Welcome to Rise & Shine
We hope you’re not too frozen this Monday morning. While the latest hospitality news from the South West won’t warm you up on its own, it is best enjoyed with a good hot cup of tea or coffee. You can share your business latest news with over 22,000 fellow industry professionals while they sip their morning brew by contacting our News Editor, Carolyn Moss, at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling her on 01305 897172. Follow us on Twitter @BreadButterNews for updates throughout the week.
Green light for Radisson Red in Bristol
Bristol City Council gave the go-ahead on the 30th November for a major regeneration of a derelict city centre site in Redcliffe. It will include England’s first Radisson Red lifestyle hotel, a food court to be run by Michelin-starred chef Josh Eggleton, a roof-top restaurant, cafés, 15,000 sq ft of offices and 317 new homes.
The Redcliffe Quarter development will also include what is to become Bristol’s tallest residential building at 22 storeys, which the developers say “is set to become an iconic beacon for inner city regeneration”.
The £180m development has been brought forward as a joint venture between Change Real Estate, Cannon Family Office and ICG Longbow. It will comprise 3.3 acres of land that has been derelict for some 20 years. The scheme is set to create around 500 jobs when complete and it’s estimated it will contribute around £7 million per annum to the local economy.
The Radisson Red hotel will help meet the need for visitor accommodation in the city with 185 beds and attracting around 70,000 guests a year.
Ron Persaud, Director at Change Real Estate, says, “We were able to see the long term potential in this site from day one, to transform a derelict and little used area into a development that will make a positive contribution to Bristol. Situated in the heart of a conservation area we know that we are guardians of a much loved and protected part of the city.”
Hampshire Fare shares business expertise
The top 20 firm of accountants and business advisors, Menzies, have agreed a partnership with local food group Hampshire Fare.
Menzies has offices in Hampshire and is keen to invest its resources locally with the not-for-profit group who work with 400 local producers, retailers and hospitality venues committed to sourcing locally.
“Brighter Thinking is how we sum up the difference we make to our clients and we are thrilled to be a ‘Corporate Friend’ of Hampshire Fare.” explains Dave Gosling, a partner at Menzies. “We want to help Hampshire Fare members feel confident with the finances, sharing our finance and accounting expertise to add real value across all areas of their business. We are specialists in the Retail and the Hospitality and Leisure sector and will use our consultancy led approach to challenge and support their business growth and ambitions.”
Bobby Lobue, Partner, Menzies added: “To show our support Menzies are happy to give some of our time for free to help members of Hampshire Fare with their business challenges and opportunities. Areas we can help with outside of the regular accounts and tax queries include: HR/people solutions; international plans; sector regulation; research and development (tax breaks) and anything that will help your business succeed.
Tracy Nash, Commercial Manager of Hampshire Fare is looking forward to the new partnership: “We are excited to be working closely with Menzies. It is a dynamic firm offering advice and experience which will be of great value to our members. They are keen to help our members to future proof their businesses.”
Plymouth gets first five star hotel
The AA have awarded the privately-owned Boringdon Hall five star status, the first hotel in the city to get the rating.
The 16th Century country manor hotel recently underwent refurbishment of all 40 suites and bedrooms, the Great Hall and the Gallery Restaurant.
Laura Cameron, Operations Director, told the Luxury Editor: “Many people have spoken of the need for a five star hotel in Plymouth and Boringdon Hall is now here for those people to enjoy true luxury. I would like to thank everyone involved at Boringdon for their professionalism and commitment.”
The hotel has to pass three visits by undercover inspectors to earn its five-star rating.
Standard fish and chip portion sizes announced
Fish and chip shops are being encouraged to introduce standard portion sizes following the industry’s largest ever research project.
‘Enjoy Fish & Chips’, a joint campaign from Seafish, the industry authority on seafood and AHDB found that by standardising and expanding their range of available portion sizes, fish and chip businesses could give consumers the opportunity to make more informed decisions as well as reduce waste, improve their bottom line and provide more clarity around nutritional information.
For example, under the new recommendations, a regular portion of fish would be 6oz (170g) and a regular portion of chips would be 10oz (284g).
The industry bodies’ research discovered a notable disparity in standard portion sizes served across the industry by comparing the fish and chips offered at over 600 UK businesses. In the UK a medium portion of cod currently varies from 93g to 562g and a medium portion of chips varies from 100g to 797g. But the average price of a fish and chips meal only varies by 34 per cent from region to region.
Tom Pickerell, technical director at Seafish commented: “The aim of these recommendations is twofold. Firstly, by standardising portion sizes across the industry, consumers will know what to expect when ordering their selected portion size, wherever they are in the UK.
“Secondly, it’s about choice. By offering a greater selection of sizes shops can potentially open themselves up to increased business from lunch time trade and by upselling single smaller portions, rather than a large shared portion.”
Rob Clayton, sector strategy director at AHDB Potatoes added: “One of the key findings of the research suggested that one in three consumers said a greater range of portion sizes would encourage them to eat fish and chips more often. That’s more than 17 million people across the UK.
“Couple this with the fact that almost half (45 percent) of people would order smaller portions to cut their calorie intake and there is a huge potential marketplace for outlets to encourage health conscious consumers through their doors.”
The recommendations will also help the industry future-proof against predicted changes in legislation that will require independent food businesses to display nutritional information of products.
Designed for the industry, the Enjoy Fish & Chips website hosts a variety of online resources, including a ‘perfect serve’ tool that demonstrates the cost savings outlets can make by adapting their portion sizes to suit their business. Go to enjoyfishandchips.co.uk for more details.
Koh Thai Tapas management buyout
The award-winning Thai restaurant group has been bought out by its management team with the backing of private equity investor Alcuin Capital Partners.
The Koh Group, headquartered in Poole, operates 12 restaurants across Dorset, Wiltshire, Hampshire and Somerset.
Chief executive Andrew Lennox said: “For the next stage of growth, we have a brilliant company backing us in Alcuin, a war-chest for development and growth, a passionate management team, 12 thriving restaurants, almost 300 loyal staff and many thousands of loyal customers. Following years of dedication by the team this really is a great opportunity for the business and we are incredibly excited about the future.”
Paul Lilley has been brought in as chief financial officer as part of the deal. He previously worked for businesses including Busaba, Drake & Morgan and Burger & Lobster. Sophie Cox has been appointed chief operating officer.
The first Koh Thai Tapas branch opened in Bournemouth seven years ago.
Exiting co-founder James Hampton added: “What started as a restaurant concept in my mind has in seven short years grown up to be a fully-fledged group on the cutting edge of casual dining market under the leadership of our co-founder and CEO Andy Lennox.”
The third annual FreeFrom Awards were held recently to celebrate excellence in every branch of allergen free catering.
The Labyrinth Holistic Café, a community not-for-profit café in a deprived area of Stockton on Tees, was the overall national winner. Runners up from the south included Percy’s Country Hotel & Restaurant in Devon.
The new FreeFrom Eating Out Awards Pathfinder Award went to Executive Chef Dominic Teague of Indigo at One Aldwych. This discretionary award given to those who have really thought outside the conventional ‘freefrom’ box.
For a full list of winners go to: www.freefromeatingoutawards.co.uk
FOOD & DRINK NEWS
Drury’s Christmas tea
The London-based speciality tea blender and coffee roaster are adding a Christmas tea to their range of pyramid-shaped speciality teabags.
The Drury Tea & Coffee Company’s Christmas tea is made from black tea blended with apple, orange and Christmas spices for an aromatic and spicy brew.
Only available in the run up to Christmas, it joins a range of more than 30 teas available in the biodegradable pyramid shaped bags.
The Christmas tea is packed in Art Deco style packs of 15 for display and self-selection with a wholesale list price of £2.95. Alternatively, catering packs of 100 cost £16.20.
Get more information from www.drurypyramids.com
Dartmoor café gets caffeine boost
Home Farm Café near Bovey Tracey has introduced its own signature blend of coffee with the help of a local roaster, Voyager Coffee, based on the edge of Dartmoor.
The café serves over 3000 coffees a month and have also invested in “one of the finest espresso machines available in the world” – the Sanremo Verona RS and extensive barista training to meet the demand.
Paul Rigby from Voyager Coffee said: “We are in the grip of coffee mania and choosing the right equipment for Home Farm Café was as important as selecting the perfect blend for their business. Great coffee can only be made with precise, consistent brewing equipment using the freshest coffee, and I am delighted that we have joined forces to create something special for their customers”.
The café’s partnership with Voyager Coffee sees them send key staff to barista training at the award-winning Coffee Academy at Voyager’s head office in Buckfastleigh. They also created a signature blend exclusive to Home Farm with the selected beans freshly roasted to order.
Chris Bloye from Home Farm Café said: “We are delighted with the support we have received from Paul and the team at Voyager Coffee. Our new coffee blend is already receiving lots of compliments from our customers and the financial investment in our new coffee machine and grinders is worth every penny to be able to serve a perfect cup of coffee”.
Visit www.homefarmcafe.co.uk for more information.
Festive muffin leads Christmas bakery line-up
The gingerbread muffin joins the Christmas line up at Warrens Bakery this year. Full of festive flavours, it has cream cheese frosting and is topped with crystallised ginger and a miniature gingerbread man.
Also available from the bakery’s 50 stores across Cornwall, Devon, Somerset and Bristol are a Mince Pie Pasty, Turkey and Cranberry Pasty and a new Port & Stilton Pasty, inspired by the Christmas cheeseboard. Their annual range of hand decorated Christmas cakes, Christmas puddings, traditional mince pies and Stollen are also available.
Visit www.warrensbakery.co.uk for further information.
OTHER NEWS – IT
Cornish hotel’s digital tour
Falmouth’s oldest hotel is using an immersive 360 degree tour on its website to transport prospective visitors to their 400 year old building before they arrive.
The Greenbank Hotel has introduced the technology, created by Cornish visual mapping specialists 3 Deep Aerial, to give a virtual tour of the recently refurbished interiors and showcase their harbourside location.
Ben Young, general manager, The Greenbank Hotel, said: “The Greenbank Hotel is part of the very fabric of Falmouth’s history – what’s new and exciting is enabling visitors an authentic digital gateway to discover and visualise, like never before, a holiday in Falmouth.”
For more information and to view The Greenbank Hotel’s 360 degree virtual tour visit: https://www.greenbank-hotel.co.uk/360/
New executive chef for Whatley Manor
Niall Keating took up the role at the two Michelin-starred hotel from December 1st. He replaces Martin Burge, who is leaving after 13 years.
Christian Landolt, owner of Whatley Manor, and the hotel’s new General Manager, Sue Williams, said to the Staff Canteen: “We are delighted that Niall has chosen Whatley Manor for his return to the UK. When I first met him at the Bath Priory, his talent was immediately evident, and I have really enjoyed watching his career gather momentum.”
Niall, who is 25, added: “I would like to thank Christian and Sue for this fantastic opportunity. It is an exciting next step for me, and I look forward to evolving the cuisine at Whatley Manor.”
Niall’s new menu will be introduced on the 14th January when the restaurant reopens after a short break from the 8th-13th January.
The Acorn Awards 30th Birthday
The Dorchester Hotel, London
“The prestigious Acorn Awards turns 30 this year. Celebrate at a glittering festive party for the 900 previous Acorn Award winners, their colleagues and friends.
North Devon Christmas Street Food Party – Supporting Children’s Hospice South West
15th and 22nd December, 6-10pm
Barnstaple Pannier Market, Devon
The area’s largest gathering of street food traders, along with outstanding local musicians, a fully stocked bar, craft stalls and children’s entertainment. Organised by North Devon Street Food, with Barnstaple Town Centre management and supporting Children’s Hospice South West. This year’s event boasts eighteen diverse street food traders from the area, including many award-winners.
Cheltenham Street Feast
16th – 17th December
St George’s Place, Cheltenham
“Cheltenham’s inaugural street food event will set up in the heart of town this December, offering a two-day showcase which celebrates local food, drink and music. With a variety to appeal to all visitors, businesses involved with the event include Brew and Bake, Cidersmiths, The Cotswold Pizza Company, DEYA Brewery, Jack’s Kitchen, and Juicilicious, offering a cuisine to appeal to palates.”
Winner takes all in 2017
Insights firm The NPD Group have made their predictions of five trends in foodservice to know about next year and given their tips, in Donald Trump style, for what ‘winners’ need to do in 2017. Success according to the research group will mean showing flexibility and being conscious of health and ethical concerns, sourcing locally and putting twists on classic dishes:
1. Respond to the delivery revolution
Delivery is not new in foodservice but it is growing quickly thanks to an aggressive push by aggregators and non-food providers. With consumers enjoying greater choice than ever, operators are finding it more and more difficult to maintain customer loyalty.
Winners will need a flexible business approach. This could mean introducing a delivery service or opening take-away-only outlets to complement a traditional sit-down restaurant format. Or it could mean partnering with the most relevant delivery aggregator. Speed of delivery and excellent product quality will be key to a great customer experience.
2. Deliver an increasingly high experience
The foodservice industry is facing a storm of cost increases from the National Living Wage (NLW), inflation, weaker sterling and growing business rents. There is already an impact on prices and they are expected to grow further in 2017. At the same time, consumer confidence will remain fragile so consumers will remain cautious about how they spend their money. Quality will be more important than ever.
Winners will need to focus on maintaining the quality of their food and drink offerings and retain menu diversity while delivering an ever better customer experience. With the eat-out market offering a dizzying array of choice, engaging with customers will be key to driving loyalty and repeat visits.
3. Find local food suppliers but don’t sacrifice quality
Consumers are increasingly looking for good quality food; they won’t accept low quality. While sterling was strong, operators could use suppliers around the world to source the best quality products such as high quality meat from South America while still controlling food costs. But the weakness of sterling, inflation and the impact of the NLW will force operators to find local suppliers capable of providing high quality products on a commercial scale.
Winners will be the operators that source locally. They will benefit from consumer approval of local provenance and support for British farmers.
4. Cater for ‘healthy choice’ and ethical consumers
While consumers do not always opt for the ‘healthy choice’, they are increasingly on the lookout for such menu options. Why? Because for many consumers the availability of a ‘healthy choice’ is a reassuring sign of quality. Yes, this adds menu and sourcing complexity for operators as ‘healthy’ or ‘healthier’ food can mean vegetarian, vegan, low fat, low calories, gluten-free, or simply the increasing use of fresh ingredients. But it needs to be taken seriously. Consumers are also seeking ethically-sourced and locally-sourced ingredients and are concerned about limiting food waste and protecting the environment.
Winners will be the operators that meet the demand for ‘healthy choice’ menu options while maintaining their core menu appeal. Operators that understand consumer sensitivity to sourcing, waste and environmental protection will find it easier to succeed.
5. Offer a new twist on a classic
Consumers love seeing a wide variety of food and drink on a restaurant menu, and many operators have successfully catered for this need. Yet consumers are also creatures of habit who – when it comes down to choosing something from a menu – will often be happiest enjoying a classic or traditional dish. If done well, a new take on a classic dish will wow the customer and keep the menu fresh.
Winners will be those operators who can offer the reassurance of the traditional dish while adding a surprising twist that wins the customer’s heart.
Cyril Lavenant, NPD’s Director of Foodservice UK, said: “The competition within the £50 billion British foodservice industry has become intense in recent years and operators must constantly adapt to satisfy ever more demanding consumers, who are now not only thinking about their own health but also about the impact of their actions on the environment. Britain’s foodservice industry is also facing big external challenges which might have a long-term impact on operators. But the industry has responded to challenges in the past and will do so again. Foodservice operators know the importance of maintaining a strong connection with the consumers they serve.”