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Christmas: not a cracker for restaurant and pub groups
Britain’s managed pub and restaurant groups saw collective like-for-like sales marginally down by 0.1% over the six-week Christmas and New Year period, according to latest figures from the Coffer Peach Business Tracker.
The results, covering the six weeks up to 7th January, show drink-led businesses had the best of festive trading. Managed pub groups did better than casual dining restaurants, delivering a small increase in trade with collective like-for-likes up 0.6% on last year. Restaurant chains saw collective like-for-likes down 1.0%.
Peter Martin, vice president of CGA, the business insight consultancy that produces the Tracker, in partnership with Coffer Group and RSM, said: “The public still went out to eat and drink, but essentially it was a repeat of last Christmas. Better trading in the second half of the festive season, when people were mainly off work, failed to provide enough of a boost to beat 2016’s overall numbers.”
Mark Sheehan, managing director of Coffer Corporate Leisure, said: “Despite very negative press particularly associated with restaurant sector trading, the eating and drinking out market is not in free fall. Trading over the important December trading period was flat with pubs trading better than restaurants. There is no question that the trading environment is competitive but these numbers are not the car crash that has been widely portrayed. 2018 will be a challenging year and we expect to see bars and pubs trading more robustly than restaurants.”
Paul Newman, head of leisure and hospitality at RSM, added: “Increased drinks spend across the managed pub market over the festive period was not enough to offset disappointing casual dining like-for-likes, rounding off a flat year for the sector and failing to give operators Christmas cheer. Since the New Year a number of high profile brands have already announced site closure plans and with consumer confidence waning and uncertainty ahead of Brexit, we expect our restructuring teams to be kept busy in the months ahead.”
CAMRA app finds Good Beer
The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) has launched a new app that helps users search for beer and pubs across the UK.
The Good Beer Guide features over 40,000 pubs and lists 13,000 beers from 2,000 breweries, searchable by the name of the beer or the brewery. Pub searches can be filtered for everything from free wifi to being dog-friendly.
App users will be able to share pictures and comments on the pubs they visit and beers they drink with friends. Pump clips can be scanned to instantly get more information of the real ales on tap and beers can be tagged for other users.
Available for iOS and Android, users can subscribe for 99p a month, £1.99 for three months or £4.99 for a year to access more features and the premium listing of 4,500 CAMRA recommended pubs from its Good Beer Guide.
CAMRA’s head of publishing Simon Hall said: “The Good Beer Guide is already a hugely respected source of beer and pub information. The app is the next step, opening up the world of great beer and pubs to even more people and providing a new way for them to share their passion with others through pictures, tasting notes and reviews. It allows people to take the pub with them wherever they go.”
Cornish farm secures grant for £500k food processing project
Bodmin-based farmer EW Button & Son has made one of the first successful bids to the Rural Development Programme for England Growth Programme (RDPE) for a £500,000 food processing project.
The grant has funded the construction of two new cold store units at two Cornish sites, enabled the business to improve its potato processing and created six new jobs.
The RDPE Growth Programme was set up with the aim of creating jobs and growing the rural economy. There are three types of grant available: business development, food processing and rural tourism infrastructure.
Brian Harvey, Partner at PKF Francis Clark in Truro who assisted the Button family with the financial modelling and application process said: “We were extremely pleased to work on this project, the application process was quite strict and being one of the first meant there was no yardstick to go by. The grant funding means not only the successful expansion of this thriving business but the added benefit of new jobs into the local economy.”
De Savarys add Dorset hotel to family portfolio
Lana de Savary, the wife of international entrepreneur Peter de Savary, has exchanged contracts on the Eastbury Hotel in Sherborne, Dorset with a completion date of the 13th February 2018.
The de Savarys have owned and operated luxury hotels and clubs for forty years including Cary Arms & Spa, the St James’s Clubs, Skibo Castle, Bovey Castle, Cherokee Plantation, Carnegie Abbey Club, the Abaco Club, and the Old Swan & Minster Mill.
The 23-bedroom Eastbury Hotel has been owned and managed by Paul and Nicky King for 17 years and won Best Hotel Restaurant at the Dorset Food & Drink Awards in 2016.
Lana de Savary said: “We hope to further invest in the hotel to maintain its reputation and, subject to planning approval, add a few additional luxurious rooms as well as a boutique spa facility for hotel guests. I was particularly attracted to the Eastbury which is a period country house with lovely gardens, extraordinarily situated in the heart of the charming and quintessentially English town of Sherborne”.
New gourmet chicken shop launching in Bristol
The first Happy Bird is opening on Bristol’s Whiteladies Road at the end of January. Situated in a unit at Clifton Down Shopping Centre, the new “gourmet chicken concept” will sell high welfare, free-to-roam poultry from Yorkshire to eat in or take away.
Happy Bird founder Adam Batty said: “We think great quality chicken, that tastes like chicken used to taste, should not be the exclusive preserve of a handful of the finest restaurants in the city. Fast, convenient chicken shouldn’t mean a deep-fried, MSG crammed 4-week-old bird, factory-farmed in Thailand. You won’t find a zero welfare, tasteless bird grilled to high heaven, hiding behind a load of hot sauces here at Happy Bird. We believe the great Bristol public deserves better.”
Happy Bird will serve “boneless or boned, naked or buttermilk-fried chicken and a range of seven homemade sauces and healthy sides.” Superfood salads, rice and a range of drinks including shakes and smoothies will also be available.
One of last Exeter freehouses sold
The City Pub Group PLC has bought The Old Fire House in Exeter City Centre for an undisclosed sum.
One of the city’s last remaining freehouses, the building originally housed the fire brigade from 1831 to 1888. It was opened as a pub in 1986 and was operated by Flamequire.
Chairman of The City Pub Group is Clive Watson, who has appeared on reality TV show Made in Chelsea with his daughters. The firm was founded in 2011 and started trading on AIM in November 2017. A December 2017 trading update stated the Group now has the funding available to execute the strategy of doubling the size of its estate over the next three to four years.
Jon Clyne, Director at Charles Darrow, who handled the sale, said: “Quality freeholds such as the Old Fire House are few and far between and while the sale price is undisclosed, we believe it is the highest value sale of a freehold public house without letting accommodation, ever sold in Devon”.
The pub is expected to re-open after a minor refurbishment in March 2018.
Rugby Legends Dinner for Hospitality Action
Former England and Bath rugby player and TV pundit, David Flatman, will entertain guests with his sporting tales and anecdotes at Hospitality Action’s inaugural Rugby Legends Dinner, sponsored by Sharp’s Brewery, on Monday 9th April at Deer Park Country House Hotel in Devon.
He will be joined by rugby legends including former England captain Phil Vickery MBE, former England player Jeremy Guscott, Welsh Rugby Union and Worcester Warriors scrum-half Matt Powell and ex-England Rugby lock Nigel Redman will also be present.
The evening will feature a four-course dinner prepared by award-winning South West chefs; Paul Ainsworth of Paul Ainsworth at Number 6, Dominic Chapman of The Beehive, Josh Eggleton of The Pony & Trap, Jude Kereama of Kota and Kota Kai, Nathan Outlaw of Restaurant Nathan Outlaw, Guy Owen of The Idle Rocks, and Michael Wignall formerly of Gidleigh Park.
David Flatman says: “I’m super excited to speak at Hospitality Action’s inaugural Rugby Legends Dinner. It’s going to be a fantastic night with amazing food prepared by seven award-winning chefs. If you haven’t already booked your place then crack on, spots are limited, and the food is going to be mega!”
Michael Wignall adds: “I jumped at the chance to cook at this fantastic dinner. It’s not every day you get so many big names under one roof! It’s going to be a brilliant night, for such a good cause, I know everyone lucky enough to get a ticket is going to have a great time.”
Tables for the Rugby Legends Dinner range from £800 to £1,500 with a rugby legend on your table and include a drinks reception and the four-course meal with coffee and half a bottle of wine per guest. To secure your place, contact Giuliana Vittiglio on 020 3004 5504 or via firstname.lastname@example.org or online at www.hospitalityaction.org.uk/events
Soft serve ice cream machine
Ice cream and gelato equipment manufacturer Carpigiani have announced the launch of a new compact soft serve ice cream machine.
The 161 series is the company’s smallest-ever soft serve machine, designed for outlets with limited space and available in non-pasteurising and self-pasteurising models, the latter of which has a 42-day cleaning cycle.
Able to produce up to 15kg of soft serve ice cream or frozen yoghurt an hour from a 5-litre tank, the 161 can use Carpigiani’s remote monitoring and diagnostic software.
Paul Ingram, Managing Director at Carpigiani UK said: “The 161 is a breakthrough in ice cream production, offering the optimum solution for those looking to serve wonderfully indulgent soft serve ice cream and the latest yoghurt offerings, but have previously been restricted by available space or electrical supply. Taking innovation to the next level, the unit features everything an operator would need to efficiently deliver an outstanding product offering, including the world’s smallest self-pasteurising tank, and amazingly low purchase prices from around £5,500+VAT.”
For more information got to www.carpigiani.co.uk.
Refrigerated Chef’s Drawer launched
Williams Refrigeration have released a new stackable fridge or freezer drawer unit.
The Chef’s Drawer “maximises refrigerated storage in any kitchen where space is limited” and has a capacity of up to 94 litres.
Designed to fit with the latest cooking suites, the units can be stacked on top of each other, to double the storage and allow a refrigerator/freezer combination in the same footprint.
Built with a stainless steel interior and exterior, the fridge version of the Chef’s Drawer can be adjusted between 1 and 4°C, while the freezer offers a temperature range of -18 to -21°C. They can operate in ambient temperatures up to 43°C.
List prices for the Chef’s Drawer are £2,400 for the HWCD1 (fridge) and £2,700 for the LWCD1 (freezer) model. Visit www.williams-refrigeration.co.uk for more details.
Historic Lynmouth Inn on the market for £1.4m
The Blue Ball Inn, a historic coaching inn situated within the Exmoor National Park is on the market with Colliers International for £1,445,000.
Located on the old route from Porlock to Lynmouth since the 18th Century, it is thought to be named after the practice of raising a blue ball on a pole to hail passing coaches. The inn generates net sales in excess of £720,000 per annum and has five separate public areas including a 120 cover restaurant. There are also 16 letting bedrooms and a one/two bedroom flat.
Ed Jefferson from Colliers International’s Hotels team said: “The Blue Ball has plenty going for it – it’s on the main road to Lynton and Lynmouth, it’s within walking distance of Exmoor and it’s near Wind Hill – thought to be the location of the Battle of Cynwit – which featured heavily in The Last Kingdom TV series… Due to a retirement, this profitable business is now on the market for the first time in a decade.”
SPOTLIGHT – THE SOURCE
Meet the Newcomers
The Source trade show (7-8th February 2018, Westpoint Exhibition Centre, Exeter) provides the perfect mix of passionate producers alongside the hottest hospitality and catering companies and the freshest food service. Don’t miss the Newcomers area. It’s for new companies from the South West that had never exhibited at a trade show before…
“That is too much bacon”, said no one, ever. Bacon revolutionaries BAM are pioneering alternative kinds of bacon; hot-smoked pork bacon cured and flavoured with chilli, herbs or garlic, and adventurous traditional condiments enhanced with a chilli kick.
Barnaby’s Brewhouse Ltd
Based on Riverford Farm, they use natural spring water to produce unique organic craft lagers that are suitable for vegans. They aim to be a completely sustainable business using renewable energy sources and re-purposing or reusing all by-products.
Artisan dairy producer on the Dartington Estate which prides itself on sustainable farming practices and innovation. Their Dark Belgian Chocolate goats milk ice cream won a Guild of Fine Food Gold star. Their recently launched goats kefir has seen a rapid increase in popularity.
Dorset Spice Shed
The UK’s most innovative blenders of herbs and spices – from Bridport! Expert advice and development for own-label seasonings.
Boutique Bristol booze brand Espensen Spirit produces a fantastic range of naturally infused vodkas, gins & whiskies, all handmade by Sam Espensen.
Exeter Gin and Granny Garbutts Gin. Handcrafted small batch London Dry gins made using a range of botanicals some of which are foraged in Devon, with exceptional depths of flavour.
Healthy Recipes Ltd
MezzeSoul is a fresh pomegranate juice sauce brand from Healthy Recipes, a family business bringing the heat, warmth and soul of the Mediterranean into the UK. These bejewelled bombs are a flavour sensation, lifting your cooking experience to a whole new level.
Holly Botanic is a range of natural, handmade products to help you be your best self. The current range includes tisanes (infusions), balms and oils.
Iford Cider, a new breed of modern cider makers based on the Iford Estate, near Bradford-on-Avon. Handcrafted award-winning ciders using wild yeast and ancient apples found in once-forgotten orchards on and around the estate. Never from concentrate.
JEAM Super Mixes
A range of award-winning, nutrient-rich organic bread mixes that are easy to make and pack a healthy punch. Deliciously nutritious.
Jurassic Coast Pastries
Their all butter melt in the mouth pastries are a delight. Crumbly, tasty, irresistible. Available gluten free too. Made in Dorset with love by hand, right on the Jurassic Coast.
New Forest Biscotti
Located in Dorset, they are a small artisan bakery which offers a new and innovative range of Biscotti.
New Kings Coffee
A diverse range of high-quality coffees from around the world in innovative coffee bags, which provide a single serving of each coffee, making these an ideal way to enjoy many different coffees in a convenient and cost-effective way.
It’s new, it’s different, it’s amazing. Launching four core range products – two relishes & two salad dressings. With more fantastic products to be launched imminently.
The Leafy Tea Company
This Bath Artisan Tea Company was set up by 16yr old April Collins in 2016, on a mission to shake things up, create tasty, quality and delicious everyday teas & infusions.
Wild Flour Cake Co
Fresh traybakes, rounds, muffins and loaf cakes. Specialists in supplying cafes, restaurants and delis with the most delicious cakes. Large Gluten Free and Vegan ranges. Pre-cut cakes.
For more information, go to https://thesourcetradeshow.co.uk
23rd-24th January 2018
Ricoh Arena, Judds Lane, Coventry, CV6 6GE
“BevExpo2018 (incorporating Cellar to Seller and BrewEx) is an opportunity for the wider beverage industry to meet, learn and discover the excellence of products and services within the entire beverage industry supply chain.”
Business South Local Produce Show
2018 – Producers & Suppliers
25th January 2018
Hilton at the Ageas Bowl, Southampton
“Business South, Cavendish Ships Stores, Hampshire Fare, Hampshire Farmers’ Market, Paris Smith, Southern Coop and New Forest Marque invite producers and suppliers from the South to exhibit at the 10th Local Produce Show 2018.”
South West Tourism Awards Celebration Dinner
1st February 2018
Arena at the Riviera International Conference Centre, Torquay
“The dinner is the grand finale for the awards across the South West, attended by over 400 of the region’s top quality tourism businesspeople, as well as a great opportunity for the region’s tourism businesses to meet up, celebrate and enjoy each other’s company.”
6th-7th February 2018
“The only dedicated show for the UK Pub industry. Keep up-to-date with trends, share ideas, network and gain inspiration with almost 200 of the sector’s most innovative operators.”
The Source Trade Show
7th – 8th February 2018
Westpoint Exhibition Centre, Exeter
“The 2018 Source trade show provides the perfect mix of passionate producers, alongside the hottest hospitality and catering companies, and the freshest food service.”
Westcountry Tourism Conference
7th – 8th February 2018
Westpoint Exhibition Centre, Exeter
“Running alongside the Source Trade Show, the conference is designed for anyone working in the tourism industry across Devon, Somerset, Dorset and further afield. It will provide tourism businesses with the opportunity to listen to industry experts who will be offering advice on a diverse range of topics.”
The Food to Go Conference & Study Tour
7th – 8th February 2018
Ham Yard Hotel, London
“MCA’s successful Food-to-go Conference returns with a further focus on THE most dynamic and fast-moving sector in the UK’s eating out industry. The 2018 Study Tour will visit key forward-thinking food-to-go operations in London and include operator talks and sampling.”
Gambero Rosso Trebicchieri Wineteca 2018
8th February 2018
Wine Tasting Event
Royal Horticultural Halls, London, SW1P 2PE
“UK trade and press professionals will have the opportunity to taste the finest wines featured in Vini d’Italia 2018, one of the most authoritative guides about the complex world of Italian wines.”
21st-22nd February 2018
Business Design Centre, London
“Casual Dining is your only trade show entirely dedicated to the branded restaurant and pub sectors. Casual Dining gives you the unique opportunity to meet over 200 food, drink, equipment, tabletop, furniture, interior design, technology and services suppliers, taste and try products.”
The Bed & Breakfast, Retail and Self-Catering Show
21st & 22nd February 2018
Thornbury Leisure Centre, Bristol. BS35 3JB
“The fourth Exhibition and Conference covering the Bed and Breakfast, Guest House, Inns, Small Independent Hotel, Independent Self Catering Owners and Owner Managed Hospitality businesses.”
Food & Drink Business Workshop – Strategies for a Successful Food Business
27th February 2018, 9.30am – 1.30pm
The Cedars Inn, Barnstaple, EX31 2HE
“This workshop is tailored to food & drink producers, including practical ways to manage the balance between sales, marketing & finance to ensure profitable growth. The workshop will be packed full of ideas and suggestions so that you leave with your own tailored action plan.”
For more details & to book – https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/food-for-thought-a-workshop-for-food-drink-businesses-tickets-40802090150
Packaging Innovations 2018
28th February – 1st March 2018
“Visitors will be able to meet with new and current suppliers supplying the latest in innovative food & drinks packaging, tap into the industry’s hot trends, and network with the world’s biggest brands under one roof.”
Co-Located with Label & Print 2018 & Empack 2018
Professional Development Courses for the Tourism and Hospitality Sector
28th February – 16th March 2018
“Practitioners can develop their skills through a series of masterclasses and half-day courses to develop operational and strategic thinking. Delivered through interactive workshops and networking with leading academics, the courses are aimed at developing contemporary knowledge of critical business aspects that influence profitability and performance.”
For information, visit www.bournemouth.ac.uk/tourism-hospitality-shortcourses
To book https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/professional-development-courses-for-tourism-hospitality-professionals-tickets-38863372393