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ALMR and BHA approve merger to create UKHospitality
The Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) and The British Hospitality Association (BHA) have agreed on the merger that will see the creation of UKHospitality. This new association will represent 700 operations across 65,000 sites in the UK’s third largest private sector employer.
The merger decision was approved by members of both associations at an extraordinary general meeting held on February 21st. The new body will be led by former ALMR chief executive Kate Nicholls who will be CEO. She will be joined on the Board by Nick Varney of Merlin Entertainments, Chair; and Steve Richards of Casual Dining Group, Deputy Chair. Ufi Ibrahim, Chief Executive of the British Hospitality Association, has decided to pursue other interests after eight years with the organisation.
The new body says it has three clear objectives: “Firstly, creating a tax system which is fit for purpose, one which reflects the realities of business in the 21st century and allows a level playing field for traditional high street and community-based businesses which now compete with online companies; secondly, a regulatory regime which allows the hospitality sector to focus on growth rather than red tape; and finally, developing the hospitality workforce of the future.”
Kate Nicholls said: “The hospitality sector is at a critical point, with fantastic innovation, dynamism and enthusiasm across the industry, however this is being jeopardised by significant cost increases and red-tape. The incredible member support for creating UKHospitality demonstrates our ambition to reshape the future of an industry, which represents 10% of UK employment and generates £38bn of tax for the Exchequer.”
Nick Varney said: “Today’s launch is a significant moment for our sector. The hospitality industry needs the right commercial environment in which to prosper. Our vibrant and dynamic sector has been overlooked in policy decisions over recent years, which has had a direct impact on jobs and value creation.”
Steve Richards added: “We are today reiterating our call for a dedicated Minister to represent an industry which is the third largest private sector employer in the UK; double the size of financial services and bigger than automotive, pharmaceuticals and aerospace combined. The sector’s tax contribution is as big as the defence budget, and warrants focused attention from government. Kate and the team have an ambitious plan to secure the future of our industry and will be actively engaging on behalf of the sector at home and abroad.”
All current BHA and ALMR employees will join the new organisation, which is likely to be based at a new site in London.
Bishopstrow Hotel & Spa under new ownership
Wiltshire luxury hotel, The Bishopstrow Hotel & Spa, has been acquired by Versant Developments from previous owners the Longleat Group.
Versant Developments is headed by Frank Mountain, an expert in commercial and residential property development with over 20 years of experience in the sector.
Mountain said: “We are very excited about this new venture. Bishopstrow is a spectacular hotel in a wonderful setting and when we originally looked at the prospect of purchasing the hotel we saw great potential here.”
The new owners are planning an extensive refurbishment programme of the hotel and gardens and will hold new events in the 27-acre grounds.
The four-star hotel which boasts a spa, indoor and outdoor heated pools, 32 bedrooms and a Two Rosette restaurant, will continue to run as normal.
Devon cave attraction launches new restaurant
Torquay-based tourist attraction Kent’s Cavern has opened its new look restaurant.
The Firestone Kitchen has been designed to reflect the caves colour palette and is inspired by “The Stone Age and connected to nature” according to design agency Fruition.
The brief was to create a “colourful, contemporary area that would tie in with the stone age heritage of the caves, to maximise seating that is comfortable to encourage a relaxing, enjoyable stay, with the emphasis on creating a fantastic customer experience.”
The redesigned space features a new servery with a graphic of a vintage map of the caves, a feature wall that mimics some of the cavern’s rock formations and light fittings reminiscent of stalactites.
The new menu includes stone-baked flatbreads such as the Forager, with peppers, mushrooms, courgettes, spinach and cherry tomatoes.
Director, Nick Powe said: “Fruition have grabbed the essence of what we were trying to achieve, and given us a bespoke space using top quality materials to take us into the next era as one of Torquay’s top visitor attractions.”
‘Le Tour de Cuisine’ charity cycle challenge launches
Hospitality Action’s annual Cotswolds Cycle Challenge is now open for entrants. Taking place on Monday 4th June, the revised route this year starts and finishes at country house hotel Calcot and takes in the North Cotswolds area.
There are four routes to choose from. According to the organisers: “The short ride (20 miles) is perfect for those who fancy a leisurely cycle, and for those who are up for more of a challenge, we have also planned two mid-routes (40 and 60 miles); and if these are not tough enough, then the long route (100 miles) might be more to your flavour!”
Each rider will need to pay a registration fee of £30 and then raise a minimum of £100 (not including Gift Aid). All sponsorship monies should be raised by Monday 21st May. Fees include breakfast, refreshments and snacks throughout the day and a barbecue on return.
For further information about the day, contact Maria Carter on firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.hospitalityaction.org.uk/event/the-cotswold-cycle-challenge-cotswolds-monday-4th-june/
New gastropub opens in Cheltenham
Pub company Brunning & Price have opened The Old Courthouse in Cheltenham’s historic former county court.
The 19th century Grade II listed building was previously home to a Jamie’s Italian, which closed in January 2017.
The original planning application on behalf of Brunning & Price said: “Their approach is to ensure that buildings are retained in a beneficial use which will ensure the maintenance of buildings for the future. The key heritage consideration in the determination of this application will be the effect of the proposals on the significance of the grade II listed Former County Court building.”
The menu includes classic British dishes with mains priced between £10.95 and £18.95. Light bites, sandwiches and cheese boards also feature alongside a range of artisan gins.
FOOD & DRINK NEWS
Traditional Free Range Egg Co calls for more egg producers
Dan and Briony Wood, the owners of The Traditional Free Range Company, are looking to expand their network of small independent family-run farms across the South West to meet the demand for the company’s hen, duck, goose and quail eggs.
Dan Wood, managing director of The Traditional Free Range Egg Company, explains; “Consumers are increasingly aware of where their food comes from and how it is produced, so many are now actively searching for producers that they have confidence in, which is great news for us small independent family-run farms. In order to keep up with this growing demand for our free range eggs, we would love to hear from other farmers using methods that can be traced back to the roots of free-range egg production, who might like to become part of The Traditional Free Range Egg Company’s growing family. These farmers’ knowledge and experience are second to none, and something we think is too special to lose, so we want to do all we can to ensure they are championed and supported.”
Based in Somerset, the egg producer uses the less intensive, traditional flat deck method of farming and moved into new premises last year.
Fentimans launch super premium tonic
Following a recent £1.2m rebrand, botanically brewed beverage maker Fentimans are launching a new super premium mixer, Connoisseurs Tonic Water.
The mixer has been “developed to accentuate and amplify the delicate botanical flavours found in artisanal and premium gin. The smooth taste profile has been achieved by the infusion of natural botanicals and the careful blending of clean, subtle and natural flavours.”
Fentimans marketing director, Andrew Jackson, said: “As more and more consumers continue to have heightened quality expectations and as renowned flavour innovators, it’s important that Fentimans create drinks that meet the needs of an increasingly discerning and knowledgeable audience. With the development of Connoisseurs Tonic Water, we have created the crème de la crème of tonic, that will delight even the most ardent connoisseurs.”
Connoisseurs Tonic Water will be launching in 125ml, 200ml and 500ml size formats and supported by an experiential marketing and digital campaign, ahead of a major ATL comms campaign planned for the spring.
Lainox’s new combi: “better looking, better cooking”
Lainox has launched a redesigned version of the Sapiens combination oven. Distributed in the UK by Falcon Foodservice Equipment, the unit has new controls, more settings and a new look.
The Sapiens now has a new colour display, replacing the old numeric keypad. It shows information including recipes, fan speed, washing programmes, menus and settings. The new controls make it easier to access programmes or adjust the fan speed, which now has six settings delivering “tighter control of the cooking process, improving results.”
The Sapiens comes in a wide range of sizes, including GN1/1 and GN2/1 compatible models, accommodating from seven to twenty GN1/1 pans. All are available in gas or electric versions.
List prices for the standard sized Sapiens models start from £7,159 for the seven-grid SAEB071R. The full range is available through Falcon’s dealer network. Visit www.falconfoodservice.com for more information.
New food transport box from FEM
FEM have launched the Cambro UPC300, a front loading, insulated food transportation box. It features a gasket-free door that swings wide open to allow the caterer easy access to the pans inside which are held firmly in place during transportation. The UPC300 can accommodate sizes from GN 1/1 to GN 1/3 and holds up to three GN 1/1 10cm deep pans.
The built-in seal on the door and the thick polyurethane insulation keep food safely stored inside, ensuring it stays at the correct temperature. The UPC300 can store cold food below 4˚C, as well as hot food above 65˚C, for over 4 hours at a time.
For more information go to www.fem.co.uk.
New chef and menu for Ston Easton Park
The Somerset country house hotel, Ston Easton Park, has appointed a new chef and unveiled a new seven-course homegrown tasting menu.
The menu has been influenced by the new chef Ashley Lewis and will showcase the hotel garden’s fresh produce and other locally sourced ingredients. He has worked at three Michelin-starred The Waterside Inn, Bray and Llangoed Hall in Wales.
Ashley said: “It is essential that the cuisine matches the surroundings, and I take inspiration from everything that makes Ston Easton Park special to give guests a fitting, original, and tasty dining experience.”
The new menu will feature classic flavours with French and Asian influences and use modernised culinary techniques. Dishes include foie gras with rhubarb chutney; pan-fried red mullet with lemon puree and duck breast with Lyonnaise-style potatoes, plus milk chocolate mousse and fruit sorbets.
Georgian hotel in Weymouth on market for £970,000
The Bournville Hotel, a Grade II listed Georgian building on Weymouth’s Esplanade is on the market for £970,000.
The freehold five-storey property has period features and 16 rooms, many with sea views. Ed Jefferson from the Hotels team in the South West office of Colliers International, which is marketing the property, said: “The Esplanade and seafront support any number of smaller B&Bs but as a large guest house/small hotel, the Bournville occupies a fairly unique niche. And unlike many of its neighbours, it is freehold.”
He added that it is presently producing net sales of more than £246,000 per annum, but is capable of producing higher profits.
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
Brexit Readiness Training Workshop
28th February 2018, 9.30-4.30
7 Kingsdown Orchard, Hyde Road, Swindon SN2 7RR
“Amelia Bishop Consulting is offering an all-day training workshop about exploring opportunities and reducing Brexit risk. You will learn how to assess Brexit risk and produce contingency plans while brainstorming opportunities. It will bring together an exclusive small group of businesses from different sectors, who will work together to share insight and knowledge with each other.”
For more information & to book – https://www.eventbrite.com/e/grow-your-business-brexit-readiness-training-workshop-tickets-42526186970
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
5th – 8th March 2018
“The UK’s largest foodservice and hospitality event. Hotelympia is the most important event for any professional wanting to gain access to the latest products, ideas and thinking. It is the best place to find real innovation and ideas.”
6th – 8th March 2018
Royal Cornwall Showground, Wadebridge
“Perfectly timed and showcasing products that cover the whole of the hospitality and catering market; from tableware to furniture, catering equipment to business services, coffee to speciality food, this show really does have Cornwall covered.”
The Publican Awards
13th March 2018
Battersea Evolution, London
“The Publican Awards recognises the best in every aspect of the pub industry – from the best brewing pub companies to the best late-night operators. Gold standard comedian and top television presenter Rob Brydon will be joining us to host the awards.”
2018 BAPTA Ball and Award Ceremony
15th March 2018
The Lighthouse, Poole. Dorset
“Set to be one of the largest tourism events in Dorset with over 500 guests attending, to celebrate the achievements of business that contribute to tourism and hospitality across the BH postcode area.”
To find out more and to purchase tickets, visit http://bapta.co.uk/
Northern Restaurant & Bar Show 2018
20th – 21st March 201
Manchester Central Convention Complex
“Northern Restaurant & Bar returns bringing the entire industry together for two days of networking, discovery and innovation. It is the place to source new products and services from 275 exhibiting suppliers and be inspired by 65 live food & drink demos.”
British Tourism & Travel Show 2018
21st – 22nd March 2018
“Britain & Ireland’s essential domestic tourism exhibition. It is packed full of inspirational travel ideas to ensure that your forthcoming brochures, programmes and itineraries are fresh and innovative, even for the most seasoned traveller.”