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Hospitality News Roundup – W/c 24/4/17

Hospitality & Leisure News

Monday 24/4/17 – Starbucks’ first global franchisee expands with drive-thru site: 23.5 Degrees, Starbucks’ first franchisee globally, has expanded by opening a drive-thru store near Huntingdon. A total of 25 jobs have been created at the store at the newly extended Brampton Hut services on the A1/A14 Interchange, which will be the first drive- thru in the area. On its website, 23.5 Degrees states: “Having opened our first store in February 2013, 23.5 Degrees currently operates 39 stores with a current pipeline of 23 further stores approved and under development. We have a developmental territory covering Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Surrey, Hampshire, Wiltshire, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, Hertfordshire, Essex and Dorset as well as 23 boroughs within the Greater London area. Managing director Mark Hepburn has a track record of significant success in foodservice franchise businesses, including Burger King and KFC and our business growth is supported by private equity firm Connection Capital as well as Royal Bank of Scotland.”

Tuesday 25/4/17 – General election will not delay business rates relief, says DCLG

By Georgina Townshend, 25-Apr-2017

Access to discretionary business rates relief payments for pubs will not be delayed by the snap general election, the DCLG has confirmed. Read More – Food Hygiene Ratings now more important to consumers

By Michelle Perrett , 25-Apr-2017

Cleanliness and hygiene are major influences on where consumers choose to eat out, according to a report from the Food Standards Agency (FSA). Read More – Pembrokeshire-based Seren Collection introduces four-day week for kitchen staff at Grove of Narberth: Pembrokeshire-based Seren Collection has introduced a four-day week for kitchen staff at its country house hotel Grove of Narberth in an effort to improve employment conditions. Owners Neil and Zoe Kedward said the reduction in hours would achieve a better work-life balance and improve staff retention. It is one of the first businesses and hospitality venues in Wales to adopt the approach. Neil Kedward said: “In an industry where the quality of talent is a true differentiator, this is a trend we should certainly see more of. Hospitality kitchen staff, in particular, have traditionally had a raw deal working long hours. We have always viewed the reduction of these hours as a priority for us as I have never felt comfortable with some of the hours worked by our team, particularly in the high season. We want to have a happy and energised workforce to deliver a luxury product of the highest standards in south west Wales, and this is a cornerstone of our approach to achieve that.” Seren Collection’s other sites are Coast in Saundersfoot and the Beach House at Oxwich Bay in the Gower Peninsula.

Wednesday 26/4/17 – Coffee shop ‘slowdown’ is massive opportunity for pubs

By Nicholas Robinson+, 27-Apr-2017

Suggestions that coffee shops will eventually outnumber pubs could be blown out of the water following Whitbread’s announcement it will reduce its Costa high street estate by up to 10%. Read More – M&B converts Crown Carveries site in Lincolnshire village to Stonehouse Pizza and Carvery brand: Mitchells & Butlers has converted its Crown Carveries site in the village of Stragglethorpe, Lincolnshire, to its Stonehouse Pizza and Carvery brand. The company has reopened The Shepherds, which is next to Nottinghamshire Golf and Country Club, following a three-week refurbishment, reports the Nottingham Post. The Stonehouse offer ranges from breakfast and traditional carvery to 100% fresh dough, stonebaked pizzas. There is also a self-serve salad bar alongside pub favourites and an extensive children’s menu. In November, Mitchells & Butlers chief executive Phil Urban said the evolution of its Crown Carvery brand to Stonehouse was producing a 25% return on investment. The company expects to grow the brand to 80 sites in 2017 from the 36 sites it had at its year-end in September.

Thursday 27/4/17 – Four-legged foodies to get free feed as pub group trials dog menus

By Claire Churchard, 27-Apr-2017

Dogs will eat free at four Red Mist Leisure sites after the pub group agreed to trial a special menu for ‘man’s best friend’ in partnership with natural pet food company Naturo. Read More

Friday 28/4/17 – TLC Inns opens sixth Grand Central site, in Thetford: TLC Inns, the award-winning pub and restaurant operator led by Steve and Jo Haslam, has opened its sixth Grand Central, this time in Thetford, Norfolk. The company has invested about £600,000 to open the venue at the new £8m riverside development in the town, creating 42 jobs. The 152-cover restaurant has a bar, booths and tables, and a 100-seat outside area. Steve Haslam told the Eastern Daily Press: “I get an offer a day to open a new unit. We have a tough selection process but what attracted us was the promise of how Thetford was going to develop and grow.” As previously reported by Propel, TLC Inns will launch seafood concept Fish & Co later this year. The company has acquired a riverside venue in Ely that formerly housed Ta Bouche restaurant, which is close to its Grand Central and Cutter pub sites in the Cambridgeshire town. The venue will undergo a major investment in the autumn to reopen as the first Fish & Co restaurant, with another site in the pipeline. -Restaurant and pub sales fell over the Easter holiday while trading is expected to be flat for the “foreseeable future”: Restaurants and pubs didn’t get the bumper Easter sales they hoped for over the four-day holiday weekend, and trading is expected to remain flat for the foreseeable future, new figures reveal. Collectively, Britain’s managed pubs and restaurant groups said like-for-like sales were down 3.8 per cent compared with the holiday weekend the previous year, according to the latest Coffer Peach Business Tracker figures.
Pubs noted a one per cent fall in like-for-like sales, but restaurants were hardest hit as sales plunged 9.1 per cent.  Read More

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