Caravan chief to mentor My Million Pound Menu winner: Caravan chief executive Laura Harper-Hinton is to mentor this week’s winner of My Million Pound Menu. Devi’s, the brainchild of Tanya Gohil, triumphed over fellow sustainable food brands Skaus and Sustainable Food Story in this week’s episode of the BBC series. Devi’s operates at Bermondsey food market offering Silk Road-inspired vegan and vegetarian food that combines east Mediterranean, North African, Middle Eastern and Indian cuisine. Gohil also operates Hackney supper clubs under the Devi’s name, while she employs a mainly female team and invests in projects that target gender equality, the refugee crisis and women’s rights. Caravan, which operates five London sites, launched a partnership last week to run coffee counters at a number of sites operated by co-working company The Office Group.
SSP brings healthy eating concept Dean & David to Düsseldorf: SSP Group, the UK-based transport hub foodservice specialist, has opened a site for fresh food brand Dean & David at Düsseldorf Central Station. The 100 square metre site seats 40 diners, while the brand offers “healthy and nutritious meals that can be tailored to customers’ individual preferences”. The daily changing menu includes made-to-order salads, Asian curries, soup, hand-twisted wraps and grilled sandwiches to eat in or take away. It also offers good-life bowls – warm dishes that contain quinoa, superfoods and fresh vegetables. Jan Kamp, director business development and properties at SSP Germany, said: “With more travellers looking for healthy, nutritious food options, Dean & David is the perfect addition to our offer.” Dean & David founder and chief executive David Baumgartner added: “Our menu offers great options, with numerous vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and lactose-free dishes.” SSP’s portfolio of brands at the station include Pizza Hut and Sushi Factory, while the company operates a Dean & David unit at Vienna airport, with plans to expand the partnership.
YO! Sushi to close Oxford site: YO! Sushi is to close its site in Oxford’s George Street, bowing out on Valentine’s Day (14 February). A spokeswoman for the company told Propel the branch would close because of “natural churn”. She said: “As is normal with a large and established brand, we continually review our estate to make sure we have the best proposition in the right site.” The venue opened more than ten years ago. In October, YO! Sushi closed its restaurant in Bath city centre for the same reason. In the past year, YO! Sushi has significantly changed its business model. The acquisitions of Bento, one of the largest sushi brands in North America, and Taiko Foods, a manufacturing group and supplier to Waitrose, has created a “global multi-channel, multi-format Japanese food platform”. YO! Sushi has also been trialling counters in two Tesco stores under the brand name YO! To Go.
Bao’s third London site to feature karaoke room and grab-and-go hatch:London-based Taiwanese restaurant Bao has revealed its third venue, which will open in Borough Market in the spring, will differ from its sister sites in Soho and Fitzrovia by featuring a karaoke room and grab-and-go hatch. The karaoke room will be downstairs from the new restaurant and offer party platters for up to 12 guests while they belt out the classics. The venue will also add grilled dishes to Bao’s offering of Chinese snacks, steamed buns and sharing plates, while it will also launch a late-night noodle menu, Hot Dinners reports.
Flamingo Land unveils plans for second theme park, in Scarborough: Yorkshire theme park Flamingo Land has revealed plans to open a second site. The company wants to build an attraction on Scarborough seafront that would include a roller coaster with a 60-metre tower. Flamingo Land Coast would be built on the site of Futurist Theatre in Foreshore Road. Plans show a four-storey building hosting attractions, education facilities, restaurants and children’s play areas, while a second building would house a “winter garden” and viewing area. Chief executive Gordon Gibb told the Hull Daily Mail: “Flamingo Land is committed to creating an exciting family attraction in Scarborough.” Flamingo Land theme park, holiday village and zoo is based in Malton, North Yorkshire. It turns over almost £30m a year and employs 400 staff.
Broadwick to launch 3,000-capacity venue and events space at Westfield London: Broadwick Venues, which operates Printworks London and is a subsidiary of festival specialist Broadwick Live, is to launch a 300-capacity events space at Westfield London. Work will start this month to bring the grade-II listed Dimco building into public use for the first time. The project is a partnership between Broadwick and shopping centre owner Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield. The venue – Exhibition – is due to launch at the end of the year at the former electricity generating station, which featured as the Acme factory in 1988 film Who Framed Roger Rabbit? Spanning two floors, the 34,000 square foot venue will offer multiple rooms, relaxation areas and food and drink traders. It will sit at the heart of Westfield London’s £600m expansion. Broadwick managing director Bradley Thompson said: “Exhibition represents an important moment in the evolution of Westfield London, creating a unique entertainment hub and enhancing the area’s cultural kudos. It will attract and serve not only the local community but the ever-increasing number of people who view White City as one of the most exciting growth places in the capital. The location is perfect and the building itself is incredible. We are committed to respecting its past and investing in its future, offering contemporary experiences against a stunning Victorian backdrop.” London night tsar Amy Lamé said: “The great range of entertainment venues in the capital play a vital role in its vibrant nightlife so I’m delighted to see this historic location turned into a venue for arts, music and cultural events.” Broadwick Venues said it was looking to launch a number of events spaces in the UK.
Carlsberg reports full-year UK volume down 3%: Carlsberg has reported total volume fell 3% in the UK for the year ending 31 December 2018 in a slightly growing beer market. Of its UK performance, the company stated: “Our volumes in the premium category increased, driven by growth of brands such as Poretti and licence brands, whereas the mainstream Carlsberg brand lost market share. During the year, we completed our exit from porterage activities, which reduced net revenue.” Overall, reported net revenue grew 3.0% to DKK 62,503m, with reported volume growth of 5.3%. Tuborg volume grew 10%, Carlsberg was up 5%, Grimbergen rose 14% and 1664 Blanc increased 49%. Craft and speciality volume was up 26%, while alcohol-free brew volumes in western Europe rose 33%. The company has initiated a 12-month share-buyback programme of DKK 4.5bn. Chief executive Cees ’t Hart said: “We delivered a strong set of results for 2018. In line with our ambitions for SAIL’22, we accelerated top-line growth, improved margins, delivered a strong cash flow and reduced debt even further. At the same time, we invested significant resources in our brands and activities and we continue to target top-line growth and profit improvement in the coming years.”
Catapult takes investment to £10m after securing £4.3m in latest funding round: On-demand artificial intelligence staffing platform Catapult has secured £4.3m, bringing the company’s total investment to £10m since its launch three years ago. The London-based company, which is made up of 50 internal staff in the capital and operates in 30 major towns and cities across the UK, will use the latest investment to expand its on-demand service within the UK and into European markets. The latest round of investment was led by the partners of Novator Partners – investors in Zwift, Klang Games and Rebag – with participation from Elkstone Capital. Catapult provides businesses looking for flexible shift workers with a choice of candidates via an app and online booking system. Candidates can choose which shifts they work. Novator Partners’ Birgir Mar Ragnarsson, who will also join the board, said: “Catapult has cracked open a large market with the on-demand work model. Having invested in Catapult a year ago, we’ve seen its fast growth first-hand. We’re excited to increase our stake and involvement as it continues to pick up pace.” Catapult co-founder Oli Johnson, said: “This investment will help us continue to grow Catapult here and launch the model in new markets.”
 
Leeds-based nightclub operator takes on city cafe for second site: Leeds-based nightclub operator Rosita Roger has acquired the leasehold of a cafe and coffee shop in the city for her second site. Roger, who runs Distrikt Bar, has taken on House of Koko in Chapel Allerton from Chris Ball and Shanshan Zhu in a deal brokered by agents Christie & Co. House of Koko has an open-plan dining area for up to 22 covers and a terrace for an additional 30. Roger plans to further grow House of Koko by extending the food offering to evening trade. She said: “I am excited to get going on my new business venture and drive the business further.”
Ziser London to turn Fulham town hall into hotel, restaurant and events space following £10m acquisition: Real estate company Ziser London has acquired Fulham town hall and will transform it into a hotel, spa, restaurants and events space. Debt advisor and asset manager BBS Capital arranged a £10m loan with OakNorth to fund the acquisition of the grade II-listed, 51,350 square foot building from a private vendor. A development finance facility will be arranged in due course. Many of the town hall’s period features such as its Portland stone façade and stained-glass windows will be preserved. OakNorth debt finance director Priya Harley said: “Ziser London has an extensive track record in investing and developing London-based residential and commercial properties, in particular ones with architectural significance. Once complete, this site will be a landmark property in London.” In 2018, Mayfair-based BBS Capital helped its clients finance £1.37bn of property deals across multiple sectors.
Enhanced Hospitality takes ownership of Camden Town music venue: Enhanced Hospitality has taken over ownership of Camden Town music venue Dingwalls. The company, which runs Fest Camden at Camden Market and the Shaka Zulu restaurant, aims to re-establish a venue that has hosted bands such as The Clash and The Strokes. The building will remain open during renovations, which are expected to finish in the summer. The refurbishment will see a refreshed live room, new roof terrace, and a green room for artists. Electronic music shows and club nights will sit alongside live performances as part of a daily schedule. The venue will also offer craft ale and a “proper pub grub” menu.
Cornish hotel complex brought to market for £8m: The St Moritz Hotel, near Rock in Cornwall, has been brought to market for £8m. St Moritz comprises a 55-bedroom art deco hotel, 15 apartments, 38 villas, a spa, leisure club, bar and two restaurants. Set in 8.9 acres of landscaped gardens, the property has several active planning permissions including the go-ahead to build eight luxury suites. The complex was built on the site of a 1930s hotel as part of a £15m investment by brothers Steve and Hugh Ridgway. James Greenslade, of Savills’ Exeter hotels team, which is marketing the property, told Insider Media: “St Moritz offers a rare opportunity for an investor to acquire an established and internationally regarded resort. The hotel is in an excellent location in the heart of the UK’s top second-home market – the north Cornish coast. There are significant opportunities for a new owner to develop the resort further and enhance the business.”