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Newswire - 21 June


Punch explores possibility of Amber Taverns takeover

The owners of Punch Pubs are exploring a potential takeover of smaller rival Amber Taverns, a deal which would create a leisure group operating from nearly 1500 sites. Sky News report that Punch Pubs is among a number of parties who have requested information on Amber from advisers handling a sale. City sources said that other major UK pub operators including Heineken and Admiral Taverns are also expected to examine bids for Blackpool-based Amber.

Slow recovery for pubs as eating-out market set to rise in value

Pubs, restaurants and hotels are set to see value growth of 2.8% versus 2019 in the eating-out market but this will be the slowest sector to recover, according to Lumina Intelligence UK Eating Out Market Report 2022. The insight expert's research showed the overall UK eating-out is set to reach a value of £95.2bn in 2022 - a rise of 4% versus its 2019 value - but the prediction means inflation is outpacing market growth, advises Morning Advertiser.

Greene King pub partners launch another Hive Pub

Greene King Pub Partners has launched its 10th Hive Pub, reports Pub & Bar. Supported by a £100,000 investment, The Albert Tavern in South Norwood, London, has evolved into a Hive Pub - Greene King's latest pub franchise concept. Aimed at people with experience in on-trade operations, the Hive Pub franchise agreement gives licensees a ready-to-trade pub within a proven branded concept for an ingoing cost of £5,000. Franchisees get a minimum guaranteed income of £20,000 plus additional income based on performance, such as share of turnover and other bonus opportunities including profit share.

Rail strikes to cost hospitality £540m

UKHospitality has warned that this week's rail strikes could deliver a 'fatal financial blow' to businesses already struggling to survive. Chief executive Kate Nicholls said the strike, which will see much of the national rail network ground to a halt this week, will cost the sector £540m across the week, based on a 20% drop in sales where a typical June week sees takings of £2.75bn, reports Big Hospitality.

Whitbread beats forecasts but faces darkening UK economic outlook

Whitbread, the UK's largest budget hotel operator, said its sales surpassed pre-pandemic levels earlier this year, propelled by a recovery in the travel sector reports the Financial Times. But the company warned of a "tight labour market" and said it would invest £20mn-£30mn in labour, refurbishments and IT systems. Around half of the additional costs will go towards pay increases in areas particularly hit by labour shortages.

Number of hospitality job vacancies hits 174,000

The number of job vacancies in the hospitality sector reached 174,000 between March and May this year, according to data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). ONS data showed there are 83% more vacancies across the accommodation and foodservices sectors than during March to May 2019, the most recent comparable period. UKHospitality said the sector has created nearly 300,000 new jobs over the last year but that economic recovery was being 'thwarted' by a shortage of staff, reports The Caterer.

And Finally...

Birdies brings crazy gold and burgers to Islington following the success of their opening in Battersea. Their new location is due to open on 15th July at the Angel Central, advises Hot Dinners.