By M&C Report team2010-08-25T14:16:00+01:00
Cote CEO Alex Scrimgeour is leaving the business following its acquisition by Partners Group, with Jane Holbrook to take over as executive chair.
Côte Restaurants has been acquired out of administration by Partners Group, the global private markets investment manager.
Relief, excitement and anxiety seem to be the overriding emotions emanating from hospitality operators since the government finally confirmed that 4 July is the date pubs and restaurants bring up the shutters after three months of inactivity. According to the latest weekly Hospitality Leaders Poll by MCA/HIM, exactly 50% of respondents are set to grasp that opportunity and reopen this coming weekend. The pent-up demand that exists from the public to eat and drink out has been highlighted by the volume of bookings many operators have already taken.
Less than 10% of operators are “very confident” they will reopen on 3 December, according to the latest Hospitality Leaders Poll carried out by Lumina Intelligence for MCA, the Morning Advertiser and Big Hospitality. A further 15% were “not sure at all”, though 33% are “fairly sure” they will reopen once the restrictions are lifted. Meanwhile the industry is split over the future, with 32% thinking they will go bust if existing lockdown measures continue into Spring. While 38% are unsure, just 30% are confident they will survive as a business should things continue as they currently are.
This session was hosted by MCA Deputy Editor Finn Scott-Delany, who was pleased to welcome back Kate Nicholls UKH CEO and Hugh Osmond, Director of Various Eateries. Hugh Osmond was the original founder of Punch Taverns and took Pizza Express public in 1993. The entrepreneur acquired Strada in 2014 via his Sun Capital Partners vehicle, and founded upmarket all-day brand Coppa Club. Hugh has forthright views on the lockdown measures, using a recent Daily Mail opinion piece to warn government, after it announced a second national lockdown, that Christmas is already over in the hospitality sector, and that many hospitality venues will never reopen.
It’s hard not to take the pandemic personally. We all have our own view on the world, but when circumstances conspire time and time again to blow us off course, even from a plan with just a few weeks as its time horizon, it is easy to get downhearted. It’s also easy to forget that the producer, wholesaler and distributor businesses that service our sector have arguably had it even worse. Take this current lockdown for example – many suppliers have spent the first two weeks resolving issues with surplus stock, disrupted delivery scheduling, and coping with massively lower drop sizes; and will shortly need to plan re-opening on December 3rd, with absolutely no visibility on whether the sector will re-open at all, and if it does where, how and when.
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