Featured News:

Aubaine to open a second site in Dubai.

London-based French restaurant Aubaine, has opened its second site in Dubai in less than a year. The restaurant, which currently operates nine restaurants across London, opened a restaurant in Dubai last Christmas on the ground floor at the main entrance of The Dubai Mall. The new site will open in City Walk and the group is believed to also be looking for a location for a third site in the region. The group will launch its first site under the new deli concept in Covent Gard Piazza this month. Nick Young, Aubaine UK’s chief executive, said: “Aubaine is incredibly proud of its bakery and boulangerie, and our first Aubaine Deli will showcase this. We will open all day and offer a range that will be unique to Covent Garden and rooted in our French heritage, but with a modern Aubaine twist. It is an exciting step for us as we look to expand and build our business and brand.”

Read more via the MCA.


08 April 2016.
Dubai Restaurant Week 2016.

According to a recent KPMG survey a further 1,600 food and beverage outlets will join the growing sector in the UAE. Based on data from market research firm Euromonitor, it estimates that the food and beverage sector will grow an average of 4% annually over the next three years. KPMG also assessed the value of the UAE food and beverage sector last year to be UK $11.7 billion (AED 42.9 billion).

Read more here.

23rd Febuary 2016.
Dubai Restaurant Week 2016.

The first ever Dubai Restaurant Week will offer bespoke menus from many of the emirate’s leading eateries. The event will last for ten days from 25th February to 5th March. Chefs serving up special three-course menus priced at a set Dh189 include: Gordon Ramsay (Bread Street Kitchen), Atul Kochhar (Rang Mahal), Heinz Beck (Social), Vineet Bhatia (Ashiana) and Alfredo Russo (Vivaldi). Dubai Restaurant Week is part of the upcoming Dubai Food Festival (25th February – 12th March) which celebrates the city’s thriving culinary scene. Laila Suhail, CEO of Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), said: “Restaurants participating in Dubai Restaurant Week are amongst the best in the city and we can’t wait for guests to try the delectable menus they have created especially for Dubai Food Festival”.

Click here to see the full list of participating restaurants.

10 January 2016.
Dubai Food Festival 2016.
The Dubai Food Festival will return next month from the 25th February through to 12th March. The 17-day long event will celebrate the best of Dubai’s culinary offerings. New to the festival is Dubai’s first ever restaurant week which will launch the first day of the festival and run for ten days. Thirty of Dubai’s best fine dining restaurants are participating in restaurant week and will offer specially priced three-course set menus for just Dh189 per person. Restaurants involved are Gordon Ramsay’s Bread Kitchen, Alta Badia, Social by Heinz Beck, Rang Mahal, Vivaldi by Alfredo Russo and Qbar. The popular Beach Canteen will be revamped and return as the festival’s central hub. The canteen will showcase fifteen home-grown restaurant concepts, appearances from celebrity chefs, beach dining experiences, live entertainment, kid’s activities, beach sports and more. The theme of this year’s festival will be ‘A Taste Celebration’. Issam Kazim, CEO of Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing, said: “Dubai has established its position as the culinary capital of the Middle East and one of the world’s leading gastronomy destinations. The Dubai Food Festival is the perfect opportunity to showcase and celebrate the city’s offering within the UAE and beyond.”

Read all about it here.

20 December 2015.
Seafood and Beer festival 2016.

Crab Tavern will be hosting its first month long festival dedicated to seafood and beer from 13th January to 13th February. The Crab & Craft Fayre will include contests such as a pancake eating competition as well as live screenings of sporting events such as the Super Bowl 2016 and Six Nations. The restaurant which opened in Media One Hotel last year says it will showcase over 55 beers, crafts and ciders of the world, in conjunction with tastings, seafood deals and masterclasses on each day of the Crab & Craft Fayre. The Crab Tank will be transformed and decked out with hay beales, barrels, games, crates and grass.

Article via Hotelier Middle East.

20 November 2015
Aubaine to open in Dubai.

Aubaine, London based French boulangerie and restaurant group, is set to open in Dubai in December. The restaurant, which will be situated near the main entrance on ground floor of The Dubai Mall, will have its own artisanal boulangerie, handcrafted pastries and authentic French dishes. Founder of Aubaine Hani Nakkach said: “Dubai is fast becoming a gastronomic heaven which rivals London and New York, with its exciting array of international cuisine on offer and being a well-travelled destination. Hence we feel like Dubai is the ideal destination for Aubaine to open the first outpost outside the UK. Opening at such an iconic destination such as the Dubai Mall, we are very proud to showcase our menu from London with additional dishes specially created for Dubai. Of course not forgetting to mention our hand crafted selection of French cakes and bread, where we believe there’s something for all to discover and enjoy”.

Article via Hotelier Middle East.

02 September 2015
Restaurant & Bar Design Talk, Dubai.
On October 29th 2015, Dubai’s exclusive Mint Leaf restaurant will host the first ‘Restaurant & Bar Design Talk’ outside the UK. The event, one of a series that form part of Downtown Design, will feature an interview of three previous winners: Robert Angell (Robert Angell Design International), Steve La Bouchardiere (DesignLSM) and Tim Mutton (Blacksheep). The interview will be led by Mint Leaf’s designer Isabel Pintado, managing director of LW Design. At this prestigious event, some of Dubai’s most influential designers, hospitality operators and developers will meet to discuss the future of Restaurant and Bar Design in the Middle East.

Click here to read more.

06 August 2015
Sheffield born Michelin starred chef Jason Atherton to open a restaurant in Dubai next month.

Sheffield born Michelin starred chef Jason Atherton will open a restaurant and a bar in the newly opened InterContinental at the Dubai Marina on 4th September 2015. He will open a fine dining restaurant serving British-Mediterranean style sharing dishes, using the finest ingredients with the creative flare and culinary expertise renowned across Atherton’s restaurant portfolio. There will also be an adjoining bar called The Social Room. “Simply put, I love Dubai,” said Atherton. “I first worked in Dubai more than 10 years ago and the city holds a lot of special memories for me, especially because it’s where I met my wife Irha - so it was always an ambition to return and open up my own restaurant”.

Click here to read more.

09 July 2015
Tom Aikens is to open a restaurant in Dubai.
British chef Tom Aikens is to open a restaurant in Dubai as well as opening his fourth venture in London this year and managing two others in Hong Kong and Istanbul. In his career so far, he has published three cookbooks and become the youngest chef to win two Michelin stars by the age of 26. The new concept in Dubai will open this autumn and be called Pots, Pans and Boards. It will offer a family style experience that allows diners to serve themselves at their table. The concept is based from Tom Aitkens' childhood memories of having food served out of one pot and tucking into it, served at the table. Dishes debuting on the menu are roast chicken with tarragon for sharing, veal ragu with pappardelle and jasmine cured salmon.

Click here to read more.

06 July 2015
Dubai Frame is 75% complete.
Dubai’s Municipality has confirmed that the work on the $43.5 million Dubai Frame project is 75% complete and on course to be ready by December 2015. The window frame shaped project will allow panoramic views of Old Dubai and the skyline of New Dubai from each side. According to Dubai’s Municipality’s director Hussain Nasser Lootah, in addition to the Dubai Frame it will be carrying out projects worth $462.8 million in the city, including the Dubai Fish Market, Dubai Safari and Al Thuraya Observatory.

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16 June 2015
Gary Rhodes to open restaurant in Dubai.
British high-profile chef Gary Rhodes has united with UAE-based Majid Al Futtaim Cinemas to launch VOX Theatre by Rhodes in Dubai. It will be a part of the VOX Cinema development, in Majid Al Futtaim’s Mall of the Emirates. Rhodes said: “VOX Theatre by Rhodes is an exciting new marriage and challenge that we hope to turn into a culinary taste that blends and compliments the movie experience VOX Cinemas has always been known to offer and now adding a new venture that I feel proud to be a part of.” Chief executive at Majid Al Futtaim Cinemas Cameron Mitchell said: “The new VOX Mall of the Emirates cinema will be the largest cinema in the Middle East, featuring all of the world’s most innovative cinema concepts including an IMAX laser projection system (the first in the Middle East), the region’s largest 4DX cinema (exclusive to VOX Cinemas) and two VOX Kids cinemas, the only cinemas designed especially for the younger fans,”

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09 June 2015
Gordon Ramsay to open second restaurant in Dubai.
British celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay will be opening a new restaurant In Dubai this year. He opened his first Dubai restaurant Verre back in 2001 and now has plans to return with the launch of his second Dubai venture. The Michelin starred chef has a global network of restaurants and makes many international TV appearances. The chef has revealed that he will be open his Bread Street Kitchen in Atlantis, The Palm, joining the likes of Nobu, Seafire and Ossiano. Gordon Ramsay said: “I am incredibly excited to open Bread Kitchen in Atlantis, The Palm. The expertise of the team at Atlantis make them ideal partners and I’ll be working closely with them to deliver a dining experience of the highest standards and one that reflects the ethos of its sister restaurant in St. Paul’s London”.

Click here to read more.

07 April 2015
Five Guys to open its first site in Dubai.

US burger giant Five Guys is opening its first site in Dubai as part of a massive international expansion. The site is expected to open within the next few weeks at the Dubai Mall. The build-your-own burger chain is known for having more than 250,000 ways to customise your burger, as well as huge helpings of fries cookied in 100% peanut oil. The American chain has expanded aggressively in the UK since opening its first site in Covent Garden in London nearly two years ago. It has received brilliant reviews too, The Londoner described it as “heaven in a brown bag’ and The Sunday Times called it a ‘substantial mucky oozing beast, in the best way".

Click here to read more.

20 March 2015
Busaba Eathai opens in Dubai.

London-based Thai restaurant chain Busaba Eathai opened first international restaurant in Dubai yesterday. It opened on JBR The Walk, overlooking the beach. Busaba's local partner is Ikram Group, which is the foodservices arm of Al Mana Group and already runs La Maison du Chocolat in the Middle East. The chain founded by Alan Yau, who also founded Hakkasan, Wagamama and Yauatcha, serves dishes such as massaman duck curry, ginger beef stir fry, chargrilled duck breast in tamarind sauce, Thai calamari and sen chan pad Thai.

16 March 2015
Bird’s eye view from Dubai’s Burj Khalifa.

A new video has been released that showcases Dubai from above. The video shows an eagle named Darshan with a small camera on its back fly from the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa. There was live footage of the imperial eagle as it swooped 829.8 metres to its trainer Jacques-Olivier Travers from a breeding facility in Thonon, France. It was set up by Freedom Conservation to raise awareness of the plight of the endangered bird of prey and was broadcast live exclusively from BBC News. Noora Yousef al Mansoori, Senior Manager of Strategic Communications for the Dubai Media Office, said: “Birds of prey have always been part of the culture and heritage of the UAE. We want to raise awareness of conservation and our responsibility as UAE nationals.”

Click here to read more.

22 January 2015
Bill's on track to post full-year turnover of close to £90m.

The Richard Caring-backed group Bill’s is on track to post full-year turnover of close to £90m in its current financial year and has a current run rate EBITDA of over £14m. The group which currently operates 53 sites is set to report turnover of £53.9m for the year to July 2014 next week, up from £27.5m the previous year. According to the M&C Report the company reported its first £2m turnover week just before Christmas and has continued to generate high single digit growth in like-for-like sales on a year to date basis. The group has plans to open a further 20-plus sites over the next year and believes there’s scope for over 250 openings in the UK. Bill’s will open three sites in February in Leicester, Peterborough and Maidstone.

Click here to read more.

20 January 2015
Dubai 360 launches the world’s first online interactive city tour.

Dubai 360 introduced the world’s first online interactive city tour to the public on Monday. It is the first of its kind to allow viewers to explore every angle of the city from the comfort of their own home using fully interactive and immersive 360 degree panoramic photo, time lapse and video content. The city tour includes filmed content of the world’s tallest building (the Burj Khalifa) as well as bird’s eye views of Sheikh Zayed Road and Dubai’s coast. Viewers can have a sneak peek inside the luxurious Royal Suite at the Burj Al Arab hotel and see the gold-covered interior, luxurious rooms and breath-taking views. A visit to Dubai Mall’s aquarium will allow users to swim amongst the sea creatures.

Click here to read more.

04 December 2014
Giraffe opens in Abu Dhabi.

Fast casual restaurant Giraffe has opened its first restaurant in Abu Dhabi Yas Mall, with a limited edition Big UAE Burger – made with herbed minced lamb kofta, salad, a mix of grilled vegetables and halloumi. Andrew Day, group CEO, Emirates Leisure Retail (ELR) said: “The new location demonstrates our commitment to delivering world class experiences to our customers here and will allow residents and visitors to the UAE the chance to try out an innovative world food menu in a family-friendly and warm environment. Our restaurants provide the perfect rest stop for visitors to Yas Mall having a great day out- whether it’s a quick bite to eat or a long leisurely meal, it is a fantastic environment for families”.

Click here to read more.

19 November 2014
Leon reveals its Christmas specials.

Healthy fast-food concept Leon, is launching a Christmas selection from the end of the week which will include three soups, a turkey special and Christmas Florentine. The Christmas Special wrap is British turkey from Norfolk and Lincolnshire, wrapped up with pork, sage and onion stuffing balls with roasted bacon, fresh spinach, olive oil mayonnaise and a cranberry and port sauce. The three festive soups will be celeriac and stilton, sweet potato, squash and sage, and spiced parsnip being sold at £3.30 with a portion donated to the homeless for ever serving sold.

Click here to read more.

12 November 2014
Bill's lines up its eighteenth site in London.

Richard Caring backed group Bill’s has lined up its eighteenth a site in London on Baker Street. The group which currently operates 50 sites will open three more sites before the end of the year in Durham, Welwyn Garden City and Woking. It has also planned an opening in Peterborough for next year as well as possible openings in Glasgow, Maidstone, Taunton and Sheffield.

Click here for full article.

04 November 2014
Coal Grill & Bar to strengthen its pipeline.

The John Gater-led Charterhouse Leisure-backed group Coal Grill & Bar, has plans open six new sites to reach the 16 site mark by next year. Before the end of the year, the group will open a site in Telford and will open its 10th site in Swindon at the new Regent Circus development at the end of January 2015. Further locations for possible openings include Manchester City, Bromley (South) and the Bedford Riverside. John Gater said: “We consider our locations carefully when opening a new restaurant. The location of our restaurant openings in Swindon provides us with the perfect mix of shopping and leisure facilities. We have experience great success in opening in locations with the combination of the two which provides a platform for trading across the day.”

Click here for full article.

24 October 2014
Franco Manca secures another site.

According to the M&C Report, pizza chain led by David Page and Italian chef Giuseppe Mascoli Franco Manca has secured a site in Ealing Broadway. The group which currently operate nine sites, has taken the former Bella Italia unit for an opening before the end of the year. It also has three further sites lined up for opening over the next nine months. It recently opened a site in Old Brompton Road, South Kensington.

Click here for full article.

21 October 2014
Cote to open in Liverpool One development.

French brasserie chain Cote has secured a site in Liverpool, as part of the Liverpool One development. This will be the first Cote restaurant in the city, and the second in the north west region, after Manchester. The two-storey 2,707 sq.ft site will seat 130 and is expected to open in early December this year. The new opening forms part of the group’s growing expansion aims, which joint managing director Harald Samuelsson stated in February was aiming at ten new sites per year. Samuelsson said: “Liverpool has a thriving restaurant scene, driving to a great extent by Liverpool One. These factors combined made our decision to debut in the city an easy one. We are in a fantastic and well-established location.” A number of other restaurant operators such as Bill’s, Byron, TGI Fridays and Tortilla have also used the Liverpool One development to expand in the north west.

Click here for full article.

21 October 2014
Cattle Grid looking to grow its estate in London.

Shaun Gray and Steve Novak, the owners of Cattle Grid, the fast-casual steakhouse chain and chicken-led concept Poulet Rouge, are looking to grow both brands within London. Novak told the M&C Report that: “We are looking to make new acquisitions in the New Year.” He said that they are looking for high street locations that are 1,500 – 4,000 sq.ft in central London for Poulet Rouge as well as transport hubs and shopping centres for Cattle Grid and its Express format. Last month, Cattle Grid opened a site in Earlsfield. Novak said that the first month has been “very successful” and he would consider repeating the concept if suitable “unique and full of character sites” can be found in central London.

Click here for full article.

14 October 2014
Five Guys to open sites in Leeds and Nottingham.

U.S. burger chain Five Guys has lined up two further regional openings in Nottingham and Leeds. According to the M&C Report the group, which currently operates 13 sites, has secured a unit at the Cardigan Field Leisure Park Leeds and applied to open at the former Pizza Hut unit facing the Old Market Square in Nottingham. The Leeds site is expected to open in December, along with sites in Edinburgh, Glasgow and London’s Argyll Street. Five Guys hopes to eventually operate 175-200 “high volume sites” in the UK and plans to launch in continental Europe over the next 18 months.

Click here for full article.

03 October 2014
Pho to strengthen its estate.

Vietnamese fast-casual concept Pho, backed by Equity Partners, is to strengthen its London estate after securing further sites in Balham and Covent Garden. The group, which is coming off the back of its biggest London opening to date at One New Change, is thought to be progressing on a couple of other out of London opportunities. Pho is believed to have enjoyed strong sales over the summer, experiencing double-digit growth across the majority of its estate in the three months to the end of September. The performance of its sites in Brighton and Islington were understood to have been particularly strong. Over the next two to three years, the group is aiming to grow its estate to up to 25 sites.

Click here for full article.

02 October 2014
FY EBITDA up at Hawksmoor.

Underdogs Restaurants, the operator of Hawksmoor, the high-end steak restaurant chain, saw underlying EBITDA for the year end of 2013 climb from £2.7m to £4.8m. The group saw turnover increase from £18.1m to £25.6m during the year, while pre-tax profit climbed to £3.7m up from £1.35m. The Graphite Capital-backed group said: “The primary drivers of the improved performance (came) from strong like-for-like sales in the existing restaurants together with the inclusion of a full-year trading for the restaurant in Air Street which opened in late 2012. The directors expect the results to continue to reflect the business’s growing popularity and successful branding.” Hawksmoor currently operates six sites in London, including one under new concept Foxlow. The operator won the Best Company award at this year’s Retailers’ Retailer Award.

Click here for full article.

10 September 2014
Gaucho Holdings to open in the Far East.

Gaucho Holdings, the operator of Argentinian steakhouse concepts Gaucho and CAU, is to open its first site in Asia in the heart of Hong Kong in mid-October. This will be the 16th site from the group will open on Queen’s Road Central. It is also assessing opportunities in the Middle East. The company has been strengthening its pipeline of openings for CAU and is believed to be close to announcing further sites in London, Bath and Cheshire. Group Finance Director Gary Mann said: “2014 is proving to be an exciting year with three CAU sites successfully opened and two more open before 31st December [in Wimbledon Village and Henley upon Thames]”. The group will also continue to invest in the evolution of the Gaucho brand, the first step of which was the 2014 refurbishment of its flagship site in London.

Click here for full article.

05 September 2014
Five Guys hope to operate 200 sites over the next 18 months.

Popular US burger chain Five Guys, has hopes to eventually operate 175-200 “high volume sites” in the UK and plans to launch in Continental Europe over the next 18 months. The group which currents operates 12 sites across the UK, has plans to open a further nine sites this year and has already secured four sites in Scotland, including three in or around Glasgow and its first in Edinburgh. It will look to add a further 20 to 30 sites in the UK next year. In regards to expanding into Europe, the group will target Germany first, followed by France and Spain, depending on the right sites becoming available.

Click here for full article.

22 August 2014
Second Noodle House planned in the UK for 2014.

South East Asian casual dining brand The Noodle House, owned by Jumeirah Restaurants, is considering sites for a second UK opening next year. EQ Group, which has master franchise rights for the brand in the UK, opened the first site last April on Shaftesbury Avenue. EQ Group director Hussein Sunderji said: “We had an absolutely phenomenal response from the local people, from the local offices coming by for lunch and for after-work drinks. The word is getting out there and we’re really happy so far.” Sunderji told the M&C Report earlier this year that an agreement has been signed by EQ Group to open 27 UK sites over 10 years and would target locations both in and out of London.

Click here for full article.

13 August 2014
Cote secures its first site in Scotland.

According to the M&C Report, Casual French brasserie chain Cote, backed by CBPE, has secured its first site in Scotland. The 52-strong company has secured two units at 41-43 West Nile Street in Glasgow, which will be merged into a single site for an opening scheduled for the first quarter of next year. Cote has been gradually growing its presence in the north of England over the last year, with openings in Manchester and York. It has just been announced that it has secured two further sites for openings this year in Winchester and Cardiff.

Click here for full article.

29 July 2014
Co-founders of restaurant group Giraffe resign from the business.

Co–founders of fast casual restaurant group Giraffe Juliette and Russell Joffe, have resigned from the business. In 2008, the pair alongside lifelong friend Andrew Jacobs and have built up to 60 UK restaurants including five of which are located in airports, and two in Dubai. Last year, Tesco brought the business for £50m which allowed private equity firms 3i and Risk Capital Partners to sell their stakes in the company. Following the announcement of their resignation, Juliette and Russell Joffe said: “It’s been an incredible journey from our first restaurant in Hampstead to where we are now. Having seen through the Tesco sale over a year ago and started Giraffe on its next phase of growth, we know we are leaving our baby in safe and capable hands”. Andrew Jacobs will continue to be involved with the Giraffe business.

Click here to read more.

26 June 2014
More Nando's wanted than any other branded restaurant operator.

According to research by CGA Peach BrandTrack, Portuguese fast casual restaurant Nando’s the brand 8.4% of people would like to see open up near their home than any other branded restaurant. Branded restaurant operators such as Wetherspoons, Harvester, TGI Friday’s and Wagamama followed closely behind Nando’s. Regionally, Nando’s topped the polls in Scotland, the North West, West Midlands and south east England. Diners in Yorkshire wanted to see more Wetherspoons, whilst Harvester was the top choice in Wales and the East Midlands, Toby Carvery was the restaurant choice for East Anglia and Wagamama for London.

Click here to read more.

20 June 2014
Scores on the Doors partners up with the Sustainable Restaurant Association.

Scores on the Doors website has partnered up with the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA),  to ensure that diners can now see additional sustainability credentials for all 4,000 SRA restaurants, cafes, pubs and hotel members. It launched this week to celebrate Food Satey Week. Over 250,000 diners use Scores on the Doors website every month and can now see scores for both hygiene and sourcing . Consumer research consistently shows that 70% diners would prefer to eat in a sustainable restaurant and more than 50% say they would pay more to do so. Managing director of the SRA Mark Linehan, said: “The response to recent food scandals, such as horsemeat, demonstrate that diners’ demand for responsible business practices are rising. They want clear, simple and transparent information so that they can make quick and informed decisions about where they eat out and Scores on the Doors have been quick to respond to consumer demand. One search now immediately allows diners to seek reassurance on both cleanliness and conscience.”

Click here to read more.

19 June 2014
Wahaca to open in Cardiff later this year.

Fast casual Mexican restaurant group Wahaca, is to open a site in Cardiff this autumn and its first outside of London and the South East. The restaurant is in the City’s St. David shopping centre, which first opened in 2009. The 5,600 sq.ft restaurant is spread over two floors and will have an outdoor seating area.It will serve food from its usual menu, which includes burritos, tacos and quesadillas. On the drinks menu, there is an extensive tequila list as well as mocktails and coffee. Founder of Wahaca Thomasina Miers, said: “Cardiff is a young, vibrant city with a fantastic concentration of retail and leisure. We are delighted to be opening our first regional restaurant and are confident that the people of Cardiff will love our fresh, sustainable Mexican offer”.

Click here to read more.

11 June 2014
Five guys boost restaurant sales at Bluewater.

Bluewater shopping centre saw sales of its catering brands rise 11% in May against the same month last year, fuelled by the opening of Five Guys there in April. The catering segment outperformed the overall sales at Bluewater. Bluewater’s General Manager Robert Goodman said: “The effect of new additions to Bluewater’s offer, such as Victoria Secrets, Pink, Adidas HomeCourt, and Five Guys is evident. These new brands, which join the 37 that opened or upsized at Bluewater last year, create additional reasons to visit for guests.”

Click here to read full article.

06 June 2014
Dishoom secures third site.

The all-day Indian café concept Dishoom, has just confirmed that it has secured its third site in London. It will open in King’s Cross on Stable Street, by Granary Square and the 9,000 sq ft space will be its largest restaurant to date. In 2010, Dishoom opened in Covent Garden, and after the Dishoom Chowpatty Beach pop-up at Southbank in the summer of 2011, the second permanent site, Dishoom Shoreditch, opened in 2012. Shamil Thakrar, founder of Dishoom said: “We’re so pleased to be joining this iconic development at King’s Cross and our new restaurant will be as unique as the environment that we are moving into. We love the rich history of the area, the shared spaces and the growing sense of community – all of which make King’s Cross a perfect fit for us.”

Click here for full article.

04 June 2014
Wahaca secures 14th site.

Wahaca, the Mexican style casual dining chain, is to open a new restaurant in London’s Fitzrovia. It has taken out a 15-year lease on the 4,710 sq.ft site at 26/28 Great Portland Street due to open in September. This will be the 14th site for the business which is co-founded by Thomasina Miers and Mark Selby. The deal was brokered by property agent Shelley Sandzer. Commenting on the deal, Nick Weir, joint managing partner at Shelley Sandzer, said: “This is a great new location in Fitzrovia for Wahaca, which we secured against tough competition. This new site will complement their existing presence in London, and is at the heart of one of the most in-demand locations in the capital at the moment.”

Click here for more information.

03 June 2014
Five Guys plans to expand further into Europe.

Five Guys JV Ltd, the company that introduced the popular US burger chain to the UK, backed by Charles Dunstone, is planning to launch a site in France next year. The plans are to open the first site in Paris by next March, with further openings planned across the rest of the country. The ninth Five Guys UK restaurant opened yesterday in Uxbridge and has openings lined up in Solihull, Westfield London and Lakeside.

Click here to read more.

30 May 2014
Hawksmoor reveals new Asian-inspired menu for upcoming site.

Hawksmoor, the London steak group, is going to introduce Asian influences to its menu at the new site in Knightsbridge. The 130-cover restaurant, located on the former Frankie’s Bar and Grill, is due to open on 3rd July and will be the fifth site for the group. It will have a 1930’s interior and a bar seating 25. As each Hawksmoor restaurant aims to offer something a bit different, this site will reflect founders Will Beckett and Huw Gott’s travels around Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore and China. New menu options will include citrus scallops with chilli and ginger, devilled Brixham lobster, Vietnamese style oysters plus the steamed and roasted shellfish platter. The restaurant will also serve the famous Hawksmoor menu of British reared beef cooked over the charcoal.

Click here for full article.

23 May 2014
D&D London has aquired the Madison roof top site at One New Change.

International restaurant group D&D London, has acquired the Madison roof top site at One New Change, St Paul’s, for an estimated £4.5m. The tapas restaurant, which has been in the hands of administrators since November, had the likes of Drake and Morgan and 3Sixty Restaurants interested. Dowling’s companies, including Greenwich Holdings, were placed into administration last year owing £15.5m, according to a report from the administrators Griffins. The proceeds of the sale will be used to meet creditors claims. Dowling said: “The site at One New Change is arguably the most profitable bar/ restaurant per square foot in London and I am very proud to have created such a vibrant venue. I am sure it will continue to thrive in the expert hands of D&D. We have cooperated fully with the insolvency process and I am now looking forward to moving ahead with a number of exiting business opportunities, not only in London but throughout the UK.”

Click here for full article.

21 May 2014
Jumeirah Restaurant week 2014.

This Friday 23rd May, the annual Jumeriah Restaurant week kick starts and will run until Saturday 31st May. It takes place over 61 Jumeirah restaurants worldwide, including outlets in Dubai, Abu Dubai, London, the Maldives and Shanghai. Jemeriah Restaurants are known for its highest quality of food and creative cuisine across an incomparable selection of restaurants and bars. The event is divided between four price categories in Dubai – Dhs90 at Noodle House, Dhs120 for casual dining, Dhs180 for signature dining and Dhs270 for buffet dining at the Burj Al Arab. Diners can go to sample a selection of signature dishes from the three-course set menu at 38 participating restaurants in Dubai for lunch and dinner.

20 May 2014
Byron secures its first site in Leeds.

Premium burger restaurant group Byron, has secured its first site in Leeds with an opening set for the end of June. The group currently operates 41 sites, with the majority being in London. Later this week, it is set to open its next site in Clapham Common with further openings lined up this summer in Exeter and on The Strand.

Click here to read more.

14 May 2014
Busaba Eathai to open its 11th site in June.

Thai casual dining restaurant group Busaba Eathai, is to open its 11th restaurant in June. The 135- cover site, which includes a 30-seat riverside terrace, will open on Kingston Riverside, in Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey. It will serve dishes on the usual menu but will also include new dishes such as Isaan grilled pork and summer salads as well as new desserts including sticky rice and sweet plantain fritters. The new opening has been accompanied by the street food van ‘Busaba Streethai’, created as part of the local Create in Kingston design festival, and will serve samples of the new restaurant menu as part of the Kingston Night Market, on 15 May. The group currently has nine sites across London and a site in Bicester Village, Oxfordshire.

Click here to read more.

10 April 2014
Raymond Blanc to open new restaurant in London.

High profile chef Raymond Blanc, has just announced via the Evening Standard that he is to open a new restaurant in London. He revealed that he was ‘about to’ secure a premises for the new London venture, but did not disclose any other information about the location of the new restaurant. It will be a fine dining restaurant but a date as to when it will open has not been revealed either. Raymond Blanc said: “For a long time I wanted this to happen, and it is going to happen.”

Click here to read more.

04 April 2014
PizzaExpress has launched a new spring menu.

With spring upon us, PizzaExpress has launched a delicious new menu highlighting classic Italian flavours, as well as a wider range of its low-calorie Leggera dishes which contain fewer than 500 calories. It has also expanded on its gluten free menu options, adding 10 new gluten free dishes and a cheese-free pizza for vegans. Rebecca Farrer, Brand Director at PizzaExpress said: ‘’We’re constantly looking at tastes. Variety is really important to our guests, whether they are counting calories, unable to eat gluten or simply want to try some fresh flavours.’’

Click here
to read more.

03 April 2014
Wahaca receives funding for extension.

Mexican street food restaurant concept Wahaca, concept led by Tomasina Miers and Mark Selby, have received a funding extension from RBS to finance the next phase of expansion for the business. RBS announced that it is to increase and extend support for Wahaca via new medium term debt facilities. Head of consumer industries team at RBS, said: “New concepts are being created on an almost weekly basis in the UK, this makes for a more vibrant and dynamic casual dining sector. Successful groups like Wahaca are offering customers a unique experience and transforming the way Britons eat out.” Wahaca is on track to make its regional debut in the next 12 months and add a further three sites to its 11-strong core London estate.

Click here to read more.

28 March 2014
Burgers for breakfast anyone?
Believe it or not, Britons are eating burgers more than ever for breakfast. New research figures from the NPD Group studied what consumers would eat for the first meal of the day when out of the home. It showed that 1 in 12 out-of-home burger servings were eaten before 11am. In the year ending December 2013, Britons had consumed more than 100 million burgers when they had breakfast away from home. UK foodservice account manager for the NPD Group, said: “When people eat breakfast – perhaps on the way to work, or in the office, or as a treat at weekends – burgers are clearly growing in popularity. But the breakfast classics – servings of good old-fashioned bacon sandwiches, toast, eggs, sausage and baked beans – are unlikely to be toppled anytime soon.”

Click here to read full article. 

20 March 2014
Jamie's Italian launches standalone pizzeria.

The casual dining chain Jamie’s Italian, has launched a standalone pizzeria at its site in Cambridge. The pizzeria features a carefully crafted menu, consisting of a small selection of oven-baked pizzas priced between £8-£9.50. Jamie’s has also previously added a deli to its site in Bath and has recently secured permission to do the same to its St. Albans restaurant. The group recently opened its 34th UK site in Newcastle and has another opening in Harrogate by early next year.

Click here for full article.

12 March 2014
Jackson + Rye is to open its second site in Chiswick.

Jackson + Rye - a venture launched by Grillshack’s Hannah Bass and Mark Askew, and backed by Richard Caring - is to open its second site in Chiswick. The fast-casual American restaurant and bar offers a selection of burgers, buttermilk fried chicken and steaks from the grill, supported by a cocktail and dessert menu. It was confirmed via twitter that the new restaurant is to open in June on 217-221 Chiswick High Road.


Click here for full article.

06 March 2014
Gerry Ford to join board of proper hamburger chain Byron.

Founder and chairman of Caffè Nero Gerry Ford, has joined the board of proper hamburger chain Byron. He serves on numerous boards in the consumer goods market and has more than 20 years experience helping smaller growth businesses under his belt. News came after Gerry’s private equity group Paladin confirmed it had invested £5m in the Tom Byng-led chain. Last year, Paldadin co-invested alongside Hutton Collins in the £100m acquisition of the 36-strong Bryon. Ford said: “ Byron is the market leader in the high growth category of premium hamburgers. I believe Byron has a real opportunity to develop much further in the UK as this category opens throughout the country. I am very happy to be assisting Tom and his team and working alongside Hutton Collins on this investment.” In the next nine months, further Byron sites will open in Leeds, Milton Keynes and Shoreditch.

Click here for full article. 

27 February 2014
Hawksmoor duo to open a new restaurant in Knightsbridge.
Dynamic duo Will Beckett and Huw Gott are to open a new Hawksmoor restaurant in London’s Knightsbridge later this year. The company currently has five restaurants around London including a smaller more intimate restaurant format named Foxlow, which opened in November 2013. The sixth venue will be on the site of Frankie’s Bar and Grill in Yeoman’s Row, Knightsbridge. Last year Graphite Capital brought a minority stake of the business that will help it expand further.

To read the full article click here.

19 February 2014
Côte aquires site in Marlow.

The CBPE-backed group Côte, has secured a site in Marlow, Buckinghamshire, after acquiring the Thai Square restaurant in the town. The 47 strong group has secured a further four sites in Manchester, Bury St Edmunds, Wokingham and Bishop Stortford and will open its latest site next month at the Kingston Riverside Development.

Click here to read the full article.

18 February 2014
Franco Manca opens its seventh site.

Neapolitan pizza extraordinaire Franco Manca opened its seventh site yesterday in Broadway Market, London. The group led by David Page, the former Chief Executive of Pizza Express, specialises in making sourdough pizzas baked in a traditional wood-burning brick oven. With seven sites already open in London in locations such as Stratford, Tottenham Court Road and Balham, the group has plans to open three further Franco Manca sites all within capital this year.

Click here to read the full article.

10 February 2014
Double-digit turnover and profit for Bushaba Eathai.

Fast casual Thai restaurant chain Busaba Eathai has just released that its annual turnover  increased by 13.2% in the 2012-2013 financial year. The company recorded turnover of £27.78m and EBITDA climbed 11% to £2m. The company has 10 sites, the majority being in London, and has done well despite a competitive casual dining restaurant market. Busaba Eathai also has expansion plans on the horizon with two new openings confirmed for this summer and more openings to be revealed in the coming months.

Click here to read the full article.

31 January 2014
Wahaca reveals plans to open  a new concept

According to the M&C Report, fast casual Mexican food concept Wahaca led by Thomasina Miers and Mark Selby, is developing a new, smaller concept that hopes to launch in the next year. It will be a quicker dining experience with the option to takeaway and a lower spend per head. The group has also revealed plans to open its first restaurant outside of London within a year.

Click here to read the full article.

28 January 2014
Pho secures its 10th site

The fast-casual Vietnamese restaurant Pho has secured its 10th site on Chiswick High Road, West London. The 2,540 sq. ft. restaurant will be the first Pho restaurant in a suburban location. This year, Pho is on a major expansion drive and is looking to achieve its aim of 25 sites within the next four years.

Click here to read the full article.

24 January 2014
Eduardo Carnevale joins Five Guys to support expansion across the UK

After spending three years at Itsu as Head of Training and Standard, Eduardo Carnevale has left to join US burger giant Five Guys. He is joining Five Guys as it puts in place an operational framework to support its expansion across the UK. Earlier this month, Tim Lowther, who oversaw the launch of Shake Shack in the UK, also joined the UK Five Guys team as Head of Operations in the North of England as the chain looks to expand into the region with talks on sites in Manchester, Leeds and Birmingham.

Click here to read more.

22 January 2014
Byron to open a further site in London Chiswick. 
Byron, the ‘proper hamburger’ chain led by Tom Byng, has secured a further site in London Chiswick. The former Café Rouge site will re-open as Byron on Chiswick High Road in April. In the next nine months there will also be openings in Milton Keynes, Shoreditch and the Strand and believed to be in talks on further openings for its 2015 too. Hutton Collins, the group that acquired Byron last year for £100m, believes that we could see up to 10 Byron sites open a year and eventually to grow over 100 units.

Click here to read full article.

14 January 2014
Obika plans to strengthen its international presence with flagship sites this year.

Obika, the world’s first mozzarella bar chain, has plans to strengthen its international presence with flagship launches in New York, Dubai and London this year. Having recently opened its fourth site in London, Obika will open a site in Dubai , its first in the Middle East, in March followed by a site in New York in May. Ryan Hattingh, Obika’s managing director, said that the company planned a flagship opening in central London in the second half of the year and that UK performance was ‘up heavily’ on last year.

Click here to read more.

09 January 2014
Busaba Eathai reveals plans to double its estate.

Busaba Eathai, the modern Thai eatery, has announced plans to double its estate to 20 sites within the next three years. Mr Falconer, the company’s development director said ‘ We’re looking to develop three or four new sites this year, focusing on Liverpool Manchester, Leeds and Bristol’. In order to expand successfully, Busaba Eathai will look to recruit more than 40 new chefs from the south-east Asia to ensure that food served  is authentic and of a high quality.

Click here to read the full article via The Telegraph.

08 January 2014
Street food prediction 2014.

Today I came across an interesting article in the M&C Report about the rise of street food and the move towards a more relaxed and social way of eating. I find the topic of street food particularly interesting after working with vendors such as ‘The Rib Man’ last year. Jonathan Downey, bar and club operator and now street food expert, talks about how mobile vendors have become a match for ‘traditional restaurants’. In 2013 street food was booming, as the food on offer delivered not just in terms of convenience and value, but in quality too. Over 6,000 people attended Street Feast last year - in its various locations - which guaranteed traders a regular income therefore making it less likely for them to have to heavily invest on bricks-and-mortar sites to make a living. Several street food locations are being looked at with the hope of becoming semi-permanent this year, which will make it easier for traders to operate and deliver good quality consistent food, which has been difficult to do in the past. From what I have read about the ever-rising popularity of street food, I think that 2014 is going to be an even better year with a lot more to offer then ever before.

Click here to read the full article via the M&C Report.

16 December 2013
Pho to open two new sites in London in the first quarter of 2014.

Pho, the fast casual Vietnamese restaurant, is to open two new sites in London in the first quarter of 2014. The sites will be located on Chiswick Road and Battersea Rise, which will take the total number of restaurants to eleven. Stephen and Juliette Wall lead the company that is backed by Isis Equity Partners and have plans to open five restaurants next year and twenty-five restaurants over the next three years. Pho also has secured a site in the new Birmingham Grand Central development.

Click here to read the full article. 

13 December 2013
7th Drake and Morgan site to open in Farringdon, London.
London-based bar ground Drake and Morgan is to open its seventh site The Fable in London’s Farringdon, in February 2014. It will open from 7.30am and serve food through to dinner. Spread over three floors, the 436-seater, 10,000 sq. ft. bar will have space for over 1,000 people standing, and an 80-seater outside space. Inside there will be a dining area, florist, library, deli, wine room and mixology tables. In a bid to create a ‘relaxed, elegant and luxurious’ feel, the interior will mix leather, wood, textured wallpaper and rich fabrics with warm colours and floor to ceiling windows.

Click here to read the full article or here to visit The Fable website.

02 December 2013
Five Guys to expand further into the UK in 2014.

Five Guys, the popular US burger chain, took the UK by storm with its first opening earlier this year in Covent Garden. It has now lined up a further three sites for the start of next year as it looks to open up to 30 new sites in the UK over the next 12 months. The group is believed to be close to securing sites in Guilford and Kingston, to join a further opening lined up for Lakeside, Essex next year. To strengthen its presence in the South East, the company is also believed to be looking at locations in Croydon. It is thought that eight to ten offers have been made on various locations with 50% of openings based inside the M25 and the South East and the remaining 50% in other regions.

Click here to read the full article.

26 November 2013
Two days until the Emirates Dubai Rugby Sevens tournament kicks off.

This year we are sponsoring the BARLA Bulldogs at the Emirates Dubai Rugby Sevens tournament. R&D Director Neil Verner has been keeping us updated on the progress of BARLA Bulldogs’ training in Dubai. Yesterday, the BARLA Bulldogs had their first tough heat session at the English College on Sheikh Zayed Road. Training consisted of a series of field running drills for an hour and a half. The team then went on to give a ten-minute question and answer session to pupils in three different classes. The tournament itself kicks off in just two days, good luck BARLA Bulldogs!

21 November 2013
Restaurant and bar operators welcome 24 hour service on London underground lines from 2015.

Hitting the headlines today is the announcement from Transport for London (TfL) introducing a 24 hour service on key London underground lines on Friday and Saturday evenings from 2015. This news has been welcomed by restaurants and bar operators as it will support London’s lively night-life, boost businesses, jobs and leisure opportunities. Restaurant and bar operators can offer longer trading hours, allowing customers leave later and not be concerned worried about catching the last tube home. Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, said: ‘This will not just boost jobs and our vibrant night-time economy, it will further cement London’s reputation as the best big city on the planet in which to live, work, visit and invest’.

Click here to read the article.

20 November 2013
Ping Pong secures site at Westfield Stratford.

According to the M&C Report dim-sum chain Ping Pong, led by Art Sagiryan, has secured its tenth UK site in Westfield Stratford which is scheduled to open early next year.The chain recently opened a site at Wembley Designer Outlet under a newly evolved restaurant design which features a cocktail bar, tea bar and an open- plan kitchen. Ping Pong is also expanding on an international level with a second site secured in India expected to open in the coming months. The chain has also entered into a franchise agreement in the United Arab Emirates, which will see it expand further with eight restaurants planned to open in the next eight years.

Click here to read the article from M&C Report.

14 November 2013
Nando's to open its first airport restaurant next year.
Nando’s, the fast-casual peri-peri chicken dining chain, has just announced via the M&C Report that it is to open its first airport site after agreeing to open at Gatwick’s South Terminal next summer. Passenger feedback revealed that 33% would like to see a Nando’s when visiting the airport. The 280-strong company will open a 5,900 sq. ft. 200-cover restaurant at the airport. It will be open for 20 hours a day (4am-12am) offering breakfast, lunch and dinner. The hugely popular chain has an extensive menu that is matched with airport dining demand, as it’s quick, fresh and delicious.

06 November 2013
Horizon releases names of fastest growing restaurant brands.

Bills, the unique café and produce store, has topped the list of the UK’s fastest growing restaurants after adding 21 sites to its estate between 2010-2013. Horizon’s ‘One to Watch’ survey identifies leading edge, small foodservice operator brands and concepts emerging on the high street. The ranking is based on innovation, size and growth rate. The new report shows that Thai, Chinese, Mexican, Caribbean and Mediterranean restaurants are amongst the fastest-growing areas of the branded eating out sector. 105 brands with between 5-25 outlets showed over 20% growth over the past three years, and 88 ‘Bubbling Under’ concepts are also expanding and may well be future contenders. Below are the top five ‘Ones To Watch’ brands:

1) Bill's (21 new openings between 2010 and 2013)
2) Harris + Hooole (21 new openings between 2010 and 2013)
3) Ed's Easy Diner (16 new openings between 2010 and 2013)
4) Pod (14 new openings between 2010 and 2013)
5) Abokado (13 new openings between 2010 and 2013)

Click here to read the full article.

25 October 2013
Pho to make debut in Birmingham.

Pho, the Vietnamese restaurant serving authentic street food dishes, has just confirmed that it will have a unit at Grand Central, the redevelopment above Birmingham New Street train station. Set to open in 2015, Grand Central will be a retail and restaurant destination hoping to attract many new customers. This is a wonderful venture for Pho as it is the ideal location for the Vietnamese restaurant’s first move out of London and the South East of England. As well as being centrally located within the complex, it will have great views of the busiest rail concourse outside of London. Tortilla, Carluccio’s and Giraffe will also be making their debut in the new complex.

Click here to read the full article.

18 October 2013
New venture for Giraffe.
Giraffe, the casual-dining restaurant serving food from around the globe, will add to its restaurant portfolio and launch a new grab and go concept in December. The Tesco- owned restaurant group is to open Giraffe Kiosk, in the front square of the newly redeveloped King’s Cross retail space. It will be joining Giraffe STOP, the group’s first venture into railway station dining, and will become the company’s second site at King’s Cross. The KIOSK concept will be placed in smaller locations, which will serve grab and go hot pots, coffees, salads and wraps. The group would also look to put its different brand concepts into Tesco sites where appropriate.

Click here to read more.

17 October 2013
Gondola delivers strong performance.

Gondola Group is the market leader in the UK casual dining sector, operating restaurants such as PizzaExpress, Zizzi, ASK Italian and Byron. The M&C Report has just released information on the group’s financial results. A strong performance in the 52 weeks to 1 July 2013 saw a rise in total sales up by 4.2% to £604.2m, which delivered a 6% increase in EBITDA to £112.2m. Trading EBITDA was up 12.3%. EBITDA margin stood at 18.6% against 18.2% the previous year. Over the year, there was a total of 21 restaurant openings in the UK and 11 internationally, bringing it up to a 752 strong-estate.

  • Pizza Express delivered a good performance both in the UK and internationally. 13 sites opened during the year have continued to develop promotional activity and partnership activities. It also introduced Gluten Free options and added Calzone to its menu.
  • ASK Italian had a year of progress continued to make good headway in its image transformation programme and opened its first site in Birmingham.
  • It was the breakout year for Byron as it built rapidly on its already strong foundation with 10 sites open during the year. The 45th site will open later this year in Milton Keynes.
  • Zizzi’s innovative menu, distinct and temporary design brought in brilliant financial and customer feedback results. It opened a total of 7 sites this year.

Click here to read more.

10 October 2013
New outlets for Nando's

Nando’s is one of the nation's favourite fast-casual restaurants. Known for its succulent peri-peri chicken, the brand is to open five new outlets across Scotland and is said to be looking at a number of other sites north of the border. The Nando’s expansion into Scotland has also created dozens of jobs. The first of five restaurants opened yesterday at the Palace Towers Retail Park in Hamilton. The four sites to follow are: Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow; Braehead Shopping Centre; Central Retail Park in Falkirk and the OMNi Centre in Edinburgh.

Click here to read more.

08 October 2013
Square Pie secures funding for expansion.

Square Pie, the market leader in fast, quality gourmet pies and British food, is set to expand its portfolio after attracting £700,000 of investment from private equity firm IW Capital. The group currently has five outlets around London but in July it was announced that it is planning to operate 20 sites within the next four years. Two sites have already been secured and are scheduled to open next year, including one located within Birmingham New Street Shopping Centre.

Click here to read more.

02 October 2013
Increase in EBITDA for Pho.

Pho, the Vietnamese fast-casual concept, has just reported an 11% increase in EBITDA for the year to the 24 February. Despite the economic backdrop and decline in consumer confidence, turnover climbed 26% to £8.2 million. The group has a total of eight sites, with another scheduled to open next month in Trinity Shopping Centre, Leeds. Stephen Wall, co-founder of Pho, said that the company has had a ‘robust year to date with very strong trade at our high street sites in particular compensating for the heat wave knocking sales a little at our two Westfield-based sites’. The group hopes to grow its estate up to 25 sites over the next four years.

Click here to read more.

12 September 2013
Londoners are eating out more

It could be the heat wave enticing people to eat out more, or it may be that families are opting for a ‘staycation’ holiday and spend their money on dining. Whatever it is, London has taken on the eating habits of New Yorkers. Results from the latest Zagat survey show that London restaurant-goers are eating out 3.7 times a week, up from 2.2 times in 2012. Only half of the fourteen dinners and lunches eaten during the week are now prepared in kitchens at home. London is going through a food revolution. Diners do not want the ‘frills’ of a fine dining restaurant as much as they used to, they are more concerned with the diversity and depths of food available and the value for money. Over recent years, a new wave of ‘street food’ vans has appeared in areas in London such as Brixton, Soho and Shoreditch, bringing down the cost of high quality eating out. Flexible menus in some restaurants now enable diners to have breakfast at 2pm, showing that eateries have adapted to the lifestyle of its customers. It will be interesting to see if this trend continues after the weather and into the winter months…

Click here to read more.

04 September 2013
Nando’s wins at the PETA awards.

The first PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) Vegan Food Awards,held earlier this week, aimed to recognised the best meat, egg and dairy-free foods from twenty different categories in the foodservice market. Nando’s the Portuguese casual dining concept, renowned for all things ‘Peri-Peri’, won Best Vegan Burger Category at PETA for its Veggie Burger. The PETA’s Mimi Bekhechi said that restaurants are “ taking note that more and more people are ditching meat, eggs and diary products and moving towards a healthier and kinder diet”.

Click here for the full list of winners.

29 August 2013
Hawksmoor reveal impressive financial results.

Hawksmoor, which is currently operating four high-end steak restaurants in London, has released impressive financial results for the 12 months to December 2012. The company has seen an increase in both profit and turnover. Turnover rose from £10.6m last year to £18.1m this year – a staggering 70% increase. Profit increased from £1.2m to just under £1.4m- a 13% rise. Considering the state of the economy, Hawksmoor still managed to demonstrate a strong performance during the financial year due to strong like for like sales and the opening of two new restaurants (in 2011 and 2012). The Hawkmoor duo Will Beckett and Huw Gott are set to open a fifth site named Foxlow on St. John Street, London this November.

Click here to read the full article.

20 August 2013
Byron site secured in Hammersmith.

The Gondola owned proper hamburger chain Byron, has secured its 30th site in the capital, taking it to a total of 35th sites around the country. The site has been secured in Hammersmith and is due to open in early November. It is believed that the brand is in talks to open sites in Milton Keynes and Bristol and expects to have 45 units in operation by the end of next year. Another site has been secured on the Strand, which will be the first opening of 2014.

Click here to read the full article.

13 August 2013
Coast to Coast to open five further sites by the end of the year.

Coast to Coast, the American restaurant and bar concept, is to open five further sites before the end of the year. Under the ownership of The Restaurant Group (TRG), the plan is to open sites in Bolton, Birmingham, Norwich’s Riverside Development, the Designer Outlet at Wembley and the Medway Valley leisure park near Rochester. Talk of other openings is in the air too. The group are confident that the concept has potential to expand due to its broad appeal and wide array of dishes available. Alan Jackson, chairman said: ‘The performance of our new Coast to Coast restaurants gives us particular pleasure. The brand has a distinct and scalable offering, and represents the start of what we believe is a significant new leg to our Leisure business’.

Click here to read the full article.

08 August 2013
Cabana secures fourth site in London at the Designer outlet at Wembley.

Cabana, the Brazilian concept led by David Ponte and Jamie Barber has secured its fourth site in London at the Designer Outlet at Wembley. It will be the biggest Cabana restaurant to date covering 5,000sq ft, and is set to open before the end of the year. It has secured a prime location in the complex overlooking the stadium and has a dual entrance. The complex will include restaurants such as Nandos, Frankie and Benny’s and Zizzi.

Click here to read more.

07 August 2013
First Giraffe restaurant opened in Tesco earlier this week.
Earlier this week, Tesco opened its first Giraffe restaurant in Watford offering breakfast, lunch and dinner to supermarket shoppers. It is also understood to have lined up two further in-store openings in Chestnut and Abington. The plan is to open 10 restaurants in Tesco Extra stores over the next 12 months. Both Tesco and Giraffe are not willing to take any risks that could potentially damage either of its brands. The relationship between Giraffe and Tesco is said to be going well and due to their mutual understanding and vision.

Click here to read more.

01 August 2013
GBK open's 60th site in London's Wandsworth.
Gourmet Burger Kitchen (GBK) the specialist premium burger restaurant, has secured its 60th site in London’s Wandsworth and hopes to open before Christmas. The chief executive Alasdair Murdoch believes that GBK has the scope to triple in size in the UK. GBK has revamped their restaurants and there are talks of 10 potential openings next year.

Click here to read more.

23rd July 2013
Bill's to open new restaurant in Hammersmith, London.
 Bill’s is one of the fastest growing concepts in 2013. With 23 restaurants around the country, it serves the best of British food with the menu changing throughout the day. The group is understood to have secured its 24th site in Hammersmith London. With talks of openings in Leamington Spa, Sailsbury and Windsor, it seems to be on track to reach the 30 site mark by the end of the year.

23rd July 2013
Giraffe restaurant to open in Tesco supermarket next month!

 Earlier this year, news broke out that the supermarket giant Tesco was to transform its cafes into Giraffe restaurants all across the UK. It has now been confirmed that Giraffe is to open its first Tesco store site in Watford next month. The £50m deal was sealed in March this year when Tesco bought the restaurant chain. Food will be served from breakfast through to dinner. Russel Joffe, co-founder and managing director of Giraffe Concepts said: “We plan to open 10 restaurants in Tesco stores and five new restaurants on the high street.”

16th July 2013
Coal to open three further sites.

Grill and bar restaurant Coal, owned by Charterhouse Leisure, has five restaurants spread around the UK. With massive expansion plans on the agenda, it have secured three new sites understood to be in Gloucester Docks, Milton Keynes and the third site to be based in the South West. The company secured £2m of new funding to expand further and revamp its brand late last year.


09th July 2013
New dining concept Wondertree, opening in Heathrow Airport, Terminal 2.

The Restaurant Group (TRG) and Giraffe have joined forces to open an all-day casual dining restaurant, Wondertree, at the newly renovated Terminal 2 in Heathrow Airport. Food will be cooked to order from an open plan kitchen with freshly made breads, stacked sandwiches, flatbread pizzas and Giraffe specialty ‘global foods’ such as Los Cabos Chicken Tacos. It will be a self-service café and a more relaxed dining area, which will include contactless payment and tablet menus. Wondertree are set to deliver high quality and great value dishes to a unique environment and will occupy a large space of the new Heathrow terminal, which will open in June 2014.



03rd July 2013
Cateys 2013.

Earlier this week, Caterer and Hotelkeeper, hosted the caterer’s spin on the Oscars, the Cateys 2013. This is the 30th Cateys night and the hospitality industry’s most prestigious award ceremony. Both Le Gavroche and Simon Rogan scored double and collected two trophies. We are proud to say that one of our clients, Andy Bassadone from Cote, won ‘Restaurateur of the Year-Group’!

For a full list of winners, please click here.

Restaurant and Bar Design Awards
26th June 2013
Restaurant and Bar awards 2013.

The Restaurant and Bar Awards is the world’s only event dedicated exclusively to hospitality and design. One hundred and ninety companies have been shortlisted and awards have been categorised by UK, International and UK & International. The categories will be judged by two of the most influential personalities, Karim Rashid and Alberto Alessi. With twelve potential awards in the UK category, here at Sirius Products we are proud to say we have worked with some of the shortlisted nominees. Some have even used ductwork has a feature design of their restaurant! The award ceremony will be held on September 12th at London’s Farmiloe Building and nominees include: Cabana, Jamie’s Italian, Nandos, Ask and Wahaca.

For a full list of nominations, please click here.


Sirus's big move!
11th June 2013
We have moved to our new offices!

As of the 10th June 2013, we have made the big move into our new offices! Our new address is 15-20 Woodfield Road, Welwyn, AL7 1JQ. Unfortunately, we have a couple of phone issues at the moment. We only have a limited amount of phone lines so please bear with us if you are trying to get through. If you have any enquiries please do not hesitate to contact your Project Manager either on their mobile phone or via email.

Click here for our contact details.


04th June 2013
Contenders line up for a chance of taking over upmarket burger chain Byron!

Byron, specialising in hand made beef burgers, has rapidly expanded from its first restaurant in London Kensington, to now having over 30 sites across London and the UK. It has one simple aim: to introduce ‘proper hamburgers’ to London. Since the opening of the first restaurant in 2007, we have been able to work closely with Byron, who has also used our ductwork as a design feature throughout its restaurants. In February 2013, Byron was put on the market for an impressive £100 million asking price. There has been a keen interest in the acquisition of Byron which has continued to grow with firms such as LDC, TA associates, Graphite Capital, Investcorp, Phoenix Equity Partners, Equistone and Lion Central all seeking to be a part of this project. The most recent name to emerge is Lord Jacobs Rothschild. The Sunday Times has also named dropped Searchlight Capital and TDR Capital, who was a previous supporter of Pizza Express. The one question on everyone’s mind is who is going to be the new owner of this ‘proper hamburgers’ restaurant?

Click here to read the full article.


29th May 2013
We're Moving!

On Friday 7th June, we will be moving to new office premises in Welwyn Garden City. We're not going far, but the new site is one heck of a step up for us - better factory facilities, a dedicated research and development area and plenty of space to continue to expand. We will be moving our server and IT systems from 5.30PM on Thursday 6th June. This means that our email systems will not be working until late that evening or early Friday morning. If you need to contact us that evening, please call us on 01707 29933901707 299339.

From Monday 10th June, our address will be:

Sirius Products, 15-20 Woodfield Road, Welwyn Garden City, AL7 1JQ

All other contact details will remain the same. Please make a note of this new address for future reference.

15th May 2013
The Restaurant Group (TRG) to Open 30 - 35 Sites in 2013

The Restaurant Group, one of our most prolific clients and operator of the Frankie and Benny's and Chiquito brands, has revealed plans to open in excess of thirty new sites this year. The announcement came as part of a trading update, which also showed an 11% rise in total sales and a 4.5% rise in like-for-like sales during the first 19 weeks of 2013. The plans include expansion of TRG's fledgling Coast to Coast concept, plus a significant roll-out of its Frankie and Benny's brand.

Read more


7th May 2013
Client Review: Tom Sellers' Story Reviewed by Marina O'Loughlin for The Guardian

Last month, Noma alumus Tom Sellers opened Story amid a flurry of social media hype. Built on the site of a former Bermondsey office block, Story serves an ingredient-led British menu with dashes of inspiration from Sellers' time working with the likes of Rene Redzepi, Thomas Keller and Tom Aikens. And it has recently been the subject of a glowing review from The Guardian's Marina O'Loughlin: "I can't remember a meal that prompted so many actual, physical reactions", she states. Sellers' signature 'bread and dripping dish' is "Bloody lovely: earthy, piquant, meaty flavours and wobbly, crunchy, fatty textures all in one mouthful", and it seems that the rest of the food lives up to this high praise: 'Snacks' as "neckable as Pringles" and a dish of scallops, cucumber and dill ash "with the slippery sweetness of a first snog" make this first chapter a 'barnstormer'. All reads well to me.

Click here to read the full article.


1st April 2013
SRA Develops Sustainability Rating for In-Flight Catering

"On behalf of Virgin Atlantic, the Sustainable Restaurant Association has developed a global sustainability rating programme for in-flight catering. This means that passengers can have the same confidence in the sustainability of food served on planes as in a restautant that has undergone our Sustainability Rating." This was the news this morning from the SRA, and what a great bit of news it is. We've been involved with the SRA for around 18 months now, and have seen them go from strength to strength, particularly within the London restaurant industry. This step forward seems to us to be particularly significant: Not only does it set a new standard for airline food quality, it speaks dividends for the shift in consumer attitudes over the past few years. People quite rightly expect to know the provenance of their food regardless of when and where they are eating.

Read the full SRA article here.



19th March 2013
Big 5 Saudi

Hot on the heels of Gulfoods, the world's largest hospitality trade show, Sales Manager Roger Kemble set off for the Big 5 Show in Saudi Arabia: an international building and construction show with more than 500 exhibitors showcasing over 10,000 products. This is the first year that we've had a presence at this distinguished exhibition, and feedback so far has been great. Like Gulfoods, the aim was to showcase our ecology unit and ultra-violet controls system, with displays and examples to demonstrate exactly how the system works.


4th March 2013
Sirius Demonstrates Ecology Unit at World's Biggest Hospitality Trade Show

Last week, Sirius Products Sales Manager Roger Kemble attended Gulfoods, the world’s largest annual food and hospitality trade show held at the Dubai World Trade Centre. Along with 4,200 other exhibitors, Roger spent two days demonstrating our products to nearly 70,000 visitors.

The aim was to showcase our unique ecology unit: a high-specification system comprising bespoke cylindrical electrostatic precipitation and patented ultra-violet odour control units. This space-saving system is designed to accomodate almost any air flow, and is unlike any other product on the market today in terms of its performance and energy-efficiency. The show was a resounding success, and poor Roger was rushed off his feet explaining exactly why our system is unlike any other.

To read more and to view the pictures, visit our blog.


14th February 2013
Sirius Products Exhibiting at the Big 5 Show Saudi

We're delighted to announce that we will be exhibiting at the Big 5 Show in Saudi Arabia on March 9th - 12th. In association with Tamkeen Industrial and Trading company, we will be showing off our ecology units and electrostatic precipitators at one of the country's largest international trade shows with nearly 10,000 visitors from 52 countries. So, if you happen to be in Saudi Arabia in early March, you know where to find us.

For more information on the show, please click here.


23rd January 2013
The Coldest Journey Update

As you may already know, the Coldest Journey team have now landed in Antarctica and are preparing for their 6 month trek across the continent. Their latest blog, written by the expedition co-leader Anton Bowring, describes the lengthy process of unloading the ship, although there's no mention of our urinal and sink just yet! Read the full blog post by clicking here.


10th January 2013
The Restaurant Group Expected to Open In Excess of 28 Sites This Year

TRG, one of our most prolific clients, has confirmed plans to continue with an ambitious expansion strategy that will see the company open 28-35 new venues this year. Headline trading figures for the year leading up to 30th December 2012 revealed that TRG had opened 28 new restaurants in 2012 as turnover and like-for-like sales for the group continued to grow. According to chief executive Andrew Page, “sales increased by 9 per cent, with like-for-like sales 4.5 per cent ahead of the prior year. Profits were well ahead of 2011 and cash generation was strong.” The plans for 2013 are expected to include considerable attention on TRG’s newest, adult-focused concept, Coast to Coast, which is showing good early potential.

Read more


4th January 2013
A Look Back at 2012: The Coldest Journey and The SRA

It’s been an exciting year for us all here at Sirius Products. From sponsoring Sir Ranulph Fiennes’ record-breaking attempt to cross the Antarctic in winter, to becoming the first ventilation company to be listed on the Sustainable Restaurant Association’s approved suppliers directory, it’s been pretty much non-stop. We’re delighted to have continued to work with some of the biggest names in the UK restaurant industry, from Nando’s to Hawksmoor, and to have acquired some great new clients along the way. So click here for a quick look back at some of the things we’ve achieved this year.


12th December
West End Burger Joints Face Crackdown on Sales of Rare Meat

Businesses are being warned about the dangers of serving rare and medium rare burgers after Westminster Council served notice against Davy’s Wine Bar for the sale of its ‘undercooked’ £13.95 burger. This follows ‘proper hamburger’ chain Byron’s decision to remove rare burgers from its menu due to intervention by an unnamed local authority, and Brasserie Blanc being banned from serving its rare lamb’s liver dish in all of its restaurants after environmental health officers claimed it ‘posed an immediate risk of injury to health’. Although Davy’s has appealed the notice to the High Court, the decision could have a significant impact on restaurant and foodservice outlets across the country.

To read the full story on Big Hospitality, click here.

4th December
Restaurant Sector to Become Battleground as Economy Improves

The restaurant market is set to become fiercely competitive as the economy improves, according to Peter Backman of foodservice analyst Horizons. He cited the influx of pub operators trying to move into the restaurant space alongside the premiumisation of current fast-casual brands as the main reasons behind the shifting market dynamics. “What we’ve got here is a great number of brands all focusing on one particular segment of the market,” Backman said. “It has been complicated by the fact that we are seeing the top end quick service operators getting into the restaurant market. We are seeing a real battleground emerging here.” For businesses operating within the fast casual market, it is likely that there will come a time when the market appears to be moving ahead. At this point, operators may start to pay over the odds for sites that they want for fear of being ‘left behind’.

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26th November
Pizza Express Is Favourite Restaurant Brand of 18 to 24-Year-Olds.

Pizza Express and Nando’s have been voted in the top 100 most popular eating-out brands by people in the 18-24 age bracket according to The Beans Group’s Youth 100 report. The Gondola-owned Pizza Express emerged as the 29th most popular closely followed by Nando’s which came in at 55. But despite topping a list of restaurant brands, Pizza Express was not the most popular among the eating out-of-home brands: it was beaten by pub group JD Wetherspoon, Gregg’s the baker and Pizza takeaway chain Domino’s.

Read more.


19th November
Pubs and Restaurants Lost £55million Worth of Business During Olympics

According to market analyst Horizons, the Olympics and Paralympics cost UK restaurants and pubs around £55million in lost business. Although this figure is down on the company's earlier estimate of £75million, it still equates to 0.1% of the total eating out expenditure this year. Fast food operators are thought to have been hit the hardest, losing an estimated £27million in revenue, with casual diners down by £26million. Pubs are thought to have lost £11million and hotels £14million; however, restaurants and concessions within the Olympic venue have seen business increase to the tune of £23million.

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6th November
Jamie's Italian and Nando's Join The Restaurant Choice

Clients Nando’s and Jamie’s Italian have teamed up with gift voucher provider The Restaurant Choice as they aim to tap into the corporate market. Although discounting and regular voucher use has been rather heavy handed amongst many branded restaurant chains recently, and has been heavily criticised as a result, The Restaurant Choice is distinguished from such offers because it is not a discount scheme. Nando’s and Jamie’s Italian will join Yo!Sushi, Strada, The Real Greek and others in accepting the vouchers. As Jenny Cuthbert said speaking to Caterersearch: “These brands do not discount or in any way de-value their brands and… it is extremely rare for them to work with any third parties. Our premium gift voucher fits their ethos and enforces the strength of their offering.”

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31st October
Nando's Swings Into Profit as Chicken Restaurant Craze Continues

Nando’s, the fast-casual Portuguese chicken restaurant chain to which we supply high-performance ESP filtration and UV odour control, has announced a pre-tax profit of £14.7m in the year to 26th February 2012. This substantial profit marks a strong turnaround from a loss of £7.1m the previous year, and bolsters the group’s reported plans to open up to another 100 sites in the UK. While Nando’s is still at the top of the pecking order when it comes to chicken-based dining, they are starting to face rising competition from a series of new poultry-only concepts including Soho House’s Chicken Shop in Kentish Town; The Tramshed in Shoreditch; and Rita’s Bar and Dining in Stoke Newington.

Read more


18th October
Jamie Oliver and Hawksmoor Among Winners of 2012 Restaurant Festival Awards

The London Restaurant Festival drew to a close earlier this week with an awards evening held at Vinopolis celebrating all of the qualities that make London's restaurants truly unique. Rather than using traditional titles such as 'The Best...' for award categories, the LRF Awards gave accolades for specific areas such as warmth, passion and bravery. Hawksmoor, which is opening its fourth site on Air Street later this year, was rewarded for its 'Warmth and Welcome', while Jamie Oliver was acknowledged as a 'High Street Hero'. For more information on the awards, and to see the full list of winners, click here.


8th October
Nominations for Peach Hero Awards 2012 Announced

The final nominations for this year’s annual Peach Hero Awards have been announced. Thirty-six companies have been shortlisted across ten categories – all of whom have been voted for by a panel of senior executives in operating companies – and we’re delighted to see that nine of our clients are among the nominees. Peach Factory is a business intelligence and networking business providing research, analysis, insight and market access into the UK eating and drinking-our market, and their Hero Awards aim to recognise the creativity, vibrancy and diversity of the restaurant and hospitality sector. The award ceremony will be held on November 22nd at the Intercontinental Park Lane, London, and nominees include: Meat Market, Pho, Cote, Jamie’s Italian, Loch Fyne, Nando’s and Tom Byng, Byron.

To see the full list of nominations, and to find out more about the awards, click here.



17th September
Veteran Explorer To Attempt The Coldest Journey On Earth

Veteran polar explorer, Sir Ranulph Fiennes, will take on one of the last remaining polar challenges by attempting to cross Antarctica in winter – the coldest journey on Earth – with five colleagues and with the support of the Commonwealth and a number of sponsors.

On 6 December 2012, on board the expedition’s South African ice-strengthened research ship, ‘SA Agulhas’, the expedition team – led by Sir Ranulph – will leave London , bound for Antarctica. Their aim is to complete ‘The Coldest Journey’ – the first-ever trans-Antarctic winter expedition. The Coldest Journey will also attempt to raise USD10 million for Seeing is Believing, a global charitable initiative to fight avoidable blindness. During their sea voyage, the team will undertake a number of scientific tasks to provide unique data on marine life, oceanography and meteorology. Using the very latest technological innovations, this epoch-making journey will pave the way for a new dawn in Antarctic, year-round exploration.

On 21 March 2013, the equinox, the six expedition members will begin a six month journey to reach the Ross Sea. Their route from the Russian base of Novolazareskaya (‘Novo’) to Captain Scott’s base at McMurdo Sound – via the South Pole – will test the limits of human endurance. During this six month period the expedition team will travel nearly 4,000 kilometres, mostly in complete darkness in temperatures as low as -90°C. The expedition team will have to be entirely self-sufficient and there will be no search and rescue facility available, as aircraft cannot penetrate inland during winter, due to darkness and risk of fuel freezing.

Previously, the furthest any expedition has ever ventured into Antarctica during the winter is 60 miles. On this forthcoming journey, Sir Ranulph and his team will aim to cover 2,000 miles in six months, crossing the polar plateau at an average height of 10,000ft above sea level.

We’re absolutely delighted to be a part of this epic journey in partnership with Chapman Ventilation. We have designed, developed and fabricated stainless-steel sinks, urinals and glove racks for use throughout the expedition, all of which required significant planning and research in order to develop a product able to withstand such extreme conditions.

To read more about Ranulph Fiennes and The Coldest Journey, click here.


11th September
Sirius Products Sponsor The Nicholls Spinal Injury Foundation

Every year, we promise to sponsor a handful of charities that are really making a difference to the lives of people in our community. This year, we’re delighted to say that we are sponsoring The Nicholls Foundation – a charity focussed on funding innovative medical research into treatments and hopefully cures for spinal cord injury. We took part in the annual Golf Day, dinner and auction at The Wiltshire Golf Club in Wootton Bassett, a fundraising event that this year managed to raise over £100,000 towards specialist research at the University College London.

Find out more about The Nicholls Foundation here.


3rd September
The Restaurant Group (TRG) Set to Open Thirty Outlets in 2012

The Restaurant Group (TRG), operator of the Frankie and Benny’s, Garfunkel’s and Coast to Coast brands, has announced a 7% rise in profits for the first half of 2012 putting it on track to open up to 30 new sites this year. Pre-tax profits in the six months leading up to July 1st were up by £1.7m compared to the same period last year, while like-for-like sales increased by 3.25%. This goes hand in hand with the launch of TRG’s newest brand, Coast to Coast, which debuted in Brighton last year with a second site following in Newcastle and a third lined up to open in Stevenage this autumn. It seems the group have ambitious plans for this new concept, which it says is showing good early potential.

Read more


29th August
Sirius Products Takes R&D Facility at York Science Park Innovation Centre

We’ve recently invested in a dedicated research and development facility at The University of York’s Science Park: a specialist innovation centre designed to help support scientific growth within industry. As one of the world’s top universities and a member of the prestigious Russell Group, The University of York has a similarly impressive research profile with a vast range of externally available facilities and services, such as the Centre of Excellence in Mass Spectrometry and York EMC Services. Using these new tools available to us, we hope to advance our research into sustainable air management and continue to develop state-of-the-art commercial kitchen ventilation systems.

Read more about York Science Park Innovation Centre


21st August
Cabana Serves Over 10,000 Covers in One Week

Jamie Barber, co-owner of Brazilian BBQ restaurant Cabana with David Ponte, has announced that the Westfield Stratford site served more than 10,000 covers during the final week of the Olympic games alone. And this in a restaurant that seats just 140 covers. While other restaurants across the capital reported a significant drop in trade and one particularly riled restaurateur landed Boris Johnson with a bill for over £90,000 for lost business, Barber is confident that the Olympics has definitely been a boost to Stratford. “I think the best thing for Westfield about the Olympics is that a lot of people have visited the centre for the first time and realised it’s a lot nearer than they thought… people are now making return visits.” In its half-year financial results last week, Westfield revealed 5.5m visits were made to its Stratford centre during the games.

Read more


9th August
Big Restaurant Chains See Turnover Rise

The country’s top 100 restaurant chains have seen their turnover rise by a significant 5.6% last year, but smaller businesses are still struggling due to Britain’s beleaguered economic climate. According to data gathered by foodservice consultancy Technomic, the largest chains grew in size by 4.9% to over 17,500 units by the end of 2011 with the top 10 UK restaurants, including our client Nando’s, accounting for over half of the total turnover for the top 100 chains. But this oligarchy is making it much harder for individual firms and start-ups to survive and gain the funding required to expand. Sam Fuller, managing director of investment bank Altium, believes that as a result of the debt involved in the majority of significant deals around five years ago, a lot of the banks are ‘over-exposed and they’ve got more debt in the hospitality sector than they would ideally like’. However, on a more optimistic note, Busaba Eathai have made it as one of the fasted growing chains in the full-service sector as a new entry into the 2012 top 100 list, proving that there’s still room for newcomers, albeit only the very best ones.

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30th July
Pho Secures £5m Investment to Fund Growth

Vietnamese street-food restaurant Pho has secured a £5.2m investment from ISIS Equity Partners to fund further growth and expansion. The seven-strong chain, founded and led by Stephen and Juliette Wall, is looking to increase its estate to 25 sites over the next four years, concentrating initially on opportunities in London. This will hopefully be followed by expansion into areas such as Brighton (currently the location of Pho’s biggest outlet), Oxford, Cambridge, Leeds and Bristol. The Wall duo will remain at the helm of the company during this process, with investors Ed and Tom Martin from the ETM group continuing their support and Benoit Broch, who led the deal on behalf of ISIS, joining the board at Pho. Pho specialises in the traditional Vietnamese pho noodle soup as well as other Vietnamese street foods and salads, and we are delighted to count them as one of our clients.

Read more


11th July
Raymond Blanc Named First President of the SRA

Raymond Blanc has today called for the industry to ‘embrace good strong ethics’ as he takes up his new role as president of the Sustainable Restaurant Association. The chef-patron of the two-Michelin-starred Le Manoir aux Quats’Saisons and owner of the Brasserie Blanc estate has been linked with the SRA since its launch in 2010 and was the ‘natural choice’ for this role due to his persistent championing of sustainable practises within his own businesses. Blanc will remain in the post for three years, and will aim to help chefs, restaurateurs and consumers embrace sustainable values. Speaking to Big Hospitality, he said: “For 40 years I have cared passionately about sourcing and serving the very best food, looking after my staff and the community and environment around me. In the last two years I have really sensed the beginnings of a movement in restaurants across this country to meet their environmental and social responsibilities”. As an approved SRA supplier, we are delighted that such a devoted and renowned industry personality is now going to be even more involved.

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Raymond Blanc named first president of the Sustainable Restaurant Association

Raymond Blanc has called for the industry to 'embrace good strong ethics' as he takes up the post of president of the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA). 


29th June
Jamie Oliver to Open Ground Breaking Restaurant in Gatwick Airport

Jamie Oliver is set to open his largest restaurant to date at Gatwick Airport this weekend. The 6,000 ft. North Terminal site will feature a Jamie’s Italian, a bar version of the Union Jacks concept and an onsite bakery producing bread, cakes and pizza bases for use in the restaurants and a ‘grab and go’ option in the form of fresh salads and sandwiches. This was also one of the biggest projects we’ve done for Jamie Oliver, and the restaurant has been described as ‘ground-breaking’ in terms of what it will offer to airport diners. It has the capacity to serve 1,000 diners a day in the breakfast service alone, but the size of the site wasn’t the only difficulty faced. All flour used in the restaurant and bakery will have to be scanned for explosives and stored in a specially designed secure room, security levels mean that the size of dining and kitchen knives has had to be reduced, and with flights running around the clock this will be a 24 hour-a-day operation closed only for cleaning. Challenging to say the least!

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14th June
Consumers Rank Nando's Number One for Dining Out

Nando’s has been ranked as the most popular casual dining brand to eat at according to the latest report from Peach BrandTrack. Figures from the survey of 5,000 consumers carried out in May showed that when researchers asked them to choose from a list of 15 leading pub and casual dining brands, the c260-strong Nando’s came out on top, narrowly beating Wetherspoons. Overall, 10.8% chose Nando’s, 10.4% picked Wetherspoons, and 8.4% opted for Pizza Hut.

Full results:
1. Nando’s 10.8%
2. Wetherspoons 10.4%
3. Pizza Hut 8.4%
4. Harvester 8.0%
5. Frankie and Benny’s 7.9%
6. Pizza Express 7.3%
7. TGI Fridays 6.1%
8. Bella Italia 4.7%
9. Toby 4.6%
10. Café Rouge 4.1%

Read more


12th June
Big Hospitality: Spotlight on Glasgow

As part of their “Hospitable Cities” feature, Big Hospitality examined the eating-out scene in Glasgow, the location for one of Jamie Oliver’s largest Jamie’s Italian yet. As Scotland’s largest city with a population in excess of 570,000, Glasgow is home to 674 restaurants, the majority of which have an average spend-per-head of £15 – 20. It has been notoriously difficult for fine dining ventures to really take off in the city: even Gordon Ramsay, a man raised in Glasgow and one of the world’s most renowned chefs, had to close his first Scottish restaurant Amaryllis after just three years. However, Jamie Oliver’s continually expanding fast-casual chain Jamie’s Italian is doing well. Its Glasgow site, which opened two years ago in the old GPO building, was seen as a bit of a risk at the time due to the sheer size of the restaurant: it seats 280 people. However, according to the company’s managing director Simon Blagden, it has been a “remarkable success”. With reasonable rents and a brand that appeals to the fast-casual nature of the Glaswegian restaurant scene, Jamie’s Italian continues to flourish.

Read the whole story.


29th May
Jamie Barber Plans Hush Expansion and Cabana Rollout

Speaking to Big Hospitality, Jamie Barber, co-founder of Brasilian BBQ chain Cabana, has revealed plans to open a brasserie under the Hush brand alongside a speedy rollout of the Cabana estate. These plans come after a period of austerity for Sweet Potato Restaurant and Leisure Ventures, the company run by Barber, after last year’s sale of the Villandry, Kitchen Italia and Sake No Hana brands. The Hush brasserie will open on the site of a former Villandry Kitchen in High Holborn by the end of June and will serve a version of the menu that is currently on offer in the flagship Mayfair site. Meanwhile Cabana, which Barber co-owns with David Ponte, has secured enough funding to add a further two sites to the brand’s repertoire thanks to investments from shareholders and some bank debt.

Read more


18th May
The Restaurant Group Reports Significant Uplift in Sales

The Restaurant Group, owner of the Frankie and Benny’s and Chiquito brands, has announced a strong start to the financial year after seeing a significant rise in sales since the end of February. Like for like sales are 4% up on last year, and total sales for the first 19 weeks of 2012 have risen by 8%. These profits accompany a steady expansion, with the group opening one new Frankie and Benny’s restaurant, two new Garfunkel’s and one new pub-restaurant, all of which are reported to be trading well.

Read more


11th May
Hawksmoor Nominated for Best Hospitality Employer Award

Regularly described as “the best steak in London”, The Hawksmoor has been shortlisted for the Best Employer in Hospitality Award 2012, organised by hospitality recruitment specialists The awards aim to showcase the best employers in the industry according to the people that really know – their employees. Hawksmoor have been nominated in the Best Restaurant Employer category alongside the likes of Restaurants Etc., Mya LaCarte and The Breakfast Club, and the winner will be announced at an awards ceremony and dinner at the Lancaster on 18th June. Good luck to all the nominees!

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1st May
UK and World's 50 Best Chefs Visit Number 10 to Promote 'Great' UK Food Scene

150 internationally renowned chefs, restaurateurs and food producers visited Downing Street yesterday to launch VisitBritain’s GREAT Britain campaign. Held in association with the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA), this event aims to showcase the quality of modern British cuisine and produce as an essential part of the country’s cultural identity. Chefs such as Rene Redzepu, Ferran Adria and Thomas Keller were among those attending the event, which was catered for by Brett Graham, chef patron at The Ledbury. Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt observed; “These days our hospitality and food industries are a key part of what attracts tourists to our country, and we need to celebrate all that is great about them.”

Read more


23rd April
Sirius Products Listed on the SRA's Sustainable Supplier Directory

We’re over the moon to announce that we are now listed on the Sustainable Restaurant Association’s online supplier directory. This directory aims to provide restaurateurs, caterers and other hospitality businesses with the information they need to be able to make informed and environmentally conscious decisions when it comes to selecting potential suppliers. Taking into consideration a total of fourteen key focus areas ranging from waste management to community engagement, the SRA supplier directory is a rapidly expanding resource. Suppliers must prove their commitment to sustainable work ethics through an online application, which is then assessed by the SRA for listing. We’ve been involved with the SRA before, sponsoring their inaugural awards evening earlier this year, and are delighted to continue our association with them. Hopefully this will be the start of things to come!

Click here to view our listing and learn more about the SRA.


17th April
Too Many Critics Raises £38,000 for Action Against Hunger

Some of the country’s most eminent restaurant critics and chefs swapped places on Tuesday night in aid of Action Against Hunger. Critics including Jay Rayner, Giles Coren and Charles Campion swapped the restaurant for the kitchen to cook a three course meal for chefs such as Clare Smyth, Pierre Koffman and Jun Tanaka. Held at Hawksmoor Guildhall (check out our beautiful canopy in the background…), this event raised over £38,000 for the charity which aims to put an end to child hunger across the globe through prevention, detection and treatment of malnutrition.

Read more about Action Against Hunger


10th April
Pubs, Retail, Media and Property Industries Likely to Benefit from Olympics

The possible impact of the London Olympics is the subject of much speculation across pretty much every industry going. But according to an analysis of stock market announcements this year, the 2012 Olympics are expected to boost media, retail, pub and property companies whilst construction and transport sectors are likely to suffer, claims The Telegraph. Stock market statements are a reliable and objective way of predicting the economic effect of the Olympics as companies are required to provide accurate forecasts to their shareholders. Using these data, The Telegraph has found that the vast majority of companies that believe the event will have an impact on their trading are forecasting a positive result, with telecommunications, media and technology likely to benefit most.

Read more


4th April
Harden's Becomes First Restaurant Guide to Feature SRA Ratings

Harden’s is to become the first restaurant guide to highlight a restaurant’s sustainability ratings alongside traditional food, service and atmosphere reviews. The influential guides have partnered with the Sustainable Restaurant Association, a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to helping restaurants improve their sustainability through their unique three-star system. The SRA ratings will also appear in Harden’s online guides, giving potential diners access to comprehensive information regarding a restaurant’s environmental credentials. “As increasing numbers of customers look to restaurants to match the values they practise at home, working with the foremost restaurant guide is the obvious next step for us,” said Mark Linehan, managing director of the SRA. This move has been championed by The Times food critic Giles Coren, who tweeted; “I see from a press release that you have dropped into line behind me in the march towards more sustainable restaurants. Bravo!”. The new partnership will invariably increase pressure on more restaurants to sign up to the SRA scheme and obtain a star rating.

Read more


30th March

Meet Aston and Bentley: our two new state-of-the-art Amada press brakes designed to fold sheet metal with the utmost precision. These are the most advanced models of their kind, and represent a significant improvement on our previous machines. They feature 4-axis and 8-axis capabilities, and are CAD operated via three-dimensional Solidworks drawings. This means we can manufacture our canopies with complete precision, reducing waste and significantly improving construction times. First, the canopy is meticulously drawn using 3D modelling software, and the sheets of stainless steel are cut into the right shapes. Then, the cut metal is folded into shape using the press brakes to make our CCA canopies.


George Osborne presents 2012 budget  
23rd March
Budget 2012

George Osborne’s 2012 budget has rightly been the subject of much discussion across the press and social media over the past two days. And the response has been mixed to say the least. Professionals across the restaurant, bar and hospitality industries have been left somewhat nonplussed by the seeming lack of support for this business sector, despite promises to boost the economy by cutting corporation tax, introducing so-called Enterprise Loans for young people to set up their own business, and offering money to improve the broadband infrastructure in the major cities. However, these promises seem a little inconsequential when compared to the government’s refusal to cut VAT for the hospitality business and its perseverance with the controversial beer duty escalator. So, here’s a (brief, and I’m afraid slightly gloomy) summary of the proposals and how they could potentially affect your business.

Corporation Tax
The headline rate of corporation tax will be cut from 26pc to 24pc next month, rather than the anticipated 25pc. By 2014, this figure will be further reduced to 22pc. This gives Britain the fourth most competitive rate of corporation tax in the G20; however, some believe that this simply isn’t enough. It is undoubtedly a bold and welcome move across all business sectors, but according to Tim Knox, director of the Centre of Policy Studies, “despite the bold rhetoric, the tax reforms are timid. They are moves in the right direction but little else”. The long and short of it? It’s going to be over a year before any real results are seen, and the effect of this cut on small and medium businesses is unlikely to be significant.

Basically, it’s not been cut. Nor was there any indication that it might be cut in the near or distant future. Caterer and Hotelkeeper magazine has been running a persistent campaign to slash VAT to just 5% for the hospitality business, and for many independent restaurateurs this is seen as the only way to boost trade and allow businesses to take on more staff. Speaking to Big Hospitality, Karl Jones, managing director of Japanese restaurant Moshi Moshi in Brighton, said: “Now, we are pretty much working a day and a half to pay the VAT, rather than half a day before. It’s incredibly hard, and there’s no way we are getting the money back from elsewhere, especially when suppliers put up their prices too”.

Beer Duty Escalator
A point of contention within the pub and bar industries in particular, George Osborne’s refusal to reduce the beer duty escalator has been widely criticised as a missed opportunity to reverse a policy that continues to cause widespread job losses and pub closures. Alcohol duty is currently calculated at 2% above inflation, and with inflation at 3% this 5% rise in duty is expected to add 11p to a bottle of wine, 41p to a 70cl bottle of spirits and roughly 3p to a pint of beer. According to Mark Hunter, chief executive of Molson Coors UK and Ireland, the UK is being disproportionately hit by the beer duty escalator. The UK currently pays 40% of all European beer tax, and yet drinks only 13% of the beer. By my maths, there’s definitely something a bit skewwhiff there.

All of these policies go hand in hand with country-wide changes that could potentially have a rebound effect upon the hospitality and catering industries. Tax breaks for families and the working public could contribute to increased custom. But it remains to be seen whether or not these changes are going to make a significant difference. Or whether it’s just going to make going to the pub even more pricey…


16th March
Byron and Union Jacks to Open Sites in Bluewater

‘Proper hamburger’ chain Byron and Jamie Oliver and Chris Bianco’s Union Jacks are continuing their rapid expansion plans with both companies set to open stores in the Bluewater shopping centre. This will be the first site outside London for Byron and according to owner Tom Byng represents “a bold but logical step for Byron, and Bluewater is the perfect place to begin”. Byron is set to occupy a 4,000sq. ft. site by the end of Spring; however, there is no confirmed date or site details for Union Jacks just yet, although the firm is advertising for vacancies at Bluewater on its official website. For both companies, the move follows a report released last month which showed shopping centres emerging as must-have locations for restaurant concepts.

Read more


9th March
Jamie's Italian, Nando's and Pho Scoop Awards at this Year's Retailers' Retailer of the Year

Congratulations to all those who won at the Retailers’ Retailer of the Year award earlier this week! The prestigious awards, held at The Dorchester on 7th March, are the only industry awards to be voted for by senior executives within the industry itself. They aim to identify retailing excellence in an eating and drinking-out environment, concentrating on marketing position, great products and flawless execution. Just some of the winners include: Nando’s, David Niven’s high-street peri-peri chicken concept which beat Prezzo, McDonalds and Whitbread to the Best Company award; Brasserie Blanc won the Best Acquisition award after its £9million purchase of the Chez Gerard chain; Vietnamese street-food chain Pho was recognised as the Best Emerging Concept; and Jamie’s Italian on Threadneedle Street won the award for the Best Venue.

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28th February
The Hawksmoor and Cavendish Amongst Sunday Times' Best Small Companies to Work For

London steak restaurant The Hawksmoor is one of only two hospitality operators to appear on this year’s Sunday Times’ 100 Best Small Companies to Work for List alongside the Cavendish London.  This is the first time Hawksmoor has made it onto the list since it was founded in 2006 by Will Beckett and Huw Gott.  Renowned for its sustainably sourced ingredients and high-quality meats, the company believes that by encouraging staff to embrace their individuality they will not only be happy at work, but create a friendly and relaxed atmosphere for customers.  87% of staff at Hawksmoor say their jobs feel secure, whilst 88% believe there is a strong family atmosphere within the team and 91% feel that employees enjoy working with each other.  Beckett said that despite winning several awards in the past, this is the one that felt the most special.


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21st February
Raymond Blanc to Receive Lifetime Acheivement Award at Hotelympia

Raymond Blanc will be recognised for ‘services to the catering and hospitality industry’ with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Hotelympia event later this month. Blanc, chef patron of Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons and owner of the Brasserie Blanc chain of bistros was awarded an OBE in 2008 and will become the second recipient of the Hotelympia award. According to Toby Wand, group exhibition director at Fresh Montgomery, organisers of the event, “this year’s decision was unanimous given Raymond’s enormous presence within and outside the industry”. Hotelympia runs from 26th Feb until 1st March at the Excel Centre London, and is the UK’s largest exhibition for food service and hospitality. Featuring a whole host of events, interviews and exhibitors (including us!), Hotelympia aims to provide a platform for exhibitors and visitors to meet in a business focussed environment.

Read more about Hotelympia


13th February
96% Effective: The Results of Our System Efficiency Testing

It’s official. Sirius Products’ filtration system is over 96% effective at removing particulate from a kitchen extract system. The tests were conducted by Phlorum, a multi-disciplinary environmental consultancy based at the University of Sussex who specialise in offering advice, monitoring and assessment services regarding air quality and Environmental Impact Assessment. We commissioned Phlorum to undertake particulate monitoring of our test kitchen facility here at our factory in Welwyn Garden City. By fitting two personal exposure pumps into the system, one before the filtration equipment and one after, Phlorum were able to measure the amount of particulate removed by the system and consequently establish its overall efficiency. The results show that our entire extract system, from grease filters to UV odour control unit, will remove 96.44% of ambient particulate.

More information on Phlorum's Odour Assessment Services



10th February
King's Cross Concourse Restaurants Announced

Giraffe, Benito’s Hat and Leon are just some of the restaurant operators due to open at the 27,000 sq. ft. King’s Cross station concourse when it opens in March. Development started at the station in 2007, with the aim of improving rail connections and establishing a substantial station concourse at the centre of the plans. Many of the food and drink outlets opening at King’s Cross are making the move to a transport venue for the first time, potentially with the aim of taking advantage of the increase of travellers across the capital in time for the 2012 Olympics. Network Rail claim that the new station will result in 55million passengers passing through King’s Cross at a time where quarterly sales figures for railway retailers are showing a growth of around 5%, compared to a falling high street market.

For the full list of retailers set to open at King's Cross and for more information on the developments, click here.


2nd February
Fire Closes La Tasca in North Street, Brighton

Spanish tapas bar and restaurant chain La Tasca have closed their Brighton restaurant for two weeks following a fire on 30th January. The fire, which was started in the morning by a kitchen fryer, spread to the chimney running up the side of the six-storey building and resulted in evacuation of both La Tasca and the thirty flats above the restaurant. North Street was shut for three hours as six fire engines and an aerial crane were used to quell the fire and clear smoke from the building. The restaurant will be closed for two weeks for a thorough refurbishment following the fire and smoke damage.

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24th January 2012
Sirius Products Present Sustainable Restaurant Group of the Year Award at the SRA’s Inaugural Ceremony

Wahaca, River Cottage and Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saisons were among several restaurants to be recognised at the Sustainable Restaurant Association’s inaugural awards ceremony yesterday. The awards, which took place at Vivek Singh’s The Cinnamon Club in London’s Westminster, aim to reward restaurants for their dedication to sustainable business practices based on their scores in the SRA’s Star Rating system last year. ODE, run by Tim Bouget, was named Sustainable Restaurant of the Year for its ‘superb’ work in food sourcing, waste management and engagement with the local community, whilst Thomasina Miers’ Mexican restaurant chain Wahaca was voted the most Sustainable Restaurant Group of the Year. We were delighted to sponsor and present this award in recognition of Wahaca’s devotion to sustainability across the board.


For a full list of winners, and for further information on the awards, click here.



23rd January 2012
Adam Perry Lang Takes Step Back from Barbecoa

Adam Perry Lang has taken a step back from Barbecoa, his joint venture with Jamie Oliver. The US chef has stepped down as a director of Barby Ltd., the company established to oversee the project, in order to concentrate on his existing ventures and upcoming concepts. He remains a shareholder in the business, and according to a spokesperson for Barbecoa “the Barbecoa kitchen is strong enough to allow Adam to focus his talents on his other interests although Adam remains part of the Barbecoa family”. Barbecoa was launched in London’s One New Change development in October 2010, based on the food served in Perry-Lang’s Daisy May’s BBQ in New York where meat is cooked inside a hot fire pit. It is thought that Jamie Oliver is looking into the possibility of expanding the concept internationally.

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17th January 2012
Jamie Oliver Planning to Launch Jamie's Italian in North America

Jamie Oliver has confirmed plans to launch his high street restaurant chain Jamie’s Italian in North America, although no specific dates or locations have been announced. The celebrity chef has already expanded the concept to the Middle East and Australia, and in 2009 joined forces with Hong Kong-based Tranic Franchising to launch Jamie’s Italian in Asia. The concept was first launched in the UK in 2008, and now operates 24 restaurants, reporting pre-tax profits of £4.65m in the twelve months leading up to 2nd January 2011.

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We are currently recruiting for a full-time Electrical Development Engineer. The job will involve working closely with the Technical Director with the design and development of new products for the HVAC market, and assisting with the continual advancement of existing products. A HVAC background is desirable but not essential for this role, although an understanding of general enginering is necessary. The ideal candidate must have a minimum HNC or equivalent in Mechanical Engineering, and experience of CAD, preferably Solidworks.

For more information, please contact




We are currently recruiting for a full-time Mechanical Sales Engineer to work alongside our Sales Director.  The role will involve generating UK sales of specialist kitchen ventilation products and HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) systems. Experience of consultant-lead sales is essential. A competitive salary will be offered based on experience.

For more information, please contact



10th January 2012
The Restaurant Group Aims to Open 25-30 New Sites in 2012

The Restaurant Group, the operator behind brands such as Garfunkel’s, Chiquito and Frankie and Benny’s, is targeting 25-30 new openings in 2012 after reporting a 7.25% increase in turnover in 2011, accompanied by a 3.25% rise in like-for-like sales, particularly throughout November and December. Last year, the group successfully opened 25 restaurants, creating over 500 jobs, and said trading at these new sites was beyond expectations, especially considering the current difficult trading conditions. Andrew Page, chief executive of the Restaurant Group, said: “Whilst we expect trading conditions to remain tough in 2012, the TRG team will be working to deliver another year of profitable progress”. The Restaurant Group has yet to release its full-year results.

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3rd January 2012
Chipotle Begins UK Expansion in Soho

Mexican restaurant chain Chipotle has acquired its third London site: 185 Wardour Street in Soho, formerly Otarian restaurant. Chipotle, who are currently opening an average of three sites per week in the USA, have taken their expansion in the UK rather carefully. Their debut London restaurant opened in May 2010 on Charing Cross Road, followed by a second site on Baker Street last September. According to Thomas Rose, associate in the Cushman and Wakefield Leisure and Restaurant team which advised Otarian on the deal, this new site is ‘a great corner location, ideal for Chipotle’s requirements for quality sites in Central London'. Chipotle is renowned for its commitment to serving traditional Mexican fast food with an emphasis on sustainably sourced ingredients.

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21st December
Michelin Mince Pie Project Raises £10,000 for Charity

Ashley Palmer-Watts, Michel Roux Jr. and Raymond Blanc were among the 36 chefs who helped raise money in support of Action Against Hunger and the Jamie Oliver Foundation by baking their own batch of Michelin mince pies to be auctioned off online. The highest bid of £1,000 went for Ashley Palmer-Watts’ fifty deep-fried mince pies, whilst Henry Harris of Racine raised £600 for his prune and Armagnac version and Michel Roux Jr. came in third with a bid of £470. As the online auction progressed, competition among the chefs grew, with Tristan Welch of Launceston Place offering a meal for two at his restaurant in an effort to encourage bidding, and a team member at St. John Restaurant volunteering to eat his own shoe if Fergus Henderson’s mince pies raised more than Angela Hartnett’s. All in all, the project, which was started only six weeks ago by fundraiser Pete Butler, raised nearly £10,000.

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7th December
"Don't Jack It In Yet, Jamie" - Marina O'Loughlin Reviews Jamie Oliver's Union Jacks in Today's Metro

Jamie Oliver and Chris Bianco's joint venture Union Jacks has been up and running for around three weeks now at the Renzo Piano-designed Central St. Giles development. Combining Oliver's love for high-quality produce, and Bianco's technical skills and artisan dough making, Union Jacks aims to showcase the very best of British. Guild of Food Writers' Restaurant Reviewer of the Year Marina O'Loughlin has delivered her verdict on this new concept in today's Metro: 'classy stuff... but it's also an intelligent business construct'.

See today's issue of Metro for the full review.


6th December
How to Run a Sustainable Restaurant

The Sustainable Restaurant Association launched over two years ago with the aim of helping restaurants, pubs and caterers across the country become ‘global leaders in sustainability’. They offer their members practical advice on how to manage their resources efficiently, improve ties with their local community and source food in a more sustainable way, providing a directory of SRA approved suppliers and manufacturers accessible only to member restaurants. Restaurants are awarded one, two, or three stars depending on how they rate over a wide range of criteria, from carbon reduction to waste management, allowing diners to make more sustainable choices when dining out. Big Hospitality, the online restaurant and hospitality news site, have visited one of the SRA’s three-star restaurants, Preston Park Tavern in Brighton, to see how they have achieved this level of sustainability.

To watch the video, click here.


28th November
Byron voted Best Overall Restaurant Chain 2011

Byron, the fast growing 'proper hamburger' chain founded by Tom Byng in 2007, has been voted the Best Overall Restaurant 2011 in Restaurant’s R200 awards. The chain, which now has nineteen sites across the capital, was recognised for its ‘forward thinking business approach’ and ‘continual innovation’ as it beat off competition from Zizzi and Giraffe to take the top prize. Byron also claimed the award for Most Effective Restaurant Design, whilst Nando’s was voted Best Family Restaurant Chain and Pizza Express took Innovation of the Year.

For the full list of winners, click here.


22nd November
Byron, Giraffe and Zizzi Nominated for Best Overall Restaurant Chain

The nominees for this year’s Restaurant magazine’s R200 Awards have been announced today, with Byron, Giraffe and Zizzi nominated for Best Overall Restaurant Chain. The R200 Awards aim to recognise the best-performing companies in the magazine’s R200 list, which ranks the UK’s largest restaurant operators in order of number of sites. Now in its third year, the awards have been divided into eight categories: Best Overall Restaurant Chain, Best Value Restaurant Chain, Best Family Restaurant Chain, Best Pub Company, Best Drinks Offer, Best New Scalable Concept, Innovation of the Year and Most Effective Restaurant Design. Among the nominations are several of our well-known clients, with Jamie’s Italian and Nando’s both up for Best Family Restaurant, Pho recommended for Best Drinks Offer, and Chip and Fish nominated as Best New Scalable Concept. “The range of operators shortlisted in Restaurant’s R200 Awards 2011 is reflective of the extraordinary diversity and vibrancy of the UK eating-out scene,”said William Drew, editor of Restaurant magazine.

To see the full list of nominations, click here.


16th November
Hawksmoor Guildhall Welcomes 'Dream Team' of Chefs to Support Action Against Hunger

For one exclusive night, newly-opened Hawksmoor Guildhall will be opening its kitchens to four of the best chefs in the UK. On 26th November, Pollen Street Social’s Jason Atherton, Jun Tunaka of Pearl, the Playboy Club’s Judy Joo and celebrity chef Valentine Warner will join Hawksmoor head chef Richard Turner in a bid to raise money for Action Against Hunger. The chefs will cook up a five-course meal for a limited number of guests, with tickets charged at £150 per head. The evening itself will be hosted by Bloomberg’s Richard Vines and Ravinder Bhogal, and will feature a Champagne Taittinger reception, the five-course meal with drinks, and a silent auction of once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Over the year, the three Hawksmoor restaurants aim to raise £100,000 for Action Against Hunger.

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Mechanical Development Engineer

Sirius Products, a leading manufacturer of ventilation and filtration equipment based in Welwyn Garden City, have a vacancy for an experienced mechanical development engineer. The ideal candidate must have a HNC or equivalent in mechanical engineering, and a sheet metal or engineering background. Experience of CAD is also essential (preferably Solidworks). A competitive salary will be offered based on experience.

Please send a CV and covering letter to Linda Candy at
For more information, visit



7th November 2011
Jamie Oliver's School Dinner Plan Receives Mixed Responses

Jamie Oliver launched his Feed Me Even Better campaign manifesto last week, revealing an eight-point action plan designed to protect the developments achieved by the school food industry in the six years since Jamie’s School Dinners kick-started a food revolution. And although the school food industry has warmly welcomed the celebrity chef’s new mission, others have criticised his proposals as wholly impractical. Most of the criticism centres on Oliver’s aim to financially reward schools that increase school-meal consumption with a School Food Premium. Simon James and Rob Rees, director of Eden Foodservice and the School Food Trust respectively, stressed that “as with all funding, there is a limit. So by increasing funding in one area, another area will have a compensatory reduction. Why do we need to incentivise a small number of schools that are currently not proactive and potentially financially penalise those who have made increasing uptake [of school meals] a priority over the past five years?” Oliver’s new manifesto came about due to his concern that the Conservative government is less committed to improving school food than its Labour predecessor. Since Michael Give was appointed Education Secretary 18 months ago, local councils no longer have to monitor the uptake of free school meals, and academies and free schools are not obliged to conform to the nutritional standards for school meals in England.

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Hix Oyster and Chop House  
2nd November 2011
Mark Hix Continues With Expansion Plans

Mark Hix, owner of four London restaurants – HIX, Hix Oyster and Chop House, HIX at the Albermarle and HIX at Selfridge’s – is re-igniting plans to expand his business empire with a trail of several new restaurants soon to be added to his portfolio. Earlier in the year, Hix’s plans for a restaurant in Shoreditch’s Tramshed building fell through over problems securing a license after 11pm following complaints from local residents. However, according to Restaurant magazine, these problems are soon to be overcome, and the chef is hoping to have his Tramshed restaurant opened by Summer next year. This will accompany a new restaurant and bar at The Thompson Hotel in Belgravia due to launch early in the year.

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27th October 2011
Raymond Blanc Urges London Restaurants to Enter Sustainable City Awards

Raymond Blanc, celebrity chef and inspiration behind French bistro chain Brasserie Blanc, is the host of this year’s City of London Corporation’s Sustainability City Awards. For the past ten years, the awards have been recognising and rewarding the city’s most outstanding sustainable businesses. It has recognised some of the country’s most innovative organisations, including the UK’s first gastro-bub, The Duke of Cambridge. Blanc is this year’s host and judge of the Sustainable Food category, which aims to seek out the UK’s most sustainable food practises, restaurants and caterers. “Good ethics should be part of everyday business” said Blanc, “I am looking forward to seeing some of the UK’s finest sustainable food companies gaining the recognition they deserve”. Blanc’s flagship restaurant, Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, has recently been named second best restaurant in the UK by The Sunday Times’ Food List. Meanwhile, Brasseric Blanc, one of our longstanding clients, is continuing its expansion across the UK.

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Loch Fyne logo  
21st October 2011
Loch Fyne Sign Up to The Times' Eat Out Offer

Oyster and seafood specialist Loch Fyne is just one of over 700 restaurants to sign up to an Eat Out promotion with The Times and The Sunday Times. Subscribers to the newspapers will receive a complimentary Eat Out card entitling them to various substantial discounts at participating restaurants, whilst others can purchase the card for £50. Member restaurants can choose to offer two main meals for the price of one, 50% off the food bill, or 25% off the total bill, and in return will benefit from marketing across the two publications, including online and ipad editions. Prezzo, the Grill at London’s Dorchester Hotel, and La Garrigue in Edinburgh are just some of the other participating venues. Jo Coughlin, head of partnerships at both The Times and The Sunday Times, said: “Eat Out is our biggest and best dining offer yet and will give restaurants exclusive access to a growing number of premium customers throughout the year”.

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Roka logo  
17th October 2011
Roka due to Open Banca Italian Restaurant in Mayfair

Arjun Waney and Rainer Becker – the duo behind Zuma and Roka – are set to launch a new Italian restaurant in Mayfair with celebrated restaurateur Giuliano Lotto. The restaurant, named Banca, is due to open in March 2012 at 30 North Audley Street, and his been taken on a fifteen-year lease under the ownership of Grosvenor. Since the launch of Banca was revealed earlier this year, the 4,700 sq. ft. site has undergone a considerable transformation. Waney, who recently reopened the private members’ club The Arts Club last month, said he was ‘delighted to have a presence in one of the finest streets in Mayfair’. North Audley Street represents the latest phase of Grosvenor’s public realm expansion programme.

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The Restaurant Show logo  
11th October 2011
Elena Arzak and Sat Bains Open The Restaurant Show 2011

The Restaurant Show 2011 opened yesterday in Earl’s Court 2 with Sat Bains, Elena Arzak and Simon Rogan taking centre stage. Arzak, head chef of her three-Michelin starred and family-owned restaurant in San Sebastian, opened the show with The Restaurant Show’s director Rachel Quigley. Arzak is set to take the stage at midday today to demonstrate ‘avant-garde cooking – with heritage and soul’. Sat Bains, whose Restaurant Sat Bains with Rooms was awarded its long-awaited second Michelin star just last week, was first up on Centre Stage yesterday morning, with a display entitled ‘The London Games’, whilst Simon Rogan, chef-patron of L’Enclume, discussed ‘foraged foods and organic farming: a look into the special relationship between L’Enclume and nature’. Over the next two days, The Restaurant Show will host all manner of chefs, industry experts and sommeliers showcasing all the hospitality industry has to offer.

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7th October 2011
Michelin Reveals its 2012 Guide to Britain and Ireland

Yesterday was a nervous day for chefs across the country, as Michelin revealed who had been awarded its prestigious star award… and who had lost it. In total, eleven restaurants across London and England were awarded with their first stars, plus three in Scotland and one in Wales, whilst eight establishments lost stars. This brings the grand total of Michelin-starred restaurants in Great Britain and Ireland to a record 151, the highest since the guide’s arrival thirty-eight years ago. Restaurant Sat Bains in Nottingham has finally achieved its long-awaited second star, and Tom Kerridge’s Hand and Flowers in Marlow has become the first two-Michelin-starred pub in the country. Rebecca Burr, editor of the guide, said: “This is a good news story for the British pub industry and confirms our view that pubs serving good food are the ones to thrive. In the 2012 guide we are delighted to have thirteen pubs with Michelin stars.” But despite the prevalence of new one-star restaurants across the country, the general feeling yesterday seemed to be one of disappointment with the lack of change. There were no new three-stars across the entire country, and not one restaurant in London got promoted from one to two stars. However, as Tony Naylor, food-blogger for the Guardian, observed, maybe ‘in these hyperventilating, PR-led times [we should] admire Michelin’s steadfast seriousness’ and dedication to promoting only the finest restaurants.

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3rd October 2011
Hawksmoor Revealed as Time Out's Best New Restaurant

Time Out has announced the winners of its annual Eating and Drinking Awards 2011, with Hawksmoor Seven Dials claiming the coveted "Best New Restaurant" title.  Now in their 22nd year, the awards aim to celebrate the newest and brightest venues to launch in the capital over the past twelve months. The categories this year included “Best New Design”, “Best New Bar”, “Best New Design” and “Best New Fine Dining Restaurant” to recognise London’s consistent appetite for fine dining. Guy Dimond said: “Venues serving ‘small plates’ and those not taking advanced bookings have had a particularly strong showing this year, and this is reflected in our shortlist for Best New Restaurant”. Hawksmoor are one of our more recent clients, and in the short time they have been operating, they have established a reputation for serving high-quality meat cooked over a charcoal grill and are renowned for serving 'the best steak in town'.

The full list of this year’s winners is as follows:

Best New Restaurant: Hawksmoor Seven Dials
Best New Bar: Worship Street Whistling Shop
Best New Cheap Eats: Manchurian Legends
Best New Design: Massimo
Best New Fine Dining: Pollen Street Social
Best New Local Restaurant: Malina
Best Park Cafe: Lido Cafe
Best Sushi Bar: Yashin

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Bread Street Kitchen up and running

The ground floor bar

26th September 2011
Gordon Ramsay Opens Bread Street Kitchen

Bread Street Kitchen, Gordon Ramsay’s latest London restaurant, opened its doors today. The mid-range restaurant is located in the One New Change development, directly opposite St. Paul’s cathedral and Jamie Oliver’s Barbecoa. This is the first restaurant to be launched by Ramsay since The Savoy Grill in October last year, and is designed to appeal to a wide range of diners and budgets. A downstairs bar serves a selection of small plates from the Bread Street Kitchen menu, various pastries and offers a comprehensive cocktail and wine list, whilst the first-floor restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner in vintage 1970s surroundings. All of the menus have been designed by Ramsay, GRH managing director Stuart Gillies, executive chef Simon Gregory and Bread Street Kitchen head chef Erion Karaj, and feature dishes such as “Braised Mutton Pie with Worcester Sauce”, “Bread Street Short Rib Burger” and “Venison with Celeriac and Sour Cherry Sauce”. Ramsay said: “I want people to come in and feel good, not feel tight because they’re in for £55 for two courses already.” Bread Street Kitchen is open from 7am – 11pm Monday to Friday, and 9am – 11pm Saturday to Sunday.

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22nd September 2011
Jamie Oliver's Union Jacks Reveals Menu Concept

Jamie Oliver has joined forces with top US chef Chris Bianco to develop his new restaurant concept Union Jacks. The first site is set to open in November this year in London’s Central St. Giles development and, according to the company’s recently-launched website, will serve wood-fired flatbreads with traditional ‘Great British Flavours’ in a celebration of the country’s ‘wonderful growers, farmers and winemakers’. Chris Bianco is renowned in the US for his wood-fired pizzas and operates his Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix, Arizona. It’s thought that this new concept will incorporate his artisan dough-making and experience with Jamie’s love of high-quality produce and food. When asked about how the concept came about, Bianco said: “It started out as a conversation between Jamie and myself about doing something that was a little bit of both of our work. I thought it would be interesting to celebrate the bounty of Britain”. It has already been speculated that Jamie Bianco Ltd., the company established to oversee the Union Jacks brand, is already looking at several new sites with the potential to roll out the brand.

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Entertainment licenses to be cut following government reviews  
19th September 2011
Entertainment Licences to be Cut Under Government Plans

New government plans to scrap parts of the Licensing Act 2003 may mean that smaller restaurants, pubs and other venues may not have to apply for and purchase an entertainment license. Since the Licensing Act was introduced, venues have been obliged to seek permission from their local authority in order to stage any event, irrespective of size or function, in what is often a lengthy and costly process. The move follows a review of legislation surrounding the hospitality industry as part of the Tourism Strategy announced last year. Tourism minister John Penrose said: “Current entertainment licensing rules are a mess… Deregulation will make it easier for new talent to get started and help pubs diversify into other activities.” So far, the proposals have been welcomed by various parties, including the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers, as extremely beneficial, especially to smaller businesses.

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Westfield Stratford City opens today  
13th September 2011
Westfield Stratford City Shopping Centre Opens Today

Westfield Stratford City, Europe’s largest shopping centre, opened today in East London, with thousands of visitors queuing outside the centre at least two hours before it was due to open at 10.00. The £1.45bn development houses more than 70 restaurants, 300 stores, a 14-screen cinema, a bowling alley and the UK’s largest casino. Visitors will have a choice of four dining areas to choose from in the 1.9 million sq. ft. shopping centre, The Balcony, The Loft, The Chestnut Plaza & The Street and The Food Court, with operators such as Jamie’s Italian, Busaba Eathai, Pho, Wahaca, Cabana, GBK, Nando’s and The Real Greek offering a wide variety of international and British cuisines. The official opening ceremony was hosted by Pixie Geldof and Nick Grimshaw, with ex-Pussycat Dolls' singer Nicole Sherzinger making a live performance and Mayor of London Boris Johnson delivering an opening address.

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Brasserie Bar Co. secure £20 million investment  
12th September 2011
Brasserie Blanc Operator Secures £20m Investment

Brasserie Bar Co., the group behind Raymond Blanc’s Brasserie Blanc restaurant chain, have secured a £20m private equity investment from Core Capital to drive the expansion of their brands. The group, headed by Mark Derry, currently operates nine Brasserie Blancs across the country plus its pub arm the White Brasserie Company with two sites currently open. According to Derry, the current market is “robust and offers good growth opportunities”. He continued to say that this recent capital injection is “testament to the resilience of our existing restaurants which are trading well and providing good returns on investment”. Brasserie Bar Co. have recently appointed Helen Marvin, former chief finance officer for Loch Fyne restaurants as finance director.

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Hix team to launch new restaurant in Soho  
6th September 2011
Ex-Hix Team to Launch Neighbourhood Restaurant in Soho

Three former employees of Mark Hix’s Oyster and Chop House in Clerkenwell are set to launch their first solo venture in Soho next month. Manager Rory McCoy, chef Julian Biggs, and PR manager Clare Lattin have taken over the former site of Zilli Green on Dean Street. Although the restaurant is yet to be named, it will serve an eclectic mix of dishes inspired by the chef’s favourite international cuisine but using seasonal British ingredients. The menus will change daily, and the team anticipate an average spend of around £20 per head.

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The Restaurant Group - Frankie and Benny's  
1st September 2011
The Restaurant Group Continue with Expansion Plans as they Reveal Positive Half Year Results

The Restaurant Group, owners of Frankie and Benny’s and Chiquito, have revealed an increase in revenue of 7.5% in the first half of this year. This takes their revenue up to £234m and pre-tax profits up to £24.4m allowing them to pursue the rapid expansion plan started earlier this year. So far, the group have opened eleven new restaurants in 2011 and are planning another sixteen sites by the end of the year. TRG’s chief executive, Andrew Page, said: “this performance demonstrates the resilience of TRG’s businesses and the strength of our team and our brands”. And despite recent concerns about the economy, especially in the aftermath of the last month’s riots, TRG are already seeing a positive start to the second half of the year, with like-for-like sales 2.7% ahead of last year’s figures.

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30th August 2011
Gordan Ramsay Launches New London Restaurant

Gordon Ramsay’s latest London venture, Bread Street Kitchen, is set to open on September 26th in the One New Change development opposite St. Paul’s. The project has been overseen by Stuart Gillies and according to the Square-Meal review will be ‘big, fast and populist, with a few hints of NY deli tossed in for good measure’. A ‘raw bar’ will feature home-cured charcuterie, smoked anchovies and an array of pickles, plus a wood-burning oven and grill will provide customers with all manner of international foods. This takes Bread Street Kitchen directly into competition with Jamie Oliver’s Barbecoa – literally a stone’s throw away and serving seasonal ingredients cooked over flame, smoke, wood and charcoal. A ‘clash of the titans’, maybe?

Full story and pictures


25th August 2011
Antony Worrall Thompson Launches Petition For Smoking Ban Review

Celebrity chef Antony Worrall Thompson has launched an e-petition calling on the government to review the current smoking ban. Worrall Thompson is a patron of the anti-smoking ban group Forest, or the Freedom Organisation for the Right to Enjoy Smoking Tobacco, and owner of the Greyhound Pub at Rotherfield Peppard. The petition reads: “We petition the government to review the impact of the smoking ban on pubs and clubs and consider an amendment that would give licensees the option of separate well-ventilated smoking rooms”. It argues that the smoking ban has been somewhat to blame for the significant increase in pub closures over the recent years. Simon Clark, director of Forest and the Save Our Pubs and Clubs Campaign, said: “Let common sense prevail. A modest change in the law is all we ask.”

Read more and have your say


22nd August 2011
Chicago Rib Shack to Test Baby Rib Concept at Westfield Stratford City

Knightsbridge based rib restaurant Chicago Rib Shack is set to open a new food-court style concept called Baby Rib Shack at Westfield Stratford next month. Thomas Kiss, head chef at Chicago Rib Shack, is also responsible for the menu in this new venture which will feature favourites such as burgers, wings and their famous baby back ribs. Director Christian Arden said the company had been planning the expansion for some time, but hadn’t found the right location for it. As the showcase development for the 2012 Olympics, Westfield Stratford will provide an ideal base for the new concept. Arden is already planning the expansion of Baby Rib Shack to ten similar food-court locations, dependent on the on the success of the Westfield Stratford site.

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16th August 2011
British Tourism Set for Record Breaking Summer?

Recent figures for inbound tourism and visitor spending look to be on the rise, but experts have raised concerns over the effect of the recent riots on British tourism. June saw an increase in tourism of nine per cent compared to last year – that’s some 2.9 million visitors spending in excess of £1.7bn according to figures released by the International Passenger Survey (IPS). However, since the outbreak of the rioting last week, capital tour operators suffered 330 cancellations on visits to London. Admittedly this is only 0.2% of total bookings, but the effect it may have on future bookings is still uncertain. The European Tours Operating Association said: ‘the significance lies in how a country is seen to deal with [the aftermath of the riots]’, whilst VisitBritain added: ‘past experience tells us that places like London recover very quickly from such events’.

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8th August 2011
20-Storey Canary Wharf Tower to Start in Autumn

25 Churchill Place is the last tower to be set out in the original masterplan for the London Docklands regeneration project, drawn up nearly 25 years ago. The 128 m. high, 500,000 sq. ft. office building will be one of the most energy efficient sites in the whole Canary Wharf development, featuring lifts that store and reuse energy elsewhere in the building, the latest air-conditioning equipment that recycles energy from exhaust air, and photo voltaic cells to generate energy from the sun’s rays. All in all, the development has been designed to achieve an ‘excellent’ BREEAM rating and an Energy Performance Certificate in excess of 40.

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3rd August 2011
Jamie Oliver to Launch Union Jacks at Central St. Giles

Jamie Oliver has announced the location of his first Union Jacks restaurant due to open this autumn: a 3,811 sq. ft. site in the Central St. Giles development in London’s West End. Plans for the new high-street chain were revealed back in June, but as of yet the concept for Union Jacks is still unannounced. It’s speculated that the chain will focus on British cuisine and, following on from the outstanding success of Jamie’s Italian, will aim at the mid-market sector. Union Jacks will join the likes of Zizzi, Byron, Fishworks and others currently operating at the Renzo Piano-designed Central St. Giles.

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27th July 2011

We’re currently gearing up for the arrival of our latest and largest delivery of ESP cells! The cells will arrive with us in a few weeks’ time, but they won’t be here for long. Along with our UV Odour Control systems, manufactured and developed onsite here in Welwyn Garden City, these ESPs are already earmarked for developments in and around the new Westfield Stratford City shopping centre – the centre of the London 2012 preparations.  Places like Busaba Eathai will be amongst many well known brands to benefit from these tailor-made units. In fact, our technology is being used throughout the Stratford development to help reduce the environmental impact of restaurant emissions and lower their reliance on non-recyclable filtration methods.


Jamie's Italian  
July 2011

Jamie Oliver is set to open his newest Jamie’s Italian in Cheltenham later this month. The restaurant, located in Cheltenham’s former county courthouse, will serve Jamie’s distinctive authentic Italian food in Grade-II listed surroundings.
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July 2011

Busaba Eathai and Smack have been announced as headline winners of this year’s Restaurant and Bar Design awards. Designed by architect David Archer, Busaba Bicester won the prestigious ‘multiple restaurant’ category for its outstanding and eye-catching designs.
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Restaurant and Bar Design Awards >



08/05/2014 TEST