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Fri 27th Oct 2017 - Propel Friday News Briefing

Story of the Day:

Street food restaurant The Good Egg to open second site next month after hitting £500,000 crowdfunding target: Street food restaurant The Good Egg is to open its second site next month after hitting its £500,000 target on crowdfunding platform Crowdcube. Founder Joel Abraham opened his first venue in 2015 in Stoke Newington after raising £182,000 from investors via Crowdcube. He has returned to the crowdfunding platform to raise £500,000 in return for an 18.18% equity stake to bring the all-day neighbourhood “Montreal deli meets Israeli street food offer” to Soho’s Kingly Court. So far, 317 investors have pledged £507,810 and the campaign is now “overfunding” with eight days remaining. The largest investment to date is £75,000. The Soho restaurant is due to open on Monday, 27 November and Abraham also said he would not be crowdfunding again in the future. The pitch states: “We serve up colourful Jewish deli and Israeli-inspired brunches, bagels, pitas and small plates, with a dinner menu designed to get guests sharing, all alongside a drinks menu of classic American cocktails, craft beer and natural wine. We’ve now secured a 100-plus-seater site in the West End to feature a bakery and retail area that serves Israeli-inspired baked goods and extended brunch and dinner menus for eat-in, takeaway and delivery. Funds raised will be used for capex and pre-opening costs for our second restaurant site. This represents the realisation of a dream, fulfilling many aspects of the business we have had on hold in site one, such as our extended bakery offer. Commercial finance facilities are also in place. We know the industry has recently attracted, and is capable of attracting, exits and our own exit-strategy modelling is based on medium-to-long-term opportunities accordingly. We plan an exit in three years when the group has three restaurants.”

Industry News:

Propel launches sector’s most comprehensive marketing conference: Propel has launched the most comprehensive marketing conference the sector has seen with a two-day event. Restaurant Marketer & Innovator, in partnership with Think Hospitality, will take place on Wednesday, 17 January and Thursday, 18 January at One Moorgate Place in London. The two-day event will bring together marketers, strategists and business leaders from the foodservice sector to understand trends, share success and define the future of the sector. A total of 40 speakers from four countries, representing more than 30 brands, will provide advice and insight. The first day, curated and moderated by James Hacon, will include Dominic Smales (Gleam Futures), Professor Charles Spence (University of Oxford), Jozef Youssef (Kitchen Theory), Russell Danks (Futurist), Olivia Fitzgerald (Zonal), Lizzy Barber (Cabana), Stephanie Lloyd (New World Trading Company), Lisa Campbell (Las Iguanas), Jim Rogers (Tony Roma’s), Mark McCulloch (WE ARE Spectacular), Michael Ingemann (Claus Meyer Restaurants) and Ewan Turney (England Rugby). The second day, curated and moderated by Ann Elliott, will feature Emma Woods (Wagamama), Susan Martindale (Mitchells & Butlers), Katrina Lawson (Costa Coffee), Kathryn Austin (Pizza Hut Restaurants), Kate Eastwood (Revolution Bars Group), Luisa Fernandez (YO! Sushi), Mel Marriott (Darwin & Wallace), Helena Hudson (Real Eating Co), Pamela McNamara (Bluestone Wales), Tania Rahman (Chit Chat Chai), Laura Sheffield (Corazon), Celia Farrer (Eat Poke), Eve Bugler (BabaBoom), Hayley Simpson (The Breakfast Club), Camilla Katte (Giggling Squid) and Sarah Weir (Albion & East). Prices for the two days are £525 plus VAT for operators and £795 plus VAT for suppliers. A one-day rate of £345 plus VAT is available to operators only. To book, please click here. For more information or any queries please contact either Jo Charity on 01444 810304 or jo.charity@propelinfo.com or Anne Steele on 01444 817691 or anne.steele@propelinfo.com

Mintel reveals five key trends set to impact global food and drink market in 2018: Helping consumers to regain trust in food and drink and to relieve stress through balanced diets as well as memorable experiences are among five key trends set to impact the global market in 2018, according to Mintel. Technology will also help brands forge more personalised connections while scientific engineering will create a new generation of sustainable food and drink, the research revealed. It said consumers require complete and total transparency from food and drink companies about how, where, when and by whom food and drink is grown, harvested, made and/or sold. Mintel said as more consumers find modern life to be hectic and stressful, flexible and balanced diets will become integral elements of self-care routines. Going forward, more consumers will be looking for ingredients, products and combinations of food and drink that provide nutrition, physical or emotional benefits that advance their priorities for self-care. Meanwhile, in 2018, the sound, feel and satisfaction that texture provides will become more important for food and drink companies and consumers alike. Mintel said the quest for experiences will provide opportunities for multi-sensory food and drink that uses unexpected texture to provide consumers, especially teenagers and young adults, with tangible connections to the real world, as well as moments worth sharing either in-person or online. Mintel said a new era in personalisation is dawning due to the expansion of online and mobile food shopping. Motivated by the potential to save time, and ideally money, consumers are sampling a variety of channels and technologies when shopping for food and drink, including home delivery, subscription services and automatic replenishment. Mintel added in 2018, technology would begin to disrupt the traditional food chain as manufacturers aim to replace farms and factories with laboratories. Global food and drink analyst Jenny Zegler said: “In 2018, Mintel foresees opportunities for manufacturers and retailers to help consumers regain trust in food and drink and to relieve stress through balanced diets as well as memorable eating and drinking experiences. There also is an exciting new chapter dawning in which technology will help brands and retailers forge more personalised connections with shoppers, while enterprising companies are using scientific engineering to create an exciting new generation of sustainable food and drink.”

BBPA welcomes Parliamentary debate on taxation of pubs and beer sector: The British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) has welcomed a debate to take place on Tuesday (31 October) in Parliament on taxation of the beer and pubs sector. The Westminster Hall debate has been secured by Mike Wood, chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group and MP for Dudley South. The BBPA said the debate would continue to put pressure on the chancellor to cut beer duty in the Budget on 22 November, as well as highlight the burden of business rates endured by pubs. The BBPA is encouraging supporters of the #cutbeertrax campaign to contact their local MP, urging them to support Wood and get involved in the debate, which coincides with a Parliamentary drop-in event on the same afternoon for MPs hosted by the BBPA in the Palace of Westminster. The BBPA said the drop-in would be a key opportunity for MPs to show their support for the campaign to cut beer duty. MPs will also be able to collect a detailed briefing on the impact of business rates on the beer and pub sector within their own constituency. On business rates, the BBPA is campaigning for an extension of pub-specific rate relief and its increase from £1,000 to £5,000 per year. BBPA chief executive Brigid Simonds said: “I want to thank Mike Wood for bringing the vital issue of taxation in the beer and pub sector back to Parliament. Current tax burdens are unsustainable. Retail Price Index increases in beer duty, which have already cost brewers and pubs £130m this year, are unsustainable and will damage investment if continued in the second Budget of the year. Our beer duty rates are three times the EU average, yet further tax rises are planned. Pubs shoulder 2.8% of the business rates burden, despite generating only 0.5% of business turnover. I hope MPs will show their support for their local pubs and pub-goers next Tuesday.”

Pub18 to return for fourth year with brewer and wine and spirit dedicated areas: Pub18, the only trade show dedicated to the UK pub industry, is returning to London for a fourth year. The event will take place at London’s Olympia on Tuesday, 6 February and Wednesday, 7 February and will feature a new brew area and wine and spirit lounge for the first time. Pub18 will cover every aspect of running a pub. Complementing the beer writers’ bar is the new wine and spirit lounge, set to celebrate international wines and spirits as well as consumption trends. The launch of the new brew area will see a section solely dedicated to supporting young breweries and cider producers, enabling them to network with industry decision makers and showcase innovation within the category. Pub18 event director Miranda Martin said: “We know today’s pub sector faces many challenges, but what we have seen over the past four years is publicans embracing change, questioning the status quo, and investing to adapt. That’s why we are looking forward to what we know will be a fantastic Pub18 celebrating the industry’s innovation and opportunities and providing a fantastic platform for all to share and impart knowledge.” Pub18 has recently been acquired by food, drink and hospitality events organiser Fresh Montgomery.

Company News:

George Bateman reports return to profit: Lincolnshire brewer and retailer George Bateman has reported a return to profit for the year to 31 January 2017. The company made a pre-tax profit of £225,049 compared with a loss of £243,170 the year before. Turnover rose by 1% to £15,892,404. Operating profit rose 48% to £314,000. The company stated: “(We) significantly improved gross margins as a result of business rationalisation carried out the previous year and investment in higher margin managed houses. Six non-core properties were sold during the year boosting the company’s available cash funds and reducing net debt from £4.46m to £3.36m. The company will continue to focus on higher margin business and seek new managed house investment opportunities, while disposing of a smaller number of less profitable tied houses.” Of its total income, rental income accounted for £1,223,831 of turnover with the rest of its turnover deriving from sale of goods. 

C&C boss – we’ve invested in Admiral Taverns because its tenancy model has ‘great long-term future’: C&C Group chief executive Stephen Glancey has told Propel the company has invested in Admiral Taverns because its tenancy model has a “great long-term future”. C&C Group, in partnership with Proprium Capital Partners, has agreed to buy a 47% stake in Admiral Taverns with the deal expected to be completed next month. Glancey said the deal would also give C&C Group more of a platform to introduce its beer and cider brands into England and Wales, which it has found “difficult” to break into. He said: “It’s a high-quality estate and it’s got a really strong management team. I think the tenanted model has a great long-term future. While the casual dining market has been struggling somewhat, tenanted pubs seem to have been quite resilient. We’re making an investment with Proprium that will help the company grow. With our brands we’ve found Wales and England difficult to break into, with cider in particular. This will give us a new platform but it’s something that has to work for both businesses and has to be done over time.” Glancey said the emergence of “premiumisation” had given some of its portfolio real traction with sales of its Italian beer Menabrea up 62% and Heverlee, its Belgian beer, increasing 32%. He added its Tennents brand was one of the few standard beers in the UK in growth. 

BrewDog acquires London site for first UK brewpub, crowdfunding campaign hits £2.5m mark: Scottish brewer and retailer BrewDog is stepping up its UK expansion with the launch of its first brewpub – a bar with on-site microbrewery – at the refurbished Minster Building on the corner of Great Tower Street and Mark Lane in London. BrewDog has acquired the 8,500 square foot space at the neo-gothic landmark, leased from Ivanhoé Cambridge. The brewpub will create small-batch, seasonal beers that will be exclusive to the new 400-person capacity venue. BrewDog already trades from six sites in London, 30 in the UK and 50 worldwide, and is targeting further sites as it continues its global expansion. Bar acquisitions manager Andrew Statham said: “Our mission and ethos is to make the world as passionate about great craft beer as we are, so we are delighted to be launching our first brewpub in the UK, and our first venue in the City of London.” Sally French at BNP Paribas Real Estate, which advised BrewDog on the acquisition, said: “I am delighted to have secured these premises for BrewDog. I’m certain its craft beers will bring an exciting new flavour to the City.” Dibley Property and Nash Bond advised the landlord. Meanwhile, BrewDog has revealed its Equity for Punks V crowdfunding campaign has hit the £2.5m mark. The fifth round of Equity for Punks is looking to raise £10m, with the potential to extend to £50m, by releasing 421,052 new B shares. BrewDog will use the investment to further its global expansion, including constructing breweries in Australia and Asia, opening 15 craft beer bars in the UK, increasing capacity at its UK brewery, and creating a dedicated craft beer television network. 

Two freehold restaurants let to Prezzo to be auctioned: The freehold of two restaurants let to Prezzo are to be auctioned by Allsop in December. A site in Maldon, Essex, is being offered for a guide price of £1.4m to £1.5m. The High Street building is let to Prezzo on a lease expiring in 2032 with no breaks, paying £80,000 per annum rent with a review outstanding for this year, suggesting a 5.71% gross initial yield for the buyer. Meanwhile, a site in Oxford Street, Southampton, is being offered for a guide price of £700,000-plus. Prezzo holds a lease expiring in 2028 with no breaks, paying £40,500 per annum rent with a review due next year, suggesting a 5.79% gross initial yield for the buyer. The auction is due to take place on Tuesday, 5 December at The Berkeley in London. 

Beer importer Cave Direct to open first pub: Beer importer Cave Direct is to open its first pub, in east London. The company is opening the Beer Merchants Tap, in Hackney Wick, in January – 15 years after it shut its bottle shop in south east London to focus on distribution. The new 3,000 square foot site, which is by Hackney Wick station, is a former bookshop that is being converted into an “industrial but comfortable” space with a large beer garden, encompassing a taproom, bottle shop and Belgian sour blendery. The pub side of the site will have more than 20 keg lines and cask featuring its core portfolio of Paulaner and Kona as well as rotational lines from its Belgian, British, Norwegian and American range. The venue will also work as a physical extension to its online shop, Beer Merchants, allowing customers to pick up online orders for free and there will be more than 700 different beers available to drink in or take away. Over the next few years it plans to start a barrel-ageing and blending project to create Belgian-influenced sour beers. Managing director Colin Gilhespy said: “My dad founded Cave Direct in 1979 and when I joined my first job was setting up our little bottle shop. Since that closed, opening our own taproom is something we’ve always wanted to do.” The company has launched a campaign on crowdfunding platform Crowdfunder to raise at least £50,000 to go towards fitting out the building but said the pub would open regardless.

Electric Star to open sixth site: East London-based pub operator Eclectic Star is to open its sixth site – and biggest to date – in Leytonstone. The company is launching the Heathcote and Star in Grove Road. The pub will feature a games room with two pool and table tennis tables. Similarly, to its other sites, We Serve Humans will be creating street food dishes for the new venue. The outdoor terrace will feature an open fire pit. Founder Rob Star said: “We are excited to be opening our second pub in Waltham Forest – it’s an amazing site with loads of history, which was in danger of being lost to redevelopment. It will be the biggest site in the group and we are working to return it to its former glory and give the residents of Leytonstone a local that they can enjoy for years to come.” Having opened The Star of Bethnal Green in 2008, the company has since added Star of Kings in Islington, The Star by Hackney Downs, The Jackdoor and Star in Hommerton, and the Leyton Star in Leyton to its portfolio.

Soho House to reopen Kettner’s in January: Soho House will reopen Kettner’s, the Soho restaurant it acquired in 2015, as Kettner’s Townhouse in January – it will trade as a champagne bar, restaurant and guesthouse. The upstairs of the building, previously a collection of dining rooms, has been converted into 33 bedrooms, Eater reports. Soho House said: “The 150-year-old French restaurant and champagne bar has been restored, with the addition of 33 bedrooms, and renamed Kettner’s Townhouse. The bedrooms have been individually designed and feature original Georgian timber floorboards, antique fireplaces and a mix of new furniture and vintage pieces including Art Nouveau chandeliers.” Meanwhile, two years after closing for a major refurbishment, the original Soho House, which is next door to Kettner’s, will also reopen in early 2018. The group said its design team is putting the finishing touches to Soho House 40 Greek Street ready to reopen in early 2018. The club still features many favourites, such as the Circle Bar, the Yellow, Red and Blue Rooms plus lots more space for members and an extended roof terrace.

Chucs to open third London site, in Harrods: Italian restaurant and cafe Chucs Bar & Grill is to open its third London site, inside Harrods department store in Knightsbridge. The company is launching the venue in February within the new fine watch room and will have its own dedicated entrance. Executive chef Alessandro Verdenelli is creating a number of exclusive dishes for the new venue including Alaskan crab, quinoa and avocado; and halal slowly cooked lamb rump and Italian cicoria. The drinks menu will feature cocktails and Chucs’ carefully selected choice of wines. Seating 55 guests, Chucs Bar & Grill Harrods will also encompass a bar area, complete with Italian marble bar top and deep blue leather stools, in addition to booth seating and tables with deep brown leather armchairs. The interiors are designed to be reminiscent of a luxury yacht with framed photographs of the Amalfi coastline adorning the dining room walls. Harrods’ general manager of restaurants Mark Patten said: “I love Italian food and have enjoyed many memorable meals at Chucs. The luxurious decor and friendly staff always make me feel relaxed and I am so excited for Harrods’ discerning customers to be able to experience Chucs’ authentic offering in store.” Chucs Bar & Grill Harrods will add to Chucs Dover Street and Chucs Westbourne Grove.

Fledgling healthy convenience restaurant concept aims to become national franchise as it launches crowdfunding campaign for first site: Fledgling healthy convenience restaurant concept Delish, which has launched a crowdfunding campaign to open its first site, is planning to become a national franchise. Delish, founded by Alex Heathcote, is looking to raise £50,000 on crowdfunding platform Crowdcube to open a restaurant in Derby. It is offering an 8.43% equity stake in return for the investment. The pitch states: “For too long, convenient food has not necessarily been healthy. Delish aims to be the answer to scrumptious meals throughout the day, all fewer than 600 calories. A nutritionally balanced dish at an affordable price is what many of us strive for. At Delish, our goal is to become the most innovative and exciting convenience restaurant around. The location for our first restaurant would be in the city of Derby. Along with the fact this area benefits from high levels of footfall and consumer spending, we have great knowledge of the city. However, the ultimate aim is to become a national franchise – the more investment we raise, the more restaurants we will be able to open.”

Deliveroo acquires Birmingham warehouse for Editions kitchen concept: Food delivery business Deliveroo has taken a ten-year lease on a Birmingham city centre warehouse for its Editions kitchen concept. Deliveroo has taken on a 6,092 square foot industrial unit in Upper Gough Street close to The Mailbox. Tom Morley of Harris Lamb, who oversaw the letting, told Insider Media: “Deliveroo’s business model has grown significantly and it no longer simply acts as a conduit between restaurant and diner. Rather, it is now preparing food on-site. The intention is to refit the unit with a number of kitchens so chefs are able to base themselves there to extend Deliveroo’s regional commercial and corporate offering. This unit’s location in the heart of the city centre and its close proximity to main arterial routes made it the perfect site for the operation.” The unit has parking spaces for ten vehicles. Deliveroo, which was founded in 2013, has taken on a lease with a five-year break term.

Swingers reveals further details about second London site: Street food and crazy golf concept Swingers has revealed further details about its second London site. It is set to open two crazy golf courses themed around the 1920s English Riviera inside the former BHS store in Oxford Street. Inside the 20,000 square foot venue, caddies will serve cocktails to guests as they navigate the courses. A “promenade” lined with lamp posts and beach huts will house street food stalls between the two courses and there will be two seaside-themed bars. Change of use and a new premises licence was obtained for the former retail space. Swingers, which was advised by Harper Dennis Hobbs, started as a pop-up in Shoreditch and opened its first permanent venue underneath the Gherkin in the City last year. Swingers co-founder and managing director Matt Grech-Smith told Property Week: “When we first combined crazy golf with cocktails and street food at our pop-up back in 2014, because it had never been done before, we had no idea how enthusiastically our concept would be received. Fast forward three years and Swingers City has been off the chart and has truly put the crazy in crazy golf – we can’t wait to do it all over again, breathing new life into an iconic location in the West End.” Kenningham Retail advised the landlord.

Jamaica Blue opens fifth site, at Rushden Lakes: Foodco-owned international cafe restaurant brand Jamaica Blue has opened its fifth site, at the Rushden Lakes development in Northamptonshire. The company has opened the 1,800 square foot venue with seating for 90 covers having previously agreed a deal with owner Crown Estates. Jamaica Blue head of estates Joshua Nixon said: “As an ambitious brand we are delighted to have opened at Rushden Lakes and are looking to further develop our portfolio. We are offering landlords the chance to add something different to their cafe portfolio with our contemporary store fit-out, classic dishes with a twist and great coffee.”

Liverpool-based multi-site operator C&G Holdings to open new cocktail bar with rooftop terrace: Liverpool-based multi-site operator C&G Holdings is to open a new cocktail bar with a rooftop terrace overlooking the city’s waterfront. The company is launching the as-yet-unnamed venue above its Tom Hall’s Tavern sports bar in the Strand. It will offer guests views of the city’s historic Pier Head when it opens next year. Set to occupy 2,000 square feet on the third floor of the Bentley Building, the venue’s interiors will feature graffiti-covered walls and urban chic designs. The rooftop terrace will have space for more than 100 people. C&G Holdings said it had researched venues in New York and London for inspiration since it went into planning earlier this year. A spokesman told BDaily: “The lower east side in New York City has been a big influence on the design and feel of the venue. We wanted to create a space that really comes into its own and provides truly unique surroundings for those looking for something a bit different from an evening out. With an extensive list of cocktails we are aiming to cater for that middle market which we feel is underserved in the city right now.” C&G Holdings also operates Argentinian steakhouse Meet and cabaret venue Bentley in the city.

Former Viajante chef to open first permanent site next month: Portuguese chef Leandro Carreira, formerly of Viajante and Lyle’s, is to open his first permanent restaurant next month. Carreira is launching Londrino in the Snowsfields Yard development in London Bridge. The restaurant will have a menu that is influenced by the flavours of Portugal with an emphasis on seafood. Dishes will include octopus with red pepper miso; and beef maronesa and mackerel with savoy cabbage and smoked seaweed butter. Alongside a regional Portuguese cheese trolley, desserts will feature grilled soaked brioche with sour caramel and hazelnuts; and Requeijão with lemon curd, malt and vanilla waffle. The space, which will feature hand-painted tiles from Portugal on the walls, will be split into the restaurant that seats 70 and a wine bar for a further 30 people. There will also be an outside terrace. The wine bar will have a separate small plates menu. The wine list will feature small, craft producers from around Portugal as well as more from across Europe. Carreira told Hot Dinners: “There will be a nod to Portugal on the menu but I don’t want the creative process to end there. The menu will evolve every week and will reflect the many influences of our culinary experiences.” Carreira trained at World’s 50 Best restaurant Mugaritz in Spain, before heading to London where he was head chef at Nuno Mendes’ Viajante before moving on to Lyle’s and Koya and then Climpsons Arch.

Luxury Cheshire hotel falls into administration: A luxury hotel and wedding venue in the Cheshire village of Prestbury has fallen into administration. Bridge Hotel (Prestbury) entered administration on Tuesday (24 October), with Arron Kendall and Simon Thomas of Moorfields Advisory appointed joint administrators. The Bridge Hotel, which is located next to St Peter’s Church, has 23 rooms divided between the older half-timbered part of the hotel and the Whiteside Wing that features views of the gardens and the River Bollin. The hotel also features a contemporary French restaurant. The business has about 40 staff, including casuals, who are all based at the hotel. No staff have been made redundant. Moorfields is continuing to trade the hotel while looking for a potential purchaser. Kendall told Insider Media: “The Bridge Hotel has been running since 1952 in the heart of Cheshire but unfortunately fell into financial difficulties earlier this year. The hotel has had a good trading history and would be a good purchase for someone wishing to build on the reputation of the existing hotel.”

Just Eat puts restaurant partners at centre of new theatrical musical advert to target new consumers: Online food ordering firm Just Eat has put its restaurant partners at the centre of a new “magical world” advert as it targets new consumers. The original musical number, entitled “Magic Is Real”, will premiere in the first of The X Factor’s live broadcasts on Saturday (28 October), as part of Just Eat’s sponsorship of the show. The 60-second advert begins with a mum ordering her family’s food from the Just Eat app, before the scene cuts to a Chinese takeaway where anthropomorphic chopsticks high kick. A delivery driver picks up the order and hits the street, where a cast of workers from pizzerias, chippies and kebab shops musically peddle their wares to a rigged camera. The driver then jumps on his moped and circles into the sky – a la Sandy and Danny in the final scene of Grease. Just Eat managing director Ben Carter told The Drum: “The Magical World of Just Eat opens up the magic of our takeaway world to the British public – we’re putting our 28,000 restaurant partners – the magic makers – at the heart of this new campaign. Nearly half the population is yet to order food online so we want to attract consumers to experience the food magic that we provide in their local area. This cross-channel campaign will help to build understanding around Just Eat – spreading the message that customers can have the food they want, how they want it and when they want it, at their fingertips.”

Bath-based Indian street food restaurant launches pop-up in Bristol with view to opening permanent site: Bath-based Indian street food restaurant Chai Walla has launched a pop-up in Bristol with view to opening a permanent site. Owner Niraj Goudher has launched the pop-up in Stokes Croft. It serves vegetarian Indian meals and snacks using the same recipes that sent the business soaring to the top of Bath’s TripAdvisor restaurant rankings just seven months after opening. Goudher said the experience of opening the new site had been “stressful but needs to be done”. It has opened as a six-month pop up but Goudher hopes to make it a permanent site if it proves successful. He told the Bath Chronicle: “I think we’ve got a good thing. It will be nice to be part of two cities that are very close to home.” After a reign of nearly a year, Chai Walla has fallen two places to third in TripAdvisor’s restaurant rankings in Bath, although it is ranked first out of 81 “cheap eats”.

Valentina goes into administration: Valentina, the Italian delicatessen and restaurant concept, has gone into administration. Bruno Zoccola opened the first site in East Sheen, south west London, in 1991. The group has eight restaurants in London and Surrey but called in administrators insolvency firm Begbies Traynor this month. The move came after Valentina took the decision in September to close its Reigate branch. The Chiswick branch closed last week, stating the “eating industry has changed” and citing disruptive technology from companies such as Deliveroo as a factor, reports Putney SW15. Valentina East Sheen was essentially a delicatessen when it started. When Zoccola’s nephew Fabio Arcari came on board nine years ago, the pair looked at opening a restaurant too. A restaurant in Putney followed and the business continued to expand. Registered in Ilford, Essex, the trading sites affected by the administration are 281 Lavender Hill, Battersea; 210 Upper Richmond Road West, East Sheen; 75 Upper Richmond Road, Putney; 10-12 High Street, Weybridge, Surrey; 404-406 Chiswick High Road, Chiswick; 145 Notting Hill Gate, Notting Hill; 12 Church Street, Reigate; and Units C, D and E at the Cardamom Building in Shad Thames, Tower Bridge.

 
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