Monthly Archives: January 2018

Interesting info from Langton Capital, worth reading.

Interesting info from Langton Capital, worth reading.

I don’t know why but Langton got an email yesterday inviting it to join the ‘expert panel’ at a Business Crime conference.

Not sure if the conference’s title should have been prefaced by the words ‘how to enact…’ and nor, for that matter, sure why Langton was singled out as an expert on crime.

It became clearer which way the crime was flowing, however, when the email went on to say that, as Langton was a ‘preferred partner’ of this bunch of crime experts, it could contribute to the conference by paying only £375 plus VAT. What do they think this is, boom time?

Anyway, with regard to legislation etc., we seem to be feeling the impact of MIFID II a bit these days. Various contacts have needed to unsubscribe from the email whilst others have been only too happy to join us, ask questions and generally pick our brains, for all that’s worth.

However, and here’s a thought, if MIFID II stops professional investors from receiving not-specifically-solicited information, how will they ever know what they don’t know? On to the news:


• The Coffer Peach Tracker for the 6wks to 7 Jan shows pub & restaurant LfL sales down 0.1% over the period. Inflation is 3.0%

• Tracker shows drink led venues outperformed food-led over Xmas period.

• Poor Xmas trading. Peach comments ‘the public still went out to eat and drink, but essentially it was a repeat of last Christmas.’ Only it wasn’t really, was it? With inflation at 3.0%, trading was worse than 2016.

• Tracker says Xmas saw ‘better trading in the second half of the festive season, when people were mainly off work.’ But this ‘failed to provide enough of a boost to beat 2016’s overall numbers.’

• Xmas. Managed pubs (up 0.6% LfL) outperformed restaurants at down 1.0%. Down 1.0%, with wages, rates, food costs etc. doing what they are doing, is not very good at all. Level of current discounting underlines this.

• Pub drink sales performed more strongly than food. Peach comments ‘across the managed pub market, drink sales were up 1.8%, while food was down 1.4%. Food-led operations, both pubs and restaurants, generally had a worse Christmas than 2016.’

• Xmas performance in London and provinces broadly the same.

• London saw a ‘bigger contrast in fortunes between restaurants and pubs, with casual dining down 2.6% inside the M25 and pubs up 1.5%.’ Peach’s Peter Martin comments ‘looking across the six week period, the run-up to the holidays saw generally poor trading, with the snow in particular hitting sales. Trading picked up in the last three weeks either side of the core holidays. Every year the Christmas period seems to be coming more concentrated.’

• Total Xmas sales +3.4% suggesting that capacity has been increased by around 3.5%.

• Coffer Corporate Leisure says it does not think the F&B market is in free-fall. It says the trading environment is competitive but ‘these numbers are not the car crash that has been widely portrayed.’ Tell that to the creditors of Byron etc.

• Coffer says ‘2018 will be a challenging year and we expect to see bars and pubs trading more robustly than restaurants.’

• RSM comments ‘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.’

• Langton. The level of discounting in Jan (see many Langton stories) suggests the trade realises it needs to generate cash to pay its bills.

• Langton. The down 2.6% LfL recorded by London restaurants goes a long way to explaining the behaviour of Byron, Jamie’s & others when it comes to closures. Other operators have commented on tough trading.

• Langton. The above doesn’t comment on discounts. These were more apparent this Xmas than last suggesting that, even though sales were under pressure, margins are more likely to have fallen than to have risen.

• Langton. Next rent bills are payable in about 9wks. If any companies are contemplating pre-packs, these could be enactioned sooner rather than later. RSM says that restructuring teams are likely to remain busy.


Following its Q3 update this morning, Whitbread hosted a conference call for analysts and our comments are set out below:


• Activist shareholder. Sachem Head Capital. Group intends to work for all its shareholders. It has a plan. Not being deflected etc. Whitbread ‘will not deviate from delivering great value…’

• Outlook? Group guides its growth tracking GDP (presumably plus inflation).

Premier Inn & Restaurants: :

• Whitbread has opened 2,500 rooms in London over the last 2yrs. Performance in Q4 so far ‘has been positive’

• Cannibalisation? Last year new openings hit LfL sales by around 1.5ppts. This may be similar this year. A ‘tough market’ may mean this takes longer to settle down.

• Premier sees a lot of growth past 85k rooms. Around 100k has been mentioned. There isn’t a milestone as such.

• Supply? London up 4.5% or so last year. Provinces 1% to 2%. London should be 3% to 3.5% next year. There might be 1% coming out p.a. as private operators sell up. Current trading is a bit better but early-Jan is not necessarily a reliable indicator.

• Margin? Guidance flat to minus 20bps.

• Restaurants have performed well. Concepts have been tested. Brand numbers may be reduced. Offer is current & relevant. Prices haven’t really risen. This is still seen as ancillary to the hotel business.

Costa Coffee:

• Costa taking share but declines on the High Street. Group says it has a ‘flexible lease structure’.

• How many stores could you churn? There are virtually no unprofitable stores. Tail very small. Could be 20-30 per annum.

• High Street. Whitbread ‘has no feeling that life on the High Street will be any better in 2018 than it was in 2017’. Strong hint that group will exit some short leases. Costa is aiming for higher footfall areas & is pushing Costa Express.

• Poor High Street may allow the group to churn its estate & acquire ‘better’ sites.

• Very good returns – but not as good as they were? Mid-30s to 40% on a leasehold business remains very good. Perhaps returns had spiked up. They are now more normal.

• Some capital may be redirected into Costa Express & China. There will be c£5m to £6m invested in each of those areas.

• Price increases historically Jan 16 & Feb 17. WTB says this ‘isn’t the first lever they want to pull’. Says they have ‘optionality’. Happy to be cheaper than Nero & Starbucks. They will be lapping last year’s increases next month. No decision on what to do yet.

• Fresco store? This was a method by which to test a food offer.

Debt, balance sheet & cash-flow:

• No further guidance. Re IFRS16, group says decisions are still being made. The group does have a large freehold portfolio.

• Capex £600m to £700m this year FY18 and next.

Margin, costs etc.:

• Whitbread expects around £80m of cost headwinds this year. It says cost savings are on track. This continues into FY18/19. Group will, however, ‘keep on investing’

• Given sales are weaker but profits still in line, presumably margin is better? Yes. Group isn’t giving margin guidance for next year. Says efficiency programme ‘has got good momentum’

Langton Comment:

• Whitbread has said that growth has ‘moderated’. It’s actually negative (at least on a LfL basis) at Costa, but the group says that January is better.

• WTB’s shares fell by 2.5% yesterday ahead of this statement and they have bounced this morning. Nonetheless, WTB has conceded that, in the short term, there’s a bit of a supply problem in London hotels (partly caused by Whitbread itself) and, for the foreseeable future, the UK High Street is likely to remain difficult.

• A multiple of 15-16x this year’s earnings is perhaps a little on the high side and FY19 numbers will be subject to ongoing review over the next few months.

• Whitbread has international potential, of course, and it has, in its own words, ‘optionality’ when deciding where to invest capital.

• The group will be lapping price increases at Costa next month and LfLs may remain under pressure. News-flow over the coming months will require some managing. Having said that, WTB is a strong, (relatively) stable and well-financed company with good brands and largely freehold assets. In the medium term, adverse news-flow, whilst its impact could be temporary, could win the day.


• Nando’s has begun trialling a new smaller format that will be more focused towards delivery and on the go food, the MCA has reported. The new concept will be known as Nando’s nino with its first site having opened this week in Twickenham.

• EI Group yesterday bought back 153k of its own shares for cancellation at 140.95p per share.

• The ALMR is pleased by the creation of the All Party Parliamentary Group for New Towns, with Chief Executive Kate Nicholls stating: ‘Pubs, bars and other hospitality venues are valuable social spaces and focal points for communities. The creation of a new town is a fantastic opportunity to produce a new community with its own identity. Hospitality businesses will be vital to a new town’s success’.

• The craft brewery and taproom, Brew York has told the MCA that it is planning to extend its brewery and add a new street food kitchen. Co-founder of Brew York, Wayne Smith said: ‘Lots of our customers have told us they love our brews and really enjoy visiting our tap room to see where our beer is made. With our expansion plans we want to create more jobs to grow our Brew York family so that we can increase brewing capacity and spread the love a little further’.

• Guinness is the latest brand to pay increasing attention to tee-totalers by introducing a new non-alcoholic beer. The rate of alcohol consumption globally has been decreasing at an increasing rate with volumes down 1.3% in 2016 compared to an average rate of 0.3% in the previous five years.

• The PMA writes that it’s not just restaurants tapping into the delivery craze. PubLove has partnered with Deliveroo after upgrading its food offer and says that the move has increased marketing while driving incremental sales. Head of operations, Chris Clawson, commented: ‘It provide income during kitchen downtime, when you would normally be paying your chef to do a bit of prep or cleaning. Finally, it costs nothing if no one buys anything. So as long as you are careful with your GP then you have nothing to lose.’

• Japan’s beer shipments have hit a record low for the 13th year in a row, according to data released from five major Japanese breweries. The country’s total export shipments numbered 407 million cases. Beer shipments fell 2.9% to 204.59 million cases, while shipments of ‘happoshu’, the low malt, quasi-beer beverage, dropped 4% to 54.99 million cases. In addition, exports of the country’s third-segment beer-like beverage called ‘hodgepodge’ dropped 1.5% to 144.49 million cases, according to the report.

• NRN in the US says ‘delivery remains the Rubik’s Cube of service for most big restaurant brands outside of the pizza segment.’ Although delivery can increase sales, operators ‘were struggling to make the economics work.’

• Nestle is to shake up its board in the face of activist pressure per reports.

• Toronto-based Freshii Inc. has hit out at US rival Subway for allowing its franchisees to switch to the Canadian sandwich brand. Toronto-based Freshii, with 300 locations in 15 countries, published a full-page open letter to Subway in the Chicago Tribune urging the company to consider allowing franchisees to move to its brand. Milford, Conn.-based Subway, owned by Doctor’s Associates Inc., has 44,000 restaurants in 113 countries, but it has closed some stores over the past three years.

• Pernod Ricard has acquired the remaining shares in Avión Tequila from its founder Ken Austin and rapper Jeezy. In July 2011, Pernod Ricard took a minority interest in the brand, in addition to receiving worldwide distribution rights. In 2014 the producer reportedly upped its involvement buying a majority stake in the brand for around US$100m. This week the French drinks giant confirmed it had purchased the remaining shares in the company for an undisclosed sum, taking 100% ownership as part of its growth and innovation strategy in the United States.

• Burger King in the US has introduced a half-pound burger. This will compete with McDonald’s Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese. BK says ‘we’d like to offer our deepest condolences to all the flat-top fried double quarter pound burgers out there. We’re flame grilling the competition.’

If you would like a link to Leisure Industry news, please click on the following Link gives current day’s news from 8am.

Proof of Age Standards Scheme, launches a new design to reflect support from the National Police Chiefs’ Council


Proof of Age Standards Scheme press notice 

Police on the cards for licensees and door staff

From tomorrow (Wednesday 17 January 2018) PASS (Proof of Age Standards Scheme) launches a new design to reflect support from the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) whose logo is now shown on the cards.  The card also displays the logo of the Security Industry Authority (SIA).

Following a Home Office campaign earlier this year urging young people not to use passports as proof of age, Rachel Kearton, Assistant Chief Constable of Suffolk Police and National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) lead for alcohol and licensing, is urging customers to use the new PASS cards instead:

Enforcing the law on underage sale is a major policing priority. Lost passports cause a major problem not only for the owner but for the police should they fall into the hands of criminals.  It makes no sense for young people to take these valuable documents into town for a night out.  I would like to see PASS used more frequently in the night time economy”.

Kate Nicholls, Chief Executive of the ALMR (Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers) and PASS Interim Chairman, also welcomed the new design:

“The NPCC logo on the cards sends an important message that the police, alongside the Home Office and trading standards, recognise the card as valid ID.  Mandatory licensing conditions make it clear that only approved physical photo-ID can be accepted at the door or at the bar and licensees and door staff should accept PASS cards as valid ID. “


Notes to editors:


  1. The Proof of Age Standards Scheme (PASS) accredits UK proof of age card issuers to a standard endorsed by the Home Office, Scottish Government, police, security industry, trading standards and retailers of age-restricted goods & services.  PASS’s goal is to achieve universal acceptance of cards bearing the trademarked PASS hologram as retailers’ preferred proof of age.


  1. 9 card issuers are PASS accredited: 4 UK-wide issuers (CitizenCard, MyIDCard, OneID4U, Validate UK), Scottish issuer Young Scot and 4 English local authorities (Bracknell Forest, Essex, Milton Keynes, Southwark).


  1. PASS is supported by six major trade bodies: Association of British Bookmakers, Association of Convenience Stores, Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers, British Beer & Pub Association, British Institute of Innkeeping and the Wine & Spirits Trade Association.


For more information contact:

Dr Martin Rawlings, PASS Secretariat

07768 614281

Chris Banks

PR Manager


Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers

4-5 Central Chambers, London, W5 2NR Tel: 0208 280 9674


MP backing of the Planning (Agent of Change) Bill is music to the ears of venues, PA Assocs

MP backing of the Planning (Agent of Change) Bill is music to the ears of venues

“On Wednesday 10th January 2018 the Planning (Agent of Change) Bill, which is a Private Members Bill, had its first reading in the House of Commons.

Rt Hon John Spellar (MP) said that the Bill is “…designed to protect existing music venues from closure or crippling costs arising from development of new residential properties in their vicinity, especially over questions of noise…”

The Bill will place the onus upon property developers to take into account existing music venues in the area of a proposed development

Private Members Bills are delicate in their nature and there is a long way for it to go yet, with a number of stages it will have to pass through.

It will go to its second reading in the House of Commons on Friday 19th January 2018.

We will provide a further update following the second reading.”

If you would like a link to Leisure Industry news, please click on the following Link gives current day’s news from 8am.


• Discounting. Bella Italia sending out emails offering 50% off mains all weekend
• ALMR calls on government for a constructive future immigration policy, following a report citing hospitality as an area of labour shortage concern. Some 32% of hospitality jobs in London are carried out by EU workers. The ALMR says this ‘highlights the important contribution being made by EU nationals to the capitals hospitality sector and the difficulties businesses would face should they be unable to access labour from the EU.’ It adds ‘the Government has already made a commitment to EU nationals living in the UK, but it is crucial that any future immigration policy reflects the need for hospitality businesses to employ non-UK workers.’
• BBPA welcomes report on protecting the environment. CEO Brigid Simmonds says ‘the industry already has a good record in sharply reducing both energy and water use, and a strong commitment to recycling, through our packaging waste compliance scheme, SUSTAIN. The emphasis on reducing food waste is important, and we will continue to work on the guidance and advice that we already provide for pubs.’
• US restaurants have recorded their first positive quarter of LfL sales in 2yrs at plus 0.4% reports NRN. Black Box Intelligence reports that LfL growth in Q4 was 0.4% & says ‘this is the first quarter of growth in the last two years.’ NRN says ‘the signs of relative improvement that the restaurant industry began showing since the beginning of the quarter continued through December. Restaurant same-store sales posted 0.3 percent growth for the month of December. This was the second-best month based of sales growth since March of 2016.’
• US restaurant traffic still down 1.8% in December with increased prices more than compensating to give a positive LfL sales figure.
• TDn2K reports re US restaurant industry ‘although it is great to see the industry move away from the recurring story of declining same-store sales, we also must keep things in perspective.’ It says ‘December of 2016 had very soft same-store sales and traffic results, so lapping over those results didn’t pose much of a challenge. Over a longer view, same-store sales declined by -2.0 percent during the fourth quarter of 2017 when compared with that same quarter in 2015. Furthermore, the trend of declining guest traffic continues to plague the industry and is one that seems unlikely to reverse any time soon.’
• Diageo has agreed a new partnership with UberEats and UK convenience retailers that will see retailers work with Diageo as supply partners to fulfil beverage orders via the UberEats app.
• Former Busaba Eathai chief executive Jason Myers and sector investor David Ramsey are partnering up to launch an estate of high-quality country pubs with rooms called Grosvenors Pubs, the MCA has reported.
• BBPA has welcomed the new ‘Agent of Change’ bill introduced in Parliament to protect pubs and other venues. BBPA chief executive Brigid Simmonds said: ‘It is great to see this issue being pushed up the agenda, thanks to John Spellar who along with the Bill’s other sponsors are strong supporters of the Great British pub. I hope the Government will take up the issue as the bill moves on to its next stage. It is vital that community pubs are not placed under threat by new housing developments, where new residents may complain about noise from premises which have been there for hundreds of years’.
• Alcohol consumption in the US has fallen for the second year in a row in 2017, according to data released by the IWSR. Total alcohol volume consumption decreased 0.2%, with declining beer sales the main drag.
• BlackRock has bought a 5.79% share in Kent-based winery Chapel Down following a recent oversubscribed fundraising for the group.

If you would like a link to Leisure Industry news, please click on the following Link gives current day’s news from 8am.

Gambero Rosso returns to London, best Italian Wines

On the 8th February 2018 Gambero Rosso returns to London, showcasing 50 of the most distinguished cellars in Italian wine production!

During the day, 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. Now available in English, German, Chinese and Japanese, the 31st edition of the guide includes more than 22,000 wines and 436 awarded with the prestigious Tre Bicchieri: the selection is the result of a careful tasting of over 40,000 labels.

The London event will also feature two exclusive masterclasses aimed at gaining a valuable insight on the wines present at the event. This year there will be a dedicated mention of the 2018 Special Awards, such as Red of the Year, White of the Year and Sparkling of the Year. The awards reflect Gambero Rosso’s values when it comes to assessing the Italian wine industry, and they are the result of the selection carried out by more than 60 tasters.
For the first time, the event will showcase a special selection of the best value-for-money wines awarded in the Berebene guide. The so-called “smartwines” can be purchased in Italy for less than €13 without compromising the quality. Gambero Rosso will also award the best Italian restaurants in London featured in the new digital guide Top Italian Restaurants, which includes fine dining restaurants, trattorie, pizzerias and wine bars.

In the evening the event will open its doors to a selected group of wine lovers, so that attendees can celebrate the Italian wines in style.

All the signs point towards this being an event fit for a connoisseur! Why not sign up and be a part of it too?

Find out more >>

The event takes place on the 8th February 2018  at the Royal Horticultural Halls, 80 Vincent Square, Westminster, London SW1P 2PE.

From 12.00pm to 5pm the event is open exclusively to trade and press, while from 5pm to 7pm it will also welcome wine enthusiasts.

ALMR, Environmental issues, possible Bath tourist tax and other.


Collaboration key to tackling environmental issues

The ALMR today welcomed the Government’s acknowledgement of the hospitality sector’s innovative measures to reduce the environmental impacts of its operations.

Following the Prime Minister’s launch of the Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan, the association also committed to promoting further good practice across hospitality, though warned that consumer behaviour, rather than taxation is key to progress.

ALMR Chief Executive, Kate Nicholls, said Our sector has been impressively proactive in addressing the environmental impacts of its activities, as the plan published today rightly recognised. Measures implemented voluntarily by eating and drinking out businesses, such as those on straws and stirrers, and loyalty points rewards bonuses for customers with reusable cups, have proved hugely effective in reducing environmental impacts and increasing reuse.

It is this sort of actions that are changing consumer behaviours. That is where the solutions lie, not in taxing businesses already under significant commercial pressures, or deposit return schemes that place extra burdens on venues.

We will keep on engaging our members on important environmental issues and will feed into the forthcoming consultation, working proactively to reduce the use of plastic and to promote recycling. We will also continue tackle litter and boost recycling through education and investment in capacity.

ALMR urges Government to resist tourist tax

The ALMR has warned Bath and North East Somerset Council it should proceed with caution before seeking Government approval to implement a tourist tax.

The Association has also urged the Government to resist granting the powers to impose the levy and has highlighted the importance of the need to consult affected businesses before progressing the matter further.

ALMR Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said: “The consequences of implementing a tourist tax in the city are far from clear. Even a modest increase in costs for customers could have unforeseen and potentially harmful consequences.

“The Lyons Inquiry warned against the introduction of a tourism tax for good reason, and advocated consultation with businesses before proceeding with any such measure. The Government should heed those recommendations, as the impacts would likely be far and wide, with local authorities across the country seeking to capitalise on a new source of revenue, and no clear measures in place to safeguard against a levy being imposed and raised with impunity.

“We urge the Council not to increase costs for hospitality businesses that already contribute enormously in the way of taxes. Hospitality businesses are already facing significant costs increases, particularly business rates bills, that are crippling many venues. Bath’s hospitality businesses will still be feeling the impact of the recent revaluation and another tax will just exacerbate cost pressures.

“If measures are to be taken forward, then they need to be done with close engagement of Bath’s hotels and hospitality businesses to assess the cost implications of such a move.”

Action on hospitality labour shortage highlighted by GLA report

The ALMR has reiterated its calls for a constructive future immigration policy, following a report citing hospitality as an area of labour shortage concern.

The Preparing for Brexit report by Cambridge Econometrics, for the Greater London Authority, identifies hospitality as a vulnerable sector with 32% of hospitality jobs in the capital (79,000) being carried out by non-UK EU workers.

ALMR Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said: “The report highlights the important contribution being made by EU nationals to the capitals hospitality sector and the difficulties businesses would face should they be unable to access labour from the EU.

“The Government has already made a commitment to EU nationals living in the UK, but it is crucial that any future immigration policy reflects the need for hospitality businesses to employ non-UK workers.”

Alcohol to be ‘grounded’ at Airports? Government to Consider Licensing Restrictions

Short changed on a coffee?

Posted: 11 Jan 2018 03:00 AM PST

In case of passing interest; It is being reported from the USA that a class-action lawsuit accusing Starbucks of under filling lattes has been thrown out by a judge in Oakland, California. The US district judge found insufficient evidence that Starbucks cheated customers by under filling lattes by making its cups too small, using fill lines on barista’s…

Alcohol to be ‘grounded’ at Airports? Government to Consider Licensing Restrictions

Posted: 11 Jan 2018 01:00 AM PST

The Government has announced it is considering imposing licensing restrictions on the sale of alcohol in airports. Airports are currently exempt from legislation governing when they can sell alcohol. Last year the House of Lords commented that it found disruptive incidents on flights “more often than not” involved passengers who had had alcohol before boarding. The Home Office noted that pass…

Latest Pub News from Langton Capital

Latest Pub News from Langton Capital

Pub opening hours will be extended over the weekend of the royal wedding of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle in May. The move follows calls from the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) to extend hours, asserting that it could give a £10m boost to the trade.

Enterprise Inns Group yesterday bought back 130,411 of its own shares for cancellation at 143.75p per share.

The latest Visa UK consumer spending index has shown household spending fell by 1% in teal terms in December vs November. This represents the 4th consecutive fall. Over the year as a whole, spending fell by 0.3% in real terms. Visa says ‘Christmas rounded off another lean year for retailers.’ It continues ‘despite some large retailers signalling a strong Christmas performance, it is clear that the high street has suffered recently, while online spending has held up.’ Visa’s survey is based on its own information (just card spending) but is adjusted to take account of people’s growing preference for paying by card.

Majestic Wine has reported sales over the 10wk Xmas period were +3.2% at the group level. Majestic reminds investors that it delivers c.30% of total annual sales during the Christmas trading period. LfL retail sales were +1.3%. CEO Rowan Gormley comments ‘the team performed brilliantly. The fact that we have been able to grow sales and maintain margins shows that our winning formula of fabulous customer service from delightful people and delicious wines at fair prices works even when times are tough.’ Gormley adds ‘we are on track to achieve our £500m sales goal by 2019, on track to deliver market expectations for the current financial year, and on track to accelerate investment in new customers, new winemakers and more fantastic wines.’

Stock Spirits has updated on full year trading saying overall trading for the year ‘was slightly ahead of our expectations.’ It reports markets in Poland & the Czech Republic ‘continued to show growth in both volume and value terms.’

The BBPA’s chief executive, Brigid Simmonds, commented: ‘This is great news for pubs and pub-goers and shows the government has listened to our calls to put pubs at the heart of the Royal Wedding celebrations. Visitors see the Great British pub as a cultural icon, almost as much as the Royal Family. Extended hours would give a £10m boost to the trade and make the most of the expected increase in tourism.’

Meanwhile, Kate Nicholls of the ALMR, said: ‘Pubs are at the heart of communities and many people will want to celebrate the special occasion in their local, as they have done for the Queen’s Jubilee or previous Royal Weddings. Extended trading for the wedding will provide a welcome boost to the UK’s pubs, restaurants, hotels and bars, so a proposal to extend trading hours is a sensible step by the Government and should provide customers and businesses with a chance to celebrate.’

Baijiu Beer Company, a Sheffield-based company that makes craft beer combined with the Chinese spirit Baijiu, is set to ship its first international order after only three months of development in the Chinese market.

Pub operator and brewer, Brakspear have appointed Steve Head as BDM. The group’s chief executive, Tom Davies said: ‘Steve has an excellent track record, regularly beating sales and profit targets in all his previous management roles, and achieving outstanding returns on pub redevelopments. We were impressed by his evident talent for all aspects of the BDM role and his experience, and are confident he will be a great asset to the Brakspear team’.

The number of retailers entering into administration increased by 27%  in 2017 to 118 according to data from Deloitte. Dan Butters at Deloitte said: ‘We have seen a significant increase in retail insolvencies in the last twelve months including some well-known names. We see insolvencies in higher value categories, such as furniture, as a leading indicator that falling consumer confidence, and a drop in consumer spending, is starting to bite. This has implications for retail sub-sectors with a lower price point which typically take longer to feel the impact of reduced consumer spending’.

If you would like a link to Leisure Industry news, please click on the following Link gives current day’s news from 8am.

JG&P, Welcome to our New Year Newsletter

Welcome to our New Year Newsletter

We hope you had a successful Christmas trading period. This year was an unusual one for us here at JG&P – we are always open between Christmas and New Year to serve our clients, most often dealing with emergency DPS changes. However this year was different in that one of our Partners found himself dealing with not one but two Closure Notices over the Christmas and New Year weekends with the former requiring attendance before Sheffield Magistrates’ court on Boxing Day. All part of our 24 hour a day 7 day a week service for our clients.

Late Night Levy Criticised for Yielding Low Income

This article gives a (hopefully) useful summary of where we are at on Late Night Levies and those that have been implemented and their effectiveness (or otherwise) following implementation.

 Westminster City Council use planning laws to put the “brakes” on deliveries from operators

New rules are being put in place by Westminster City Council after they raised concerns over the use of mopeds to deliver food from the 3,000 restaurants in the borough.
The Council are requiring restaurants providing the service to apply for planning permission for a change of use and demonstrate that it will cause minimal disruption.

Scotland – Minimum Unit Price consultation

Following the conclusion of the legal proceedings in relation to Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP) of alcohol in Scotland, the Scottish Government has launched a consultation on their proposal to impose a MUP of alcohol of 50 pence.

Scotland – ‘Don’t Buy It, Don’t Supply It’ to prevent alcohol supply to under 18s

Preventing adults buying alcohol for under 18s is the focus of a new campaign in Scotland.

Scotland – Report from Alcohol Focus Scotland

Alcohol Focus Scotland has released a report following their enquiry into the relationship between the Licensing Boards and the issue of public health.

Gambling Commission Guidance on changes to Regulatory returns published

The Gambling Commission has published guidance on the changes to regulatory returns that will be coming into effect from April 2018.

Upcoming opportunities

In a new feature, we will be looking ahead to the next few months to highlight some one-off events that may be beneficial to your operation:
Winter Olympics – between 9 and 25 February in Pyeongchang, South Korea (GMT +9) followed by the Winter Paralympics from 9 to 18 March.
Easter Weekend – Friday 30 March to Monday 2 April.
Although not confirmed, Anthony Joshua’s unification fight against Joseph Parker is rumoured so be on 30 March in Cardiff.
Royal Wedding on the 19 May for which a consultation is to be launched to extend licensing hours.

A Right Royal Knees Up? Home Office Launch Royal Wedding Consultation

A four week consultation has been launched by the Home Office on plans to allow Licensed Premises to open on the nights of Friday the 18th May and Saturday the 19th May until 1am. The Home Secretary Amber Rudd indicated the Royal wedding will be a time of national celebration and we want everyone to be able to make the most of such an historic occasion. Licensing hours have pre…

And finally..

With 2018 upon us this promises to be another year when there is a big focus on Brexit. We shall have to wait and see what (if any) changes in licensing are implemented by the Government. There will undoubtedly be an updated Guidance from the Secretary of State, but will there be more?

We at JG&P wish you all a Happy and prosperous New Year and we will be here to support you in all your licensing needs.




Cafe Rouge is offering 40% off food, Las Iguanas has a BOGOF on main meals. Carluccio is offering a second meal for just £1.

Molson Coors has bought Aspall’s cider for an undisclosed sum. The business was founded by the Chevallier family in the early 1700s. Chairman Barry Chevallier Guild said that discussions had been ongoing for more than a year. The Telegraph reports Mr Chevallier Guild as saying the thing that swung it for me was visiting Sharp’s Brewery in Rock. I met the people who had been there from the beginning. Molson Coors has said that it will invest in the group’s Suffolk site.

Coaching Inn Group has lodged results for the year to end-March 2017 with Companies House showing that the group increased turnover by 31.9% to £17.1m and generated group EBITDA up by 13.0% at £1.2m. The group says it enjoyed another successful year. It says its increase in turnover has largely been driven by the full year effect of a new hotel opening during the prior year as well as three new acquisitions and one major refurbishment. The group generated a loss before tax of £824k and saw its shareholders funds fall from £5.06m to £4.01m.

Truman Brewery parent Black Eagle has lodged numbers for the year to 31 March 2017 with Companies House. The group, which does not have to lodge a P&L account, increased its accumulated losses by around £235k on the year.

Vital Ingredient has appointed Deloitte as administrators to the group. The company says the majority of the business was immediately sold via a pre-pack sale to FCFM, a privately owned investment firm. The sale includes 13 of the group’s 20 sites. The remainder will close immediately. Rob Harding, Joint Administrator and Partner in Deloitte’s Restructuring Services practice, said: Whilst this well-known brand has expanded over recent years, driven by the trend for healthier eating, it has unfortunately experienced the same trading challenges as every operator in the sector, namely rising property and labour costs combined with food inflation. The sale will enable a restructured business to be taken forward, retaining the majority of the Company’s workforce, and we wish FCFM and the management team every success in doing so.

EI Group on Friday bought back another 132,300 of its own shares for cancellation at 144.3p per share

Domino’s Pizza Group plc has announced that further to the announcement on 19 October 2017, its one third owned German joint venture has completed the acquisition of Hallo Pizza.

McDonald’s boss Steve Easterbrook has told the Sunday Times that he has recently launched vegan burgers in Scandinavia and kale salads in California. He says there will be no further vegetarian offers in the short term.

Be at One has reported sales over December up 12.6% in LfL terms. The group, which has 33 bars across the UK including 17 in London, says that it continues to perform ahead of the market with like-for-like sales running at +8.1% in the YTD. COO Andrew Stones reports while December always tends to be a very strong trading period for Be At One as guests seek out a differentiated, high-quality experience to celebrate the festive season, these figures are particularly pleasing. He says we experienced great trading across all sites, both inside and outside of London, clearly demonstrating that the specialist cocktail bar market continues to grow and Be At One’s unique experience continues to lead the way. With our award-winning drinks and menu, coupled with our exceptional bar teams, we expect this sector to continue its upward trajectory in 2018, with Be At One front and centre.

Constellation Brands reported Q3 numbers on Friday. The group, which said that it was considering entering the legal marihuana market in Canada later this year, reported mixed results saying earnings rose by 2% to $2 (estimates c$1.87) with revenues down 1% at $1.799bn. The group’s shares fell by around 3% on the news.

The ALMR has announced concerns that a latte levy on disposable cups could increase costs for employers and undermine investment without addressing waste. Chief Executive, Kate Nicholls said: Efforts to reduce waste are welcome and steps to tackle environmental damage are laudable, but the major concern here is that a latte levy will simply increase costs for businesses without having any discernible effect in tackling the problem.

Research conducted by YouGov Omnibus has found that 40% of people are uncomfortable with sending unsatisfactory food back to the kitchen.

Mastercard’s annual SpendingPulse report on US retail spending between Nov 1 and Dec 24 saw a rise of 4.9% in dollars spent year-on-year. Online retail led the way with an increase of 18.1% during 2017.

The White Brasserie Company has announced the opening of its 17th pub, The Boot in Histon, Cambridgeshire on the 5th February 2018. CEO of Brasserie Bar Co, Mark Derry commented: The pub is full of character and we have gone to great lengths to restore many of the original features in the building as well as creating an impressive new extension. We look forward to welcoming people into the pub towards the start of February.

The House of Fraser department store chain has announced that it is seeking to reduce its rents on some units, asking landlords for their support following a tough Christmas.

McDonald’s is testing fresh beef for its smaller burgers for the first time (as opposed to frozen) as the chain looks to ‘raise the bar for customers.

• Accountancy firm BDO said its monthly High Street Sales Tracker (HSST) showed a 2.3% fall in like-for-like sales for British shops in December. This marks the fifth year in a row of declining underlying sales and adds to evidence that consumers are becoming more cautious.

Friska, the healthy fast food restaurant in Birmingham, has closed its only site and will focus on Manchester in 2018.

Increasingly frequent cases of flight rage means that a loophole that allows airside pubs and bars to operate outside licensing laws might soon be closed by ministers. The Times writes that The Home Office is planning to extend the Licensing Act 2003 to cover alcohol being sold to passengers just before they board flights.

Shares of US book chain Barnes & Noble fell to their lowest point in nearly 24 years last Friday on the back of falling sales figures during the important winter holiday season. The group’s stock dropped by about 15% to $5.52, making for a market cap of $407.6m.


We’ve been commenting on the level of discounting in the casual dining market. This was high running up to Christmas & is even higher now. But discounting is also a feature of the holiday market.

TUI was offering 50% off Friday & Sunday bookings this weekend, is giving 10% off hotel bookings, Expedia likewise. EasyJet is offering £40 off last-minute bookings & Hilton is offering up to 25% off.

Mark Tanzer, Abta CEO, said an honest discussion is needed from the government over the consequences of Brexit. Tanzer continued the government is still saying We can have everything. At a certain point they have to say, OK, we can’t have it.

Tanzer also reported annual turnover for members at a record high of £37bn for 2017, but also said You can’t just look at the top line. There has been a squeeze on margins. Industry leaders claim the 2018 outlook is positive but are saying the mainstream family market could prove to be a battleground with margins set to be squeezed in the coming months.

The ongoing bomb cyclone over the US east coast has led to transatlantic travellers being told to expect flight cancellations and delays. Virgin Atlantic said: The adverse weather conditions in New York and the east coast of the USA has caused disruptions to our flights. Virgin’s US partner Delta Air Lines grounded an additional 200 flights yesterday and 200 today.

Thomas Cook Group has acquired a subsidiary of the failed Air Berlin, stating the acquisition would give Condor further options for growth. A person familiar with the deal said the purchase price was a medium single-digit million euro amount, according to Reuters.

Abta research shows Britons are set to return to Turkey, Egypt and Tunisia this year as concerns over political unrest and terrorism decrease. Bookings for Turkey for summer 2018 were up by 69% year on year and bookings for Egypt were 29% ahead of last year.

STR reports US hotel performance for the week ending 30 December of occupancy down 5.4% to 51.6%, ADR -1.4% to $131.56 and RevPAR down 6.7% to $67.90.

Per Hotstats, Europe’s hotels in November showed robust performance with GOPPAR up 9.6%, ADR up 4.4% to¬146.12 and RevPar up 5.6% to ¬101.43 yoy.

Commuters face up to three days of disruption as workers at five train companies embark on a new round of strikes in disputes over rail safety. The Rail, Maritime and Transport union said the disputes are over issues including the role of train guards and the extension of driver-only services.