Various Eateries sees potential for 100 Tavolino sites, plus smaller formats:Various Eateries, the recently AIM-listed Andy Bassadone-chaired business, believes there is potential to open up to 100 sites under its fledgling Tavolino brand, and capacity for more than 50 Coppa Clubs across the UK. To date, one Tavolino, at More London, has opened, but the group’s two remaining Strada sites at Royal Festival Hall and Dockside are scheduled to be converted to the new brand within the next 12 months. The company believes there is potential to roll out up to 50 sites under the full-service version of Tavolino, and also to launch smaller pasta-only and pizza-only sites under the concept. The company currently operates six Coppa Club sites, with a seventh set to open this November in Cobham, Surrey. Like-for-like sales at the existing Coppa Club sites were up 2% to the end of August. The group is looking at opening six new sites over the next year, plus the two Strada conversions. The company’s shares began trading on AIM last week. It raised £25m (before expenses) by way of a placing of 34,246,576 new ordinary shares with institutional and other investors at a price of 73p per ordinary share, giving it a market capitalisation at the placing price on admission of £65m. The net proceeds will principally be used to advance the group’s plans to roll out its Coppa Club and Tavolino brands and to fund future activities, possibly including acquisitions. On announcing its plan to float, Hugh Osmond, founder of Various Eateries, said: “I believe that covid-19 is the biggest event to hit the UK economy outside of war time. While I deplore the terrible effect it has had on our industry, we are confident that there will be major opportunities for a well-funded group with strong management to build a fantastic business in the aftermath of covid. We are also confident that we have one of the most experienced teams ever assembled in the hospitality sector, 2020s-appropriate brands, and an established platform business and I am firmly of the view that the opportunity is as big as it was in the early 1990s when I jointly led the acquisition of PizzaExpress.”
Soho Coffee Co ‘trading in line with industry’ since reopening, opens debut airport company store: Penny Manuel, managing director of artisan food-led coffee company Soho Coffee Co, has told Propel the company is trading in line with the industry, both regionally and in London, since reopening. All but two of Soho Coffee Co’s circa 25-strong estate has reopened while sister company Euphorium Bakery is also back in operation. Manuel said: “Trading continues to be challenging. We are tracking in line with our industry colleagues both regionally and in London. Eat Out To Help Out worked well for us, with regional stores achieving like-for-like gross. Some regional stores continue to perform ahead of last year.” Soho Coffee Co is also making further expansion into transport hubs with the launch of its first airport company store, at Bristol airport, creating more than 30 jobs. It builds on its portfolio of franchised airport sites and follows its first foray into the rail market, at Liverpool Street station in London. The Bristol airport site, located within the departure lounge, adds to its strong presence already in the city and offers its customised hot food range. Manuel told Propel: “It is a bold but calculated decision to continue to invest at this time, but we are pushing forward with our strategy to develop new markets.” It comes as accounts for Soho Coffee Co’s parent company, BTC Hospitality, showed turnover increased 6.4% to £13.8m for the year ending 31 January 2020, compared with £13m the previous year. Ebitda loss for the year stood at £2.7m, compared with a loss of £2.8m the year before. The Ebitda loss includes £300,000 of exit costs relating to closure of three remaining Apostrophe stores. Pre-tax losses increased to £6.6m from £5.2m the previous year. Of the total loss, about £1.4m was attributable to interest accrued in the year on shareholder loans, about £1.9m to depreciation, and about £600,000 to the accounting impact of adapting IFRS16 (leases) in the year. During the period, three Soho Coffee Co stores were opened in Bullring Birmingham, City of London Threadneedle Street and Wigmore Street also in London. Two stores were shut at Merry Hill and Wilmslow.
Trust Inns adds coaching inn with castle views to its books: Trust Inns has added to its circa 350-strong portfolio with the purchase of The Holly Hill Inn, which overlooks an 11th century castle. The freehold property was sold through Christie & Co for in excess of the asking price of £625,000. The pub in Richmond, North Yorkshire, is situated on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales National Park and is also positioned along the coast-to-coast walk from St Bees in Cumbria to Robin Hood’s Bay on the east coast. The beer garden to the rear of the traditional coaching inn offers views of Richmond Castle, which dates back to 1070s. It was built to subdue the unruly north of England and is one of the best-preserved Norman fortresses in Britain. Trust Inns estates director Lyn Perry said: “The site is ideal for us and fits our criteria for new businesses.” Christie & Co associate director David Cash added: “The Holly Hill is a great example of a country pub with multiple income streams that have helped it bounce back brilliantly since reopening after lock-down. We are currently seeing an increased demand from purchasers for hospitality businesses such as this, as many buyers look for an alternative lifestyle, while capitalising on the growing popularity for staycations.”
Red’s True Barbecue launches ‘Meat by Mail’ delivery service: Smokehouse brand Red’s True Barbecue has launched “Meat by Mail”, a new nationwide next-day delivery service. The company’s extensive range of smoked meats, barbecue sides and craft beer can now be ordered online and shipped directly to customers’ doors. The range includes 12-hour chopped pork, 16-hour slow-smoked brisket, crispy pork belly, pit beans, and mac and cheese. Red’s co-founder Scott Munro said: “What we do at Red’s isn’t easy, so smoking our famous meats to perfection and then mailing them to someone – ready to be eaten – was always going to be a challenge. We’ve made some slight changes to the way we smoke our brisket, pulled pork, ribs and chicken to ensure that when our customers receive their Meat by Mail boxes, they’re chilled and ready to be finished. We’ve done everything we can to make it super easy for folks to unwrap it and eat it. There’s no specialist equipment required either, everything can be done with what’s in your kitchen already. It’s smoked by Red’s and finished by you. It couldn’t be easier.” Co-founder James Douglas said: “We see this as an amazing opportunity to spread the Red’s barbecue joy further afield than just our restaurants. It’s taken a while for us to get to this point but we’re over the moon with the products we have available online and we think our customers will love them too. There’s always been huge public pressure for Red’s to do mail order and with the issues created as a result of covid-19, now felt like the right time to grant some wishes and get this off the ground, it’s been hard work but it will absolutely been worth the wait. We’ve already received a huge volume of orders from established Red’s fans and a lot from new believers too, our pit masters can’t wait to get the first orders shipped out next week.” To celebrate the Meat by Mail launch, Red’s is giving away 10 Family Feast mail order packs complete with a “Red’s Bin Lid” to serve them in.
BrewDog to double offset all employees’ carbon footprints: Scottish brewer and retailer BrewDog has announced it will double offset all its staff members’ carbon footprints so they are carbon negative – a world first for any company, the business claimed. All staff will be able to calculate their personal carbon footprint then BrewDog will remove twice as much carbon from the air each year that each team member is responsible for. Employees will use the “Pawprint” system to work out their carbon footprint with the tool helping staff to reduce their own environmental impact by encouraging behavioural change and rewarding reductions in carbon footprints. The brewer, which itself is carbon negative already, has also committed to offsetting the carbon ‘pawprints’ of its employees’ dogs too. BrewDog co-founder James Watt said: “We are proud to be the world’s first carbon-negative beer business and are delighted to be one of the very first businesses to offer to offset all its employees’ carbon footprints. All BrewDog staff will have an app that allows them to understand their own carbon footprint. Our commitment to sustainability is an integral part of our business and across our entire operation. This means BrewDog, both as a company and as individuals, are having a massively positive impact on the planet and helping drive the change that our world so badly needs.”
Berberè to make UK debut: Berberè, the independent Italian company founded by brothers Salvatore and Matteo Aloe, is to open its debut UK site. The restaurant will launch on Thursday, 15 October, in Venn Street in Clapham, south London. Founded in 2010, Berberè is rooted in the brothers’ “desire to serve simple, honest pizza in beautifully designed spaces”. The Clapham site will echo its Italian siblings. The focal point of the restaurant will be the open kitchen while the venue will have an outdoor terrace. Pizzaiolos make the signature sourdough pizza dough fresh daily and the menu will feature staples such as the classic margherita, marinara and the Napoli with anchovies and capers. Alongside these, diners can choose from a range of Berberè creations, specially developed for its new south London home including the “Spicy Diavola” with spicy salami and ’nduja, and the “Aubergine” with baked aubergine, homemade basil and walnut pesto and smoked ricotta. The selected drinks list includes Italian classics such as the negroni alongside a range of natural wine and craft beer. The Aloes said: “Berberè Pizzeria was born from our love of good pizza and we always wanted to elevate the humble pizza with the best ingredients from both the UK and Italy.” Earlier this year Berberè acquired a majority share of Radio Alice, the joint venture it set up with Azzurri Group in 2016.
Papa John’s sustains 20%-plus growth in comparable sales in September: Papa John’s system-wide international restaurants have recorded an estimated growth in excess of 20% for its monthly and quarterly sales. During the period of 24 August to 27 September, the pizza parlour charted 23.3% growth in its international restaurants – this figure included circa 90 sites that are currently closed, principally in Latin America and Europe, due to covid-19 regulations implemented by governments in those regions. Papa John’s estimated that, without those closures, the figure could have reached 25%. Figures for the same market for the three-month period ended 27 September showed growth to be 20.6%, which would have risen to 23% assuming the shuttered sites were open. Papa John’s president and chief executive Rob Lynch said: “Six consecutive months of double-digit comparable sales growth were made possible by the hard work of Papa John’s team members and franchisees during the pandemic. We remain confident our innovation pipeline, marketing and technology platforms, and strong operations will continue to support strong results during, and after, the pandemic.” Estimated figures for the comparable sales growth in US domestic company-owned restaurants were 14.3% for the month and 18.2% for the quarterly period. In North America franchised restaurants they were 19.7% and 25.5% respectively while system-wide North America restaurants are expected to register 18.4% and 23.8% boosts. Papa John’s announced plans in mid-September that it will consolidate its international team in its Milton Keynes office in a bid to accelerate long-term growth and innovation.
The Burger Priest to open in Leeds: The Burger Priest, the church-themed burger restaurant concept launched by Bar Sport founder Scott Murray, is to open a site in Leeds. The company has chosen The Springs at Thorpe Park, Leeds, to open its eighth UK outlet. The Burger Priest will move into a 1,800 square foot unit adding to the existing food and beverage offer at The Springs, close to the Odeon Luxe cinema. The landlord, Thorpe Park Developments Limited, said it had agreed a new ten-year lease on a new lease structure that “reacts to the changing economic climate that businesses face within the retail and leisure sectors, and forges a more collaborative relationship between the parties”. The Burger Priest Leeds restaurant will be the first opening in the north of England for the brand. A spokesperson for The Burger Priest said: “We are thrilled to be opening another The Burger Priest at The Springs, Leeds – a new, modern development that fits well with our expanding new brand. We believe our offer of high-quality food at affordable prices will be a great addition at The Springs, giving an extra dimension to the dining experience for the wider Leeds community. The provenance of our meat is fully traceable and everything on the menu is great quality. We think The Springs is the perfect venue for our next restaurant and we’re looking forward to opening as soon as possible.”
Arc Inspirations continues discount scheme: Arc Inspirations, the Leeds-based operator of a number of fast-growing brands, will continue giving customers discounts into October. The company will offer 50% off food on Mondays and Tuesdays. A spokeswoman said: “The Eat Out To Help Out scheme was very beneficial and provided a much needed sales boost across our bars. It helped to reinforce customer confidence in dining out.”
Cinquecento goes multiple with new pizzeria in Notting Hill: Pizza parlour Cinquecento is to open its second bricks-and-mortar site as it expands from Chelsea to Notting Hill. The site will open on Thursday, 15 October, and will serve free slices for its first four days, reports Hot Dinners. The Chelsea site was unveiled in December 2019 and the business opened a kitchen in Battersea during lock-down. The Notting Hill site will be on Portobello Road and will be sectioned so diners can sit down in the rear while a takeaway option is showcased at the front. Italian-born chefs Carmelo Meli and Emanuele Tagliarina, who ran kitchens at both Franco Manca and Santa Maria pizzeria, are running the venue.
The Chilli Pickle to launch Asian pop-up in Brighton: South east Asian pop-up restaurant Hawkerman will launch on Thursday (1 October) in a section of The Chilli Pickle in Brighton. Alun and Dawn Sperring, who formed Indian food site The Chilli Pickle, were inspired by the hawker kitchens of Asia to bring new venture Hawkerman to life. Alun said: “We’ve travelled a lot around south east Asia and are in awe of these incredibly skilled cooks who spend decades honing one ostensibly simple dish that customers will form long queues to eat. With Hawkerman, we set ourselves a bit of a challenge – creating our own interpretation of some of these time-honoured specialities, using the best local produce we can get.” The 28-cover pop-up is open for walk-ins from 12.30pm with a menu featuring dishes such as The Don’s Pot Noodle, Dragon Foo Ramyun, BBQ Sunshine Chicken and HK Singapore Fish Head Curry. Everything will be cooked by Alun and his team at The Chilli Pickle – which will operate as normal while the pop-up is open.
Republic and Great Northern Warehouse sign bakeries for working and leisure sites: Trilogy Real Estate has signed two bakeries to take spaces at its Republic and Great Northern Warehouse sites. Independent bakery Sweet Nothing Bakehouse has signed a ten-year lease on a 920 square foot, ground-floor unit in the Export Building at Republic – a next generation workspace campus – in east London, and plans to open in December. Meanwhile, Alex’s Bakery has signed for a larger unit at Manchester’s Great Northern Warehouse – a food, beverage and leisure complex in a grade II-listed building. Sweet Nothing Bakehouse founder Beth Cardy said: “Having built popularity among high-profile corporate clients with our delivery services, we’re ready for our business to take the next step by launching a permanent bricks-and-mortar site at Republic, despite turbulent times for the catering industry.” Alex’s Bakery, which had traded from a small kiosk for takeaways at Great Northern Warehouse has upsized to a 1,015 square foot space with 14 covers plus outside seating. CF Commercial acted for Trilogy Real Estate and LaSalle Investment Management for Republic. Savills acted as agents on behalf of Trilogy Real Estate and Peterson for Great Northern Warehouse.
The Alchemist reopens Swap Shop to help tackle food poverty: The Alchemist, the 19-strong Simon Potts-led bar and restaurant concept, will reopen its Swap Shop to allow non-perishable food items to be exchanged for a cocktail at all of its sites. Swap Shop will open for just one day – Tuesday, 13 October – and will allow any customer a one-off trade of at least one item of tinned or dried and packaged food for a cocktail but larger donations are encouraged. The collaboration between The Alchemist, Grey Goose and social enterprise Foodinate is designed to raise awareness of the increase of food poverty in the UK. The Trussell Trust, which supports food banks, said coronavirus has seen an increase in numbers using food banks with some 100,000 households making use of them for the first time during the lock-down period. Last year’s Swap Shop initiative saw more than 3,000 donations collected. The brand has been partnered with Foodinate since May 2018 and provide hot and nourishing meals for those in need. The Alchemist culture and talent director Hannah Plumb said: “We love the work carried out by Foodinate. It’s a truly fantastic initiative tackling food poverty across the country, which is an issue we’re passionate about at The Alchemist. The Swap Shop is a fun and engaging way to encourage customers to donate to their local food banks, which need our support now more than ever.”
Board changes at T&R Theakston: Executive director Collin Wood will retire from the board of Yorkshire-based family brewer T&R Theakston (T&RT) at the beginning of November while current trading director at Heineken UK Richard Bradbury has been appointed joint managing director. Wood, along with co-executive director Simon Theakston, spearheaded the buy-back of Theakston from Scottish & Newcastle (S&N) 17 years ago and have run the business together ever since but his involvement with the business began in 1987. Wood said: “I have enjoyed every moment of my time at Theakston and indeed before at S&N. The brewing industry has been and always will be a hugely rewarding and enjoyable place to work. I’ve had a wonderful career and it’s a source of great delight that, despite the extraordinary covid-related circumstances, I leave T&RT as a thriving independent family business, but now the time has come for me to focus on other personal interests and to devote my time to these.” Bradbury, who starts on 2 November, has similarly worked at senior level in the brewing industry and brings with him a wealth of experience and management skills. He said: “I am delighted to join the executive team of T&RT and look forward to utilising all my experiences to help develop the next chapter in the company’s long and proud history.”
De La Hayes Restaurant in Cotswolds hits market for £2.9m: The freehold of the De La Hayes Restaurant in Bourton-on-the-Water, near Cheltenham, has been put up for sale for £2.9m. Savills, on behalf of the De La Hayes family, is marketing the grade II-listed property, which comprises of three trading units – a high-end cafe/restaurant, a fish and chip takeaway unit and a bakery/pizzeria. The 6,005 square foot building underwent an extensive redesign and refurbishment in 2017. The restaurant provides river views with 110 internal covers and there are two external trade gardens with the capacity for about 295 covers. There is also owner/manager accommodation on the first floor.