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Summer holiday season boosts UK eating out
Britain’s managed pub and restaurant groups saw collective like-for-like sales edge up 0.6% in August, according to the latest figures from the Coffer Peach Business Tracker. The more mixed weather brought better news for the county’s casual dining chains too.
Managed pubs saw collective like-for-likes grow 0.2% against August last year, while restaurant groups were up 1.4% for the month. Regionally, London outperformed the rest of the country, with 1.5% like-for-like sales in August compared to trading outside the M25 which was up just 0.4%.
Karl Chessell, director at CGA said: “These latest figures will come as a huge relief for restaurant operators, who have been under the cosh of late, not least because of the early summer heatwave which was great news for Britain’s pubs as the public headed outdoors, but little help for the country’s restaurant chains
“More mixed weather during August and a damp bank holiday weekend will have helped the casual dining market,” he added. “The school holidays will have also helped as parents looked to keep their families occupied.”
The summer tourist season and the continuing good weather appears to have given an uplift to trading levels for restaurants in London, especially those with external seating,” said David Coffer, chairman of the Coffer Group.
“This is also reflected in the increase of like-for-likes in restaurant groups. This may well be a deceptive improvement as the impact of possible political upheaval begins to gain momentum over the coming months. The reaction of the UK restaurant public could swing either way in terms of seeking solace in food and beverage venues. Generally, we are seeing a continuing demand for restaurants in good trading locations but a drop-in demand otherwise. Premiums for leases are certainly at a five year low.”
Total sales growth across the pub and restaurant cohort, which includes the effect of new openings, was 3.2% in August, reflecting a slowdown but not a halt in brand roll-outs, and was running at 3.7% for the 12 months to the end of the month.
Langham win South West wine of the year
The annual South West Vineyards Association (SWVA) competition saw the Langham Wine Estate win South West wine of the year for their Classic Cuvée Reserve Magnum 2011.
Eight other gold medals were awarded including: Fraicheur Barrel Matured 2016, Oatley Vineyard, Somerset (Oaked Dry Whites); Woodchester Valley Bacchus 2017, Woodchester Valley, Gloucestershire and Camel Valley Bacchus 2016, Camel Valley, Cornwall (Whites from Bacchus); May Hill 2016, Three Choirs, Gloucestershire (Medium/Sweet Whites); Whole Berry Rosé, Sharpham Estate, Devon (Rosé); Classic Cuvée Reserve Magnum 2011 and Blanc de Noirs 2013, Langham Wine Estate, Dorset and Sparkling Pinot Noir 2014, Wayford Vineyard, Somerset (Sparkling); and Rosé NV, Langham Wine Estate, Dorset (Sparkling Rosé).
SWVA chairman Guy Smith commented on the results: “I’m tremendously proud to see such a strong set of results, which reflect the skill of the winemakers and quality of wine available across the South West. The standouts for me include a triple trophy for Langham, and two trophies for Sharpham Estate; Woodchester Valley picked up a gold from the first vintage out of its brand new winery, and Oatley scored their first gold medal in 30 years’ production.”
Chair of judges, Patricia Stefanowicz MW, commented: “This year was an excellent competition. The Bacchus group was stunning, seriously exciting, and oaked whites also showed very well, although the medium dry category could have perhaps showed better. Pretty, well-made rosés, and amongst the reds we found some gems. Delightful fizzes all round, including the rosé sparkling.”
Juice Collective joining CARGO in Bristol
Cold-pressed juice manufacturer The Juice Collective will open its first retail space this September in Bristol’s shipping container-based food hub CARGO at Wapping Wharf.
The Juice Collective was founded in Bath by Emma Frampton and will replace Lovett Pies, who are moving out to focus on wholesale.
Emma Frampton, founder of The Juice Collective said: “We are thrilled about moving into CARGO – this marks a real milestone in the business journey of The Juice Collective from a home business through to now opening our first retail space.
“It’s also really lovely to take on the unit from another independent business and a team that we’re good friends with. Their progression has meant we have the opportunity to join CARGO which we feel will be a perfect fit for our business.”
Stuart Hatton, director at Umberslade, the developer behind Wapping Wharf, said: “We are delighted to welcome The Juice Collective to the CARGO community and to provide them with a platform to launch their first retail space which will add a new dimension to what is on offer at Wapping Wharf.
“From the outset, our vision for CARGO was to support a whole range of independent businesses, giving them a platform to try out new concepts and offerings within a unique space with flexible terms. Whilst we are sorry to see Lovett Pies leave, we understand they have some exciting opportunities and we wish the team all the best with their future plans for the business.”
Bath hotels rebrands as The Bird
The County Hotel on Pulteney Road, Bath has been rebranded as The Bird, to fit in with its “new personality” as part of the Kaleidoscope Collection of hotels.
Acquired in March this year by hoteliers Ian and Christa Taylor, the new name “better reflects the vibrant transformation of the hotel, which in the initial phases has seen refreshed public spaces, additional bedrooms, a new bar, relaxed restaurant and meeting spaces, as well as a much-loved pop-up beach bar.”
It was also announced that Tim O’Sullivan will join The Bird as general manager. He comes from the Apex City of Bath, which opened just over a year ago.
He said: “Having worked with large hotel groups previously, I’m delighted to make the move into the boutique hotel sector and really make my mark on The Bird. The Kaleidoscope Collection really stands out as doing things differently in Bath and this is the ideal opportunity to be working with a great team of entrepreneurially-minded people.”
“We’re delighted to have Tim on board to head up the team at The Bird,” said Ian Taylor. “He has a genuine, hands-on approach and brings a wealth of experience to the hotel – we’re very much looking forward to the next chapter.
“Creating something new and exciting for Bath is something we love to do, and we’re really pleased with the transformation of The Bird so far.”
BigBarn backs local food hubs dumped by French firm
Food and drink website, BigBarn, has stepped in to support 60 local food hubs that have been dropped by The Food Assembly. For the past four years, the French company had provided an online trading platform for many of the local food hubs across the country.
Following The Food Assembly’s departure, BigBarn are now providing a platform for the food hubs which builds on the technology they use online to list around 700 food producers on their local food maps.
BigBarn hope to improve on the current platform’s abilities and allow more consumers to buy a wider range of “fresher, better, local food, from many producers, all in one online order. The aim is for each local hub to act as a collection point, or local delivery centre.”
Anthony Davison, founder of BigBarn, said: “It is our hope and aim for there to be a hub for every local community, rural and urban, and we will continue to develop the platform to meet the needs of all users.
“It’s easy for producers and farmers to get involved and even easier for consumers to discover delicious, seasonal and local produce that they can get delivered in one click. With Brexit just around the corner we need to be supporting local producers and help farmers find new routes to market. These food hubs are a simple and effective way to do this and we’re proud to be helping them develop.”
St Austell Brewery buys Bath pub
Cornwall brewery St Austell have purchased The Griffin Inn on Monmouth Street in Bath.
The historic pub joins the brewery’s 147 strong collection of tenanted pubs and will be St Austell’s first since acquiring Bath Ales in 2016.
The Griffin’s new tenant, Jack Werner, is already the operator of three successful West Country pubs – the Inn at Freshford, the Cross Guns at Avoncliff and the Old Crown in Kelston.
Steve Worrall, estate director for St Austell Brewery, said: “Established in 1730, the Griffin Inn is an iconic venue in Bath’s city centre. We are very proud to add this unique and charming pub – with popular guest accommodation – to our tenanted pub estate.”
FOOD & DRINK NEWS
Salcombe Dairy raise The Bar
Devon-based Salcombe Dairy have launched a new chocolate range called The Bar to add to their award-winning ice cream, sorbets and frozen yoghurts.
It comprises seven flavours of bean-to-bar Peruvian chocolate including Milk Chocolate Orange, Dark Chocolate with Cacao Nibs, Honeycomb, Dark Chocolate, White Chocolate, Milk Chocolate and Dark Chocolate Ginger. All have RRPs of £4.95 for 80g.
Named after the Lord Tennyson poem Crossing the Bar, about the sandbar off the coast of Salcombe, the chocolate is made at Salcombe Dairy’s South Devon premises using organic cacao sourced from the Peruvian rainforest. During processing, local ingredients are added to create the chocolate.
Shaken Udder launch coffee milkshake
Premium milkshake producers Shaken Udder have launched a new range called Dreamcap which features Ooh La Latte, a new coffee milkshake alongside its Chocolush flavour.
Made from Arabica beans, the new coffee flavour comes in 330ml cartons that offer a convenient shelf life with ambient storage.
Andrew Howie, co-founder of Shaken Udder said: “We’re very excited to be launching our new Dreamcap range as it allows us to target new markets both at home and further afield… The new Ooh La Latte coffee milkshake is an amazing blend of semi-skimmed milk and Arabica coffee beans – it has a wonderfully creamy and rich taste, aimed at true coffee lovers looking for an extra energy hit.
“It has been exciting to develop and pitch this new packaging variant. It was important to come up with a stable and resealable design that was functional and robust enough for retail and the travel sector. It’s perfect for on-the-go travel and the foodservice sectors, as well as vending machines and much more because of its ambient storage.”
For more information on Shaken Udder visit www.shakenudder.com
Wadworth’s spooky seasonal ale returns
Wadworth’s Treacle Treat seasonal cask ale is back for a second year during October and Halloween.
The West Country-based brewer and pub operator describe it as a “4.2% abv Autumn ale [that] has unique herbal notes balanced with the sweetness of black treacle and is created with Target Hops combined with Pale Ale, Crystal, Brown and Black malts.”
Jonathan Thomas, commercial director at Wadworth said, “Halloween is getting more and more popular in the UK’s socialising calendar and Treacle Treat is a sinfully good ale to enjoy this Autumn and Halloween, whether you are a beer lover, vampire or witch”.
QR code cup recycling initiative
Leading cup manufacturer Huhtamaki have launched a new range of speciality cups featuring a QR code that they hope will encourage recycling.
When scanned by a mobile phone, the QR code will lead the consumer to a web page that contains details of cup recycling schemes and sites across the UK.
Becci Eplett, Marketing Manager for Huhtamaki UK, said: “All of the cups manufactured by Huhtamaki in the UK are either recyclable or certified as compostable in approved composting facilities. Our Specialty cups are made in the UK from 100% PEFC certified paper board and are recyclable via a fast growing and accessible recycling infrastructure including outlets and instore collection schemes, ACE UK Bring Banks, waste contractors, specialist cup collection and recycling operatives as well as numerous instore and regional recycling schemes – but how do we direct consumers to their nearest cup recycling point to enable them to recycle their used paper cup? We add a QR code to the cup which links to a new page on our website that lists recycling schemes in the UK.”
For further information please call Huhtamaki on 02392 512434 or visit www.foodservice.huhtamaki.co.uk
Cornish hotel appoints new GM
Jack Ashby-Wright has been appointed as the general manager of the four-star, two AA-Rosette Talland Bay Hotel near Looe in South Cornwall.
He was previously deputy manager at the hotel and also worked as a duty manager at the Portbyhan Hotel in Looe and prior to that, spent three and a half years as restaurant supervisor at Couch’s Great House Restaurant in Polperro.
Owner of Talland Bay Hotel, Dr Kevin O’Sullivan said: “When guests come to Talland Bay Hotel they like to feel part of the family and enjoy seeing members of staff who they’ve built rapport with on previous visits. Jack has proved himself an invaluable part of that family and I’m confident that he will do a tremendous job of heading up the award-winning team we’ve built here.”
The Talland Bay Hotel won ‘Small Hotel of the Year’ Bronze at the Cornwall Tourism Awards 2017/18 and Gold in the Taste of the West Awards 2017/18 in both Hotel and Restaurant categories.
Salcombe Distilling Co appoints new head of sales
The producers of Salcombe Gin have recruited James Le Grys as head of sales UK. He has almost two decades of sales experience and has worked for a number of leading drinks brands including Chase Distillery.
Angus Lugsdin, co-founder and director of the Salcombe Distilling Co, comments: “We are absolutely delighted that James has joined our expanding team, as Head of Sales UK. He brings with him a wealth of experience in the drinks trade and a shared passion for exceptional handcrafted liquids. James joins us at a very exciting time as we look to expand our distribution across the UK and further afield, building on our reputation and accolades for producing some
of the finest gins in the world.”
Also joining the Salcombe Distilling Co is Ellen McNabb as sales manager and brand ambassador for Southern England and the South Coast. She previously worked at Majestic Wine London as tasting manager and also as a brand ambassador for Botter Wine, Italy and Swig Wines in London.
Torquay hotel featured on TV for sale
The Richwood Hotel, in Torquay on the South Devon coast, featured in Channel Four’s ‘Four in a Bed and has been brought to market for £580,000 for the freehold interest by Christie & Co.
The hotel underwent extensive refurbishment under the current owners including the installation of solar roof panels. It comprises 14 ensuite bedrooms, restaurant, lounge and a heated outdoor swimming pool and spa.
Stephen Champion, senior business agent based in Christie & Co’s Exeter office who is handling the sale comments: “The Richwood is a great example of a traditional Torbay hotel. Our clients have traded the business to suit their lifestyle, closing the business for three to four months of the year, meaning that there is plenty of scope for a new owner to increase turnover by trading all year round and opening the bar and restaurant to non-residents.
“Hotels in this part of the South West, which is a firm favourite for holidaymakers in the UK, are exceptionally attractive investments and we expect a lot of interest in The Richwood due to its high quality and breadth of amenities including an outdoor heated pool and spa.”
The Restaurant Show
1st – 3rd October 2018
“The Restaurant Show is a trade-only event that offers commercial opportunities, knowledge, development, culinary discovery and networking for anyone working in: restaurants, pubs, hotels, leisure clubs, bars, cafes, contract catering, private catering, airline catering.” The show will include a dedicated Bar & Pub area and the Catering Equipment Expo.
Weymouth Guest House Owners Meet & Mingle Networking Event with Natwest
11th October 2018 – 2pm – 4pm
The Leam Hotel, Weymouth. Dorset
Join us and your fellow Weymouth guest house owners to pick up some top tips from colleagues and professionals. This is a free event, open to all regardless of your banking arrangements. The event will include a presentation with a Q & A session from:
David Potter – Dorset Councils Partnership
Simon Barrett – NatWest Business Banking
To register, please visit https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/weymouth-guest-house-owners-meet-mingle-natwestboost-tickets-48954668732?utm_term=eventurl_text
Caffè Culture Show 2018
16th – 17th October 2018
Business Design Centre, London
“Now in its 12th year, Caffè Culture 2018 has established itself as the leading trade-only event for the UK’s café and coffee bar industry.”
Independent Hotel Show
16th – 17th October 2018
“The show presents a collection of over 300 innovative product and service providers from across the hotel supply chain.”
SALSA HACCP Level 2 Training Course for Breweries
23rd October 2018
Hanlon’s Brewery, Newton St Cyres, Exeter EX5 5AE
“Understanding HACCP is essential for producing safe products and becoming SALSA Approved. Developed especially for and dedicated to micro-breweries, this full day, practical and interactive course is aimed at those responsible for the development and application of HACCP.”
To book, please visit https://www.salsafood.co.uk/shared/index.php?p=17
Food & Drink Business Workshop – Strategies for a Successful Food Business
30th October, 2018 9:30am – 1:30pm
Dartington Hall, Totnes TQ9 6EL
This workshop is tailored to food & drink producers; practical ways to manage the balance between sales, marketing and finance to ensure profitable growth. The event will include presentations from Dartington’s own Barbara King who has a wealth of experience as a retailer and Victoria Townsend, Head of Retail Innovation at Bidfresh.
To book, please visit https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/food-for-thought-a-workshop-for-food-drink-businesses-tickets-46400444980