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                            DEC    |   2020
Get hands-on with grab-and-go - Flickread
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                                                                                                               Published by:
                                                                                                               H2O Publishing, Media House,
                                                                                                               3 Topley Dr, Rochester, ME3 8PZ
                                                                                                               Tel: 0345 500 6008


The Collins Dictionary named its official word of                                                              Managing Director
                                                                                                               Jamie Robbins
the year recently – and I don’t think anyone would                                                             Divisional Director

have been surprised to see ‘lockdown’ going                                                                    Rob Molinari
                                                                                                               07850 797 252
straight in at number one. Just 12 months ago,                                                                 Twitter: @RobMolinari

when we were setting out our 2020 visions, I’m                                                                 Director
                                                                                                               Daniel Hillman

pretty sure few of us would have foreseen a year
                                                                                                               07833 248 788
                                                                                                               Twitter: @hillmandan
when ‘coronavirus’ and ‘furlough’ also made the                                                                Director
                                                                                                               Marc Sumner
top 10 – largely because I, for one, wasn’t even                                                               07730 217 747

aware that they were actual words until a good                                                                 Twitter: @sumner_marc
                                                                                                               Classified Sales
few months later.                                                                                              Sue Stunt
                                                                                                               01474 520 243
   Indeed, Covid-19’s spread has been so pervasive that it even managed to largely knock Brexit
from the top of the news agenda. Our exit from the European Union really is imminent now, though,              Henry Norman
                                                                                                               01474 520 248
but the hope remains that the recent (apparent) removal of certain controversial political figures   
                                                                                                               Twitter: @HenryHNorman
on both sides of the pond may make our transition a little less ‘Australian’ in nature than it may have
otherwise been (see page 16 for more on this).                                                                 Editorial Director
                                                                                                               Tristan O’Hana
   The best news of all, though, has been that several effective vaccines appear to have been
                                                                                                               Features Editor
developed. Combined with the fact that the out of home industry has arguably already been the                  Gemma Bradish

sector that is best suited to surviving and thriving throughout the pandemic, hopefully we will see            Contributors
                                                                                                               Jennifer Campbell, Sarah Welsh,
a return something approaching normality not too long into the new year. It just remains for me to             Kate Hindmarch, Mini Setty
                                                                                                               and Peter Backman
wish you all a very merry (and, hopefully, as ‘normal’ as possible) Christmas on behalf of everyone
here at H2O Publishing – see you on the other side!                                                            Marc Ayres
                                                                                                               Matt Bailey

                                                                                                               Hannah Broad

                                                                                                               Printed by
                                                                                                               Buxton Press

Henry Norman

        Have a nd,
        merry ly,
         hopefu l’
        as ‘no le)
                                                                                                             The paper used within this publication has

        as pos as
                                                                                                             been sourced from Chain-of-Custody certified
                                                                                                             manufacturers, operating within international
                                                                                                             environmental standards to ensure sustainable
                                                                                                             sourcing of the raw materials, sustainable production
                                                                                                             and to minimise our carbon footprint.

                                                                                  | @OOHmagazine
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                                   Dec                                                                2020

12        The big interview
          Steven Whibley, Le Pain Quotidien

16        The big issue
          Brexit                                                          23    Grab and go
                                                                                Market sift

06        News
          All the latest                      40   Pies and pasties
                                                   The pies have it       51   Bites
                                                                               High street trends             55   Reader offers
                                                                                                                   Win Monin syrups!

11        Street food focus
          Four Hundred Rabbits                42   Morning goods
                                                   Top of the morning!    52   Market insight
                                                                               2020 trends                    56   What’s new
                                                                                                                   Products and services


          A coffee break with…
          Lynsey Harley, Modern
          Standard Coffee
                                              47   Vegan and vegetarian
                                                   To me tofu             53   Recipe
                                                                               Christmas chocolate puddings   58   Opinion
                                                                                                                   Peter Backman

38        Operator profile – Street food
          Wander and Graze
                                              50   Legal
                                                   Lockdown               54   Dates for your diary
                                                                               All the upcoming events

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       National Burger Awards
       2021 now open for entries
       Entries for the 2021 National Burger Awards are now open, with chefs across the UK called on to
       put their best burger forward for the seventh year of the competition. Once again, chefs from street
       food, quick-service restaurant, pub, hotel and restaurant operations will battle it out to see if their
       burger has what it takes to see off competition and be crowned National Burger of the Year. Chefs
       will also face technical challenges using specific products for the chance to win other coveted titles
       including National Burger Chef of the Year.
           “It’s about time chefs around the UK had something to look forward to,” said Rosanna Spence,
       editor of Dine Out, which organises the awards. “We’re determined to celebrate the best burgers
       out there next year and invite entries from all kinds of menus – from low-and-slow cooked meat to
       plant-based creations and everything in between. This prestigious cook-off is all about the burgers
       and we cannot wait to start reading through the first wave of entries.”
           Last year’s competition saw the Double Cheeseburger from Bleecker named as the best
       burger in the UK. When the London-based business stormed the 2020 National Burger Awards,
       chef Celine Raeburn, who manages Bleecker’s Spitalfields site, said: “This will reinforce our burgers
       in people’s minds as one of the best, if not the best.
           “Hopefully we’ll see a lot of footfall after the win and people will keep coming down to see us at

                            efs around
                        e ch ing to
                                                                                                                 all our sites. I’m super-happy and really excited. I was very nervous, but I’m just happy that the burger

                ou t tim
         It’s ab K had sometho
                                                                                                                 came through and tasted as good as it does in the shop.”
                                                                                                                     The latest instalment of the UK-wide search for the best burgers on British menus is sponsored

           the U ok forward t
                                                                                                                 by Americana, Danish Crown, Farm Frites, Hellmann’s, Kühne and Meatless Farm.
                                                                                                                     For more information and to enter your burger, head to

                lo                                                                                               Entries close 12th February 2021 (the cook-off is currently scheduled to take place in April 2021,
                                                                                                                 but more information will be provided to finalists nearer the time).

       German Do ner Kebab                                                                                       Paul adapts for lockdown
       to open 12 stores
       German Doner Kebab (GDK) has announced that it will have opened 12 new restaurants by
       the end of the year. The fast-casual brand currently has 47 restaurants throughout the country
       as it continues its mission of bringing the GDK experience to more cities throughout the UK.
       The ambitious growth plans will bring in the region of 480 new jobs to the country.
           Key new locations in the expansion will include Liverpool, Nottingham, Bradford, Plymouth
       and additional sites in London and Edinburgh. Further international growth in 2020 includes two
       new sites in Canada, two in Sweden and one in Riyadh in Saudi Arabia.
           CEO Imran Sayeed said: “Our game-changing recipes are revolutionising the kebab and
       we are excited to be announcing these latest growth plans. We have found ourselves in very
       challenging times, however there continues to be a huge demand for the German Doner Kebab
       experience throughout the UK and our international growth regions.
           “We are excited to build further momentum in our plans for growth and to be creating
       hundreds of new jobs throughout the country as we maintain our mission of building the
       fast-casual brand of the future.”

                                                                                                                 Some 28 Paul shops across London have remained open for takeaway, click-and-collect and
                                                                                                                 delivery through Ubereats and Deliveroo. They are all offering freshly baked loaves, pastries and
                                                                                                                 tarts, as well as hot drinks and now yeast and flour. In the lead up to the festive season, custom-
                                                                                                                 ers can also get their hands on a new range of Christmas sandwiches, as well as the famous
                                                                                                                 mince pie croissant, yule logs and Christmas cakes.
                                                                                                                     Paul has also reopened The Bread Market at its central bakery in Acton, West London, selling
                                                                                                                 freshly baked loaves straight from the oven. This initiative was originally put in place during the
                                                                                                                 first lockdown to help support the widespread demand for fresh bread and opens again with the
                                                                                                                 same intentions. Customers can enjoy buy one get one free on all 400g and 800g loaves, includ-
                                                                                                                 ing the pain de campagne, multigrain, two olives and, for something sweet, the cramique brioche.

                                     | @OOHmagazine
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Only Food and Courses launches at Pop Brixton

Only Food and Courses, a new restaurant and events business serving modern dishes inspired by            as Goodwood. The Pop Brixton site is the first of a number of units expected to open,
culinary trends of the 1980s and 1990s, recently opened its first site in Pop Brixton. The 28-seater     with a London high-street site earmarked for summer 2021.
venue is a repurposed shipping container, with interiors that are inspired by the same two decades           It opens from 12pm to 5pm, serving walk-in guests light and brunch menus, and offers
and modelled around a ‘greasy spoon’ café – though the menu will feature high-end dishes.                a choice of two, four or six courses for dinner between 6pm and 10pm every Wednesday
    It’s the brainchild of Robbie Lorraine and Martyn Barrett, and the restaurant follows a series of    to Sunday. Pop Brixton has already acted as an incubator for a number of restaurant brands, includ-
pop-up events delivered in Kent where Lorraine (whose chef credentials include Roux Fine Dining, The     ing Kricket and Smoke & Salt.
Shard and Royal Ascot) and his team served guests his unique take on food inspired by his childhood.         “I’ve always had a vision for something like this so I’m really excited to be bringing it to life now,”
Dishes on the menu include crab scotch eggs, confit duck eclairs, pop tarts and lobster doughnuts.       said Lorraine. “Food brings back so many memories for people and I really enjoy tapping into some
    Barrett, who has commercial and operations experience, has led and launched multiple                 of these with some modern twists on things we used to eat.
businesses, including major food halls at Selfridges & Co in London and Birmingham; high-end                 “We live in strange times so I hope some of these warm memories of our childhood will give
restaurants at London City Airport; as well as high-profile event catering operations at venues such     people some comfort! I can’t wait to have a bit of fun with the menu.”

  Rashfo rd retweets                                                                                       HRC 2021 cancelled due
  free meal offers                                                                                         to Covid-19
                                                                                                           After long discussions with industry stakeholders and key partners, Montgomery
                                                                                                           Group has taken the extremely difficult decision to postpone the 2021 Hotel, Restau-
  Marcus Rashford responded to the government voting down Labour’s motion to offer free                    rant & Catering (HRC) event until 28 th February 2022.
  school meals during holidays until Easter 2021 by retweeting businesses, many of them out of                 Ronda Annesley, event manager for HRC, said: “Even though we had introduced
  home operators, that have offered to feed children for free during half-term using the hashtag           All Secure Standard, a risk assessment-based framework for Covid-19, and planned
  #EndChildPoverty. The Manchester United player said he was “blown away” by the offers,                   for the highest standards of hygiene and cleanliness, ultimately the lack of guidance
  which come from an industry that is already facing unprecedented difficulties due to Covid-19.           and clarity from government on when business events can restart has meant that
       One business to step up was Kingfisher Fish and Chips in Kingston upon Hull, which mes-             we have had to take the painful decision to postpone HRC until 2022.
  saged: “No child should ever go hungry. The current government might not care but we do.                     “Although HRC has a large international attendance of both exhibitors and visitors,
       “If you are struggling, all next week you will be able to inbox this page with no questions and     we felt extremely confident that we could deliver a safe and secure live event for the
  no judgements and we will happily sort out a child’s hot meal. All we ask is you message the             tens of thousands of hospitality industry professionals that look forward to the show
  page first in total confidence.”                                                                         each year. We are devastated that we will not be able to play our part next year in
       Rashford tweeted: “Blown away by news of local businesses stepping up to fill the voucher           helping the hospitality industry recover from the catastrophic consequences of the
  scheme deficit during the October half-term. Selflessness, kindness, togetherness, this is the           pandemic in a face to face format.
  England I know.                                                                                              “However, we are currently investigating numerous ways in which we can continue
       “Add #EndChildPoverty to your tweets so I can track them. I will share as many as I can.”           to support and connect with the hospitality industry throughout 2021 and beyond, and
       Responding to the tweet, the Labour leader Keir Starmer said: “If the government won’t do           hope to make an announcement around this in the near future. We would like to thank
  the right thing, the great people of this country will. Incredible examples of local businesses and      our loyal exhibitors and visitors for their ongoing support and look forward to seeing
  communities coming together to provide free meals to children over the holidays. But it should           them again face to face in 2022.”
  never have come to this.”                                                                                    HRC was due to run from 22 nd to 24 th March 2021 at ExCeL, London, alongside
       Rashford spent the previous day visiting and helping out at a new foodbank. FareShare               the International Food & Drink Event, IFE Manufacturing Solutions, PUB21, the Euro-
  Greater Manchester named a new warehouse in honour of his mother Melanie, who accom-                     pean Tea, Coffee and Soft Drinks Expo, the London Produce Show and the Festival
  panied him on the trip.                                                                                  of Enterprise.

                                                                                                               | @OOHmagazine
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       Wing Shack Co opens
       new delivery kitchen
       Wing Shack Co has announced the opening of its new delivery kitchen in Canary Wharf. Despite
       the hospitality industry facing tougher restrictions, founders Joshua Jarvis and Larry Shiro have
       decided to press on with the expansion, opening a state-of-the-art kitchen serving a delivery radius
       of 2.5 miles around Canary Wharf.
           Available on Deliveroo and Uber Eats, the menu features the small chain’s classic signatures
       including Changs Honey and Sesame and Jarvis Tangy Buffalo wings. Meanwhile, for those
       hankering after vegetarian options, the Edgy Veggie burger with charred halloumi, soy marinated
       mushroom and tomato relish is also available.
           Jarvis said: “It’s only an uncertain time if you believe it is. We think it’s a time of opportunity. With
       the likelihood of more restrictions and people being at home, it’s a great opportunity to expand our
       delivery radius so we can cater to our customers and attract new customers as well.”

                                      t i m e                                                         of
                               ’s a
                   e t hi nk it
                  W         o r tu n ity

                                                                                                                                       Follow us @OOHmagazine

                                                                                                                              Dine Out @DineOutMagazine
                                                                                                                              Have you seen our big news yet? In a matter of
                                                                                                                              days @CasualDiningMag will become Dine Out
                                                                                                                              – a new magazine and website covering the whole
                                                                                                                              restaurant industry. Fill your boots with all the info,
                                                                                                                              here –

                                                                                                                              Arena Events @Arenanetworking
                                                                                                                              Brilliant session on mental health and well-being.
                                                                                                                              Some key takeaways: – Better communication
                                                                                                                              – Instilling a real sense of purpose – Look after
                                                                                                                              yourself so you can look after others – Consistent

       Sugoi JPN collaborates with
                                                                                                                              programme to look after each other – Removing
                                                                                                                              stigma – Keep checking in

       The Chelsea Lodge                                                                                                      Marcus Rashford MBE @MarcusRashford
                                                                                                                              Blown away by news of local businesses stepping
       The creators of multi award-winning street food concept Sugoi JPN have a firm grasp on the future of the indus-        up to fill the voucher scheme deficit during
       try with the launch of Under One Kitchen, a project that aims to help and support fellow hospitality brands during     the October half term. Selflessness, kindness,
       the global pandemic. By opening multiple dark kitchens across London, Sugoi JPN enables both start-ups and             togetherness, this is the England I know. Add
       established brands to work alongside each other but as distinct businesses, to maximise their current structure        #ENDCHILDFOODPOVERTY to your tweets
       while cutting down on peripheral costs. The brand ambitiously plans to launch 50 dark kitchens across London           so I can track them. I will share as many as I can
       as part of its franchise expansion initiative, in a bid to establish a more resilient hospitality industry.
           In three months, Sugoi JPN has already opened three sites in South Wimbledon, Palmers Green and Tooting            Yellowbicyclecafe @yellowbicycle1
       Broadway, and it plans to launch its fourth along with sister brand Arepita Sliders on 4th November in the heart       In the midst of the crazy world we are in at the
       of Chelsea, working alongside The Chelsea Lodge. The popular dining, bar and nightclub spot on King’s Road will        moment, receiving this amazing email from
       continue to run its successful in-house Italian restaurant, while also offering a new takeaway and delivery service.   TripAdvisor today helps make it all worthwhile.
           Customers are able to choose from three different menu concepts: Japanese-Latin fusion street food from            Our little cafe in the top ten percent of restaurants
       Sugoi JPN, authentic Italian cuisine from The Chelsea Lodge and Venezuelan-inspired fill-it-yourself arepas            in the world? Wow!!!!!!! Steve, Rhe, Cara and Meg
       from Arepita Sliders. The Chelsea Lodge accepts walk-ins for those who wish to enjoy their takeaway but in             #Dorset #local #Blandford
       the comfort of the restaurant.

                                     | @OOHmagazine
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9                                                      COMMERCIAL PRESENTATION

Heinz Food Heroes
winners announced

                                                                                                                                Don’t take the risk!
                                                                                                                                    How many times have we heard people saying ‘It
                                                                                                                                was an accident waiting to happen’, after an event has
                                                                                                                                    The lead up to the event might sound something like this:
                                                                                                                                “Oh, I’ll mop up that spill in a second”, “I can balance an
                                                                                                                                extra plate of food to save me a trip” or “I’ll get someone
                                                                                                                                out to fix that fridge tomorrow.”
                                                                                                                                    And the result? A customer or a member of staff is
                                                                                                                                injured, you waste stock, you lose customers and in the
                                                                                                                                worst case scenario you could even lose your business.
                                                                                                                                    The question you have to ask yourself is, is it really
                                                                                                                                worth the risk? Especially if something could have been
    TRACEY HARRIOTT                                                                                                             done to avoid it.
                                                                                                                                    At The Retail Mutual we know all about risks and the
                                                                                                                                devastating impact they can have on catering businesses.

                                          p o s s ible                                                                          Dealing with risks every day, we’ve been protecting inde-

                                   ’t be
                                                                                                                                pendent businesses for over 20 years. Our business cover

                        wo u l d n              p  e o p le                                                                     offers not only financial protection but also peace of mind,

                               l l t h e help                                                                                   security and support.

                                                                                                                                    With two decades of experience and knowledge of

                   withou happy to give
                                                                                                                                claims and risks within the catering industry, we have
                                                                                                                                created an in-depth health and safety guide and risk-

                        are                                                                                                     assessment template to help our customers and other
                                                                                                                                independent catering businesses to manage and minimise
                                                                                                                                their risks.
Heinz Food Heroes, the new awards programme from Heinz and Arena seeking to recognise and celebrate those                           The Retail Mutual’s Risk Assessment Guide highlights
within the food industry who have gone above and beyond in their community, has announced its inaugural winners.                some of the most common risks that could occur in a
Tracey Harriott, supervisor for Starbucks for the contract caterer Amadeus at the NEC, was named Most Heroic                    catering business together with practical solutions that
Individual, while Most Heroic Team went to Fish & Chips @ Weston Grove.                                                         you can implement to help reduce those risks. Carrying out
    Harriott’s story began five years ago when she noticed lots of food was thrown away at the end of each day at               regular risk assessments in your establishment can help
the NEC, due to expiry dates. Having just started volunteering for local charities in her community, she saw this as an         reduce injuries, minimise claims and avoid loss of earnings,
opportunity to collect the food at the end of each day and deliver it to the community projects she was volunteering            keeping your staff and customers safe in the process.
for. Since then, Harriott has built a network of colleagues and local businesses to gather clothes, bedding, toiletries
and furniture, in addition to food. Donations are split between a number of beneficiaries, including hostels, the home-         Download our free risk assessment now by visiting – there-
less and community sport groups designed to empower children.                                                         
    “I’m in shock!” said Harriott. “I’d like to thank the team at the NEC for their continued support in both collecting and
supplying donations, my colleagues and friends and family. I may co-ordinate it, but it wouldn’t be possible without all
the help people are prepared and happy to give.”
    Lorraine Wood, director of Arena, added: “Huge congratulations go to the winners! We’d also like to thank everyone
who took part in Heinz Food Heroes. It was both inspiring and humbling to read through all the entries; we were over-
whelmed by the kindness and selflessness that both individuals and teams have shown.”

                      | @OOHmagazine
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                                                                                                                                                                    Street food focus
   F o u r H u nd r e d R
                                                                                                              a bbi t s

Henry Nor
on the highman checks out the
just a flash street – are they mdishes that are being
             in the pan?        ore than              hyped

What?                                               flavor explosion”: Restaurant Guru; “the choice       their focus on sourdough pizza and craft beer –
The Chorizo One.                                    of pizza was amazing and they were absolutely         though it’s the former I’m here for. Having naturally
                                                    delicious”: TripAdvisor; “some of the best pizza in   gravitated towards ‘The Chorizo One’, I can draw
Where?                                              South East London”: my colleague.                     one of two conclusions: either I’m a genius and I
Four Hundred Rabbits serves up sourdough pizza                                                            absolutely nailed it first time, or their menu is to an
and craft beer from four restaurants across South   We say:                                               extremely high standard.
East London.                                        With London in lockdown and options at a premium,         Building from the base, which is as moist and
                                                    after some thought I am able to pull a rabbit from    chewy as it’s possible to get while ostensibly still
How much?                                           the hat in the form of an old recommendation          doing its job, the chorizo, which is bought in from
£11.                                                from an extremely reliable source. Not only does      Brindisa, gives as tantalising a taste of foreign
                                                    my colleague who previously told me that Four         adventure as may be possible for some time.
The menu says:                                      Hundred Rabbits serves up “some of the best           The red chillies somehow elevate things further,
“Tomato, mozzarella, soft and semi cured Iberico    pizza in South East London” work on our sister-       providing the sort of kick that Del Piero would be
chorizo, pickled red chillies, basil.”              publication Dine Out (do check it out), but he also   proud of.
                                                    eats (and I cannot stress this enough) a truly
The hype says:                                      grande amount of Italian food.                        Should you believe the hype?
“The sourdough pizza was a glamorous and glorious       These guys are fermentation fanatics – hence      Si – this is Rabbit food at its finest.

                                                                                    | @OOHmagazine

                    The French
The big interview

                    After near bankruptcy and six months of closure,
                    a slimmed-down version of Le Pain Quotidien’s UK
                    operation is back under the new leadership of managing
                    director Steven Whibley, discovers Jane Renton

              | @OOHmagazine

                                                                           The big interview
It’s an understatement to say that Le Pain Quotidien has had something
of an annus horribilis, and one only partially due to Covid. The Belgian
bakery chain, started by self-confessed ‘accidental entrepreneur’ Alain
Coumont, had expanded internationally over the past three decades,
fuelled by a growing appetite for its sourdough, its reassuringly solid
communal wooden tables and coffee served in traditional bowls. But
with success came hubris and 2020. Even before the year of the great
scourge, the chain’s clientele of affluent urbanites who once loved
Le Pain’s authentic simplicity had moved on to the next big thing in a
rapidly evolving market, especially in the UK and US.
     In the UK, the company had 26 branches, predominantly in London,
at the beginning of the year, but only a handful were making money.
The company had grown too fast, moving into London suburbs like
Highgate in North London, where I lived for close on 20 years. I could
have warned Le Pain that the place was a graveyard for hospitality
businesses, both good and bad, that had steadily arrived and then
departed during that time. The residents are tight with their money,

                           h a d l ost its
            Le Pai       n
 | @OOHmagazine
The big interview

                                                 n g t o deal
                                        evol v i           ng
                                 We are tantly chan gi
                                with co umstances

                    obsessively saving it for school fees and crippling mortgages.
                        The company had also moved into the killing fields of casual dining,
                    coming up against brands such as Carluccio’s and, like its Italian
                    competitor, which was sold earlier this year for just £2.5m, not doing it
                    particularly well, yet often charging more than competitors. “Le Pain had
                    lost its way,” acknowledges Steven Whibley, who formerly ran Gail’s Bakery
                    and before that was an original franchisee of Le Pain. “It had moved into
                    casual dining and away from its traditional bakery roots.”
                        He was invited by the board to join the company in January, initially as
                    a consultant and later in the summer as its new UK managing director. His
                    immediate task was to determine what the troubled operation could do
                    to turn its failing business around. After a couple of months surveying the
                    wider bakery scenes in Brussels, Paris and London, he determined that
                    Le Pain should get back to its bakery roots. The clue after all was in the
                    chain’s very name: Le Pain Quotidien, translated from French as ‘the daily
                    bread’ – the very staple that put the company on the map in the first place.
                        The industry veteran did not mince his words. He told Le Pain’s bosses
                    that the chain had strayed too far from its heritage, that the dining side
                    of the business had become too dominant at the expense of retail, which
                    had been steadily shrinking. “We had lost something more than just retail
                    sales,” he says. “I think there’s something lovely about walking into a shop
                    like Le Pain Quotidien and seeing freshly-made breads and patisserie out
                    on display by the entrance – sometimes people just want to linger there
                    rather than feeling pressurised into immediately taking a table.”
                        As for the breads, the range had not changed much over 10 years in
                    either range or size. The sandwich fillings were essentially the same as
                    they had been when the chain first opened and there were insufficient
                    savoury items in the bakery offer. Skill and craftsmanship had evaporated
                    from Le Pain’s premises, with ovens, prep benches and food mixers
                    steadily being removed from kitchens. “We used to make tarts and
                    scones in virtually every bakery, but all that had been taken out and
                    replaced with frozen stuff,” explains Steven, something he describes
                    as “a short-term gain leading to long-term loss”.
                        The coffee also needed to be better and reflect what Steven refers to
                    as “a proper barista culture”. “When you are in a business like Le Pain with
                    high London rents, you need strong profitability running through your
                    menu, which coffee helps provide,” he asserts.
                        Steven’s initial idea was to address all these perceived problems in
                    one or two selected branches of the chain. However, a torrent of events
                    overtook his plans for any gentle test-driving of his new strategy. Le
                    Pain Quotidien had been in trouble since 2018 when a rights issue and
                    new global management had failed to steady the ship. Tim Cocker, who
                    had formerly been UK global officer at Le Pain, was brought back into
                    the business in October 2019 and he in return asked Steven to come in
                    and help. But by the first lockdown in March, a full-scale cashflow crisis
                    was underway. “The UK business basically went into administrative
                    measures,” says Steven. “There was a cashflow crunch immediately.
                    We were in trouble. We needed to find a way out of this with a buyer
                    rather than anything else.”
                        Steven, who had eight weeks left of his contract with Le Pain still to
                    run, stayed on to help rescue the company. A plan was put together,
                    one that aimed to keep the business solvent by re-opening the bakeries
                    identified by Steven as being capable of making money. “We could still
                    run a retail operation out of those bakeries,” he says. “We had product,
                    we had people. We could start generating sales… [while] various buyers
                    were sought for the business.”
                        But the work of business rescue was proving tough in the pandemic.
                    Plans to sell the UK business to franchisees or any willing buyer was
                    proving difficult. In the US, Le Pain Quotidien’s business had been acquired
                    by master franchisee Aurify Inc of New York, something that Le Pain’s

                                     | @OOHmagazine

                                                                                                                                                          The big interview
                                                                                                                        ry and
Belgian owner had similarly hoped would happen with its British interests.
But no buyer emerged. The company found itself in a dire position by
                                                                                                               t b a ke
April: “We basically entered administration because we couldn’t keep
                                                                                           o t j u s t abou ly they are
                                                                                    It’s n                ential e plan
the business out of it,” recalls Steven.
    Essentially, M80 and Cobepa, the investors behind the Belgian
                                                                                             b u t  e s s
and French Le Pain Quotidien businesses, were forced to step in
                                                                                    retail,         r s t o n e of th
                                                                                     the cor
and acquire the UK operations in June, forming a new company,
BrunchCo. It was done through a partial but nevertheless
controversial pre-pack deal. “In the end we formed a group and took
[Le Pain] on ourselves,” says Steven. “It was all very touch and go, but
we managed to strike a deal with the administrators.”
    Steven had been pressing for a solvent purchase throughout the             of 21 days in September. With a second Covid lockdown now in place
negotiation. “I thought it would have been a better way out,” he says,         until early December, 14 stores, including one in Oxford, continue to
adding that a collateralised debt agreement would have provided far            run, fulfilling their original conception as neighbourhood bakeries.
more certainty for teams and suppliers. As he readily acknowledges, pre-       Covent Garden, which is one of the more successful branches, but
packs do not provide much return for smaller creditors and suppliers who       is largely dependent on tourists, and Aveda Holborn, dependent on
do not stand to gain much from such deals. In the event, the deal enabled      office workers, have temporarily closed.
them to salvage some 200 of its 500 jobs. The intention was to rescue              Meanwhile, top sites such as St Pancras, Marylebone, Exhibition
18 of its existing 26 branches. “The only deal we could get done was to        Road and Royal Festival Hall remain open, along with branches
take the actual assets and teams,” says Steven. “We didn’t even take the       such as Tottenham Court Road, which Steven hopes to turn around
leases on, we took licences to occupy and took the risk that we could          with his reforms. “It’s not just about bakery and retail,” he says, “but
negotiate new leases with our landlords.”                                      essentially they are the cornerstone of the plan.”
    As previously mentioned, Steven and his new management had                     The plan is about getting back to basics, but also premium values,
identified 18 of its 26 original UK sites that the rescued chain could make    with a menu built upon bakery and oven. As Steven says, the effects
money on. Of that 18, only half were profitable. “There were eight sites in    of Covid will be felt for some time, but Le Pain now has the headroom
London that we felt were not viable and had been losing money pre-Covid,       it needs to recover from the pain of the past, unlike some of its
as well as one in Leeds that was not trading well.”                            competitors. It has done its forecasts conservatively. It had already
    While there may have been a business case to just trade off the most       come up with four different scenarios to deal with the vagaries of the
profitable five or six stores, the plan was to proceed with 18, which Steven   current pandemic. “We are evolving to deal with constantly changing
felt with the right management could trade profitably. In the event, the       circumstances,” he says, adding that while times change, values do
company has secured 16 site leases, dropping two branches – South              not. It’s about authenticity and sustainability: organic farming and
Hampstead and King’s Road, London – where it could not agree terms             provenance, food and bakery can seem like an indulgence but it also
with respective landlords.                                                     has to have health in mind. All these things remain more relevant than
    The company’s remaining 16 sites were re-opened over a period              ever and are the key to Le Pain Quotidien’s long-term survival.

                                                                               | @OOHmagazine
The big issue

                Deja v-EU                                                 Henry Norman speaks to the FDF and
                                                                          Bidfood to find out how our apparently
                                                                          imminent exit from the EU will affect
                                                                          the food and drink industry

                With the coronavirus crisis (understandably) dominating the social and                  There are, however, those who argue that the Brexit dream has somewhat
                political landscape, it can sometimes be forgotten that we voted to leave the       diluted since then, that the original ‘movement’ comprised different, disunited
                European Union (EU) some four years, five months, three prime ministers and         interests – disaster capitalists to deniers of climate change, idealists to
                countless deadline extensions ago. Though we, of course, officially left at the     opportunists – unable to agree on an actual exit strategy. There has also
                beginning of the year, the can has been kicked down the road that many times        been the seismic shift Stateside, with the removal of Donald Trump, himself
                – and some have suggested that the sensible response would be to extend             a great believer in Brexit, and his replacement by Joe Biden, who has been
                again beyond the impending 31st December deadline – that many passionate            far more sceptical (as was his predecessor Barack Obama) and has said
                be-Leavers could be forgiven for thinking that the terrain has become one           that he will not sign up to any trade deal that will threaten the Good Friday
                elongated cul-de-sac.                                                               Agreement. But, most significantly of all, Johnson and co received an
                    Things have moved on, however, since the days of Theresa May, who,              overwhelming mandate less than a year ago from the public to ‘Get Brexit
                perhaps unfairly, was treated with suspicion by some due to having voted            Done’, transforming May’s minority into an impressive 80-seat majority
                remain herself; despite the fact that her deal would have taken us out of both      that even managed to turn Labour’s historic northern red wall blue.
                the single market and the customs union (hardly the softly, softly approach             As I type this, at the last moment possible before our print deadline,
                – or, as others would doubtless complain, what was promised by the Leave            the negotiations are still apparently deadlocked over the issues of the
                campaigns). The present government is made of (even) more determined                level playing field for competition going forwards, fishing rights and the
                stuff, though; indeed, the requisite for entry was a commitment to back the         aforementioned Irish border. Meanwhile, businesses are still being urged to
                prime minister on a no-deal Brexit (the only prominent remainer among them          ‘Get Ready for Brexit’, as the slogan goes – though the news broke recently
                being health secretary Matt Hancock). And, at the top, you have the very            that a ‘haulier handbook’ designed to help avoid border delays from 1st
                architects of our exit: Boris Johnson, the passionate advocate who fronted          January onwards, which was originally due in early September, will now
                the Leave campaign; Michael Gove, who in a previous incarnation as a                not be available until 7th December.
                journalist wrote articles pretty much inventing the concept; and, until recently,       There will clearly be repercussions for the foodservice industry
                Dominic Cummings, who ran the whole movement to ‘Take Back Control’.                and Dominic Goudie, head of international trade for the Food and Drink

                                   | @OOHmagazine

                                                                                                                                                                   The big issue
                                                                    s a re fully
                                                      w b u s inesse tage
                                               Very fe red at this s

Federation (FDF), feels that the government could have done a better job         preparing for the end of the transition period.”
of preparing the country in advance. “Industry has prepared itself as well            Goudie goes on to flag other issues, ones that he describes as being
as it can ahead of the end of the transition period,” he tells me. “However,     “vitally important”, that remain unresolved in the negotiations – such as the
large gaps remain in the information that has been provided by government,       future of the organics trade, with British organic producers potentially being
not least on labelling and organic products. This means that very few            shut out of trading with Northern Ireland and the EU. “While we are working
businesses are fully prepared at this stage, and the latest FDF Business         closely with the UK government to highlight the issues at stake for food
Readiness Survey shows around 50% of businesses do not expect to be              and drink, we are deeply concerned that even a thin Brexit deal will mean
fully prepared ahead of the end of the transition period.”                       impossible deadlines for UK manufacturers that depend on highly
    The FDF has actually shared a list of some 175 questions with the            integrated UK-EU just-in-time supply chains,” he says.
government, many of which it has been asking since May agreed the Northern            Keen to get the opinion on the ground from one of the suppliers, the
Ireland Protocol, but Goudie says that it has only recently started to receive   wholesaler Bidfood strikes a slightly more optimistic tone. “While no trade
responses. “In many cases, these answers are too late for businesses to          deal has been agreed as yet, we’re confident that we are well-versed in
make required changes in time for 1st January 2021,” he says.                    preparations for Brexit,” supply chain and technical services director Jim
    When it comes to supply chains, Goudie fears that ending frictionless        Gouldie (not to be confused with Goudie of the FDF) tells me. “We have a
trade with the EU may not be compatible with a nation that has only recently     strong and experienced Brexit team in place, led by key members of our
been hit by a pandemic of panic-buying. “Businesses will face a new system of    board, who have reconvened in recent months to revisit our plans and to
controls and checks that will inevitably slow down movements of goods and        reassess and mitigate any risks as we approach the end of the transition
add new costs,” he says. “While our industry has demonstrated remarkable         period. Our plans have to-date been based on the scenario of a no-deal
resilience during the Covid-19 pandemic, many businesses have used up            exit from the EU. While we hope negotiations do not result in no trade deal,
stockpiles that had been built for a no-deal Brexit to cope with increased       it remains a possibility as things stand and, in the meantime, we believe it is
demand. Staff have also been redeployed to respond to the Covid crisis and,      essential to protect our customers by having robust and comprehensive
as a result, many businesses have fewer available resources to dedicate to       plans in place.”

                                                                                  | @OOHmagazine
The big interview

                                                                                         e a re well-
                                                                           d e n t that w r Brexit
                                                                     on fi              s fo
                                                              We’re c preparation

                        Gouldie explains that Bidfood has been in close consultation with         added costs facing our industry would have to be passed on
                    government teams, suppliers, industry bodies, and EU and UK customs           to consumers.”
                    for some time now in order to ascertain the risks, particularly in relation       Bidfood’s Gouldie agrees that there will be challenges for the
                    to availability and the impact of tariffs. “We have done this to get a        industry either way, saying: “Whether or not a deal is negotiated
                    full picture of supply chain readiness, in order to prepare for different     between the UK and the EU, we can expect changes at the end of
                    scenarios, which we have built into our contingency planning,” he says.       the transition period that will affect the hospitality sector. These
                        The company has written to suppliers again; revisited its red/            may include changes on the immigration front [see next page], but
                    amber/green risk assessments across its core range; and put in                potentially changes to food legislation in the future, some currency
                    place mitigation plans for products where it believes there is some           fluctuation, and there will still be new processes and procedures
                    risk to availability (and even products deemed to be ‘low risk’ where         involved in importing categories like fresh meat, dairy and produce.
                    the product is of a critical nature). “These plans include increasing             “Whatever shape our exit might take, it will be a new and challenging
                    contingency stock and identifying alternative products or routes to           phase of change for the UK, and we’ll be putting every ounce of effort
                    market,” Gouldie says. “We have also assessed the impact of World             into ensuring as little disruption as possible, and keeping customers
                    Trade Organization [WTO] tariffs on customers, should the UK exit             informed and advised as we approach 31st December.”
                    with no trade agreement in place.”                                                The FDF’s Goudie, however, thinks that despite the amount of
                        There has, of course, been much speculation that leaving on WTO           time that the government has had to prepare us for this once-in-a-
                    terms, or without a deal, would lead to an increase in prices, as new         generation change, Brexit will remain a huge issue well beyond the
                    tariffs are applied. “A no-deal outcome would be catastrophic for UK          31st. “We believe periods of adjustment and even an amnesty will be
                    supply chains, with added costs averaging 23% for UK food and drink           required after the formal transition period ends, and clarity is finally
                    exports to the EU and 18% to our essential imports,” says the FDF’s           available on our new terms of trade to allow businesses the time
                    Goudie. “In practice, the added costs would be even higher because            they will urgently need to make required changes; whether that is
                    of further added costs facing imports of essential non-food raw               adapting food labelling, or putting new processes and procedures
                    materials, as well as inputs used in UK agriculture that would drive          in place to cope with multiple new border requirements for trade in
                    further cost into the food chain.”                                            both directions with the EU and Northern Ireland. Failure to do this will
                        On the effect of leaving with a deal, he adds: “Consumer prices           undermine choice and value for UK shoppers.”
                    are set by retailers rather than manufacturers, so we are one step                We have been told for some time now that ‘no deal is better than a
                    removed, but given grocery retail and manufacturing operates                  bad deal’. The suspicion remains, however, that, even at this late stage,
                    on typically low margins, it is highly likely that most if not all of the     no-one seems to know quite what a ‘good deal’ looks like either.

                                     | @OOHmagazine

                                                                                                                                                                        The big issue
            LICENCES NOW

The end of freedom of movement for skilled workers from the
EEA could lead to recruitment shortages in the hospitality
sector, which businesses must act quickly to avoid says Mini
Setty, a partner at Langleys Solicitors
The coronavirus pandemic has already put a huge amount of pressure on                 soon as possible to avoid skills shortages, limiting business growth.
the hospitality sector and, with Brexit on the horizon, businesses are likely             “To apply for a sponsor licence, organisations will have to undergo checks
to face further challenges. Given the industry’s reliance on foreign workers,         to ensure they are genuine, solvent and hiring for roles that meet the required
particularly chefs and catering professionals, employment law specialist,             skill and salary thresholds and checks on senior personnel and key users
Mini Setty, urges hospitality businesses to apply for sponsor licences now            of the licence. There is a licence fee that applicants must pay and a £624
to avoid future skills shortages.                                                     immigration health surcharge to cover the employee’s medical insurance.
    Speaking to us on the topic, Setty says: “The hospitality industry provides       There is an immigration skills charge, which is used to address skills gaps
jobs for thousands of workers from the EU and beyond, and as free movement            in the UK workforce, and there are additional fees when applying for
comes to an end on 1st January 2021, it is vital employers are prepared for           certificates of sponsorship and visas for each migrant worker.
the new laws. From the new year, employers must hold a sponsor licence to                 “To reiterate, from 1st January 2021, it will be illegal for businesses to
employ talent from outside of the UK and can no longer assume that hires              hire workers from outside the UK if they do not have a sponsor licence.
from the European Economic Area [EEA] will automatically be able to take              Considering the sector’s reliance on foreign workers, it is important that
up employment in the country.                                                         businesses start planning budgets and applying for sponsor licences now.
    “A study by KPMG estimated that the hospitality sector requires 62,000 EU         Failure to do so may lead to organisations becoming short-staffed and
migrants per annum to be able to maintain current activities and to grow. Of          unable to offer a good service, which could be fatal in the sector’s recovery
course, this is likely to be lower now given the pandemic, but recruitment gaps       from the pandemic.”
are a guaranteed way to stunt the industry’s recovery, so employers must be

aware of how to avoid them.
    “The new immigration system will be points-based and the most common
                                                                                                               l d a s
work entry route will be via a visa for skilled workers. To qualify for a skilled
                                                                                                  e rs m ust ho ent from
                                                                                           Emplo to employ tal
worker visa, prospective employees must speak English to the required level
and be accepting a job from a sponsor licence holder that meets the required
skills level – roughly equivalent to A Levels – and salary threshold – £25,600 or
                                                                                            licence side of the U
the industry average if it is lower. In the context of hospitality this will mainly
apply for chefs, who are already in incredibly high demand.
    “Sponsor licence applications should be made directly to the Home Office
via the UK Visas and Immigration service [UKVI]. The UKVI are expecting an influx
in sponsor licence applications in the coming weeks as businesses prepare             Langleys Solicitors has a dedicated and experienced employment team
for more employees in need of sponsorship, so administrative delays are likely.       on hand who can assist you and your business with any issues related to
Businesses who are looking to employ foreign talent must apply for a licence as       Brexit and employment. For more information, visit

                                                                                       | @OOHmagazine

                                                                                                                                                   A coffee break with...
Lynsey Harley
Founder, Modern
Standard Coffee

What does your job typically entail?                                                 And your least favourite?

It’s a mix of sales, marketing, finance and firefighting. I’m                        Doing the boring but necessary stuff – but I won’t bore
not someone content with just doing one thing – if I don’t                           you with the details!
have four things on the go, I feel out of sorts. I got into
the coffee industry because I loved the social aspect of                              What’s your favourite food and beverage?
coffee, and for me as a young 20-something, I was able
to travel and that was exciting.                                                     Ramen and coffee, of course. I have a slight
     Now, I’m doing basically no travel which was a large                            obsession with good ramen, my favourite place is

part of my job before; visiting producers at origin and                              Slurp in Copenhagen and Momofuku in New York.

                                                                   s  a  b it
customers in the UK and Europe. I spend that time now                                Slurp, in particular, has one of the most flavourful

with my staff doing a lot of education and passing on                                broths I’ve ever had, it’s utterly delicious. I usually
my knowledge and experience, which is going to pay
                                                                m i nd f u           spent a few days in Copenhagen a month, pre-
                                                                  when y to
dividends for Modern Standard.                                                       Covid-19, of course, and I had a little routine. I would
                                                                                     purposely go to Slurp on my own, as it was on a first
                                                                are try s on
How did you get into the industry?                                                   come basis, and there was usually a seat for one, so
                                                                                     I could jump the queue on those cold evenings and
                                                                just fo ee
                                                                                     warm up with a bowl of ramen.
When I was at university, I had a part-time job as a

                                                                  the coff
barista. When I moved to London after university,
I wasn’t still quite sure what I wanted to do. I ended                               And your least favourite?
up taking a job at Fernandez & Wells in Beak Street,
Soho. It was voted Time Out’s best café in London,                                   I like most foods, but if I had to choose it would be tofu.
so working there was pretty cool. However, after a                                   And my least favourite beverage would be bad coffee.
few months living on minimum wage in London, I
realised I needed to earn more, so I e-mailed a bunch                                What one piece of advice would you offer someone
of coffee roasters asking if they had any positions                                  working in the industry?
open and I received a response within an hour.
                                                                                     Take your time and do your stints in different businesses –
What’s your favourite part of your working day?                                      large, small, commercially focused and disrupters. It gives
                                                                                     you a broad appreciation of all the things you need to
Cupping coffees first thing in the morning. I enjoy the                              have experienced to add value to wherever you work next.
process of quality control as it’s quite a good way to                               I see a lot of people I used to work with just moving on
start the day. It’s a bit like mindfulness, when you are                             after a few years, like a merry-go-round, and I often think
trying to just focus on the coffee and note it’s character                           it’s because they’ve not stayed long enough somewhere
and flavour profile.                                                                 to truly understand what made that business.

                                                                         |   @OOHmagazine

                                                                                                                                                    Grab and go
                                                            Grab-and-go options are in high
                                                            demand, so foodservice outlets need
                                                            to do all they can to maximise the
                                                            sales opportunities this presents

With the pace of life ever-quickening, grab-and-go          love the convenience of being able to eat what they
options have become an important segment in the             want, when they want it, wherever they are, while cafés,
out of home sector, netting operators some serious          restaurants and even pubs have added takeaway options
profit. Naturally, the pandemic has had an impact           to compensate for seating numbers being reduced
on the whole foodservice industry, with year-on-            through the need for social distancing,” points out Nick

                                                                                                                                          ll grow
year declines nationwide. In fact, according to data        Burton, managing director of Celebration Packaging.
compiled by MealTrak, food-to-go sales dropped by               When it comes to grab-and-go options, the key to
                                                                                                                               l e s w  i
22% between August 2019 and August 2020. “One               success is tapping into consumer trends. With the market
thing that comes over from the research is that when        set to reach the value of £23.4bn by 2024, according to          if custo nt
                                                                                                                            are con lity
consumers were asked what they were missing                 IGD Research, out of home operators need to offer a
during lockdown and other restrictions, it is hot           range of options to suit a wide demographic. “Lifestyles
                                                                                                                            in the
drinks and hot food-to-go items that they craved,”          have changed so much over the past 10 to 15 years and
points out Gordon Lauder, MD of Central Foods.              consumers want to be able to grab breakfast, lunch
    According to a recent report by Lumina Intelligence –   or tea from a café, bakery or takeaway and eat it at a           of your
                                                                                                                                         g and
Food-To-Go After Lockdown Report 2020 – the food-to-go      place of their choice,” says Cristiana Ballarini, activation

                                                                                                                                         ety of
sector contracted by £6bn during lockdown. However,         director – west, south and international for CSM Bakery
despite the drop in sales throughout this period, the       Solutions. “Grab-and-go has become even more
                                                                                                                             the saf
report forecasted that the market will recover close        prevalent during the Covid-19 pandemic.”
                                                                                                                               u  r  p re  mises
to its 2019 level by the end of 2022.
    The Covid-19 pandemic has driven demand for grab-
                                                                From sandwiches, sausage rolls and hand-held
                                                            global dishes to sweet treats, the grab-and-go options
and-go options among consumers still keen to retain         available in the UK today are vast. This gives out of
some semblance of normal life. Subsequently, more           home operators plenty of scope to increase sales
outlets are now offering takeaway options. “Consumers       with the help of a well-balanced menu.

                                                                             | @OOHmagazine
Grab and go

                                                                                                    CREATIVE FOODS


                                     Street food is in high demand on UK high streets,             Mixes are a great option for outlets that want to
                                  with consumers craving authentic flavours and informal       create products in-house with ease, as they can be used
                                  menus. In fact, according to CGA, 32% of consumers           to make a whole range of products, all of which can be
                                  are seeking more street food and sharing-style menus,        upgraded with additional ingredients. For example, a
                                  so there’s a great profit potential in serving dishes with   plain or chocolate muffin mix can be used as a base for
                                  global flavours. “The current street food market is now      breakfast muffins and operators can add muesli, fruit
                                  worth an estimated £1.2bn in the UK [MCA Insight 2018]       and nuts for something a little different.
                                  and is not showing any signs of slowing down,” points            Visual appeal is just as important, if not more so, for
                                  out Kim Hartley, business development chef for Mission       grab-and-go items as any other in the out of home sector,

                      nd go
                                  Foods. “For operators to really capitalise on these          as customers are often short on time and need to make

               Grab a             trends and react to consumer demand, they should be          decisions fast. Therefore, they need to look good and

                      come        looking at offering a hand-held menu that is bursting        taste good. One way to easily achieve this is to customise
               has be             with bold flavours, is adventurous and leaves a lasting      homemade and premade products with fillings and
                even m
                                  impression.” For inspiration, operators can check out        toppings. Readymade icings and toppings are a quick
                                  Mission Foods’ vast library of online recipes to get the     and simple way to elevate products to the next level,
                prevale           most from their menus and to create stand-out meals,         increasing appeal and justifying a higher price point.
                        the       suitable for any lifestyle.                                      From doughnuts and muffins to cookies and biscuits,
                durin g                                                                        every time of day is a good time of day to indulge,
                                  TIMES ARE CHANGING                                           particularly during these uncertain times. By offering
                                  Before the pandemic, mornings were the most                  a variety of classic and new flavours, operators will be
                pandem            popular time of day for grab-and-go purchases, as
                                  people travelled to work. Not only did consumers
                                                                                               able to appeal to creatures of habit and those looking
                                                                                               for something exciting and to try something different.
                                  pick up something for breakfast, but often lunch and             In response to the current lull in demand, many
                                  an afternoon snack too. “Products that work well for         businesses have survived hard times by offering
                                  breakfast ranges vary from traditional toast and a hot       delivery services throughout the day that fit in with
                                  beverage, bacon or sausage sandwiches, to pastries           more flexible working patterns.
                                  and juices,” says Ballarini. “There are also opportunities       As a lucrative market, estimated to reach £21.7bn
                                  to sell products throughout the morning and afternoon        by the end of this year (MCA Food to Go Conference
                                  period including a range of cookies, muffins and cakes.”     2020), consumers are turning to indulgent and

                     | @OOHmagazine
Grab and go

                                                                                                MISSION FOODS

                                                                                             operations director for Creative Foods Europe.
                                                                                                  When it comes to dinner, beef burgers remain the
                                                                                             runaway leader in food to go with a 13.5% share of the
                                                                                             market, followed by fish and chips, with 6.3%, and pizza
                                                                                             at 6.2%. Pizza is a great grab-and-go option because
              MISSION FOODS
                                                                                             it can be sold whole or by the slice for even greater
                                                                                             profits. Whether operators make their pizza from
                                                                                             scratch, use a mix, use frozen dough pucks or purchase
               MISSION FOODS                                                                 readymade products, they are ideal for those wanting a
                                                                                             filling bite to eat while en route somewhere. They offer
                                                                                             great profit margins and they are easy to eat on the go
                                                                                             too, making them a popular option with consumers.
                                                                                                  “Caterers should not only look to add grab-and-go
                                                                                             lunch options to the menu, but breakfast, dinner and
                                                                                             snack options too,” says Steve Hemsil, sales director –
                                                                                             UK and Ireland – for Welbilt. “From deep-filled breakfast
                                                                                             burritos and pastries, right through to sandwiches,
                                                                                             soups, pasta pots and more, caterers can create
                                                                                             extensive and exciting grab-and-go menus.”
                                                                                                  For operators stuck for ideas, the Merrychef Ready
                                                                                             Recipe tool, which is available via the Merrychef
                                                                                             Culinary web page, boasts a library of over 600
                                                                                             downloadable recipes that can be filtered by course,
                                                                                             providing out of home foodservice operators with
                                                                                             a handy resource of grab-and-go menu inspiration.

                                   satisfying snacks more than ever, leading to a            MEAT-FREE MOVEMENT
                                   growing demand for variety. Ferrero Foodservice’s         The meat-free market has boomed in the UK over the
                                   independent research (Toluna / Ferrero November           last few years, with the number of vegans quadrupling
                                   2019), which focused on consumer grazing habits,          between 2014 and 2019. Whether for ethical reasons
                                   found that 79% of people are buying sweet snacks          or dietary requirements, interest in vegan food options
                                   on the go. “Classics such as pastries and muffins will    has never been greater. In fact, according to the Vegan
                                   always be best sellers, but introducing something         Society, vegans and vegetarians are set to make up
                                   different to on-the-go menus could drive profits even     25% of the population by 2025 and flexitarians just
                                   further and open caterers up to a wider customer          under 50%. “OOH outlets should ensure that their hot
                                   base,” suggests Zareen Deboo, foodservice channel         grab-and-go offer includes vegan options, as the trend

                      s such
                                   operations manager for Ferrero UK and Ireland.            for plant-based products continues to grow,” says

              Classic es               At lunchtime, sandwiches are a popular option with    Lauder. “Recent events may well have accelerated the
               as pas
                                   nearly 20% of consumers and baguettes with 7% (MCA        trend. According to Mintel, a quarter of young British
                                   HIM – Food to Go market report 2019). However, many       millennials say that the coronavirus pandemic has
               and mu be
                                   consumers now prefer tortilla wraps or flatbreads         made a vegan diet more appealing, while the June

                                   which are perceived to be healthier. These types of       survey also revealed that a vegan diet was proving more

              will alw rs          breads are also popular with operators too, as they       attractive to around 12% of Brits, rising to more than
               best se
                                   are incredibly versatile and can be used to create        20% of Londoners, since the start of the pandemic.”
                                   a diverse range of hand-held dishes. Consumers’               Vegan products, such as plant-based sausage
                                   increased interest in health means breads with ancient    rolls, are a great takeout option. There are plenty of
                                   grains and seeds offering benefits are popular, so it’s   readymade vegan options on the market that make
                                   important to offer a range of quality bread and rolls     catering for this demographic plain sailing. Just
                                   for sandwiches to suit all tastes. “Those foodservice     remember to cook them separately so you don’t
                                   operators or retailers looking to add variety to their    get them mixed up with their meaty counterparts.
                                   sandwich offer, especially when it comes to fillings      Condiments also play an integral role for many grab-
                                   that are more difficult for consumers to make at home     and-go options, so it’s important that outlets have
                                   in small quantities, should consider marinated meats      a range of good vegan options, from ketchup and
                                   as sandwich fillings,” says Nigel Parkes, commercial      mayonnaise to mustard and hot sauce.

                      | @OOHmagazine
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