22 Warrens stores close including one in Cornwall

December 7, 2019

It has been revealed that 22 Warrens Bakery stores have been closed, including one in Cornwall.

It comes as the Cornish bakery chain proposes to restructure the business.

It is understood that will put people out of jobs just before Christmas.

Bosses have confirmed that the shop in Bodmin has now closed – but say it is the only one lost in the Duchy.

44 company managed sites remain open as well as more franchise stores outside of the South West.

Related: Fast Food Franchises in the UK – 10 Things Every Would-Be Franchisee Must Know

The company says it has placed approximately 25% of retail teams put at risk back into long term internal jobs within available vacancies in other stores.

Based on the proposal, bosses say Warrens Bakery would continue to employ nearly 350 staff across the South West.

In a statement released last month, Warrens said:

“In reaction to continued Brexit uncertainty and its ongoing consumer impact, we have taken the extremely hard decision to propose a restructure of the business. With sadness and a heavy heart, we are consulting with staff and examining streamlining options, which could lead to a significant loss of jobs throughout the West Country. With its configuration and remote location, our St. Just manufacturing site, occupied since the 1970s, is no longer economically viable based on market influences. We are also consulting on the closure of a number of lossmaking shops to safeguard the future of the wider business.

“By streamlining our portfolio, we will target the profitable segments of our business in food2go and café. Our increased focus will be in areas where we have seen continued success, including hospitals, travel hubs, strategically selected high street and destination sites. We remain committed to profitable manufacturing and will retain our site at Callington, while we will examine a variety of options to support our growth as a brand nationally, including in major airports.

Related: Food Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

“We will continue to respond to an ever-changing market environment, where consumers demand greater product and pricing choice. Our 1860 heritage product, the Cornish pasty will remain our signature item, however we will expand our range further to drive greater consumer interest in a changing world.

“We would like to thank our loyal staff and customers wholeheartedly for their continued support. We have been part of the West Country community for 160 years and, by implementing these proposed changes, we aim to serve the local economy for many years to come”.

Warrens Bakery spokesperson

Further news about the St Just bakery proposal is expected on the 19th December.

By Sarah Yeoman

Source: Pirate FM

Popular US bakery chain Cinnabon announces plans to launch in New South Wales and Victoria – and reveals the three new flavours in the new store

December 5, 2019
  • Bakery chain Cinnabon will open its first ever Australian store in under a week
  • The outlet will be situated in the Toombul Shopping Centre, Nundah, Brisbane
  • Foodies across the nation are eagerly anticipating stores opening in other states
  • New flavours of the outlet’s famous baked goods have also been announced

World-famous bakery chain Cinnabon has revealed new stores could be up and running in Victoria and New South Wales within the next six months.

The US-based dessert outlet will open its first outlet in Brisbane on December 14 and while the focus will be on Queensland first, expansion isn’t out of the question.

According to franchise owner Gaurav Bansal, the business is keen to respond to customer demand by offering stores nationwide.

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‘Cinnabon is in demand in every state, and we have every intention of having a presence around Australia,’ Mr Bansal told Daily Mail Australia.

‘We’ve been overwhelmed with enquiries from potential franchisees and lessors in every state so we will get there.

‘We just want to first get Queensland up and running seamlessly.’

The exciting news also comes with a sneak peek of three flavours set to feature on the new store’s menu.

The tasty offerings will naturally include Cinnabon’s classic Makara cinnamon roll as well as Chocobon and Caramel Pecanbon flavours.

Related: Food Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

The treats will be available in mini and large sizes and on offer in takeout ‘Cinnapacks’ of four.

Franchise owner Guarav Bansal said he believes the popularity of the baked goods comes in part from the brand’s commitment to making the treats on-site along with its use of Makara cinnamon and cream cheese frosting.

‘Many have tried to imitate these special baked treats but they’re impossible to replicate due to each unique ingredient,’ he told Daily Mail Australia.

It’s no secret the brand has a massive following, and to cater to this Cinnabon will open a second store in Mt Gravatt, Brisbane, in January 2020.

Related: Cinnabon Franchise

However, dessert lovers across Australia want more and have been petitioning the chain with the hopes it will reveal when other stores might also open in their states.

‘When is a store coming to Melbourne preferably Watergardens shopping centre or Highpoint thanks,’ wrote one person on Cinnabon’s 15,000 strong Facebook page.

While another said: Why not start in New South Wales. We do have a bigger population in a more concentrated area. When will one be opened in Sydney?’


Source: Daily Mail

Shoryu lines up UK, international franchise plans

December 4, 2019

Ramen group Shoryu has announced plans to expand its UK and international business, as it looks to take a bigger slice of the casual dining market.

The company, which is backed by Japan Centre Group, Toridoll Holdings Corporation and Rosinter Restaurants, said it has partnered with franchising specialist Seeds Consulting.

Launched in 2012 by the Japan Centre’s CEO Tak Tokumine, Shoryu Ramen currently operates 12 UK restaurants across London, Oxford and Manchester and one in Fukuoka, Japan.

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Tokumine outlined his ambitions to grow the business in a interview with Restaurant.

Seeds Consulting director Matteo Frigeri described the ramen chain as being “loved by consumers and landlords alike: its performance so far has consistently outpaced the rest of the industry and very few brands can say to have such… backers”, he said.

“Its operation is half the size of an average casual dining restaurant one and, at a time of rising labour costs, this is another competitive advantage we are looking to exploit.”

Related: Food Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

The Seeds Consulting director said his company will target restaurant and franchise groups as well as travel retail operators, both in the UK and abroad.

“Ramen is becoming increasingly on trend also outside of the UK: Shoryu can quickly become the number one ramen concept in Europe,” added Frigeri.

By Lucy Britner

Source: Big Hospitality

Wingstop to partner with Xbox for third UK opening

December 2, 2019

US chicken wing chain Wingstop is to partner with Xbox to launch a restaurant at Bluewater Kent that features a “stay and play” gaming zone.

Set to open early next year, the restaurant will have a dedicated area with six ‘gaming pods’ where guests will be able to access a library of more than 100 gaming titles.

It will offer Wingstop’s 10 ‘classic’ flavours of wings including spicy Atomic, Hickory Smoked BBQ, Hawaiian and Lemon Pepper, alongside sides and fries.

This will be the third Wingstop site to open in the UK, and according to the company marks the beginning of a ‘rapid expansion plan’ for the brand’s UK business.

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In 2017 the company signed a franchise deal with London-based Lemon Pepper Holdings, with plans to grow to 100 sites in the UK over a 12-year period.

It made its UK debut a year later in London’s Cambridge Circus, and opened a second site last month in Dalston.

“At Wingstop UK, we strive to constantly evolve our approach to grow in the UK market,” says Tom Grogan, director of Lemon Pepper Holdings.

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“In order to not only thrive, but survive in the casual dining space, brands need to collaborate with culturally relevant partners, and offer their customers unique experiences that they can’t get anywhere else.”

Wingstop launched in Texas in 1994 and was named the fastest growing chicken chain in the US in 2016, according to Nation’s Restaurant News.

To date the company runs more than 1,300 aviation-themed restaurants internationally, including 25 owned by US rapper Rick Ross.

By James McAllister

Source: Big Hospitality

Geek Retreat to open in Nottingham’s Flying Horse Walk

November 30, 2019

Geek Retreat, the UK’s leading geek hangout chain, is opening an outlet within Flying Horse Walk in Nottingham city centre.

Described as a comic book store, cafe and events hub rolled into one, there are already nine Geek Retreat stores in the UK in Glasgow, Newcastle, Birmingham, Leeds, Milton Keynes, Wirral, Bradford, Edinburgh and Motherwell, making Nottingham the tenth one.

The stores stock “geek culture” merchandise such as comics, posters, clothing, figures, collectables and memorabilia as well as games and gaming accessories.

They also host events with geek culture at their heart including comic book signings, games tournaments and quizzes. Specialising in trading card games, they cater for kids and beginners with their learn-to-play sessions to tournaments for more experienced players for popular games, including Magic: The Gathering, Pokémon, and Yu-Gi-Oh!

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They also stock an extensive selection of free-to-read graphic novels and free-to-play board games and games consoles – perfect for families.

It’s not all games though, Geek Retreat specialise in American milkshakes including Chocolate Thunder: A decadent ice-cream milkshake containing Nutella, Maltesers, Oreos and chocolate sauce, Rainbow Dash: A skittles and strawberry shake and Jaffa the Hutt: A smooth blend of ice-cream and Jaffa Cakes.

If a milkshake doesn’t take your fancy, choose from their selection of hot and cold drinks, American candy, burgers, hotdogs, Panini and nachos, keeping you fuelled up while you play.

The Geek Retreat will be opening in Nottingham at the end of November in the former Berketex Brides unit situated at the lower entrance to the shopping arcade on St Peter’s Gate.

Nottingham franchise owner Graham Palk along with fellow directors Owen Hilyard-Todd and Ross T Price said: “We’ve wanted to open a business of this nature for some time and when we came across this franchise opportunity, we thought it was perfect. We were looking for suitable premises and when we came across the unit in Flying Horse Walk, with its size and location, in the heart of the city, it seemed just perfect. We can’t wait to open our doors to the people of Nottingham.”

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“We are delighted that we are getting a Geek Retreat outlet in Flying Horse Walk,” said Rob Spencer, director of FHP Property Consultants, the managing agents of Flying Horse Walk. “It offers something different and unique for Nottingham and will complement the other businesses in the arcade. We wish Graham and his colleagues all the best.”

The store is hosting a Grand Opening event at 10am on Saturday 30 November, with free milkshakes for the first ten customers and Mike Quinn, actor for beloved alien Nien Nunb in Star Wars, puppeteer from The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth, Muppets and more will be making a special appearance, bringing with him some signed prizes for the open day.

Source: West Bridgford Wire

Slim Chickens Continues International Expansion with Sixth Restaurant in the United Kingdom

November 30, 2019

Slim Chickens, a leading fast casual franchise which features dine-in and drive-through in the “better chicken” segment, announced today that it is set to open a new location in Bristol, its sixth location in the United Kingdom, this winter.

The better-chicken brand has nearly 100 locations across the United States, the United Kingdom and Kuwait, and is known for its passionate group of followers in the markets that it has locations in. With more than 350 units in development, the fast-growing brand is well on its way to reaching its goal of 600 restaurants.

“When looking to bring a better-chicken brand across the pond, Slim Chickens was in a league of its own,” said Tom Crowley, CEO of Boparan Restaurant Group (BRG), the franchise partner of Slim Chickens in the United Kingdom and a multi-unit, multi-concept group. “From its high-quality product to the passionate executive team, we knew it was the right fit and would resonate with British diners.”

Highly regarded in the restaurant industry, BRG operates more than 60 restaurants within four brands across the United Kingdom. In addition to the five open Slim Chickens locations in the United Kingdom and the Bristol location in development, BRG is set to open five to eight additional locations in 2020 to complete their multi-unit franchise agreement.

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“BRG is exactly the type of experienced multi-concept franchisees that we’re looking for as we expand into new territories, both globally and domestically in the United States,“ said Jackie Lobdell, executive director of franchise development at Slim Chickens. “Tom and his team’s passion for the brand and deep operational experience reflect the qualities we look for in franchise partners.”

The brand prides itself on its cooked-to-order fresh food and strong devoted fanbase, also known as “Slimthusiasts.” Slim Chickens has distinguished itself in the “better chicken” segment by offering high-quality food and 17 house-made dipping sauces, allowing customers to enjoy a different flavor profile with each visit. Its menu is broader than many in the segment, offering chicken tenders, fresh salads, sandwiches, chicken and waffles, chicken wings and unique side items. Fans also resonate with the southern contemporary look and feel and open and inviting layout of Slim Chickens restaurants, which speak to the hospitality mindset that anchors the brand.

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In July, Slim Chickens attracted an equity investment from 10 Point Capital, the private equity firm behind segment leader Tropical Smoothie Café.

The Slim Chickens franchise opportunity differentiates itself with prime markets available for multi-unit development, a passionate leadership team and world-class franchisee support system. As Slim Chickens expands, it is awarding franchise opportunities to qualified, experienced and passionate multi-unit groups looking to add a dynamic segment to their portfolio.

Source: Franchising

Warrens factory and shops under threat in restructure

November 29, 2019

Warrens Bakery is set to shut one of its factories and several loss-making shops.

The Cornish business, which employs 500 staff and operates around 70 managed and franchised stores, said the uncertainty of Brexit was affecting consumer confidence and forcing it to restructure.

It warned the streamlining could lead to a significant job losses throughout the West Country.

News of the restructure comes just months after the business made more than 60 staff in production and distribution roles redundant.

Warrens has proposed the closure of its manufacturing site in St Just, which it has operated since the 1970s, saying its configuration and remote location meant it was no longer economically viable.

The company stated it remained committed to profitable manufacturing and would retain its factory at Callington.

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It was also consulting on the closure of several loss-making shops, which it said was required to safeguard the future of the wider business.

The shops under threat are managed by Warrens, which has expanded rapidly in recent years through franchising.

A consultation with staff due to be impacted by the changes is under way, but Warrens would not state how many jobs were at risk.

Following the restructure, the business plans to ramp up its focus on hospitals, travel hubs, and strategically selected high street and destination sites. It recently partnered with travel site operator SSP to open a 300 sq metre store in Gatwick Airport.

While insisting the Cornish pasty would remain core to its business, it added that it would also look to further develop its range to meet consumer demand for a variety of products and price points.

Related: Food Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

“With sadness and a heavy heart, we are consulting with staff and examining streamlining options, which could lead to a significant loss of jobs throughout the West Country,” said Warrens in a statement.

“We would like to thank our loyal staff and customers wholeheartedly for their continued support.  We have been part of the West Country community for 160 years and, by implementing these proposed changes, we aim to serve the local economy for many years to come.”

In its latest accounts filed at Companies House, for the year ended 30 June 2018, the business made a loss of £915,000 compared to a £31,000 loss the previous year.

Warrens won the Craft Bakery Business Award in the 2018 Baking Industry Awards.

Source: Bakery Info

Jamie Oliver restaurants to expand abroad despite UK collapse

November 25, 2019

Jamie Oliver’s restaurant empire will expand abroad in 2020 despite the collapse of the celebrity chef’s UK-based business earlier this year.

The Jamie Oliver Group, which is separate from the UK-based group that collapsed in May, said that international franchisees plan to open 21 new Jamie Oliver-branded restaurants by the end of next year.

The news comes after the group announced that it would launch a new mid-range restaurant chain, known as Jamie Oliver Kitchen.

The chain will focus on all-day dining and will offer dishes that reflect the local cuisine. Two Jamie’s Italian outlets, one in Bali and the other in Bangkok, will be converted into Jamie Oliver Kitchen restaurants.

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A further 19 restaurants will be opened by the end of 2020, meaning that the international group will have more than 90 restaurants in more than 25 markets around the world.

These restaurants are generally run by franchisees, who pay to operate restaurants under the Jamie Oliver brand.

The UK-based Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group collapsed into administration in May, forcing the loss of 1,000 jobs and the closure of all but three of his restaurants in the country.

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Oliver said he was “devastated” and “saddened” by what had happened.

Trouble had been brewing for the UK group for some time, and the chef had been forced to inject millions of his own money to save it from bankruptcy.

The chain had repeatedly blamed the challenges facing the casual dining sector — such as high rents, business rates, and high street woes — and had even pointed to the “pressures and unknowns” of Brexit.

In August, he told a magazine that his empire would not have collapsed if it had been comprised of “posh” restaurants, arguing that the UK was “very good at nourishing the rich.”

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“If I’d have spent 13 years opening posh restaurants, I could assure you they’d all be open today,” he said.

In a statement about the new international openings, Oliver said: “Over the past 20 years, I have travelled around the world to discover exciting flavour combinations, picking up incredible influences along the way.

“The new restaurants will bring those inspirations to life and serve some of my absolute all-time favourites.”

By Edmund Heaphy

Source: Yahoo Finance UK

Subway store first in Wirral to undergo ‘Fresh Forward’ makeover

November 24, 2019

A WIRRAL Subway branch is one of the first in the borough to be revamped to the company’s new ‘Fresh Forward’ design.

The Townfield Lane branch reopened this weekend after undergoing a makeover to become Subway’s first new-look Fresh Forward store in Wirral.

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Now customers can enjoy new features such as digital menu boards, special displays for cookies, bread baked in store daily and freshly cut vegetables.

To celebrate the re-opening, Subway franchise owner Anthony Deegan revealed that he will run a grand re-opening sale on Saturday, November 23 where all customers can buy a large drink for £1.60 and get a free six-inch Sub.

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Anthony told the Globe: “We are delighted with the store and to be the first in the area to feature the new look design which offers customers more of what they love about Subway – highlighting our bread baked daily in store, cookies and our fresh veggies.

“We hope to see lots of our customers this week with people taking advantage of our fantastic grand opening sale offer next Saturday.”

Related: Subway Franchise

The Townfield Lane store also delivers via Just Eat and Deliveroo.

By Lauren Jones

Source: Wirral Globe

UK prepared food chain Pret a Manger eyes Israel

November 22, 2019

Pret a Manger is in talks with Israel’s largest restaurant group Café Café, which seeks to open 70 branches in Israel.

The Café Café group, controlled by Ronen Nimni, is negotiating to bring UK prepared food chain Pret a Manger chain to Israel, sources inform “Globes.” The group believes that it is worthwhile opening 50-70 branches nationwide of 100 square meters each. As in Pret a Manger’s model elsewhere, each branch will have a rear kitchen and seating for eating on the premises.

Pret a Manger is a coffee and sandwiches chain with over 500 branches and annual sales turnover of £880 million. The chain, managed by Pano Christou, operates in the US, Europe, China, Hong Kong, Dubai, and Singapore. Like other international chains, Pret a Manger has self-service shelves for hot food and refrigerators. The customers themselves collect the products and go to the cashier only to pay.

Café Café, currently the largest restaurant chain in Israel, operates 15 brands. Its annual revenue turnover is NIS 200 million, and it mostly uses a franchise model with 300 sales points. Until now, the group has operated with two methods: chains that it initiated and founded by itself, and chains that it has acquired fully or in partnership. Prominent chains in the group include Café Café, Fresh, Ruben, Hasushia, Lehem Erez, Kaspi, Nagisa, Sahbak, and others.

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In recent months, Café Café considered the option of cooperating with Starbucks, Pret a Manger’s competitor, but the negotiations were unsuccessful, and it appears that Café Café has more faith in Pret a Manger’s format. In contrast to Starbucks, which sells mainly products for consumption on the road on a format of coffee with pastry or a sandwich, Pret a Manger offers real ready meals with an option of eating them hot sitting on the premises. Purchases at Pret a Manger are larger.

The Israeli restaurant sector has become crowded and cutthroat in recent years, with businesses that are not part of a chain or large group finding it difficult to survive. The challenges in the coffee and restaurant sector have made even more acute by regulatory changes, an increase in the minimum wage, the bottle deposit law, the waiter tips taxation law, and the crackdown on foreign workers.

Alongside these difficulties, however, the demand for restaurant businesses in shopping malls and commercial centers has risen dramatically in recent years as a result of the crisis in the fashion industry, which has seen chains collapse and tenants leave, resulting in a great deal of empty space. Shopping mall owners are therefore pursuing the large restaurant chains and offering them substantial partnerships in building branches. This has made costs of expansion lower than in the past, certainly for large players seeking to establish a chain in a short time.

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In recent years, many chains in the Israeli market have tried to develop concepts inspired by Pret a Manger, but none of them has really taken hold. “Globes” recently reported that Rami Levy was trying out a new format, inspired by the ready meals concept at Pret a Manger, in branches of the Super Cofix chain that he acquired.

Pret a Manger was acquired for £1.5 billion by the Reimann family from Germany through JAB Holding, its investment fund. Six months ago, Pret a Manger acquired Eat, a rival coffee chain in London.

Café Café said, “We are Israel’s largest restaurant group, with over 300 cafes and restaurants nationwide under 15 leading brands. The group assesses business proposals from time to time, and neither confirms nor denies reports about its business policy.”

By Shany Moses

Source: Globes