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Blue's Smokehouse to open five sites by end of 2015 (18/11/2014)

New smokehouse concept, Blue's Smokehouse, has announced plans to expand to five UK outlets by the end of 2015.  The brand, founded by Carlos Maidana, launched at The Red Lion pub in Bracknell in June 2014, and is reportedly taking in £30,000 a week.

Blue's Smokehouse plans to open to open a second outlet in the Twickenham Tavern early next year.  The brand has identified a further three sites, with plans to open in 2015.  Blue's taps into the emerging trend of smoking, which is influencing concepts across the wider casual restaurant market. 


Tortilla secures £11m from Santander (17/11/2014)

Burrito chain, Tortilla, has secured a further £11.14 in funding from Santander.  The new funds will help the brand grow to a target of 45 sites over the next three years.

Tortilla, which currently operates 21 sites around the UK, is the largest burrito chain in the UK and Europe, and the new funds will help it increase its lead on its rivals.


The Restaurant Group reports like-for-likes up 3% (14/11/2014)

The Restaurant Group, which operates chains including Frankie & Benny's, Coast to Coast and Garfunkel's, reports lfls were up 3% in the 45 weeks to 9 November.  Total sales increased by 10.3% in the same period.

The group opened 24 restaurant during the period.  Sales have reportedly seen lower growth since the end of August, however the Group remains confident about its end of year results. 


Burger King launch mobile app in UK following success in Spain (12/11/2014)

Burger King has launched a mobile app in the UK which allows customers to find the latest offers, locate the nearest restaurant and browse the chain’s menu.

The app, which was developed by US based Tilster, has been downloaded 1.8m times since its release in Spain in April. The app aims to maximise the customer experience, by offering personalised coupons to existing customers and encouraging trail among new customers.  


CAU to open six new sites (11/11/2014)

CAU, the casual dining sister of Gaucho will open six restaurants in the first half of 2015, growing to 17 sites.  CAU plan to open sites in Wimbledon and Henley this month, with future sites opening in Harrogate, Bath and Birmingham. CAU will also open sites in Reading and Liverpool in early next year. With smaller sites and lower average spends than Gaucho, CAU is well positioned to expand into the regions. 


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