All O'Neill's articles

  • Wetherspoon

    Pubs nudge up prices


    J.D. Wetherspoons increased drinks prices by around 10 pence as it reopened the majority of its pubs over the weekend.

  • Toby Carvery

    M&B CEO Phil Urban: ‘People want to go out and be social again’


    As social media storms go, it was up there with the silliest.

  • GettyImages-510629908
    Analysis & Insight

    ​Steve Gotham: Turning up the heat and other NPD delights


    New product development (NPD) is rightly recognised as a lifeblood for the eating out industry, and MCA’s Menu Tracker offers insights into the latest menu trends and influences across 150 leading operators. This review only serve as a taster, but the three courses have each been accompanied with three key summary insights.    

  • Nandos restaurant
    Analysis & Insight

    And the 2019 consumer award winners are…


    While we are in the midst of the entertainment awards season it would be most neglectful not to extend this to the worlds of foodservice and hospitality. 

  • Punch131

    How can tech ease the customer journey?


    Greggs, Leon and Wagamama are just the latest to join the self-ordering revolution, with the latter’s new grab and go concept Mamago one of the most hotly discussed openings of last year. To share their early exeperiences and more, MCA brought together marketing, IT and digital leaders from across the sector to consider how new technology can help, and sometimes hinder, the customer experience

  • 191211 F&Bs Meatloaf Potraits Cast __015

    Veganuary operator offering round-up


    Once again, Veganuary is upon us, and with the number of vegans more than doubling to 600,000 between 2016 and 2019, this year’s operator offering is bigger than ever. 

  • Crown&Treaty-061

    Old Spot Pub Company makes it 10


    The Old Spot Pub Company has opened its 10th site – the Crown & Treaty in Uxbridge, following a refurbishment of the historic pub.

  • Mitchells and Butler Logo

    Strong drink sales drive M&B’s 3.3% lfls growth


    Mitchells & Butlers (M&B) has continued to outperform the market in the eight weeks to 21 September, with like-for-like sales growing by 3.3%.

  • Jamie-Barber

    The Big Interview: Jamie Barber on Cabana


    Jamie Barber’s Cabana chain was bought out of administration last week and absorbed into his Hush Brasseries group, saving the Brazilian barbecue concept, but shuttering a further two sites. In his first interview since the news, Barber discusses the bittersweet outcome, securing new investment for the brand, and the continued tough trading in the sector. 

  • Cabana exterior

    Cabana calls in administrators, sold to Hush


    Cabana Restaurants, the Jamie Barber-led Brazilian barbecue brand, has appointed administrators, with five sites sold to Hush Brasseries, another Barber-led group.

  • Cabana exterior

    Cabana closes Trinity Leeds


    Cabana, the Brazilian barbecue concept from Jamie Barber, has closed its Leeds branch, after appointing KPMG to review its options.

  • K10 Fenchurch Street

    K10 explores growth capital raise


    Sushi takeaway concept K10 is exploring options for its next stage of growth, executive director Maurice Abboudi has told MCA.

  • Miller & Carter exterior

    M&B lfls up 4.1% in H1


    Mitchells & Butlers has reported like-for-like sales (lfl) sales growth of 4.1% for the 28 weeks to 13 April 2019.

  • Buff & Bear Saloons site the Dolphin in Newbury

    Buff & Bear has potential for up to 12 sites


    Former Geronimo Inns managing director Ed Turner is looking to expand his Buff & Bear Saloons business to achieve a small independent group with a maximum of 12 pubs, MCA has learned.

  • Miller & Carter

    Urban: ‘We do the same things with 110 sites as we did with 30’


    As part of the launch of the CGA Stone & River Brand Momentum report, Mitchells & Butlers’ chief executive Phil Urban talks about how the multi-branded operator has remained at the top spot despite the volatility of the market.

  • Lucky Cat

    Culture wars


    This week Gordon Ramsay’s latest Lucky Cat was slammed for its ‘authentic Asian’ offering, while Aldo Zilli claimed only Italian chefs should cook in Italian restaurants. To help navigate the cultural appropriation minefield, MCA’s Finn Scott-Delany spoke to contributing editor Peter Martin and Mowgli’s Nisha Katona.

  • Smashburger

    Smashburger quits Leeds Editions


    Smashburger, the MSG Group operated brand, has left Deliveroo Editions in Leeds, MCA understands.

  • Pile of newspapers

    Weekend press round-up, 23-24 February 2019


    MCA presents a round-up of this weekend’s press stories relating to the sector

  • News

    Old Spot Pub Company lines up two new sites


    Old Spot Pub Company, an Ei Managed Investments venture, has lined up two further openings for 2019, which will take its portfolio to seven.

  • MCA journal December 2018

    December 2018


    In the final MCA journal of 2018, we bring you the headline findings from our Foodservice Delivery Report and focus on two key challenges for operators – people & property. In particular, we look into the changing nature of the high street, new charity Only A Pavement Away, which helps the homeless gain employment in hospitality, and explore opinions on the apprenticeship levy. We also profile the man who put Wagamama on the map, Ian Neill, and pay tribute to his mentor, Peter Boizot.