Sector like-for-likes fall 3.3% in February as floods and coronavirus take toll:Britain’s managed pub and restaurant groups saw like-for-like sales fall 3.3% in February compared with the previous year as flooding and coronavirus took its toll on the industry, according to the latest Coffer Peach Business Tracker. Managed pub groups saw collective like-for-like sales fall 4.2%, with restaurant groups down 1.8% and bar chains down 2.8%. Regionally, London had a tougher time, seeing like-for-likes down 3.7% compared with a 3.2% decline outside the M25. Pubs saw falls in food and drink sales of 3.9% and 4.6% respectively. While restaurant groups recorded a relatively smaller decline in sales, the number of covers served in the month fell 4.9%. The last week in February, when coronavirus started escalating, saw a 4.4% drop in like-for-like sales across the industry. “The month started with flooding hitting sales in parts of the country, with pubs and restaurants closed in some areas,” said Karl Chessell, business unit director of food and retail at CGA, the business insight consultancy that produces the Tracker in partnership with The Coffer Group and RSM. “But as the month progressed the impact of the coronavirus emergency began to take its toll on business. We can only expect that to have an increasingly negative impact on sales in coming months.” Trevor Watson, executive director, valuations at Davis Coffer Lyons, added: “The exceptionally wet weather last month was always going to adversely affect turnover for most operators, which wasn’t helped by Valentine’s Day falling on a Friday. As to coronavirus, the public is changing its behaviour, hitting city centres and travel hubs the hardest. Operators’ biggest fear is staff infection, which would necessitate closure. Paradoxically, people won’t shut themselves away indefinitely and will see smaller-scale pubs and restaurants as less of a health risk. This will undoubtedly lead to redistribution of trade.” The downturn in February has also had an effect on the underlying annual like-for-like growth rate for the Tracker cohort. It fell to 0.9% for the 12 months to the end of month, compared with 1.6% at the end of January. Total sales for the month, which include the effect of openings since this time last year, were down 0.7% compared with the same period in 2019.

Industry News:

Government’s emergency coronavirus measures ‘ignore’ larger hospitality businesses: Trade bodies and operators have accused the government of “ignoring” larger hospitality firms in its emergency measures to help businesses following the coronavirus outbreak. In his Budget speech on Wednesday (11 March), chancellor Rishi Sunak announced all retail, leisure and hospitality businesses with a rateable value of less than £51,000 would be exempt from paying business rates during the next financial year. He also extended the 100% discount to all eligible retail and leisure businesses, including nightclubs, small hotels and guesthouses. However, trade bodies and operators said this would do little to help the sector. UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “While easing business rates burdens and partial refunding of statutory sick pay will help some businesses and the measures announced may give smaller hospitality businesses some breathing room, it’s vital to recognise larger operators and the huge number of people they support – they have been ignored at a time of business crisis. The perverse nature of the current system is underlined by the ongoing coronavirus situation, with punishing payments still expected of companies whose venues may be unable to open or operate.” Hospitality Professionals Association chief executive Jane Pendlebury added: “These are the businesses that pay the highest rates, contributing most to the economy while employing the largest workforces. There’s nothing in the budget for them. Travel restrictions are set to have a monumental impact on trade. As an industry, we were hoping for more support and a greater scope in the scale of relief.” London Union founder Jonathan Downey tweeted: “There’s absolutely nothing in that budget that will help mine or any similar business struggle through a coronavirus shut/slowdown, apart from two weeks of statutory sick pay for employees.” While the increased business rate discount for pubs of £5,000 rather than £1,000 was welcomed, along with an autumn deadline for a review of the business rates system, Sankey’s founder Matthew Sankey told Propel the 100% discount for those with a rateable value of less than £51,000 was creating a “seriously dangerous gap” between those with and those without the relief. He added: “My local competitor now pays nothing and has a similar turnover to mine. The discounting scheme is not an effective tool. What is needed is serious reform of the rates system and how rateable values are calculated.” The sector also welcomed the freeze in beer, wine and spirits duty. British Beer & Pub Association chief executive Emma McClarkin said: “This freeze alone will save pub-goers £80m and secure 2,000 vital jobs across the country. We hope the government continues to support our industry in the future, recognising the vital role it plays in our communities across the UK.” The Deltic Group chief executive Peter Marks added: “We are encouraged by the freeze on alcohol duties as well as plans to increase investment across the UK. The chancellor’s proposed review of the long-term future of business rates is a step in the right direction in helping safeguard the late-night leisure sector, which contributes £66bn to the UK’s GDP.”
UK craft brewers finding new revenue streams through no and low-alcohol options and taprooms: Craft brewers in the UK are responding quickly to the rising trend for no and low-alcohol beer while taprooms are proving another vital revenue stream for the sector, according to the British Craft Beer Report 2020 by the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA). Almost one-quarter (23%) of 18 to 24-year-old respondents to the survey were teetotal, a rise of 6% from last year’s report. SIBA said the figures tied in with no and low-alcohol beer being the top drinks trend for 2020. The survey also found the number of women drinking beer more than once a week has risen to 11%, almost double the 6% recorded in 2019, while almost one-third (30%) of independent breweries now feature an on-site taproom. Volume growth in the craft beer category slowed to only 0.2% during the period, although value is increasing as it is seen by consumers as a premium product, SIBA said. Despite 50% of respondents believing genuine craft beer must be produced by a small independent brewery, up from 43% in 2019, more than one-quarter (27%) can’t tell if a beer is made by an independent brewer or not. The vast majority (94%) said the most important factor when choosing a pub was beer quality. Caroline Nodder, the report’s editor, said: “This year’s report shows a drastically changing market place with consumers opting for no or low-alcohol options, particularly young people, and brewers quickly adapting to this challenge. It shows the dexterity of small independent breweries and I think we’re going to see even more growth in this area over the next 12 months as people become more health-conscious. Community is also increasingly important for consumers and this has really helped with the growth in brewery taprooms, which have created a vital revenue stream in a market that’s extremely tough.”
McDonald’s to pay all staff in company-owned stores who need to self-isolate as a result of coronavirus: McDonald’s will pay all staff at its company-owned restaurants in the UK who need to self-isolate as a result of coronavirus (covid-19). The company announced a new policy on Tuesday (10 March) where workers in its corporate US restaurants will be paid if they are “asked to quarantine for 14 days”. McDonald’s UK has confirmed it will do the same at its company-owned stores. A spokeswoman told Propel: “Given the unprecedented and unique situation and the need to contain any societal spread of covid-19, if a company-owned restaurant employee needs to self-isolate for 14 days we will pay them for the hours they would usually work. This applies to those on guaranteed hours contracts and flexible contracts working in company-owned restaurants. We are closely monitoring the situation and may review this as things develop.”
Casual Dining organisers stress show still on despite coronavirus as they ramp up hygiene measures: Organisers of Casual Dining 2020 have stressed the show is still on despite the coronavirus (covid-19) outbreak and have stepped up measures to support increased personal hygiene for visitors. Diversified Communications, which is behind the event that takes place on 25 and 26 March at Excel in London, stated: “The clear advice from the government and health secretary Matt Hancock is for people not to panic and for large gatherings to continue as normal, while the risk to individuals is low. Similarly, the chief medical officer said there was ‘no clear rationale’ for closing events to prevent the spread of covid-19. It is essential, we believe, to follow government advice, for business to continue as normal, and not to create unnecessary worry. Casual Dining is the most important event for our industry and people socialising and meeting is key to the survival of the casual dining sector. Not running the event would have serious consequences for the industry as a whole. The health and safety of all our exhibitors and visitors is our primary concern and priority and we are following advice provided by the government and Public Health England. We are also monitoring information from the World Health Organisation and the international trade show community through the Association of Exhibition Organisers and UFI. To support increased personal hygiene at the venue, we are working closely with Excel to ensure strengthened measures are in place including sanitisation, focused cleaning and increased medical provisions.”

Company News:

The Pepper Collective to open all-day restaurant and bar in Broadgate: Salt’s new restaurant division, The Pepper Collective, which is led by Handley Amos and Neil Rankin, is to open all-day restaurant and bar Republic in London’s Broadgate this year, Propel has learned. The company is understood to have secured a 7,000 square foot space at 1 Finsbury Avenue to launch the venture, which will have circa 90 covers and feature a revolving guest list of chefs. The chefs, most expected to come from overseas, are expected to change every month to three months. The opening of Republic is thought to be scheduled for September and will be one of the first ventures to open under The Pepper Collective. Salt, the Andrew Fishwick-led partnership and experience agency specialising in food and drink, launched its restaurant division in January. As well as providing its partners with investment opportunities and financial backing, The Pepper Collective also provides operational support. It worked with Rankin to launch Simplicity Burger in London’s Brick Lane in November and is working on a number of other projects including partnering with Nathan Outlaw protégé Tom Brown, who is behind Cornerstone in Hackney Wick, on a new venture and assisting in the launch of Veda Baby, an Ayurvedic offering from author and chef Jasmine Hemsley that will open in Soho in the spring. The Pepper Collective is also helping chef Gizzi Erskine and nutritionist Rosemary Ferguson open a permanent site for their plant-based fast food concept Filth in the West End in the spring, which will be followed by a national roll-out. Nick Garston, of Bruce Gillingham Pollard, acted on the Broadgate deal.
Shepherd Neame ‘well prepared’ to deal with any short-term impact caused by coronavirus: Jonathan Neame, chief executive of Kent brewer and retailer Shepherd Neame, has told Propel the company is well prepared to deal with any short-term impacts on the business caused by the coronavirus outbreak. He said the company was holding daily meetings in response to the situation, which he described as “unchartered territory”. Speaking following the company’s interim results, Neame said: “I think the state of the industry is very different now to 2008-09, when we had the financial crisis, and as a result we are well prepared for any short-term impacts arising from coronavirus. We are following the guidance of Public Health England. Clearly we are aware guidance might change but in circumstances like this our priority is the health of our employees and customers.” Neame said the company continued to look at opportunities to add to its pub estate but was also focused on investing in the core business. He added: “We will look to do one or two projects a year around the £1m mark – in 2020 they include The Woolpack in Banstead and The Wharf in Dartford. But it’s also about the little things – whether that be a lick of paint to our pubs or expanding kitchens – they are just as important and have a meaningful impact. I don’t think the long-term consumer trends are going to change. People are going to look for better and better experiences so we have to continue trying to raise the level for our customers. I also think it will accelerate the trend of de-globalisation, with more people spending their holidays at home rather than travelling so far – and that could be beneficial for pubs.” Looking back on the past six months, he said: “I think the fact we have managed to grow all three divisions when trading conditions have been far from ideal is very satisfactory. We are focused on the long-term and keeping the business moving forward.”
Euro Garages acquires largest KFC franchise in UK and Ireland, enters Australian restaurant market: Blackburn-headquartered EG Group, which trades as Euro Garages, has acquired the largest KFC franchise in the UK and Ireland and is set to enter the Australian restaurant market via a separate deal. The forecourt retailer has bought 146 KFC restaurants and one Pizza Hut as well as a development pipeline and a small number of non-trading sites from Belfast-based The Herbert Group. The acquisition sees the addition of 4,000 staff to the company’s workforce and sees EG Group now operate more than 1,500 food-to-go retail concessions in ten international markets – the UK, Ireland, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Italy, Germany, the US and Australia. EG Group founder and co-chief executive Zuber Issa said: “Securing The Herbert Group portfolio is aligned with our long-term strategic growth plans and builds on our commitment to grow the EG Group’s presence in the food-to-go retail convenience segment. The Herbert Group portfolio is a great strategic addition and complements our expanding operations in the UK and, furthermore, allows us entry into the Irish market. We are committed to working closely with the KFC brand team to invest in the portfolio and open new restaurants. There’s already a strong development pipeline for us to work towards.” Paula McKenzie, general manager of KFC UK and Ireland, added: “We are pleased EG Group has acquired these restaurants – it shows confidence in investing in KFC and comes at an exciting time for our brand off the back of unprecedented sales growth in 2020 so far.” Freeths advised EG Group on the deal. Meanwhile, the company has entered into a binding agreement to acquire Sydney-listed Oliver’s Real Food, which operates 24 sites in Australia. EG Australia chief executive Mike McMenamin said: “This acquisition presents a great opportunity for us to enter the Australian restaurant market and the potential to enhance our convenience offer.” Citigroup is acting as financial advisor and Allen & Overy LLP as legal adviser to EG Group on the Oliver’s deal. Earlier this week Propel revealed natural fast food brand Leon was close to finalising its link-up with Euro Garages, with a first site in the partnership expected to be in Wakefield.
Bao team to launch debut all-day dining concept for fifth London site: Shing Tat Chung, Erchen Chang and Wai Ting Chung, who founded Taiwanese steamed buns concept Bao, are to launch a debut all-day dining concept for their fifth London site. Cafe Bao will open in King’s Cross later this spring inspired by yōshoku cuisine, a nostalgic take on western-style cooking commonly found in Asian cafes. The venue will launch in Pancras Square, close to King’s Cross and St Pancras train stations. Taking inspiration from Taiwan’s iconic Bolero restaurant and the “kissatens” of Japan, the new all-day menu will see “classic dishes reimagined with the innovative twists Bao has become known for as well as some of Bao’s greatest hits”. The opening will follow the success of Bao Soho, Bao Fitzrovia and, most recently, Bao Borough, as well as older sibling Xu, the Taiwanese tea house and restaurant in Chinatown. Cafe Bao will be the company’s first site to offer breakfast, with dishes such as bao loaf with syrup and butter, baked ham hock congee pie, and spring onion pancake. Baked goods will also be on offer for the first time in a Bao venue – under the label Bao Baked Goods (BBG) – including a pork pie, salted egg “muffin” and a cookie, with all goods available to eat in the restaurant or take away via a to-go counter. BBG will also host a bao-making service and workshops. Erchen Chang said: “The inspiration for Cafe Bao stemmed from yōshoku cuisine, an interpretation of western food seen through an Asian lens. This style of cooking is something that’s always resonated with us and made us feel nostalgic. After a recent trip to Taipei, Hong Kong and Osaka, we realised we wanted to bring it to life.”
Eggslut to open second UK site, in Fitzrovia: US egg-in-bun concept Eggslut will open its second site in the UK, in Fitzrovia, central London. The concept, which is operated in the UK under franchise by ITICO F+B, has secured the former Kalifornia Kitchen site at 19 Percy Street for what will become its tenth global location. The company made its UK debut last year at the former Pix Pintxos unit in Portobello Road. In April 2019, Propel reported ITICO F+B planned to open a handful of sites in the UK in the next 12 months. Eggslut offers cage-free eggs in brioche buns and the UK site will feature a quick service version of the concept. Eggslut was founded in Los Angeles in 2011 and has since grown to five US restaurants, two in Lebanon, and one each in Japan and London. Eggslut operations manager Bruno Pires said the brand’s success showed eggs were “more popular than ever” in the UK, with the group’s debut restaurant serving almost 7,500 eggs in its first week. ITICO F+B is also rolling out US street food concept The Halal Guys in the UK. Sammy Weinbaum, of CDG Leisure, is acting for ITICO F+B.
Little Yellow Door team secures further site, in Clapham: Kam Dehdashti and Jamie Hazeel, who operate The Little Blue Door in Fulham, the house parties-style bar and restaurant concept backed by Edition Capital, have secured a third permanent site in London. The company has secured the Balans Soho Society site in Clapham Common for what will become The Little Orange Door. Last year the company launched The Little Yellow Door in All Saints Road, Notting Hill, at a site formerly occupied by Rum Kitchen. The concept is based on a fictional flat share with flatmates hosting a series of “house parties” to welcome new friends. The business is thought to have plans for further sites, with names such as The Little Neon Door and The Little Black Door. The sale of the Clapham site leaves Balans with seven sites in the capital. Tom Croshwaite, of CDG Leisure, acted on the Clapham deal.
East London Pub Co founder to bring Irish chicken and burger concept to the capital: Coqbull, the Irish chicken and burger concept from East London Pub Co founder Patrick Frawley, is to make its London debut. It will host a kitchen residency at East London Pub Co’s The Lock Tavern in Camden from Friday, 20 March. This will be followed by the launch of a permanent site later this year. This will be Coqbull’s first launch outside Ireland. Founded in 2015 it has three restaurants in Cork and Limerick. The chicken and burger-centric menu at The Lock Tavern will focus on Coqbull classics, which include classic sticky chicken wings in buffalo or teriyaki sauce and a selection of sides. Coqbull’s menu will sit alongside The Lock Tavern’s drinks offer. Frawley said: “This brand was designed for the London market and its trial in Ireland has been an incredible success, with three permanent sites. I’m excited and confident about this roll-out in London.”
Hollywood Bowl launches mini-golf concept: Hollywood Bowl Group, the UK’s largest ten-pin bowling operator, has launched its mini-golf concept, Puttstars. The £2.5m, two-storey venue has opened at Thorpe Park in Leeds, creating 30 jobs. It features three interactive nine-hole courses, with scores digitally calculated using high-tech screens at each hole. The site includes a bar and diner offering pizza, hotdogs and shakes. There is also an amusement area. Further Puttstars sites are set for Rochdale and York in the coming months. Hollywood Bowl Group chief executive Stephen Burns said: “We are thrilled to launch a new leisure brand into the market and open the UK’s first Puttstars venue in Thorpe Park. Puttstars is a unique mini-golf gaming experience for families and groups of friends.”
Where The Pancakes Are to open in Fitzrovia: Where The Pancakes Are, the buttermilk pancakes and cafe concept, is to open a second site, in London’s Fitzrovia. The concept, which was founded by Patricia Trijbits in 2015, is set to launch at 94 Great Portland Street this summer. The company opened its first site in autumn 2016, at Flat Iron Square in London Bridge. The concept previously operated a number of pop-ups and street food stalls across the capital.
Real Madrid star Gareth Bale to launch mini-golf bar and restaurant in Cardiff:Wales and Real Madrid footballer Gareth Bale is to open a bar, restaurant and mini-golf venue in his home city of Cardiff this summer. Par 59 will be based in the 18,000 square foot basement of Capitol Shopping Centre and feature two adult-only mini-golf courses and two large bar and dining rooms. Bale, who is teetotal, will work alongside Par 59’s head bartender to develop a range of alcohol-free cocktails, which will be available alongside the regular menu. There will also be two independently run kitchens at the venue operated by Cardiff-based sushi and Japanese restaurant Sushi Life and Welsh fried chicken street food trader Dirty Bird. The project is the result of a new partnership between Bale’s company, Elevens Group, and alternative entertainment brand The Depot. The move follows Bale’s debut in the hospitality sector in 2017, when he opened Elevens Bar & Grill in Cardiff in partnership with brewer and pub operator SA Brain. Bale said: “My love for golf is no secret so I’m delighted to work with an independent Welsh company to bring this concept to Cardiff. It’s all about creating a fun environment, where people can enjoy something a bit different and have fun. Everything is going to plan and we’re on track to open this summer.” Nick Saunders, founder and managing director of The Depot, added: “Taking empty and forgotten spaces and breathing new life into them is something we know we do well but The Depot is still a relatively young brand so teaming up with Gareth’s team at Elevens Group to open Par 59 is a big achievement for us. We can’t wait to get the doors open.” Matthew Jones, of Fletcher Morgan, acted on behalf of Par 59 in the acquisition of its first site.
Happy Lamb Hot Pot plans second London site: Chinese chain Happy Lamb Hot Pot, which made its UK debut last year, is planning to open a second site in London, Propel has learned. Propel understands the business, which originated in Mongolia and has sites in the US and Canada, is set to take space at the Bishop’s Quarter scheme in Bayswater in units earmarked for Alan Yau’s Babaji Pide concept. Last year Happy Lamb Hot Pot opened its first UK restaurant in The Office Group building in Bloomsbury Way. The concept offers meat, fish and vegetables to dunk in a pot, with cuts of meat such as pork belly, lamb shoulder and offal. Combination platters on offer in the US include a seafood version (white fish, squid, scallops and whole shrimp) and a vegetarian version featuring spinach, lettuce, daikon wedges and mini corn on the cob. There are four soup bases – “milky” bone marrow broth; spicy bone marrow broth; a half-and-half pot featuring a combination of both; and a pickled cabbage broth. In December, Propel revealed the business is planning an opening in Birmingham. It has applied to open in the former Le Truc site in Ladywell Walk in the city centre.
Ellison & Pioc starts expansion of Patron Cave à Manger with second north London site: Ellison & Pioc, the France-focused company founded by Tanzi Ellison and Jean-Francois Pioc, has started expansion of its brasserie and wine bar concept Patron Cave à Manger by opening a second site in north London, in Finsbury Park. The venue has launched at a site on the corner of Blackstock Road and Gillespie Road that formerly housed cafe Butler & Booth. The venue features stools at a marble counter and Parisian booths, while the concept focuses on classic French wine and brasserie-style food. The brunch menu includes toasties, bowls and crepes, while the dinner menu includes soup, salads, beef bourguignon, fish pie and a cheese board. The company’s website states: “Patron Cave à Manger Highbury is a Parisian-style corner bistro serving classic French comfort food, organic, natural and fine wine, and boutique cocktails. Bringing a slice of Paris to our Highbury neighbourhood, we hope to share the incredible stories of the farmers, cheese-makers and producers behind each of these plates.” The debut Cave à Manger is in Fortress Road, Kentish Town.
Somerset-based, Michelin-recommended restaurant with rooms on market for £1.65m: Michelin-recommended restaurant with rooms Little Barwick House has been put up for sale at a guide price of £1.65m. The property, in the Somerset village of Barwick, near Yeovil, is being marketed by agent Christie & Co. Tim and Emma Ford built the business during the past 20 years but have decided to sell to focus on other interests. They said Little Barwick House would remain open while a buyer was sought. Tim Ford said: “It is with mixed emotions Emma and I have come to this momentous decision but we feel now’s the time to implement our exit strategy.”
Paul Campbell takes trustee role at City Harvest: Sector investor and non-executive director Paul Campbell has become a trustee of City Harvest, a charity that distributes surplus food in London. Campbell is an investor in and chairman or non-executive director at Hawksmoor, Vinoteca, Hickory’s, Blacklock, Tortilla, The Alchemist and Gusto. He is also former finance director of PizzaExpress and owner of Clapham House, which used to own Gourmet Burger Kitchen and The Real Greek brands. Laura Winningham founded City Harvest in 2014 and the charity is looking to build partnerships in the hospitality sector. City Harvest delivers more than 80,000 meals a week to those in need and has rescued more than eight million meals since its launch, equivalent to £10m of food that would have been sent to landfill. City Harvest operates depots in Acton and New Spitalfields and is expanding its reach in east London, including Tower Hamlets. Campbell said: “Laura and her team have created a brilliant charity that provides a simple yet desperately needed service. I urge the hospitality industry to get behind City Harvest to feed those in need.” Winningham said: “What drives the City Harvest team is knowing there’s more than enough nutritious surplus food in London to feed those living in poverty. Growing networks and increasing capacity to deliver food is our lifeblood. Having someone with Paul’s sector knowledge, contacts and standing involved with us is an honour and will help us spread the message of what City Harvest provides and aid in us in adding more hospitality partners.”
Elior wins contract for Aberdeen Art Gallery: Contract caterer Elior UK has been chosen as Aberdeen Art Gallery’s new catering partner in a three-year contract. Elior will operate the site’s food and drink offering under its new specialist concessions arm, Foodsmiths. In November, Elior UK united its services for owners and operators of attractions, venues, events and stadia under the Foodsmiths brand. Elior managing director Kenny Finlayson said: “We look forward to providing foodservice in synergy with the gallery so it becomes an important attraction in its own right.”
CPL Learning launches free coronavirus e-learning course: CPL Learning, which delivers hospitality-based training and development, has launched a free coronavirus e-learning course. The Coronavirus – Taking Proactive Action course has been developed with David Edwards, a member of the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health. The course has been designed to support businesses in making preparations and contingencies to deal with coronavirus. Aimed predominantly at outlet management, it covers topics such as what coronavirus is, areas to consider and plan, operational tips, and training guides and materials. The course will be accompanied by additional support material to be used in venues, while it also draws on key government information, data and research from CGA, and advice from UKHospitality. The course will be continually updated, with new versions released to reflect the changing situation. Martin Hilton, director of learning and education at CPL Learning, said: “This is a challenging time for hospitality businesses and we felt it was important we took steps to support the sector and help protect the well-being of team members and customers.”
Honest Burgers and Laine Brew Co collaborate on new beer: Active Partners-backed Honest Burgers has collaborated with Laine Brew Co, the beer division of Brighton-based pub and brewing company Laine. They have developed Burger Beer, which is designed to complement the restaurant operator’s Honest Burger. Burger Beer will launch across Honest’s estate on Tuesday (17 March) and will be available in draught, can and bottle formats. Honest head of brand collaboration Adam Layton said: “Laine Brew Co has strong ties with Brighton, where Honest was founded, and its brewery is just 15 miles from the farm that grows our potatoes. It made sense to keep it local.” Laine chief executive Gavin George added: “Brighton is the birthplace of great ideas and Laine’s beer and Honest’s burgers are no exception. It’s exciting to work with a restaurant business that’s creative, passionate, responsible and growing in what is a challenging environment.”
Daish’s hits double figures with Scarborough hotel buy: Daish’s has acquired the Esplanade Hotel in Scarborough, Yorkshire, for its tenth site. The company said it had been seeking a hotel in the area for a number of years as a complement to its portfolio of coastal hotels. The Esplanade will feature Daish’s combination of nightly live entertainment and package deals that include transport. The Victorian hotel overlooks South Bay. Paul Harper, director of sales and marketing at Daish’s Holidays, said: “We have been on the lookout for a hotel in the area for a while as we know the location sits well within our group of hotels and is a popular destination for our customers. The Esplanade Hotel is a stunning building that boasts incredible views over the coastline.” Family-owned Daish’s operates two hotels in Weymouth plus other sites in the Lake District, Blackpool, Llandudno, Newquay, Torquay, Bournemouth and the Isle of Wight.