3Sixty Restaurants plans four further Ego openings this year as it sees losses narrow: 3Sixty Restaurants, led by James Horler and backed by Luke Johnson, plans to open four more Ego sites in its current financial year as it prepares to open its 16th site for the brand. The company revealed its plans as it reported turnover increased to £19,458,251 for the year ending 25 March 2018, compared with £18,895,687 the previous year. Ebitda before exceptional one-off costs and pre-opening costs was up to £1,004,965, compared with £955,908 the year before. Pre-tax losses narrowed to £67,576 compared with £1,857,004 the previous year, according to accounts filed at Companies House. Following the period end, the company has acquired one pub – The Fox at Haslington – which is due to open this month with plans to open a further four sites during 2018-19. In May, the company disposed of Saltwater in Nottingham. An onerous lease provision of £300,000 was made in the period for this site. In their report accompanying the accounts, the directors stated: “The directors are very pleased with the significant progress made throughout the period, opening one site and taking the total number of sites under the Ego brand to 15. With a strong balance sheet and a clear focus on opening more Ego sites, we are in a strong position and remain cautiously optimistic. Overall gross profit of 68% has reduced slightly due to promotional activities, while labour percentage reduced by 5.36% due to efficiencies and new sites trading for more than 12 months. Administrative costs have increased £3.4m due to costs associated with the opening and development of the newer sites together with a provision of £300,000 for an onerous lease disposed after period end. The focus in 2018-19 will be to increase sales further throughout the group and expand with the introduction of further pub sites. Our employees within Ego increased to 597, an increase of 16.6%.”
SSP brings spirit of Camden to London Stansted airport: SSP, the operator of food and beverage brands in travel locations worldwide, has launched new concept The Camden Bar & Kitchen at London Stansted airport. Set across two floors and seating 350 people, the 700 square metre restaurant features a full-service premium bar on the upper level and a bar and deli for “grab and go” on the lower level. The new offer draws inspiration from Camden and its market stalls. The lower-level bar has an industrial feel and features a steel stairway connecting the kitchen and restaurant. The Camden Bar & Kitchen has worked with a group of post-graduate students from St Martin’s College to create a mural of London’s street food scene alongside artwork by local artists the Graffiti Kings. The morning menu includes a “Rise & Dine” offer featuring classic breakfast dishes, while the main menu features fish and chips, steak, egg and chips and salads alongside double-stacked burgers and Thai and Indian-influenced street food. The menu also features a rotating slot from Camden street food vendors, starting with Baba G’s Crazy Lamb Jalfrezi Burger. Local beers including Camden Hells Lager and Camden Pale Ale from Camden Town Brewery are on offer alongside premium beer, wine and cocktails. The bar’s “Glow Zone” houses LED light pads and wireless charging points that light up when customers charge their phones. Simon Smith, chief executive of SSP UK and Ireland, said: “The Camden Bar & Kitchen transforms one of the largest and most prominent spaces in the airside departure lounge into a modern eclectic restaurant that reflects the spirit of contemporary London and its most famous food market.”
McDonald’s to turn High Street Kensington site into reservation-only restaurant: McDonald’s is transforming its store in High Street Kensington into a reservation-only restaurant. The move will correspond with the company’s roll out of its Signature Collection, with the restaurant aimed at attracting the Instagram crowd. Customers who book the “VIP dining experience” will be welcomed into the restaurant by a string quartet and escorted to their table. They will be able to choose from a classic, BBQ or spicy signature burger and will be served by white-gloved butlers, the Evening Standard reports. The site will also feature velvet curtains, burger-focused art and “diamond-encrusted” cutlery. Bookings are open for the one-off event, which will take place on Thursday, 15 August. Earlier this year, McDonald’s turned one of its Newcastle restaurants into a “romantic dinner for two” destination.
Black Sheep Coffee opens first overseas site, ‘many more’ to follow:London-based independent coffee shop Black Sheep Coffee has opened its first overseas site, in the Philippines, with “many more” to follow. Co-founder and co-chief executive Gabriel Shohet said: “We just opened in Manila – our first shop outside our UK home market. Coffee lovers in the Philippines will be able to enjoy speciality-grade 100% Robusta coffee, our famous Black Hoof signature drink, freshly made Norwegian waffles and the best espresso martinis in town – all in a shop filled with awesome graffiti by London’s coolest street artists. This is just the first of many more Black Sheep shops to open in Asia and the Middle East in the coming months.” Black Sheep Coffee has 20 sites in London and two in Manchester.
Elan Cafe takes on former Coppa Club site in Oxford Circus for third London venue: Brunch and healthy eating concept Elan Cafe has taken on a former Coppa Club site for its third London venue. Elan Cafe has taken over the lease of the building in Market Place, Oxford Circus, through agent Shelley Sandzer. The cafe will cover the ground floor and basement of the property with a large outdoor terrace at the front. Elan Cafe, which has sites in Park Lane and Brompton Road, has become well-known among Instagrammers and bloggers due to its flower walls, pink colour theme, marble tables and latte art. Founder Alexandra Miller said: “We are grateful to Shelley Sandzer for helping us find and secure the perfect site. We can’t wait to share our passion for coffee at this fabulous new location.”
Former Kurobuta chef to launch vegan concept in north London next week: Daniele Aloi, former chef at Japanese rock ‘n’ roll concept Kurobuta, is to launch a vegan restaurant in Stoke Newington, north London. Stokey Veg Vegan will open in Stoke Newington Church Street on Tuesday (14 August) offering British and Italian vegetarian and vegan small plates. Aloi, who is also former head chef of Haggerston-based pizza and pool concept Proud East, will launch Stokey Veg Vegan with London businessman Ali Kalkan. Dishes on the menu will include toasted beetroot tartar, black sesame burger with guacamole in a sourdough bun, and pistachio vegan tiramisu, Hot Dinners reports. Former Nobu head chef Scott Hallsworth launched Kurobuta as a pop-up before opening permanent sites in Chelsea and Marble Arch.
Lincolnshire council buys second leisure investment, a gym in Sheffield: A Lincolnshire council has acquired a gym and a lingerie factory in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, for £5.5m. West Lindsey District Council said rent from the properties, occupied by Better Gym and Panache Lingerie, would help pay for public services. The local authority spent £2.35m on a Travelodge in Keighley, West Yorkshire, last year. According to the Local Democracy Reporting Service, the purchases will see the council collect £164,000 a year in rent for the gym in Penistone Road, which it bought for £2.5m. It will also receive £275,000 a year for the factory unit at Drake House Crescent, for which the council paid £3m. However, opposition groups have criticised the council for making investments outside its area. Alan Robinson, strategic lead for people and governance at West Lindsey District Council, told the BBC the potential income from rent and future resale would “enable further investment in West Lindsey to support services, economic regeneration and growth”. He added: “This income is vital in providing much-needed revenue for the council, supporting the continued provision of services in West Lindsey.” He said the council followed a stringent set of guiding principles before it made the investment.
Teesside-based restaurant to open dessert-only takeaway for third site after sales surge: Teesside-based restaurant The Vault is to open a takeaway that sells desserts only for its third site after noticing a surge in orders for its sweet treats. Owner Arran Addison launched The Vault in Marske in 2016 and with the restaurant “constantly turning people away”, he opened take-out The Vault Hatch to keep up with demand. Addison noticed almost “every single person” was ordering sweets and desserts to accompany their parmos and pizzas so he will launch Snackflix And Chill in Longbeck trading estate in the town on Tuesday, 21 August. Snackflix And Chill will sell treats such as milkshakes, locally sourced ice cream, cheesecake and other desserts, and US-imported sweets. Addison told Gazette Live: “We noticed a big gap in the market – we sell lots of sweets and cheesecakes. This will focus around family, kids and watching movies.”
Soren Jessen and workspace firm Fora open Scandinavian restaurant in Borough: Soren Jessen, who launched Ekte Nordic Kitchen in Bloomberg Arcade in the City of London in April, has teamed up with workspace firm Fora to launch a Scandinavian restaurant in Borough. Jessen has opened Borealis on the fifth floor of Borough Corner – a new development in Borough High Street that is also occupied by Fora. Borealis offers the “best of classic Nordic cooking”, focusing on seasonal, sustainable produce, much of it from nearby Borough Market, and marrying the “flavours of Nordic cooking and simple preparation with the freshest and finest local ingredients”. The restaurant also offers market specials, a daily changing menu and a roof terrace, Hot Dinners reports. Fora operates two workspace venues in the Clerkenwell area, with its website listing a venue as “coming soon” in Reading alongside eight other London sites including ones in Fitzrovia, Soho and Shoreditch. Jessen, a former executive director of Goldman Sachs and UBS, left his City of London job to launch debut restaurant 1 Lombard Street in 1998.
Seafood and champagne brand Fisk to launch lounge-style bar in Cheshire for third site: Seafood and champagne brand Fisk is to launch a lounge-style bar concept in Prestbury, Cheshire, for its third site. The company made its debut in Harrogate in 2016, opening a second bar restaurant ten months ago in Prestbury. Fisk will turn that site into a sit-down restaurant only and launch Pol Roger Champagne Lounge at a nearby former Co-operative Food store in the autumn. Fisk managing director Stuart Williams told So Cheshire: “Since opening in Prestbury it became clear we needed extra space for our customers to enjoy pre-dinner and after-dinner drinks. We decided to convert the restaurant into seating only and move the bar into a vacant property. We believe the lounge-style bar will complement our restaurant and showcase our partners further in the village.” Co-owner and chef Kanyana Williams added: “We’ve had tremendous support from locals. Fisk has also attracted diners from further afield and we need more room.” In February, the Williams said they were looking for sites in the Home Counties for expansion, with plans to expand internationally.
BabaBoom starts expansion by opening at former Des McDonald site in Islington: Middle Eastern restaurant concept BabaBoom has started expansion by opening its second site, in Islington, north London. The 1,500 square foot site in Upper Street was previously operated by Des McDonald under his Vintage Salt brand. BabaBoom’s 70-cover restaurant continues the concept’s focus on Middle Eastern-inspired kebabs made from scratch and cooked over coal, with the addition of its own draught brew, Baba’s Beer. BabaBoom opened its debut 42-cover site in Battersea Rise in autumn 2016. As a stepping stone to the new launch, the company operated BabaBoom East – a six-month residency at Deliveroo Editions in Whitechapel. Co-founder Eve Bugler said: “We have created something special in Battersea Rise and now it’s time to bring it to Upper Street. It’s a competitive market but we like that – it spurs us on. As a former Islington resident, I’m really excited about launching in the neighbourhood.”
St Peter’s Brewery credits alcohol-free beer for ‘turning company around’ as it plans four-fold expansion: Suffolk-based St Peter’s Brewery has credited its 0.0% alcohol craft beer Without for “turning the company around” as it plans to quadruple production to cope with demand. The company has acquired land and added a bottling line funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development. St Peter’s Brewery launched Without Original in July 2016 and has added Without Gold and Without Organic since. The brands make up 30% of the brewery’s overall sales. Chief executive Steve Magnall said: “Without has turned the brewery around and taken us into profit in less than two years. With the new bottling line up and running, capacity at the brewery can grow from four million bottles a year to 16 million to meet growing demand for the product. There’s a huge demand for alcohol-free beer and, because we got in there early, we are leading the way.”
Nando’s launches agency review: Nando’s has launched a review of its advertising agency requirements for the second time in as many years. The company has sent out a request for information to agencies with the review in its early stages. Nando’s opted to hire Adjust Your Set following its last review in autumn 2016 when it chose to move into content publishing instead of hiring an agency to create more conventional, above-the-line ads. It is not clear whether Nando’s is now looking for an above-the-line ad agency to work alongside Adjust Your Set or replace it, reports Campaign. The review comes shortly after Nando’s completed a UK media agency pitch in which Essence won the business from seven-year incumbent Havas Media.
Access Group appoints product director for hospitality division: Software provider Access Group has appointed Dr Mat Wood to the newly created role of product director for its rapidly expanding hospitality division. Wood has more than 20 years of commercial software product experience, including the past two years as head of products for Zonal. In his new role he will look to close the gap between strategic, tactical and commercial goals working with the team to deliver on the customer product promise. He said: “Working with our five best-of-breed product teams, I will help to produce a market-leading hospitality software suite. Together we will ensure we both continue to help our customers maximise efficiencies and growth opportunities, and to deliver on our product promises.” Access Group’s hospitality division has more than 1,300 customers to date.