Gardner Merchant chairman and chief executive Garry Hawkes was awarded the inaugural Arena Accolade last week for his outstanding contribution to the trade.The award is made by the hospitality industry organisation Arena.
Regent Inns and SFI have announced that they are in talks to merge their chains of 83 and 55 pubs, although market rumours suggest a bigger player is also eyeing up Regent.
No smoking plan
Three Allied Domecq pubs will run non-smoking areas for three months in a joint experiment with Staffordshire Health Authority to see how they impact on bar takings. Customer and staff opinions will also be taken.
Whitbread has applied for planning permission to convert Bristol's 17-storey Avon House into a224-bedroom Travel Inn.The building, the former headquarters of now-abolished Avon County Council, already has the company's Bristol Fashion bar and a Beefeater restaurant on the ground floor.
Comfort in St Albans
Choice Hotels Europe has opened a new-build60-bedroom Comfort hotel in St Albans, Hertfordshire.
Fuel Zone success
Fuel Zone, Glasgow City Council's school meals service, has beaten off almost 100 local authorities to scoop the Association of Direct Labour Organisations' Municipal Journal Services Award for 1999.