SSP Group chief executive sees remuneration jump to almost £6.5m: Kate Swann, chief executive of UK transport hub foodservice specialist SSP Group, has seen her remuneration rise to nearly £6.5m for the year ending 30 September 2017, the company’s annual report has revealed. Swann received a total of £6,478,000, compared with £2,608,000 the year before. This included an annual bonus of £1,561,000 – 200% of salary – that was based on the company’s underlying group operating profit, which exceeded budget by 7.0%. The remainder of her remuneration consisted of £746,000 salary and fees, £66,000 in benefits, £275,000 pension, £3,829,000 in long-term incentives and £1,000 of “other” pay. Meanwhile, chief financial officer Jonathan Davies saw his total remuneration increase to £2,209,000, compared with £921,000 the previous year. This consisted of £413,000 salary and fees, £15,000 in benefits, £88,000 pension, £416,000 annual bonus, £1,276,000 in long-term incentives and £1,000 in “other” pay. Both Swann and Davies received a 2% salary increase from 1 June 2017, in line with the average salary increases awarded to UK employees who are paid on a monthly basis. This resulted in Swann’s salary increasing to £795,906 and Davies’ to £424,483.
Authentic Alehouses extends £5m crowdfunding campaign until March: Leeds-based Authentic Alehouses, led by Burning Night Group boss Allan Harper, has extended its £5m fund-raise on crowdfunding platform Crowdstacker. The company launched its funding bid in July to revive the fortunes of underperforming pubs by attracting a new generation of customers with a menu of “quality artisan food and drink, updated decor and a variety of entertainment”. It opened its first venue in November by relaunching The Albert Hotel in Hull following a £1m refurbishment. Authentic Alehouses is offering investors a 6.5% per annum interest rate through a peer-to-peer loan. Backers are also given the potential to earn income tax-free by investing via Crowdstacker’s Innovative Finance ISA. Authentic Alehouses’ campaign has so far raised £4,697,850. The next closing date is Monday, 5 March. Authentic Alehouses plans to use the capital to refurbish sites in prime locations, streamline and modernise its operation to cut waste, and introduce higher-quality food, a broader range of drinks, and more family-orientated entertainment.
Derbyshire-based multiple operator BKJ Leisure acquires first leased site as it takes on Star Pubs & Bars venue: Derbyshire-based multi-site operator BKJ Leisure has acquired its first leased pub following a new partnership with Star Pubs & Bars. BKJ Leisure, run by Barry and Karen Johnson and Luke Richards, has taken on The Hurt Arms in the village of Ambergate in Derbyshire. It is undertaking a joint £1m refurbishment with Star Pubs & Bars to turn it into a “top-quality country inn and wedding venue”. The Hurt Arms is BKJ Leisure’s first leased operation, while its other sites include The White Hart in Moorwood Moor – a country hotel and wedding venue – and The Horse & Jockey country inn and hotel in Wessington. The funds are being spent on a complete overhaul of the 19th century Hurt Arms. The interior is being reconfigured to include an expanded restaurant area, which will double the seating capacity to 120; a new zinc-covered central bar with cosy alcove and booth seating; and an 80-seater function room. Six boutique bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms are also being created. The kitchen is being upgraded to enable the pub to offer “top-quality gastro food” and cater for large numbers. There will be a wide selection of drinks including premium lager, craft ale, an extensive gin menu and cocktails made to order. Richards said: “It’s been a new experience working with a partner as we normally do everything ourselves. Hopefully this will be the first of a number of projects as we want to continue to expand with more properties throughout Derbyshire.”
Oakman to open fourth Beech House, in Amersham next month: Oakman Inns and Restaurants will open its fourth Beech House, in Amersham, Buckinghamshire, next month. The company has invested £1.7m to develop the pub and restaurant in Hill Avenue, creating 60 jobs. The restaurant, which will feature a Mediterranean-inspired menu including pizza and grilled fish as well as cocktails, will cater for 140 guests. Opening in late February, the venue will offer a “pavement cafe feel”, with alfresco seating. The four copper tanks by the bar will hold more than 1,000 pints of tank beer from London’s Meantime Brewery. A mezzanine floor above the main dining area will provide a private room for meetings and parties. General manager James Stanton will join the venue from The Beech House in Beaconsfield, which was Oakmans’ first venue for the concept. He told the MK Citizen: “I am really looking forward to introducing the local community to our new pub. I think we have managed to create a perfect blend of traditional pub comfort with a rich, contemporary feel.” Earlier this month, Oakman Inns and Restaurants reported like-for-like growth of 5.9% during the four-week Christmas trading period ending on 31 December 2017. The company operates 20 sites including its three other Beech House venues – in Beaconsfield, Solihull and St Albans.
Jones Bar Group to add crazy golf offer to Roxy Ball Room site in Manchester: Jones Bar Group is adding crazy golf to the offer at its Roxy Ball Room site in Manchester. The £100,000 development will be created in an unused upper floor of the Deansgate venue and will feature two nine-hole courses and its own bar and cocktail menu in keeping with the theme. Construction is already under way on the courses which, the company said, would have a traditional grass mini-golf feel with loops, ramps and some “quirky Roxy twists”. Jones Bar Group already operates mini-golf courses at the original Roxy Ball Room in Leeds, where it also has a boutique bowling alley, Roxy Lanes. Managing director Matt Jones told the Manchester Evening News: “Manchester is being really kind to us and there is a clear desire for social-based activities within the city centre. We’ve had some really great feedback on Roxy Ball Room and want to continue to develop our offering as an adult social gaming hub for our customers.”
YO! Sushi to open venue at London Bridge station redevelopment on Monday: YO! Sushi will become one of the first restaurant brands to open at the redeveloped part of London Bridge station when it launches a site on Monday (29 January). The venue at 49 St Thomas Street will open daily from 11am to 10pm and offer a 50% discount deal for the first three days, Hot Dinners reports. In November, the company acquired North America’s second-largest sushi brand Bento Sushi for £59m and appointed Richard Hodgson as chief executive to lead the combined group. Hodgson was formerly chief executive of PizzaExpress. Last month, YO! Sushi saw its Heathrow T2 site become the company’s first restaurant to take more than £100,000 in a week. The site broke two site records – most sales in a day by more than £2,000 and beating the busiest week by more than £16,000. YO! Sushi operates almost 100 sites worldwide, serving seven million customers a year.
Tapas Revolution secures Chester site: Tapas Revolution, led by celebrity chef Omar Allibhoy and managing director Mac Plumpton, has secured a site in Chester. The company will open a restaurant in the first phase of the Chester Northgate development in the city centre. It has taken a 3,000 square foot unit next to the entrance of the new food hall and market. The restaurant will also face on to the development’s new public square. Brian Clarke, Cheshire West & Chester Council’s cabinet member for economic development and infrastructure, said: “The Tapas Revolution mission is to put tapas on the map in the UK and we’re delighted a culinary entrepreneur of the quality of Omar Allibhoy has chosen Chester to expand his business. This latest letting to Tapas Revolution follows the signing of Cosy Club for a 5,000 square foot restaurant. There are agreements to lease two of the other restaurant units in phase one of the development currently in solicitors’ hands. We are also in discussions with catering operators interested in taking the remaining units.” Tapas Revolution has two sites in London as well as restaurants in Bath, Bluewater, Birmingham, Newcastle and Sheffield.
Cereal Killer Cafe closes Bullring site: London-based Cereal Killer Cafe has closed its site in Birmingham’s Bullring. The cult cafe launched in the city in November 2016 following the success of the brand in Camden and Shoreditch. Cereal Killer Cafe offers bowls of US cereal brands such as Chocolate Lucky Charms alongside Pop-Tarts, cereal cocktails, arcade games and walls festooned in 1990s memorabilia. A Cereal Killer Cafe spokesman told the Birmingham Mail: “Unfortunately we only had a short lease on that space so with regret we had to say cheerio.” In August, a musical about the Cereal Killer Cafe in Shoreditch was one of two new productions to be developed by Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Other Palace theatre after the venue was targeted during anti-gentrification riots. The company was launched in Shoreditch in 2014 by Belfast-born Gary Keery and twin brother Alan. In late 2016, a chance Snapchat shot taken by a sheikh led to international expansion, with the brand making its international debut in the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Dubai.
MeatLiquor partners with Deliveroo to launch ‘grown-up version’ of Happy Meal: MeatLiquor has partnered with Deliveroo to launch the Ecstatic Meal – a “grown-up version” of McDonald’s Happy Meal – in a bid to “fight back against the winter blues”. Each Ecstatic Meal contains a Dead Hippie burger, hash browns, a drink and a toy for £2.69. The Dead Hippie burger featured in Deliveroo’s most popular 100 dishes globally of 2017, while quirky gifts in the limited-edition carrier bags include a squidgy unicorn toy and a hungry shark stress-ball. The deal is available exclusively on Deliveroo’s app from noon on Friday (26 January) for one day only. MeatLiquor co-founder and managing director Scott Collins said: “The Ecstatic Meal is a treat for those who are scrimping towards the end of the month.” Joe Groves, of Deliveroo, said: “At a price that doesn’t leave anyone out in the cold, we hope to banish the blues – if only for a day.” Collins founded MeatLiquor with Yianni Papoutsis in 2011, initially operating from a burger van. It opened its first permanent site shortly after and there are now 14 sites across the UK, including two Deliveroo-only venues, in Canary Wharf and Battersea.
The Adil Group gets go-ahead for second Scottish Taco Bell site: The Adil Group, which operates more than 120 KFC, Burger King and Costa Coffee sites across the UK, has been given the go-head to open its second Taco Bell restaurant in Scotland. The company has been granted permission by Renfrewshire Council to build the two-storey venue, which will feature a drive-thru, in the Phoenix Retail Park in Paisley, reports the Daily Record. The application stated: “The space will provide internal seating for 102 people, an external area to accommodate an additional 12 seats, and also the convenience of the drive-thru facility.” The Adil Group opened the first Scottish Taco Bell last month in Glasgow and has plans to expand the brand to “double-digit” figures across the country over the next five years.
Zing Zing closes crowdfunding campaign after raising £1.2m, double original target: Zing Zing, the north London-based Chinese takeout concept, has closed its campaign on crowdfunding platform Crowdcube after raising more than double its original £500,000 target. The company, founded by Josh Magidson, who sold his startup business to Just Eat in 2010, raised the funds for further expansion in return for an 8.68% equity stake. In total, 1,016 investors pledged £1,215,430 and the campaign has now closed. The largest single investment was £140,000. The pitch stated: “Zing Zing is revolutionising the £1.4bn Chinese takeout industry by offering Chinese cuisine with a modern and healthy twist, cooked fresh to order and delivered fast. We have four units in London. Our revenue in 2016 was £1.23m with Ebitda of minus £300,000 (including a £93,000 spend from our last Crowdcube raise in 2016). We have seen sales grow by 75% to October and are profitable at store level since October. There are shareholders’ loans in the business. The UK home delivery market is worth an estimated £6.1bn and grew by 11% last year, yet we estimate no one brand accounts for more than 1% of it – it is exceptionally fragmented. Our flagship Zing Box meal is hugely popular, with 38,000 sold in 2016. We see 70% of delivery orders come through our online platform and we now have a database of 55,000 customers.” Magidson reported record trading on New Year’s Day, with 880 orders taking circa £18,000.
Turtle Bay to open Sheffield site in June: Caribbean restaurant Turtle Bay is to open a site in Sheffield in June. The company will open the venue in the former National Union of Mineworkers building in Holly Street, which is undergoing a £5m redevelopment. Turtle Bay was cleared to open the restaurant in February following a legal tussle with the city council after health and safety fears led councillors to ban waiters from carrying food and drink up and down a staircase, which Turtle Bay said would “seriously affect” the operation. Turtle Bay will be one of three foodservice operators to occupy the building, with Marston’s Pitcher & Piano brand already confirmed alongside an as yet unnamed restaurant. Turtle Bay, which is backed by Piper Private Equity and was formed by Las Iguanas co-founder Ajith Jaya-Wickrema, has 40 restaurants across the UK and two in Germany.
Team behind Manchester restaurant Ban di Bul lines up second site in city: The team behind Manchester restaurant Ban di Bul has lined up its second site in the city. A licence application has been lodged with the city council to launch a Korean barbecue house in the Old Half Moon Chambers building in Chapel Walks. The new restaurant, Ann Yeong, would take over the basement, ground and first floors of the building with proposed opening hours of 11am to 1.30am. Hoardings on the building feature the Ban di Bul branding and proclaim it will be the “north west’s biggest Korean barbecue house”, reports the Manchester Evening News. The site has been empty since wine bar and restaurant Grinch, operated by Mud Crab Industries, closed in 2016. Ban di Bul opened in Princess Street in 2011, offering traditional Korean dishes and an on-table barbecue dining experience.
Pizza Hut Delivery shortlists four agencies for advertising account: Pizza Hut Delivery has shortlisted four agencies for its advertising account – Atomic, Creature of London, Gravity Road and Iris Worldwide. Pizza Hut Delivery, whose account is moving from Ogilvy & Mather, met eight agencies before Christmas and held tissue meetings last week. Final pitches are due next week and AAR helped with the agency selection, reports Campaign.
Lancashire-based operators open Bury restaurant for second site: Lancashire-based operators Ata Mubeen and Luke Rafferty have opened a restaurant in Bury town centre for their second site in the county. They have launched West Ivy at The Rock shopping centre, creating 20 jobs. The decor is based on a botanical theme, with Italian marble and filament lighting, accompanied by a soundtrack of Motown, R ‘n’ B, blues, hip-hop and soul. The menu includes afternoon tea and world food such as hanging barbequed skewers, steak, burgers, halloumi fries, and Brazilian curry. The drinks menu ranges from craft lager, cocktails and gin to artisan coffee, freakshakes and a candy floss prosecco. The duo opened their debut site, Smoke Yard, in Oldham in 2015. Arnold Wilcox-Wood, centre director at The Rock, told the Bury Times: “This is a great addition to our tenant line-up and complements our leisure offering very well. They have had great success in Oldham and we wish them every success here.”
M&B to open Miller & Carter site in Aberdeen this spring: Mitchells & Butlers (M&B) is to open a site for its Miller & Carter steakhouse brand in Aberdeen this spring. The company will open the restaurant in former Union Street department store Esslemont & Macintosh, which closed in May 2007 when owners Owen Owen entered administration. The property was placed on the buildings at risk register in 2013 and has been there since, reports the Evening Express. Meanwhile, M&B is to convert its Harvester restaurant in Hinckley, Derbyshire, to a Miller & Carter site. The building in Watling Street is being refurbished and is set to reopen on Friday, 9 March, reports the Hinckley Times