BrewDog to extend franchise agreement with Red’s to four new sites: Scottish brewer and retailer BrewDog is to extend its franchise agreement with smokehouse brand Red’s True Barbecue to four further sites, Propel has learned. The two groups that first teamed up at the BrewDog site in Call Lane, Leeds, will open new sites over the coming months in Headingley, Lincoln, Huddersfield and Bradford. In each, BrewDog will open a bar, with Red’s overseeing the kitchen operation. The Headingley site will see a conversion of the existing Red’s site, while the two companies will also take over the Brew Haus sites in Bradford, Lincoln and Huddersfield. Early this summer, Red’s, which was founded by James Douglas and Scott Munro, launched a site focused on takeaway food in Wilmslow Road, Fallowfield. The group’s other sites are in Leeds, Manchester, Nottingham and Leicester. A BrewDog spokesperson told Propel: “We are delighted to be entering a new phase in our long partnership with James and Scott at Red’s True Barbecue, previously their team have supplied the food to our Call Lane, Leeds, bar and took over the food operation of our Leicester bar in 2018. We love working with James, Scott and the Red’s team and are excited to start opening four new BrewDog franchise locations over the coming months.” Tokyo Industries, the bar and nightclub operator led by Aaron Mellor, invested in Red’s last summer.
Pret appoints Laura Grant as new global procurement director: Pret A Manger, the JAB Holdings-owned brand, has appointed Laura Grant, formerly of Virgin Atlantic, as its new global procurement director, Propel has learned. Grant joins Pret after almost 14 years at Virgin Atlantic, most recently as vice-president of strategic projects, where she oversaw a portfolio of initiatives across Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Holidays. Speaking last week, Pret A Manger chief executive Pano Christou said the coronavirus pandemic had given him the licence to “rip up the rule book” and “take some risks” as he bids to turn around its fortunes. The company’s mantra, according to Christou, had been to follow the skyscrapers and “now we need to follow the people”.
San Carlo Group reports ‘much more positive trading than forecast’ since reopening, secures loan to strengthen balance sheet: San Carlo Group has reported trade has been “much more positive than forecast” since reopening while the business has secured a bank loan to strengthen its balance sheet as a result of the covid-19 pandemic. The company, which operates the San Carlo and Fumo restaurants, said it had – and would continue to – make use of the government’s furlough scheme until it closes at the end of October. Writing in the company’s accounts for the year ending 30 September 2019, the directors stated: “Detailed forecasts and cash flow projections have been prepared up to September 2021, the group is constantly reviewing and updating these based on capacity levels, trends, and changing government guidelines. Based on these assumptions and forecasts, following the pandemic outbreak, the group/company has agreed a bank loan repayable over four years, to further strengthen the balance sheet and provide sufficient headroom for the next 12 months, as well as providing additional funding to take advantage to the opportunities that may arise.” The company report turnover for the year ending 30 September 2019 increased to £59m, compared with £54m the previous year following a full 12 months’ trading for San Carlo in London’s Regent Street and rooftop restaurant Alto at Selfridges in the capital. Pre-tax profit rose to £1.8m, compared with £3,700 the year before. The group operates circa 20 sites across the UK.
Street Feast founder brings together London chefs under one roof for workspace and restaurant concept in Shoreditch: Dominic Cools-Lartigue, the founder of street food market concept, Street Feast, is bringing together some of London’s top chefs together under one roof in Shoreditch. The Tramshed Project is a “membership-free destination for co-working, eating and learning” that will launch on Friday, 9 October. The site will feature a workspace, kitchens serving a diverse range of food from around the world, and a 2,000 square foot basement gallery that will play host to a line-up of curated events, residencies, talks and workshops. Cools-Lartigue will be working with chefs including Zoe Adjonyoh, James Cochran, Andrew Clarke and Daniel Watkins in the grade II-listed property in Rivington Street, which was previously home to Mark Hix’s Tramshed restaurant. Adjonyoh has devised a menu of Ghanaian cuisine inspired by traditional recipes and featuring flavours and ingredients from across West Africa; Cochran – owner and head chef at 12:51 – will be on-site serving a selection of fried, jerk-infused treats, and there will also be a menu of smoked meats and plant-based dishes from Clarke and Watkins. All of the menus can be enjoyed in The Tramshed Project’s main hall – a dining space with seating for up to 120 people. Upstairs, the building’s “Library” will also have space for up to 40 people around a kitchen counter that will play host to food and drink-pairing events and collaborative dinners and takeovers with chefs. Cools-Lartigue said: “Among the many lessons of lock-down, we learned the power of purpose. We heard countless tales of communities coming together to do good and help their neighbours in need. That same spirit of togetherness is at the heart of our approach to opening The Tramshed Project.” The Tramshed Project, which will have covid-safety measures in place, will also become a local food hub distributing food to vulnerable people through local charities in Hackney.
Hotel Chocolat sees profit melt away as it counts costs of pandemic: Hotel Chocolat has seen profits melt away as it counts the cost of the pandemic. The company, which operates circa 130 stores, reported a pre-tax loss of £7.5m for the year to 28 June, compared with a profit of £14.1m the year before. It was dragged into the red after writing down the value of assets by £10m due to the “current disruption”. Sales had been up by 14% in the first half of the year, but tumbled by 14% in the second half, which included the key Easter period when stores were closed. More recent trading showed how sales have shifted towards online, with digital demand up 150% over the summer. Meanwhile, the company has closed five sites in commuter locations due to reduced footfall. It said there had been a drop in “impulse” sales, particularly in London. The group said it was in discussion with landlords “to find collaborative solutions to the ongoing disruption”. Co-founder and chief executive Angus Thirlwell said: “While uncertainty will continue for all of us in the coming year, our pipeline of potential growth opportunities has never been stronger. We are working hard to anticipate potential trading scenarios for the year ahead and are planning prudently to be ready to adapt quickly and effectively as the situation evolves. I am confident the strategic progress we have achieved over the past year will build a stronger business in the medium term with greater growth, profitability and brand appeal.”
The Coal Shed to reopen with new menu from ex-Hawksmoor chef and rare breeds farm tie-up: The Coal Shed will reopen on Thursday (1 October) boasting a new menu from former Hawksmoor chef Lewis Hannaford and a partnership with Lake District Farmers. New head chef Hannaford has more than 25 years’ experience in kitchens, including a role as executive chef at the Hawksmoor Group. Diners can expect to see dishes such as Lake District lamb grilled rump with glazed hot pot and roasting juices; smoked beef short rib for two with garlic-fried potatoes, barbecued hispi and autumn slaw; and Robata-grilled scallops, yuzu caramel, shaved fennel and apple salad. These mains will be joined by a range of small plates, including sea bream crudo with horseradish buttermilk, nori oil and kohlrabi; smoked pork belly with burnt onion raita and padron pepper jam; and Korean-fried chicken with fermented chilli mayo and pickles. The restaurant’s new partnership with Lake District Farmers will see rare and heritage breed cuts delivered to the restaurant daily. Dishes come served from an open kitchen that showcases the specialist charcoal cooking The Coal Shed is famed for. This is the final site to reopen from the Raz Helalat Black Rock Restaurant Group, which also owns The Salt Room and the original The Coal Shed in Brighton.