James Wallin

James joined MCA from its sister title, the Morning Advertiser, where he was news editor. Before joining the Morning Advertiser, he was news editor at the Croydon Advertiser and had previously worked across a series of local newspapers.

Contact info

+44 (0)1293 610457
  • Clive Watson

    Listed life is elementary for dear Watson


    A year on from City Pub Group’s IPO, chairman Clive Watson talks to James Wallin about growing pains, avoiding the “corporate haze”, the enduring attraction of “wet-led boozers” and what he has learnt from operating a vegan pub.

  • Opinion

    The original start-up


    Clive Chesser took the helm at the slimmed down and privatised Punch this summer. Here, he talks to James Wallin about the tied and Retail models, joint ventures, acquisitions and investment

  • Opinion

    Crafting success in the wet-led sector


    Ei Group’s Craft Union model has grown to more than 250 sites in under four years, and now has its sights set on London, where it expects to have 40 pubs by the end of next year. James Wallin speaks to operations director Frazer Grimbleby about further expansion, managing the balance between EiG’s tenanted and managed estates and the potential for a food offer within the Craft Union model.

  • Rooney Anand at the Pub Conference

    The end of an era


    Yesterday’s announcement that Greene King chief executive, Rooney Anand, would be stepping down from his role in April marks the end of a remarkable 14-year tenure for the first non-family member to run the company in its 220-year history. James Wallin assesses Anand’s legacy and asks where the company goes next.

  • Analysis & Insight

    Taking the pulse of the sector


    The UKHospitality Christie & Co Benchmarking Report 2018 highlights the impact of external pressures on the sector and gauges the latest industry sentiment amid the spectre of Brexit. James Wallin examines some of the key findings.

  • Revolution Bars Group
    Analysis & Insight

    Playing hard to get


    The board of Revolution Bars Group has once again rejected the possibility of a deal with Deltic. James Wallin looks at what was actually being discussed, gauges the thoughts of Revolution shareholders and asks what’s next for the key participants, as well as former suitor Stonegate.

  • Tipping

    The tip that became a shove


    The brief announcement at the foot of the Conservative Party conference yesterday that the Government would finally push forward legislation on tipping, was met with carefully worded statements of support from several high-profile brands. Off-the-record, however, operators were seething at the manner in which this has been announced and the lack of detail provided. James Wallin rounds up some of the sector’s concerns about this tipping point.

  • High street
    Analysis & Insight

    The changing face of the high street


    The sector’s role in reviving the UK’s high street was a key topic of debate at MCA’s Restaurant Conference earlier this month. James Wallin discusses how operators are adapting to appeal to a new breed of consumer and what the industry needs to be demanding of Government to do this.

  • Deliveroo Editions
    Analysis & Insight

    Dark kitchens come into the light


    MCA editor James Wallin looks at how the delivery segment and its relationship with operators has evolved and how the growth of remote kitchens and virtual brands is impacting on the wider market.

  • Analysis & Insight

    Lessons from the US masters


    Operators in the UK have always looked across the Atlantic for inspiration, so AlixPartners US managing director Adam Werner highlights some of the key trends affecting the US market at the moment. James Wallin finds out more.

  • Opinion

    Pizza Hut seeks marginal gains in a heated market


    While the restaurant sector was seeing an explosion of growth, Pizza Hut Restaurants remained focused on consolidating and investing in its estate. Chief executive Jens Hofma, who led the management buyout of the business this year, talks to James Wallin about a return to growth, his concerns about the sector’s obsession with like-for-like sales growth over protecting margins and his frustration that responsible operators have been penalised in the CVA era.

  • The Royal Foresters, Oakman Inns
    Analysis & Insight

    MCA Introduces... Royal Foresters from Oakman Inns


    In the latest MCA Introduces James Wallin meets Oakman Inns founder Peter Borg-Neal at the £10m Royal Foresters in Ascot to talk investment, unforeseen obstacles, the power of premium and the value of wisteria.

  • Tank & Paddle, Novus Leisure

    New era beckons for Novus


    The sale of 15 bars to Stonegate and the process to dispose of the rest of its late-night estate, including the flagship Tiger, Tiger brand, will leave Novus Leisure a very different business. James Wallin talks to Novus chief executive Toby Smith about the new direction for the group and the opportunities for its Tank & Paddle and Balls Brothers brands.

  • McDonald's digital kiosks
    Analysis & Insight

    Lessons learnt in a tough market


    In a challenging climate, operators still have many levers they can pull to keep ahead of competitors and stay relevant to an increasingly demanding consumer set. MCA’s executive director Simon Stenning looks at lessons that can be learnt from how the sector has evolved in the past two years

  • Jamie Oliver

    The Italian Job


    Jon Knight has had an eventful first six months at the helm of Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group, having guided the company through a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) and set about reconnecting the group’s celebrity founder with his restaurants. He talks to James Wallin about what growth looks like post-CVA, how the group is aiming to come off the discounting drug and how the brand would cope if Oliver’s star began to fade.

  • Pret CEO Clive Schlee

    How Pret turned values into value


    The news that Bridgepoint has agreed to sell Pret A Manger to JAB Holdings marks a new chapter for a brand that has consistently been voted the most admired among sector leaders. James Wallin looks at the values underpinning the brand and what the deal may mean for Pret and its investors – both incoming and outgoing – as well as assessing what wider impact the company’s £1k staff bonus may have on hospitality’s reputation as an employer.

  • The Florist

    MCA Introduces: The Florist


    The Florist is the newest brand from the rapidly growing New World Trading Company. In a new series, MCA Introduces, James Wallin profiles the concept and talks to NWTC chief executive Chris Hill.

  • News

    Focus on: Marston’s Destination


    Iain Jackson, who heads up Marston’s c350-strong Destination division spoke to MCA about the growth of the group’s Firebrand and Accent divisions and the scope he sees for further expansion. He also discussed how he has restructured his teams into smaller units that can react more swiftly to changing consumer trends, and the creation of a dedicated openings team, to follow sites through from acquisition to the handover to ops teams.

  • Steve Ball, Columbo

    “Just one more thing… ”


    London’s late-night sector is globally renowned but, as Columbo Group co-founder Steve Ball tells James Wallin, the authorities are not doing enough to support a sector that enriches the capital both culturally and economically

  • The Harp pub in Covent Garden

    Separate categories for pubs and restaurants on TripAdvisor ‘is coming’


    The long-awaited separation of pubs and restaurants on TripAdvisor is “on its way”, a senior figure in the company has promised

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