New Chinese restaurant opening on Blackburn’s ‘Curry Mile’

October 26, 2019

ONE of the country’s fastest-growing Chinese dining chains, Oodles Chinese, is set to throw open its doors along Blackburn’s Curry Mile.

Bosses say that 20 new jobs will be created by the arrival of Oodles Chinese in Victoria Street, which launches on Friday.

The 40-seater Indo-Chinese outlet will be competing with established favourites including Khyber, Shandaar and Pepe’s.

Mohammed Umar, director of the Leicester-based firm, said: “We chose Victoria Street specifically due to the high footfall in the area and we already have a large fan base here in Blackburn who travel to our other stores.”

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He told the Lancashire Telegraph that their arrival in the town, which follows their north west debut in Bolton earlier this year, was “well overdue”.

“We genuinely believe our concept of fresh and unique tasting food is something Blackburn has never experienced before,” added Mr Umar.

“We have created a warm authentic, inviting design with a live cooking element so customers feel closer to the Oodles Chinese experience of freshly-prepared food as soon as they walk into the new restaurant.”

He also said that the company was still on the lookout for other possible Lancashire franchise opportunities after other openings in London, Leeds and Coventry.

Cllr Hussain Akhtar, Shear Brow ward councillor, said: “This is just the kind of thing we need in the area.

Related: Food Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

“I’m always keen to bring more businesses to Blackburn and I hope that this one will be a success.”

Dishes will include Malaysian chicken, chilli chicken, Chinese lamb curry, chilli prawns, caramel chicken, teriyaki chicken, Schezuan beef stir fry and crispy prawns, with vegetarian options.

The launch of the halal-certified eaterie comes as part of mini-boom in franchise restaurants in Blackburn in recent months.

Frankies has been attracting scores of customers to its fledgling operation in Salford, after converting the long-closed former Pitchers Bar, and East Z East is going strong at the old Blakey’s bar on Northgate.

German Doner Kebab has also confirmed it will be taking over the Maida dining hall, at Eanam, early next year.

But there have also been casualties along the way, with Frankie and Benny’s shutting up shop on Lower Audley Street last April.

By Peter Magill

Source: Lancashire Telegraph

Global fitness franchise to open first Scottish studio

October 26, 2019

Global fitness franchise F45, which stands for 45 minutes of high-octane group fitness training, will open its first studio in Scotland next month.

The concept is backed by Hollywood A-lister Mark Wahlberg, who has invested in the Australian franchise, and England rugby international James Haskell who has opened a F45 training studio in Bath.


F45 Glasgow will open its doors in the city centre’s West Campbell Street in early November.

F45 offers unique team-based, high-intensity interval training classes which each provide 45-minute workouts. Eight personal trainers are being hired for the new venture, with additional cleaning staff to be employed once doors have opened to the public.

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F45 has been brought to Glasgow by Scottish multi-franchisee businessman Michael Quigley, who funs five Subway franchises across the country. Plans are also in place to expand the F45 franchise across Scotland in the coming months. He has secured a loan a £120,000 loan from HSBC UK .

Michael Quigley, owner of F45 Glasgow, said: “I’m passionate about Health and fitness and I have witnessed first-hand how F45 is taking the global fitness world by storm. The brand has grown exponentially in the UK and Europe over the last two years so there was an obvious opportunity to extend this to Scotland.

“HSBC UK has been extremely easy to work with and enthusiastic in supporting our plans to open in Glasgow. I’m delighted to be a part of the F45 family and look forward to opening our doors to the public later this month, and to hopefully start looking at more locations across Scotland in the near future.”

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The finance was allocated from HSBC UK’s national SME Fund, which aims to actively help UK businesses realise their ambitions for growth and navigate Brexit. The new £14 billion SME Fund has recently been announced by HSBC UK, with £650 million committed to supporting SMEs in Scotland.

Susan Rowand, Head of Business Banking for Scotland, HSBC UK said: “Michael is experienced at running successful franchises and has spotted a new, exciting opportunity with F45 as the health and fitness industry and demand for specialist classes and training continues to grow in Scotland and across the UK. HSBC UK is committed to supporting Scottish business ventures and we’re delighted to back Michael’s plans to bring F45 to Glasgow.”

F45 now operates in 40 countries after launching in Australia in 2014.

By Kenny Kemp

Source: Insider

Surge In New Client Wins Signals Expansion Plans

October 25, 2019

The HR Dept Newcastle, which has seen a surge in companies outsourcing their human resource requirements in the last 12 months, is now targeting North Tyneside for future growth.

Established in 2014 by director, Jayne Hart, the company is part of a national franchise providing HR, employment law and health and safety support to small businesses.

2019 has seen Jayne increase her team to four permanent employees and it is on track to double headcount by 2021, including another graduate trainee.

The business continues to build on its client base and over the last 12 months has seen a 55% increase in outsourcing from companies across the tech, creative, digital and manufacturing sectors in the North East.

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Jayne Hart, said: “We had a very strong start to the year and we are ambitious in our growth plans. We are seeing an increased demand for our services from the region’s scale up and growth businesses. We ensure they have the foundations of good legal and practical people practices in place that will complement and support their growth. Many of these businesses come to us via support bodies such as Tedco Start and Grow and the Scaleup North East programmes.

“We offer a flexible and affordable outsourced employment solution providing support on a full range of HR issues. We see huge potential to further support clients across North Tyneside and Newcastle, as we increase our offering to provide management training, e-learning and health and safety, whilst staying true to our commitment of providing a local presence and regular contact for our clients.

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“Putting our clients at the heart of our business and offering a bespoke solution, is how we attract and retain them.”

Neil Stephenson, Non exec director and venture capitalist, said: “I have known Jayne for a number of years and I trust the team at The HR Dept to provide no-nonsense advice. I know that I can rely on the company for practical advice that is compliant and mitigates risk but is also commercially sound. The fact they are locally based means they are available to drop in to talk through more complex issues, which I find reassuring. I get peace of mind knowing the people processes meet the needs of the growing businesses I work with.”

Source: Business UpNorth

First Vehicle Finance Report Growth in new cars driven by move to eco-friendly vehicles

October 25, 2019

Data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) showed that 343,255 new passenger cars were registered in September, the first month of the new ‘69’ number plates. Although the plate change usually means September is a strong month for sales, that figure represents a 1.3-percent increase on the previous September, which saw a little under 339,000 new cars registered.

Much of that increase was down to rising sales of petrol, electric and hybrid cars, although diesel sales continued to slump. Last month saw sales of diesel vehicles fall by more than 20 percent compared with the same month in 2018.

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It’s sales of electric cars that continue to grow rapidly. More than 7,700 electric vehicles were registered last month – more than twice as many as hit the roads last September. It’s impressive growth. Demand for electrified cars has surged in the past four years, with registrations increasing from around 3500 in 2013 to almost 160,000 by the end of 2018.

Electric vehicles still account for a tiny proportion of car sales, but that could soon change, because these upcoming models push the boundaries of performance, range and desirability…..

First Vehicle Finance can also report the same findings with growth in requests for electric car quotes, with a strong increase in the number of quotes requested for electric, hybrid and PHEV models. The Tesla 3 was the third most ordered model during August in the UK, which reflects the growing interest in this new market area and this has been reflected in the types of vehicles quoted on in the last quarter.

Richard Mayle, outlines ‘’The incentives that have been put in place by the Government in terms of Benefit in Kind rates for cars with zero and low emissions has certainly focused the minds of drivers and fleet managers alike.’’

The LCV [Light Commercial Vehicle] market is set to join this trend as new models are now being released in this field. Whether you like it or not, electric vehicles are going to play an increasingly important role in the UK van market as it evolves over the next few years. More and more van makers will be introducing e-vans as a result.

Related: First Vehicle Finance Franchise

Electric vans sales represent a tiny fraction of overall sales right now, but as concern about environmental pollution grows – especially in city centres – businesses and private buyers will come under increasing pressure to adopt e-mobility solutions. But don’t fret too much – electric vans are getting better all the time, and while there are compromises, there are also benefits, too.

As this new market sector develops, First Vehicle Finance are well set to take advantage with their strong range of finance facilities available, such as Business Contract Hire, Finance Lease, Hire Purchase etc and access to full fleet discounts across the manufacturers.

Contact them today to found out more about how you can start a business with First Vehicle Finance and be part of this growing market.

40 jobs to be created at Newtownabbey Tim Hortons

October 24, 2019

Tim Hortons, the Canadian coffee chain, has announced it will open a new drive thru restaurant at 261-263 Antrim Road, Glengormley, later this year.

The Glengormley location will be the third Tim Hortons restaurant to open in Northern Ireland and the first outside of Belfast city centre.

The two restaurants in Belfast, one in Fountain Street and a 24-hour drive thru at Connswater opened in 2018.

The new restaurant will create 40 jobs, a combination of full-time and part-time opportunities. The roles will be a mix of shift managers, who hold the teams together, motivate everyone and lead by example and team members who will make guests feel welcome and serve the famous coffee and donuts the brand is known for.

Related: Coffee Franchise UK – Should You Invest in a Coffee or Coffee Shop Franchise?

The restaurant is seeking outgoing applicants who are warm, welcoming and caring to join the team ahead of the upcoming opening.

More details can be found on the Tim Hortons UK website.

The Tim Hortons brand was founded by its namesake, a top professional ice hockey player, who wanted to create a space where everyone would feel at home. Fast forward to 2019, more than 5.3 million Canadians – approximately 15 per cent of the population – visit the cafés daily.

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Kevin Hydes, Chief Finance and Commercial Officer of the Tim Hortons franchise in the UK said: “When we opened our two Belfast restaurants last year, we were completely blown away by the excitement and the wonderful welcome from the local community.

“We are now thrilled to be opening our second drive thru site and can’t wait to open our doors.”


Source: Newtownabbey Times

Whitbread reports first half drop in pretax profits

October 24, 2019

Whitbread Plc (LON: WTB) have announced a first half drop in pre-tax profit and UK accommodation sales amid a challenging UK leisure and hotel market.

The owners of the Premier Inn franchise speculated about tough political and economic uncertainties driving the drop in profits and sales. Firms such as Marriott (NASDAQ: MAR) and Elegant Hotels (LON: EHG) have merged to stimulate business.

Alison Britain, Chief Executive at the Premier Inn group described the first half performance as ‘resilient’ amid testing times for not just the leisure industry but UK business in general.

She said: “Market conditions in the UK continue to be challenging with business confidence remaining weak and leisure confidence in decline, coinciding with heightened political and economic uncertainty.Whilst the near-term market conditions in the UK remain uncertain, we have confidence in the long-term structural opportunities available in the domestic budget travel markets in the UK and Germany.”

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Britain added “Shorter-term trading conditions in the UK regional market have been difficult, particularly in the business segment where we have a higher proportion of our revenue, whilst trading in London remained strong.”

Adjusted profit before tax slipped by 4.1% to £236 million in the first six months of this year compared to the £246 million figure previously mentioned.

Whitbread sold Costa Coffee to Coca Cola (NYSE: KO) last year in a for £3.9 billion, while completing a £2 billion share buyback in July 2019.

Total UK accommodation sales dropped by 0.6% while like for like sales fell 3.6% following tough domestic market conditions.

The group concluded by saying that there is no way to speculate how business and investment will unfold in 2020, such is the uncertainty of both economic and political relations currently.

Russell Pointon, Consumer and Media Director at Edison Group said: “Market conditions in the UK continue to be challenging with business confidence remaining weak and leisure confidence in decline, coinciding with heightened political and economic uncertainty, which has continued into the third quarter of FY20. This has impacted hotel domestic demand, particularly in the regional market, where 80% of Premier Inn hotels are located. There has also been a greater decline in short-lead discretionary bookings, which tend to be at higher price points.”

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He added “Guidance given in April 2019 for costs, efficiency savings, investment in Germany and revenue sensitivity remain unchanged but it is difficult to predict how business confidence and business investment will evolve in the second half of FY20 and into FY21 and impact demand for short-stay, domestic travel. Whitbread’s business model has a relatively high degree of operating leverage – with every 1% movement in RevPAR, PBT is impacted by £12-15m.”

Currently, shares of Whitbread Plc are trading at 4,185p per share, seeing a 0.43% fall. 22/10/19 10:23BST.

By Ishen Patel

Source: UK Investor Magazine

U.K.’s first Chick-fil-A will close just 6 months after opening

October 23, 2019

The United Kingdom’s first Chick-fil-A will soon be no more.

According to BBC, the fast-food chain opened its first UK outlet at The Oracle, a shopping mall in Reading on Oct. 10.

However, a spokeswoman for the mall says it will not be extending the franchise’s initial six-month lease because it’s the “right thing to do.”

The moves comes after gay rights campaigners called for a boycott of the fast-food chain, which has drawn the ire of advocacy groups in both the UK and North America for “being hostile to LGBT rights.”

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In 2012, CEO Dan Cathy sparked backlash after he said: “We are very much supportive of the family – the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that … We want to do anything we possibly can to strengthen families.”

And over the years, the company has reportedly donated millions of dollars to groups opposing same-sex marriage.

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“The chain’s ethos and moral stance goes completely against our values, and that of the UK as we are a progressive country that has legalised same sex marriage for some years, and continues to strive towards equality,” Reading Pride, a lesbian, gay, bi, transgender advocacy group, which started the protest, said in a statement.

The mall said: “We always look to introduce new concepts for our customers, however, we have decided on this occasion that the right thing to do is to only allow Chick-Fil-A to trade with us for the initial six-month pilot period, and not to extend the lease any further.”

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The restaurant will stay open for six months to allow for employee settlement.

Reading Pride called the decision “good news,” and said the timeframe was a “reasonable request… to allow for re-settlement and notice for employees that have moved from other jobs”.

Source: WFLA

Jollibee set to open second UK restaurant in Liverpool

October 23, 2019

Filipino fast food chain Jollibee is pushing forward with its regional expansion plans with the opening of a second UK site in Liverpool.

Bee World UK Ltd, part of the Jollibee Foods Corporation, has submitted a planning application to open a quick service restaurant on Whitechapel in the city centre.

According to the documents, Jollibee’s Liverpool site would be the “flagship branch in the North of England”.

Jollibee opened its first UK restaurant in London’s Earl’s Court last year, with some diners reportedly queuing for 18 hours at the launch event.

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Soon after, the brand announced plans to launch three further UK sites in Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham.

Jollibee is best known for its Chickenjoy fried chicken; Jolly Spaghetti, which is topped with chopped up hot dogs and tomato sauce; and a breakfast dish of corned beef with garlic rice and egg.

Speaking to BigHospitality ​last year, Jollibee president and head of international business Dennis Flores said he was confident the brand would appeal to UK locals as well as Filipinos.

“We’re very confident given our track record in Singapore and Hong Kong where over 50% of our customers are locals,” he said.

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“The feedback that we got from London locals told us even more that we can and will be successful here.”

Founded in 1978, the Jollibee group operates 2,700 outlets across the Philippines, making it the largest fast food group in the country.

It also owns most of the US chain Smashburger, operates Vietnam’s Highlands Coffee and Pho 24 noodle chains, runs Dunkin’ Donuts in some territories of China, and the Burger King franchise in the Philippines.

By James McAllister

Source: Big Hospitality

Wendy’s burger chain looking to open 20 restaurants in the UK – starting as early as next year

October 22, 2019

It’s a huge hit with foodies in the US. Now, popular burger chain Wendy’s has its sights on opening in the UK.

The fast food joint, famous for its square-shaped burgers and its Bacon Jalepeno Triple Cheeseburger, is reportedly exploring the possibility of opening 20 restaurants in unnamed locations.

The company is believed to be scouting out potential locations, with the first restaurants opening in the next 12 to 18 months.

If it does come to our shores, it won’t cost you much more than your standard fast food meal. A bacon double stack, four piece nuggets, small fries and a drink comes in at $5 across the pond.

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As reported in the Mirror , the company has started looking for sites and franchise partners in the UK.

This would represent the first step into Europe for the Wendy’s, which is the third biggest burger chain in the world behind McDonald’s and Burger King.

According to documents seen by The Mail on Sunday, Abigail Pringle, president of the international division and chief development officer, said: “The United Kingdom will be out beachhead to European expansion. We believe it is a growing market and it has lots of great growth ahead of it.

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“We also know that great American brands have been successful. Burger brands have been unbelievably successful there. But we believe that we can challenge those brands.”

By James Andrews and Robert Fairnie

Source: Chronicle Live

easyCoffee: Looking For A Unique Vending Opportunity? Easy Does It…

October 22, 2019

easyCoffee is looking for an experienced vending operations company to acquire a Master License to roll out easyCoffee branded vending machines across the UK.

Founded by easyJet tycoon Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou in 2016, the easyCoffee brand has been licensed by businessman Nathan Lowry. Mr Lowry will continue to develop and expand the easyCoffee retail brand throughout Great Britain and Ireland. He is specific in the qualities he requires of a vending operator.

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‘I imagine that our future vending partners will already be among the country’s Top Ten operators’, he told PV & OCS. ‘It will certainly be a national company; it will have an excellent support network already in place and of course, it will boast a well-managed, successful sales team.

‘We’ve proved the concept of easyCoffee as a vending brand’, Mr Lowry said. ‘We have 150 machines already in situ and the time is right for a specialist company, with experience, expertise and exceptional contacts in the vending industry, to come on board and maximise the potential of the brand by building on the foundations we have created.’

The retail ethos of easyCoffee is based on the assertion that the Great British coffee-drinking public is paying too much for its favourite beverage.

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‘I imagine that our future vending partners will already be among the country’s Top Ten operators’

“The gap in the market is definitely in pricing’, Mr. Lowry said. ‘easyCoffee is a great product; we use the same soluble or fresh milk machines that all the big guys use. We will not compromise on quality to achieve a low selling price: we genuinely feel that people are paying too much for their coffee in the UK and whoever joins with us to develop the vending opportunity will have the benefit of being able to piggy-back on that marketing proposition.’

In the first instance, easyCoffee is seeking expressions of interest from vending companies that match his criteria. ‘easyCoffee is a brand that is experiencing a high level of growth, building on the ‘easy’ promise of quality, affordability and value for money’, Mr. Lowry said.

Source: Planet Vending