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Restaurant, bars and clubs seminar

The Cubism Law, Restaurants, Bars and Clubs event was held in the rather dramatic surroundings of the Reading Room of the Law Society. The speakers from different sectors of the industry, spoke to an equally varied audience. The topics covering, tax, growth, franchising, property and equity funding proved to be a success, as did the networking sessions.

Charlie Gilkes of the Inception Group told a wonderfully entertaining story about the origins of the company when he and the other owner Duncan Stirling, were originally double booked to run separate club nights at the same venue, and they decided to do it together. This led to their partnership and the origins of Inception, which now owns and runs a number of highly original clubs and restaurants across central London. Their growth has been achieved through investing retained profits and the business is still owned by the two founders.

We heard from Marc Francis Baum, who is one of the original operators behind Barworks Group, Good Life Group, Camden Town Brewery, East London Liquor Company, who answered a series of questions about the growth of the various groups and the part he played. There was much interest in the investment in, and recent sale of Camden Town Brewery.

Also speaking was Simon Chaplin, director of Christie and Co, one of the top European commercial property agents in the restaurant and bar sector. Simon focused on market conditions and planning a property acquisition strategy as well as what we could expect in 2016.

Mark Allwood of hospitality specialist accountants Haysmacintyre, concentrated on shareholder value and improving company and director tax positions. This seemed to get some of the operators very agitated when they realised what they should be doing to maximise their position! Marks advice was spot on and there was plenty of discussion during the networking as to how implement some of the available tax relief plans.

Paul Haworth of Creams Cafe (a very successful franchise operation), explaining how the franchise model works for them and how it applied in the present market. His very focused presentation articulated the challenges, pitfalls and advantages which this area of the sector brings. For a man who had broken his collarbone, he was very sprightly indeed on the stand!

Jason Katz of Kings Park Capital, a very successful private equity funding outfit, talked about what a company needs to implement, to attract private equity and what advantages it brings. Jason is very well connected in the hospitality sector, and seemed to know half of the audience!

The presentations ended with Celine Vadam of STR Global running through some very interesting statistics about food and beverage revenues in hotels. There was some surprise as to the high percentage of income, that this area represents in hotels.

The room was packed, and people stayed on to eat the feast provided by Andy Le’s Viet Eat group. Much networking was done, stories swapped and business cards exchanged. Eventually the Law Society politely asked us to leave!

Several of the Cubism Law team and various representatives from the different areas of the Barworks group, together with Marc Allwood and Paul Howarth went on to share a fun evening at the Barworks Bar, Harrild and Sons in Farringdon. Sore heads ensued!