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Britain eats out despite weather and closures
The British public continued to go out to eat and drink in February despite the cold weather and the closure of several restaurant chains. Like-for-like sales were up 0.2% nationally against the same month last year, according to the latest figures from the Coffer Peach Business Tracker.
Restaurants had a worse month than pubs, however, with collective like-for-likes down 1.5%, in contrast to a 1.3% increase for managed pubs.
“Most of the effects of the major snow disruption will show up in the March data, but even so, to come out effectively even for February as a whole shows the resilience of both the sector and consumers,” said Peter Martin, vice president of CGA, the business insight consultancy that produces the Tracker, in partnership with Coffer Group and RSM.
Mark Sheehan, managing director of Coffer Corporate Leisure, said: “Contrary to media reports the eating and drinking out market remains stable, as these figures show. The restaurant sector has had terrible press over the past few weeks but in reality, consumers are still eating out. We also continue to see pub operators outperforming restaurants.”
Paul Newman, head of leisure and hospitality at RSM, said that the snow that affected many parts of the country earlier this month could not have come at a worse time for the sector. “Operators would have been looking to shore up their finances ahead of March’s quarterly rent demands. This deadline typically coincides with a working capital low point for many and on the back of February’s weak data, could be the catalyst for further site closures and restructurings,” he added.
Star offers licensees EPOS solutions
Star Pubs & Bars have negotiated a deal with Microtill to offer Star licensees bespoke EPOS solutions.
The move apparently reflects demand from licensees for more sophisticated EPOS systems to match the increasing complexity of many Star pub businesses who have invested in outdoor areas, function rooms and food.
Steve Dancer, Star Pubs & Bars buying director says: “There have been huge developments in EPOS systems in recent years, but many leased operators and free traders have not upgraded their technology and so are not seeing all the benefits available.”
Following consultation with licensees, the comprehensive EPOS package includes hardware, software, installation, training and a national maintenance and repairs service. Each licensee will get a bespoke system suited to their business, according to the company.
Dancer adds: “Getting the right EPOS system can revolutionise the way a pub operates and, used correctly, boosts profits. It is fundamental to keeping a business on track, understanding trading patterns and staff performance and running a pub effectively and efficiently. We’re happy to have been able to do the legwork. Leveraging our buying power for the benefit of licensees means they get a great price without compromising on quality or service.”
St Austell reopens refurbished hotel
The Pier House Hotel on Charlestown harbour in Cornwall has reopened following a £380,000 refurbishment programme by St Austell Brewery.
The brewery acquired the property in 2016, obtained outline planning permission to modernise it last year and closed the hotel in January to undertake the work. The refurbishment has reworked the bar areas, introduced an extended bar and revamped the internal and external dining areas.
St Austell Brewery’s Patrick Gribbin, who project managed the work, said: “We’re immensely proud of what we have achieved at the Pier House. By increasing the accessibility we’ve opened up the site to many more people and allowed so much more opportunity for guests to appreciate the amazing views from the hotel. It’s probably true to say that this is our favourite project to date.”
Bournemouth tourism award winners revealed
The 2018 BAPTA Ball Awards Ceremony took place on 15th March and celebrated “tourism across the BH postcodes.”
The BAPTAs (previously known as the Bournemouth Tourism Awards) drew more entries than ever across 19 different categories.
Winner of The Large Hotel Award was The Cumberland Hotel while The Small Hotel Award went to The Pig on the Beach in Studland.
Other winners included The Jetty Restaurant – Christchurch (The Specialist Dining Experience Award); The Beach Hut Café – Christchurch (BAPTA’s Best Breakfast Award); Ocean Palace Restaurant Poole & Tiien Thai (joint winners, The International Cuisine Experience Award); and Hotel Miramar – Bournemouth (The Afternoon Tea Award).
Andy Woodland, chairman of the Bournemouth and Poole Tourism Management Board said: “Many tourism businesses and organisations work together to make the tourism economy so strong in Dorset. The variety and standard of entries this year has been incredible. Altogether tourism spend brings in over a £1billion in the BH postcode area and annually to our local community and represents at least 25% of the areas gross income.”
Wadworth invest £150k in Devizes pub
The Bell by the Green pub in Devizes has received a £150,000 makeover by independent family brewer Wadworth to create a sports pub and bar.
The refurbished pub, close to Devizes town centre, has a new open plan area with seven large screens and two pool tables. The kitchen will offer a new bar menu including pizzas from the pizza oven.
Director for Tenanted Trade at Wadworth, Lloyd Stephens, said: “This is a great investment by Wadworth in our hometown. The Bell by the Green is in such a central location which means that this area of the town will really benefit from the added facilities now provided at the pub”.
Cornish brewery for sale
Coastal Brewery, based in Redruth, Cornwall, has been put up for sale with a guide price of £100k.
Established in 2005, owner and head brewer Alan Hinde has decided to move back to Cheshire for “family reasons”.
Located on Redruth’s Cardrew Industrial Estate, Coastal Brewery’s range of beers includes Hop Monster, Angelina golden ale and St Piran’s Porter as well as seasonal specials.
The sale includes a complete six-barrel brewkit, office, van and various varieties of hops.
Lympstone Manor planting vineyard
Michelin-starred Lympstone Manor have announced they are planting a vineyard within their 28-acre estate on the East Devon Exe estuary this April.
Marking their one-year anniversary since opening, they plan to plant some 18,000 vines to produce classic champagne-method sparkling wines. The microclimate at the site is “particularly suited to growing grapes, falling within the top 5% in the entire country”.
Owner and chef Michael Caines said: “From the first time I viewed the property in July 2014, my intention was to establish a vineyard on the site. The great vineyards of Europe are all located on rivers, the Médoc châteaux of Bordeaux on the Gironde, wine estates along Rhône, Loire, and Rhine rivers, the great port vineyards of the Douro. Why not the Exe estuary? Our climate is mild, and the success of other local vineyards has convinced me that it will be possible to produce outstanding wines here. Wine is a huge passion of mine and is an integral part of what we offer at the hotel, so I can’t wait to share our very own Lympstone Manor Cuvee with my customers.”
James Matyear has joined the Lympstone Manor team as vineyard and grounds manager and will be overseeing the project alongside Caines and operations director, Steve Edwards. James studied viticulture at Plumpton College, East Sussex, before working for the multi-award winning English sparkling wine producer Hattingley Valley, in Hampshire.
FOOD & DRINK NEWS
Quicke’s launch mixed milk cheese
Devon-based producer Quicke’s are introducing its first ever mixed milk cheese, Lady Prue, at London’s Borough Market.
Named after Mary Quicke’s mother, Lady Prue combines goat’s and cow’s milk to “create a youthful, pale and delicate clothbound cheese, with a subtle taste of goat and a gentle caramelly hint.” It is one of only a handful of mixed milk cheeses being made in the UK.
The cheese will be available exclusively from the Heritage Cheese stall at Borough Market, London’s oldest food market. It marks a new partnership between Quicke’s and Heritage Cheese, which already stocks much of the cheesemaker’s range.
Bath microbrewery launches two new beers
Electric Bear Brewing Co. are adding two new beers to their range from the 26th March.
Stout Out To My Hops is a dry-hopped stout, ABV 5.5% that will be available in limited numbers in cask and keg. Their tasting notes say: “We’ve taken a robust full-bodied stout recipe and laden it with hops that complement the gentle roast and chocolate flavours from the malt. Expect to find everything from a sweet chocolate to a coffee like earthiness and pine through to tropical fruits in this sense-defying stout.’”
Big Up El Dorado is a single-hop American pale ale, ABV 4.8%. It showcases “El Dorado; a hop known to bring flavours and aromas of every orange coloured fruit in existence. Expect to find orange, tangerine, mandarin, clementine.”
It will be available in cask, keg and 330ml cans.
For more information visit https://electricbearbrewing.com/
Artis introduce space age oven-to-tableware
The Ceraflame range of oven-to-tableware from Artis is resistant to thermal shock and made from the same material as the tiles on a space shuttle.
The special multi-layer ceramic composition is fired at 1300˚C “making it harder than any other comparable oven-to-tableware.” It allows individual portions of prepared meals to be taken from the freezer, reheated in a microwave or conventional oven and served directly to the table without changing dishes.
Made from a material developed through NASA’s space programme, Ceraflame is non-toxic, has a scratch-free surface and the appearance of cast iron, despite being relatively lightweight.
The range includes min pans, round dishes and a shallow bowl.
Contact Artis by calling 020 8391 5544 or visit www.artis-uk.com/downloads to get a copy of their latest catalogue.
Welcome to Excellence courses
8th March – 3rd May 2018
Exeter, Bournemouth and St Austell
“Welcome Host Gold customer service courses and Welcome All disability awareness courses running in locations across Devon, Dorset and Cornwall. Enhance the customer experience and reap the rewards in increased customer loyalty and repeat business. Provide great service to every single one of your customers – smart businesses know how to make everyone welcome.”
Further information available at http://www.purplecloudconsultancy.com
To book https://purplecloudconsultancy.digitickets.co.uk/tickets
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.”
Grow your business! Resilience and planning training workshop
28th March 2018, 9.30 – 4.30
7, Kingsdown Orchard, Hyde Road, Swindon SN2 7RR
“This Amelia Bishop roundtable business training workshop looks at the opportunities for your business out of Brexit. We are giving you the tools to ensure your business continues to grow during these changing and uncertain times by sharing our knowledge and experience and equipping you with the tools to prepare and transform your business in the years ahead.”
For more information & to book – https://www.eventbrite.com/e/grow-your-business-business-resilience-and-growth-workshop-tickets-43832545323
Farm Shop & Deli Show
16th – 18th April 2018
“Bringing the latest developments in artisan produce, Farm Shop & Deli Show is the sector’s leading event for delicatessens, farm shops, restaurants, garden centres, food halls, butcheries and bakeries as they look to discover the latest trends in speciality food and drink.”
Food & Drink Expo
16th – 18th April 2018
“Showcasing some of the industry’s hottest new brands and talent, the show will provide buyers with a wealth of information and product sourcing opportunities. With over 100 live events and 250 speakers across the show portfolio, Food & Drink Expo retains its position as a show that owners and buyers in the food business can’t afford to miss.”
16th – 18th April 2018
“The UK’s premier trade event for the food and drink processing, packaging and logistics industries, Foodex returns to highlight the latest innovations in supply chain efficiency.”
The Ingredients Show
16th – 18th April 2018
A new event to provide manufacturers with a one-stop-shop for innovative new ingredients and equipment.
National Convenience Show
16th – 18th April 2018
“The National Convenience Show offers the perfect forum for convenience stores, forecourt traders, independent retailers, off-licences and wholesalers to review the best fresh produce and products, as well as identifying new technology and services that can improve efficiency and the in-store experience.”
The Natural Food Show
22nd – 23rd April 2018
“The Natural Food Show will showcase thousands of the best natural, organic and healthy food and drink products on the market.”