Rule 5 is the New Ingredient for Pesto Restaurants

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Independent Italian restaurant group Pesto Restaurants has appointed the agency to deliver its PR and marketing communications strategy.

The retained brief will see the team provide support for all eight restaurants, located in the North West and Midlands.  The agency will also be responsible for the marketing of all future developments including Pesto at Davenport Arms, the business’ latest £600,000 development due to launch in Marton, East Cheshire, next month.

Activity is already underway with the team working to further raise the profile of Pesto Restaurants, developing Group and regional specific programmes.  Social media, CRM, events and communications activity are key components of the brief.

Speaking on the appointment, co-owner of Pesto Restaurants Sara Edwards said: “This is the first time we have looked to employ an agency and it was important for us to find a partner that fully understood our business as well as the sector.

“Rule 5 has a very good reputation in the industry.  Their professionalism and knowledge of the sector was evident from the off and we’re confident they will contribute significantly to the future success of Pesto Restaurants.  We are excited to start the new year with a new opening and a new partnership.”

Rule 5 Founding Director Julie Wilson added:  “Pesto Restaurants is an incredibly interesting business.  The scope of work and openness of the founders to explore new strategic approaches as they look to the next phase of expansion makes this a particularly exciting brief; it’s great to be on board.”

For further information on Pesto Restaurants visit

Headlines for NRB

Logo 3Today sees the launch of the North’s largest hospitality trade exhibition, Northern Restaurant and Bar.

Celebrating its sixteenth year, the event, which hosts over 270 exhibitors and 7,000 trade only visitors, brings together the entire Northern hospitality industry to discover new ideas, identify opportunities and source new products and services. This year we’ve been delighted to work with the exhibition and deliver its main pre-event news story, revealing the North’s most ‘restauranty’ cities.

The study, conducted by Northern Restaurant and Bar organisers Holden Media and hospitality insight business CGA Peach, examined the restaurant density of northern cities and saw Newcastle take the top spot with 1,558 residents per restaurant.  Manchester came a close second (1,576) followed by York (1,585), Liverpool (1,996) and Chester (2,595).

The story, delivered by Rule 5, generated widespread trade, business and regional coverage upon release and will feature in today’s North West Tonight bulletins.

Thom Hetherington, chief executive of Holden Media, said of the research findings: “London is a global gastronomic city, but clearly the North of England is catching up at a rate of knots, not least because it is possible for cash-strapped but talented chefs to set up their own ventures and cook their hearts out for an appreciative audience.”

Aiden Byrne, the Liverpool-born chef behind Living Ventures’ fine dining venue Manchester House, said: “I feel very proud to be part of the ever-growing dining scene in Manchester.

“It’s extremely exciting to see top London operators paying an interest in the market. The buzz in the city is filling us with confidence to keep moving forward.”

Northern Restaurant and Bar includes the NRB Debate, this year fronted by Jay Rayner, the NRB Top Fifty Awards and NRB Fringe alongside an extensive programme of tastings, demonstrations and workshops.


Simon Shaw Dishes Up For Channel 4

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The burgeoning North West food scene was on the national agenda earlier this month when El Gato Negro Manchester founder and Chef Patron, Simon Shaw, appeared on Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch.

The experienced restaurateur joined host chef Simon Rimmer in the Sunday Brunch kitchen, preparing a signature dish from the menu of forthcoming El Gato Negro Manchester. Simon appeared alongside guests Seal, Gareth Malone, Carol Vorderman, Tyler Oakley and US music act Pentatonix.

Simon, who made the move to Manchester earlier this year to focus on the launch of his new restaurant, used the appearance to talk about his love of Spanish recipes and ingredients, as well as his plans for El Gato Negro Manchester, which opens at 52 King Street in February.  The opportunity was secured by Rule 5 as part of the agency’s national brand and profiling campaign.

Speaking about the appearance, Simon Shaw said: “Programmes like Sunday Brunch are great for inspiring conversations about food across the country, introducing new ingredients, flavours and dining styles to viewers at home. It’s great to be invited to the studio and to have the chance to showcase one of my favourite dishes, which will also be a fixture of the new El Gato Negro Manchester menu.”

Watch the full episode online.

El Gato Negro is renowned for seasonally-inspired dishes reflecting a mix of modern and traditional Spanish flavours and techniques with influences from closer to home. A select range of Spanish wines completes the offer. Applications are now being sought for a core team of hospitality professionals who will work alongside Simon at El Gato Negro Manchester.

Rule 5 On The Menu With El Gato Negro 

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We’re delighted to announce that Rule 5 has been appointed by El Gato Negro, the acclaimed Spanish restaurant due to launch in Manchester this autumn.

The appointment follows a competitive pitch and sees the agency tasked with delivering a communications strategy with reach to the national, regional and trade media.

Central to activity is a profiling campaign that will see celebrated chef patron and founder of El Gato Negro, Simon Shaw, positioned at the forefront of the modern Spanish cuisine news agenda.   Work is already well underway with Simon featuring on BBC Breakfast today (28th August) and again on TV screens nationwide in November (programme detail is under wraps).  He will also appear at the Manchester Food & Drink Festival on September 19.

Speaking on the appointment Simon Shaw said: “Rule 5 demonstrated a strong understanding of El Gato Negro, our ethos and our plans to go further with the dining experience we pioneered almost 10 years ago.

“The agency’s reputation for delivering is second to none and I’m confident that in the Rule 5 team we’ve found the right partners to help us realise our business ambitions.”

Rule 5 Founding Director, Julie Wilson, added:  “El Gato Negro has won countless awards during its nine years in business including recognition from Hardens, Michelin, and The Good Food Guide.   To be a part of the business’ ongoing success story is a privilege.  There’s a significant resurgence in the new British wave of Spanish restaurants and we’re looking forward to positioning Simon and El Gato Negro at the forefront of the agenda.”

El Gato Negro combines the best ingredients, Spanish and locally sourced, with modern techniques rooted in tradition to create bold and distinctive dishes.  An extensive range of Spanish wines completes the offer.

El Gato Negro Manchester will open at 52 King St, Manchester, in Autumn 2015.