CG Restaurants & Bars reports turnover boost: CG Restaurants & Bars, which operates the Dirty Martini brand, has reported turnover increased 18.5% to £26,414,561 for the year ending 31 December 2018, compared with £22,296,624 the year before. Ebitda was down 5.6% to £889,664, compared with £940,000 the previous year. Operating losses rose to £538,733 compared with £273,579 the year before, while pre-tax losses were up to £903,889 compared with £579,702 the previous year, when the group sold one of its sites. Gross profit margin was up slightly to 56.4% from 56.3%, according to accounts filed at Companies House. In their report accompanying the accounts, the directors stated: “The group’s turnover rose as a result of a bar acquired in the year in Birmingham and there was a full year of trading at the Manchester and Leeds sites. On an underlying basis, the group results improved this year as last year’s results include a gain of about £736,000 for the sale of one of its bars. Comparing like-for-like, last year’s group loss, excluding the gain from this sale, would have been £1,174,000 compared with this year’s loss of £903,000.” CG Restaurants & Bars operates 11 Dirty Martini sites – seven in London and others in Birmingham, Cardiff, Leeds and Manchester. In August, the company reported a 12% increase in like-for-like sales for the 13 weeks to 28 July 2019. London and regional sites all delivered an increase, with London up 6.6% and regional markets up 19.4%. July was particularly strong, with the group showing like-for-like sales up 23.8%.
Jamie Oliver to open ‘first of many’ franchise Australian outposts for Pizzeria concept: Jamie Oliver is to open the “first of many” Australian outposts for his Pizzeria concept. Hallmark Group, which owns and operates Oliver’s other Australian restaurants, will open the venue on the Gold Coast. Construction has started on the 148 square metre space at the Pacific Fair shopping centre, with the restaurant featuring an open kitchen. Oliver told The Courier Mail: “The Gold Coast is the perfect city to launch Jamie Oliver’s Pizzeria Down Under.” Hallmark Group general manager of restaurants Petra Orrenius said: “Jamie continues to revolutionise the food industry with new recipes and concepts. We are excited to announce the first Jamie Oliver’s Pizzeria on the Gold Coast is the start of an exciting journey across Australia with many more locations on the horizon.” Hallmark also operates four Jamie’s Italian sites in Australia. Last week Oliver reported his business saw pre-tax profits almost halve to £7.8m for the year ending 30 December 2018 compared with £14.4m the previous year, largely because of a £9.8m one-off charge related to the ill-fated UK restaurant business.
Shepherd Neame acquires Rochester pub: Kent-based brewer and retailer Shepherd Neame has acquired a pub in Rochester. The company has bought The Crown in High Street, which has been run by father and son Steve and Peter Kray for the past decade. The former is retiring but the latter will continue to manage the pub for Shepherd Neame. Dating to the late 1700s, The Crown has a main bar on the ground floor that seats 50 people, with the Sports Bar on the first floor, which has seating for 100 and large high-definition television screens showing Sky Sports and BT Sport. Shepherd Neame director of retail and tenanted operations Nigel Bunting said: “We are always looking for opportunities to add high-quality outlets to our estate. The Crown is a great pub in a fantastic location and we’re confident it will prove a valuable addition to our portfolio. We look forward to working with Peter and the team to ensure The Crown’s offer continues to go from strength to strength.” Shepherd Neame now has 323 pubs across London and the south east.
Chapati Man to begin mobile unit roll-out in New York: London-based street food Indian wraps concept Chapati Man will begin rolling out mobile units in New York this month. Founded by husband and wife Chris and Andrea Rai in 2007, Chapati Man sold the master franchise rights for New York earlier this year to The Chaat Is Safe, headed by Tejas Vemparala. Now the first food carts will be seen on the streets of Manhattan from Friday, 25 October with fixed food-to-go sites to follow soon. Chris Rai said: “This is a huge statement for the Chapati Man brand and concept, and seeing the roll-out of mobile units in New York is a massive achievement. I can’t wait to see our Indian elephant branding on the streets of the Big Apple. Here’s to Chapati Man launching a herd of Chapati Man elephants in other US states soon.” Vemparala added: “We are excited to introduce Chris and Andrea’s story through Chapati Man to New York. Having been in this city for almost a decade, I know its on-the-go pace has created an excellent food cart culture year-round and I’m proud to be the steward for Chapati Man in New York City. Our first presence in Midtown East will be the first of many locations across all boroughs in New York.”
Bistrot Pierre revolutionises rewards scheme with new loyalty app: Bistrot Pierre, the Livingbridge-backed French restaurant group, has revolutionised its rewards scheme to launch an improved loyalty app – Club Bistrot Pierre. The company has collected and analysed two and a half years of customer data through its current loyalty offer to develop the new scheme, which gives members access to exclusive offers. Arpita Anstey, marketing director at Bistrot Pierre, said: “We launched ‘Mon Pierre Rewards’ – our first digital rewards scheme – in 2017 and have been blown away by its success. We have more than 100,000 customers registered in the scheme using our app or plastic card. We wanted to build on the success of Mon Pierre Rewards and develop an inclusive rewards scheme that would appeal to our core customer base so we created the Club Bistrot Pierre concept. Members of Club Bistrot Pierre will receive points for their spend every time they visit. Members will also have access to exclusive offers, which will be regularly refreshed.” Susie Clark, digital marketing manager at Bistrot Pierre, added: “Through the scheme we are able to provide customers with offers that are right for them based on their visit and spend behaviour, which facilitates true one-to-one customer marketing.” Bistrot Pierre, which operates 24 sites, is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year and has developed Club Bistrot Pierre alongside Zonal. The loyalty scheme revamp coincides with the launch of Bistrot Pierre’s autumn menu.
Abela served with bankruptcy petition: Marlon Abela, owner of the private members’ club Morton’s, has been served with a bankruptcy petition by his lawyer, Boodle Hatfield. The proceedings claim Abela, who inherited part of the £360m proceeds from the sale of his father Albert’s catering company, is a debtor to the law firm, reports The Sunday Times. Abela has ploughed his money into a series of restaurants, including Umu and the Greenhouse. Last year he was forced to inject millions of pounds to save his company, Marc, after it fell into liquidation. A spokesman for Abela told The Sunday Times he “vigorously” disputed the petition. He said: “Marlon is extremely disappointed that, after the long relationship with Boodle Hatfield, it has thought it necessary to take this action when we were working towards a resolution.”
Nico Simeone tables plans for Glasgow tapas restaurant: Scottish-Italian chef Nico Simeone, who is behind the Six by Nico concept, is lining up a new restaurant in Glasgow. Simeone has submitted plans to the city council to convert the former Peckham’s store in Hyndland Road, which shut in August last year. He plans to create a “casual neighbourhood dining restaurant serving modern tapas with a gourmet twist”. The application stated there would be seating for about 50 people plus an outside dining area. The restaurant would be open from 11am and close at 11pm Sunday to Thursday and midnight on Friday and Saturday, reports Glasgow WE. Simeone’s empire has grown rapidly since he launched his first restaurant, 111 by Nico, in Glasgow in 2011. His Six by Nico concept now spans five sites after its second opening in Glasgow last week, while he also operates a gastro-pub in the city’s Great Western Road.
Bun House joins Boxpark Wembley line-up: Bao and pickle cafe concept Bun House has joined the line-up at Boxpark Wembley. Founders Z He and Alex Peffly have expanded their offering of vegetable, beef, pork and chicken bao buns, wings and sticky rice pots to north west London. Earlier this year, He and Peffly relocated their original Bun House restaurant from Greek Street in Soho to a larger site in Chinatown London. They then turned the Greek Street property into Wun’s, a late-night bar and restaurant with a “1960s Hong Kong vibe”.
Ivy Collection confirms Victoria opening: The Ivy Collection, the Richard Caring-backed and David Campbell-led group, has confirmed it will open a site in London’s Victoria. The company acquired the former Jamie’s Italian site in Victoria Street earlier this summer. Now it has confirmed The Ivy Victoria will open this winter. The 292-seater venue will have interiors inspired by the railway, Buckingham Palace, the theatre and Victorian London. The Ivy Victoria will also offer an upstairs bar, a terrace and 20-seater private dining space. The Ivy Collection managing director Baton Berisha said: “Victoria has fantastic transport links and we hope to provide an exciting yet relaxed environment for local professionals, theatre-goers, shoppers, and families and friends to enjoy.” The Victoria opening is one of five planned by The Ivy Collection before the end of the year – in Cardiff, Oxford and Windsor plus The Ivy Asia in London’s St Paul’s. The company is also thought to be exploring sites in Liverpool and Newcastle.
Taunton-based Indian restaurant owner takes over Romy Gill’s former premises in Thornbury for second site: Taunton-based Indian restaurant owner Chandeep Singh has opened his second outlet, in Thornbury, after taking over the site of Romy Gill’s former restaurant. The Michelin-recommended Romy’s Kitchen in Castle Street closed last month after Gill, who was the first female Indian chef in the UK to both own her own restaurant and run the kitchen, took the decision to focus on her upcoming book – Zaiga: Vegan recipes from India. Now the restaurant has been replaced by Roobroo, which is led by Singh and his wife Manveena, who are behind Guddi and Gikki in Taunton. Chandeep Singh told Bristol Live: “We have known Romy for quite a while and when she said she was selling her restaurant we knew we wanted to take over. Roobroo is a similar concept to Guddi and Gikki. Our food is inspired by north India, which is where our head chef is from. We’re really pleased to open our second restaurant, in Thornbury. It’s a lovely area with big cities nearby and we are confident our food is good enough to attract people from them.”
Caledonian Heritable acquires East Lothian village pub: Scottish pub, hotel and leisure operator Caledonian Heritable has acquired a site in East Lothian. The company has bought The Winton Arms in the village of Pencaitland. It plans to convert the premises into a bar bistro and has been granted a premises licence by East Lothian Council. Caledonian Heritable director Paul Arnott said the company was looking to bring it into line with its other East Lothian premises, with new licensing hours and restaurant facilities. As well as opening from 11am to 11pm, Monday to Wednesday, with 1am closing times between Thursday and Saturday and a midnight closing time on Sunday, Caledonian Heritable was also granted a licence for takeaway sales between 11am and 10pm seven days a week, reports the East Lothian Courier.
Cote lines up Henley site: French brasserie chain Cote is lining up a site in Henley, Oxfordshire. The company has submitted plans to South Oxfordshire District Council to take over the unit currently occupied by Monsoon and Accessorize on the corner of Hart Street and Bell Street. Cote is planning to take an extended 20-year lease on the ground and first floor of the site, reports the Henley Standard. The restaurant, which would create 45 jobs, would open from 8am until 11.30pm Monday to Saturday, andfrom 9am until 10:30pm on Sunday and bank holidays. Cote operates 96 sites in the UK.
JD Wetherspoon sells Burnley pub: JD Wetherspoon has sold one of its pubs in Burnley – eight months after it went on the market. The company has sold The Brun Lea in Manchester Road, which was among a portfolio of 20 pubs that went on the market in March. The pub will continue to trade as a Wetherspoon until the sale, to an undisclosed buyer, is finalised. A Wetherspoon spokesman told the Burnley Express the sale was a “commercial decision” and had been taken by the company after long consideration. Wetherspoon still operates The Boot Inn in the Lancashire town.
Soho Coffee Co strengths plant-based offer as it launches autumn menu: Artisan food-led coffee company Soho Coffee Co has strengthened its plant-based offering as it launches its autumn menu. The hot breakfast menu has been extended and includes an increased number of porridge toppings and new pancakes. There is a new range of four toasties, including The Big Cheese, which consists of smoked Applewood, Jarlsberg and mature Cheddar cheese with crispy onions. Other plant-based additions include a vegan lime, orange and thyme cake, topped with a crunchy pumpkin seed brittle while among the new drinks is the vegan black forest hot chocolate, which is topped with the brand’s new vegan whipped cream, cherry sauce and dark chocolate shavings. The new menu precedes the opening of Soho Coffee Co’s first international retail mall store with a new franchise partner in late October. Soho Coffee Co opened its first store in 1999 and now has more than 40 sites in the UK and internationally.
 
Vegan activist launches plant-based restaurant and bar in Spitalfields: Vegan activist and enthusiast Ed Winters has opened a non-profit vegan diner and bar in London. Winters has launched Unity Diner in Wentworth Street, Spitalfields. The venue features a 100-cover restaurant, ten-seat bar and open kitchen. Unity Diner serves a range of American-style, plant-based sharing and individual plates. These include its signature VFC “Zinga” burger, an entirely vegan twist on the KFC dish that combines soy vegan fried chicken, a Zinga patty, hash brown, cheese, lettuce, red onion, mayonnaise and salsa in a bun. Drinks focus on cocktails made with plant-based ingredients. Unity Diner’s profits will go directly to animal rights organisation Surge and the development of a rescue sanctuary.
Cityglen Pub Co boosts revenue via voucher redemptions and increases customer sign-ups with Impact Data partnership: Cityglen Pub Co has reported a boost in revenue via voucher redemptions and an increase in sign-ups to its customer database through its partnership with digital marketing platform Impact Data. Impact Data takes data from various sources to analyse customer behaviour and provides automated and personalised promotions. The partnership with Cityglen Pub Co has enabled it to generate almost £20,000 in revenue through voucher redemption and increase its customer database through 12,000 new sign-ups. Don O’Rourke, head of pubs and finance at Cityglen Pub Co, said: “Driving customer loyalty and repeat custom is a key focus for our business. Since our partnership began with Impact Data we have seen a significant commercial return with its digital marketing promotions. We found customers spent an additional £25 on food and beverage with each voucher redeemed. This is a fantastic revenue driver but also shows how the campaign attracted customers of tremendous value to the business.” Impact Data UK managing director David Bird added: “Our team has worked closely with Cityglen Pub Co to tailor offers that best resonate with its customer base and drive loyalty.” Impact Data works with a host of sector operators including Cosmo Restaurants, Lisini Group and Glendola Leisure.
Doncaster-based restaurateur appoints executive chef to oversee portfolio:Doncaster-based restaurateur Masud Rana has appointed an executive chef to oversee his three-strong South Yorkshire portfolio. Rana, who owns La Boca and La Rustica in Doncaster and the La Fiesta tapas restaurant in nearby Armthorpe, has appointed Todd Vickers to the role. Vickers, who has worked as a head chef across the UK and most recently spent time at Michelin-starred The Man Behind The Curtain in Leeds, will be responsible for overseeing menu development across all three eateries. Rana told The Business Desk: “I am thrilled to welcome Todd to the team. Having recently opened La Boca, I’m already working on new restaurant concepts and menu offerings and Todd’s expertise will be invaluable.” Earlier this year Rana revealed he plans to open a Brazilian rodizio-style steakhouse.
Bone Daddies partners with Yumpingo to gather ‘guest sentiment and actionable insights’: Japanese ramen bar concept Bone Daddies has partnered with restaurant intelligence platform Yumpingo to gather “guest sentiment and actionable insights”. Yumpingo’s one-minute digital review platform has gone live across all six Bone Daddies ramen bar sites as well as its Japanese-inspired restaurant Shackfuyu. The platform allows customers to rate a variety of areas on a Bone Daddies-branded device, from dish taste and value to drinks and speed of service. Bone Daddies will also use the service to track and act on all online sentiment shared on sites such as Google, Facebook and TripAdvisor. Bone Daddies operations director Steve Hill said: “Our goal is to deliver outstanding food that reflects culinary trends evolving in Japan today. The Yumpingo platform will play a critical role in helping us accurately gauge what’s working well for our guests and what’s not.” Yumpingo chief executive Gary Goodman added: “We are thrilled to launch Bone Daddies as our 70th restaurant partner. It has built a highly successful brand underpinned by innovation and authenticity with a difference. Partnering with Yumpingo will help the business stay true to what its customer base wants and to test and roll out new ideas with more certainty than ever before.” Yumpingo’s roster of restaurant partners includes Carluccio’s, Turtle Bay and Wahaca.
Bristol-based cafe goes into administration: Bristol-based cafe Dom’s Coffee House has gone into administration. Andrew Beckingham and Siann Huntley, of Leonard Curtis, have been appointed as joint administrators. Dom’s Coffee House is based in St Augustine’s Parade and Louis Sherman is the only named director, reports Business Live. The cafe’s website stated: “It was an honour to have created a place that gave pleasure to people, especially those who returned time after time. Dom’s has to close, but we wish to say a huge thank you to our wonderful staff, we met along the journey.” Dom’s Coffee House served coffee roasted by Stokes Croft-based Triple Co Roast, pastries and bread from Hobbs Bakery in Chipping Sodbury and cakes that were made locally in St Philips.