Restaurants maintain double-digit growth despite overall decline in consumer spend: Restaurants maintained double-digit growth in April, despite an overall decline in consumer spending throughout the month, according to the latest consumer spending data from Barclaycard. It found restaurant spending continued its upward trend – increasing 11.3% during the month, as consumers prioritised leisure time with family and friends. Travel spend was up 5.9% – boosted by a 6.9% increase on air travel spend – while overall consumer spending rose just 1.9% during the month, well below the rolling 12-month average of 3.7%. The study said the slowdown in spending was due to macro-economic challenges, such as slowing wage growth, flat-lining employment rates and uncertainty about the EU referendum, which all affected consumer confidence. Barclaycard managing director Paul Lockstone said April proved another “challenging” month for retail as consumers held back in the face of “economic headwinds”. He added: “The feel-good factor they enjoyed in 2015, encouraged by rising employment and increasing household incomes, has been hit by a combination of uncertainty on everything from oil prices to the EU referendum. Spending on leisure, travel and entertainment proved to be more robust as consumers protected spending on experiences by cutting back on essentials, which is a pattern we’ve seen for a few months now. However, with this producing diminishing returns the wider economic picture will need to improve if we are to see consumers return to the level of spending growth we saw last year.”
JD Wetherspoon pub permitted to remove door staff during the week because of lack of customers in the city: A JD Wetherspoon pub in Aberdeen has been given consent to remove door staff from Sunday to Thursday because of falling numbers of weekday customers. The Justice Mill applied to change a condition that stated it had to have bouncers at its premises from 11pm onwards each day. Aberdeen City Council licensing board unanimously approved the variation of premises licence, which will allow the pub to remove security staff for the majority of the week. Speaking before the licensing board, legal agent for the venue Archie McIvor said door staff were “standing there clicking their heels” as weekdays were no longer busy in the city. The lawyer said figures from the past month revealed the average amount of people in the pub after 11pm on a Sunday was just 39. On a Monday an average of 28 people were in the pub, with averages of 39 people on a Tuesday, 46 on a Wednesday and 68 on a Thursday. The pub currently employs two stewards between Sunday and Wednesday and three stewards on a Thursday – historically viewed as a busier night. The venue has six door staff on Friday and Saturday nights.
BHA co-led campaign calls for cut in tourism VAT to improve UK’s growing trade deficit: The Cut Tourism VAT campaign, co-led by the British Hospitality Association (BHA), has called on the government to recognise the negative impact of tourism VAT on export figures and cut the rate on accommodation and tourist attractions from 20% to 5%. The BHA said a reduction to 5% would improve the UK’s trade deficit by £22.2bn over ten years. The call comes in response to figures published this week by the Office for National Statistics revealing the UK’s trade deficit for the first quarter is at its largest since 2008. The BHA said tourism deserved greater recognition as a tool for addressing the deficit. It said hospitality and tourism was the only UK industry to create one in five jobs in the past five years, with “potential to contribute even further to the economy with government support”. Dermot King, chairman of the Cut Tourism VAT campaign and managing director of Butlins, said: “The evidence behind the benefits of a reduction of tourism VAT to businesses, the national economy and British families has never been clearer. Analysis from Tourism Respect and Nevin Associates shows reducing tourism VAT from 20% to 5% would reduce the UK’s balance of trade deficit by £22.2bn over ten years – as well as increase the tax take by £4.2bn. Tourism is the UK’s only major export subject to 20% VAT – double the rate of the EU average. Growing numbers of MPs are joining our call to the Treasury for a reduction in VAT on tourism exports and we now need to win the hearts and minds of the British public who don’t realise they are being taxed harder than almost anyone else in Europe for simply going on holiday in their own country.” As well as the BHA, the Cut Tourism VAT campaign is led by Bourne Leisure Group, Merlin Entertainments Group, and the British Association of Leisure Parks, Piers and Attractions.
Cozy Pubs puts pubs portfolio on market: Cozy Pubs, led by Leanne Langman and Timothy Doyle, has placed its three-strong portfolio of pub sites on the market through agent Christie & Co. The portfolio consists of two Punch pub sites in Essex, The Eight Bells in Saffron Walden, which is on the market for £185,000, and The Cricketers Arms in Rickling Green, plus a free-of-tie commercial lease on The Angel Hotel in Lavenham, Suffolk. The Angel was taken over from celebrity chef Marco Pierre White 17 months ago. The asking price for the remaining 15 years on the lease is £140,000. White took over The Angel Hotel in 2011 and within weeks had become involved in a row with locals when he barred some of the regulars. He ordered staff to stop serving some popular drinks, including lager and cider, because he claimed they “attracted the wrong kind of clientele”. Christie & Co spokesman Anthony Jenkins said: “There’s been pretty good interest in the sites with a number of viewings. The Angel is in the main square of one of the most sought-after villages in the whole of Suffolk and there has already been a lot of interest.” Cozy Pubs also operates the 31-bedroom Saracens Head Hotel in Great Dunmow, Essex, a freehold acquired for circa £1.75m in 2012.
Two former Lifestyle Hospitality Group venues in Torquay reopen under new operators, talks in progress over sale of third site: Two former Lifestyle Hospitality Group venues in Torquay have reopened under new operators, while talks are in progress over the sale of a third site. Harbourside restaurant Tiger Bills and The Apple and Parrot pub are both back in business and discussions are taking place over the sale of nearby Club Mambo, reports the Torquay Herald Express. Lifestyle Hospitality Group ceased trading earlier this year, closing five businesses around Torquay harbour, including Fast Eddie’s Pool Hall, the Apple and Parrot and Burgerfest. With a name change, the new “Tiger Lills” restaurant is running under the management of Glen and Lynne Kendall with the same concept as before, serving a menu of American and Thai cuisine. The couple said they also had plans to reopen the downstairs Fast Eddie’s Pool Hall too “but the exact concept is not yet known”. Meanwhile, Adrian Hobbs, who owns Torquay nightclub Park Lane, is in talks over buying the closed Club Mambo. The Apple and Parrot pub has also reopened and is currently operating on a temporary licence under new owner Ashley Sims. It is due to obtain its full licence in the next fortnight. Lifestyle Hospitality Group was placed into liquidation earlier this year. It went into administration in January about eight weeks after aborting a £250,000 fund-raise on crowdfunding platform Crowdcube to expand its Burgerfest brand.
EAT launches ‘open-look’ concept store in Finsbury Pavement, plans roll-out over next 12 months, opening biggest site at Liverpool Street station: EAT, the fresh food-to-go brand, has entered the next phase of its expansion programme with the launch of an “open-look” concept store in Finsbury Pavement, London. Unlike other stores, all the cooking and serving is visible, so customers can see the soups being stirred and garnished and the coffee being ground from the open kitchen and service area. This new design will be the platform for the next phase of store expansion, with stores in Ealing, west London, and Chichester, West Sussex, both currently being built and planned to be opened in the next six to eight weeks, taking the total store estate to 120. The Chichester site will see the extension of the new concept into a market town format, gearing the menu, service and environment around a “relaxing place to meet and spend time for great seasonal food and hand-crafted coffee”. Later in the year, EAT will open its largest store – within Liverpool Street station. At 2,840 square feet, it will adopt the new format to serve the 122 million passengers passing through the station each year. The new openings will coincide with the launch of EAT’s summer menu, which features new chipotle chicken and avocado salads, made without gluten, and an expanded vegan offering, including a Thai green and grain salad, also made without gluten and only 326 calories per serving. Brand director Sarah Doyle said: “All of EAT’s food is made fresh by us each day, and customers at the Finsbury Pavement store will be able to see this for themselves. EAT will be expanding beyond London over the next 12 months, and the new store format is a key feature of the roll-out. We are already well known for our healthy hot food, but we’re seeing increasing demand for our fresh offering, with salads showing a 4% like-for-like growth in the year to April. Everything we make uses the best seasonal ingredients, whether it’s a soup, a hot pot or a salad.” For our salad dressings, for example, we’re using British cold-pressed rapeseed oil, used for its nutty flavour and strong health credentials. Customers value this commitment to quality, taste and health.”
Fuel Juice Bars hits 36-store milestone: Fuel Juice Bars, the smoothie and juice bar concept backed by Kings Park Capital, has announced its latest acquisitions to take store numbers to 36. Recent store openings at Intu Watford, Brent Cross and Telford will shortly be followed by new openings at Solihull, Liverpool One, Intu Uxbridge, Warrington and Redditch. The company has an additional pipeline of nine stores, which will open by the end of the year, to take store numbers to 45. Chief executive Chris Sullivan said: “Our expansion programme has now gained real momentum and at the moment we are opening a new store almost every week. To grow from a base of 11 just three years ago to 45 by the end of the year will be an outstanding achievement. We continue to expand our presence throughout the UK, trading in all the major cities such as London, Glasgow, Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham, Cardiff and Liverpool. We are also becoming a major force in provincial shopping centres. Operating from Inverness to Plymouth and all points between, we are now an established national brand.”
Costa pledges to reduce sugar content of drinks by 25%: Costa has pledged to reduce added sugar across its beverage portfolio by 25% by 2020. The announcement, which coincides with the launch of its new summer drinks menu, is part of a broader commitment by Costa to introduce healthier choices for customers. Jane Treasure, head of food and beverage development at Costa, said: “Costa always puts customers at the heart of everything we do. We’re committed to providing great-tasting healthy choices and have a long-term plan to improve the nutritional balance of our menu.” As part of this approach, Costa has introduced a number of significant changes to its summer drinks menu, launching this week. This includes the nationwide roll-out of no added sugar SuperDay Smoothies, constituting one of the recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables a day. Alongside this, Costa has introduced a number of healthier menu items. This includes the introduction of low-calorie and gluten-free alternatives, trials of healthy pots and a further trial roll-out of Chop’d salads. Costa also publishes the nutritional information on-shelf and on-counter for food products and provides a counter-top summary card with the calorie information of its most popular drinks. Treasure added: “We already have a number of products tailored to a range of nutritional and dietary needs and have proactively removed a substantial amount of sugar across our beverage portfolio. Our commitment to reduce added sugar is part of a strategy to manage our entire portfolio responsibly to ensure we provide a nutritionally balanced mix of menu items for our customers.” To help it meet its target, Costa has worked with an independent, external expert and created a nutritional calculator, which allows the brand to assess its food and beverage products. Using this methodology, Costa will review each product recipe against a set pre-determined criteria to determine whether to delist, reformulate or provide an alternative choice for customers.
Busaba Eathai to open in Leeds: Busaba Eathai has signed to open in Leeds at a prominent city centre location previously occupied by Lloyds Bank. The brand will occupy a 6,000 square foot unit on a 15-year lease at the former Lloyds Bank located at the junction of Park Row and Bond Street. The group, which has been backed by Phoenix Equity Partners since 2008, currently operates 14 locations across the UK and one in Dubai. The new Leeds restaurant will be fully operational by early 2017 and will be its first outlet in Yorkshire. As part of continued northern expansion, Busaba recently opened in Manchester and Liverpool. Chief executive Jason Myers said: “I am delighted to be opening this flagship Busaba in my home city of Leeds. It’s wonderful to be in Yorkshire and working with CBRE on this exciting redevelopment of the former Lloyds Bank.”
Abokado signs for 27th site: Abokado, the healthy eating chain, has signed a lease to open its 27th site at the Great Portland Estates development in Blackfriars Road on London’s Southbank. The scheme, which comprises a 19-storey commercial building with 240,000 square feet of office space, is fully let with tenants including media and publishing company UBM and law firm Boodle Hatfield. The deal comes hot on the heels of the 26th store, which is due to open in Greville Street, Hatton Garden, in early June. Founder Mark Lilley said: “We’re delighted to be a part of this excellent scheme. It’s taken us a while to expand south of the river and we’re fired up to bring our feel-great food to a new audience. It’s also encouraging that our trading continues to strengthen against a backdrop of negative sector news flow. At a time when some other operators have put the brakes on their expansion, we continue to push ahead with our roll-out. We have a number of other sites under offer and remain committed to our vision of helping people lead happier and healthier lives.”
BrewDog – US production facility set for August completion: Scottish brewer and retailer BrewDog said its new 100,000 square foot production facility in Columbus, Ohio, was on track to “have everything structural in place” in August. The company said final concrete was being poured at the 42-acre BrewDog Columbus site, while its 200HL/170-barrel brewhouse was being constructed by Bavarian engineering company Esau & Hueber and would be “shipped ready to be installed as soon as they have downed tools”. BrewDog added plans for its on-site bar – DogTap Columbus – were also progressing well alongside local company Design Collective. BrewDog USA head of production Tim Hawn, appointed in March, will begin brewing in Ohio within a “few months”, the company said. BrewDog also revealed an update on its Equity for Punks USA fund-raising campaign. The company said: “We are in ongoing discussions with the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) and are still working towards June as the launch date for our American share offering. We can’t wait to give the people of the United States the chance to invest in BrewDog USA, and shape our American brewery right from the very beginning.”
Revolution Bars Group wins Aberdeen licence for Revolucion de Cuba: Revolution Bars Group has won a licence to open a Revolucion de Cuba at the Academy Shopping Centre in Aberdeen on the site of the former Wagamama restaurant. Indoor capacity has increased from 134 people to 550, while also allowing space for 110 to wine and dine outside. Archie McIvor, legal agent for Revolution Bars Group, said the company had experienced success in the city already through its Revolution Bar in Belmont Street. McIvor added: “They have constantly reinvested and have not been shy about spending money. At the present time I’m told there are some seven out of 16 units vacant in the Academy and with Wagamama moving on that would leave it 50% not filled. I think what it does show is a refreshing confidence by the applicants in these difficult trading times.” Concerns were raised by NHS Grampian over the prospect of people drinking outside until 1am. But members of the board unanimously approved the change in licence. The site would involve an investment of £1.4m with 25 full-time and 30 part-time jobs – it is expected to open shortly before Christmas.
Whitbread secures licence for 167-bedroom Premier Inn in Chiswick: Whitbread has secured a licence for a 167-bedroom Premier Inn in Chiswick, west London. The company was successful in its application to Hounslow Council despite objections from residents. The development is due to be completed and open in early 2017 and represents an investment of about £25m. Solicitors John Gaunt appeared for Whitbread.
Caffe Nero partners with The Songwriting Academy to find UK’s best unsigned songwriter: Caffe Nero has partnered with The Songwriting Academy to launch a competition to find the best unsigned songwriter in the UK and raise £50,000 for charity. It is the first time a live, event-based songwriting competition has been launched in the UK where the song is the star, not the singer. Songwriters may use session singers and musicians, and can win without singing a note. The winner will receive a 12-month development programme with The Songwriting Academy, Caffe Nero and Yamaha Instruments to help them hit the big time, giving them the opportunity to write with some of the world’s most successful songwriters and have their songs played across the UK. Participants have until Thursday, 1 September to enter their songs online at www.ukunsignedsongwriter.co.uk with the top songwriters selected to showcase their songs at live regional heats across the UK in Caffe Nero stores from Monday, 26 September, culminating in a gala final in London on Sunday, 30 October. Celebrities and multimillion-selling songwriters are all uniting to help the competition raise money for the Stand Up To Cancer campaign and Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy, which will share all profits.
Albion Partnerships takes on fifth Star Pubs & Bars site: Multiple operator Albion Partnerships has taken on its fifth pub with Star Pubs & Bars, The Rimswell in Fairfield, Stockton-on-Tees. Together they are investing £250,000 on a refurbishment that will transform the pub into a family-friendly food pub, broadening its appeal. Five jobs are being created as a result of the investment. The pub will close until mid-June when it will reopen as the Stocc Lodge, a tribute to Stockton’s heritage as the word Stockton is thought to derive from the Anglo-Saxon word “Stocc”, meaning log. The interior and exterior of the pub will be overhauled and have a distinct wood theme running throughout, including panelling, reclaimed flooring and a feature fireplace, chimney and hearth with logs stacked either side. There will also be a dedicated sports-focused bar with pool and darts. All food will be freshly home-cooked at the pub and will include hand-stretched pizzas, wooden sharing boards, and a selection of stews and curries in cast iron pots, as well as some classic pub dishes including a trademark parmo. A broader selection of drinks will also be on offer with a rotating choice of real ales and craft beer, new-look wine list and Heineken Extra Cold. Freshly brewed Grizzly Bear coffee and teas will be available throughout the day. Andy Rickard, managing director of Albion Partnerships, said: “We’re excited by plans for the Stocc Lodge and are looking forward to welcoming customers when it reopens mid-June. We’re keen to attract families and provide the community with a great place to meet and have a good time.”
New salad bar concept opens in disused telephone box in London: A new salad bar concept has opened in a disused telephone box in London. Ben Spier, who set up his Spier’s Salads company in 2011, is operating the business from the former kiosk in Bloomsbury Square. The Salad Box, which opens on Tuesdays and Wednesdays between 11.30am and 2:30pm, offers five salads with ingredients varying depending on the season. Spier worked with Brighton-based Red Kiosk Company, which gets planning permission to repurpose old red phone boxes, reports the Metro. Working with its sister company Thinking Outside The Box, Red Kiosk refurbishes unused boxes, installs a power supply, fits them with locks, and applies for a retail licence, before offering them to people looking to start a new business. It has resulted in kiosks around the country being transformed into coffee shops, mini souvenir shops and even a candyfloss shop.
Neapolitan restaurant concept O Ver to launch in London featuring seawater pizzas: New Neapolitan restaurant concept O Ver is set to launch in Borough Market in south east London, championing the use of pure seawater in its dishes. The restaurant, due to open in Southwark Street in June, told Hot Dinners its seawater was “extracted from the purest areas of the Mediterranean… has multiple health advantages, whilst also significantly improving the taste and texture of food”. Dishes will include wood-fired pizzas, fresh pasta, homemade breads, Neapolitan street food, seasonal salads, vegan options and handmade traditional desserts. Drinks will include prosecco, Italian spritz, organic wines and craft beers. Chef Gugliemo Vuolo launched the idea in Italy and is now bringing it to London. He is also a teacher in The True Neapolitan Pizza Association.
EatFirst ‘set to grow 25%’ by launching brunch menu and weekend deliveries: Online restaurant delivery service EatFirst said it is “set to grow 25% in less than three months” by tapping into the UK’s burgeoning brunch sector with a new menu and weekend deliveries. The company is predicting accelerated growth from the breakfast sector which, it said, is worth £76m a day. The launch is being accompanied by a collaboration with Brünch – a pop-up that “brings the ultimate Berlin experience to London”. EatFirst said it had identified collaborations as the “next stage in its ambitious growth plan”. EatFirst head chef Benn Hodges and Brünch founder Noemi Dulischewski have designed vegetarian, meat and savoury dishes to be served alongside artisan breads, bloody marys and fresh juices, which can be pre-ordered through the EatFirst app or website and delivered to customers’ doors. EatFirst said it had achieved 50% month-on-month weekday growth and delivered more than 100,000 meals since it was founded by Torben Schulz, Rahul Parekh and Humberto Ayres Pereira in 2014. In November 2015, the company achieved Series A funding of $8m. Parekh, also EatFirst chief executive, said: “Brunch is a British institution and we wanted to evolve it and become one of the first online restaurants to venture into this area. Launching brunch and weekend deliveries eliminates the need for Londoners to travel and queue during their precious weekend leisure time.” The collaborative Brünch menu will be available to pre-order throughout May, June and July only. Weekend deliveries will begin on Saturday (14 May).
Norwich-based pub operators take on second site in city: Norwich-based pub operators Claire and Dale Brooks have taken on their second site in the city. The Brooks, who already run The Walnut Tree Shades, have reopened the Pig and Whistle in All Saints Green. No sport is being shown at the pub, but it does have six dartboards and a pool table in the function room upstairs. General manager Lee Tuttle told the Eastern Daily Press: “Pub culture is as British as bangers and mash. We will be serving classic pub food and a variety of ales, as well as draft beers and lagers. We’re hoping to have local bands play in the pub and we’re getting a video dukebox.” The Pig and Whistle closed in March when then-landlord Simon Carpenter was convicted of three counts of fraud and ordered to pay more than £3,000 after admitting to showing football matches illegally.
New Texan smokehouse restaurant concept set to open in Ashford: A new Texan smokehouse restaurant concept is set to open in Ashford, Kent. Cousins Dean Davey and Greg Blower are launching Que’s Smokehouse in Bank Street on the site formerly home to Olympia Leisure. The property is being transformed into a family-friendly restaurant, which is expected to open at the end of June. Davey, who has spent 20 years in the food industry in a range of roles including owning and developing restaurants across Britain and America, told the Ashford Herald that Que’s would take the Texan food style in Tex-Mex cuisine and incorporate “low and slow” cooking to ensure top-quality dishes. Blower said the aim was to create a barbecue menu of “moist, mouth-watering, low-cooked ribs, beef, smoked chicken and pulled pork” all cooked in specially designed wood smoking ovens. He added: “We are really excited about opening. Ashford is a fantastic area, and we cannot wait to add to the vibrant food scene this summer.”
Just Eat hires McDonald’s PR executive: Just Eat has hired a senior McDonald’s PR executive, PR Week has reported. Joanna de Koning, who takes up the new global role on 31 May, is currently senior manager, communications, Europe at McDonald’s, where she has led external communications for the past three years. At Just Eat, Oxford-educated de Koning will lead the delivery of the online takeaway company’s brand reputation strategy, financial communications and corporate responsibility programme. De Koning will work closely with the company’s head of investor relations as well as its corporate PR agency, Brunswick, to deliver corporate and financial communications. The company operates in 13 markets – the UK, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand and eight other European countries – and made revenue of £247.6m ($356.3m) on 96 million orders in 2015, up from 61 million orders in 2014. It was founded in Denmark in 2001. Before McDonald’s, de Koning worked in corporate communications at Fishburn Hedges, which has since merged into FleishmanHillard Fishburn, for nine years, working on accounts including Barclays and Nestlé. De Koning said: “It’s a privilege to join one of the most exciting technology businesses in Europe, especially in a role where I will be able to shape and deliver their ambitious communications and business strategy.” Just Eat appointed Brunswick to assist with its listing on the London Stock Exchange two years ago, while UK agency Mission was appointed by Just Eat 18 months ago to provide consumer and trade PR, as well as experiential.
Nottingham hotel company reactivated to pursue interest rate product mis-selling claim: A Nottingham hotel company is being brought back to life after administrators claimed it had been mis-sold to by The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS). Administrators from Smith Cooper in Derby have taken control of The Lace Market Hotel – now reinstated at Companies House as company number 03726341 – and are seeking compensation after being sold an interest rate hedging product by RBS. Robert Burrell, business recovery and insolvency administrator at Smith Cooper, told The Business Desk: “We’ve restored the company – and a related company, Finesse Hotels – so we can cover professional costs and recover funds owed to creditors that would otherwise go to the Crown. We’re looking to recover anything up to £10,000.” The “original” Lace Market Hotel (registration number 03726341) went into a pre-pack administration in 2012. The business and assets were sold back to one of the original directors, there was no payment to unsecured creditors and the company was dissolved and struck-off the register on 4 April 2013.
Clumber Park on market with £7m price tag: Moorgarth Group has brought to market Clumber Park Hotel & Spa in Nottinghamshire for a guide price of £7m. The four-star hotel, which has recently been refurbished, features 73 bedrooms plus a courtyard restaurant, five meeting rooms, spa and swimming pool. Located adjacent to the National Trust’s 3,800-acre (1,538-hectare) Clumber Park, it is also close to numerous other visitor attractions, including Sherwood Forest, Rufford Park and Chatsworth House. Tom Cunningham, hotels director at agent Savills, said: “This highly profitable, luxury hotel combines a strong leisure and corporate trade with a successful spa and will therefore offer its new owners multiple income streams. The UK’s regional hotel market continues to be buoyant and we are anticipating a swift result on behalf of our client.”
Kingsland Drinks reports turnover dips below £160m: A drop in wine sales has contributed to revenues dipping below £160m at Kingsland Drinks, although the Greater Manchester-based alcoholic drinks supplier has hailed the acquisition of a £34m-turnover wine business as it seeks to broaden its offering. Kingsland Drinks posted a turnover of £156.3m in the year to 30 June 2015, down 5% on a year earlier. UK turnover dropped to £151m in 2014/15 compared with £163.4m in 2013/14, while overseas turnover jumped to £5.3m from £1.7m during the same period. In their report accompanying the accounts, the directors said: “Wine volume sales decreased 12.3% overall, driven by loss of volume from a major multiple retailer, but the business was successful in gaining new business in other new retail customers, broadening our sales reach. Total sales revenue including duty was £156.3m, which is down 5.3% over the previous year. Duty rates were held in March 2015. However, wines were penalised as both spirits and beer had reductions in the level of duty charged.” In April 2015, Kingsland Drinks struck a deal to acquire wine business Bottle Green from DCC Food & Beverage UK.
KFC franchisee buys ten-strong Costa franchisee: KFC franchisee Auriga Holdings has bought a Costa Coffee franchisee with ten sites across the Midlands. Central Coffee launched its first Costa outlet in Daventry in 2006 before expanding into Kenilworth, Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Shirley, Bridgnorth, Burton-on-Trent, Newport, Stourbridge and Walsall. It now has a turnover of £4.5m with 100 staff. The business was sold to Auriga by husband and wife team Nigel and Bernie Foster, who are now based in Malta. Nigel Foster said: “Our original plan was to open seven stores, but having grown to ten shops we felt we’d taken the business to as big as we wanted it to be and the time was right for us to sell the business. The moment we met the directors of Auriga Holdings we shook hands on a deal in principle and we believe the new owners are well-placed to grow the business.” The deal was supported by Moore Stephens and Clarke Willmott.