Children of Red Hot World Buffet founders open Rickshaw Rick’s in Leicester: Brother and sister Simran and Shireen Dhaliwal, whose parents founded Red Hot World Buffet, have opened a new restaurant, Rickshaw Rick’s, in Leicester’s Granby Street, housed in a former Walkabout bar. The menu at Rickshaw Rick’s offers “global comfort food with a street food take”, according to Shireen Dhaliwal, who designed the restaurant. She added: “I wanted it to have a street feel, be a bit rough around the edges. It’s casual but comfortable and filled with fun.” As well as being an experienced restaurateur, Simran Dhaliwal has worked as a bartender at a number of high-profile venues in London, including Dishoom King’s Cross and Clarendon Cocktail Cellar, and has created the cocktails at Rickshaw Rick’s. The venue is divided into two – the first part with a lounge feel offering coffee and cake during the day and cocktails at night. The second space is for casual dining, with the food and drink menus focusing on sharing, with dishes taking influences from around the world, including Asia, the Americas, and Europe.
Davis Coffer Lyons assigns Dabbous lease for six-figure premium: Agent Davis Coffer Lyons has completed a restaurant property assignment of Michelin-starred Dabbous in Fitzrovia on behalf of co-owners Ollie Dabbous and Oskar Kinberg. The 2,600 square foot premises in Whitfield Street has been taken on by Mathieu Germond, former co-owner of the nearby Pied á Terre restaurant. He plans a new restaurant inspired by his upbringing in Noizé in the Loire Valley, based on simple and seasonal ingredients with a rustic cooking style. A six-figure premium was secured for the lease, which has 14 years remaining and includes the ground floor and basement. The new restaurant’s kitchen will be led by head chef Ed Dutton, who worked with Germond at Pied á Terre and Pied Nus. Restaurateur David Moore has also advised on the concept. In February, Dabbous and Kinberg announced Dabbous would close at the end of June so they could focus their efforts on a new and larger project to launch in 2018. Rob Meadows, director of agency and leasing at Davis Coffer Lyons, said: “This has been an interesting project to work on, particularly because of the perceived inactivity or appetite for paying premiums for lease assignments. It is a fantastic example of a well-located restaurant held on a solid lease with the benefit of a well thought out and high-spec fit-out selling well. The decision to make the sale of Dabbous public was in fairness to staff and suppliers and was a good way to enhance awareness. This, combined with our market knowledge, generated strong interest. The deal shows that appetite in the market for quality assets in strong locations is unwavering. I wish Ollie, Oskar and their team the best for the new venture.” Dabbous said in February: “We have been offered an amazing opportunity that enables all of us to grow and evolve. Naturally we are sad to be closing Dabbous but at the same time we are all looking forward to the next chapter. It’s a phenomenal site and we can’t wait to get started.” Restaurant Property acted for Germond.
Goodbody – trading update behind our expectations for Marston’s Destination & Premium division, likely to see small downgrades: Leisure analysts at Goodbody have argued Marston’s trading update yesterday was “slightly behind” its expectations. A note stated: “This morning’s update is slightly behind our forecasts. Destination & Premium is running behind where we would have expected at this point and the last 12 weeks are disappointing given the warmer weather recently. Other divisions appear broadly in line. On forecasts, we have £104m FY17 profit before tax at present, which represents 7% year-on-year growth. While the group states it is confident of delivering profitable progress, the lower like-for-likes in Destination & Premium means there is a risk to this number coming down slightly (circa 1% this year and circa 3% for FY18). We have a ‘Hold’ recommendation on Marston’s at present as we believe better opportunities lie elsewhere in the sector.”
Fazenda founders close Bossa site: Fazenda’s founders have closed their Bossa grill restaurant in Leeds, with staff being “redeployed”. The Brazilian grill restaurant opened less than a year ago near Leeds Corn Exchange. Bossa is the brainchild of City District, which trades as Fazenda. The company said it would focus on the expansion of Fazenda and open its latest site in Edinburgh next year. South American-inspired Fazenda launched at Granary Wharf in Leeds in 2010 and expanded into Liverpool in 2013 and Manchester in 2015. The Leeds site was expanded in 2015, with the three restaurants now offering almost 600 covers in total. The company also owns the Picanha brand, which has a site in Chester. City District co-founder and director Tomas Maunier said: “We tried the casual dining market and it wasn’t as successful for us as we anticipated. However, we have not ruled out opening Bossa in the future when the casual dining market is more stable and less saturated. The other brands are flourishing and we will concentrate on Picanha and Fazenda – doing what we do best in the premium casual market. We look forward to the Fazenda opening in Edinburgh in 2018 and we’re looking for new locations for Picanha. We are a growing company unafraid to innovate with new concepts. That means talented people in our Bossa team can gain opportunities in other locations. We’re in a great position to carry on developing people’s careers in the restaurant business.”
Be At One reports ‘unprecedented’ growth in revisits since Feed It Back launch: Be At One, the specialist cocktail bar group with 33 sites, has reported “unprecedented” growth in revisits since going live with Feed It Back, the EPOS-linked guest feedback service. Feed It Back is the only guest feedback system that integrates in real time with Zonal’s Aztec EPOS system, among others, enabling feedback questions to be personalised to the guest’s visit. Be At One operations director Andrew Stones told Propel: “Since going live in August last year, 54,000 guests have signed up to our marketing database through Feed It Back. At the end of the survey, guests are presented with a digital scratch card, which reveals either a free cocktail or, for the lucky one in 50 guests, a £25 bar tab. Either prize can be claimed on their next visit. With the help of our party booking team encouraging those guests to come back to claim their prize, we have seen a fantastic redemption rate of 40%. Feed It Back brings a high volume of feedback, averaging 360 pieces of feedback per venue each month. The size of the sample means the real operational issues are easily identified because they arise consistently. That enables us to make solid conclusions quickly, which leads to fast decisions and improvement actions. Flexibility has been another key reason for the success because we can change settings and questions easily ourselves and the changes are made in real time. For example, if we see a piece of feedback suggesting problems with the volume of music at a venue, we can immediately add a question about music volume for that venue only, to rapidly reach a conclusion and take action if required.”
Adnams pays tribute to life president: A former managing director and chairman of Suffolk brewer and retailer Adnams has died aged 92. John Adnams, grandson of the company’s co-founder Ernest Adnams, joined the board in 1956 and became managing director in 1963, remaining in the post until 1973 when he became chairman. On his retirement in 1995, he was appointed president (later becoming life president) of Adnams and continued to serve as a non-executive director until 2005. In an announcement on its website, the company said Mr Adnams died peacefully in the early hours of Saturday, 22 July. The statement read: “John was held in great esteem and respected by all who came into contact with him, both within Adnams and across the wider industry. John oversaw huge growth in Adnams’ beer production and the modernisation of a brewery that had been unchanged since 1896. John was also instrumental in setting up Broadside Farm, a forward-thinking business that used waste products from the brewery to feed pigs on Adnams Farm. John was a highly effective and confident chairman who held true to a sense of identity for Adnams in fast-changing times. Our heartfelt and sincere condolences go to John’s family at this difficult time.”
Grannie Annie’s threatened with legal action over ‘trademark breach’: A new pub in Sunderland, Grannie Annie’s, is being threatened with legal action over breach of trademark. Grannie Annie’s opened in the former Smugglers pub in Marine Walk, Roker, on Friday (21 July). The Granny Annie’s Group in Northern Ireland, which runs a chain of bars in the province, said the Sunderland pub was in violation of its registered trademark. A spokesman from the Northern Ireland company told the Echo: “The Granny Annie’s Group would like to make you aware this venue is in breach of our UK trademark and we will be taking legal action against the premises for this breach. There are currently four Granny Annie’s throughout Northern Ireland, with three additional venues due to open in the province in the next six months. The group also plans to expand into England and Scotland in the near future.” The Northern Irish company, which launched its first Granny Annie’s in November 2014, also pointed out similarities in the design of the Sunderland premises to its own. Smugglers, which closed in December, has been taken over by South Tyneside businessman Stephen Ski, whose portfolio of pubs also includes The Sand Dancer in South Shields and Beggar’s Bridge in East Boldon.
Deliveroo offers £5,000 prizes to mark 50-site delivery with Five Guys: Deliveroo is offering five £5,000 cash prizes to mark delivery expansion to 50 locations. Deliveroo is giving away five 3D-printed golden burgers, which come with a £5,000 cash prize. Customers need to order a Five Guys on Deliveroo before 11.59pm on Friday (28 July). Deliveroo’s Caroline Hazlehurst said: “We’re so happy to give Deliveroo customers from Aberdeen to Wimbledon a chance to get their hands on a five-of-a-kind golden burger. Five Guys is an amazing partner and we’re thrilled to be working with the company exclusively in 50 locations!”
Star Pubs & Bars invests £490,000 in north west pubs: Star Pubs & Bars, owned by Heineken, is investing £490,000 in its 192 pubs in north west England. Work includes the £490,000 refurbishment of The Weld Blundell in Lydiate, near Liverpool, which operator MSR Pubs will reopen in late October. A 50-cover dining area will be built at the rear of the pub, which had been closed for 15 months. MSR Pubs director Mike Reeve said: “I’ve known The Weld Blundell for 30 years. It made me sad to see it boarded up. I was hooked when I found out a refurbishment was planned and it was with Star as I already enjoy a good partnership with them at my two other pubs.” Star Pubs & Bars managing director Lawson Mountstevens said: “We’re pleased to invest with Mike on another business venture. He is an outstanding licensee and passionate about creating a great local.”
Young’s acquires Bristol riverside pub: Young’s has acquired the freehold of the Chequers Inn in Hanham Mills, Bristol, in an off-market transaction brokered by agent Fleurets. The Chequers overlooks the River Avon and offers 140 internal covers and 120 covers on the riverbank. Young’s acquisitions manager Brendan Brammer said: “The Chequers is an exceptional waterside pub, which is an ideal addition to the Young’s estate as we look to expand further in the region.” Young’s also recently acquired The Riverstation in Bristol city centre. Kevin Conibear, head of retail leisure and restaurants at Fleurets, added: “The Chequers is an extremely popular riverside pub given its picturesque setting and high-quality accommodation, attracting custom from Bristol and further afield. The availability of businesses of this calibre is rare and we are delighted to have completed a sale to Young’s.”
Craft Beer Co secures eighth site: The Craft Beer Co, which operates six sites across London and one in Brighton, has secured a site near London’s Old Street station. Formally the Canvas Bar and before that the Nelson’s Retreat, Craft Beer Co expects to open the site in Old Street in mid-September following a major refurbishment. The news comes as The Craft Beer Co opens an extension to its Limehouse site after the venue “massively exceeded expectations”, according to managing director and founder Martin Hayes. Talking about the new site in Old Street, he said: “This is a really key development for the business and one we’re very excited about. The business has been founded on working hard to get sites that are typically just off-pitch and developing them. This site, however, is positioned in an area of extraordinarily high footfall and I expect us to hit the ground running.” The site will offer a range of beers through 25 keg and eight cask lines, alongside a wide range of bottles and cans from brewers in the UK and around the world.
Sushi Shop plans two London openings: Sushi group Sushi Shop will expand its UK portfolio by opening two new London sites. With venues in Marylebone, South Kensington and Notting Hill, the new locations will be the brand’s first outside central London. Opening in Hampstead and Richmond, both will follow the tried and tested Sushi Shop footprint, offering a wide range of Japanese and Californian-inspired sushi, sashimi, poké and tartar for collection or local delivery. The openings mark the first in a series in London as the company looks to expand further in the UK market, with additional “neighbourhood” venues planned for 2018. Established by two French entrepreneurs in 1998, Sushi Shop has grown to encompass more than 130 “shops” globally, including in France, Belgium, Luxembourg, United Arab Emirates, the Netherlands and Spain. Co-founder Gregory Marciano said: “Sushi Shop has long been known for its creativity as a brand. We continually strive to find interesting individuals to work with, bringing our customers exciting new products while maintaining high standards for all our sushi. The new sites are the continuation of our ongoing love affair with the English. We are delighted with the warm welcome we’ve received from Londoners over the past few years and hope the new sites prove just as popular.”
Fever-Tree chief executive sells £29m stake: Fever-Tree co-founder and chief executive Tim Warrillow has sold almost one-fifth of his stake in the premium carbonated mixer supplier for nearly £29m, the Financial Times reports. His move has been revealed following forecast-busting results announced on Tuesday (25 July), which prompted shares to rise as much as 18%. Fever-Tree’s stock has gained 1,110% since November 2014. In a regulatory filing, the company revealed Warrillow sold 1.5 million shares after the half-year results were announced – 19.5% of his holding – bringing in £28.9m. The sale reduces his stake in Fever-Tree to 5.4%. Warrillow founded Fever-Tree with Charles Rolls in 2005. Rolls sold about one-quarter of his shares in the company in May. Non-executive chairman Bill Ronald has also sold some of his smaller stake in the company, generating £1m. In its results for the period ended 30 June 2017, Fever-Tree reported revenue up 77% to £71.9m. Adjusted Ebitda was up 102% to £25.2m. It reported exceptional growth of 113% in the UK as distribution gains continued to drive performance.
Stonegate Pub Company takes on two Punch sites: Stonegate Pub Company has taken the lease on two Punch sites – The Hole In The Roof in Deal, Kent, and The George in Rugby – as it continues to expand its pubs, bars and venues business. Stonegate will invest £400,000 in The Hole In The Roof to create an “independent” venue, Queen Street Tap. The company said the new venue would create 25 additional jobs and be “tailored to local needs”, with the introduction of craft beer, cocktails, street food, live music, screened sports and an industrialised design. Stonegate Pub Company chief executive Simon Longbottom said: “This is an exciting expansion for Stonegate. Creating independent venues with local people at our core is massively important to us, so to have the privilege of developing a venue demonstrating the love for pubs and craft beer in the area is great. We can’t wait to welcome customers, the existing team whose jobs have been saved, and our new recruits.” Stonegate Pub Company operates more than 690 pubs split into two divisions – Branded (Slug and Lettuce, Yates’s, Walkabout, Common Room and Venues) and Traditional (Proper Pubs, Town Pub & Kitchen, and Classic Inns).
Starbucks donates £250,000 to support farms in East Africa: Starbucks has donated £250,000 to support farmers in East Africa. The company has collaborated on a new project with international development charity Send A Cow to help farming communities in Rwanda develop effective and sustainable farming practices. A three-year Coffee + Cows project has launched that will directly benefit more than 3,000 people by training them in sustainable farming techniques, gender and social development, and livestock supply. The partnership began when Starbucks staff visited a project in Rwanda run by Send A Cow. They were so inspired they began a fund-raising campaign in Starbucks’ UK stores that raised £100,000, equivalent to 153 farming families being provided with a dairy cow. For the Coffee + Cows project, Starbucks will donate 50p from every sale of at-home coffee, including bags of whole bean coffee, espresso capsules and VIA. Customers will also see the Send a Cow partnership displayed on Starbucks’ Chilled Classics range in supermarkets and convenience stores until October. Starbucks EMEA president Martin Brok said: “This partnership was born from the passion of our partners (staff), something we are incredibly proud of.”
Former fish and chip operators open fifth Papa John’s: Former fish and chip shop operators Gurinder Atwal and his brother Sukdevha have opened their fifth Papa John’s site, this time in Maidstone, Kent. Their other sites are in Chatham, Rainham, Strood and Canterbury. Gurinder Atwal said: “Before joining Papa John’s we ran several fish and chip shops. However, we were looking at investing into a business with good prospects and all the ingredients to allow us to open multiple outlets. Papa John’s was, and still is, about growth.” Anthony Round, business development manager at Papa John’s, added: “We are running an incentive scheme to help franchisees set up. This includes a royalty reduction programme, some free equipment, plus a marketing launch package provided by Papa John’s. This targeted support has been specifically designed to help franchisees in their first year of trading to improve cash flow, reduce capital spending and drive sales from day one.”
Rola Wala opens second site, in Spitalfields: Indian street food brand Rola Wala has opened its second site, this time in Spitalfields, east London. Founder Mark Wright launched the concept, which means “man that rolls” in Hindi, at Trinity Kitchen, Leeds, in 2014. The new site in Brushfield Street references the Indian roadside diners that first inspired Wright, with the concept evolving while operating on streets and festivals across the UK. It features timber cladding, pendant lighting, scaffold polls, and metal shelving stocked with spice jars. The focal point is a large service counter, where guests can customise their food for a grab-and-go working lunch, while two rows of high metal stools provide seating for those eating in. Rola Wala will open a site at the £440m Westgate Oxford development in October.
TGI Friday’s launches staff app: TGI Friday’s has launched an app exclusively for staff. Academy App acts as an employee hub, with users able to access online learning courses, appraisals, internal news announcements, and a social learning network. The app also offers a social side, with staff able to share videos and photos, celebrate team success, and enter competitions with prizes such as festival tickets, white-water rafting experiences, and cash for the most engaged team. Jacqui McManus, culture and people development director at TGI Friday’s UK, said: “People are our number-one priority at Friday’s and that’s why we wanted to create a digital resource like Academy App especially for them. We hope the arrival of this new employee store will unite all our team members up and down the country, allowing them to learn more from one another and share fun Friday’s content too.”
Caprice Holdings opens Ivy Cafe at Tower Bridge: Caprice Holdings, owned by Richard Caring, has opened a site at London’s Tower Bridge. The latest Ivy Cafe all-day restaurant has launched at Berkeley’s One Tower Bridge mixed-use development. Floor-to-ceiling windows make the most of the venue’s riverside location, while a 50-cover Parisian-style terrace and bar offers “relaxed yet sophisticated dining” overlooking the Thames. The Ivy Cafe joins Rosa’s Thai Café and Coal Shed at One Tower Bridge, alongside a Welsh restaurant from MasterChef: The Professionals star Tom Simmons, and Sir Nicholas Hytner’s and Nick Starr’s 900-seat Bridge Theatre. Caprice Holdings is also continuing regional expansion of its Ivy concept, with an Edinburgh venue to open in autumn for its first site in Scotland and a brasserie launch in Bath. It also hopes to open in Harrogate, Manchester and York this year, with further sites lined up in Birmingham, Canary Wharf and Exeter.