Crepes, Burritos Trend in UK

As the UK's foodservice market looks forward to growth in 2014 entrepreneurial operators are seizing the opportunity to rollout new eating out concepts at a faster rate than the sector has seen for several years.

Horizons latest 'Ones To Watch' report, which tracks the rate of expansion of emerging eating out brands, lists 35 concepts that now qualify for inclusion, with a distinct trend towards niche operators such as those selling crepes, burritos, juices, gourmet burgers and pies.

To qualify for inclusion in Ones To Watch a restaurant or quick service concept must have between five and 25 outlets and a growth in outlet numbers of at least 20% over the past three years combined. For the third consecutive Ones To Watch report the number of brands meeting the criteria for inclusion has increased, with 115 brands qualifying in April 2014 compared with 105 in October 2013.

Now the economic climate is in recovery, and consumers are starting to spend again, we are seeing the emergence and growth of some exciting new eating out concepts as well as those that are now starting to grow their estates. Names such as Pieminster, Tiger Bills and Burger & Lobster are for the first time making an appearance in Ones To Watch as they reach five or more outlets,? commented report author Nicola Knight, Horizons? director of services.

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Pizza Growth at Domino's

Domino's Pizza has reported a 3.4pc increase in Irish sales and a 10.8pc rise in the UK. Sales were driven by wet weather at the beginning of 2014, the company said today.

Online sales also grew, the company said, with 69.4pc of UK turnover new coming via the internet.

In February, the firm reported a 1.9pc growth in pre-tax profit to £47.6m as well as heavy costs, however, related to expansion into the German market.







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Restaurants pay €23k Rates Bills

The Restaurants Association of Ireland has warned that more restaurants will close and more jobs will be lost, especially in rural Ireland, if action is not taken to reduce local authority rates.

The association holds its AGM today in Dublin and has warned that rising rates are destroying small restaurants in rural communities.

A recent business survey carried out by the association found that most participants had experienced a rise in their rate charges in the last five years, despite poor trading conditions. The survey also noted that restaurateurs pay an average of €23,279 in rates a year, which contributes to making Ireland the most expensive country in Europe to run a restaurant.

The association also says that Irish restaurants pay the highest catering wage rate in Europe, while Ireland has the highest excise duty on wines in Europe and pays 24% more for food cost inputs than other European countries.

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Bewleys Rent Cut Appealed

A company backed by property developer Johnny Ronan is bidding to overturn a High Court ruling that would save Bewley’s Cafe on Grafton Street Dublin more than €700,000 a year in rent.

Last year, Mr Justice Peter Charleton ruled that the cafe’s lease allowed it to reduce the €1.46 million rent it was paying its landlord, Ickendel Ltd, in which Mr Ronan is a shareholder. As a result, Bewley’s rent was cut to €728,187 a year after the parties went into arbitration last July.

Ickendel appealed Mr Justice Charleton’s ruling yesterday in the Supreme Court, where its lawyers argued the judge was “in error” when he found the lease allowed Bewley’s to seek to have the rent cut in line with the open market when it came up for review.

The five-judge Supreme Court reserved judgment on Ickendel’s appeal yesterday.

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Bruton Raises JLC Hackles


This article appears in the current issue of 'Hotel and Restaurant Times'


‘A black day for the industry’, said the Restaurants Association of Ireland.

‘Unfathomable’ said the Irish Hotels Federation.

‘Irrational’ said IBEC.


But then anything to do with a Joint Labour Committee has always aroused strong emotions among hospitality industry employers.


On this occasion the employer bodies were reacting to a decision by Richard Bruton, the Minister for  Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation to retain rather than scrap most JLCs with two exceptions, one of which is to be the Dublin Hotels  JLC.


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