McDonalds looks to expand after Covid shutdown

July 17, 2020

The Irish arm of fast food giant, McDonalds is eyeing further expansion to its operations after its temporary Covid 19 shutdown.

Accounts for McDonalds Restaurants of Ireland Ltd show that pre-tax profits at the company increased by 18% to €20 million in 2018, despite revenues declining by 16% to €73.6m in 2018 as a result of transferring three owner operated restaurants to franchisees. The directors confirm that in October of last year, the company paid a dividend of €20m to MCD Europe Ltd and said they anticipate further expansion of its operations here and this follows the Irish company receiving a cash injection of €75m in 2018.

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The directors said they anticipate further expansion of its operations here.

The accounts state that all stores in the network were shut down on March 23rd due to Covid 19 and the store’s drive-thru network has been opening since May 6th.

A spokeswoman for McDonalds Ireland said: “The business is still in the process or reopening – in fact, just this morning, we reopened dine-in services for the first time in 27 of our restaurants across Ireland. This is the latest phase of McDonald’s reopening plan which aims to expand the dine-in service to further restaurants over the coming weeks.”

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The McDonalds business here in recent years has been continuing with a strategy of transferring owner operated stores to franchisees. At the end of December 2018, the number of franchise stores increased from 86 to 90.

The company on January 1st 2018 became tax resident in the UK as the business is now managed and controlled from the UK and pays Irish corporation tax on its owner operated stores which was down to two at the end of 2018. Numbers employed in 2018 reduced from 675 to 342 as staff costs reduced from €16.3m to €7.2m.

By Gordon Deegan

Source: Breaking News

Costa Coffee cuts its prices – including from Express machines

July 16, 2020

Costa Coffee has announced it will slash the price of drinks and food after the announcement by Chancellor Rishi Sunak that VAT will be cut for the hospitality sector until next year.

Costa Coffee is to pass on the full 15% VAT reduction to customers across all food and drink in owned stores. and its more than 9,000 Costa Express machines.

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Prices will now be…


• Premium House Filter Coffee, was £1, now 88p

• Latte – was £2.55, now £2.23

• Flat White – was £2.70, now £2.36

*plus an additional 25p off when using a reusable cup

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• Ham and Cheese Toastie – was £2.95, now £2.58

• Bacon Bap – was £2.95, now £2.58

• Salted Caramel Brownie – was £2.25, now £1.97

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Costa Express

• Regular size- was £2.40, now £2.10

Costa Coffee has recommended its franchise partners also pass on the saving, however, customers should check prices in store, as prices may vary in those stores operated by a franchise partner.

By Neil Shaw

Source: Hull Daily Mail

Five Guys launches new milkshake flavours (and you can get them delivered)

July 15, 2020

Five Guys has launched three new desert milkshakes ahead of the summer holidays.

Swindon’s Outlet restaurant reopened two weeks ago after closing due to coronavirus but the business has not slowed down with its new offerings.

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Banoffee Pie, Millionaire Shortbread and Strawberry Cheesecakes have followed the Gingerbread milkshakes the burger chain introduced last October.

The new milkshakes are only the third new addition to the menu since the franchise launched in the UK in 2013.

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Each milkshake costs £5.50 and is available on Deliveroo and all of the components, including Oreos and salted caramel, are available to mix-and-match.

By Connor Mountford

Source: Swindon Advertiser

Ecocleen Names New Commercial Director

July 14, 2020

Ecocleen, a commercial contract cleaning provider, has appointed Mark McMullen as its commercial director, announces the company in a press release.

The former operations director of Sodexo UK, McMullen joins the company with over 20 years’ experience in developing and delivering plans to drive profitable growth and business transformation.

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With McMullen’s wide-ranging experience across several sectors including managed facility services, retail, hospitality and wholesale, he brings strength in B2B and B2C environments where collaborating with clients and being committed to customers are the key to success.

In his role as operations director at Sodexo UK, McMullen was instrumental in the turnaround of a more than £100 million business and successfully winning MOD’s first super-contract under Project HESTIA worth £200 million.

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“I am thrilled to be joining the Ecocleen team and look forward to building on the exceptional leadership of Henry Beukes and Jean-Henri Beukes, says McMullen.

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“Ecocleen colleagues and partners can be very proud of their achievements in supporting clients and customers, in particular during the recent pandemic, and I feel privileged to be one of the team. In the years ahead, we will work together to create an even greater organization, supporting more customers and clients by continuing to embrace new technology, playing our part in tackling climate change, enforcing high standards and ensuring Ecocleen is the UK’s number one choice for employees, clients and franchise partners.”

Source: Clean Link

Pet taxi service looks to expand

July 13, 2020

An award-winning pet taxi service is looking to develop across the UK following its home-grown success. The Pets 2 Places pet taxi service was established by Claire Harris in 2014, following a personal tragedy that forced her to rethink her life goals.

Building the business up slowly in Milton Keynes, she soon discovered a huge demand for services to transport people and their pets around the city. The service supports many people who are unable to drive and has even been contacted by the community policing team for help.

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She said: “Initially I set up the business to help transport pets for vet appointments as I knew so many people struggled in this area.

“As I saw more clients and we discussed their needs, it was clear that the service needed to expand to include the groomers, visits to friends with the dog and even on holiday! It was also the customers that gave me the idea to franchise, as they had friends in other areas that could benefit so much from this service but there was just nothing available.”

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Last year Pets 2 Places won Best Pet Business at the Animal Star Awards in recognition of the service it offers to the community. Claire was also one of the f-entrepreneur top 100 in 2019 and won Industry Leader at the Women Leaders Award.

She adds that there are a lot of laws, codes of conduct and training regulations to abide by, but the satisfaction and personal rewards of running a pet taxi service are tremendous.

“On a daily basis I have customers tell me what a godsend the service is, and asking where they would be without me. Knowing the difference we make to the lives of our customers is so humbling, and of course getting to work with animals every day is incredible,” said Claire.

By Justine Thompson

Source: Pet Business World

New shop Love Brownies opens fully after takeaway service proves popular

July 12, 2020

A NEW brownie shop has opened its doors to customers after months of offering takeaway-only treats.

Love Brownies on Faringdon Road had planned to open in March but lockdown put those plans on pause.

The pandemic forced franchise owners Amy Elmer and Adam Clarke to find a different way to serve customers until the government gave the go-ahead for cafes to safely open fully.

In the meantime, they set up a takeaway and delivery service which quickly proved to be popular.

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Over the last few weeks, the store has racked up good reviews and begun to build a following of regulars who keep their lunches and sweet snacks in high demand.

Now the pair have been able to allow customers inside the shop for the first time ever as pubs, cafes and restaurants are now allowed to open – with precautions in place.

Instead of ordering from a counter outside the front door as they have done since March, people can pop in to sit down and have a bite to eat.

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Amy Elmer said: “Adam and I couldn’t wait to fully open our café and shop and would like to thank everyone for the amazing support we’ve received over the last few months.

“Not only do we have the most amazing brownies, but we pride ourselves on our service.

“So if you’re looking for an experience that’s just that little bit different then we’d love to see you.”

The shop serves up award-winning chocolate brownies, brownie milkshakes, gifts, and a range of premium, freshly-brewed coffees, as well as a breakfast and lunch menu.

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It will be open Monday to Saturday from 8am to 5pm. The Swindon branch is part of a national chain with eight other shops around the country.

Head baker Chantal Teal added: “We’re delighted to be opening a shop in Swindon and are thrilled that after such a challenging time, Amy and Adam can finally invite customers to enjoy the full Love Brownies experience.

“The brand is continuing to go to from strength to strength by expanding with beautiful new cafes across the UK.”

By Daniel Angelini

Source: This Is Wiltshire

First NKD Pizza place opens in East Lancashire

July 9, 2020

The first branch of NKD Pizza in England has arrived in Burnley this week after it officially opened its doors on Monday.

The store opened on Trafalgar Street at 11am and is the first in a six-store deal signed by the franchise owners.

The owners of the franchise said: “We are excited to open the NKD flagship store here in Burnley and we look forward to welcoming everyone.

“We will offer top-quality products and great value for money and our friendly team are ready and happy to help in any way they can.”

NKD Pizza, which operates in other countries, is made from an ancestral dough using ten grains including buckwheat, quinoa and brown rice.

The more typical white dough will also be available should customers prefer it.

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The pizza names and flavour combinations will also be slightly different to what they may expect, making it a new food experience for the town.

Grant Clouston, the company’s global chief executive, said:“We are currently working on an all-new NKD Pizza look, feel and taste and the Burnley franchise will launch with this new and exciting direction.”

“We are delighted to have the local franchise owners on board and look forward to working alongside the Burnley business community, which has shown innovation and resilience during this period.

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“We hope people in Burnley enjoy what we have to offer.”

The pizzas will only come in one size and customers can choose either to collect from the Trafalgar Street premises or have them delivered.

Delivery is available within a five-mile radius of the restaurant, which is offering a discount to new customers.

All pizzas ordered online with the code GETNKDBURNLEY and collected from the store – until the end of August – will cost £4.99.

By Ewan Quayle

Source: Lancashire Telegraph

Speedy Freight Glasgow restructures business to help deliver essential lockdown goods

July 8, 2020

The Speedy Freight Glasgow franchise has played a key role in delivering over a million consignments of both medical and consumer goods since the pandemic lockdown began in March.

Consignments for the franchise business ranged from supermarket signage and protective screens to aid social distancing to vital medical supplies such as PPE equipment, including protective masks, gloves, ventilators and other critical hospital apparatus.

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The lockdown required the business to restructure its branch resources and operational systems to adapt to customer needs.

Since March, the Glasgow team has also played a key role in delivering one million home consignments for a major UK retailer in collaboration with other Speedy Freight branches across the UK.

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The Glasgow franchise is now also beginning to increase its services for construction and manufacturing clients as the industry returns to normal business levels.

Damian Pacitti, director at Speedy Freight Glasgow said: “I’m hugely proud of my team who have made our deliveries possible by travelling the length and breadth of the UK.

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“We’ve had to act quickly in order to tailor our services to meet customer demands. Their willingness to adapt their working lives to support the national transportation of urgent supplies – from vital PPE equipment to eggs boxes, supermarket checkout screens and home entertainment goods – has helped others stay at home.”

By Carol Millett

Source: Motor Transport

New TaxAssist Accountants shop opens in Clacton-on-Sea

July 7, 2020

Stuart Burge has opened a shop at 62-64 Carnarvon Road, Clacton-on-Sea.

Stuart Burge, who has been temporarily operating his practice from home during lockdown, has now opened his new small business tax and accountancy shop, for businesses in the Clacton-on-Sea, Frinton-on-Sea, Harwich and Manningtree areas.

Stuart explains: “It’s been quite an undertaking to get the shop refurbished and ready for clients during these unprecedented times, but I’m really pleased with the final result and excited for the future.

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“The shop looks great and is really inviting with a central position in town with plenty of parking nearby. It showcases our services brilliantly and will be a great draw for those seeking the services of a modern accountant and business adviser utilising the very latest in software and technology with the many time and financial efficiencies this can bring.

“As a small business owner myself, I know and understand what my clients are going through right now, and I’m here to help them navigate their way through the months and years ahead. I’d encourage anyone interested in finding out more about us to pop in for a free initial consultation, but we can also offer telephone and online meetings for those clients that would prefer this method at this time.”

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TaxAssist Accountants prides itself on the level of care and service it provides to clients. Each accountant in the network has been incredibly busy in these exceptional times, providing a huge amount of additional support to clients who have been seeking clarity and guidance around grants, accessing funding and furloughing staff during the pandemic.

A COVID-19 hub has been created on the TaxAssist website with all of the latest news and guidance, and clients are kept up-to-date via text messages, emails and webinars, explaining the latest government announcements and how it affects them.

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Pizza chain Papa John’s looking to open new Hartlepool branch

July 6, 2020

Pizza takeaway giant Papa John’s is looking to open a new Hartlepool branch.

The firm, which has more than 450 outlets nationwide, is searching for premises in the town and is holding virtual meetings with potential franchisees.

Phil Gaffer, the company’s United Kingdom franchise sales and business development manager, said: “We are particularly looking for franchisees to develop businesses in the North West, North East, Nottinghamshire and the South West.”

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Papa John’s, which is also earmarking Stockton for a new branch, is continuing to expand despite the coronavirus pandemic and said successful candidates would receive help in identifying and opening suitable premises.

Mr Gaffer added: “Our franchisee recruitment process is the same, yet we have needed to become ‘virtual’ for some elements.

“I usually start by speaking to potential franchisees over the phone, then they attend a discovery day where we meet in-person.

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“Normally, I’m on the road twice a week holding discovery meetings across the UK. Now we’ve launched weekly ‘virtual’ discovery meetings online.

“These one-to-one sessions are the first step in getting to know the candidate and for them to get to know Papa John’s.

“Many have tried Papa John’s and love the product and now these remote sessions are the chance to learn how the tried and tested franchise concept works.

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“They are an opportunity for both parties to ask questions to see if there could be a good fit for the future.

“I am also planning virtual regional recruitment events which will start to be held early in the summer too.”

By Gavin Ledwith

Source: Hartlepool Mail