KFC to have 100 UK restaurants reopen for delivery by Monday, sales up 14% in first quarter: KFC has said it will have 100 of its restaurants open for delivery by Monday (4 May) – and is working to open more. The company said it was reopening “in a responsible way”, with stringent processes and hygiene measures in place. It is serving a limited menu to help the smaller kitchen teams maintain social distancing. KFC said by opening the restaurants it would also be able to increase the number of meals being delivered to NHS and key workers – aiming to deliver 10,000 a week in partnership with Deliveroo. Among the latest restaurants to open are Martineau Place in Birmingham, Honey Wood Retail Park in Dover, Towcester Road in Northampton, Penny Street in Lancaster and St Georges Crescent in Wrexham. The company began reopening sites earlier this month – starting with 11 of its 900-plus restaurants – and has been gradually adding more on a daily basis. It added: “If you’re not near one of the 100 never fear – we’re working hard to reopen more over the coming weeks.” Staff have returned on an opt-in basis, and only those who can travel without the use of public transport have been asked to work. Paula MacKenzie, managing director of KFC UK & Ireland, said: “I’m really proud of the way we, with our franchise partners, have been able to carefully get some of our restaurants up and running over the past two weeks. This next stage allows us to continue to provide wider access to hot food for those who need it most, whether that’s key workers after a long shift or those working from home who need a quick, affordable dinner for the family. I’m hugely appreciative of our team members who have returned to work – it’s a challenging time for everyone, but we’re so glad to play our part in helping to feed the nation.” Meanwhile, parent company Yum! Brands has reported KFC’s system sales in the UK rose 14% for the first quarter ending 31 March 2020, compared with the previous year. The UK accounts for 6% of KFC’s system sales worldwide. Meanwhile, Pizza Hut system sales in Europe, including the UK, were down 5% in the quarter – the continent accounts for 9% of Pizza Hut’s system sales globally. Individual figures for the UK weren’t included in the announcement.
Franco Manca targets 20 reopened sites by June: Franco Manca, the Fulham Shore-owned brand, hopes to have 20 of its sites reopened for delivery only by June, Propel has learned. Last week, the circa 50-strong brand reopened its site in Chiswickfrom 4pm to 10pm for delivery only through Deliveroo and UberEats. It will soon extend this to its sites in Balham and Belsize Park, before looking to reopen two sites a week going forward. The company said: “We are working hard to safely reopen more pizzerias for delivery and order and collect.” Fulham Shore has also reopened the Real Greek site in Paddington Street, Marylebone, for delivery only.
Murdoch – Burger King to have 350 sites open by end of June: Burger King UK, the Alasdair Murdoch-led business, has said it hopes to open at least 350 out of its circa 550 restaurants by the end of June. The company, which has already reopened 12 sites, plans to have at least one site open in every city by 31 May, as part of a staggered reopening after the lock-down. “We would anticipate by the end of June, we will be getting towards 350 and 400,” Murdoch told the BBC’s World At One programme. “We see some of the others will be difficult to open – some are in airports. At this stage none of us really have the visibility on when they might do.” He said a scaled-back menu would allow staff to socially distance while making the food, with the arrangements being put into place for drive-thru restaurants and with trials set to start on how to reopen high-street walk-in locations. Propel understands the brand’s franchisee in Jersey has already reopened one high-street site for delivery only. On Wednesday (29 April) the company reopen restaurants in Aberdeen, Dundee, Merton in south London, Reading, Southampton, and Hillington and Springfield Quay, both in Glasgow. It is offering contactless delivery through Just Eat and Deliveroo.
Sky News – Giraffe owner Boparan in exclusive talks for Carluccio’s: Boparan Restaurant Group, the Giraffe, Ed’s Easy Diner and Slim Chickens operator, has entered into exclusive talks to acquire the rump of the Carluccio’s business, which was placed into administration at the end of last month, reports Sky News. It is thought Boparan has fought off competition from Three Hills Capital, the backer of Byron, for Carluccio’s. However, it is unclear how much of the 71-strong Carluccio’s that Boparan was in talks to acquire. It is thought Boparan and Three Hills were interested in about 30 of Carluccio’s best-performing sites, with Boparan understood to be interested in converting to the Slim Chickens brand, of which it is the UK master franchisee. Bids for Carluccio’s were due on 15 April, although it was thought offers for the entire 71-strong business had not been forthcoming. There had been interest in acquiring a number of sites and the brand. Three Hills held talks over a merger with Carluccio’s before it was placed into administration. Geoff Rowley and Phil Reynolds, partners at FRP Advisory, were appointed joint administrators of Carluccio’s last month. Carluccio’s directors decided to place the company into administration after a sustained period of challenging trading conditions, which have been exacerbated by the pandemic and “broader issues currently facing the UK’s retail and hospitality sector”.
Deliveroo set to make 367 redundancies and furloughs 50 staff: Deliveroo is set to make 367 of its 2,500 global workforce redundant as it struggles with demand during the coronavirus lock-down. A total of 50 employees have also been furloughed as part of the decision. The planned redundancies, which affect employees in several countries, come just over a week after the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) provisionally approved a $575m (£462m) investment in the business by Amazon. However, coronavirus has made it difficult for food delivery businesses such as Deliveroo to predict how demand will look in the future. The company previously warned the CMA a continued freeze on Amazon’s investment in the business could trigger its collapse because of a cash squeeze and lack of access to funding. A Deliveroo spokeswoman said: “The extraordinary global health crisis we are living through has impacted almost all businesses. As a result, like so many others, Deliveroo has had to examine how to overcome the challenges we all face, as well as ensure we are in the strongest position possible following the crisis. This requires us to look at how we operate in order to reduce long-term costs, which sadly means some roles are at risk of redundancy and others will be put on furlough. This has been extremely difficult for everyone at the company, and our absolute priority is to make sure those impacted are fully supported.”
Heavitree cancels tenants’ rent for April and May, directors cut salary by 20%:Heavitree Brewery, the Exeter-based tenanted pub operator, has cancelled rent charges for its tenants for April and May. In order to continue to preserve cash, the directors have also made the decision to take a salary reduction of 20%. Heavitree stated: “The company continues to work with its tenants to assist where possible and to interpret the daily announcements from government.” Heavitree operates more than 65 tenanted pubs across Exeter and south Devon.
Shaftesbury launches digital initiative for Seven Dials, Kerb opens Market Cornershop: Landlord Shaftesbury has introduced a digital initiative to ensure the community and consumers can remain connected to Seven Dials during the lock-down. Called Seven Dials @ Home, the campaign features curated content created in partnership with Seven Dials’ restaurant and retail occupiers for their social media followers. Participating brands including Homeslice and Flesh & Buns, who between them are offering bespoke video tutorials, make-and-enjoy-at-home classes, as well as guides on well-being and health. The launch coincides with the opening of the Seven Dials Market Cornershop by Kerb, operator of Seven Dials Market. A one-stop, digital delivery service modelled on traditional corner shops, the Cornershop is a dedicated website via which customers within the M25 can order small or large vegetable or fruit and vegetable boxes. Also available is a range of wine, soft drinks, cocktail kits and beer as well as links to Seven Dials Market traders providing their own home delivery service. Simon Mitchell, managing director of Kerb and curator of Seven Dials Market, added: “The Cornershop has been created to help the tens of thousands of Londoners that have made Seven Dials Market such a success. Our aim is to make things a little easier for people living in the West End during the lock-down, while at the same time benefitting our traders and suppliers as they too navigate this exceptional time.”
Burger & Lobster reopens second London site: Burger & Lobster has reopened a second London site, Propel has learned. Having reopened its Bond Street restaurant last week for delivery, Burger & Lobster has now done the same at its Threadneedle Street, which also offers takeaway and click-and-collect. The company stated: “This means we are able to reach more of our London customers that we miss so dearly. Throughout our reopening, safety remains of paramount importance, and we have stringent health and safety practices in place.” Both restaurants are offering 50% discount to all NHS, Transport for London, police and fire service employees.
Dalata reports coronavirus hits UK booking revenue by almost a fifth: Irish hotel group Dalata, which has a growing presence in the UK, has reported the coronavirus crisis has hit booking revenue in Britain by almost a fifth. In a statement before its annual general meeting, chairman John Hennessy said in the first three months of the year, the pandemic knocked 24.3% off revenue the group earns from booking its rooms in Dublin, 14% around the rest of Ireland and 18.6% in the UK. Adjusted Ebitda for the first quarter of this year was €17.7m, which included two months of normal trading before the effects of the global pandemic were first felt on the business. Hennessy said given the restrictions on travel and movement by the UK and Irish governments, the outlook for the remainder of the year remained uncertain. Goodbody leisure analyst Paul Ruddy said: “Overall, this is a better start to the year than we have anticipated but the duration of the coronavirus restrictions and shape of the recovery still remain the key questions for this year’s earnings. We continue to consider Dalata a ‘Buy’, owing to its valuable freehold estate, experienced management team, scale advantages in Dublin and its UK growth opportunity.”