Bakery suppliers to JD Wetherspoon are looking forward to a surge in orders after the pub chain announced it will open 250 pubs over the next five years, taking its total number of outlets in the UK to nearly 1,000.Wetherspoon plans to invest £250m and create 10,000 jobs in the expansion, which will lead to increased orders for muffins, brownies, ciabattas, paninis and baguettes. “Food is a massive part of the Wetherspoon offer, worth £260m a year. Increasing the estate by a third will increase food sales by the same amount,” said a spokesman. “The bakery side of things is a big market for us.”Wetherspoon sells around 18,000 muffins a week, 26,000 paninis and 25,000 ciabattas or baguettes. Total annual sales of these three bakery categories is estimated to be at least £9.5m.Bakehouse, which supplies Wetherspoon with stone-baked ciabattas and multigrain baguettes for its sandwiches, has seen sales with the chain increase by 30% this year, according to Nicky Cracknell, national account controller for foodservice. “Both breads have performed really well and have been extended into seasonal and limited-edition products, such as a meatball marinara ciabatta and traditional ploughman’s,” said Cracknell. “The news that Wetherspoon is expanding means things certainly look healthy for the future. We are currently working on another bread line for them, as well as developing their offer in airport locations.”Wetherspoon is holding a strategic meeting with all its suppliers this week to discuss its purchasing strategy and future growth plans.The group’s new pubs will be located across the UK, inclu-ding sites in Sheffield, Livingston, Leominster, Otley, New Malden, Liverpool, Haverfordwest and Newcastle.
ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading » Small-business owners aren’t the only ones eager to get their hands on Paycheck Protection Program funds.From 9/11 to Hurricane Sandy and now, during COVID-19, federal relief funds aimed to help individuals and businesses recover following a disaster become subject to fraud. PPP loans are no exception, yet the nature of these loans makes them particularly susceptible to both fraud and misuse. Bad actors are surfacing, and the financial crimes divisions of community financial institutions are struggling with the realization that some of the loans they rushed through may be fraudulent.The first federal arrests in connection with PPP fraud were announced in May. As the initial rush to secure PPP loans dies down, financial institutions now face a new set of questions: How do we handle misused, unforgiven and fraudulent loans? Is there a difference? What red flags should credit unions be on the lookout for?Fraud and Disaster Relief: A Tale as Old as TimeThe Department of Justice recently charged two businessmen in Rhode Island with fraudulently seeking PPP loans, the first in the country linked to the loan program. Industry officials warn this case won’t be the last. In fact, they estimate fraud rates could be as high as 10% to 12%—consistent with loan fraud from other disasters.