In the land of the blind the one eyed man is King. So says the old adage and, while that might be over-egging it, the row between Compass – one of hospitality’s leading employers - and People 1st, the sector’s Skills Council, was a humdinger this week with Compass saying it was reviewing its continued support for People 1st and challenging the body to come up with some tangible results and progress.
The word on the street is now that the two, if not exactly kissing and making up, are beginning a process of rapprochement. We’ll bring you more of that when we have it.
So get your house in order seemed to be the call from Compass, and they’re clearly having a stab at that themselves - after a destabilising period of revolving directors, the new management team announced no fewer than eight senior appointments this week.
The long and the short of leadership was evident at both pub operator Fuller’s, whose finance director of the past 17 years, Paul Clarke, announced his retirement next April, and at hotel operator Millennium and Copthorne, which lost its chief executive Peter Papadimitropoulos less than six months into his role.
Hammering home the fact that it can be tough at the top was a new report from Kings College London that revealed that the role of head chef is one of the most stressful of jobs. No surprise there, I’m sure, to many of our readers.
Staff at Scottish & Newcastle’s Reading brewery are finding it tough on the ground floor too and have voted to challenge their bosses and strike over pay.
Strike over pay!!! That’s rich, you might think, if you’d been one of those unlucky enough to lose your job in the recent flooding in the South-east. Fear not though, as workers whose jobs were wiped out or diminished in the wake of the nationwide storms were thrown a lifeline with the news that they can claim full redundancy payments after just four weeks. 
If you are in an Old Testament frame of mind you might well feel like ticking off another of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse after the flood. Following the waters we’ve had the return of pestilence as the spectre of an old terror – foot-and-mouth disease – reared its ugly head again amidst fears that it was sparked by a leak from an animal health lab in Surrey. The latest news, though, suggests we’re not in for a repeat of the terrible effects of the 2001 outbreak.
So tourism is safe and sound, is it? Don’t speak too soon, as the industry found itself attacked over value for money on two fronts this week.
Money matters in the sector were somewhat mixed on the M+A front.
While Whitbread successfully sold on David Lloyd Leisure for £925m and pub giant Greene King snapped up Loch Fyne restaurants for £68m, the Royal Bank of Scotland was forced to postpone the £1.1b sale of 15 Hilton hotels for the second time in a month while poor market conditions compelled the bank, in concert with entrepreneur Robert Tchenguiz, to scrap the sale of eight Welcome Break motorway service areas.
There was a more positive outcome for the Out of Town restaurant group, which was rescued from administration by its former founder Lawrence Wosskow five years after he sold the chain for £25m.
Quote of the week: “I write for a liberal-left readership who have a slightly puritanical edge, and they can’t hack restaurant prices that go beyond a certain point.” Observer food critic Jay Rayner on why menu prices matter more to him than to other reviewers