Newsletter Q4 2021


So here we are at the end of another year of highs and lows.  Despite the fresh challenges facing the industry with the rise of Omicron, there has been more good than bad in 2021 though.  Throughout, the sector demonstrated its resilience and creativity, maintaining the flexibility, innovation and energy that have been constant themes of the past 21 months.
In the face of the setbacks, one could even say as a direct challenge to them, there has been growth in the industry too.  Operators acquired sites, new concepts were launched, and established brands diversified and expanded their portfolios.
Shelley Sandzer’s year has mirrored the industry’s, and we close 2021 having completed deals, expanded our team and moved into new offices.  For Shelley Sandzer, the good has far out-weighed the bad.
The highlight of the year, however, has been meeting old friends, bringing people together to discuss the current situation and where next for the industry, and making new contacts.  To do so for real, rather than via a screen, has made all the difference.  Afterall, it is the people that work in the industry, that share our passion for it, that make it what it is.
To all of you, we wish you, your teams and your families the very best for the Christmas break and the coming year.  Whatever lies ahead, we are confident the industry will overcome it thanks to you all.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Ted, Nick, Duncan and Vicki


Richard Thomas' appointment to Director of Agency

In October, we celebrated the return of Richard Thomas to Shelley Sandzer as Director of Agency, leading the agency team in providing operators with strategic advice on site acquisitions and disposals.

Following seven years at Savills and Fleurets, the latter as a Divisional Director focusing on freehold and leasehold transactions throughout the UK, Richard returned to Shelley Sandzer with an expanded expertise in negotiation and a more diverse client list.
During his 20 years in the licensed and leisure sector, Richard has worked across a vast mix of landlords and tenants, already applying this experience at Shelley Sandzer with a number of operators including Six by Nico, Boparan Restaurant Group, C&C Restaurant, Game Nation, and Aspirational Brands.
We are thrilled to welcome Richard back to the team, and with a wealth of industry knowledge, Shelley Sandzer will continue to grow as we work with brilliant operators and landlords.


Happy Padel

Shelley Sandzer brings Happy Padel to the UK

We are excited to have been appointed by Happy Padel, the new hip and healthy urban social sport concept, to secure its debut UK site and support a national expansion plan. Founded by Jesper Konstantinov, a hospitality entrepreneur from Sweden, Happy Padel has partnered with Barworks, a respected name in the London F&B scene, to aid its growth within the UK.
Padel is similar to tennis in terms of game play and structure, and it is the fastest growing sport in the world. Often casually played in doubles within timeframes of up to 120 minutes, it has a low bar of entry, making it accessible for people of all ages and abilities.
After considerable success in both Sweden and Spain, and with a set up time as short as two weeks, Happy Padel has great operational flexibility and can work in sites from 5,000 sq ft to over 50,000 sq ft.
We are looking forward to working closely with the business to secure a flagship venue in London, before supporting their nationwide expansion.

 The Little Yellow Door

The Little Yellow Door signing in Soho

We worked alongside The Littler Door & Co to secure a new site for Notting Hill’s most-loved neighbourhood bar and restaurant, ‘The Little Yellow Door’. The new 2,200 sq ft, two-floor venue opened earlier this year at 12-13 Greek Street, a unit in Iiona Rose House.
The Little Door concept is based on the vision of a perfect house party, featuring a cosy yet lively bar and eatery. Guests can enjoy dinner parties and board games on a Friday, a classic house party on a Saturday, or a bottomless brunch on a Sunday.
The rapid growth of the brand is testament to its success in creating dynamic spaces where people can meet in unpretentious environments and enjoy a bespoke party experience tailored to the needs of different guests, so we are naturally delighted to see them in Soho.

Big Easy

Welcoming Big Easy and The Real Greek at Bluewater

Bluewater has welcomed some fantastic additions to its F&B portfolio recently and, acting for Landsec, we are proud to have played a role in bringing them in.
Big Easy, the home smoked barbecue and fresh lobster restaurant and bar, has launched its first location outside of London in a 6,100 sq ft site. Located on the upper level of Bluewater’s Plaza, Big Easy includes 236 covers over two levels with a live music stage on the mezzanine.
The Real Greek, the contemporary Aegean restaurant, has also opened within Bluewater’s Plaza, making it 100% let. The 3,900 sq ft, 155-cover restaurant offers a contemporary Aegean experience of Greek dining and hospitality, with the majority of ingredients sourced directly from Greece.


 Hospitality Humour

By Ted Schama, Joint Managing Partner of Shelley Sandzer 
Published in full by CoStar on 3 November, 2021

My wife thinks I am addicted to Instagram and, of course, she is right.  I cannot help following the latest posts from restaurateurs and operators, keeping up to date with the latest trends and, without doubt, experiencing the social side.
There was one post recently that caught my attention, and not just because it accentuated my questionable taste in substandard dad jokes. The post from @thsussmans in New York City read as follows:
“Interestingly pizza restaurants are not experiencing a labour shortage… Why?... People must knead the dough!”
Beneath the questionable taste in humour lies the mindset of restaurants and hospitality businesses at the moment.  I feel as though they have been through so much that they have become desensitised to the barrage of challenges.  Instead, they see the hilarity and the opportunity.
The fact operators and restaurateurs can now look back and use a hard situation as a punch line to questionable dad jokes highlights we are now moving forward, and the focus is on how we continue to evolve our businesses and work out new ways to grow.
I think it’s fair to say, in light of all this, we are now looking ahead to a new stage of growth and success.  There will always be troubles that face any industry, it’s almost guaranteed, but our sector has its mojo back, and I think that is something we should all be proud to have played a part in.

 World foods

By Ted Schama, Joint Managing Partner of Shelley Sandzer
Published in full by The Caterer on 8 December 2021

One cuisine that is really growing in the UK is Japanese, but in particular Japanese fusion. Culinary techniques from Japan are really accessible and adaptable, and if for example you look at sushi as simply raw fish and rice, you can see that it’s open to a huge array of flavours.
Some of London’s most popular restaurants are already doing this – we had the pleasure of introducing Sushisamba to London for the first time, and also work with Chotto Matte. Both of these are brilliant exponents of Nikkei cuisine, a fusion of Japanese and Peruvian food. We’ve also recently seen the opening of Jiji in Islington, from the team behind Sumosan, itself a fusion of Japanese and Italian cuisines. Jiji brilliantly brings together Japanese technique with Middle Eastern flavours.
Add to this the rise of Franco-Japanese patisserie, from the likes of Kova and Sakurado in Chinatown London and Ellen Chew’s Arome, and you can see a market with huge growth potential.


 What's on the menu for 2022?

By Ted Schama, Joint Managing Partner of Shelley Sandzer
Published in full by Property Week on 9 December 2021

There are so many new F&B concepts coming to the forefront of the industry, and even though pizza and burgers are not necessarily new, there are fresh styles and variations energising the hospitality scene.
Aside from the favourites that will always be a staple within the UK, the industry is seeing growing recognition and awareness of Japanese cuisine, particularly through concepts that blend its flavours and techniques with those from another part of the world.
There has also been an increased drive from international brands looking to enter the UK, particularly using London as a test-bed and flagship for national and then European expansion.
We brought Wing Wing to Chinatown London not long ago, while Korean favourite, Pelicana, has continued its expansion in the capital after major success around the globe.
The hospitality scene is always evolving, which is one of the things that makes it so exciting.


Until next time!
Team Shelley Sandzer 


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