Vanessa Hall appointed interim Vapiano chief executive, in running for role full time: Vanessa Hall is in the running to become chief executive of restaurant group Vapiano after Cornelius Everke announced he would resign for personal reasons on Saturday, 31 August. Everke’s employment has been terminated by mutual consent and the company’s supervisory board intends to appoint current chairman Hall in the interim to replace him. Hall’s new position relies on her being reappointed to the supervisory board in the company’s annual general meeting but she has declared she is prepared to run the company until at least the end of April 2020. The supervisory board said it would immediately initiate a structured process for the appointment of a new chief executive in which Hall would “also be considered as a candidate for long-term succession”. The board said it would also extend Lutz Scharpe’s term as chief financial offer to June 2023. Everke became chief operating officer in May 2018 to manage the rapid growth of the fast casual restaurant concept in international markets. Following the resignation of Jochen Halfmann, he assumed responsibility as chief executive in December 2018, where he contributed to the company’s completion of its refinancing and strategic repositioning and led Vapiano into its current phase of “implementing optimisation measures on the basis of a restructuring concept validated by an independent expert”. Everke said he deemed Vapiano to be “well positioned in the current strategic transition phase”, but at the same time he had come to the conclusion he would be unable to “contribute as planned his specific experience and competence in the field of expanding international markets for the benefit of the company in the foreseeable future”. He said: “We have set the course for Vapiano’s successful future. I wish the company and Vanessa Hall, with whom I have worked well and trustingly together, every success.” Hinrich Stahl, vice-chairman of Vapiano’s supervisory board, said: “I would like to thank Cornelius Everke for his services, in particular in the intense recent phase. We are happy Vanessa has declared her readiness to lead the company as chief executive and have great confidence she, Lutz Scharpe and Johann Stohner, who joined as chief transformation officer on 1 July, will successfully shape the future.” Vapiano operates 233 restaurants in 33 countries.
S Group hits double figures as it acquires renowned kosher restaurant Reubens, further sites in pipeline: Restaurateur Lee Landau, who operates kosher venues across London under his Jewish restaurant vehicle S Group, has acquired Reubens in Baker Street. S Group’s portfolio consists of three sites for healthy cafe concept Soyo, in Golders Green, Edgware and Borehamwood; four venues for pizza and milkshake concept Pizaza, in Hendon, Golders Green, Edgware and Borehamwood; a delicatessen in Hampstead serving modern Middle Eastern cuisine; and Pita, a Middle Eastern street food store in Golders Green. The group said it had further sites under development it plans to launch in the “coming months”. Agent Davis Coffer Lyons was instructed to sell Reubens, the last kosher restaurant operating in the West End, after it closed in June following 46 years due to a family bereavement. The 3,376 square foot site has been sold on a new A3 lease, quoting rental offers in the region of £125,000 per annum exclusive. The restaurant is arranged over the ground and basement floors of a four-storey terraced Victorian building. S Group intends to give the iconic venue a face-lift and develop a restaurant downstairs at a later date. Landau said: “We are thrilled to give Reubens another lease of life while maintaining the integrity of this well-loved institution.” Jonathan Moradoff, director, agency and leasing at Davis Coffer Lyons, added: “Lee has a highly regarded reputation in kosher cuisine, which puts him in a fantastic position to capitalise on the following Reubens has established over so many decades.”
Metropolitan Pub Company ops director to join Punch: Robin Belither, operations director at Greene King’s Metropolitan Pub Company division, is to join the operations team at Punch. Belither, an expert in retail and managed operations, joined Metropolitan Pub Company in March 2013 as operations manager, moving up to his present position in February this year. Before that he worked for ETM Group, which he joined from River Cottage in Devon in June 2010. Punch chief executive Clive Chesser said: “This is a really exciting time for Punch and we are looking forward to the future as we continue to build a bold and dynamic business. I’m looking forward to welcoming Robin to the team. He brings with him a wealth of knowledge and expertise in the hospitality sector, which will help us further deliver our plans, adding significant value to our publicans running pubs across the UK.”
Five Guys submits plans to show movies at new Worcester restaurant: Better burger brand Five Guys has submitted an application to show movies at its new restaurant that is opening in Cathedral Square, Worcester. The application is for various licensable activities and has gone to public consultation. Among the activities, the restaurant is applying to show films every day from 8am until 11.30pm and sell alcohol from 11am until 11pm. There is also a proposal to provide “late-night refreshment” from 11pm until midnight on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Five Guys has applied to open at Unit A3, 1 Cathedral Square, which is a unit first earmarked for burger rival Byron. The Byron site was due to open in 2017 alongside Miller & Carter, YO! Sushi, All Bar One, PizzaExpress and Ask Italian when the redevelopment was complete. However, the unit has remained empty since. Earlier this month Five Guys added five further sites to its UK openings pipeline as it remains on track to open 15 restaurants this calendar year. The company, which recently opened in Bromley and London’s Portobello Road, has lined up launches in Ashford Designer Village and Resorts World Birmingham before the end of the year. It is on-site in the Drake’s Circus scheme in Plymouth and has others secured in Market Street, Cambridge, and Gloucester Quays, as well as the Worcester venue. The company is also thought to be in negotiations on three more central London sites. Earlier this summer Five Guys JV, the UK joint venture between Sir Charles Dunstone and Five Guys founders Janie and Jerry Murrell and their three sons, reported turnover rose 23% to £149.6m in the year to 28 December 2018.
Darwin & Wallace announces name of eighth site: Darwin & Wallace, the “collection of independent sustainable bars located in quintessential London villages”, has announced the name of its eighth location. No 35 Mackenzie Walk will open on the waterfront in Canary Wharf in October. Mel Marriott, managing director and founder of Darwin & Wallace, said: “Our eighth site is at a tremendous waterside location in the heart of Canary Wharf and marks another exciting chapter as we move east, continuing our aspiration to create uniquely designed bars with a home from home aesthetic that forms the perfect backdrop for socialising from morning coffee to nightcap and everything in between. We are proud to have been invited to become part of Canary Wharf life and look forward to opening in the autumn.” Regarding the drinks offering, Darwin & Wallace brand manager Jessica Closs said: “It is a fantastic time to be in the business of food and drink. Our guests are becoming more and more astute and the diversification in all categories, in particular softs and low ABV, is proving exciting. Sustainable choices, syrups and purees made in-house where possible, seasonal refreshes and brands with a great story are just a few of the things we look forward to sharing with our new Canary Wharf neighbourhood.”
Sukho Group supported by four new directors following MBO: Sukho Group, the parent company of the Sukhothai and Zaap Thai restaurant brands, is being supported by four new directors following its partial management buyout, Propel has learned. Founders Gerrard Marks and Yupha (Ban) Kaewkraikhot are now supported by Waikoon (Tui) Kornlup (customer service), Simon Carter (commercial), Matthew Robertshaw (finance) and Chris Hammond (operations). Support will also come from the rest of the senior management team – Samran (Rung) Keawmoon (area chef), Manjit Dosanjh (purchasing), Greg Callaghan (marketing) and Tassana (Pat) Buckley (site manager). BDO acted as corporate finance and tax adviser during the buyout, including a fund-raise via HSBC to support the transaction. In the past four years Sukho Group has seen its turnover increase 136% with the help of site openings. In the current year the group has reported a like-for-like sales increase of 7.5%. In the same period the group has seen Ebitda grow 130% to circa £2.5m for the year ending March 2019. Sukho Group commercial director Simon Carter said: “The success of the group over the last few years has been down to the hard work of every team member in every restaurant striving to provide the best experience possible for all our customers. Alongside this the strategy of finding the right sites at the right rents has ensured we have stayed on a stable financial footing and puts the company in a strong position for the future.” Founded in 2002, the brand has grown from its debut site in Chapel Allerton to four Sukhothai restaurants in Yorkshire alongside Thai street food brand Zaap, which has branches in Leeds, Nottingham and Newcastle, with an opening in York in a few weeks.
Reel opens first West Yorkshire cinema as it debuts sweet shop and ice cream concepts, eyes ten openings in five years: Independent cinema operator Reel has opened a cinema in Wakefield city centre that also debuts a standalone sweet shop, Sweet Barrels, and an ice cream parlour. Reel Cinemas has opened at The Ridings shopping centre’s new leisure offering, working with owner NewRiver to repurpose three retail units on the upper mall. The 11,650 square foot space comprises five screens, while the opening has created 30 jobs. Reel Cinemas head of operations Muhammad Faisal told The Business Desk: “This is our 14th cinema and it opens at an exciting time for the business as we look to open a further ten cinemas across the UK in the next five years.” NewRiver asset manager David Charlton added: “The introduction of Reel Cinema in Wakefield demonstrates our commitment to innovation in our shopping centres and our ability to adeptly address the oversupply of retail by repurposing the units to accommodate exciting new uses.” Earlier this month Reel Cinemas reported turnover increased 2% to £11,204,693 for the year ending 27 December 2018, compared with £10,975,157 the year before. Operating profit was down to £1,085,815 compared with £2,017,560 the previous year, while pre-tax profit fell to £758,005, compared with £1,561,539 the year before. The family run, independent business opened its first cinema in Loughborough in 2001.
SSP launches craft beer concept at Singapore airport: SSP Group, the UK-based transport hub foodservice specialist, has launched a craft beer bar at Changi airport in Singapore after developing the concept with local brewer Archipelago. The concept, Archipelago Craft Brew House, has opened in Terminal 2 offering the brewer’s craft beer range, including Singapore Blonde Ale and Bohemian Lager. The range will change every six to eight months. SSP has also opened a site at the airport for Tai Cheong Bakery, which operates more than 20 outlets across Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan. The brand offers Asian-style baked goods and pastries, including Chinese doughnuts and egg tarts. It is the second Tai Cheong Bakery operated by SSP. Mark Angela, chief executive of SSP Asia Pacific, said: “We are delighted to work with Tai Cheong Bakery and Archipelago Brewery to further improve our F&B offer at Changi airport.”
Edwardian opens fifth site for The Kitchens concept: Edwardian Hotels London has opened a fifth site – and fourth in London – for The Kitchens concept. Bloomsbury Street Kitchen has launched in Bloomsbury Street offering Mediterranean and Japanese small plates alongside wine, sake and signature cocktails. The decor includes Italian glazed porcelain tiles and whitewashed brickwork. The 74-cover restaurant is split between 60 covers in the main dining area, eight on a semi-private dining table and six at the chef’s counter, which offers diners an opportunity to watch the kitchen team working at the raw bar. A lounge bar offers another 46 covers, while the garden seats 16. The other Kitchen sites are May Fair Kitchen, Monmouth Kitchen and Leicester Square Kitchen in London and Peter Street Kitchen in Manchester. Edwardian Hotels London also operates three London sites for restaurant brand Steak & Lobster and four for Scoff & Banter.
Sri Lankan concept Kolamba to launch in Soho: Sri Lankan concept Kolamba is to launch in Soho in the autumn. Owners Eroshen and Aushi Meewella grew up in Colombo and will bring to life recipes shared by their friends and family when the venue opens in Carnaby Street. The space will take inspiration from the Tropical Modernism movement, with greenery climbing the walls contrasting with brickwork, raw timber and polished cement surfaces. Kolamba is Sinhalese for “Colombo”, the Sri Lankan capital that offers diverse cuisine from the Sinhalese, Tamil, Muslim, Dutch and Malay communities. Dishes are designed to arrive at once to represent the feasting element of meals in Sri Lankan homes. Dishes will include fish cutlets (arancini-style balls filled with lightly spiced fish and potato) and patties inspired by tea-time snacks. Coconut will provide the base to many of the curries, including a southern black pepper prawn fry. The menu will feature many vegetarian and naturally vegan dishes, including pineapple curry. Sambols (fresh salad using local vegetables) will complement big plates to counterbalance richer flavours. Sri Lankan alcohol brands Lion Lager, Colombo 7 Gin and Rockland Ceylon Arrack will sit alongside cocktails on the drinks list.
Korean-inspired fast casual brand backed by Salt Yard Group co-founder hits 50% in £200,000 crowdfunding campaign: Scotland-based, Korean-inspired fast casual brand CombiniCo, which is backed by Salt Yard Group co-founder Sanja Moll, has hit the halfway mark in its £200,000 fund-raise on crowdfunding platform Crowdcube. Founded last year by former University of St Andrews students Alex Longson and Juno Lee, CombiCo operates two sites – one of which is a concession – in the Scottish town. Now it is looking to raise funds to open a flagship site in Edinburgh and develop a range of organic bottled tea. CombiniCo is offering 9.09% equity for the investment, giving the company a pre-money valuation of £2m. So far, 129 investors have pledged £107,070 with 16 days remaining. The pitch states: “During its first year the store generated more than £500,000 sales and £76,000 profit from what is a 20 square metre space with six seats. We have sold more than 70,000 of our signature BiniBowls.”
Cornwall pub freehold on market for £1.2m: A Cornwall pub that can trace its roots to the 13th century has been put on the market for £1.2m. The Old Ferry Inn in Bodinnick, near Fowey, is being promoted by agent Colliers International. Ed Jefferson, from Colliers International’s hotels team, said the owner only bought the hotel last summer and had carried out an extensive infrastructure refit but personal reasons had forced him to put the property up for sale. He said: “This genuine, characterful inn makes an ideal stopover for people taking one of the main walking routes that begin and end at the property and the steady stream of motorists heading further into the peninsula.” Bob Seabourne, the vendor, added: “I fell in love with the property the first time I saw it. The location is wonderful but sadly I have decided to sell up and return to Somerset.”
Stonegate closes last nightclub in Bradford’s West End: The last nightclub in Bradford’s once-thriving West End has closed – Stonegate Pub Company’s Flares venue. In recent years the area has seen the closure of Che Bar, Revolution, Love Apple, Walkabout, Livingstone’s, Brewhaus, Bierkeller and JD Wetherspoon’s The Sir Titus Salt. Jason Courcoux, general manager of Flares since 2012, said he had seen the West End change over the years leaving Flares as the “last club standing”. He said: “It was still very vibrant, the area was busy and there was a hell of a lot of trade on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The demographics of everywhere has changed slightly. It has changed around again because there’s a lot of openings in the Ivegate area. It seems to have moved areas but this was initially all built and earmarked for the late-night economy – it’s a shame it has all gone. We’ve seen every venue close, one by one.” Courcoux said there had been hopes of a late-night revival in the West End when new venues such as Brewhaus, Bierkeller and Tiki-O opened but they too closed. In an interview with the Bradford Telegraph & Argus earlier this year, Tokyo Industries boss Aaron Mellor, who ran the three venues as part of his Tokyo Industries chain, described trading in Bradford as “impossible” because of rating levels.
Former Bone Daddies head chef and Ella Canta manager open pasta workshop and restaurant in Old Street: Elia Sebregondi, former Bone Daddies head chef and sous chef at Kiln, and Enzo Mirto, ex-general manager of Mexican restaurant Ella Canta, have opened a pasta workshop and restaurant in Old Street, London. The duo, who are both from Naples, have launched Officina 00 offering regional Italian pasta dishes created in a “theatre kitchen” in front of diners. Two key regular dishes are occhi filled with braised pork Genovese, sour parsley and provolone; and orecchiette with peperoncini verde and almond pesto. The restaurant also offers freshly baked sourdough and Italian pastries, while the bar offers snacks such as fried ravioli and a drinks list featuring Italian red and white wine on tap and by the bottle alongside a range of Italian cocktails, reports Hot Dinners. Officina 00 has opened at the same new development that houses all-day cafe Tayer and Elementary, which launched in June.
Global Caterers Belfast opens fusion restaurant in Belfast: Global Caterers Belfast has opened a new concept offering Indian and Italian cuisine in Belfast city centre. Mumbai Milano launched from its premises in Wellington Place last week following a £500,000 investment. Fronted by Indian head chef, Jainal Abedin and Italian sous chef, Luigi Savarese, the 120-seater restaurant is open seven days a week. Located opposite the £70m Merchant Square office scheme, the restaurant’s menu includes traditional Indian curries, Italian pizza and pasta, and fusion options. Abedin, who has worked all over the world including Dubai, London and Jersey, said he is committed to using produce from Northern Ireland. “The location was a no-brainer for us, especially with the Merchant Square development across the way,” he said. “This part of the city centre is seeing an influx of new offices and student accommodation so there’s a market for more restaurants to cater for what is anticipated to be increased footfall. We have identified other sites across the city for potentially expanding the concept to a second location. However, we are entirely focused on Wellington Place for now. I’ve always had a desire to fuse Indian and Italian cuisine so when we decided to open the restaurant I knew exactly what to create.”
Pidgin owners reveal more details of King’s Cross sandwich bar concept: James Ramsden and Sam Herlihy, who operate London restaurant Pidgin, have revealed more details of Sons + Daughters, the sandwich bar concept they will launch at Coal Drops Yard in King’s Cross on Monday, 9 September. The 28-cover shop will be topped by a 40-seater terrace in Granary Square, while there will also be a six-seater counter plus banquette seating and standing stables. Breakfast will be served from 8am, while the lunch and dinner menu will feature six sandwiches, including the Chicken S+Dwich (Swaledale chicken, pickled cucumber, miso mayonnaise, green sauce, soy-cured parmesan, gem lettuce and wasabi cress served on white bloomer). Sides will include the S+D pickle plate and salads, while desserts will include soft serve ice cream. The evening bar menu will include bloomer finger sandwiches and snacks such as nuts, olives, crisps, onion rings and popcorn. Cocktails will include a bespoke BLT alongside soft drinks, fresh juice, beer and kegged wine. Ramsden and Herlihy closed Magpie in March.
Cru Holdings managers undertake training to tackle mental health in the workplace: The management team at Scotland-based operator Cru Holdings has undergone training to help tackle mental health issues in the workplace. In total, 13 members of staff attended the training delivered by Fiona MacAulay, of Highland Trauma Services. Cru Holdings managing director Scott Murray said: “Hospitality can be a high-stress industry and has a high incidence of alcohol overindulgence. Having reviewed mental health incidents within our business we felt it was important to ensure our management team had a greater understanding of why these issues occur and, importantly, how to deal with them when they do. We have now implemented a support network. Mental health training will become compulsory in the future but we felt it was important to tackle the issue ahead of this and look after the welfare of our employees.” Cru Holdings operates Inverness venues Scotch & Rye, Bar One, Prime, Angels’ Share, Dow’s Bar & Bistro and The Keg, as well as travel agency Inverness Travel and Falkirk bar High Spirits.
Joseph Holt strengthens family ties: The great-great-great grandson of the founder of Joseph Holt is now working alongside his sister at the north west brewer and retailer – the first time in the company’s 170-year history siblings from the Holt family have worked together. Andrew Kershaw, 29, has joined sister Jane and will train for six months in all aspects of the business. Jane, 33, is the first female member of the Holt family to have worked for the brewery and was recently crowned brewer of the year by the Institute of Brewing and Distilling. The Kershaws have both gained experience in other areas of the brewing industry in the UK and abroad before joining the family firm. Their father and chief executive Richard Kershaw said: “I am looking forward to continuing the tradition, especially since this is the first time in Holt’s history a set of siblings from the family have worked together.” Joseph Holt founded the brewery in 1849. It currently has 126 pubs, employs 930 people and will launch the UK’s first air-side micro-brewery, at Manchester airport’s new £1bn “super terminal” next spring.