They got the menu from M-way services
Granada has never been a company to miss the opportunity to make a few bob, so it is hardly surprising that the catering staff at the Granada Studios Tour centre in Manchester have been dragged into the drama that is gripping the nation: the jailing of Deirdre Rachid.
As well as the usual burgers and butties, the centre's restaurant is offering the option of a "prison" meal as might be served to the beleaguered Weatherfield One. The menu consists of porridge, bread and water, and prison soup.
No doubt the price is criminal as well.
And they're probably much better behaved
Father-of-two Alan Wade is more than happy to hear the patter of tiny feet at his Devon hotel - as long as they come four at a time.
In an unusual twist to the normal rules, Wade advertises his Penhaven Country House Hotel with the slogan: "Pets welcome. No children."
Said Wade: "Once my children left home, I found I was becoming far less tolerant of other people's. Now we cater for people for whom a pet is a child substitute."
Despite some irate calls from people who think he has the wording turned round, trade is unaffected. The three-star hotel recently welcomed 37 members of a dog training club from Dorset for the weekend. Along with their canine companions, of course.
Give us all your honey - or else...
Staff at the Francis Hotel in Bath were said to be deeply shocked this week after the hotel's resident teddy bear went missing without explanation.
A party to celebrate the first birthday of the hotel's café-bar was in full swing when restaurant manager Neil Schroeder noticed that Eddie had disappeared. "We're waiting for a ransom note, or perhaps an ear in the post," said sales co-ordinator Carole Devonshire, clearly distressed.
Anyone with information is urged to contact the hotel. A reward to charity has been promised if Eddie is returned. No questions will be asked.
He saves a bundle on printing, too
Most chefs change menus these days with a speed that would take you around the world before you could say "olive oil mash", but don't include Mimmo Mazzola, chef-owner of Italian restaurant Al-Ceretto in Sheffield.
Mazzola is proud to announce that his menu has not changed since he opened the restaurant 18 years ago. "The customers like the menu as it is," he says. "Lots of people order the same thing every time they come in."
His fear is that the loyal Tyke following might cry "roo-bish" if he went the trendy rocket, pancetta and polenta route. Congratulations to a chef who panders to his customers, not fashion.
First, catch your butter knife...
The new owners of the Welcome Break motorway service areas seem to have a great commitment to training. During a stopover at the Warwick service area on the M40 last week, I asked for a piece of toast to be buttered before scrambled egg was deposited on it.
The server handed the toast to one of the kitchen staff who looked blank for a while, until a supervisor came over and explained how to do it.
Seeking a friendly renegotiation
Big chiefs in hotel companies may have telephone-number salaries but, by today's standards, top dogs at Friendly Hotels are earning peanuts.
On hearing what rivals are earning (Caterer, 9 April, page 7), the company's financial PR tells me that chief executive Tony Potter, on £145,000, is considering asking for a pay rise.