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September sun boosts pub trade
September saw sales rise 1.9% year-on-year in Britain’s managed pubs, potentially due to the sunny weather, but restaurant chains had another tough month, according to latest figures from the Coffer Peach Business Tracker.
Overall, the managed pub and restaurant sector saw a 1.1% uplift in like-for-like trading in September due to strong pub sales, especially from drink. However, restaurant chains continued to experience depressed trading, down 0.2% on the same period in 2017.
“As ever, the good weather played a big role, and although restaurants as a whole failed to benefit, it provided an overall boost for the out-of-home market as the public were tempted out,” said Karl Chessell, director at CGA, the business insight consultancy that produces the Tracker, in partnership with Coffer Group and RSM.
“While food-led operators continue to face tougher trading conditions, the wet-led end of the market is trading strongly,” said Paul Newman, head of leisure and hospitality at RSM. “Growth in the traditional pub market is being fuelled by the premiumisation of drinks offers, with craft beers, artisan spirits and cocktails driving sales up by 1.9% compared to a year ago. We see this trend continuing in the all-important run-up to Christmas.”
“Although casual dining chains are collectively finding trading difficult, they are not in wholesale retreat. Despite some high-profile announcements of site closures, many are still opening in new locations, especially out of London. As the data for September shows, while same-store sales outside the capital were down 0.4% for the month, total sales were up 2.4%, fuelled by restaurants opened over the last 12 months. The market remains challenging but some operators—especially wet-led pubs, are trading strongly,” added Mark Sheehan, Managing Director at Coffer Corporate Leisure.
Underlying like-for-like growth for the 49 companies in the Tracker cohort, which represents both large and small groups, was running at 0.6% for the 12 months to the end of September, virtually the same as at the end of both August and July, showing that the eating and drinking out market remains consistently flat.
Koh Thai founder launching African concept
Restaurant entrepreneur Andy Lennox is launching a new Southern African restaurant and bar concept in Parkstone’s Ashley Cross, in Dorset.
Zim Braai will feature flame-grilled meat and fish from the braai grill and aromatic stews and curries cooked in a traditional cast iron potpie as well as superfood salads, breads and signature dishes from across the region.
Lennox is launching the brand with his own money a decade after co-founding Koh, the successful South West chain that he led a management buyout of with equity finance at the end of 2016.
Andy Lennox said: “This is an exciting new chapter for me and I plan to launch several restaurants across my home county Dorset, which has a vibrant foodie scene. I will build a new brand around Zim Braai. I won’t stop at one restaurant. The boutique group will be new, innovative and exciting.
“Southern Africa offers diverse food and culture. Recipes use time-honoured cooking methods. We plan to open minds and tantalise taste-buds, with our new food frontier – served with European flair – and supported with exemplary customer service, – in a truly spirited atmosphere.”
Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Zim Braai will also feature its own-label Oryx drinks, taking in craft beer and wine. It is scheduled to open at the end of November 2018.
Salcombe Brewery supports seahorses
Salcombe Brewery Co are donating 5p from every bottle of its Seahorse amber ale to The Seahorse Trust to support conservation of the endangered creatures.
Neil Garrick-Maidmen from The Seahorse Trust comments: “We are thrilled to have joined forces with Salcombe Brewery Co. Every penny that they donate will directly help the trust in its efforts to study seahorses in the wild and to launch conservation programmes to ensure we have seahorses in the wild forever. We would like to say a massive thank you to Salcombe Brewery Co. for their generous support.”
Owner of Salcombe Brewery Co., John Tiner, says: “At the launch of Salcombe Brewery Co. we adopted the seahorse as our logo as we are lucky enough to be based in an area which is a breeding ground for both British species of seahorse. However, worldwide these enchanting animals are under threat and so it seemed the obvious next step to support the trust’s conservation efforts and raise valuable funds for them through the sale of our much-loved Seahorse beer.”
Taste of the West partners with Exeter agency
Taste of the West, the organisation representing the food and drink industry in the South West is partnering with McQueenie Mulholland, an Exeter-based marketing and communications agency.
John Sheaves, chief executive of Taste of the West, said: ‘A lot of our time is spent delivering support for the food and drink sector and we often find that our team has the ideas, but doesn’t have the opportunity to take them forward. The experienced team at McQueenie Mulholland has demonstrated that it is in a strong position to help us with our marketing activity and can also help us to grow as an organisation.
Sue McQueenie, managing partner of McQueenie Mulholland said: “We have a great deal of food, drink and hospitality sector experience within our team, so our relationship with Taste of the West is a perfect match. We’re looking forward to connecting with consumers and those outside of the region so that we can shout even louder about the wonderful produce that comes from the South West and the many high-quality producers, hotels, cafés and pubs in our region.”
Churchill’s new coastline inspired collection
Parsley in Time are launching the Isla tableware collection by Churchill. The range celebrates the “textures and shapes found along the seashore in a contemporary design.”
The collection includes presentation plates, footed plates and wide rim bowls in all colours, plus specialist pasta and oatmeal bowls. The beverage range features coffee, tea, and espresso cups, alongside saucers, mugs, jugs, sugar bowls and a beverage pot, which are all white, plus a stainless steel tea filter.
The collection features a five-year edge chip guarantee warranty and superior glaze finish. It has a super vitrified body that has high heat retention and is microwave and dishwasher safe.
“With its intricate design the Isla collection brings an intriguing dimension to a dining or conference setting,” says Rob Blunderfield of Parsley in Time. “The range offers both eye-catching and subtle options perfect for those wanting to make a statement.”
For more information, and to shop online, visit www.parsleyintime.co.uk.
New Forest Hotels appoints head of ops
The New Forest Hotels group have announced the appointment of Garry Baldwin as their head of group operations. He will take charge of their portfolio of properties which includes four hotels – Bartley Lodge, Beaulieu Hotel, Forest Lodge and Moorhill House – plus Burley Manor, a restaurant with rooms and a country pub, the Drift Inn.
Baldwin joins them from a 10-year stint at the AA, where he created the AA College Rosette Scheme, an accreditation scheme for college restaurants. Previous to this his operational experience included Cunard, Bovey Castle Hotel in Devon and Pennyhill Park in Surrey.
Michaela Lisle, Managing Director of New Forest Hotel said: “This year we are celebrating our 30-year anniversary and attracting someone of his calibre at this stage of our journey is a great endorsement of our strategy and ambition.”
“Garry’s appointment brings unrivalled industry knowledge and experience, underpinning our next phase of investment in our hotels, pubs and restaurants, the team’s development and support, and, more importantly, our guests’ experience.”
One of England’s oldest inns on market
The Shaven Crown in Shipton-under-Wychwood is thought to have been licensed as long ago as 1384 and is now on the market for £1.1 million with agents Colliers International.
Originally built as a hospice for monks at nearby Bruern Abbey, the hotel and inn retains many of its original medieval features including the Great Hall, which is now the lounge of this aptly-named property. The Grade II listed building also has a Tudor door, cobbled floors, mullion windows and a heavy-beamed ceiling.
The restaurant has a huge open fireplace and has 20-30 covers, the bar seats around 30 and there is also a snug, breakfast room and private dining room.
Peter Brunt, a director with Colliers International’s Hotels team, said: “With good trade from locals, business and tourists, the Shaven Crown is ideally situated in this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, attracting visitors all year round.
“Situated at Shipton-under-Wychwood between Chipping Norton and Burford, the inn makes an ideal base to explore the popular villages of Stow-on-the-Wold, Bourton-on-the-Water and the Slaughters. Cheltenham, Oxford, Cirencester and Banbury are a little further afield.”
“The present owners bought the Shaven Crown because of its ‘can’t go wrong’ location and superb rooms and set about an ambitious refurbishment. They enjoyed the process of creation, however, the operation, great as it is, has sadly had a greater than expected effect on family life. For this reason alone, they have decided to sell, giving purchasers the opportunity to acquire a fully refurbished business with the opportunity to further develop the trade.”
Simply Safer’s free Hygiene Rating workshops
Hampshire-based food safety experts Simply Safer are offering local food businesses free workshops to prepare them for Food Hygiene Rating inspections.
Run in partnership with Hampshire Fare, the “What to expect when the inspector calls” workshops will help business get the best possible Food Hygiene Rating when inspected by the local council’s Environmental Health Officer.
Ruth Baker, who has been running Simply Safer for three years says that businesses can lose thousands of pounds a year if they do not have a 5 rating, with the Food Standards Agency’s research suggesting that 84% of the public are aware of the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme. She points to the workshops providing “the opportunity for businesses to ask questions they may not have asked the enforcement Environmental Health Officer as Simply-Safer are there on their side, willing them to get better and providing the right advice and tools.”
Ruth continues: “Despite working in the private sector, I am passionate that the role of an Environmental Health Officer is to support and advise businesses, this is why I wanted to run these free workshops.”
Simply Safer are planning to run more workshops in partnership with other food groups including New Forest Marque.
For more detail about attending or hosting a workshop, email firstname.lastname@example.org and visit www.simply-safer.co.uk
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