Anglian County Inns secures £3.3m to safeguard business: Anglian Country Inns, the pub and restaurant operator led by James Nye, has secured £3.3m through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) from Cynergy Bank. The loan will be used by Anglian Country Inns, which operates nine pubs throughout Hertfordshire and Norfolk, to refinance existing debt and provide emergency working capital funding caused by the impact of coronavirus. While the government guarantee is for six years, Cynergy Bank is amortising the loan over a 25-year period. Nye said: “We were delighted to have completed the CBILS funding of both Anglian Country Inns and our sister-company The Farmhouse, which together means we are able to protect the business and ensure we come out of the pandemic stronger than ever.” Steve Crosswell, relationship director, hospitality, Cynergy Bank, added: “The Nye family has built a robust and solid business with high-performing assets and it typifies all that is good in a family-led business.”
Inception sets our reopening plans, £25,000 bar tab for NHS workers spread across sites: Inception Group, which owns and operates concepts including Cahoots and Mr Foggs, will begin the reopening of its estate with Mr Fogg’s Residence in Mayfair on Saturday (4 July), as it announced a £25,000 bar tab for NHS workers spread across its sites as part of its relaunch plans. The company will follow up the opening in Mayfair with the reopening of Mrs Fogg’s in the City on Monday, 6 July; Mr Fogg’s House of Botanicals (Fitzrovia – ground floor only) and Cahoots Ticket Hall (Soho) on 9 July; Mr Fogg’s Tavern (Covent Garden) on 16 July; Barts (Chelsea) on 23 July; Mr Fogg’s Gin Parlour (Covent Garden), Mr Fogg’s House of Botanicals (Fitzrovia – in full), Mrs Fogg’s (The City – in full), Cahoots Underground (Soho) and Cahoots Control Room (Soho) on 3 September; and Mr Fogg’s Society of Exploration (Covent Garden) on 1 October. From October onwards the company will also look to reopen Bunga Bunga (Battersea) Bunga Bunga (Covent Garden) and Maggie’s (Chelsea). The company said NHS workers can expect the “warmest of welcomes”, with a £25,000 bar tab spread across its reopened sites as a thank you for their “phenomenal response to the pandemic”. NHS workers will simply show their identification badges at any of the company’s establishments to take part and the tab will be open for them to claim a free drink every day until the sum is reached. Charlie Gilkes, co-founder of Inception Group, said: “These have been the most challenging times that we, as a business, and the hospitality sector in general, have ever faced. However, no industry has been more critical, or worked harder under immense pressure during this period than our NHS, so we would like to reward their extraordinary efforts.” The company said its reopening plans also include adapting working practices and spaces to create “covid-secure” socialising environments, which will involve the introduction of temperature checks for staff, hand sanitation dispensers at key points throughout the venues, as well as rigorous cleaning routines and a one-way system for entry and exit where possible.
McDonald’s announces electric vehicle charging points plan: McDonald’s has announced plans to install hundreds of electric vehicle charging points at its UK sites. Diners will be able to plug their vehicles into the new ports, which can provide up to an 80% charge in under 20 minutes, the company said. In research commissioned by McDonald’s, more than half of people who do not own an electric car said that a lack of convenient charging points was a barrier to them switching. Two thirds said they would reconsider if there was better coverage. McDonald’s UK and Ireland chief executive Paul Pomroy told PA: “Appetite for electric vehicles, which will be a central part of the UK’s efforts to build back greener post covid-19, is growing. This ambition takes advantage of our scale, and is a real step forward for those already driving electric vehicles, as well as people considering making the switch. With more than 1,300 restaurants our ambition would mean you would never be far from a charging point. Our ultimate ambition is to have more electric vehicle charging points on our premises than any other company in the UK and Ireland.”
Comptoir Group sets out initial reopening plans: Comptoir Group, the owner and operator of Lebanese and eastern Mediterranean restaurants, has announced it will begin the reopening of its estate, with 12 sites opening under its Comptoir Libanais brand on Saturday (4 July). Its sites in South Kensington; Westfield London; Westfield Stratford; London Bridge; Duke of York Square, Chelsea; Gloucester Road; Kingston; Birmingham; Manchester; Cheshire Oaks; Ashford; and Broadgate Circle, will open on Saturday, while its site in Liverpool Street will open on Monday, 6 July. Founder Tony Kitous said: “The past three months have been very difficult for everyone, we now hope we can get back to normal life.” The company began the reopening of its Comptoir Libanais estate for delivery and takeaway earlier this month. It reopened its site in London’s Gloucester Road for delivery and takeaway through Deliveroo and UberEats.
Hawksmoor set out reopening plan, at-home offer to go nationwide: Hawksmoor, the Graphite Capital-backed, steak house concept, has said it plans to have all of its eight eponymous sites reopened by the start of September. The company intends to reopen its site at Borough first on 9 July for weekday dinners and all day at the weekend. The group said its intention was to “learn as much as possible about how to run restaurants brilliantly under the new guidelines and then apply those lessons to the rest of the restaurants, giving each reopening the attention it deserves”. The company plans to reopen its Manchester site on 16 July; Seven Dials on 21 July; Spitalfields on 24 July; Air Street on 28 July; Knightsbridge 31 July; Edinburgh on 6 August; and finally its Guildhall site on 1 September. Since the announcement of its reopening plan, the company subsequently said it was completely booked on day one, 96% booked for week one, and 50% for month one. The company has also expanded its Hawksmoor at Home offer nationwide, giving consumers the opportunity to order a delivery box containing fresh ingredients and a cookbook to “recreate the Hawksmoor experience at home”. The boxes will be limited to 500 per week over the next six weeks via the Hawksmoor website, and the business has said there was scope to expand the range if it proves successful. Co-founder Will Beckett said: “The past few months have been intensely busy working out how to survive this crisis, support our staff and organisations doing incredible work feeding front line workers and people in need in the communities we work in, and thinking about how to reopen all of our restaurants. We could have perhaps done it quicker, but our very clear preference is to focus on doing it as well as possible. We are lucky to have restaurants where social distancing is relatively easy, to have been able to consult with government on the guidance over the past months, and to have the resources to ensure we go above and beyond to ensure we are ‘covid-secure’. We believe customers are likely to want Hawksmoor to do what it has always done and offer people a haven from the outside world, where you can be comfortable with the people you’re eating and drinking with. If we learn differently, we will adapt.”
Various Eateries updates on reopening plans for Coppa, Strada and Tavolino: Various Eateries, the Hugh Osmond-backed group, has further updated on its reopening programme, adding a further two Coppa Club sites for reopening on Saturday (4 July). The company had already announced it would open its Coppa Club site in Tower Bridge on Saturday. It will now also reopen its Coppa sites in Sonning and Streatley on the same day. The company is also introducing a program of regular events for locals, starting with “special cinema screenings”. Meanwhile, Strada Southbank will open on 10 July for takeaway and dine-in. The group’s new Italian restaurant Tavolino opens at More London Riverside after a delay of almost three months on 31 July. A spokesman for Various Eateries said: “Coppa Club Henley, Maidenhead and Brighton as well as 31Below in Marylebone will be opening as soon as possible but the exact dates are still to be confirmed – we can only do so much well at a time, and the above openings will enable us to gauge the market to make the right decision for each site.”
Homeslice to reopen four sites this weekend: London-based better pizza brand Homeslice has announced it will reopen four of its six restaurants on Saturday (4 July)for dine in. The group, which has been offering delivery and collection out of selected sites during lock-down, will reopen its sites in White City, the City, Shoreditch and Marylebone. No decision has yet been made on when it will reopen its sites in Covent Garden and Fitzrovia.
UberEats – Lock-down accelerated goal of ordering on delivery apps becoming ‘an everyday habit’: Toussaint Wattinne, general manager for UberEats in the UK and Ireland, has said lock-down measures accelerated the firm’s goal of ordering on food delivery apps becoming “an everyday habit” for Brits. Talking to City AM, Wattinne said orders on UberEats had jumped significantly since lock-down began, rising by more than 160%, while the number of new restaurants on the delivery firm’s UK platform almost doubled in the past four months to a total of 17,000, as smaller independent venues aimed to take the place of larger chains that were forced to close. Coffee orders made via the app have increased 149%, with brands such as Caffe Nero, Pret A Manger and Black Sheep joining the app. “What we’ve seen is we’ve been a solution that restaurants, consumers, and couriers turn to, which has impacted the business in a way that has accelerated [Uber’s] growth both globally and in the UK,” Wattinne said. “We’ve seen meaningful improvements in a number of areas, such as basket size. Some of these have continued [to improve] during lock-down, so we’re making improvements in the right areas.” He added while UberEat’s performance was impacted in the immediate aftermath of lock-down measures forcing restaurants to close, the subsequent demand from consumers and local hotspots has more than made up for it. Expansion plans in the UK were put on hold as the coronavirus crisis worsened, but have recently restarted. Wattinne said the firm opened for business in ten new towns last week.
Voodoo Ray’s and Camden Town Brewery among operators to open sites within new multi-purpose Manchester venue: Gourmet pizza company Voodoo Ray’s and Camden Town Brewery are among the operators to be opening sites in a new multi-purpose space launching in Manchester next month. Broadwick Venues, which operates Printworks London and is a subsidiary of festival specialist Broadwick Live, is launching Escape to Freight Island, in Baring Street. The venue will be home to a number of different bars, restaurants, food trucks, with retail space and a bike park. There will be a 1970s New York-inspired roller disco, a hidden high-fi audio bar, which will transform into a karaoke venue called Queen Samantha’s, and a retro arcade games corridor. Escape to Freight Island will also host a diverse, ticketed events programme 12 hours-a-day. Among the first traders on board will be London-based Voodoo Ray’s, which will launch a northern outpost following its outlets in Peckham and Dalston and a second site for Madre, the Mexican taqueria concept from Breddos Tacos founders Nud Dudhia and Chris Whitne and the founders of Liverpool restaurants Belzan and Volpi. Escape to Freight Island will also be Camden Town Brewery’s biggest collaboration outside of London, launching a boutique craft ale bar in partnership with Salford’s inimitable Pomona Island brewery. This will run alongside a specialist wine bar, and a cocktail space from the team behind Ancoats’ neighbourhood bar The Jane Eyre. The first area to open in mid-July will be dubbed “Platform 15”, a nod to neighbouring Piccadilly station. It has been designed with social distancing in mind with table slots of three hours being pre-booked. The launch of phase two is planned for August, increasing capacity to 1,000 people with social distancing measures remaining in place. Once restrictions are lifted, the venue will switch up to a capacity of 2,500 people.
Leon becomes first restaurant business to sign up to environment commitment:Natural fast food brand Leon has become the first restaurant company to sign up to all 14 commitments put forward by the Council for Sustainable Business (CSB), which is calling on firms to protect and improve the environment. The CSB was established two years ago at the request of the government, with John Vincent, chief executive and co-founder of Leon, appointed as chairman, to “act as sounding board, challenger, critic, innovator and advisor”. Joining a virtual meeting of more than 200 business leaders, Leon, along with some of the largest businesses in the UK, has signed up to a set of 14 commitments that encourage businesses to do more, by reporting on and reducing their greenhouse gas emissions and furthering their work to support biodiversity. The commitments focus on the steps being taken to advance a sustainable, green future and the need to take extraordinary actions to cut carbon emissions and restore nature and wildlife over the next ten years, driving a “decade of difference” for climate change and nature. Vincent said: “Young people are asking what action companies and governments are taking to save life on our planet. As chief executive of Leon and as the founding chair of the CSB I owe it to my daughters to answer this question. Business leaders can start by signing up to the CSB commitments. And by getting other leaders to do the same. And to do so soon. Business is not separate from nature. It is part of nature. We have a choice to destroy our planet or to save it.”
Black and White Hospitality to bring Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar & Grill brand to Salisbury: Black and White Hospitality, which owns the rights to restaurant brands belonging to Marco Pierre White, is to open a new restaurant in Salisbury, Wiltshire. The 80-cover Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar & Grill will be located at The Stones Hotel and will start to welcome customers towards the end of the summer. Replacing the hotel’s on-site restaurant, the move follows a deal between Black and White Hospitality and David Matton who took ownership of the hotel in May 2013. Nick Taplin, chairman and chief executive of Black and White Hospitality, said: “The Steakhouse fits perfectly with the four-star environment of The Stones Hotel’s customer base and we’re excited to work alongside David and his team to get this new venue open as soon as possible.” Matton added: “We’re delighted to have someone of Marco’s calibre open one of his restaurants here at The Stones Hotel. It’s an exciting addition that will, we believe, offer a first-class dining experience and is perfect for the stunning location of the hotel.”
Apostrophe founder to reopen both Delamina sites for dine-in on Saturday, receives ‘overwhelming’ booking response: Apostrophe founder Amir Chen is to reopen both of his Delamina sites for dine-in on Saturday (4 July). Measures to ensure its eponymous venue in Marylebone and Delamina East in Shoreditch offer a safe environment for its teams and guests include greater spacing of tables, rigorous cleaning, thermal temperature reading of all staff on entry, and the introduction of “contact-light” service procedures. It is expected more extensive outside seating will be available in the coming weeks. Both its weekend brunch and main services will resume, with menus offering all its signature dishes as well as seasonal specials. Since online booking was opened on Friday (26 June), Chen told Propel the response had been “overwhelming”, with a number of services already fully booked. Both restaurants will also offer an expanded delivery service, which includes a large deli selection of dips, roasted vegetables and house spices. Chen and wife Limor opened Delamina in 2018 following a residency at Shoreditch House. The couple’s first restaurant opened as Strut & Cluck in Shoreditch in 2016 but has since been converted to become Delamina East. Chen founded Apostrophe in 2004 and was chief executive until the company was acquired by CH&Co in 2016, remaining as an advisor until leaving to launch the restaurants.
McVeigh, Sethi and Bandura join new Tamweel advisory panel: Draft House founder Charlie McVeigh, JKS Restaurants co-founder and chief executive Jyotin Sethi and ex-Carluccio’s and Gaucho chief financial officer Frank Bandura have joined the new advisory panel launched by sector advisor Tamweel, Propel has learned. Tamweel said the new panel will provide its clients with access to a “mix of additional skills, a wide network of highly valued relationships and individuals with an exceptional track record in brand building, marketing and communications; finance, operations and restructuring; and strategy, investment, growth and exit”. The panel also features Richard Hilton, entrepreneur and founder of Gymbox; Simon Havers, former chairman of the British Private Equity and Venture Capital Association, and previously chief executive of one of Europe’s leading private equity funds; and Ann Elliott, founder and chief executive of leading marketing and communications business Elliotts. Ali Aneizi, Tamweel’s founder, said: “I am excited to welcome the panel members to the Tamweel family. Like our clients, they’ve been on the front line as founders, entrepreneurs and operators. Between them they have grown, advised and sold some of the best leisure and hospitality brands in the market. Having them on board will allow us to deliver a suite of advisory solutions to our clients, addressing the many needs faced by the sector in an increasingly complex environment. We’re fired up, committed and ready to play a part in the recovery; to support the best brands and operators get back in the saddle, back in the game and back to growth.”
London Shell Co outlines plans to reopen floating restaurants: Independent seafood restaurant London Shell Co has outlined plans to reopen both its floating restaurants on the Regents Canal at Paddington. The Grand Duchess, its static restaurant, will reopen to customers on Saturday (4 July), with a special oyster bar on the towpath as well as fish and chips to takeaway. It will then open for lunch and dinner from Tuesday, 7 July. Meanwhile, cruising lunches and dinners on The Prince Regent will start again on Friday, 10 July. Both boats have had table numbers reduced, with social distancing in place. Since closing the boasts on 17 March, London Shell Co has been delivering “Seashore to Front Door” boxes and more recently turned The Grand Duchess into a shop selling wet fish, pre-prepared meals, gourmet sandwiches, flowers, draft beer and wine.
Staycity secures planning permission for fourth Manchester site: Aparthotel operator Staycity has secured planning permission for the development of its fourth property in Manchester, in the city’s Deansgate area. The 21-storey, 310-apartment scheme, being developed by Ask Real Estate, will consist of 246 studios and 64 one-bedroom apartments with a gym and laundrette. Simon Walford, UK director of development at Staycity, said: “It’s an exciting time for Staycity in Manchester, as we further expand our portfolio and this property will be positioned in a strategic location on one of the city’s most important streets. Manchester is a hugely important location for Staycity, with its eclectic blend of business and leisure guests and its vibrant arts and cultural scene.” In 2017 Staycity opened a 182-apartment property at Manchester Piccadilly while another two Staycity properties are under development in the city – one in the Northern Quarter and another in St Peter’s Square. The latter will become a Wilde Aparthotel by Staycity, the group’s premium brand.
Everard Cole expands coverage as it appoints new director: Property agent Everard Cole has expanded its coverage with the appointment of James Boshier as a director. Boshier will be based out of Leeds, covering the north of England. He is an experienced licensed property specialist holding senior roles in both private practice and with various pub companies. Everard Cole founder Tom Nichols said: “It is clear, from the past couple of months, how integral property costs are to the viability and profitability of hospitality businesses. James strengthens our existing team at a crucial time for the hospitality sector.”