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Hospitality & leisure Industry New Roundup – W/C 28th Sept

spruce-imageMonday 28/9/15 Cambridge nightclubs hires “ladies in red” as Customer Care Ambassadors: Two Cambridge nightclubs have hired Customer Care Ambassadors. Dressed in red, the female Customer Care Ambassadors are manning the doors at Kuda, on Sidney Street and Ballare, at Heidelberg Gardens. Trained in first aid and customer care, they will be on-hand to help keep clubbers safe, with a particular focus on vulnerable women. A ‘We Care’ scheme has been introduced following consultation with the police and representatives of Cambridge’s student population. It involves a number of initiatives inside each club, designed to make nights out safer. Simon Wilson, general manager of Kuda, said: “You will be able to charge your phone for free in the cloakroom, and we will walk you to a taxi at the end of the night. The door staff have had extra training to identify vulnerable people, and if you have lost your phone we can help you find it, or we can offer you the use of a landline to phone your friends.” Batemans opens first ‘manchise’ pub with Coffee Republic coffee offer after biggest refurbishment ever: Lincolnshire brewer and retailer Batemans has opened its first “manchise” pub, a hybrid model of a managed pub and a franchised pub. The Woolpack pub in Wainfleet, Lincolnshire has re-opened after a £150,000 refurbishment. For breakfast, Coffee Republic drinks will be available to enjoy with homemade cakes and muffins, a first for a Batemans pub. Stuart Bateman, managing director of Batemans, said that nowadays customers want more from pubs than just a drink. He said: “You have to move with the times and realise people’s aspirations are changing with them. We have carried out the biggest and most extensive refurbishment of any pub in Batemans history at The Woolpack, and it is now a truly magnificent quality local pub which the brewery and community can be proud of. The Woolpack now boasts an excellent public bar area and lounge/dining room, perfectly in keeping with its magnificent presence overlooking the historic Wainfleet Market Place, the Wainfleet Medieval Butter Cross where John Wesley preached from, and the clock tower.” Aromi lines up third Cambridge opening: Aromi, the family-owned brand serving Sicilian food with branches on Cambridge’s Peas Hill and Benet Street, is to open a third outpost in the city, this time on the Grafton Centre side of town on Fitzroy Street. The brand serves pizza slices, home-made foccacia and spianata, arancini and Sicilian coffee. “We’ve had a fantastic response to news of Aromi opening in Fitzroy Street,” said co-owner Francesco Genovese. “Residents are excited about having freshly made Italian specialities on their doorstep and local businesses view us as a great addition to the retail offering in and around The Grafton Centre.” Grantham operator expands with speakeasy concept: The owner of drinks retailer Trickling Tap in Grantham, Lincolnshire is expanding with a speakeasy cocktail bar and lounge that will open in the town in November. The new bar is in a building behind the Trickling Tap shop in Market Place. It will be called the Tap and Tonic and is due to open on 7 November. The speakeasy will be reminiscent of those bars opened during prohibition in America in the 1930s. There will be room for 40 people on two floors and it will be table service.

Tuesday 29/9/15 Pubs and restaurants struggling with “unreliable” allergen warnings, report claims

By Daniel Woolfson, 28-Sep-2015

Pubs and restaurants’ claims that meals ‘may contain’ traces of various allergens are often based on unreliable information, according to new research.

Read More MP calls for display of food hygiene scores to be made compulsory at restaurants and takeaways in England: Conservative MP Michael Fabricant has called for the display of food hygiene scores to be made compulsory at restaurants and takeaways in England. Fabricant, who is MP for Lichfield in Staffordshire, also said owners who make improvements and want a quick re-grading should pay the inspecting council themselves – and not the taxpayer. It is the law in Wales that all premises must display their score on the door and Fabricant said it should be introduced in England. Currently, all hygiene ratings are displayed at The MP has tabled Parliamentary Written Questions to ministers at the Department of Health to encourage the legislation. He told the Burton Mail: “Hygiene ratings should be visible with the scores being ideally placed in the restaurant window or door before you enter. TripAdvisor scores are often on display, but they don’t indicate the safety of the food being served. This has got to change. At present, many restaurants can get away with poor standards unless they are closed down by the local authority – but that is the ‘nuclear’ and costly option.”

Wednesday 30/9/15 Little Britain Pub Company opens fourth site: Leicestershire-based Little Britain Pub Company has opened its fourth site. The company has reopened The Crown Inn in Old Dalby, which had been closed for 18 months, following an extensive refurbishment. It said on its website: “If the village had a heart, it would be the pub. Kids, muddy boots and dogs welcome. Join us for a cosy drink in winter by our log fires or a refreshing drink in our garden in summer. Proper grub is available seven days a week. We look forward to welcoming you.” Little Britain Pub Company, which was formed in 2009, also runs The Windmill Inn in Wymeswold, The Bluebell Inn in Rothley and The Curzon Arms in Woodhouse Eaves. Illegal Premier League broadcasters: Bolton pub pays £16k

By Oli Gross, 29-Sep-2015

Pubs have been reminded they can’t get away with illegally broadcasting football after 13 venues paid costs totalling more than £80k.

Read More

Thursday 1/10/15 Nottingham pub named CAMRA’s ‘Cider pub of the Year’: A Nottingham pub that reopened less than 18 months ago has been named winner of the Campaign for Real Ale’s (CAMRA) National Cider Pub of the Year 2015 award. The pub has a long history dating back to 1750, but closed in 2013 before having new life breathed into it in August 2014 through a partnership between Nottinghamshire’s Lincoln Green Brewery and Leicestershire’s Everards Brewery, under the management of Anthony Hughes and Lorraine Swain. The pub has become famous for its “real cider” which is made from pure fruits with no additives or chemicals and served naturally still, unlike commercially produced cider, which is force-carbonated to give it fizz. Real perry is produced in exactly the same way as real cider but with pear juice instead of apple juice. The pub’s cider wall features eight ciders and perries that are always from smaller producers rather than big brands. Hughes said: “We fully support CAMRA’s definition of real cider and acknowledge the recent amendment to remove the criteria that ‘no added flavourings to be used’ and to allow ‘pure fruits, vegetables, honey, hops, herbs and spices, yet no concentrates cordials or essences’ to be added.” Best Western in negotiations to operate five-star hotels across UK: The company is in discussions with a number of five-star hotels to join its soft brand, BW Premier Collection. Best Western Great Britain has revealed it is in discussions to launch its first five-star properties in the UK.The company is negotiating “with a number of five-star hotels located in key destination areas of the country to join its soft brand, BW Premier Collection”, it revealed in a statement.It already has four, four star or above properties as part of the collection, but the addition of five-star properties would “further change perceptions of Best Western being just a mid-market hotel group”, it added.The talks coincide with a major rebrand and mark a new era for the hotel group as it retires its existing logo after 20 years.The operator has revealed a new suite of seven logos while announcing the launch of Glo, a suburban mid-market boutique hotel brand which brings the tally of new brands added to its portfolio in the last 12 months to three.Earlier additions were Vib, a stylish and technology-centric urban hotel concept and BW Premier Collection, a soft brand consisting of carefully selected high-end hotels.The brand and logo change will come into effect across all of the group’s 4,100 properties in more than 100 countries by the end of 2017. In Great Britain, Best Western’s 275 properties will begin implementing the logo changes from spring 2016.“The rebrand is revolutionary. It is deliberately designed to make Best Western visible to broader audiences and reflect the huge progress the group has made in recent years to improve hotel standards and provide better guest experiences. The new logo line-ups mean we have seven distinct brands to market, optimised to work in a digital age, which enables us to harmonise hotel experience with guest expectation and have more meaningful conversations,” said Rob Payne, CEO of Best Western Great Britain.“We are hugely excited to be talking to five star properties about joining the collection too. Their addition in Great Britain will further showcase that Best Western is a brand broadening its appeal, with an exciting vision for the future at the forefront of celebrating great British independent hotels.” Leeds street food brand to expand into Nottingham: Leeds-based Thai street food brand Zaap is set to open a new site in Nottingham. The new 4,500 square foot restaurant will open this November, after a refurbishment costing in excess of £500,000 is completed, on Bromley Place, next to the Oaks and Kaplan residences. Boasting 200 covers, the new restaurant marks the brand’s second site, after launching in Leeds city centre in May and will create up to 75 jobs in the local area. Ban Kaewkraikhot, the brand’s owner, said: “Everyone at Zaap is thrilled and excited at the prospect of bringing our Thai street food revolution to Nottingham. We can’t wait to give the people of this great city a true taste of Bangkok and have them share in our passion for all the wonderful flavours of its food and give them an experience of real Thai culture and traditions.”

Friday 2/1015 Downing investment vehicle operated by Pub People Company buys Nottinghamshire site: Autumn Pubs, a Downing EIS-funded pub company, has acquired a closed freehold pub in Nottinghamshire for £325,000. The Chequers Inn, a canal-side country pub located in the village of Ranby, Nottinghamshire, will undergo a £250,000 refurbishment which will see it reopen in early 2016. The pub will be relaunched under operator Pub People Company’s ‘Fresh & Local’ brand, offering freshly made good value food with ingredients sourced from local suppliers. Pub People, led by Kevin Sammons, operates circa 50 sites in total. The brand has already been successfully introduced at four existing Autumn Pubs sites. To date, Downing Pub EIS has invested over £6m into Autumn Pubs. A spokesman said: “We are delighted to have been able to assist an excellent pub operator in expanding its estate and continue to support the team’s growth ambitions.” Two leisure schemes involving restaurants given go-ahead in Peterborough: Two major mixed-use developments in Peterborough, which are both set to be anchored by cinemas, have been given the go-ahead by planning bosses. Hawksworth Securities has secured permission for its £100m scheme to regenerate North Westgate with an eight-screen cinema complex and a new public square around Westgate church. The development, which is expected to create 1,500 jobs, will also include homes, offices, shops, restaurants and a hotel. Peterborough City Council’s planning committee has also approved Lendlease and Invesco’s £30m revamp of Queensgate shopping centre. The scheme will include series of new shops, a restaurant hub and a multi-screen Odeon cinema.


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