Salt Yard Group to launch Venice restaurant concept Veneta in St James’s Market this month: Simon Mullins and Ben Tish, of London restaurant company Salt Yard Group, will launch their Venice restaurant concept Veneta in the new St James’s Market development in central London this month. Inspired by the “timeless magic of Venice”, the 110-cover restaurant will feature a menu by chef director Ben Tish and head chef Jamie Thickett featuring dishes such as kid goat ragu with fresh pappardelle, and charcoal-grilled monkfish with anchovy sauce and salsify. A raw bar will offer a changing selection of British and Venetian seafood, while the venue will feature a bespoke trolley carrying artisan charcuterie and cheese. There will also be a changing menu of hand-made pasta dishes, while Veneta will be the first Salt Yard restaurant to offer all-day dining. Mullins has curated wines from northern Italy, as well as an exclusive range of Italian vermouths and bitters, alongside Italian cocktails. Veneta’s main dining area features handcrafted ironwork chandeliers, specially commissioned oil paintings and glasswork that reflects the distinctive hue of water surrounding Venice. The restaurant will also feature a terrace area. Salt Yard Group also operates London venues Salt Yard in Camden, Dehesa in Carnaby, and Ember Yard in Westminster.




KFC on the lookout for more than 400 new UK sites: KFC has revealed it is on the lookout for more than 400 new sites across the UK. The company is also paying finders fees of £20,000 for recognised drive-thru introductions and £12,500 for food court and restaurant sites. Its key target is London, where it wants to open 124 sites, followed by the north (106) and the south east (59). It said it was looking for development opportunities in a variety of locations, including retail parks, shopping centres, train stations and high streets. It currently has 41 sites under contract, including in Aldershot, Darlington, Luton, Rochdale and Warrington. The company said: “KFC UK currently trades from more than 850 locations, from Inverness to Penzance and Canterbury to Galway, and there is ample scope to develop a further 400 locations thanks to the strength of the brand and the differentiated consumer offer.”




Yum! to cut $300m in spending, ‘more open’ to acquisition of fourth brand: Yum! Brands, which owns Pizza Hut, KFC and Taco Bell, plans to cut $300m in costs and sell as many as 2,000 restaurants to franchisees as it prepares for life following the upcoming spin-off of its China unit. The company, which plans to intensify growth as a primarily franchised company, also suggested it was “more open” to an acquisition of a fourth brand. Executives said they expected to increase sales at the three brands by 7% per year, including like-for-likes and new sites. Once the spin-off is complete, Yum! will work to cut $300m in general and administrative spending by 2019, reports Nation’s Restaurant News. Roughly half of that will come from savings associated with the sale of 2,000 company-operated restaurants to franchisees. The other half is part of a plan, not yet detailed, to make Yum!’s operations more efficient. By refranchising, Yum! is expected to reduce annual capital expenditures from about $500m in 2015 to $100m by 2019. Yum! currently operates about 23% of its 43,000 global locations, with most of the company-operated locations in China. After the spin-off, Yum! will operate about 7% of those locations, or roughly 3,000 units. By the end of 2018, the company expects to operate only 2% of those locations, or fewer than 1,000 units. Yum! executives said KFC’s US growth had been largely driven by advertisements during the past couple of years featuring actors and comedians playing Colonel Sanders, as well as price-point deals such as the $5 Fill-Up Box. They acknowledged Pizza Hut was not getting its “fair share” as sales shifted towards independent chains. Executives said it was working on remodels and digital efforts in the US to get Pizza Hut on track, adding that Taco Bell’s biggest potential was in international markets – currently only 300 of its 7,000 locations are outside the US. Developing more aggressively outside the US could help the brand grow from $9bn in sales to $15bn by 2022.




Manchester bar operator NoHo to launch European beer hall concept in city: Manchester bar operator NoHo has taken the final leisure unit at Sevendale House in the Northern Quarter of the city, taking its number of venues in the building to three. The company, which also runs NoHo and Dusk til Pawn at Sevendale, as well as Wood & Co in South King Street, has agreed a ten-year lease on the 4,575 square foot basement unit with the property’s owner Philip J Davies Holdings. NoHo will launch Cooper Hall this winter – a European beer hall, offering a selection of beers from the continent, craft ale, wine and cocktails. NoHo owner Simon Ching told The Business Desk: “We’ve built up a loyal following at both NoHo and Dusk til Pawn over the years and when the basement of Sevendale House became available, we were keen to take the space and develop a new concept that would sit seamlessly alongside our other venues.” Philip J Davies Holdings director Mark Davies added: “Both NoHo and Dusk til Pawn have been extremely successful and it makes perfect sense to continue our relationship with them. The name Cooper Hall ties in beautifully with the history of the building, which was built as a trade warehouse for IJ and G Cooper in 1903. Since the refurbishment of the building in 2014, we’ve had an incredible response to the commercial and leisure space available.”




Cote to open Godalming restaurant on Monday: French brasserie Cote will open a site in Godalming, Surrey, on Monday (17 October). The company will open the restaurant in a two-storey, grade II-listed former doctors’ surgery in High Street, having agreed a 25-year lease with the building’s owner, Godalming Town Council. It has invested £1m to refurbish the site, creating 50 jobs, and the venue will have 122 covers inside with another 54 seats in a new outdoor courtyard. Cote has maintained the period character of the building, showcasing the decorative oak posts that support the first floor as well as restoring other elements such as the interior ceiling beams to their former glory. Dishes will include pork rillettes with sourdough bread, and pan-roasted cod with ratatouille and lemon and olive oil dressing. Chief executive Alex Scrimgeour said: “We are thrilled to be opening right in the centre of this charming town. Godalming has a really lovely buzz, and we look forward to becoming part of that. We are sure our friendly, professional service and great-value food will be a perfect fit for this thriving town.” Cote currently has 80 sites in the UK.




Liverpool’s Leaf starts expansion of tea room concept with new Manchester dining and events venue: The team behind Leaf, a tea room, bar and arts space in Bold Street, Liverpool, has started expansion of the concept by launching a dining and events venue in Manchester. The new Leaf is in the former Riba Cube gallery in Portland Street and offers a menu that includes vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options. The two-storey, grade II-listed space will also feature a 300-capacity area for gigs and creative and corporate events, as well as a shop selling more than 60 varieties of loose-leaf tea. Leaf managing director Natalie Haywood said the company had been seeking a “big, versatile space” in Manchester for years. She told BDaily: “When the Riba Cube gallery became available it seemed like the perfect venue. The location felt right and it’s in a diverse neighbourhood, which fits our desire to create a welcoming venue for everyone to enjoy tea, music and good times.” Haywood and her team also operate rooftop bar Oh Me Oh My in West Africa House in Water Street, and cafe bar The Garden At Fact in Wood Street, both in Liverpool.




Nando’s to open Sevenoaks restaurant next month: Nando’s is set to open a restaurant in Sevenoaks, Kent, next month. The company is opening the site on Wednesday, 2 November in the former Marks & Spencer Simply Food store at the Bligh’s Meadow shopping centre. The venue was due to open at the end of the summer but has been delayed by building works, reports Kent Live. In 2014, more than 150 people signed a petition to bring a Nando’s to Sevenoaks. The restaurant has been granted a licence to open from 7am but Nando’s previously said it had no plans to offer breakfast at the site. The company’s only restaurant that serves breakfast is at Gatwick, where it has done so since February.




Richard Corrigan adding standalone Dickie’s Bar to Mayfair restaurant, includes Dead Rabbit collaboration: Richard Corrigan, whose company Richard Corrigan Restaurant Holdings operates three restaurants in London, is adding a new standalone bar to his Mayfair venue. Dickie’s Bar will launch next month at Corrigan’s Mayfair and involve a collaboration with mixologist Gregory Buda, of New York cocktail bar The Dead Rabbit Grocery & Grog, which won World’s Best Bar and World’s Best Cocktail Menu at the Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards 2015. Drinks will be inspired by both the US and Ireland and feature ingredients from Corrigan’s private garden and farm in County Cavan. The restaurant in Upper Grosvenor Street is being altered to include a separate entrance for Dickie’s Bar. A spokesman told Hot Dinners: “The space makes use of blue-and-white marble, velvet, leather, polished wood and silver, creating a space that is both elegant and relaxed. The walls are lined with charcoal and silver wallpaper, with intimate curved banquette seating. The marble-top bar runs down the length of space towards a feature, laser-cut silver wall, behind which the restaurant is located.”




MasterChef judge Monica Galetti to launch Fitzrovia restaurant: Monica Galetti, MasterChef: The Professionals judge and former senior sous chef at Michel Roux Jr’s Le Gavroche in Mayfair, is set to open her own restaurant in Fitzrovia. The restaurant – Mere – is a joint venture between Galetti and her sommelier husband David and will open in Charlotte Street in January. The venue will be set over two floors, with a ground-floor bar for 20 offering cocktails and snacks and a basement restaurant for more than 60 diners. The restaurant will offer a seasonal menu featuring a “lighter take on the classics” as well as new dishes, Hot Dinners reports. Mere comes from a combination of the French word for mother and the Samoan word for Mary, the name of Galetti’s mother. Late last year, Galetti collaborated with high-quality caterer and champagne bar operator Searcys to launch a pop-up restaurant in The Gherkin, with a menu focusing on seasonal British winter produce.




Stonegate Pub Company to turn Slug and Lettuce in Tonbridge into craft beer bar: Stonegate Pub Company is transforming its Slug and Lettuce site in Tonbridge, Kent, into a craft beer bar. The pub will undergo a £250,000 refurbishment, with builders scheduled to start work on Monday, 31 October ahead of a planned reopening date of 13 November. The company said further plans, including the name of the new premises, would be revealed in the “coming weeks”. A Stonegate Pub Company spokesman told Kent Live: “The investment is really great news for Tonbridge. We are keeping some of the finer detail up our sleeves but the town can look forward to a chic venue that embraces the craft beer revolution and a love for cask ale, cocktail treats and day-to-night experiences.” Last month, Stonegate Pub Company reopened its Slug and Lettuce venue in Chichester, West Sussex, as an “urbanised and premium pub” called The Chantry, following a £250,000 redevelopment that featured neon-lit back wall taps and a quirky old piano made into a giant planter in the 15th century courtyard.




New tapas bar concept opens in Beverley: A new tapas bar concept has opened in Beverley, East Yorkshire. Eyyup Demir, a former director of piri-piri chicken restaurant Cosmo’s in the town, has launched Central 42 in the Saturday Market on the former site of Lazo. The building has been completely refurbished, with new lights, pictures and a series of mirrors lining the walls. Demir has billed the venue as the “go-to place for families” looking for smaller dishes and “bits of everything” rather than one large main meal. There is also a range of alcoholic drinks, although less of an onus on cocktails – a notable feature of the bar in its former life. Demir told Hull Daily Mail: “We want to attract everybody here – couples, families, pensioners and, of course, children. All the food here is freshly made from scratch, and there are gluten-free and vegetarian options as well.




Prosecco bar and cafe concept Caffe Rizzoli to start expansion with second site, in Nottingham: Prosecco bar and cafe concept Caffe Rizzoli is set to start expansion by opening its second site, this time in Nottingham. The company is opening the venue at the Intu Victoria Centre in the refurbished complex’s new dining quarter in the upper mall. It will join other restaurant brands, including Handmade Burger Co, Tortilla and Ed’s Easy Diner. Intu development director Martin Breeden told Insider Media: “The quality and strength of our catering and retail offer has continued to grow since we completed the mall refreshment last year and visitor numbers are up by 6% this year. These new offers are part of our mission to encourage people to visit more often and stay longer, ultimately benefiting all our retailers.” Caffe Rizzoli’s other site is at the Meadowhall shopping centre in Sheffield.




Gloucestershire-based Fat Toni’s Pizzeria outlines plans for first sit-down restaurants: Fat Toni’s Pizzeria, which operates takeaways in Stroud and Gloucester, has outlined plans to open its first sit-down restaurants. Owners Darren and Jason Orsi are keeping the identity of the sites under wraps until a planning application is lodged within the next few weeks but are eyeing an empty shop in a key spot in Stroud, where they have a takeaway site in Gloucester Street. They are also moving forward on a plan for a similar venture in Cheltenham to add to their takeaway in St Aldate Street in neighbouring Gloucester. Darren Orsi, who said both sites were subject to lease deals and planning permission, told Gloucestershire Live: “We want to have a sit-down restaurant in Cheltenham with a collection service, and a sit-down restaurant in Stroud.”




Bella Italia to open Grey’s Quarter restaurant in Newcastle next month: Casual Dining Group-owned Bella Italia will open a restaurant in Newcastle city centre’s Grey’s Quarter, the new dining development in Intu Eldon Square, next month. The company has invested £850,000 in the site, with the opening creating 35 jobs. Bella Italia already operates two restaurants in the surrounds of Newcastle, at Gateshead Metrocentre and Silverlink Retail Park in Wallsend. Earlier this week, the first of at least 20 restaurants launched in Grey’s Quarter, with the opening of fish and chip restaurant George’s Great British Kitchen. In April, Bella Italia opened its 100th site – at Bluewater shopping centre in Kent – the same month it launched a new menu to celebrate its 25th anniversary.




New World Trading Company opens tenth Botanist site, in Sheffield: New World Trading Company, which was acquired by mid-market private equity firm Graphite Capital in a £50m deal in June, has opened its tenth site for The Botanist brand, this time in Sheffield city centre. It is the first Botanist to open since Graphite’s takeover, with the 10,000 square foot bar and restaurant arranged over three floors of a grade II-listed building in Leopold Square. The venue also features a large outside seating area and private dining room, while the opening has created 100 jobs. The New World Trading Company has also partnered with Budweiser Budvar UK to be the first venue in Sheffield to serve Tankové Pivo tank beer. In May, Budweiser Budvar UK said it sold a record 5,700 pints of tank beer in its launch week at The New World Trading Company’s The Oast House in Spinningfields, Manchester, the first Tankové Pivo site outside London. New World Trading Company chief executive Chris Hill said: “We are incredibly excited to bring The Botanist concept to Sheffield. The character and atmosphere of Leopold Square is the perfect location.” The company plans to open its 11th Botanist site in York next month.




Fleet Street Communications appoints first head of content: Fleet Street Communications (FSC), specialists in the hospitality, leisure and retail industries, has appointed drinks and leisure journalist Mike Berry to its newly created role of head of content. Berry, who has been a business journalist for 17 years, will lead FSC’s digital campaigns, research-driven initiatives, and special client projects. He joins FSC from Morning Advertiser, where he was managing editor, and will support the company’s clients to create content-led campaigns that deliver “meaningful impact”. FSC managing director Mark Stretton said: “As well as adding significant value to clients with fresh thinking and insight, Mike will mentor and coach members of the team, sharing first-hand insights from many years of working at the sharp end of journalism. We are firm believers in the benefits of building strong teams that comprise long-standing, established communications professionals and experienced journalists, and are confident Mike’s industry insight plays well to our agency’s strengths – sector specialisms, expertise and knowledge.” Berry, who will start his new role on Monday (17 October), added: “I look forward to getting started in this new role and making an impact.”




Papa’s Fish and Chips opens East Yorkshire village venue: Papa’s Fish and Chips has opened a site in the East Yorkshire village of Bilton, near Hull. The company has converted the former Swiss Cottage pub in Holderness Road into a 250-cover restaurant and takeaway, creating 60 jobs. It comes after Papa’s opened what it claims is the world’s biggest fish and chip restaurant in nearby Willerby – alongside a museum about the UK’s favourite dish – last year. Although a Harry Ramsden’s fish and chip restaurant in Bournemouth has more seats, the Willerby site is reportedly the world’s largest by floor space – at 10,000 square feet. Owner Sid Papas told the Hull Daily Mail: “The property was empty for over a year so there was a lot of work to do and we had setback after setback. It has taken us months but the place now looks amazing.” The restaurant chain serves traditional battered fish and chips, along with prawns, mussels and grilled seafood. Papa’s, which has 16 sites, was founded in 1966 in Margate, Kent, and is still owned by the family.




Bodo’s Schloss opens first dedicated food bar: Bodo’s Schloss, the ski chalet-themed bar restaurant in west London, has opened its first dedicated food bar, Bodo’s Waffle and Fondue Bar. The bar, which will be open every Wednesday, will serve more than ten different sweet and savoury waffle combinations, from all four corners of the world, including an Austrian take on “chicken ‘n’ waffles” – the Schnitzel Waffle – with sauerkraut and mild mustard mayo. All waffle combinations can be complemented by specially crafted cocktails on the Bodo Schloss menu. Bodo’s is also launching an alpine fondue bar that offers savoury and sweet options, including Belgium chocolate fondue served with fresh strawberries, mini waffle pieces, rum-infused pineapple and pillow-like marshmallows. Bodo’s Schloss opened in the basement of the Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington in 2012.




Numis – Domino’s Pizza is key sector pick: Numis Securities leisure analyst Tim Barrett has said Domino’s Pizza is a “key sector pick”. Issuing a ‘Buy’ note on the shares with a target price of 446p, Barrett said: “UK like-for-like sales rose 3.9% in quarter three, in line with our mid-single-digit forecast. Although this is a marked deceleration (+10.9% in first half), it reflects a very tough comparable of 14.9% in the third quarter of 2015 (weather-related). A further 21 new store openings brought the system sales growth (the key revenue driver) to 10.5%, maintaining its double-digit growth trend. With 51 store openings year to date, management is raising guidance from 70 to 80 new outlets. In quarter three, adjusted like-for-like sales rose by 7.6% in both the Republic of Ireland (+12.7% in first half of 2016) and Switzerland (+11.7%). Iceland and Norway continue to perform strongly and the German joint venture is performing in line with expectations. Quarter four sales to date have been ‘strong’ and, accordingly, management is confident of meeting market expectations. We are raising our FY16 UK like-for-likes from 7% to 8% (+8.6% year to date), resulting in a 1% increase in profit before tax to £83.4m (in line with consensus). The higher store count base results in a 3% increase in FY17E profit before tax to £91.7m, which is 2% below consensus. Management claims there remains ‘substantial growth capacity’ having already reached 920 stores. In combination with this year’s outperformance, we expect upside risk to the current 1,200-store target. This long-standing milestone may be addressed at the capital markets day (24 November), which will also be the first opportunity to hear from Rachel Osborne (joined as chief financial officer on 10 October). The combination of high returns (asset-light), clear growth roadmap, and leading ecommerce platform (circa 81% of UK delivered sales are ordered online) makes this a key sector pick. We think the expectation of higher cost of goods sold doesn’t threaten the viability of the franchisee roll-out, which will have seen Ebitda/shop rise from £100,000 to circa £160,000 over the past three years. Domino’s Pizza Group trades on 24.1 times 2017E price-to-earnings ratio versus Domino’s Pizza on 30.9 times and Domino’s Pizza Enterprises on 38.9 times.”