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Tue 30th Jun 2020 - Propel Tuesday News Briefing

Story of the Day: 

Capdesia and Toridoll enter JV to launch Marugame Udon in UK, Keith Bird to lead business: Capdesia Group, the backer of Wasabi, and Toridoll Holdings Corporation, the backer of Shoryu Ramen and Wok to Walk, have formed a new joint venture to launch udon noodles and tempura restaurant chain Marugame Udon in London early next year, Propel has learned. Marugame Udon currently has more than 800 restaurants in Japan and a further 250 across Asia, the US and Russia. The London site will be the first in Europe. Marugame Udon (Europe) will become the master franchisee for the region and the new London restaurant, for which a location is soon to be confirmed. The new joint venture said this debut site will be followed by an “ambitious roll-out plan” involving a combination of both owned and franchise operations in the UK and Europe, working in partnership with local multi-unit/brand operators. The new company will be headed by Keith Bird, the founder of Natural Kitchen, former chief operating officer of Gourmet Burger Kitchen, and one of Capdesia’s operating partners. Bird is also currently a non-executive director of Rum Kitchen and an advisor to Flight Club. Takaya Awata, founder and president of Toridoll said: “We would like to develop the Marugame Udon brand all over Europe by combining the experience we have cultivated over the years with Capdesia's strong sector expertise and network. We also hope this relationship will be a stepping stone for the development of other Toridoll brands, as we continue to make progress toward our goal of reaching 6,000 restaurants worldwide.” Bird added: “What we also know is Japanese food has gone mainstream in the UK over the past couple of decades. We feel the market is now ready to embrace a more authentic and specialised offer but at a very affordable price point – essentially a fast-casual offer, in terms of quality of food and experience, but closer to quick service restaurant prices.” Abe Matamoros, co-founder and managing director at Capdesia said: "The Marugame Udon brand has become one of the most exciting growth concepts in the Asian category today and it’s not often one gets to partner with the clear leader in the category. We look forward to a long and fruitful relationship to the benefit of consumers, employees and shareholders.” Toridoll, a public company listed on the Tokyo stock exchange, has annual system revenues of £1.2bn and a portfolio of more than 1,700 restaurants across 30 brands and 40 countries. Capdesia invested in the 60-strong Wasabi in May last year.

Industry News:

Sponsored message – Ten Kites launches new free solution to display menus on mobiles: Protect your customers and your staff by letting guests view your menu and allergy information on their own mobile devices, simply by scanning a QR code. To help the industry reopen after lock-down, Ten Kites is offering this solution completely free. Simple and straightforward: Add your menus to our easy-to-use system. We generate the QR code so you can print and put them on your tables. Guests then scan the code and your menu displays on their own device. Benefits: Keep your customers and staff safe – remove the need for physical menus in your restaurant and ensure compliance with allergen legislation. Have visually engaging digital menus with your logo, allergy information, prices, images and menu item descriptions. There is also flexibility to quickly and easily update your menu, eliminating printing costs and delivery delays. The solution can be integrated with supported recipe management systems such as Fourth, Access Group, IndiCater and others. More information: For more information on our free version and what’s possible with our full solution, visit https://tenkites.com/menusonmobile. If you have information you would like to feature in a sponsored message, email paul.charity@propelinfo.com

Lawrence Huggler to feature in latest ‘navigating the coronavirus’ video: In the latest in Propel's video interviews with leading operators about “navigating the coronavirus” pandemic, Elliotts chief executive Ann Elliott talks to Lawrence Huggler, managing director of Huggler Group, the Jersey-based leisure group and drinks business, about operating under restrictions; going from running a Michelin-starred restaurants to offering home meal kits; the need for innovation; reassuring consumers on hygiene; and dealing with large “households”. The video will be released on Tuesday (30 June). Meanwhile, readers can support independent sector journalism and get their news 12 hours early (at 7pm each night) with a Propel Premium subscription. It costs £395 plus VAT per annum for operators and £495 plus VAT for suppliers. Email anne.steele@propelinfo.com to sign up.

One million hospitality staff members expected to return to work in July and more than six in ten outlets to reopen: Almost one million sector staff members are expected to be back in work and more than six in ten outlets open again before the end of July, according to a new survey by UKHospitality. The survey showed more than 960,000 staff are expected to return to work from furlough over the course of July, with another 720,000 joining them by the end of September – taking the number beyond 1.6 million people. About 60% of the UK’s hospitality sector will reopen on or within a few days of 4 July, with about three-quarters of pubs and accommodation businesses open again by the end of the month. UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “This is incredibly positive news and a fantastic demonstration of the very hard work that businesses have put in getting themselves ready to reopen. Everyone can see the devastating effect that this crisis has had on hospitality businesses. To see such large numbers of businesses ready to open again, welcoming back so many staff members so quickly is hugely encouraging. There is still a long way to go and businesses are by no means out of the woods yet. This is a very positive start, though. Getting venues open and customers through the doors means more jobs will be kept safe. Despite the positive news we need support for those businesses that are still not able to open, and for those whose jobs rely upon them.”
UKHospitality is a Propel BeatTheVirus campaign member

British foodservice spend plummets 80% in April, price and deal-related visits hit record high: Spend in British foodservice outlets was down 80% in April while price and deal-related visits reached record levels, according to new research by insights firm The NPD Group. It said weekly spend in British foodservice in April was just over £200m, compared with last year’s weekly spend level of about £1bn. In addition, the decline in British out-of-home (OOH) foodservice visits in April 2020 was almost three times as severe as the collapse seen during the financial crisis of 2008-2010. Lock-down officially started on 23 March this year, but many people were already avoiding eating out, meaning by the end of the first quarter of 2020 there was a 10% year-on-year deterioration in OOH visits. This decline accelerated dramatically in April and for the two-month period of March and April the fall was 54%. Price and deal-related visits reached record levels in April. More than 28% of visits were influenced by whether an outlet could offer a good price, the highest percentage ever seen in the month of April, including during the financial crisis. Visits made using a meal deal were also the highest seen for any April, at 32%, and the average bill on deal was 5% higher than average. Personal or online recommendations became increasingly important in April, accounting for almost 8% of visits in comparison with the 4% to 5% level seen in the past five years. At dinner time, personal or online recommendations accounted for almost 10% of all visits, compared with the usual figure of 4%. The importance of “quality” offered by a foodservice outlet rose by one third year-on-year, with consumers likely associating quality with hygiene. Dominic Allport, insights director (foodservice), The NPD Group, said: “The scale of the crash in out-of-home foodservice visits is unprecedented. As we start to come out of lock-down, consumers are likely to be sensitive to prices and value for money. Value-related visits should increase rapidly in the same way as the 2008-2010 financial crisis when price-driven or voucher-driven visits rose sharply. We also expect deal-based visits to increase as they did in the financial crisis – they grew by more than a quarter even though the overall market registered a 2% visit decline. The importance of meal deals is likely to grow as operators fight for market share.” 
The NPD Group is a Propel BeatTheVirus campaign member

Inquiry launches into coastal and lakeside tourism: A new inquiry into coastal and lakeside tourism has been launched by The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Hospitality and Tourism. The “Coasts and Waters” inquiry aims to take a holistic look at tourism and hospitality in the UK’s coasts and lakeside regions, “bringing together a wide range of stakeholders to examine the challenges and opportunities that face businesses, workers and local communities in these areas”. The APPG will hold two roundtable sessions with businesses in July, before opening a consultation process with relevant stakeholders. The group aims to publish its report in early September. The inquiry will look at areas including what support can be afforded to coastal and lakeside commerce and economies to optimise their capacity to drive much needed economic growth, employment and prosperity; how demand can be stimulated for coastal and lakeside tourism; and how tourism to these areas be grown in a sustainable manner. APPG chairman Steve Double said: “The unfortunate reality is that many coastal regions had already been struggling prior to the pandemic. The APPG inquiry aims to provide a holistic examination of the challenges and opportunities that face hospitality and tourism businesses in these areas, providing government with a detailed report on how to promote and grow tourism in these areas in a sustainable way.” UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls added: “As the country begins to rebound from coronavirus, tourism and hospitality businesses across the country will have a huge role to play. Nowhere will this be more apparent than in coastal and lakeside areas, where hospitality jobs and businesses are essential to local communities. The government has pledged a ‘levelling up’ agenda across the country and supporting these vital sectors should form an essential part of this. We are grateful to APPG members for selecting such a timely and appropriate inquiry and look forward to working with them closely.”

London ‘villages’ seeing footfall recovery but City remains quiet: London “villages” are seeing a recovery in footfall but the City continues to remain quiet despite the easing of lock-down restrictions, according to the latest analyst by Wi-Fi solutions provider Wireless Social. It said footfall in areas that have a high density of offices, such as the City and Canary Wharf, were “really struggling” with footfall remaining below 80% of what was seen in February. Even as people were given more freedom, the analysis showed “minimal impact” in these areas. With footfall still 70% below that seen prior to the coronavirus pandemic. The West End – a more hybrid area of hospitality, entertainment, shopping, residential and offices – remains “a difficult area” as well, but with hospitality businesses set to reopen from Saturday (4 July) footfall “should start to recover further”. Wireless Social stated: “The real areas that are showing recovery are the London village areas such as Wimbledon, Hampstead and Putney where we can see the impact of people working from home and progressively higher footfall as people venture out and visit the businesses local to them. London is usually highly dependent on tourism and due to borders being closed, visitor numbers are down. As air bridges open across Europe, it will potentially influence the recovery of footfall in London.” 
Wireless Social is a Propel BeatTheVirus campaign member

Peter Backman – new social distancing guidelines should help industry ‘just about survive’: Sector analyst Peter Backman has said the new “one metre-plus” social distancing guidelines should help the industry as a whole “just about survive”. He said: “The overall consensus seems to be about two-thirds of outlets will open in early July – we are about to discover how close to the truth this is. And now that we know the ‘one metre-plus’ rule is in place, these businesses will be able to operate at something like 70% capacity. And 70% of two-thirds is about 50%. In other words, on these figures the industry will be set up to cope with about half of pre-covid levels of business. This is just about break-even for an average business. This implies the industry as a whole, will just about survive, and this should, thankfully, form a platform for longer-term growth. But, of course, not all businesses are average (in fact, very few are); some will be above average and will therefore be in a good position to survive and grow and some will be below average and therefore likely to fail. How many fall into these categories? The coming weeks and months will tell us.”

Irish pubs reopen in ‘milestone moment’ in country’s recovery: Irish pubs that serve food have reopened in phase three of the easing of coronavirus restrictions, marking a “milestone moment in the recovery of the country”, the Licensed Vintners Association (LVA) has said. Hairdressers, barbers, gyms, pools, cinemas and churches are also allowed to open. It has been 15 weeks since pubs have been allowed to serve customers inside the premises. Pubs serving food are allowed to trade and sell alcohol as long as a meal worth €9 is also served. Pubs that do not serve food will be allowed to reopen on 20 July. The LVA urged publicans to ensure they take responsibility and make sure social distancing guidelines are being met. Chief executive Donall O’Keeffe said: “With the public health situation improving, the reopening of pubs will be an indicator of Ireland’s emergence from the lock-down. It will signal to the outside world our country is beginning the journey back to normality and our economy is once again open for business.”

Yumpingo and Unilever launch free menu optimisation tool: Restaurant intelligence platform Yumpingo has partnered with Unilever Food Solutions (UFS) to launch a free step-by-step guide and ready-made template to help hospitality businesses engineer menus “that will maximise their profit”. The guide provides support on key areas such as where to start by pulling sales data and completing a “star/dog analysis”; measuring, and adjusting, dish complexity; and menu price elasticity and the perception of value. Chefs and foodservice operators from all sectors of the industry can download the guide and tool from the UFS website. Yumpingo customer success manager Matt Holy said: “As the hospitality industry prepares to reopen again, it's never been more important to ensure menus are optimised for the new realities facing restaurants and bars. Using data to inform these decisions will be key to driving profitability and customer retention, while also ensuring kitchen teams are best equipped to handle the new complexities in place from social distancing.”
Yumpingo is a Propel BeatTheVirus campaign member

Deliveroo launches contactless dine-in tool as part of new support package: Deliveroo is launching a contactless dine-in tool to help restaurants reopen safely and boost the sector’s recovery, as part of a package of new support measures. The new in-app function “Table Service” will be available from 15 July and enables customers to browse the menu and order and pay at a restaurant via the Deliveroo app. A recent Deliveroo survey, conducted during lock-down, showed 42% of independent restaurants said they could go out of business within the next three months. All orders placed through “Table Service” will therefore be charged at 0% commission to restaurant partners. Deliveroo said the feature represented a significant evolution of the Deliveroo platform. Initially offering only delivery via its riders, in June 2018 Deliveroo launched Marketplace+, enabling restaurants to fulfil orders using their own riders. In November 2019 the company launched “Pickup”, a click-and-collect service. The support package also includes free signage for small restaurants. These includes floor stickers, so customers know to keep a safe distance when they are inside; queuing polls; anti-bacterial pumps; hand washing signs and bag seal stickers. Deliveroo will also be making personal protective equipment available for restaurant staff at cost price, which will be available on Deliveroo’s packaging store. Items will include masks, hand sanitisers and disposable gloves. 

Job of the day: COREcruitment is working with a luxury travel and hospitality business that is looking to add a senior client manager to its team. This business provides an unparalleled level of expertise and personal consultancy for all its clients – advising, planning and managing hospitality and all travels needs within a luxury setting. The business is ideally looking for a private client manager who has established experience in the luxury travel sector, working with a ultra-high net-worth client base in a sales and relationships-led environment. The salary is circa £40,000. Anyone interested with previously experience in this field can email tyronschreuder@corecruitment.com for a confidential conversation. 
COREcruitment is a Propel BeatTheVirus campaign member

Company News:

Anglian County Inns secures £3.3m to safeguard business: Anglian Country Inns, the pub and restaurant operator led by James Nye, has secured £3.3m through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) from Cynergy Bank. The loan will be used by Anglian Country Inns, which operates nine pubs throughout Hertfordshire and Norfolk, to refinance existing debt and provide emergency working capital funding caused by the impact of coronavirus. While the government guarantee is for six years, Cynergy Bank is amortising the loan over a 25-year period. Nye said: “We were delighted to have completed the CBILS funding of both Anglian Country Inns and our sister-company The Farmhouse, which together means we are able to protect the business and ensure we come out of the pandemic stronger than ever.” Steve Crosswell, relationship director, hospitality, Cynergy Bank, added: “The Nye family has built a robust and solid business with high-performing assets and it typifies all that is good in a family-led business.” 

Inception sets our reopening plans, £25,000 bar tab for NHS workers spread across sites: Inception Group, which owns and operates concepts including Cahoots and Mr Foggs, will begin the reopening of its estate with Mr Fogg’s Residence in Mayfair on Saturday (4 July), as it announced a £25,000 bar tab for NHS workers spread across its sites as part of its relaunch plans. The company will follow up the opening in Mayfair with the reopening of Mrs Fogg’s in the City on Monday, 6 July; Mr Fogg's House of Botanicals (Fitzrovia – ground floor only) and Cahoots Ticket Hall (Soho) on 9 July; Mr Fogg's Tavern (Covent Garden) on 16 July; Barts (Chelsea) on 23 July; Mr Fogg's Gin Parlour (Covent Garden), Mr Fogg's House of Botanicals (Fitzrovia – in full), Mrs Fogg's (The City – in full), Cahoots Underground (Soho) and Cahoots Control Room (Soho) on 3 September; and Mr Fogg's Society of Exploration (Covent Garden) on 1 October. From October onwards the company will also look to reopen Bunga Bunga (Battersea) Bunga Bunga (Covent Garden) and Maggie's (Chelsea). The company said NHS workers can expect the “warmest of welcomes”, with a £25,000 bar tab spread across its reopened sites as a thank you for their “phenomenal response to the pandemic”. NHS workers will simply show their identification badges at any of the company’s establishments to take part and the tab will be open for them to claim a free drink every day until the sum is reached. Charlie Gilkes, co-founder of Inception Group, said: “These have been the most challenging times that we, as a business, and the hospitality sector in general, have ever faced. However, no industry has been more critical, or worked harder under immense pressure during this period than our NHS, so we would like to reward their extraordinary efforts.” The company said its reopening plans also include adapting working practices and spaces to create “covid-secure” socialising environments, which will involve the introduction of temperature checks for staff, hand sanitation dispensers at key points throughout the venues, as well as rigorous cleaning routines and a one-way system for entry and exit where possible.

McDonald’s announces electric vehicle charging points plan: McDonald’s has announced plans to install hundreds of electric vehicle charging points at its UK sites. Diners will be able to plug their vehicles into the new ports, which can provide up to an 80% charge in under 20 minutes, the company said. In research commissioned by McDonald’s, more than half of people who do not own an electric car said that a lack of convenient charging points was a barrier to them switching. Two thirds said they would reconsider if there was better coverage. McDonald’s UK and Ireland chief executive Paul Pomroy told PA: “Appetite for electric vehicles, which will be a central part of the UK’s efforts to build back greener post covid-19, is growing. This ambition takes advantage of our scale, and is a real step forward for those already driving electric vehicles, as well as people considering making the switch. With more than 1,300 restaurants our ambition would mean you would never be far from a charging point. Our ultimate ambition is to have more electric vehicle charging points on our premises than any other company in the UK and Ireland.”

Comptoir Group sets out initial reopening plans: Comptoir Group, the owner and operator of Lebanese and eastern Mediterranean restaurants, has announced it will begin the reopening of its estate, with 12 sites opening under its Comptoir Libanais brand on Saturday (4 July). Its sites in South Kensington; Westfield London; Westfield Stratford; London Bridge; Duke of York Square, Chelsea; Gloucester Road; Kingston; Birmingham; Manchester; Cheshire Oaks; Ashford; and Broadgate Circle, will open on Saturday, while its site in Liverpool Street will open on Monday, 6 July. Founder Tony Kitous said: “The past three months have been very difficult for everyone, we now hope we can get back to normal life.” The company began the reopening of its Comptoir Libanais estate for delivery and takeaway earlier this month. It reopened its site in London’s Gloucester Road for delivery and takeaway through Deliveroo and UberEats. 

Hawksmoor set out reopening plan, at-home offer to go nationwide: Hawksmoor, the Graphite Capital-backed, steak house concept, has said it plans to have all of its eight eponymous sites reopened by the start of September. The company intends to reopen its site at Borough first on 9 July for weekday dinners and all day at the weekend. The group said its intention was to “learn as much as possible about how to run restaurants brilliantly under the new guidelines and then apply those lessons to the rest of the restaurants, giving each reopening the attention it deserves”. The company plans to reopen its Manchester site on 16 July; Seven Dials on 21 July; Spitalfields on 24 July; Air Street on 28 July; Knightsbridge 31 July; Edinburgh on 6 August; and finally its Guildhall site on 1 September. Since the announcement of its reopening plan, the company subsequently said it was completely booked on day one, 96% booked for week one, and 50% for month one. The company has also expanded its Hawksmoor at Home offer nationwide, giving consumers the opportunity to order a delivery box containing fresh ingredients and a cookbook to “recreate the Hawksmoor experience at home”. The boxes will be limited to 500 per week over the next six weeks via the Hawksmoor website, and the business has said there was scope to expand the range if it proves successful. Co-founder Will Beckett said: “The past few months have been intensely busy working out how to survive this crisis, support our staff and organisations doing incredible work feeding front line workers and people in need in the communities we work in, and thinking about how to reopen all of our restaurants. We could have perhaps done it quicker, but our very clear preference is to focus on doing it as well as possible. We are lucky to have restaurants where social distancing is relatively easy, to have been able to consult with government on the guidance over the past months, and to have the resources to ensure we go above and beyond to ensure we are ‘covid-secure’. We believe customers are likely to want Hawksmoor to do what it has always done and offer people a haven from the outside world, where you can be comfortable with the people you’re eating and drinking with. If we learn differently, we will adapt.”

Various Eateries updates on reopening plans for Coppa, Strada and Tavolino: Various Eateries, the Hugh Osmond-backed group, has further updated on its reopening programme, adding a further two Coppa Club sites for reopening on Saturday (4 July). The company had already announced it would open its Coppa Club site in Tower Bridge on Saturday. It will now also reopen its Coppa sites in Sonning and Streatley on the same day. The company is also introducing a program of regular events for locals, starting with “special cinema screenings”. Meanwhile, Strada Southbank will open on 10 July for takeaway and dine-in. The group’s new Italian restaurant Tavolino opens at More London Riverside after a delay of almost three months on 31 July. A spokesman for Various Eateries said: “Coppa Club Henley, Maidenhead and Brighton as well as 31Below in Marylebone will be opening as soon as possible but the exact dates are still to be confirmed – we can only do so much well at a time, and the above openings will enable us to gauge the market to make the right decision for each site.”

Homeslice to reopen four sites this weekend: London-based better pizza brand Homeslice has announced it will reopen four of its six restaurants on Saturday (4 July) for dine in. The group, which has been offering delivery and collection out of selected sites during lock-down, will reopen its sites in White City, the City, Shoreditch and Marylebone. No decision has yet been made on when it will reopen its sites in Covent Garden and Fitzrovia. 

UberEats – Lock-down accelerated goal of ordering on delivery apps becoming ‘an everyday habit’: Toussaint Wattinne, general manager for UberEats in the UK and Ireland, has said lock-down measures accelerated the firm’s goal of ordering on food delivery apps becoming “an everyday habit” for Brits. Talking to City AM, Wattinne said orders on UberEats had jumped significantly since lock-down began, rising by more than 160%, while the number of new restaurants on the delivery firm’s UK platform almost doubled in the past four months to a total of 17,000, as smaller independent venues aimed to take the place of larger chains that were forced to close. Coffee orders made via the app have increased 149%, with brands such as Caffe Nero, Pret A Manger and Black Sheep joining the app. “What we’ve seen is we’ve been a solution that restaurants, consumers, and couriers turn to, which has impacted the business in a way that has accelerated [Uber’s] growth both globally and in the UK,” Wattinne said. “We’ve seen meaningful improvements in a number of areas, such as basket size. Some of these have continued [to improve] during lock-down, so we’re making improvements in the right areas.” He added while UberEat’s performance was impacted in the immediate aftermath of lock-down measures forcing restaurants to close, the subsequent demand from consumers and local hotspots has more than made up for it. Expansion plans in the UK were put on hold as the coronavirus crisis worsened, but have recently restarted. Wattinne said the firm opened for business in ten new towns last week.

Voodoo Ray’s and Camden Town Brewery among operators to open sites within new multi-purpose Manchester venue: Gourmet pizza company Voodoo Ray’s and Camden Town Brewery are among the operators to be opening sites in a new multi-purpose space launching in Manchester next month. Broadwick Venues, which operates Printworks London and is a subsidiary of festival specialist Broadwick Live, is launching Escape to Freight Island, in Baring Street. The venue will be home to a number of different bars, restaurants, food trucks, with retail space and a bike park. There will be a 1970s New York-inspired roller disco, a hidden high-fi audio bar, which will transform into a karaoke venue called Queen Samantha’s, and a retro arcade games corridor. Escape to Freight Island will also host a diverse, ticketed events programme 12 hours-a-day. Among the first traders on board will be London-based Voodoo Ray’s, which will launch a northern outpost following its outlets in Peckham and Dalston and a second site for Madre, the Mexican taqueria concept from Breddos Tacos founders Nud Dudhia and Chris Whitne and the founders of Liverpool restaurants Belzan and Volpi. Escape to Freight Island will also be Camden Town Brewery’s biggest collaboration outside of London, launching a boutique craft ale bar in partnership with Salford’s inimitable Pomona Island brewery. This will run alongside a specialist wine bar, and a cocktail space from the team behind Ancoats' neighbourhood bar The Jane Eyre. The first area to open in mid-July will be dubbed “Platform 15”, a nod to neighbouring Piccadilly station. It has been designed with social distancing in mind with table slots of three hours being pre-booked. The launch of phase two is planned for August, increasing capacity to 1,000 people with social distancing measures remaining in place. Once restrictions are lifted, the venue will switch up to a capacity of 2,500 people. 

Leon becomes first restaurant business to sign up to environment commitment: Natural fast food brand Leon has become the first restaurant company to sign up to all 14 commitments put forward by the Council for Sustainable Business (CSB), which is calling on firms to protect and improve the environment. The CSB was established two years ago at the request of the government, with John Vincent, chief executive and co-founder of Leon, appointed as chairman, to “act as sounding board, challenger, critic, innovator and advisor”. Joining a virtual meeting of more than 200 business leaders, Leon, along with some of the largest businesses in the UK, has signed up to a set of 14 commitments that encourage businesses to do more, by reporting on and reducing their greenhouse gas emissions and furthering their work to support biodiversity. The commitments focus on the steps being taken to advance a sustainable, green future and the need to take extraordinary actions to cut carbon emissions and restore nature and wildlife over the next ten years, driving a “decade of difference” for climate change and nature. Vincent said: “Young people are asking what action companies and governments are taking to save life on our planet. As chief executive of Leon and as the founding chair of the CSB I owe it to my daughters to answer this question. Business leaders can start by signing up to the CSB commitments. And by getting other leaders to do the same. And to do so soon. Business is not separate from nature. It is part of nature. We have a choice to destroy our planet or to save it.”

Black and White Hospitality to bring Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar & Grill brand to Salisbury: Black and White Hospitality, which owns the rights to restaurant brands belonging to Marco Pierre White, is to open a new restaurant in Salisbury, Wiltshire. The 80-cover Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar & Grill will be located at The Stones Hotel and will start to welcome customers towards the end of the summer. Replacing the hotel’s on-site restaurant, the move follows a deal between Black and White Hospitality and David Matton who took ownership of the hotel in May 2013. Nick Taplin, chairman and chief executive of Black and White Hospitality, said: “The Steakhouse fits perfectly with the four-star environment of The Stones Hotel’s customer base and we’re excited to work alongside David and his team to get this new venue open as soon as possible.” Matton added: “We’re delighted to have someone of Marco’s calibre open one of his restaurants here at The Stones Hotel. It’s an exciting addition that will, we believe, offer a first-class dining experience and is perfect for the stunning location of the hotel.”

Apostrophe founder to reopen both Delamina sites for dine-in on Saturday, receives ‘overwhelming’ booking response: Apostrophe founder Amir Chen is to reopen both of his Delamina sites for dine-in on Saturday (4 July). Measures to ensure its eponymous venue in Marylebone and Delamina East in Shoreditch offer a safe environment for its teams and guests include greater spacing of tables, rigorous cleaning, thermal temperature reading of all staff on entry, and the introduction of “contact-light” service procedures. It is expected more extensive outside seating will be available in the coming weeks. Both its weekend brunch and main services will resume, with menus offering all its signature dishes as well as seasonal specials. Since online booking was opened on Friday (26 June), Chen told Propel the response had been “overwhelming”, with a number of services already fully booked. Both restaurants will also offer an expanded delivery service, which includes a large deli selection of dips, roasted vegetables and house spices. Chen and wife Limor opened Delamina in 2018 following a residency at Shoreditch House. The couple’s first restaurant opened as Strut & Cluck in Shoreditch in 2016 but has since been converted to become Delamina East. Chen founded Apostrophe in 2004 and was chief executive until the company was acquired by CH&Co in 2016, remaining as an advisor until leaving to launch the restaurants.

McVeigh, Sethi and Bandura join new Tamweel advisory panel: Draft House founder Charlie McVeigh, JKS Restaurants co-founder and chief executive Jyotin Sethi and ex-Carluccio’s and Gaucho chief financial officer Frank Bandura have joined the new advisory panel launched by sector advisor Tamweel, Propel has learned. Tamweel said the new panel will provide its clients with access to a “mix of additional skills, a wide network of highly valued relationships and individuals with an exceptional track record in brand building, marketing and communications; finance, operations and restructuring; and strategy, investment, growth and exit”. The panel also features Richard Hilton, entrepreneur and founder of Gymbox; Simon Havers, former chairman of the British Private Equity and Venture Capital Association, and previously chief executive of one of Europe’s leading private equity funds; and Ann Elliott, founder and chief executive of leading marketing and communications business Elliotts. Ali Aneizi, Tamweel’s founder, said: “I am excited to welcome the panel members to the Tamweel family. Like our clients, they’ve been on the front line as founders, entrepreneurs and operators. Between them they have grown, advised and sold some of the best leisure and hospitality brands in the market. Having them on board will allow us to deliver a suite of advisory solutions to our clients, addressing the many needs faced by the sector in an increasingly complex environment. We’re fired up, committed and ready to play a part in the recovery; to support the best brands and operators get back in the saddle, back in the game and back to growth.” 

London Shell Co outlines plans to reopen floating restaurants: Independent seafood restaurant London Shell Co has outlined plans to reopen both its floating restaurants on the Regents Canal at Paddington. The Grand Duchess, its static restaurant, will reopen to customers on Saturday (4 July), with a special oyster bar on the towpath as well as fish and chips to takeaway. It will then open for lunch and dinner from Tuesday, 7 July. Meanwhile, cruising lunches and dinners on The Prince Regent will start again on Friday, 10 July. Both boats have had table numbers reduced, with social distancing in place. Since closing the boasts on 17 March, London Shell Co has been delivering “Seashore to Front Door” boxes and more recently turned The Grand Duchess into a shop selling wet fish, pre-prepared meals, gourmet sandwiches, flowers, draft beer and wine.

Staycity secures planning permission for fourth Manchester site: Aparthotel operator Staycity has secured planning permission for the development of its fourth property in Manchester, in the city’s Deansgate area. The 21-storey, 310-apartment scheme, being developed by Ask Real Estate, will consist of 246 studios and 64 one-bedroom apartments with a gym and laundrette. Simon Walford, UK director of development at Staycity, said: “It’s an exciting time for Staycity in Manchester, as we further expand our portfolio and this property will be positioned in a strategic location on one of the city’s most important streets. Manchester is a hugely important location for Staycity, with its eclectic blend of business and leisure guests and its vibrant arts and cultural scene.” In 2017 Staycity opened a 182-apartment property at Manchester Piccadilly while another two Staycity properties are under development in the city – one in the Northern Quarter and another in St Peter’s Square. The latter will become a Wilde Aparthotel by Staycity, the group’s premium brand.

Everard Cole expands coverage as it appoints new director: Property agent Everard Cole has expanded its coverage with the appointment of James Boshier as a director. Boshier will be based out of Leeds, covering the north of England. He is an experienced licensed property specialist holding senior roles in both private practice and with various pub companies. Everard Cole founder Tom Nichols said: “It is clear, from the past couple of months, how integral property costs are to the viability and profitability of hospitality businesses. James strengthens our existing team at a crucial time for the hospitality sector.”

 
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