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News in brief Foodservice & Restaurants


that a review to better tax the digital economy had been sidelined following prime minister Theresa May’s announcement of a general election on 8 June. Javid told MPs that a plan to

spread the tax burden to online firms was “not the highest priority” and “something a future government may want to look at”. He said the Treasury is expected to consult on the matter “before 2022”. The ALMR said it would be launching an updated version of its Manifesto for Licensed Hospitality, calling on all political parties to tackle the ongoing rates problem after the general election.

American barbecue restaurant Red Dog Saloon is pushing forward its UK expansion with a new opening set for Liverpool. The company’s sixth restaurant, which represents a £1.2m investment, will open on 8 May on Bold Street. The brand, which is owned by

Tom Brooke, is known for its ribs, buffalo chicken wings, hickory- smoked pulled pork and burgers. The first Red Dog Saloon opened

in London’s Hoxton in 2011, followed by sites in Clapham South and Soho. Restaurants in Nottingham and Southampton have opened within the past 18 months.

OPENTABLE DEVELOPS FACEBOOK MESSENGER BOT FOR ONLINE BOOKINGS Diners will now be able to make restaurant reservations directly through Facebook Messenger, after OpenTable developed a bot using the social media network’s new Chat Extensions feature. OpenTable said the new tool

would allow diners to search and suggest available restaurants to friends and then make a reservation through the bot, all without leaving Messenger.

ALMR ASKS GOVERNMENT TO KEEP ITS PROMISES ON BUSINESS RATES REFORMS The government has been urged to stick to its promises on rates relief for pubs after communities secretary Sajid Javid said it was not a priority issue. The Association of Licensed

Multiple Retailers (ALMR) called on the government to prioritise the reform of what it said was an unfair tax system after it had emerged

6 | The Caterer | 24 April 2017

VACHERIN REPORTS 14.4% RISE IN TURNOVER TO £17.2m Independently-owned foodservice company Vacherin has reported a 14.4% increase in annual turnover, 12 months after restructuring its senior management team. Revenue for the company, which

operates around 30 contracts in London, rose to £17.2m during the year to 31 August 2016. It is the 14th consecutive year that turnover for the company has risen.

CIRRUS INNS SNAPS UP THREE LONDON PUBS Luxury pub group Cirrus Inns has secured a £11.7m loan to acquire two pub operating companies and the three London pubs it owns. The pubs – the Cross Keys in

Chelsea, and the Brown Cow and Sands End, both in Fulham – will join Cirrus Inns’ portfolio of 21 individually operated boutique inns operating under the Epicurean Collection in the south of England. The acquisition, financed by

Metro Bank, includes the purchase of the Cross Keys Freehold and DM Public House operating companies, previously headed by Mark Dyer and Eamonn Manson.

ADAM SIMMONDS TO LAUNCH YEAR-LONG POP-UP Chef Adam Simmonds is to open the Test Kitchen, a year-long pop-up restaurant in London’s Soho, ahead of opening his own restaurant. Simmonds will experiment with dishes in the Test Kitchen, which opens in May, and ask guests for their feedback. All seating will be at the chef’s counter, meaning any questions can be directed to

BAXTERSTOREY ADDS TO HEALTHY RECIPE PORTFOLIO BaxterStorey has launched a new range of recipes to complement its original 2015 Healthy Me launch. Gabriella Roberts, head of nutrition at BaxterStorey, said: “Last month, Forbes reported that businesses that maintain a healthy workplace in a consistent and sustainable manner often avoid burnout of staff and support people that grow great companies. We know that poor diet is a contributing factor to lost productivity in the workplace and we work with clients to offer staff across all 600 BaxterStorey locations access to a greater choice of healthier options.”

and special features, such as its spiral staircase, have been repaired alongside premium fittings.

Simmonds himself. He aims to open Simmonds, his permanent high-end restaurant, in early 2018. Simmonds won Chef of the Year

(fewer than 250 covers) at the Hotel Cateys in 2011 while he was at Danesfield House Hotel and Spa, and he was a finalist at the banquet for D-Day veterans on the BBC’s Great British Menu in 2014.

BOURGEE TO OPEN THIRD RESTAURANT Steak and lobster restaurant Bourgee is set to open a third site, in the market town of Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk. Following the brand’s first two

venues, in Southend-on-Sea and Chelmsford in Essex, the group is continuing to roll out its ‘affordable luxury’ concept across the UK. Bourgee will launch in early May within the recently restored Cupola House building. The venue’s architecture has been preserved

AHI POKÉ TO OPEN NOVA SITE Ahi Poké, the restaurant serving the Hawaiian raw fish dish poké, is launching a second London site, within the new Nova development in Victoria. The first Ahi Poké launched in

June 2016 in Fitzrovia and the Nova site is set to open in June as part of a wider expansion plan. The brand is part of the BVC

Group, formed by Jeremy Coste, Gabriel Cohen-Elia and David Bellaiche, who are also behind Mayfair’s North Audley Cantine and Chez Chow.

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