Teams from the University of Central Lancashire's department of hospitality and tourism and from the Holiday Inn, Telford, Shropshire, have won places in the finals of the National Caterer & Hotelkeeper Business Challenge 1994/95.
The fifth set of regional finals, held on 14 and 15 January, were hosted by Manchester Metropolitan University's department of hotel, catering and tourism management - Hollings Faculty.
The teams had to make business decisions over a two-year "period" in a direct-entry service-based management simulation program (HOTS)devised by Total Simulator Co, which runs the challenge for Caterer & Hotelkeeper and Moât & Chandon.
The Saturday heat brought together teams from Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds and Preston.
Manchester Metropolitan University itself fielded a team of three undergraduates - Claire Hawkins, Helen Miller and Karen Shakespeare. At the end of the first "year's" trading, this home team led the field with a clear margin of more than £80,000 net profit.
Year two saw a change of fortunes. The team from Ashridge - assistant bars manager Paul Miles, deputy head chef Lawrence McCarthy, and chef Jeremy Ward - came up into third place.
In second position was a team from the School of Tourism and Hospitality Management at Leeds Metropolitan University: programme development manager Rai Shacklock, faculty teacher Clare Stoney, and lecturer Helen Danvers.
But the day's winners, with a clear £100,000 lead, were the University of Central Lancashire team: lecturer Karl Russell, with undergraduates Russell Alexandre and David Lewis.
Day two's competitors were hit by flu and of the original nine teams only five made it to the heat, but the game was no less competitive. Early leaders were Manchester's Victoria & Albert Hotel team: rooms division/personnel manager Adrian Ellis, food and beverage manager Peter Fancy, and executive chef John Benson Smith.
However, pressure was to tell and, slowly but surely, their margin of success was worn down. By the end of the second year they were in third place.
In second place was the team from Ashridge: reception services manager Julie Robinson, assistant housekeeper Wendy Cawley, and head driver Sheryn Lee. Their clear thinking and steady nerve in the last quarters paid dividends.
It was not enough, however, to stop the Holiday Inn, Telford, who came up from fourth place in year one to win the day. The team consisted of managing director James Ford, accounts manager Robert Rudge and operations manager Stephen Lovett.
Both qualifying teams go forward to the national finals in the spring.