Friday Wrap: A round-up of the week's hospitality news

by Chris Druce, Friday 12th December 2008 14:11

Although the Holiday Inn Kensington has banned festive Slade hit Merry Christmas Everyone, here at Caterer Group we’re festering quite nicely, oh yes.

Our advent calendar giveaway is in full swing – much as the Caterer Christmas party will be next Friday – and today you can win a Merlin Entertainment family pass.

On Saturday we have lunch for two at Alan Murchison’s La Becasse restaurant in Ludlow to be won and on Sunday it's a three-course set lunch for two at London’s Greenhouse with Champagne on arrival, which is courtesy of MARC restaurant group. So go on, you’re worth it!  
 
Simply click on the corresponding date on our advent calendar to be in with a chance of winning these and other great prizes in the run in to Christmas. It really is that easy.

Of course, many operators are currently worrying how they’ll stay afloat and the latest report from analysts Deloitte predicts Christmas trade will be tough for pubs and restaurants as consumers cap their spending due to the economy’s woes.

Despite all of this, restaurant operators questioned advice suggesting they must offer discounts to keep their heads above water.

Of course if you’re a hotel operator in flooded Venice, staying afloat has a quite different but no less critical connation.

Bespoke Hotels became the latest suitor to emerge for some of collapsed Folio Hotel’s estate in a week that saw pub giants Punch Taverns and Enterprise Inns forced to defend the beer tie in front of an influential committee of politicians.

Belt tightening amongst clients is starting to put contract caterers under real pressure, although Compass’s ability to offer an excellent service while keeping things tight was the reason given for being retained by charity the Wellcome Trust in a multi-million pound contract extension.

Chef Gary Rhodes is planning a worldwide restaurant expansionalthough strictly no more dancing – and those with an eye on following in Rhodes’s footsteps were invited to enter Nestle’s Toque d’Or 2009.

The Food Standards Agency’s surprise endorsement of a six-tier “scores on the doors” scheme for restaurants and pubs raised eyebrows and attracted plenty of criticism from hospitality trade associations, while restaurant Cipriani London was told to change its name after losing a trademark battle with the owners of the Cipriani hotel in Venice.

And while Michelin-starred chef Michael Caines was being targeted by animal rights activists over his use of foie gras, budget hotel chain Travelodge has budget supermarket Lidl in its sights having already felt the Aldi effect.  
  

Editor's Pick 
Anton Mosimann video interview
Italian restaurant Rossopomodoro capitalises on X Factor fun
Compass signed up at Cardiff FC?
Carluccio interview leaves chef and restaurant group displeased 

 
Quote of the Week 
“You’re absolutely off your rocker if you project like-for-like growth next year.”
Robin Rowland, chief executive, Yo! Sushi. 


By Chris Druce


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