Leading directors from the restaurant and hospitality sector picked up ideas, insight and inspiration at the last Restaurant Directors’ Club held on Thursday, 5 February 2015.
Guest speaker Peter Backman from consultancy firm Horizons, was joined by directors from Bavarian Beerhouse, The House of Ho, Jar Kitchen, The Truscott Arms and Potli, to discuss the key opportunities and challenges shaping the restaurant and hospitality sector over the next 12 months.
The Restaurant Directors’ Club, hosted by restaurant specialist accountancy firm Jeffreys Henry LLP, is an exclusive, invite-only roundtable discussion that provides a unique opportunity for restaurant directors to share ideas, exchange views, discuss current challenges, and do some all-important networking.
The next Restaurant Directors’ Club – with a focus on finance – will be held on Tuesday, 19 May 2015. Register now.
London is Booming
“The market in London is booming”, according to Peter Backman, Director of Food and Drink consultancy Horizons.
London has boasted its highest rate of restaurant openings in almost a quarter of century. The Harden’s London Restaurants guide, which has tracked new openings since 1991, recorded 148 restaurant launches in its 2015 edition.
Home-grown concepts are truly on the march with a strong trend towards burgers, gourmet chicken, posh pizza and more recently Peruvian – all are contributing to increased consumer choice. Growth is further fuelled by an influx of foreign brands from the US and Europe such as Five Guys, Bubba Gump and Vapiano.
Justin Randall, Partner at Jeffreys Henry LLP, said he has seen a surge in new restaurant openings funded with investment through crowdfunding and the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS). He explained the scheme provides private investors with up to 64% tax relief (or 86.5% if the investment fails) through a combination of income tax relief, capital gains tax relief and loss relief.
But it’s not only in London
Backman added London-centred brands – of all categories and sizes – are being lured by attractive rents and deals to new and not-so-new shopping centres around the country, such as Trinity, Leeds and Westfield, Bradford.
After popping-up around London throughout 2013, Rola Wala opened their first permanent bricks and mortar site at Trinity Kitchen, Leeds in 2014.
Pubs a Major Game Changer
Pubs represent a game changer for the restaurants in 2015 and beyond.
Backman explained twenty years ago pubs got their turnover from beer. With falling beer sales, food has come to the rescue, now accounting for over 40% of the sales of the ten largest managed pub operators.
Where has this business coming from? It’s come from restaurants and, to an extent, fast food and takeaways. Restaurants have shown some growth recently but that growth would have been substantially higher without the impact of pubs.
Supermarkets are also moving into food in a more serious way. Waitrose has 96 cafes; following the success of these smaller cafes, it’s eyeing up the foodservice market with in-store restaurants, in their larger supermarkets. Tesco also wants to provide consumers with a retail destination that provides shopping plus leisure.
New EU Allergen Labelling Laws
This latest Restaurant Directors’ Club also looked at the new allergen labelling laws.
Yinka Makinde, founder of Vitalfootprint, explained from December 2014 all food businesses – from Michelin-starred restaurants, to event caterers and popup’s – must be able to give clear and accurate information about 14 allergens, including nuts, milk, mustard and lupin seeds, present in every product they serve.
Each dish on the menu would require a breakdown of allergens to be highlighted on menus, displays or information packs. Verbal information can be provided by the staff; however, backup written confirmation of the details will be required and can be requested by the customer at any time.
Despite the death of a woman who had a suspected allergic reaction after eating at a Manchester restaurant, Makinde said only half of the restaurants she has spoken to are aware of the new regulations. Local environmental health officers will enforce the regulations, and non-compliance can result in large fines.
Jeffreys Henry LLP – Leading Restaurant Accountants
With clients including Michelin-starred restaurants, themed restaurant groups, individual bistros, gastro pubs and pop-ups, Jeffreys Henry is able to offer a full ‘Menu’ of accountancy, tax and advisory services with the added advantage of ‘Prix Fixé’.
To arrange a free initial consultation, please contact Justin Randall or Mark Tenzer on 0207 309 2222, or visit our Restaurant and Hospitality page for further information.
The next Restaurant Directors’ Club – with a focus on finance – will be held on Tuesday, 19 May 2015. Register Now.