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

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Friday Wrap: A round-up of the week’s hospitality news
Written by:

Don’t Panic! Sage advice featured in both Dad’s Army and the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and now by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) in an attempt to diffuse the hysteria rapidly building around swine flu.

The WTTC certainly isn’t dismissing the risks of the flu becoming a pandemic but warned that too heavy handed an approach would really hurt a global tourism industry already laid low by the global recession.

VisitBritain was also playing things down and for now the consensus seems to be that swine flu’s likely impact on the UK tourism industry remains low for now

Perhaps swine flu was discussed at the first Tourism Advisory Council meeting chaired by tourism minister Barbara Follett.

Congratulations to Laura Rhys from Hotel TerraVina, who this week won Sommelier of the Year 2009.

More chances to win arrived this week as the RSPCA opened entries to its annual Good Business Awards, which recognise ethical business approaches to animal welfare. The charity has this year widened its restaurant category to include a pub award.

Meanwhile, OCS set its sights on the catering market while leisure venue caterers were told to set theirs a little higher in general.

Still, it’s always good to see people accept constructive criticism, as in the case of the bods behind West London mega mall Westfield, who are also looking for yet more restaurants to add to their already impressive line-up.

Desperate times call for desperate measures and Punch Taverns, the UK’s biggest pub co, announced this week that it was putting more than 1,000 of its struggling pubs into a turnaround division. So squeaky bum time there then and a pint of something strong please, barman.

Don’t be glum, Michel Roux Jr is headlining an ambitious new project between Compass Group and the Royal Society of Chartered Surveyors, which will see the launch of a public restaurant in Parliament Square, London, later this year.

And fellow French culinary heavyweight Raymond Blanc is back at the business he lends his name to, Maison Blanc.

And remember, for every prediction of hotel Armageddon there’s a cheese supplier saved. You can never have too much cheese, after all. 

Editor’s Pick 
Join the debate at Caterersearch’s new discussion forum, Table Talk
Why do celebrities think they can run restaurants?
Apprentice bloodshed
Caterersearch Industry Resources 

Quote of the Week 
“Anyone who says they are not discounting [hotel rates] is missing one word – yet”
Hotel consultant Melvin Gold talking at Caterer’s roundtable

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