Individual Restaurants unveils new-look Piccolino in Chester featuring brand’s first prosecco bar: Individual Restaurants has unveiled a new look for its Piccolino site in Chester, which features the brand’s first prosecco bar. Little sister to the Opera Grill over the road, Piccolino is open daily from lunch until late, while its prosecco bar also offers craft beer and Italian cocktails. The open kitchen has a Harrods-style food hall feel, featuring meat, poultry, fish and shellfish counters. The menu features an extensive collection of shellfish, including Isle of Man crab, native lobster, wild Scottish langoustine, rope-grown Scottish mussels and Mersea Island rock oysters. Filled pasta is made in-house and there is also a pastry counter and gelato bar. A wine boutique can be hired for wine and cocktail masterclasses and showcases an all-Italian wine list and a selection of champagne. Individual Restaurants founder Steven Walker said: “We felt a fresh, new look would be something nice to give our loyal guests and long-standing team following the opening of Opera Grill. Our principles remain the same and we deliver classic, Italian dishes using the best ingredients.” The restaurant has adopted the same no-nonsense tips policy as others in the group.

Pret axes plan not to pay interns after backlash: Pret A Manger has pledged to pay those on work experience after it faced a backlash over “exploitative” plans to only offer them free food. The company was hit by a wave of criticism over plans for unpaid work placements for teenagers, but has since vowed to pay those on the scheme. Pret has previously warned it faces a staffing crisis after Brexit, as only one in 50 applicants to jobs there are British. In an effort to attract British staff, Pret is now launching the Big Experience Week, offering 16 to 18-year-olds work experience over the summer. The company said the programme was aimed at addressing the “long-term challenge that Pret and the wider industry must meet to ensure hospitality is seen by Brits as a serious career choice”. But the scheme came under fire from critics who said work experience placements should be paid. Pret chief executive Clive Schlee told the Evening Standard after the backlash that it would pay teenagers on the programme. He said: “Pret’s Work Experience Week is not about making sandwiches for free. We set it up so 16 to 18-year-olds can shadow our teams and get a flavour for what working at Pret is like. We’ve seen how passionately people feel about the initiative, and in response I would like to confirm that we will pay all participants Pret’s starting hourly rate and of course provide free food as well.”

Burning Night Group doubles crowdfunding peer-to-peer investment target to £7m: Burning Night Group has doubled its crowdfunding target on peer-to-peer lending platform Crowdstacker to £7m as it looks to fund its next stage of growth. The company, which was initially looking to raise £3.5m, has already secured more than £4m since launching the campaign at the end of 2016 with the next closing on Friday, 21 April. The company is offering a mini-bond paying 7% per annum interest to those participating in the overall £7m raise, to continue the roll-out of its Bierkeller, Shooters and Around the World three-venues-in-one concept. The campaign raised £1m within days of launch, with £2m reached by December and topped £3m last month. Burning Night Group, which employs more than 500 people and with generated turnover in excess of £17m in 2016, already operates the concept in some of the country’s busiest city centres including Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester and Cardiff. The pitch states: “Burning Night plans to use the funds to continue its already successful roll-out programme of multi-branded concept bars in further key cities around the UK and with the plan to create up to 140 new jobs. Your capital is secured over the assets and business of Burning Night Group with a first ranking debenture. These assets include freehold and leasehold UK properties.” The Crowdstacker Peer to Peer loan was identified as a way to involve customers in the business’ future growth. The fund offers a choice of perks packages for those putting in £2,500 or more. Loans are over a period of three years and money can be invested via the tax-efficient Innovative Finance ISA – introduced by the government in April 2016 – or Personal Savings Allowance, allowing up to £1,000 in interest to be earned tax-free.

Byron to make Welsh debut: Better burger brand Byron is to make its Welsh debut this summer, in Cardiff. The company will open the 5,150 square foot restaurant at the St David’s retail and leisure development after agreeing a deal with its owners The St David’s Partnership. The venue will be set across two levels in Grand Arcade, situated close to John Lewis and Treetop Adventure Golf. Byron marketing director Paul Coppin said: “We couldn’t be happier to be bringing proper hamburgers to Wales. Over the years we’ve had more and more customers ask when we’ll be opening here, so it’s a real pleasure to finally be able to give them the answer they’re looking for.” Speaking on behalf of the St David’s Partnership, a joint venture between Land Securities and Intu, Colin Flinn, the regional director at Intu, added: “Byron is exciting brand for St David’s. This new signing highlights our ability to attract well known restaurant names looking to secure their flagship sites outside of London. Byron will join Wahaca and Jamie’s Italian.” In addition Caffe Nero recently joined St David’s. The new 1,142 square foot cafe, located in Cathedral Walk, launched earlier this month. JLL and Cushman & Wakefield advised the St David’s Partnership. Lunson Mitchenall acted on behalf of Byron and Calan Retail represented Caffe Nero.

Cocktail expert Salvatore Calabrese opens bar beneath sons’ Spitalfields restaurant: Cocktail expert Salvatore Calabrese has opened a bar beneath The Holy Birds restaurant in Spitalfields, east London, which is operated by his sons Gerry and Jon. Calabrese has launched The Mule Bar, featuring a menu of more than 50 cocktails spanning his 50-year journey within the drinks industry. The decor pays homage to the swinging sixties, while the menu transports guests back to the era with drinks such as The Blue Hawaiian, Elvis Presley’s favourite tipple made from rum, blue caruçao, coconut cream and pineapple juice, and the Pink Squirrel, which is made with almond liqueur, crème de cacao white, fresh cream and ground cinnamon. It also offers classic martinis, negronis and manhattans. Calabrese will host regular tastings and masterclasses as well as offering guests cognacs from his private collection.

Starbucks chief’s base pay will fall to $1 next month, expands tech offering: Howard Schultz’s base salary will fall to $1 when he steps down from his Starbucks chief executive position next month – far less than the $1.5m in base salary he earned last year. However, Schultz will still receive a bonus target of $3.75m when he steps into the role of executive chairman on Monday, 3 April, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Schultz will also receive an equity award valued at $750,000, vesting over several years, The Seattle Times reports. Last year, he made $21.8m in total compensation, which, in addition to the base salary, included a $3.19m cash bonus for hitting certain goals, $16.9m in stock and option awards tied to long-term company performance, and $219,000 in other compensation. Kevin Johnson, Starbucks president and chief operating officer, will take over the chief executive role on a base salary of $1.3m, according to the SEC filing, up from his base salary last year of $1m. Johnson’s bonus target as chief executive will increase to 200% of his base salary, or $2m. He will also be granted a promotional equity award of $800,000. Johnson made $11.1m in total compensation this past year. In addition to his base salary, that included a $1m cash incentive bonus, $8.5m in stock and option awards, a $500,000 sign-on bonus, and $24,000 in other compensation. Meanwhile, Starbucks is set to launch in-car voice ordering and iMessage gifts. From next month, Starbucks gift cards can be sent through iMessage on iPhones and iPads. Users pay for the gift via Apple Pay, with the recipient redeeming it from their smartphone when making a purchase. A similar function available in China was used more than 1.2 million times by customers in the first six weeks, Johnson said. Starbucks is also expanding its My Starbucks Barista voice-ordering app from 100,000 customers in the US to nationwide by the end of the year. To use in-car voice ordering, Starbucks customers will need to use an Alexa Skills device and drive a Ford car that features Sync 3 technology.

Pho makes Liverpool debut: Vietnamese street food restaurant group Pho has opened a site in Liverpool. The new venue has opened in Bold Street at the former Seoul Love site, with the ground floor and basement converted into an 80-cover restaurant. The grade II-listed frontage has also been restored. Pho was founded by Stephen and Juliette Wall in 2005 after they fell in love with Vietnamese food on a visit to the country. Their first restaurant was in London’s Clerkenwell. Pho has 21 other sites across the UK and earlier this year the company signed to open a unit at the £440m Westgate Oxford development.

Bistrot Pierre opens 18th site, in Sutton Coldfield: Bistrot Pierre, the restaurant group backed by private equity firm Livingbridge, has opened a site in Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands. The company has opened its 18th site in the £20m Mulberry Walk retail and leisure development in Mere Green. It has invested almost £1m in the restaurant, creating 50 jobs. Co-founder John Whitehead told the Sutton Coldfield Observer: “We have received incredibly positive feedback following our Birmingham launch so opening in Mere Green made perfect sense.” The company, founded by Whitehead and Rob Beacham in 1994, received £9.8m from Livingbridge in 2015 to support expansion plans. Bistrot Pierre is set to open a restaurant in Southport, Merseyside, having been granted permission to convert the former Russell & Bromley store in Lord Street.

Tasty opens first Wildwood in Birmingham five years after it first started looking in city: Tasty has opened its first Wildwood restaurant in Birmingham – five years after it first started looking for a site in the city. The company has opened the 120-cover venue in New Street on the site of the former Yorkshire Building Society. The ground floor comprises 90 covers and a bar while the basement provides 30 additional covers. General manager Fernando Freitas told the Birmingham Mail: “We’re very happy to be finally opening in such a great location in the city centre, the company had been looking for the right sites for five years!” Wildwood operates 55 sites across the UK and in November Tasty raised £9m to fund the brand’s expansion.

Michelin-trained chef to open Nottingham restaurant this summer: Michelin-trained chef Alex Bond is to open his own restaurant in Nottingham this summer. Bond has worked at Abac, a two Michelin-starred restaurant in Barcelona, and El Bulli in Catalonia, which held three stars before its closure. He will now open his debut restaurant in Derby Road, where he is converting former coaching house Canning Circus into a 40-cover restaurant. The 19th century building, which is next to Toast and Chinese eatery One More, will feature a large kitchen with a chef’s table, a wine cellar in a sandstone cave and the intriguing promise of a space for “something special in the future”, reports the Nottingham Post. Aiming for a June or July opening, staff are being recruited for the restaurant, which has yet to be named.

Bid to open Jacobean-themed micro-pub in Derby city centre: A planning application has been lodged to transform an office in Derby’s Cathedral Quarter into a micro-pub with a Jacobean theme. The Rebellion Ale House would be themed on Bonnie Prince Charlie, the 16th century Jacobite pretender to the throne of England. Proposals for the conversion of 3a College Place have been submitted to Derby City Council, with applicant Robert Sherwood stating the micro-pub would be a “valuable addition to the Cathedral Quarter” and showcase real ale, cider and craft beer in a “welcoming and safe environment”. He added: “Derby already has a number (of micro-pubs) in the suburbs but none in the city centre, posing an excellent business opportunity. It would bring welcome additional footfall to the city’s real ale scene – Derby is continually voted the real ale capital of England and is a pivotal location in beer tourism.” He added that local brewers would also be “very much at the forefront of the business model”. Bonnie Prince Charlie’s armies marched from Scotland to claim the throne, reaching Derby in December 1745 before retreating. Four months later, the rebellion was over.

Somerset brewery Quantock ‘trading well’ following rescue deal: Award-winning Somerset brewery Quantock, which was rescued from administration earlier this year, is said to be trading well and plans to continue launching beers. The company, based in Bishops Lydeard, near Taunton, brews beers including Wills Neck, White Hind, Sunraker and UXB. The company was founded in 2007 and grew its profile following a series of award wins. It completed a successful crowdfunding campaign on Crowdcube in 2013 and also received backing from SWIG Finance. However, Quantock was placed into administration on 11 January after creditors rejected a proposed company voluntary arrangement. Eric Walls and Wayne Harrison, of KSA Group, were appointed to oversee the process. Following the appointment, a sale of the business was completed to linked company Somerset Ales, with staff transferring over. Director Mike Rigby, who came on board following the sale, told Insider Media: “We’re going to keep launching short-run beers. There’s not much cost aside from design work. We’re making sure we always have something new to offer.” Rigby added there were now a number of directors and investors who could support the business if future investment was required. Having been placed in administration, Quantock was sold to Somerset Ales, a company controlled by two Quantock Brewery shareholders, for £25,000. Secured creditors, including SWIG, will be paid from the proceeds of the sale. Unsecured creditors are owed about £233,000 and the administrators have estimated there will be insufficient funds to enable payment.

Krispy Kreme opens 1,000th international location and first in Peru: Krispy Kreme has reached a couple of milestones, opening its first site in Peru and its 1,000th international location. The shop in Lima is the first of 24 planned for the South American country and is part of a development agreement signed with Agape Coral in 2015. Michael McGill, vice-president international at Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, told Baking Business: “This shop marks a milestone for Krispy Kreme as the 1,000th international shop, and we are delighted to be celebrating the opening in Peru with an exceptional franchise group. As the first shop in Peru, we are excited to bring our signature high-quality doughnuts and coffee to Peruvians.” The new store is slightly different from traditional Krispy Kreme locations, featuring three levels, two dining areas and a terrace. Krispy Kreme now operates stores in 31 countries, with development agreements in several others. Krispy Kreme UK operates more than 70 stores across Britain.

Almond Family Pubs reopens historic Cheshire pub following major refurbishment: Cheshire-based Almond Family Pubs has reopened the Hesketh Tavern in Cheadle Hulme following a major refurbishment by DV8 Designs. Renamed The Hesketh, the pub in Hulme Hall Road has been sympathetically renovated to house a space that reflects its 1860s heritage. The site has been enhanced to upgrade key features, including its bar and carvery. Taking inspiration from historical London pubs, the new look features worn leather, wool, and wing-back armchairs. In addition to the updated interior, a new pergola was installed. Almond Family Pubs director James Almond said: “(The pub) needed a ‘sparkle’ as some of the once contemporary elements had become dated, while the traditional features had only grown in charm. This inspired us and the team at DV8 Designs to enhance the features and play to the strengths of this historic pub.” DV8 Designs managing director Lee Birchall added: “Many local competitors have been modernised and themed, leaving The Hesketh as the only traditional pub in town, so the design plays to that strength.” Almond Family Pubs’ other sites are the Puss in Boots, the Three Bears and the Spread Eagle in Stockport, and the Fletchers Arms in Denton, near Manchester.

Tahola launches next-generation analytics for operators following SAS partnership: Business analytics company Tahola is launching the next generation of analytics for operators through a new exclusive partnership with global analytics firm SAS. The partnership will provide hospitality operators with a more predictive approach to analysing their data. Complementing Tahola’s existing solutions, advanced analytics from SAS will enable organisations to not only understand and report on what has happened but also identify the likelihood of future outcomes. It will provide greater insight into areas such as forecasting future sales, pricing optimisation strategies, customer behaviour patterns, workforce planning and marketing optimisation. Tahola commercial director Simon Blackbourne said: “Predictive analytics are used in a wide range of sectors from banking to retail and help thousands of organisations drive real growth and mitigate risk. There are uncertain times ahead for the hospitality sector, with Brexit, food inflation, business rates and the living wage taking a front seat over the next 18 months, and using data to build robust longer-term strategies will be a game-changer for operators. SAS Predictive Analytics will enable our customers to see their business in a new way and step-change their ability to achieve sustainable growth.”

BaxterStorey secures Glasgow Caledonian University contract: Contract catering company BaxterStorey has agreed a deal with Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) to be hospitality provider at its £32m Heart Of The Campus redevelopment. The five-year agreement, which will start in May, will provide students, staff and visitors with healthy choices using sustainable, local and seasonal produce at the new and renovated dining facilities at the city centre campus. BaxterStorey secured the contract following a full EU procurement tender and contract evaluation process. Staff employed by Cordia, which is an arm’s-length external operation of Glasgow City Council and GCU’s current catering provider, will be given the opportunity to transfer to BaxterStorey under TUPE regulations. BaxterStorey regional managing director Jeremy Wood said: “We understand the complexities of providing hospitality services for universities – ensuring staff, students and visitors alike are provided with fresh and nutritious food that’s convenient and a great source of energy, conducive to productivity and learning.” BaxterStorey provides bespoke hospitality services to a number of universities, colleges, large distribution centres and corporate head offices in Scotland, as well as running Chef Academy Scotland, which gives chefs the chance to hone their skills with a calendar of courses supported by companies such as Edinburgh Business School, Nick Nairn Cook School, and Tennent’s Training Academy.

Black Sheep Brewery launches canned craft range: Yorkshire-based Black Sheep Brewery has launched a canned craft range as part of the company’s 25th anniversary celebrations. The Masham-based brewer has ramped up production of Pathmaker, a 5.6% ABV pale ale created in homage to Black Sheep founder Paul Theakston, and Glug M’Glug, a 6.2% ABV dark IPA, to 330ml canned format. Pathmaker has also been made available in keg format, with the launches part of a range of activities marking Black Sheep’s anniversary year, which have included a community event offering Masham residents a free pint. Black Sheep Brewery sales and marketing director Jo Theakston said: “The trade is evolving and we at Black Sheep are moving forward with the trend by producing our craft beers as a canned alternative.