So it really never simply rains if you’re a pub operator, it pours and then some. Compounding a quite miserable few months for the pub trade, MPs this week accused the likes of Enterprise Inns and Punch Taverns of bullying their tenants. Ouch, that’s going to leave a bruise.
Punch and Enterprise did their best to fight their corners as their share-prices bombed on calls from the committee for a full blown Competition Commission investigation into the pub market.
Bottoms up? The Government also confirmed that all-you-can-drink offers will be banned under a new mandatory code on the sale and promotion of alcohol, and came under fire itself for its “draconian” approach to music in licensed premises. Enterprise’s profits were down also in a week chief executive Ted Tuppen will want to forget.
Hotel giant InterContinental Hotels Group saw its profits tumble in the tough global market and Accor’s chairman announced a new streamlined executive board at the French hotel company. Meanwhile, some hotel groups embraced the hard sell to counter the increasingly tough trading environment.
Four restaurant groups and takeaway company Domino’s Pizza joined up to the Food Standards Agency’s healthier meals initiative. How they’ll all feel about an extra 7p an hour on the national minimum wage remains to be seen however.
The hospitality industry cannot afford to cut back on training if it is to recover from the recession. This was the stark warning from sector skills council People 1st, which published a major new survey showing more than half of hospitality operators plan to cut training spend during the recession.
One company heeding People 1st’s advice was BaxterStorey, which launched a Barista Academy to boost staff’s knowledge and coffee skills.
Azure signed on the line to provide catering at Queens Park Rangers football club. But Foliage’s Chris Staines played down reports he had a contract to chef at a luxury hotel near Reading.
Quote of the Week
“Many would see no injustice in this: they would wonder why employers should be entitled to use discretionary tips – probably intended by most customers to go direct to the staff – to satisfy their obligations to pay the national minimum wage.”
Lord Justice Rimer after three Mayfair clubs lost a court case on the use of tips
By Chris Druce