Clockjack opens in Woolwich: Clockjack, the rotisserie and grill restaurant, has opened its new 1,500 square foot restaurant in Powis Street in Woolwich town centre, part of the Woolwich Arsenal Estate. Speaking on the behalf of the Woolwich Arsenal Estate, Gavin Rowlands, director at Nash Bond, said: “The opening of Clockjack is another step forward in the exciting regeneration of Powis Street and strengthens Woolwich as a prime London location. Interest in the area from restaurants and retailers continues to grow, with brands like Clockjack only enhancing Woolwich Arsenal Estate’s retail and leisure line-up.” Fraser Duncan, co-founder and executive director of Clockjack, added: “The first week of trading at Woolwich has been really strong and we feel at home already here. It is a great location, which thanks to the management of the area and the arrival of Crossrail is only going to evolve the destination and we are thrilled to be at the heart of it.” Clockjack joins Spanish artisan brand Granier Bakery Café, which launched its second site in the UK at Woolwich Arsenal Estates earlier in the year.
Islington-based cafe company Temptations launches £600,000 crowdfunding campaign for two new central London sites, aims to open 11 outlets in next five years: Islington-based cafe company Temptations have launched a £600,000 fund-raise on crowdfunding platform Seedrs to open two new sites in central London. The company, founded by former All Star Lanes chief financial officer Graham Harris and ex-Bradford Property Trust chief executive Tim Watts, is offering a 25% equity stake in return for the investment and is aiming to open 11 new outlets in the next five years. Its current cafes in Clerkenwell and Highbury Corner have served about 250,000 customers in the past year. Harris said: “We are very excited to be offering our loyal customer base the opportunity to invest alongside Seedrs investors, giving them a unique opportunity to play a part in our future growth. Our campaign is a natural progression for the brand, and we plan to use the funds to facilitate our expansion plans across London and become a household name.” The pitch states: “We offer a mix of breakfast and lunch snacks appealing to the contemporary tastes, lifestyles and nutritional expectations of our local markets. We also offer an online ordering system, which allows you to completely customise your lunch. You can choose exactly what goes in to your salad or sandwich. This also allows us to cater to any specific dietary requirements. In order to fund our growth strategy, we are seeking an investment of £600,000. The investment will mainly be used to fund new openings, as well as to focus on developing our brand, and ensuring that our existing shops fit with our future strategy. We plan to open about two new shops a year over the next five years. Each new shop costs circa £300,000 to open. This would fund the capital expenses, as well as working capital. We would use the proceeds to fund two new openings, whilst allowing us to reinvest cash generated from the existing sites back in to the business to fund some brand development. Future sites would then be funded from free cash and a modest amount of debt.” The company is issuing three new investor rewards cards based upon the level of investment on Seedrs. An orange card will be awarded for investments of £1,000, a platinum card for £5,000 and a black card for those investing more than £10,000. Each card will be pre-loaded with points.
ASK Italian signs deal to open restaurant at £85m Eastbourne shopping centre extension: Azzurri Group-owned ASK Italian has signed an agreement to open a site in Eastbourne, East Sussex. The company has agreed a deal to open the venue in the new £85m extension at the Arndale shopping centre with the complex’s owner Legal & General. A spokesman told the Eastbourne Herald: “The restaurant will be situated on the first floor of the 170,000 square foot scheme, alongside the entrance to the new nine-screen cinema that will be operated by Cineworld. ASK will join Nando’s, Byron, Frankie & Benny’s and Chiquito on the same floor while Wagamama and Carluccio’s will be located on the ground floor.” Work is now complete on the first £2m phase of the extension to create a contemporary glass atrium at the centre’s west entrance and upgrade nearby shop fronts and facades to be in keeping with the style of the new extension. ASK Italian has more than 110 sites in the UK and earlier this week revealed it would open three new restaurants this autumn – in Chelmsford, Milton Keynes and Newcastle.
Deltic Group to bring Przym and Steinbeck & Shaw brands to Plymouth with Oceana and WooWoo site conversions: Deltic Group, the UK’s largest operator of premium late-night bars and clubs, is to bring its Przym and Steinbeck & Shaw brands to Plymouth. The company will invest £850,000 converting its Oceana and WooWoo venues at Barbican Leisure Park into the new sites, which are due to open on Friday, 28 October, creating 50 jobs. Oceana will continue to trade until Saturday, 15 October when it will close to be replaced by Przym. At the heart of the new venue will be the main arena, showcasing the latest light and sound technology and frequently hosting international guest DJs and celebrities. This will be complemented by Curve – a more intimate room with DJs playing the latest R&B chart tracks. For customers wanting retro tunes, a disco room called Vinyl will feature a flashing dance floor and glitter balls. Meanwhile, WooWoo will shut on Saturday (3 September) whilst it undergoes its transformation into Steinbeck & Shaw. The Shoreditch-inspired bar will feature walls of graffiti art, skull imagery and modern sculptures. The bar will offer a range of freshly prepared cocktails and a premium drinks range of spirits, wines and craft beers whilst playing an eclectic mix of music. Groups and parties will be catered for in both venues with pre-bookable private booths all offering special packages and table service. Deltic Group has Pryzm sites in Birmingham, Brighton, Bristol, Cardiff, Kingston-upon-Thames, Nottingham and Leeds and Steinbeck & Shaw bars in Bristol, Canterbury and Cardiff.
US research analyst – McDonald’s turnaround could be in trouble: US research analyst and investor Nik Cochran has argued the McDonald’s turnaround could be in trouble. He said: “Last quarter saw the McDonalds comeback stall somewhat. Revenue for the year is down 2% so far and 4% in the past quarter alone. The company has been growing locations in markets such as Asia, eastern Europe, and the Middle East. On top of the growth into new markets, the company has increased sales in its established markets. The problem is comparable sales growth has slowed this past quarter, going from 5.7% in the past quarter of 2015 to only 1.8% this past quarter. Some of the recent struggles can be attributed McDonald’s unfocused business model. In the end, McDonalds has several things going for it. The sheer size of the business gives it an advantage as labour costs begin to rise. The brand is one of the most recognisable in the world. Finally, its franchise business model takes much of the risk out of the equation. That said, the company has to take some steps in order to get back to the glory days. Getting back to what got them here and focusing on doing cheap food fast must be a priority, even if that means shrinking its menu. It will certainly face a headwind of an increasingly health conscious population but will have an opportunity to succeed if management is able to execute on these initiatives. As for an investment, don’t expect great returns over the next year, as growth is forecast to slow. With more than a 3% dividend, income investors may find the company attractive but for those looking for more growth I would sit this one out.”
Intertain launches new Walkabout menu: Intertain has launched a new menu at its Walkabout sites. The menu is designed to have a higher focus on lighter options, appealing to people who want to make considered food choices whilst dining out. The selection also works harder to capture the essence of modern-day Australian eating, with dishes such as sweet potato hummus and zucchini and calamari snackboards featuring alongside “Aussie heroes” such as chicken parmigiano and Walkabout’s famous “Roo Burger”. Surfboard platters will also be on offer, allowing parties and groups to share snacks from a body-board-shaped serving platter. In keeping with the theme, the menu’s design also features Aboriginal-inspired motifs and encourages food and drink matching as well as combination deals. The classic “Aussie Lunch” main and drink deal, which is designed to be with the customer in 15 minutes, will also be maintained. The new offering is being introduced initially at Walkabout’s newest and most recently refurbished bars, and will be rolled out across the rest of the estate as part of Intertain’s investment programme. The new menu will be launched alongside an Instagram campaign encouraging people to share pictures of their dining experience with the hashtag #walkiefoodie. Intertain customer experience manager Andrew Dean said: “This new menu represents a fantastic opportunity for us to increase food sales and become better known as a place to dine for lunch or as part of a night out.”
Bistrot Pierre secures Sutton Coldfield site: Private equity-backed restaurant group Bistrot Pierre has added to its portfolio after securing a site in Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands. The company, which received £9.8m from Livingbridge last year, will open the site in the £20m Mulberry Walk retail and leisure development in Mere Green next February. It will join Prezzo and Caffé Nero, which have already signed to be part of the 53,857 square foot scheme. Bistrot Pierre co-owner Rob Beacham said: “The opportunity to open in Mulberry Walk was an opportunity too good to miss. The bistrot will be a welcome addition to our growing portfolio across the UK as Mere Green benefits from major regeneration and is in a sought-after location; I’m confident it will be a popular choice for locals when it opens in early 2017.” Bistrot Pierre, which was founded by Beacham and John Whitehead in 1994, will open its 16th site in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, next Friday (9 September). As well as Sutton Coldfield, it is also launching restaurants in Altrincham in November and Swansea next spring.
BrewDog to mark Ohio beer strength relaxation vote with special strong beer for investors: Scottish brewer and retailer BrewDog is to mark a vote in the Ohio legislature to scrap a law stopping beer being brewed that is stronger than 12% ABV by brewing a strong beer for its US investors. It stated: “31 August 2016 officially sees the lifting of the draconian legislation that previously made it illegal for breweries in Ohio to brew beer over 12% ABV. From this day forward, craft beer in the state has no limits. And we are going to mark that in the only way we know. Our first brew in BrewDog Columbus will be The End of History, for our US Equity Punks. We couldn’t think of a better way to thank our legion of new stateside supporters whilst at the same time celebrating the freedom the tireless campaigners in Ohio’s craft beer scene have helped secure. The End of History is our iconic 55% ABV Belgian-style ale brewed with nettles and juniper, so we are unleashing the full potential of our American brewkit right from the start, flipping two fingers at the defeated neo-prohibitionists at the same time. The End of History will be released as an exclusive beer for our Equity for Punks USA shareholders who invest more than $20,000.”
Punch predicts record turnout for roadshows: Punch is predicting a record number of licensees will attend its roadshows this year, the 13th year of the event. The focus this year is on how Punch can help existing publicans build their business and will include guidance on the impact of regulatory changes. There will also be information for people considering becoming a publican. It has more than 160 exhibitors. Punch anticipates that 2016’s attendance will exceed even that of the 2015 tour when 2,000 Punch publicans attended. Attendees cite meeting suppliers, gaining advice and accessing the free support as key reasons for visiting the event and Punch is using this information to make this year’s roadshows bigger and better than ever. Duncan Garrood, chief executive at Punch, said: “We are extremely proud of our roadshows and the support they offer both current and potential Punch publicans. Running a pub is exciting but sometimes unpredictable so the more advice and support we can offer, the more successful our publicans can be. The key purpose of hosting these eight roadshows across the country is to help publicans build their business through premiumisation and innovation, as well as showcase the breadth of support we offer and the first rate service that we strive to deliver. As well as the 85 stands to visit, visitors can also challenge one of the chasers from ITV’s popular gameshow or test their darts ability against previous world champion, Martin Adams. We look forward to welcoming publicans to our roadshows – hoping our 13th is the best yet!” Roadshow dates and locations are as follows: Tuesday, 20 September; Chester Racecourse, CH1 2LY; Thursday, 22 September; Severnside, Bristol, BS35 3XL; Tuesday, 27 September; Royal Highland Centre, Edinburgh, EH28 8NB; ]Thursday, 29 September; Leeds United FC, LS11 0ES; Tuesday, 4 October; Bolton Macron Stadium, BL6 6SF; Thursday, 6 October; Excel, London, E16 1DR; Tuesday, 11 October; Ricoh Arena, Coventry, CV6 6GE and Thursday, 13 October; Life Centre, Newcastle, NE1 4EP
Titanic and White Horse breweries launch ‘Luna Brew’ initiative: Shropshire-based brewer and retailer Titanic has collaborated with sister brewery White Horse to launch a “Luna Brew” initiative to help demystify the brewing process and promote responsible drinking in local community pubs. Members of the public can use their knowledge and taste buds to take the bold step into the brewery and create their own “Luna Brew”. Those who take the challenge are named “mashtronauts” and will have the opportunity to spend the day learning about the craft of brewing before putting it into practice. “Mashtronauts” will have their name inscribed on a new honours board in the Royal Blenheim, White Horse Brewery’s pub in Oxford. The first “mashtronaunt” to try the initiative was MP Andrew Griffiths, former chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group. Titanic Brewery co-founder Keith Bott said Luna has one goal – to use the latent creative talent that can be found in Britain’s pubs to create the finest beers in the universe. Andrew Wilson, of White Horse Brewery, added: “In the future we hope to have a mixture of ‘mashtronauts’ join us – friends, customers, invited guests and we will have an honours board in the Royal Blenheim that lists the brave explorers who made the journey through beer with us.”
Starbucks-led youth job initiative in the US hits 100,000 target: A Starbucks-led employer initiative in the US to create 100,000 jobs, The 100,000 Opportunities Initiative, committed to creating pathways to meaningful employment for young people, has met its goal of hiring 100,000 16 to 24-year-olds who are out of work and not in school, two years ahead of schedule. The coalition, formed in July 2015, is now aligning with the cross-sector goal of creating one million opportunities by 2021. The group will continue to capture and share new recruiting and human resources practices tailored to hiring, retaining and advancing Opportunity Youth. Starbucks chief executive Howard Schultz said: “A first job is the way many young people start their path in America. The creativity and commitment of the coalition to use our collective scale and convening power have taught us all many lessons as we reach an initial milestone to hire more than 100,000 Opportunity Youth. But, this is not a victory lap; our work is far from complete. This is just the beginning as we accelerate our efforts to build a network to reconnect one million Opportunity Youth in the next five years. By continuing to expand our coalition and leveraging the power of technology and hiring events, we will invest in solutions that further support the young people of America who are our future workers, customers and citizens.”
More detail emerges on next two YO! Sushi US openings: More detail has emerged on the locations of the next two YO! Sushi openings in the US. It will open in the Watermark building at 85 Seaport Square in Boston, Massachusetts in October and another site is planned in New York City near Madison Square Park. YO! Sushi’s location in Seaport Square is next door to the newly opened Shake Shack.
Street food outfit 2 Fingers to host residency at Fairly Square: Street food outfit 2 Fingers, run by Ricky Panesar, is to host a residency at London’s first Fairtrade bar and cafe – Fairly Square. Launching on Friday, 23 September, 2 Fingers will be serving its fish finger sandwiches as well as an exclusive extended new menu, to offer a complete retro-dining experience. Visitors will have the chance to taste more recent additions to the menu including Soft Shell Crab Burger with Napa-slaw and Blackened Cajun Prawns paired with Fairly Square’s craft beers range. The pop-up will also feature a series of bespoke live music events and performances in collaboration with SoundAdviceUK. Drinks will come courtesy of Fairly Square’s bar with a selection of bespoke cocktails, craft beers and organic wines, with 20% of profits reinvested in ethical causes. Panesar said: “This is a natural progression for the 2 Fingers project. Having been firmly on the street food and festival circuit over the past couple of years, we feel that it’s time to evolve the concept further. Fairly Square will provide an essential testing ground required to take this venture to the next level. We are excited to work with a venue that really sits well with our ethos – a real purpose driven business that actually plays out in practice, committed to delivering positive social and environmental impacts, rather than just bottom line numbers.”
Peterborough-based restaurateur acquires village pub: Peterborough-based restaurateur Dinesh Odedra has acquired a pub on the outskirts of the city. Odedra, who is behind fine dining venue Clarkes, its sister restaurant Cafe Clarkes and the Banyan Tree Indian restaurants, has taken over The Fox, in Folksworth. The pub, which closed three years ago, is currently being transformed. A new designated fine dining restaurant area is being created – seating about 80 covers – while there will also be a new bar area with its own dining space. Odedra told the Peterborough Telegraph: “The pub side of the business is very important as it is something that has been missing in the village for some years, and people we have spoken too are exited about our. It will be a relaxed, casual drinking area, with room for dining from a specific pub food menu.” The as-yet undecided name for the venue, which is set to be open by November, will reflect the established “Clarkes” brand, Odedra added.
New Roman-inspired restaurant concept set to open in London: A new Roman-inspired restaurant concept is set to open in London. Roma is launching in New London Street on Friday, 23 September on the former site of Harpers and on the very spot where a Roman fort once stood. The restaurant, which aims to bring the flavours and passions of Ancient Rome to the capital, will feature metallic gold hues and deep ebony timbers. Mosaic inspired artwork will be scattered around the venue while there will also be architectural sketch style wallpaper and banquette seating. The dishes will be prepared using the same cooking techniques that were used in Ancient Rome with the speciality of cooking with hay also being revived. Head chef Arturs Gorjunovs has travelled throughout Europe and the rest of the world in order to discover the best and boldest flavours for the menu. Meanwhile, the wine menu will include authentic wines from former Roman territories such as Italy, France, Macedonia and Spain.