What the weekend papers say

by Bob Gledhill , Monday 6th December 2004 10:18

A round-up of the weekend's news affecting the hospitality industry...

Full service restaurants on trains facing the end of the line
The last British railway line to offer a full restaurant service throughout the day is facing a review of catering that could see silver service being replaced by pre-packed sandwiches. Several of the companies bidding for the East Coast Main Line franchise are considering reducing the number of restaurants on services between King’s Cross and Edinburgh, with plans to save millions of pounds a year by offering only light snacks on some trains. – The Times, 4 December

Pub chain says unpronounceable wines are practically unsaleable
Tongue-tied tipplers stick to chardonnay because Footballers’ Wives on television taught them how to say it correctly, according to a survey of its customers’ inhibitions by Chef & Brewer. The chain complains that some wines’ names are so unpronounceable as to render them practically unsaleable. – The Times, 4 December

Top chefs rally round David Nicholls to write book
Forty-two of the world's leading chefs are to contribute recipes they use at home in a cookery book to help raise £2m for the spinal charity set up by David Nicholls, executive chef at the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London. Nicholls’ son is now paralysed from the arms down after breaking his neck in a swimming accident. The chefs include Gordon Ramsay, the Roux brothers, Heston Blumenthal and Raymond Blanc. – Sunday Telegraph, 5 December

Two Scottish restaurants tipped for second Michelin star
Industry insiders are strongly tipping two of Scotland’s leading chefs, Andrew Fairlie of Gleneagles and Martin Wishart, who runs his own restaurant in Edinburgh, to gain two Michelin stars when the new guide is published next month. Tipped for one-star status is the Silver Darlings in Aberdeen. – Scotland on Sunday, 5 December

Bewley’s coffee shops may be saved
Ireland’s biggest coffee chain, Insomnia, is exploring the possibility of taking over Bewley's coffee shops, which controversially closed their doors last week after almost 115 years in business. The Insomnia Coffee Company is looking at whether it can keep alive Bewley's cafes on Grafton Street and Westmoreland Street in Dublin. – Sunday Irish Independent, 5 December

Dublin coffee chain plans to double its outlets
Cafe Java, the Irish coffee bar chain established by Kieran Mulligan in 1992, is planning to double its number of outlets in Dublin to eight within two years as part of a €1m (£690,000) expansion programme. – Sunday Times (Irish edition), 5 December

Wagamama eyes expansion to USA and New Zealand
Wagamama plans to double the number of its restaurants in Britain within three years to 50, as well as expanding to America and New Zealand. It already has franchises in Australia, Ireland, Holland and Dubai. – Mail on Sunday, 5 December

Computers to blame for obesity, not fast food
A report by the British Marketing Research Bureau lays the blame for the UK’s epidemic of youth obesity at the door of the computer industry, not fast food restaurants. Instead of burning off calories on sport, today’s young teens spend their time computer gaming and chatting to each other over the internet, according to the report. – The Business, 5 December


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