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

by Chris Druce, Friday 20th March 2009 14:32

If you'd had a flutter and backed Compass Group to win the race to become sole supplier to Jockey Club Racecourses, you’d be smiling as much as the contract caterer’s management undoubtedly are at the moment.

Of course there are good tips and bad tips and, currently, non-cash tips that some restaurants use to top up staff wages with. Regardless of the ethics of the practice, the British Hospitality Association was clear this week: outlaw the practice during the recession and up to 45,000 industry jobs could go

Perhaps an exaggeration, perhaps not, but given the perilous state of the economy can the Government truly risk gambling either way? We’ll find out soon enough.

One thing the bookies certainly didn't see coming was the announcement of a new UK chief executive at contract caterer Sodexo a mere year after the last incumbent took the post.

Away from the tipping debate but no less controversial, the Government wasn't keen on minimum pricing for alcohol to counter binge drinking, but at least one trade body suggested a ban on below-cost alcohol sales (supermarkets cover your ears) might be the way forward.

Looking to the future, Michelin-starred chef/restaurateur Michael Caines has set himself the seemingly Olympic task of having ten restaurants by 2012.

In fact, although it’s tough out there, activity in the hospitality sector goes on with Travelodge snapping up 12 sites and the Inc Group opening the well named Attic bar on top of a very tall tower in London’s Docklands.

Restaurateur Atul Kochhar, the man behind London’s Benares, thinks the UAE might be his next stop and closer to home developers are looking for a couple of hotel operators in Stoke on Trent.

Read all about it! Peyton & Byrne won a deal at the British Library.

Elior's Mike Audis believes the recession brings with it opportunities, but hotel operators were accused of being in denial by experts about the repercussions of the global financial crisis, at the International Investment Forum in Berlin.

Feeling blue? Well you can always enter the raffle to win a Midlands gastropub, which surely beats the usual toiletries or bottle of plonk. 


Editor's Pick 
Gourmet Abu Dhabi video highlights
Brown's hotel up for sale?
Hoteliers look to the long term for market recovery
Getting ready to watch The Apprentice? My money's on the hospitality hopefuls


Quote of the Week 
"All along, people have failed to get the measure of this downturn. It is fully global, and don't expect China to bail us out."
Economist Roger Bootle reminds hoteliers why he got the nickname "Dr Death".


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