Counter Service is an incubator for restaurant owners and brands, operating as a standalone brand within W’s London office
Independent global communications agency, W Communications, today announces a new hospitality operation due to increased demands from clients. It follows its successful 11-year tenure working in the sector with brands including Deliveroo, Caprice Holdings, D&D London, YO! Sushi, Pizza Pilgrims, Grind and MEATliquor. The five-person strong team will operate under the W umbrella from London, offering investment hours to support brands financially impacted in the last 12-months, fledging start-ups, and those entering the market.
As part of the new offering, businesses will have access to W’s advisory panel of restaurant owners and industry veterans to aid in consultation on campaigns. The initial collective includes Founders of Pizza Pilgrims, Thom and James Elliott; Co-founder of Rita’s Missy Flynn, alongside Chris Miller, Founder of hospitality investment fund White Rabbit.
W’s entrepreneurial spirit has seen the agency invest in some of the UK’s most-loved brands across the last couple of years, fuelling their expansion from street food van to permanent bricks n’ mortar. When the pandemic hit not only did it impact its clients, but W as equity stakeholders. With the sector in despair and reopening timelines in disarray, W is stepping up to help brands pivot their business model and ride the storm to maintain positive brand equity and most importantly, to keep their fans fuelled.
While PR can’t fix the cataclysmic financial issues (rents, jobs, suppliers) brought about by the pandemic, W wants to ensure businesses are in the best state to navigate the ‘great reopening’. The incubator has worked with brands including Pizza Pilgrims and Grind to pivot during the pandemic, is set to launch Mission Kitchen, a new shared kitchen workspace, has assisted Shelter Hall Founder Dan Warne, with the launch of its incubator model Sessions Accelerator, and was appointed to launch Marugame Udon’s first UK restaurant. It is this intelligence, combined with its proven track record in the industry that primes W as the best partner for businesses looking to get bums back on seats when normality resumes.
Services on offer initially will include brand launches, site openings, reputation management, brand partnerships, end-to-end campaign execution, talent & influencer engagement and social media consultation.
Founder Warren Johnson said:
“Clearly last year was chaos, but amid all the disruption we had some serious successes pivoting restaurant brands to not just survive but thrive, and now we want to give something back to those who are struggling.
This is our bread and butter – we’ve launched over 100 restaurants in the last decade or so. We’re in a better position than most to help navigate the critical coming months that will ultimately determine how the UK’s food scene will look post-pandemic.
I couldn’t be more excited to have brought on board the founders of some of the brands we have helped to become what they are today. We didn’t have to ask twice, they were all eager to help in any way they can, be that through mentoring, partnerships, or even just sharing their experiences to spark an idea.
I’ve found over the years that the entrepreneurial spirit we pride ourselves on at W is the very foundation of the restaurant sector. These brands often did nothing wrong and have been punished by the pandemic.”
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