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Caterer, Licensee & Hotelier

March 2017

Introducing Bidfood - Bidvest Foodservice Launches New Name to Wholesale Market BIDVEST FOODSERVICE has announced that from 3 April 2017, it will be trading under the new name of Bidfood. The change follows the separation of the global Bidvest Foodservice businesses from the Bidvest Group, when it listed independently on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in May last year. The listing meant that Bidvest Foodservice UK, along with the other Bidvest Foodservice businesses around the world, have all changed their name to Bidfood reflect this. Chief Executive Andrew Selley said in choosing the new name, it was important to retain a link to the company’s heritage as well as to reflect what is at the very heart of the business, hence the name Bidfood was developed. “It’s no secret that as our business has evolved over the years, so too has our name,” says Andrew. “When we made the move from Bidvest 3663 to Bidvest Foodservice, we also launched a new mission, vision and employee values, all cen-

tring on service excellence and offering the best customer experience in the market. “Although our name is changing, these principles and our wider business priorities remain firmly in our focus, and I believe this is a stronger brand for us and for our Bidfood businesses globally. “We’re passionate about delivering service excellence, making life easier for customers and helping them to grow, and over the last 18 months we’ve been focused on making important internal changes to meet customer needs now and in the future. “We are fully committed to investing in our local depots, our teams and our services and delivering great food, the best choice in the market and innovative and exciting ranges to achieve this,” says Andrew. There will be a short period of transition from April, where the new name and logo will be introduced in phases across the business including our corporate website, fleet livery, and depot signage.

GMB Whisky Workers Demand Action to Protect £5billion Industry Post Brexit GMB, THE union for whisky and spirits workers, has written to the UK Government Scottish Secretary David Mundell, calling for measures to protect the £5billion Scotch industry amid Brexit uncertainty. More than 40,000 UK jobs are directly supported by the industry, with a further estimated 120,000 jobs connected with whisky production and export. At least 7,000 of these are in rural areas where other work is hard to find. The industry is worth a massive £5 billion to the UK economy – £4 billion of which comes from exports. Whisky is covered by World Trade Organisation agreements – meaning exports won’t be subject to tariffs inside the EU. But 10% of exports – amounting to £400million – go to markets like Columbia, Mexico and South Korea where trade agreements were brokered through the EU. Following Brexit these lucrative exports could become subject to punishing tariffs.

GMB is called on Mr Mundell to give reassurances for the whisky industry similar mirroring those given to Nissan, an industry worth around £2.9billion supporting 28,000 jobs overall. Louise Gilmour, GMB Scotland Organiser, said: “Whisky is a massive success story for Scotland – and the UK – but we need the government to back us up in the months and years ahead. “Westminster was quick to pledge support for Nissan – which is also vital for the economy – but is frankly dwarfed by the size of the whisky industry. “We need parity for workers in our whisky industry and the same guarantees that were given to Nissan. “Tens of thousands of jobs depend on whisky and the government needs to take action to protect our members livelihoods post- Brexit. “Our members want assurances that the government will be doing all it can to ensure whisky sector can thrive, creating much needed new jobs by securing good deals with new markets. “Quite simply, we cannot do without this industry. “

Instant Cash Injection to Help Hospitality Businesses Grow BUSINESS OWNERS within the hospitality sector are often held back from expanding and growing due to a lack of funding, particularly during seasonal disruptions to trade. Funding issues remain a major worry for independent businesses, especially since banks tightened up their lending criteria following the recession, coupled with more recent uncertainty around Britain’s “post-Brexit” future. With Quick Capital, access to cash when you need it the most is quick and simple. A cash advance is an alternative finance solution for businesses taking card payments, giving you access to a lump sum between £500 and £300,000 in as little as 72 hours. The application is

done over the phone in minutes with a decision the same day, and repayments are flexible in line with your card sales so that you pay back as and when you earn from your customers. This instant cash injection can be used for any reason at all, helping you to replenish stock, refurbish your premises, pay off unexpected bills, or simply boost your cash flow. Taunton pub and restaurant owner, Andrew, says “A cash advance is perfect for my company. I needed funds quickly and the application process was simple and straightforward. I’m glad I’m not tied in to a long repayment term and I haven’t noticed the repayments!” To find out how much funding you can raise to grow your business, call 0800 3777 402 or visit

Nittan Smoke Detectors Stop False Alarms From E-Cigarette Vaping NITTAN’S EVOLUTION EV-DP Dual Wavelength Photoelectric smoke detectors have been installed in a Southampton pub and live music venue to prevent false alarms caused by vaping. With the rise of the e-cigarette, which can be smoked in public places such as bars and restaurants, a new, unexpected problem has arisen: false alarms from vaping. The issue of steam causing smoke alarms to false alarm is well documented. Generally speaking, the Infra Red scattered light technology currently used for commercial smoke detectors is unable to distinguish between larger size particles like steam or dust, that are major causes of false alarms, and particles generated by combustion (fire). E-cigarettes feature a cartridge containing nicotine in a solution of either propylene glycol or glycerine and water. When you suck on the device, a sensor detects the air flow and starts a process to heat the liquid inside the cartridge, so it evaporates to form water vapour. In an enclosed venue where there are a number of people vaping, this can have the same effect as steam on a smoke detector, leading to false alarms. The legendary Frog & Frigate in Southampton is renowned for being a very lively venue where visitors are encouraged to get on the tables and sing along with the band! Vaping is permitted in this busy venue which has led to false alarm issues. Venue owner Derek Gardener explains the problem: “we have relaxed, fun vibe here and are happy for people to use e-cigarettes inside. However, it has led to the alarms activating, espe-

cially when people are vaping right underneath them. We can’t stop people from vaping underneath them and equally we didn’t want to ban vaping.” Derek turned to Fire and Safety Testing for a solution, which recommended the use of Nittan’s Evolution EV-DP smoke detectors. Owner Derek Fay explains: “Many venues such as this resort to using heat alarms instead of smoke alarms, but the local fire officer would not allow this. He suggested a Multi-Sensor, but the same issue remains as it still looks for smoke and will false alarm. I had read about Nittan’s dual optical detectors resistance to steam in a magazine article and thought they might offer a solution here as the problem was very similar. Vaping is relatively new and neither myself nor Nittan had come across this issue before. I discussed it with the client and he was happy to see if it would work. We swapped the existing alarm devices out of the conventional system with the Nittan ones and there hasn’t been a single false alarm since; that was about six months ago. Its worked beautifully.” Nittan Evolution EV-DP smoke detectors have been designed to reduce false alarms caused by non-combustion products such as steam, dust and aerosols. Unlike other industry standard (single optical sensor) smoke detectors on the market that claim to distinguish between smoke and non-combustion products, the EV-DP effectively measures the actual particle size in the chamber via its combined IR and blue LED technology. As steam and dust are much larger particles than smoke, the detector won’t false alarm. To learn more about Nittan’s products go to

Peers Vote to Protect Pubs

CAMRA welcomed a House of Lords vote to close a planning loophole which allows pubs to be unfairly targeted by unruly property developers.

Lords voted by a clear majority of 90 to support an amendment tabled by Lord Kennedy of Southwark to the Neighbourhood Planning Bill. The amendment sought to remove ‘permitted development rights’ from pubs. Currently, a pub can be demolished or converted into a number of other uses without a developer needing to submit a planning application. This not only denies local communities a say on their beloved local’s future, but also makes pubs a ‘soft target’ for developers, leading to 21 pubs closing every week. CAMRA members have been lobbying the House of Lords during the passage of the Bill to gain the support from Peers. CAMRA Chairman, Colin Valentine, says: “There is a huge appetite for pub protection across the country. At CAMRA, we see thousands of campaigners across England and Wales

fight tooth and nail in local campaigns to save their beloved pubs. Over 5,000 people have contacted Peers in the past two months to ask them to help protect their local pub through this legislation. This shows us just how important this issue is to many local communities. “Pubs play a huge community role in villages, towns and high streets across the country yet can be lost overnight without the public having a say. We are delighted that Peers have chosen to support this amendment and we hope that the Government will respond to the will of communities across the country.” Shadow Spokesperson for Communities and Local Government, Lord Roy Kennedy, added: “I am delighted that we have won this vote tonight. It is vital that we take the steps needed to protect our pubs so that they continue to be the heart and soul of communities. I look forward to continuing to work with CAMRA to ensure that this is a reality.” The Neighbourhood Planning Bill will now go through Third Reading before returning to the House of Commons where MPs will vote on the Bill.

Hotel, Bar & Restaurant Sales “Buck the Trend”

HOTELS, RESTAURANTS and bars saw spending increases in January 2017, outperforming other “sluggish” sectors as consumers continued to spend on of leisure.

Spending on hospitality businesses rose 5.7% year on year in January, compared to a 3.1% increase for recreation and culture, and a “sluggish” 0.4% rise in spending overall, according to Visa’s Consumer Spending Index. Kevin Jenkins, UK & Ireland Managing Director at Visa commented: “Following a bumper Christmas season, there were signs that consumers were starting to rein in their spending at the start of the New Year. Annual growth slowed down from 2.5% in December to a five-month low of 0.4% in January, as households monitored rising prices on everyday items and how this would impact disposable incomes. “Clothing and household goods retailers experienced a particularly difficult January. The traditional start of year sales did little to lift clothing spend, which saw the biggest drop in nearly five years. The high street as a whole suffered a disappointing month too, with spend falling at the quickest rate in four years. “Face-to-face wasn’t all doom and gloom in January though, and winners on the high street did emerge. Brits continued the trend of spending on experiences rather than

goods, with a near 6% spending boost in the Hotels, Restaurants and Bars sector and a 3.1% lift in recreation and culture spend.” What UK businesses are saying: Visa is tracking the sentiment of several small businesses across the UK on a monthly basis, asking about their views on the economy, business conditions and forecasts for the month ahead. Tony Bailey, Top Notch Hair & Beauty, Manchester: January is usually one of the quietest months of the year and last month was no exception. The average bill remained the same, but we had fewer visits. Our customers were probably trying to save money or pay off their Christmas spending. So one of the ways that we’ve tried to accommodate this is to advertise discounts ahead of the postChristmas lull on social media. We expect these offers to help boost business in February too. Josh Beer, The Illustrious Pub Company, Cambridgeshire: As expected, January was a quieter month for us with turnover down 5% compared to last year. While our catering orders remained steady, customers who came to dine and drink at our pubs were spending more cautiously. The cold weather and icy driving conditions might have kept quite a few of our regulars at home too, and our figures support this, as our locations with easier pedestrian access were the best performers.

Rising Costs Biggest Worry for Eating And Drinking Out Market CONFIDENCE IN the out of home eating and drinking sector is returning despite mounting concerns about rates, other input costs and Brexit, CGA Peach’s 2017 Business Leaders’ Survey reveals. The exclusive poll of around 250 senior executives finds that two thirds are either very optimistic (10%) or fairly optimistic (57%) about their business prospects in the next 12 months. That is well down on levels at the start of 2016 (83%) but up on November 2016 (61%), when uncertainty reigned about the impact of Brexit on businesses’ staffing and the economy. Leaders’ confidence about their own companies’ prospects is higher than it is for the market in general, about which only half (48%) are optimistic in 2017. While Brexit fears have eased a little, alarm about mounting costs is clear—and it is most evident in business rates. This tops the Survey’s list of the most significant financial challenges facing operators in 2017, with more than half (55%) of leaders very concerned by the issue and another quarter (24%) concerned. It follows a surge in rates valuations in many areas of the country, prompting urgent calls on government to ease the burden on operators. Hikes in rates are adding to a host of other costs issues for operators, the Business Leaders’ Survey shows—and in three key areas in particular: • Food. Four in five leaders are either very concerned (41%) or concerned (39%) by rising costs here, led by lower availability and rises in the cost of items including vegetables • Property. Beside rates, operators have been stung by soaring rental prices in many of the country’s hotspots, especially London. More than half of leaders are now either very concerned (31%) or concerned (23%) by property costs • People. The introduction of the National Living Wage has raised many operators’ wage bills, and three in five are very concerned (24%) or concerned (35%) about it at the start of 2017. Other challenges identified by leaders include drinks supplier prices and the threat of saturation triggered by the over-supply of sites. On the operational side, businesses’ biggest challenges are around engaging and motivating staff, providing a high quality customer experience and building loyalty. Some segments of the market are more confident about 2017 than others, the Business Leaders’ Survey shows. For instance, well over half (57%) of businesses that are predominantly based within the M25 are optimistic about the market, much higher than the figure among businesses with a national

spread (42%). It indicates the continued buoyancy of the London economy and the positive impact of tourism in the capital. Smaller and more nimble businesses in eating and drinking out meanwhile tend to be more confident than their larger counterparts. A quarter (25%) of businesses established for less than five years are very optimistic about their prospects for 2017—way more than among mature businesses that have been running for more than ten years (7%). As the Market Growth Monitor from CGA Peach and AlixPartners has made clear, these smaller businesses are behind many of the country’s new openings lately, and are less likely to feel threatened by rising property, food and people costs. Despite the crop of challenges facing operators, leaders’ forecasts for 2017 are ambitious, with optimism on issues including: • Openings. A fifth (21%) of leaders plan to open at least ten new sites in 2017, rising to three in five (60%) of those with more than 200 sites • Acquisitions. Just under a third (29%) of operators are looking into the option of a business acquisition in the next 12 months, with a similar number (27%) possibly interested if an opportunity becomes available • International expansion. More than a quarter (29%) of respondents say their business has grown internationally in the last year, with three quarters of those anticipating more global expansion this year. There is also hope that consumers might spend a little more when eating and drinking out in 2017. Two in five (40%) leaders think customers’ spend per visit will increase slightly in 2017, with another third (33%) anticipating no change. But access to funding remains challenging for some and could put the brakes on expansion—and perhaps the greatest cause for concern is that four in five (79%) leaders expect more business failures in 2017 than in 2016. “Our fascinating Business Leaders’ Survey reveals a sector facing a barrage of input costs in property, food and people, with rates the issue at the top of execs’ in-trays. But this is a positive industry that is very much on the front foot rather than in retreat, and that deserves government support to ease its burden of expenses. Operators will have to ride out some big challenges in 2017, but strong, differentiated operators that can deliver a compelling offer while keeping a tight rein on their costs are well placed to thrive, both this year and well beyond," commented Peter Martin, vice president, CGA Peach.

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CLH News #198 March 2017  

Issue #198 of CLH News - the leading monthly trade publication for the independent hotel, pub and restaurant sector of the hospitality indus...

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