspiration for delegates.” The cost is £2,895 for operators and £3,795 for suppliers. For more information or to book, email Jo Charity at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07780 826228.
London-based health and fitness delivery brand Gym Food is to launch a £350,000 fund-raise on crowdfunding platform Crowdcube to open three dark kitchens in the capital. Gym Food, founded by managing director George L Streatfield, operates a dark kitchen in Bethnal Green achieving average sales of £23,000 a week from November 2017 to November 2018. During the same period the company saw 278% organic growth, from £238,000 to £663,000, and has been rated 94% on Deliveroo and 4.4 out of 5 on UberEats. Streatfield told Propel: “We are seeking £350,000 to open three additional sites across London – Battersea, Vauxhall and King’s Cross. In a typical restaurant model, this level of capital would barely be sufficient to open one store. I want Gym Food to be the first dark kitchen brand to rapidly scale using this model. I believe the industry will see a massive change in the next 20 to 30 years and dark kitchens will become the norm. I only adopted this model because I couldn’t find the capital to open a fully fledged restaurant, but what started as a way to save money has become a core part of the business.” Streatfield is offering 16.67% equity in return for investment, giving the company a pre-money valuation of £1.75m. The pitch states: “Gym Food is a genuinely healthy takeaway that delivers high-protein, fitness-focused, calorie-counted meals. From its humble beginnings as a two-man operation in a part-time rented commercial kitchen in east London, Gym Food has grown to become a staple in homes and offices across the city, disrupting London’s rapidly growing £1.4bn food delivery market. With sales of more than £90,000 a month in October and November 2018 (January to September 2018 £490,000, Ebitda minus £53,000), Gym Food is looking to execute a low cap ex expansion model. We have no storefronts, shop fits or premiums – we trade purely via delivery. With this investment we plan to open three additional sites – Battersea, Vauxhall and King’s Cross – high-volume food delivery locations that also aim to grow our corporate audience. This investment will support Gym Food’s aim to become the dominant premium health and fitness food delivery brand in London. We’ve proven there is demand for calorie-counted, high-protein, freshly cooked food and seek to prove the scalability of our model.”
Fever Bars, led by Mark Shorting and Nigel Blair, has reported turnover increased 41.4% to £25,931,029 for the year ending 31 March 2018, compared with £18,328,879 the year before. Pre-tax profit rose to £2,792,789 compared with £1,898,236 the previous year, according to accounts filed at Companies House. At the end of the period, the company operated 31 sites under the Fever, Bierkeller, Boutique, Kukui, Zinc and MooMoo Club brands. It expects to open four more sites before March. Since the year-end, the group has reopened its Bierkeller venues in Taunton and Cheltenham and opened a multi-room venue in Southend at the end of October. The venues in Gillingham and Northampton were sold in the summer and the lease of the venue in Burton has been handed back to the landlord. In their report accompanying the accounts, the directors stated: “The business is focused on weekend trade, with 55% of total sales on Saturday nights. The size and flexibility of our venues allows us to generate a disproportionately high share of the available market on a Friday (and midnight weeks where applicable) by opening fewer rooms and creating a better atmosphere. The pre-book booth culture has become an important part of our business model and led to the rise of the employment of sales mangers in many sites.” During the period, the company opened sites in Cannock, Exeter, the Isle of Wight, Plymouth, Oxford and Weston-super-Mare, while £553,139 was spent on refurbishments in Banbury, Barnstaple, Exmouth, Fleet, Gloucester, Rugby and Shrewsbury. Blair told Propel: “It has been another exciting year for the business. We continue to invest in developing our people and they are at the forefront of our sales, customer care and entertainment-driven culture within Fever Bars.”
Voodoo Doll, the group behind Mojo bars, has reported its Nottingham site saw 45.7% year-on-year growth between August and October. Mojo Nottingham opened in July 2017 and was the fourth in the group, joining Leeds, Manchester and Liverpool. A fifth bar opened in Harrogate in April this year and is “doing well”. Managing director Martin Greenhow said: “This growth demonstrates a robust first year for one of our newest bars, despite tough trading conditions. That we can report such positive figures is testament to the hard work of the bar team and our commitment to looking after them without losing customer focus. At the end of the day, we’re about delivering a good time. It’s easy to be the new kid on the block but maintaining that week in, week out takes a highly trained, dedicated team and we have that in our bars.” Voodoo Doll launched Mojo in 1996. The concept combines an “American dive bar vibe with great drink, food and rock ‘n’ roll music from the past six decades”.
Canadian cafe and bake shop Tim Hortons has opened its first 24-hour drive-thru in Northern Ireland. The venue has launched at Connswater Shopping Centre And Retail Park in Belfast. Tim Hortons opened its first UK site in Glasgow in June 2017 and there are now 20 restaurants across the region, while a drive-thru will launch soon in Stenhousemuir, Scotland. Kevin Hydes, chief finance and commercial officer of the Tim Hortons franchise in the UK, said: “This is our second restaurant in Belfast. Tim Hortons is in the process of an expansion strategy that will see us identify a number of sites across Northern Ireland in the coming years.” Professional ice hockey player Tim Horton founded the brand in 1964 to create a space where “everyone feels at home”.
Guest feedback service Feed It Back has partnered with Wi-Fi solutions provider Wireless Social and extended its relationship with hospitality management solutions company Zonal to integrate their software capabilities, drive deeper insights and bring automated feedback to operators. The agreement means Wireless Social customers can gain instant access to customer feedback through their existing digital infrastructure by signing up to Feed It Back, and a benefit which is now available to customers of Zonal’s online booking and table management product liveRES. Building on the relationship with Zonal, which gives access to basket data that allows operators to personalise feedback questions based on what customers ordered, the new integration with liveRES offers further automated functionality using data captured at the time of booking. Under the new partnership with Wireless Social, operators can see exactly who visited their venue and how long they stayed. The integrated technology also allows operators to overlay customer feedback with how busy specific sites were during service, giving an additional layer of context. Feed It Back chief executive Carlo Platia said: “By collaborating with like-minded companies such as Wireless Social and Zonal, we can combine our technological capabilities for the greater good of the industry and provide vital tools that are fast becoming imperative to remaining competitive in a challenging market.” Wireless Social chief executive Julian Ross added: “We are in the midst of a very exciting time for our business and unlocking new partnerships such as this one will allow operators to realise the true potential of our systems.” David Charlton, commercial director of Zonal Marketing Technologies, said: “By building on our existing partnership with Feed It Back and working with other technology providers such as Wireless Social, we can truly automate the feedback process for our customers and work collaboratively to help operators navigate the challenging market conditions of the hospitality industry.”
Oakman Inns and Restaurants has opened its fifth Beech House site, in Hampton Hill, south west London. The company has launched the pub in High Street, adding to its venues in Amersham, Beaconsfield, St Albans and Solihull. Chief executive and founder Peter Borg-Neal (pictured) said: “Our launch evening was a splendid start to our relationship with everyone in Hampton Hill and people have been very kind in their expressions of delight at our opening. We are in talks with Teddington RFC about sponsoring their mini and junior rugby side, the 15th local team to be supported by Oakman Inns.” Oakman Inns operates 25 sites, with further venues in the pipeline for 2019.
Manchester-based Korean restaurant Ban di Bul has opened its second site, in Liverpool. The company has opened the venue in Bold Street. Alongside an authentic Korean menu, Ban di Bul allows customers to create their own barbecue and hot pot. Diners can order raw meat, fish and vegetables and cook the ingredients on built-in stoves at the table or add ingredients into a broth, reports the Liverpool Echo. Ban di Bul opened its debut site, in Princess Street, Manchester, in 2011.
Franco Manca operator Fulham Shore has reported revenues of £33m (2017: £27.5m) for the six months ended 23 September – and a plan to increase openings going forward. Headline Ebitda was £4.6m (2017: £4.5m) and profit after tax was £0.9m (2017: £0.6m). Net debt was £8.9m (24 September 2017: £9.7m) and down from £12.0m at the last year end. The company opened two new Franco Manca pizzeria and Franco Manca made over 2,000,000 pizzas in the period. The Real Greek served over 350,000 tables in the period. One further Franco Manca opened near Aldwych, London since the period end. An increased restaurant opening programme planned for FY2020. David Page, chairman of Fulham Shore, said: “Our two restaurant businesses performed well in the first half of the year, driven by a number of factors including: new menu initiatives, including vegan and gluten free options, within both businesses and investment in our digital channels. At the same time, we have remained resolutely focussed on both Franco Manca’s and The Real Greek’s stand out characteristics: exceptional food provenance and outstanding value for money menu pricing. During the current financial year to date we have seen sales and profit growth, improved operating cash flow, and reduced debt exposure for the group. These factors, together with our successful new opening so far this year, have led us to consider increasing our opening programme beyond the current financial year. The board remains confident that The Fulham Shore, underpinned by its unique brands and clear growth strategy, remains well positioned for continued growth and a great future.” Page added: “Since the Period end, we have opened a further Franco Manca, close to Aldwych, London. During the current financial year to date we have seen sales and profit growth, improved operating cash flow, and reduced debt exposure for the group. These factors, together with our successful new opening so far this year, have led us to consider increasing our opening programme beyond the current financial year, subject to how political events in the UK develop. In the financial year ending March 2020 (“FY2020”), we plan to open more restaurants than the current financial year. We have to date exchanged contracts for a new Franco Manca in Edinburgh to open in FY2020 and have a number of further locations in advanced legal negotiations with landlords. We continue to look for well-located new sites at reasonable rents throughout the UK, for both Franco Manca and The Real Greek. The increasing availability of restaurant space, lease incentives and capital contributions, in the current climate, should enable us to achieve higher site returns on capital than we have previously recorded. We are conscious that the longer we wait on a new site or location, the greater the choice of sites, and potentially the better the incentives from landlords. We believe that our two brands are now firmly established; we can afford to grow at a measured pace. Whilst the turmoil in UK retail and restaurant sectors has continued throughout 2018, we believe that restaurant operations which offer value for money and, above all, food quality and provenance, will continue to prosper. We will respond to Brexit in March 2019 as it occurs, when we understand how it will be implemented and the effect it may have on the UK’s mood and prospects. However, we are progressing with contingency plans to prepare for all types of exits. We will continue to invest in our team members, providing better training and support and, as a growing restaurant business, we continue to encourage career progression. Employee share ownership has been integral to the success of our enterprise and we will continue with this theme in the coming years. The Directors believe that The Fulham Shore, underpinned by its unique brands and clear growth strategy, is well placed to mitigate the challenges currently facing the UK restaurant sector. As a profitable, growing restaurant company with a great future, we look forward to the second half of our financial year with confidence.”
Domino’s Pizza Poland has provided a trading update for the year to date. It stated: “System Sales have grown substantially year-to-date, but as seen in the July and August sales numbers, announced within the interim results, we have seen softening like-for-like sales growth continue into the fourth quarter. A combination of warm and dry weather continuing into November and sustained advertising spend by competing delivery aggregators, in particular, impacted share of voice and sales performance. In addition to these external factors our investment in top-line sales support in Q4 2017 was not replicated in Q4 2018, as we focused more on balancing sales growth with enhanced store profitability. Despite the sales pressure, company Ebitda for 2018 is expected to be broadly in line with expectations, but we approach the year ahead with caution and believe that sales and Ebitda performance for 2019 will continue to be impacted by competition for share of voice.”
Deliveroo has opened its first food market, in Hong Kong, and plans to expand the concept globally if it proves successful. Deliveroo Food Market will serve as a kitchen for delivering online orders as well as a consumer-facing storefront, where customers can choose from 15 dining concepts. Deliveroo general manager Brian Lo told CNBC: “We find there is an opportunity to bring our offline to online model to our customers. Hong Kong has some of the most expensive rental prices so the pressure on restaurant operators is high and this model works very well for them.” Deliveroo Food Market is an extension of the company’s “Editions” programme – kitchens that host more than 100 restaurants to prepare food in a shared kitchen space. Lo said its restaurant partners in the Hong Kong neighbourhood of Wanchai generate margins that are high for the food and beverage industry, ranging between 10% and 15%. Deliveroo hopes its food market will not only allow restaurant groups to expand their delivery sections with lower costs but also double as innovation centres. The Hong Kong food market houses five restaurant groups offering 15 concepts between them. Meanwhile, PizzaExpress will use part of its kitchen at the food market to test out a pasta concept. Liam Collette, managing director of international, said: “The Pasta Project, as a virtual brand, gives us the opportunity to be more adventurous and try riskier things. Restaurants are not going to be eliminated by delivery and we’re going to continue to expand, but it is a key part of the dining scene so we need to lead into that.” Deliveroo grew 116% globally in 2017 and operates across 13 markets. It will add a second food market in Singapore next year.
The UK’s hospitality and foodservice sectors are wasting one million tonnes of food per year, according to a new report by food safety company STS. The report said more than one-quarter (26%) of food waste in the UK is spread between manufacturing, hospitality and foodservice, with the amount wasted by the hospitality and foodservice sectors continuing to rise. The STS expert panel, which included Lisa Cobb, head of health, food and fire safety at SSP Group, and Wagamama risk and compliance director Tracey Colbert, said food wastage had reached unacceptable levels and actions could and should be taken to reduce it. The Avoiding Food Waste study came up with four key tips to help cut food waste. It said working with action groups such as Fareshare and WRAP helped to achieve a “consistent and positive approach” to avoiding food waste across the supply chain and the foodservice and hospitality industries. It also said getting staff involved and raising the visibility of food waste reduction initiatives was “a must” by offering staff opportunities to take part in volunteer schemes. The study also recommended operators liaise with their food suppliers to change packaging sizes, while working with local enforcement agencies ensured an operator’s approach didn’t compromise food safety.
The beer and pub industry’s “huge” economic contribution to communities across Scotland has been highlighted in a new report. The report for the Scottish Beer & Pub Association (SBPA) by Oxford Economics, which has been published ahead of the Scottish government setting out its draft budget on Wednesday (12 December), showed overall beer and pub activity in Scotland sustains 66,830 jobs and makes a £1.66bn contribution to the economy. It also revealed the increased level of investment by the industry in Scotland, with £176m provided in capital investment, and the £780m tax contribution by the sector. The largest economic benefits are in Glasgow and the Lothians, with more than 24,000 people employed in the sector across Scotland’s two biggest cities. The findings also underlined the importance of the sector to young people, with more than two-fifths (42.6%) of those directly employed under 25 years of age. SBPA chief executive Brigid Simmonds said: “This report shows the huge economic contribution of beer and pubs to local communities across Scotland. To continue to grow the sector, however, we desperately need further support from government, particularly for Scotland’s pubs in the form of business rate relief. As this report shows, the beer and pub industry in Scotland pays close to £1bn in tax every year but recent cost increases have significantly reduced the profitability of many pubs. This was recognised by the UK government for pubs in England, with Philip Hammond providing a relief for all pubs rated fewer than £51,000 in his budget in October. A similar relief for pubs in Scotland would allow the sector to continue to invest and provide jobs.”
London pub retailer Young’s has announced chief financial officer Steve Robinson has resigned and left the business to pursue other interests. The company said it expects to appoint an interim chief financial officer in the new year while the board searches for a permanent successor. Robinson joined Young’s in June 2009 and became head of finance in September 2013. He joined the board in September 2016 when he succeeded Peter Whitehead as chief financial officer. Young’s chairman Stephen Goodyear said: “On behalf of the board I would like to thank Steve for his contribution to Young’s during the past nine-and-a-half years, especially in the role of chief financial officer since September 2016. We wish him well for the future.”
Healthy eating chain Abokado, which is backed by Kings Park Capital, has moved outside its central London heartland to open a store in Hammersmith. The site is the brand’s first to trade at weekends and to offer its new look, developed with London design agency Mystery, which focuses on providing a “comfortable, calm and elevated feel”. Abokado said the move demonstrated its ability to “attract a different customer mix”, while investment to stretch the daypart beyond lunch into the morning and evening had led to two-fifths (40%) of customer visits now being outside lunchtime, driven principally by breakfast and coffee sales. The company said its customer base had also broadened considerably thanks to the success of ranges such as poke salads and yakisoba noodles, with its core range of sushi now representing only one-fifth (20%) of total sales. Operations director Kara Alderin said: “Our arrival in Hammersmith marks an exciting time for the business, stepping into a new territory outside our Zone 1 heartland. We’re delighted to be trading ahead of expectations, with a fresh brand feel and trading space designed for all dayparts.” Chief executive Mark Lilley and wife Lindsay launched Abokado in 2004. In October, the company reported record profits for the year ending 31 March 2018. Profits increased 24% to £726,000, while site Ebitda increased to £1.7m.
Neapolitan pizza brand Proove has started opening bigger sites to show it can maintain the quality of its food at speed as it looks to make itself attractive to potential investors. Co-founder Deepak Jaiswal told Propel the company was keen to expand in Yorkshire, the north west and the Midlands. Proove has just opened its third site, and largest to date, at the Centertainment leisure park in Sheffield having taken on a former Prezzo unit. Jaiswal founded Proove with Rob Engledow in 2015, opening its first restaurant in Sheffield and another in West Didsbury in March 2017. The company also operates two dark kitchens with Deliveroo – in Leeds and Salford – and a mobile business, which is “going strong”. Jaiswal said: “Our model works well for a high-volume site without compromising quality, authenticity or service. Naturally, if we want to be attractive to a potential investor we need to show we can maintain this. Centertainment is a much bigger site than our others and we’ve been able to serve 180 to 200 covers an hour while maintaining the quality of our product, which is made on-site every day to order. We are working with Centertainment to drive footfall to the park as our model relies on high traffic.” Regarding expansion, Jaiswal said: “We have used the mobile business to build the brand. It gives us a way into the community, then draws people into the restaurants. The Leeds location has opened a new market for us and Manchester has the potential for another two or three sites. We’re also looking at Liverpool, Chester and Nottingham among other locations but want to be realistic in terms of our company size and infrastructure so the number of openings per year will reflect that. One of the biggest challenges we have is staffing – it’s all well and good opening sites but you need the right people to run them. High service standards and product knowledge are a priority so we’re keen to nurture and train new team members as they are our main ambassadors. The other way we will explore growth, particularly if we want to go international, is through franchising but I don’t feel we’re ready to go down that route yet.” He added: “One of the things we are trying to do is be transparent. An example of this transparency is fair pricing for all customers, rather than the need for guests to acquire discount codes or hunt for vouchers. I want our brand to continue to stand for quality, authenticity and value.”
Manchester-based bar brand Liquid Art Group has launched a £250,000 fund-raise on crowdfunding platform Crowdcube to open 12 sites in three years. Liquid Art Group founders Oliver Calveley and James Fennell are offering 6.75% equity in return for investment, which gives the company a pre-money valuation of £3.4m. The group operates three venues in Manchester – The Drawing Room, The Shack and The Cellar – and has developed its own craft gin, Calveley’s. The company said it had seen 144% turnover growth between FY2017 and 2018, with £128,000 Ebitda for 2017/18. The pitch states: “Research shows cocktail connoisseurs are on the rise. A survey conducted last year found 77% of drinkers are happy to pay more for a premium cocktail. With our themed bars, cocktails, craft beer and our own brand of gin, it is a market we understand well. Well established in highly desirable locations across Manchester, we are now looking to expand our brand across the UK. Sticking to our proven model, we have successfully carved our own niche in Manchester’s thriving cocktail and craft beer scene. This phase of investment will enable the Liquid Art Group to open 12 more sites. Following our successful formula, these venues will be intimate, full of atmosphere and with location at their core. In addition to growing our chain of cocktail bars, we also plan to expand our craft gin brand. The first offering from the Calveley’s gin range is an infusion of thyme and orange, with a London dry gin to follow.”
Leicestershire brewer and retailer Everards has acquired award-winning canal-side pub The Admiral Nelson in Braunston, Northamptonshire. The building dates to 1730, before the Grand Union Canal was even created, while the pub was nominated as one of the top ten waterside pubs in the UK by the Guardian. The Admiral Nelson features a lounge and bar, games room, 30-cover dining room and beer garden seating 100 people. Previous owners, Mark and Pam David and Liam Evans, are looking to retire from the industry. Everards managing director Stephen Gould said: “We are delighted to bring The Admiral Nelson into the Everards family. We have more than 175 pubs across the East Midlands and this will join our other six pubs in Northamptonshire. All Everards pubs are run as independent, tenanted businesses and we are already seeking a business owner for this well-located, historic pub.” Joshua Sullivan, business agent at Christie & Co, which handled the sale, added: “The Admiral Nelson is a strategic acquisition for the company given the fact it is easily accessible from the main brewery due to strong transport links. The level of interest we saw for this asset demonstrates the strength in the current market place for destination venues.”
Chef Gino D’Acampo has expanded his debut My Coffee & Deli Bar site due to demand while he is looking to roll out its new online ordering service – Gino2Go – across his restaurant portfolio. D’Acampo launched the concept eight weeks ago on the lower ground floor of his My Pizza & Prosecco Bar in Manchester, which is located in fashion retailer Next. He has now acquired further floor space within the store to add 25 covers. D’Acampo has also introduced Gino2Go, which enables guests to pre-order their lunch and collect it to avoid queues. D’Acampo said: “Italian fast-casual dining is a popular concept in Italy and has been well received in London. I had no doubt it would prove popular in Manchester. People’s lifestyles have changed – they’re looking for great-quality hot food that can be enjoyed on the move or in an easy, relaxed environment. My Coffee & Deli Bar delivers exactly that, morning, noon and night. It is early days for Gino2Go but the initial response has been great and we’re looking forward to rolling it out across our wider restaurants. If you want to be successful in this industry you’ve got to be agile, you’ve got to listen to what people want and embrace new advancements in technology, it’s not just about delivering great food.” My Coffee & Deli Bar is D’Acampo’s third venue in Manchester sitting alongside his original restaurant at the Corn Exchange and his My Pizza & Prosecco Bar, which is on the first floor of Next. D’Acampo made his move into restaurants when he teamed up with friend and business partner Steven Walker, founder of Manchester-based restaurant group Individual Restaurants. They plan to open more restaurants in 2019 to build on venues in Harrogate, Hull, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester and London.
Chicken burger concept Other Side Fried is launching a kiosk format for its fifth site. The company will open the venue in Cranbourn Street, just outside Leicester Square tube station, on Friday, 21 December. The kiosk will act as a takeaway-only venue with the menu consisting of burgers, wraps and sides including a honey butter burger (fried chicken, smoked honey butter, bacon, pickles and lettuce), and a fried chicken wrap with smoked cheese sauce. Other Side Fried began operating from the back of a converted British ambulance, which it still operates at Kerb Camden, going on to open permanent sites at Pop Brixton, Dirty South in Lewisham and Peckham Levels.
Numis Securities leisure analyst Tim Barrett has argued The Restaurant Group’s valuation is “compelling”. Issuing a ‘Buy’ note on the shares with a target price of 225p, Barrett said: “The Restaurant Group’s share price has fallen 43% on an ex-rights basis since the acquisition of Wagamama was announced in October. This is a reduction in value of £300m, equivalent to a de-rating of 3.2 times Ebitda. On our analysis, the share price is discounting a 0.4 times multiple to the 381 leisure outlets, which make outlet-level Ebitda of £60m. We view Wagamama as one of the best-quality assets in UK casual dining by virtue of its consistently strong like-for-like sales growth (9.6% four-year average, 12.2% in past 11 weeks), leading net promoter score and consistent roll-out (circa 6% per annum unit growth). The Restaurant Group has paid a full price for the business at 13 times 2018A Ebitda, although the multiple compresses quickly given the expected 20% four-year compound annual growth rate we model (8.9 times by FY20). Excluding US startup losses and pre-opening costs would bring the multiple down by one times Ebitda as well. The Restaurant Group recently confirmed its own like-for-like sales had returned to growth in the second half and were +1.4% in the 14 weeks following the end of the World Cup (weeks 28 to 42). This was expected given the anniversary of a sharp price reset in 2017 and will need to accelerate further given the ongoing cost pressures across the sector (National Living Wage +4.9% from April 2019). The valuation is compelling. Following the recent pullback, The Restaurant Group now trades on an FY19 EV/Ebitda of 6.1 times and price-to-earnings ratio of 9.7 times. The free cash flow yield pre-growth capex is 12% and at the new (lower) payout ratio of 50% the implied dividend yield is 5.1%.”
Kitchin Group, led by Michelin-starred chef Tom Kitchin, has launched a pub with rooms, The Bonnie Badger, in the village of Gullane on Scotland’s east coast for its fifth site. The venue, near Muirfield golf course, dates to 1836 and was previously The Golf Inn. The property has undergone a full refurbishment to feature a 60-cover dining room, bar and 12 bedrooms. The decor – by Burns Design and Kitchin’s wife and business partner Michaela – blends Scandinavian and Scottish influences, while the kitchen only uses seasonal produce from local suppliers, with the menu following Kitchin’s “from nature to plate” ethos. Kitchin said: “Michaela and I have dreamt of having a pub with rooms for years and we’ve always been particularly fond of the East Lothian area, having spent time here at weekends with the kids. When this opportunity came up it just felt it was meant to be. We have always loved the feel of the old hotel and we want to ensure we keep the heart of the building while enhancing the offering.” Kitchin Group also operates four restaurants in Edinburgh having launched Southside Scran in the city last month.
Whitbread-owned Premier Inn is to operate a 400-bedroom hotel at London’s Canary Wharf. The 28-storey hotel will be the tallest Premier Inn and largest in London outside its airports. The company has taken a 30-year lease of the hotel and restaurant within Rockwell Property’s 30-storey mixed-use scheme next to Westferry DLR station. The development will also include a Whitbread-branded restaurant on the ground floor alongside shops, homes and community space in a landscaped public area. Rockwell Property was granted planning permission for the site, which has been derelict for more than a decade, by the London Borough of Tower Hamlets in October. Premier Inn acquisitions manager Louise Woodruff told Insider Media: “Aside from our hotels at Gatwick and Heathrow airports, this 400-bedroom hotel will be the largest Premier Inn in London, which reflects the strong demand we’re experiencing in east London and especially around Canary Wharf.” Construction is due to begin in summer 2019.
Electra Private Equity, which is winding down its portfolio, has told shareholders it believes it can achieve a good price for its TGI Friday’s business in due course. The company said difficult conditions in UK casual dining impacted TGI Friday’s (£124.6m), which was also ‘impacted by exceptional weather conditions in 2018 as well as underlying markets’. It added: “Recovery plans are in place intended to increase resilience and value prior to exit in an acceptable timeframe.” Chairman Neil Johnson said: “Given the well documented challenges in both the UK retail and casual dining sectors, it was not appropriate to sell (our) two remaining larger assets TGI Friday’s and Hotter Shoes at this time. These assets represent nearly 90% of the remaining portfolio, after disposals already announced, and are fully controlled. Despite the impact of short-term trading conditions on current valuation, the board is confident that both assets offer good opportunity for growth and can provide strong exits in an acceptable timeframe.” The company added: “In the year to 30th September 2018, the performance and valuation of both TGI Friday’s and Hotter Shoes have been impacted by trading conditions affecting the wider UK consumer, retail and casual dining sectors. This was compounded by extreme weather that impacted TGI over the specific periods involved and had a more profound effect on Hotter in disrupting the launch of the spring/summer season with a resultant impact on the promotional calendar of Hotter and its competitors, leading to lower margin sales throughout the summer. We are working with their management to increase the resilience of both businesses and to achieve profitable growth. A key aim has been to move to full control of both businesses in order to allow focused implementation of their strategies without the constraint imposed by high gearing. In the case of TGI, we had reduced gearing in 2017 in anticipation of challenging trading conditions to come and completed the buyout of a minority shareholder for £6m in early 2018. In the case of Hotter, in 2018 we went ahead with the investment necessary for the achievement of medium-term optimisation despite shorter term pressures that would impact short-term valuation. This investment comprised the buy-out of a significant minority shareholder (£19m) in early 2018 that was necessary to facilitate implementation of our strategy for the business and a reduction in gearing (£14m) to allow focus on value creation. The short-term valuation of both businesses has been impacted by trading and the valuations of comparator companies. However, we remain confident in the opportunity for medium term value creation in each.”
Casual Dining Group (CDG), the operator of almost 300 mid-market restaurant brands including Las Iguanas, Cafe Rouge and Bella Italia, has appointed Rooney Anand as chairman. Anand will replace Martin Robinson, who steps down in April having been with the business since 2014. Robinson’s departure comes following the successful refinancing of CDG with KKR and Propel understands the decision was amicable between both parties. Anand has been selected for his wealth of experience gained at the highest levels in the hospitality sector and is “uniquely placed to identify growth opportunities while steering the company through the challenges ahead”. Anand has been chief executive of brewer and retailer Greene King for 14 years and is stepping down at the end of April. He is credited with turning Greene King from a small regional brewery and pub business into the UK’s leading pub company. Anand, who was named business leader of the year at the 2016 Lloyds Bank National Business Awards, was also recently appointed chairman of WorldSkills UK, the education and skills charity, a position he will take up in January. CDG chief executive Steve Richards said: “We are delighted to welcome Rooney to CDG as our new chairman. Rooney brings with him exceptional sector experience and everyone at CDG is looking forward to working with him. On behalf of the board, I’d like to thank Martin for his contribution to CDG over the past four years and we wish him well.” Anand added: “I am very much looking forward to supporting Steve and the management team, helping them to build on the solid foundations they’ve established at CDG as they continue to grow and develop the business in the fast moving and competitive casual dining market.” Matthieu Boulanger, member and global head of private credit at KKR, said: “We are very pleased to have Rooney join the CDG leadership team. He brings a wealth of experience and we believe he is uniquely placed to identify growth opportunities while steering the company through the challenges ahead.”
Restaurant operator D&D London has appointed Alan Clark as chief financial officer. Clark has held a number of board-level financial positions for luxury hotel groups with substantial food and beverage operations. He was finance director for Malmaison and Hotel du Vin and Rocco Forte Hotels in the UK. In his most recent roles, Clark was chief financial officer for The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels and latterly group chief financial officer for Sandals Resorts International. D&D London chairman and chief executive Des Gunewardena said: “Alan joins us at a very exciting time. Our business continues to expand. We have opened a number of restaurants in the UK and in New York in the last year and we have a substantial pipeline of UK and overseas projects. Alan’s knowledge and international experience will be a big asset.” Clark added: “I am incredibly excited to join the group and look forward to contributing to expanding the business further.”
Natural fast food brand Leon has secured its second US site. The company is doubling up in Washington DC after signing a lease to open a venue in New York Avenue. The restaurant is due to open in late spring. The space was originally constructed in 1874 for the George M Barker Company, a lumber, coal and wood distribution warehouse. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984. Leon will occupy part of the 768,000 square foot building newly redeveloped by Douglas Development in a joint venture with Brookfield Properties. Leon managing director Glenn Edwards said: “Since our successful opening in L Street earlier this year, we have been searching for our next great location in DC and are thrilled to have found it in Mount Vernon Triangle. We’re excited to expose the beauty of the original building as a second major milestone in bringing the future of fast food to DC.” As with its London restaurants and L Street location, the new restaurant will be powered by sustainable energy, in this case 100% wind power. Leon has also proactively removed plastic straws and cutlery, with all packaging compostable or recyclable. Leon has grown to 61 restaurants since 2004, with locations in the UK, Oslo, Amsterdam, Utrecht and Gran Canaria and plans to grow in other cities across Europe and the US.
The cost of living in San Francisco is leading to a shortage of restaurant staff, forcing outlets to close and new concepts to design their model to cope with the shortfall. With $4,550 the average price for a San Francisco rental, even hiking the minimum wage to $15 an hour and requiring health benefits, as San Francisco has done, has failed to maintain a healthy labour market. The fallout has hit restaurants throughout the San Francisco Bay area, with wine country restaurant Terra and historic Berkeley fish house Spenger’s among the long list of outlets to have closed, with owners saying it is almost impossible to find staff. The situation is leading restaurants to launch concepts designed with fewer staff in mind and having customers place their orders and pick up their own drinks. Meanwhile, new “fine casual” venues are serving scaled-down menus that can be prepared easily by fewer cooks. Traci Des Jardins, the San Franciscan chef who founded French-influenced Jardinière and helped launched numerous other restaurants, said the labour shortage could seriously limit the scope of offerings in the Bay Area’s dining scene. She told The Guardian: “I think everyone is grappling with these issues and trying new things to figure out what makes sense. I think it will ultimately lead to attrition in the overall scope of the restaurants we see opening.”
Propel is launching the Leadership Summit, which will see a select group of the sector’s most experienced bosses share their expertise on leadership. The full-day event, in partnership with Elliotts, will take place on Tuesday, 12 February at One Moorgate Place and is open for bookings. Speakers will include Will Stratton-Morris, chief executive of Caffe Nero, who will talk about building high-performance teams. Alasdair Murdoch (pictured), chief executive of Burger King, speaks about the role of leadership in business turnarounds. Elliotts chief executive Ann Elliott will talk to Des Gunewardena, chief executive of D&D London, about the lessons of leadership he has picked up in his career in the sector. Duncan Garrood, chief executive of Ten Entertainment, will give his views on leadership and the customer experience, while Jo Fleet, managing director of Flat Iron, will talk about empowering people and trust and getting the team to “buy in” through clear communication and vision. Mark Jones, chief executive of Carluccio’s, will explain how the company is building the quality and skillsets of its general managers to lead the business out of decline. Simon Townsend, chief executive of Ei Group, will give his views on the challenges of leadership during a period of immense change and Zoe Bowley, managing director of PizzaExpress, will give her top ten tips on leadership. Meanwhile, Loungers founder Alex Reilley will talk about the adaptations involved in growing a business from one site to more than 100, celebrating success and the art of succession, while Ann Elliott will give her views on the power of mentoring to grow talent in organisations. Propel managing director Paul Charity said: “With the industry facing such challenging times, effective leadership has never been more important. This is an unmissable opportunity to learn from high-profile leaders in our sector.” Prices are £295 plus VAT for Premium members, £345 plus VAT for operators and £445 plus VAT for suppliers. To book, email email@example.com
New speakers have been added to the line-up for the Restaurant Marketer & Innovator European Summit, which is returning for its second year. The two-day event, a partnership between Propel and Think Hospitality, will feature more than 40 speakers with a unique blend of senior marketers, business leaders and entrepreneurs. The new speaker additions are Ailish O’Brien, industry manager for Google, who will be interviewed by Wisetiger managing director Andy Shaw about the latest developments at Google and technological trends relevant to the restaurant industry. Meanwhile, Estonian multi-site restaurateur Martti Siimann, founder of the Baltic’s best restaurant NOA, will join the concept development panel. Tickets for the two-day conference, which will take place on 16 and 17 January at One Moorgate Place, London, cost £575 for operators and £845 for suppliers. Group ticket packages are available when purchasing three tickets or more. Tickets can be purchased by emailing Anne Steele, of Propel, at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling her on 01444 817691.
Details have been revealed of the day one line-up of Restaurant Marketer & Innovator European Summit, which is returning for its second year. The two-day event, a partnership between Propel and Think Hospitality, will feature more than 40 speakers with a unique blend of senior marketers, business leaders and entrepreneurs. Day one will feature Think Hospitality managing director James Hacon, who will share campaigns and innovations raised from the past year. KAM Media insight director Blake Gladman will present an exclusive report on how customers are making decisions on where to eat or drink out. Kamila Sitwell, founder of Divine Eating Out, will share the key takeout of her new book – Bespoke – the importance of creating a personal experience in hospitality. Richard Dickson, head of partnerships at Carbon Free Dining, will reveal the sector’s impact on the planet and some of the great initiatives being developed to overcome this. Jon Knight, chief executive of Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group, will share his top tips on how to drive sales at site level from his career managing and franchising major brands. Chris Miller, founder of the White Rabbit Fund, will talk to four concept founders – James Hennebry (Rosslyn Coffee), Yasmine Larizadeh (The Good Life Eatery), Rik Campbell (Kricket) and Loui Blake (Kalifornia Kitchen) – about their entrepreneurial journey. Inception Group head of marketing Simon Allison will reveal the creative marketing and roll-out of its Mr Fogg’s concept, while Lunar Lemon founder Craig Melvin will share tips on how to get past security boots at big corporates to form relationships. Anders Houmann, of Victor Group (Denmark); John Rigos, chief executive of Aurify Brands (the US); Martti Siimann, chief executive of NOA Restaurant Group (Estonia); and Jonathan Sharp, of Hilton (UK), will reveal how to create concepts that customers love. Abokado head of marketing Vineeta Anuj will share results of the company’s rebrand project, while Feya founder Zahra Khan and Hannah Clark, Me:Mo Interactive account director, will discuss creating and launching a restaurant with Instagramability in mind. UK Hospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls will host a panel featuring Elliotts managing director Anthony Knight, SSP senior commercial manager Claire Small, Be At One brand manager Giles Denning, and Stacey Plaine, senior F&B marketing manager of Marriott International, to discuss the future for marketing in the sector. Ben Calleja, co-founder of Fast Fine Restaurant Group, will introduce its 1889 Fast Fine Pizza, a Swedish concept developed to be disruptive. A new industry think-tank – Restaurant Of The Future – will define the future of eating and drinking out. The panel will feature Angela Malik, strategy director of Think Hospitality; Russell Danks, Punch marketing and strategy director; Storm Fagan, Just Eat head of product; AllDay Industry (New York) founder David Helbraun; The TMRW Project partner Emma Underwood, and Kamilla Seidler, of The Expedition (Bolivia). Tickets for the two-day conference, which will take place on 16 and 17 January at One Moorgate Place, London, cost £575 for operators and £845 for suppliers. Group ticket packages are available when purchasing three tickets or more. Tickets can be purchased by emailing Anne Steele, of Propel, at email@example.com or calling her on 01444 817691.
Details have been revealed of the day two line-up of Restaurant Marketer & Innovator European Summit, which is returning for its second year. The two-day event, a partnership between Propel and Think Hospitality, will feature more than 40 speakers with a unique blend of senior marketers, business leaders and entrepreneurs. Day two will begin with Wagamama UK marketing director Andre Johnstone, YO Sushi! marketing director Luisa Fernandez and Tim Foster, head of being awesome at Yummy Pubs, who will reveal how to effectively lead a market-driven proposition and product development process. Just Eat UK marketing director Ben Carter will share the company’s latest marketing efforts and changes to the takeaway and delivery market in the past year. Martin Morales, chief executive and founder of Ceviche Family, will reveal how skills he learned as a DJ helped him succeed when running restaurants. Celia Pronto, chief customer officer at Casual Dining Group, will explain how the company has embedded Workplace to engage its frontline team in the brand and business, making them part of its growth and success. Zonal chief operating officer Peter Edwards will talk to Novus head of marketing Michelle Farrell, Wadworth retail and digital marketing manager Mark Daniels, and Gusto marketing director James Newman about digital developments and how hospitality businesses can better leverage digital marketing. Wireless Social chief executive Julian Ross and Stephanie Lloyd, head of marketing at The New World Trading Company, will reveal the results of tests that used technology to track customers’ real-life actions in an exclusive report for Restaurant Marketer & Innovator. WE ARE Spectacular chief executive Mark McCulloch will give his much-awaited views on what needs to change within marketing strategies for the year ahead. Elliotts Agency chief executive Ann Elliott will talk to Abokado operations director Kara Alderin; Dorte Juhl Østergaard, director of Claus Meyer Restaurants (Copenhagen); and Arc Inspirations chief executive Martin Wolstencroft about what they look for from a marketing team and how to create a great link between the functions. Sophie Herbert, marketing director of Beds and Bars, will reveal how the company has transformed its concept by focusing on enhancing the customer journey and has driven pre-bookings around match days to increase average spend. The Stable operations director David Gough will talk about how the brand is enhancing guest journeys, driving repeat visitation, and optimising operations through better guest feedback collection and analysis. TGI Friday’s UK chief marketing officer Steve Flanagan will reveal how the company instils a sense of brand and pride in its team of thousands and uses this as its biggest marketing resource. Australian entrepreneur Sarah Holloway, who co-founded Matcha Mylkbar, will reveal how her Melbourne cafe attracted international attention and queues around the block following one Instagram post. Lynne Parker, chief executive and founder of Funny Women, will reveal how to add a touch of humour to your marketing to drive engagement. Tickets for the two-day conference, which will take place on 16 and 17 January at One Moorgate Place, London, cost £575 for operators and £845 for suppliers. Group ticket packages are available when purchasing three tickets or more. Tickets can be purchased by emailing Anne Steele, of Propel, at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling her on 01444 817691.
BII NITAs Awards
20th November 2018
To view the pictures CLICK HERE
Upgrade Propel Premium and receive:
• The Morning Briefing 12 hours earlier
• Discount on tickets to Masterclass events
• Database of 1,100 multi-site companies
• Digital version of our Propel Quarterly early
• Video recordings of leading sector executives
To find out more CLICK HERE
The must read sector business analysis and intelligence magazine
To read our latest magazine CLICK HERE