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Propel Morning Briefing Mast Head CPL Learning Link Paul's Twitter Link Hellmann's Banner Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators
Thu 10th Jun 2021 - Propel Thursday News Briefing

Story of the Day:

Bowmark Capital to inject £2m into Drake & Morgan after CVA approval: Bowmark Capital is to inject £2m of working capital funding into Drake & Morgan, the London-based bar and restaurant group, after it secured approval to enter a company voluntary arrangement (CVA), Propel has learned. The new funds will be used to support the working capital requirements of the company, including payment of amounts in relation to rent arrears and service charge arrears due under the terms of the CVA, which was approved by 90% of the company’s creditors last week. Propel understands in the 52 weeks ended 28 March 2021, the company saw turnover (based on unaudited management accounts information for FY20-21) fall to just £5m – a decline of almost 90% on the previous year, with an Ebitda loss of about £10.1m. It is thought if the company had not undertaken a CVA, its peak liquidity requirement was forecast to be about £5.5m in July 2021. In the group’s CVA proposal document, about 550 employees were initially furloughed by the business under government support packages and, since March 2020, the total headcount of the group has reduced by about 200 employees. The proposal stated: “The directors have identified various sites that are currently financially unsustainable, and pursuant to the CVA, the directors are proposing a move, for a limited period, to turnover rents at various levels between 6% and 12% of turnover, the specific percentage applicable to each site being reflective of the rent that the site is able to pay and still make a sustainable contribution to the company and to retain flexibility in the current uncertain trading environment.” The company decided to go down the CVA route following a strategic review of the business that concluded action was required to enable the business to weather the “unprecedented and challenging trading conditions that have affected the entire hospitality industry as a result of covid-19 and government-imposed lockdowns”. It will lead to the closure of three of the group’s 22 bars and restaurants – the Allegory and The Listing, both in London, and The Refinery in Spinningfields in Manchester. 
 

Industry News:

Sponsored message – CPL Learning launches ‘next generation’ learning and development platform Campus: Campus is CPL Learning’s “next generation” learning experience platform, offering a more intuitive and personalised experience to team members while still delivering all the tools, data insights and training resources needed from a learning management system. As a long-standing partner to the hospitality sector, CPL Learning has developed the new platform to revolutionise learning and development for hospitality businesses. A host of new features, improved tools and customisable widgets allows businesses to tackle some of the most prominent issues facing the sector, including building communication, offering career development opportunities and providing wellbeing support to teams. Jamie Campbell, director of CPL Learning – hospitality, said: “The launch of Campus signifies the next evolution of learning and development within the sector. As we enter the post-pandemic era and with staffing shortages becoming more apparent, it has never been more critical to provide effective learning and development opportunities to attract and retain talent. We have developed Campus to deliver a personalised learning experience that empowers learners and puts them in control of their professional development. Campus uses a variety of learning methods, discoverable content curation and practical tools to motivate, inspire and engage learners.” If you have information you would like to feature in a sponsored message, email paul.charity@propelinfo.com
 
Propel summer conference and party full speaker line-up revealed, two free places for operators: Propel is planning a blockbuster return to its events schedule with a Propel multi-club conference and summer party on Tuesday, 7 September, at the DoubleTree by Hilton Oxford Belfry. The conference will focus on “new directions and new ideas” and will feature a line-up of speakers from exciting new growth brands and older established brands with new ideas hatched during lockdown. Speakers include Yasha Estraikh, associate partner at leading investment firm Piper, which has worked with Loungers, Flat Iron, Turtle Bay, Hickory’s Smokehouse and Be At One, who explores the consumer trends that will shape the market over the next 18 months and beyond; how the crisis has impacted investment criteria; and what concepts and trends investors are now focusing on. Zonal group product director Alison Vasey discusses how the crisis has accelerated the sector’s digital revolution, the future of EPOS, the rise and evolution payment apps, and highlights the other emerging technology that is set to shape the foodservice sector for years to come. Tim Wilks, founder of Lane7, the bowling alley, ping pong and karaoke concept, talks about taking the brand national; benefiting from different revenue streams, launching a second concept in Gutterball; and the success of Burn It Up, the company’s festival-style street food, drinks and entertainment venture. Azzurri Group chief executive Steve Holmes talks to Propel insights editor Mark Wingett about how the group used the crisis to evolve its digital offer, reassess its estate and expansion plans, and expand its Coco di Mama concept into a national presence through using its other brands. Junkyard Golf managing director Sam Jones talks about the evolution of the experiential brand from pop-ups to five permanent sites, evolving the offer, the advantages of in-house design, developing the bar offer and preparing for future expansion. Honest Burgers co-founder Phil Eeles talks about restructuring the company in an attempt to avoid becoming a chain, by changing people’s roles and responsibilities, and “shaking the tree” of the whole business. WatchHouse founder and chief executive Roland Horne talks about how the coffee operator adapted during the crisis, the launch and success of its subscription model, and its plans for expansion both in the UK and internationally. Andrew Stones, partner at sector investor Imbiba, discusses how the sector is in for an exciting 12 months in terms of innovation and investment, and sets out which parts of the industry investors are looking to tap into. PizzaExpress group chief executive David Campbell talks to Mark Wingett about how the business has evolved, what comes next for the iconic casual dining brand and his thoughts on the lasting impact of the crisis on the sector. Boom: Battle Bar founder Richard Beese explains the thinking behind the adventure bar concept from the team behind trampoline park business Flip Out, and its growth plans. There will also be two panel sessions. The first – focusing on the concepts looking to make their mark in a post-covid world – sees Mark Wingett talk to Maragume Udon chief executive Keith Bird, The Bok Shop co-founder Jamie O’Mara, Maray co-founder Tom White and Lime Squeezy Thai Kitchen founder Pranee Laurillard. The second – where the sector goes from here – features UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls; Charlie McVeigh, Drafthouse founder, sector investor and The Breakfast Club chairman; leading industry commentator Paul Chase; Rum Kitchen managing director Mike Parnham; and Hawthorn chief executive Mark Davies. In the evening will be the summer party, with barbecue, quiz, live band and more. Operators can claim up to two free places by emailing jo.charity@propelinfo.com
 
Night-time economy ready to challenge government if reopening is denied on 21 June: The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) has announced it will stand with partners in the night-time economy and challenge the government if the sector is denied reopening on 21 June. The NTIA said while the reopening date remains in jeopardy, many in the sector have been closed since March 2020 and “any subsequent delay would be catastrophic”. The announcement on whether reopening will take place will be made on Monday (14 June). NTIA chief executive Michael Kill said: “We should not underestimate the importance of 21 June to businesses, employees, entertainers and freelancers – a day when they are given back their freedom to trade, livelihoods, careers, social wellbeing and the day the government gives culture back to the UK. Let’s not torture them by leaving them hanging on until Monday.” Kill said 95% of sector businesses have already made financial and logistical commitments for reopening, with 54% ordering stock, 73% calling in staff and 64% booking entertainment. Kill added: “As one of the biggest employers and entertainers of 18 to 24-year-olds, we have not only robbed them of their ability to support themselves, but also starved them of social wellbeing and culture. We will see many more illegal, unregulated events take the place of businesses that are licensed and regulated across the country as people express their frustration. More than three quarters of the population have received the first vaccine dose and more than half received the second, we need to start dealing with this as an endemic. The decision to delay will leave us no other option but to challenge the government aggressively, standing alongside many other industries who have been locked down or restricted from opening.”
 
Georgel – we need the government to help us rebuild confidence and work through furlough situation: The government needs to help rebuild confidence about the hospitality sector and encourage young people to come and look for careers and opportunities within it, Kevin Georgel, chief executive of Cornwall-based St Austell Brewery, has said. Speaking on Radio 4’s Today programme, Georgel said: “We are 25% down on the teams we need at this moment in time to meet the demand we are expecting to have over the summer. We have an unprecedented situation where we have demand growing because of staycations, which is very positive, but the counter to that is we simply can’t find enough people to meet that demand over the summer, which is very frustrating as we look to recover from the ravages of the pandemic. It is a combination of factors, clearly a lot of non-UK nationals have returned home for a variety of reasons and that has left a hole in the labour pool. There is also a confidence issue around hospitality. In the short term, we need the government to help us to rebuild confidence about our sector and encourage young people to come and look for careers and opportunities in our sector because we provide great career opportunities.” On the furlough scheme, Georgel said the challenge for the government was how can it and the sector work through the situation it has created. He said: “From a hospitality sector point of view, we would have to say that furlough, overall, has been tremendous in terms of enabling us to look after the vast majority of our people but there is a risk now that the scheme is slightly distorting the labour market. One of the short-term challenges we would put to the government is how do you work through the furlough situation properly and sensibly to protect those that still need protection but equally get people back into work and fill the jobs that are here to get the economy going again.” It comes after Georgel said, earlier this week, St Austell Brewery has put some temporary measures in place to “look after the health and wellbeing of its pub teams”. These include shorter food service times and reduced opening hours at its managed pubs.
 
Vaccine rollout driving increased demand for summer holidays with almost half of Brits planning a staycation: The vaccine rollout is driving increasing demand for summer holidays with almost half of Brits planning a staycation, according to a new study. The report from TripAdvisor, titled “A Shot in The Arm for Travel? Examining the Vaccine’s Impact on Leisure Travel Demand” showed vaccinated travellers are more likely to stay longer and spend more on their trips than unvaccinated travellers. In the UK, almost half (44%) of Brits plan on taking a summer holiday somewhere in the UK and more than a quarter (26%) plan on taking a summer holiday abroad. When surveyed, more than a quarter (26%) of vaccinated travellers in the UK said they had booked a domestic holiday and almost three quarters (71%) of those people agreed the vaccine had been a factor in their decision to book. By comparison, less than a fifth (19%) of UK unvaccinated travellers had already booked a domestic trip. Among Brits who are yet to be vaccinated, almost half (49%) of those planning a domestic trip are waiting to receive at least one dose of the vaccine before booking. Among vaccinated UK travellers surveyed, almost a third (30%) said they feel more confident to dine indoors, one in five (20%) feel more confident to visit a museum, and 15% feel more confident to visit a theme park, as a result of receiving the vaccine. Of those vaccinated UK travellers planning trips in 2021, almost a third (31%) said they feel more confident about visiting an urban centre as a result of receiving at least one dose of the vaccine. Almost a third (29%) of vaccinated respondents in the UK are planning a city break in 2021, compared with less than a quarter (21%) of unvaccinated UK respondents. A total of 21% of vaccinated Brits are planning on taking a longer trip than they would have done pre-pandemic and a quarter (25%) said they plan to spend more on their next trip. 
 
85% of football fans say current restrictions will ruin Euros at pubs: Almost nine in ten (85%) pub-going football fans believe the current restrictions will negatively impact their experience of watching UEFA Euro 2020 at the pub this summer, according to new research. The survey of 1,000 pub-goers conducted by KAM Media on behalf of the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA), also found 91% said they missed watching the football at the pub when they were fully closed during lockdowns. However, half said they would be more likely to watch the Euros at their pub if all restrictions on pubs are lifted. Restrictions currently require one-metre-plus social distancing, table service-only and that face masks are worn other than when sat at a table inside or if outdoors. Group sizes are also limited indoors to just six people with bar or standing drinking not permitted. During the 2018 World Cup, BBPA figures showed an extra 40 million pints were sold in pubs on top of normal trade. The trade association recently launched its “Countdown to Freedom” campaign, urging the government to remove restrictions on pubs and the wider hospitality sector on 21 June. BBPA chief executive Emma McClarkin said: “When it comes to watching England, Scotland or Wales at the Euros, only being at the game itself can compare with being at the pubs. Under current restrictions, watching the Euros at the pub just won’t be the same as normal. Clearly people miss these freedoms they used to take for granted. More and more people are getting the vaccine each day. It’s time for the restrictions on our freedoms to be replaced by the protection of the vaccination and for businesses and life to get back to normal. The ‘Countdown to Freedom’ is on.”
KAM Media is a Propel BeatTheVirus campaign member

New licensing regulations will ‘further assist the sector as it recovers from pandemic’, says UKHospitality: New licensing regulations will “further assist the sector as it recovers from the pandemic”, UKHospitality has said. The regulations, which apply to England and Wales, will extend automatic off licence flexibility to the end of September 2022 and increase the annual temporary event notice allowance from 15 to 20 for 2022 and 2023. UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “All and any support for the sector will be vital on the long road to recovery and these measures mean businesses can continue to be flexible with how they operate and utilise additional opportunities of generating valuable revenue. Temporary event notices are particularly helpful for venues that want to hold one-off events or celebrations, so boosting the number permitted over the next two years is very welcome and increases the number of money-making opportunities. We’d urge the government to go further and also reduce the strict licensing conditions on door supervisors given the sector is facing such an acute labour shortage. We’d also like to see new applications fast-tracked and plans for new requirements from October suspended that risk leaving many vacancies unfilled.”

Footfall remains consistent across UK, only Glasgow rises noticeably as restrictions ease: Footfall across the UK remained consistent during the first week of June compared with the previous week, according to the latest data from Wi-Fi solutions provider Wireless Social. Glasgow was the only city in the UK with a noticeable change as footfall increased due to the city moving into level 2 restrictions on Saturday (5 June), which allowed residents to enjoy a pint inside pubs and restaurants for the first time in many months. In previous weeks, Wireless Social statistics found breakfast was much busier than dinner across the UK, however, last week it saw footfall at breakfast and dinner had equalled out, with less than 2% difference between the two dayparts, possibly due to the change in weather. Lunch remains the busiest daypart across the UK, taking 41% of the footfall, while breakfast accounted for 31% and lunch 29%. 
Wireless Social is a Propel BeatTheVirus campaign member

Deliveroo partners with Neighbourhood Watch to train riders and help keep communities safe: Deliveroo has partnered with Neighbourhood Watch to offer riders training to help keep communities safe across the UK. The optional training, created by Neighbourhood Watch and verified by the Metropolitan Police, covers six topics. These include spotting signs of harassment, domestic abuse, drug dealing, human trafficking, handling confrontation and bystander training, and rider vehicle safety. The partnership will also provide Deliveroo riders with free safety and awareness online training via specially created video training and animations, raise awareness of Neighbourhood Watch and provide the opportunity for riders to become affiliate members of Neighbourhood Watch. The idea of a partnership between Deliveroo and Neighbourhood Watch was developed when, earlier this year, a rider became a Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinator and wanted to share his positive experience. It is also based on conversations with riders, including a recent focus group organised by Deliveroo with female riders. The partnership is being launched during the annual Neighbourhood Watch Week, which will focus on strengthening the neighbourly relationships built before and throughout the pandemic. Deliveroo chief executive and founder Will Shu said: “We want to support the communities in which we operate and use our platform for good. We don’t just want to be seen in our communities, we want to be part of them. Riders have carried out a vital role during the pandemic and are well placed to build on this experience to spot any concerns in the neighbourhoods in which they work and live.”
  
Westminster seeks to amend licensing laws around alcohol delivery: Westminster City Council is seeking to amend licensing laws to make it easier for pubs and restaurants to deliver alcohol. The authority will be consulting on the amendment “given the increase in ancillary deliveries from existing premises, and growing number of applications for delivery centres where food and drink is delivered by either their own delivery personnel or via a third-party delivery service”. As part of three policy changes, for venues such as restaurants and bars that want to offer alcohol delivery in addition to their main activities, the presumption would be to grant such applications. For venues where the primary function is the sale of alcohol and food via a delivery service, applications will generally be granted if they are not in predominantly residential areas and subject to other policies. The consultation will run from Monday (14 June) to Sunday, 25 July.
 

Company News:

McDonald’s UK opens second delivery kitchen site: McDonald’s has opened its second UK delivery kitchen site, in Portsmouth, Propel has learned. The fast-food giant has opened the delivery-only unit in Partnership Park in Fratton. It comes 17 months after the company opened its first UK delivery kitchen site in Hanworth, west London, which it launched to “meet a boom in demand for home deliveries”. A McDonald’s spokeswoman told Propel: “It’s important our offer reflects the needs of the people in the local area, and the Fratton delivery kitchen has opened to help nearby restaurants meet the demand from McDelivery orders. The opening has ensured restaurants in the surrounding area can continue to provide the service and convenience our customers expect, while ensuring McDelivery customers have a great experience. The Fratton delivery kitchen is not open to the public, but the kitchen looks and feels exactly the same as all of our other kitchens up and down the country and will deliver the same great-tasting food our customers expect, prepared by our people to exactly the same standards.” The opening in Hanworth in November 2019, was part of a wider trial by McDonald’s to test different restaurant formats. Earlier in 2019, the company had opened McDonald’s to Go, a small format restaurant, in Fleet Street, London.
 
Miss Millie’s Fried Chicken signs franchise deal for London: South west-based operator Miss Millie’s Fried Chicken has signed a franchise deal to expand into London, Propel has learned. The nine-strong company, which is led by Carl Traill and backed by HBM Investments, plans to open ten sites in the capital in the next five years under the new agreement. Propel understands sites in Walthamstow and Romford are in final stages of discussions with landlords. Earlier this year, Propel revealed Miss Millie’s Fried Chicken was to begin its national expansion after signing a franchise deal to open in Essex. The company will open the first site under the new agreement with franchisee Joe Bhangal in Billericay, on the site of the former Wimpy in the town’s High Street, later this summer. Propel understands the Billericay site will be the first of ten stores planned in the Essex area over the next three to five years for the brand, with openings lined up in Colchester, Chelmsford and Southend-on-Sea. The company is also believed to be in advanced talks with franchisees for the south Wales, Birmingham and Hertfordshire regions. Traill previously told Propel Miss Millie’s Fried Chicken was actively recruiting multiple site franchisees across the country and had mapped out 85 regions in which the brand could expand into. 
 
Yard Sale Pizza lines up Crystal Palace opening: Yard Sale Pizza, the restaurant and delivery concept that includes sector investor Paul Campbell as non-executive director, has lined up its eighth opening in the capital, after securing a site in Crystal Palace, Propel has learned. The Johnnie Tate-led business has secured the former Fish Valley site in Westow Hill, for an opening later this summer. Earlier this year, the business secured the former The Crust Co site at 63 Bedford Hill, Balham, for its seventh site. The company opened its debut restaurant in Clapton in 2014. It also has branches in East Dulwich, Hackney Road, Leytonstone, Walthamstow and Finsbury Park.
 
Chik’n appoints new finance director: Chik’n, the fried chicken concept backed by Sir Charles Dunstone, has appointed Rob Cooper, formerly of Sage and Talk Talk, as its new finance director, Propel has learned. Cooper joins Chik’n after over two years as head of central finance at Associated British Foods. Previous to that he was director of finance at technology firm Sage and held the same role at Talk Talk. Propel revealed earlier this year that Dunstone, the backer of Five Guys UK, had become the majority backer of Chik’n, with plans to ramp up its rollout. Chik’n currently operates sites in Angel, Soho and Marylebone, and operates out of dark kitchens in Battersea, Park Royal and Wandsworth. Last month, Propel revealed John Nelson, formerly of MOD Pizza UK and Nando’s, had joined Chik’n as its new chief executive. 
 
The Sea, The Sea to open second site in Hackney: The Sea, The Sea – the Chelsea fish shop, deli and seafood bar concept launched by Bonnie Gull co-founder Alex Hunter, is to open a second site in Hackney, east London, in late July. The new premises, which is set within a railway arch on Acton Mews, will serve as a processing centre for wholesale and product development and, from September, will also house an immersive dining counter, led by executive chef Leo Carreira. The business has established direct links with fishermen in Cornwall, Devon and Dorset, meaning produce would be collected and delivered to the Hackney facility to be processed and sent out to restaurants that night. It also sources fish and live shellfish from Scotland and overseas produce too. The Hackney unit will house a walk-in dry-ageing room for wholesale. It will also produce stocks, sauces and garums for sale to the trade and consumers. Hunter, whose Chelsea site operates as a fishmonger by day and a seafood bar with a terrace by night, said: “When we lost our restaurant revenue in lockdown, we saw it as an opportunity to cross-train our team and grow our retail trade for which there has been a huge demand. With our Hackney facility, we can take this experience into product development, specialist wholesale and expand our online retail services to become a truly London-wide brand”. Opening details of the dine-in experience will be released in due course, with Carreira planning a menu that is an evolution of the direction set at Pavilion Road, but with greater resources to be “bold and progressive”. Hunter launched The Sea, The Sea in 2019, naming the Pavilion Road venue, in Chelsea, after the Iris Murdoch novel.
 
Michelin-starred Swedish chef Niklas Ekstedt to open debut UK site: Michelin-starred Swedish chef Niklas Ekstedt is heading to the UK as he opens his first restaurant outside of Stockholm. Ekstedt will launch Ekstedt at The Yard, part of the Great Scotland Yard Hotel in London’s Westminster. Set within the historic five-star hotel that was once the headquarters of the Metropolitan Police, the hotel’s new flagship restaurant will focus on Scandinavian cooking techniques using seasonal British ingredients, alongside a cocktail menu and natural wine list. The menu will include Ekstedt’s signature oyster flambadou with smoked apple and beurre blanc nasturtium, alongside other dishes such as reindeer, smoked celeriac, black pudding and salt baked roots to share. Ekstedt said: “I’m delighted to be working with Great Scotland Yard Hotel to realise my dream of opening a restaurant in London. It’s a huge moment for me, I have been in love with the UK for years, my family moved here when we were younger and London has always felt like a second home for me.” Great Scotland Yard Hotel general manager Sholto Smith added: “The restaurant will be an integral part of the hotel and we are confident Niklas will be warmly welcomed both by our regular guests and the London food scene.”

Megan’s looks to recruit further 100 staff including two board-level roles: London-based cafe and deli concept Megan’s is looking to recruit a further 100 staff, including two senior board positions as it continues its growth plans. Pre-pandemic, the company had seven sites and an almost 200-strong team. The independent business has come out of the latest lockdown with 12 outlets open and 500 staff. It is now looking to add to its workforce, including the appointment of a people director and operations director – both board positions. The business has big plans for growth and brought in a new management team with Sarah Hills, formerly managing director of Bill’s and Wagamama, and Gill Clements, ex-finance director of Byron, both joining last year. Hills said: “We are one of the fastest-growing businesses in the sector. We opened our second location at the end of 2017 and will open our 13th site in July in Wandsworth. The support we have had from both our communities and our landlords has been incredible and has enabled us to continue to grow, creating jobs in our communities and opportunities for our wonderful teams as they develop their careers.”

Team behind Bon Pan Asian brand to open new grocery and restaurant concept in Manchester: The team behind the Bon Pan Asian buffet restaurant brand is to open a new grocery and restaurant concept in Manchester. Blue Whale Oriental supermarket will open at the city’s St James’s Tower building. It will comprise a circa 5,500 square foot high-end oriental grocery experience offering fresh fruit and vegetables, fish and seafood, plus a 60-cover sushi restaurant counter under a new brand, Aka Sushi. The company’s first Bon Pan Asian site in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, opened in 2015. The concept has since expanded with further sites in Liverpool and Brierley Hill. Sam May at May & Company acted on the Manchester deal.
 
Flight Club announces July opening for Bristol site: Flight Club, the darts concept owned by Red Engine, has announced it will open a site in Bristol on 30 July. Located on Corn Street, the venue will be home to seven oches, a total guest capacity of 200 and a bar with bookable tables for drinks. Flight Club said it “blends the nostalgia and warmth of a British pub with the energy and excitement of a fairground in its atmosphere and decor”. Each oche is a semi-private area so guests have their own space but are still part of the atmosphere, therefore adhering to current social distancing rules. The food offer includes sharing platters, pizzas and sides with cocktails to drink. Flight Club Bristol has a brunch offer as well. It includes bottomless pizza, vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options plus a bottle of prosecco each, on Thursday to Sunday. Chief executive Steve Moore said: “It’s a city we’ve always envisioned ourselves in and we’re over the moon to be finally bringing some unexpected, ridiculous joy to as many people as possible – and Bristol really is the perfect place for this. The area is unique and is already buzzing with a great local scene, filled with fantastic bars, restaurants and live venues. We can’t wait to welcome in the wonderful people of Bristol through our doors.” Bookings can be made now. The brand is set to open sites in Dublin, and Perth in Australia, along with a third US site, in Las Vegas, with its licensed partner State of Play Hospitality.
  
Innis & Gunn reports ‘strong’ second quarter with Brewery Taproom sites fully booked since reopening: Scottish brewer and retailer Innis & Gunn has reported a “strong” second quarter. Tables at the four Brewery Taproom sites across Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow, have been fully booked since reopening. Following significant investment in 2019, a further £32,000 was invested in the back-of-house systems ahead of reopening. A new ordering app has been created that allows users to collect loyalty points, redeemable in-bar against future purchases. The company said this has proved popular, with an uptake of more than 50% from customers since reopening, as has its new food menu. Since the reopening of the Scottish on-trade, demand for Innis & Gunn beer has been high, with the brewer already tracking 42% ahead of budget. Innis & Gunn is investing £80,000 in new equipment at its Perth brewery to support the production of increased volumes. Innis & Gunn founder Dougal Gunn Sharp said: “The demand and momentum for Innis & Gunn and our beer continues to grow, right across the on and off-trade, from both customers and consumers. We have continued to innovate and invest in the business over the past year and it is really paying off.”
 
Punch provides licensees with additional support ahead of Euros: Punch Pubs & Co is providing its licensees with additional support to help them “stay ahead of the game” for the Euros. The company has created a new sports operating manual, The Dugout, which provides advice on creating a vibrant atmosphere and delivering a consistent guest experience for every game. Publicans are also benefiting from sports point-of-sale kits, sports food menus, a guest-driven email marketing plan and a social media schedule. Punch has also added new indoor and outdoor TVs to more than 50 of its pubs, as well as 197 additional tables across 31 pubs. Marketing and strategy director Russell Danks said: “This year’s Euros will provide a vital boost for many businesses, and we are providing our publicans with support to allow them to maximise every opportunity. This support package will, undoubtedly, kick off a bumper month of sport.”
 
Camden Town Brewery hunts for chief freshness officer as it pushes never-pasteurised beer message: Camden Town Brewery is on the hunt for a chief freshness officer whose sole responsibility will be ensuring its beer is fresh, never pasteurised. No experience is required for the position, which involves “fresh-testing” the latest batch of Camden beer each month. The individual must be aged at least 25 and will also receive a one-off payment of £5,000 in return for their time. Zoe Wulfsohn-Dunkley, head of brand marketing at Camden Town Brewery, said: “The aim of our first ever nationwide TV campaign was to grow awareness and drive trial of our great tasting, never-pasteurised beer. As a second phase of the campaign, we’re now looking for a chief freshness officer to continue to highlight our never-pasteurised message. We hope the campaign educates beer drinkers on why drinking unpasteurised is the best thing you can do if you’re passionate about delicious-tasting beer.”

 
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