In the second part of an interview with MCA, Andy Hornby, chief executive of The Restaurant Group, discusses the importance of accurate supply forecasting and simplifying menus as a way of controlling menu price inflation. He also discusses pub estate expansion, as well as current and future prospects for trading.
Digital technology, implemented during the pandemic, has boosted the popularity of more premium drinks and provided valuable data for operators, MCA’s Pub Conference audience heard.
There was a generally positive reaction from analysts to The Restaurant Group’s recent first half trading update, which included the 15-week period following the reopening of indoor dining, although longer-term questions remain.
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Pub deals such as Admiral Taverns’ acquisition of Hawthorn and Punch’s of Ram Pub Company show buyers are willing to look “forwards, not backwards”, Simon Johnson of CBRE has said.
Electric Group, the nightclub and live music venue operator backed by family that own River Island, has secured the former O2 Newcastle Academy, with plans for a UK-wide expansion drive.
The group is open to repurposing venues as part of its plans to break the 100-site mark, with several new locations in the pipeline, including a cider brew pub in Bath.
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