By | January 8, 2018



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.

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