HOPES are rising that the hospitality industry is to be excluded from proposals which would put an end to the practice of asking for deposits for hotel bookings or restaurant functions. Cold-calling and direct mail sales methods would also be severely restricted.
Next week the European Commission will debate an amendment which would exclude accommodation, catering, entertainment and transport from its distance selling directive.
The original draft of the directive excluded any service relying on reservations, but the European parliament removed the exclusion last July.
PRET à Manger, the sandwich and salad bar chain, has opened its first franchised outlets in Croydon and London's West End, with a further two scheduled to open in the capital in the next two months.
A spokesman for the chain said it planned to expand from its present 17 outlets to 75 over the next 18 months, with half the new outlets being franchises.
A company-operated outlet is scheduled to open in Selfridges food hall in March, while the largest outlet, at 4,000sq ft, will open in April at the Queensmere shopping centre in Slough, Buckinghamshire.
HOSPITALITY businesses are slowly introducing good environmental practice but most are finding it difficult because of a lack of information, according to a survey by Wastebusters consultancy and the HCIMA.
The survey of 50 hotels, contract caterers, colleges and hospitals, found 63% had an environmental policy statement, but 80% felt they lacked specialist knowledge.