420 hotels and restaurants join campaign against TripAdvisor – For more hospitality stories, see what the weekend papers say

13 September 2010 by
420 hotels and restaurants join campaign against TripAdvisor – For more hospitality stories, see what the weekend papers say

420 hotels and restaurants join campaign against TripAdvisor

Some 420 hotels and restaurants have applied to join online reputation firm KwikChex.com in order to launch a group defamation action against travel site TripAdvisor over allegedly unfair or false reviews of their businesses on its site. As reported earlier in the week on Caterersearch, KwikChex.com is hoping to sign up 1,000 disgruntled UK and US operators by the end of this week. Operators believe some damaging reviews have been falsified by rivals, while others make unverified or unsubstantiated claims of food poisoning, theft, racism and assault, for instance. KwikChex.com, which charges £170 a year for membership, said it would ask TripAdvisor next week to rectify some of the worst criticisms within seven days. If TripAdvisor fails to respond and remove the reviews within a fortnight, a class action is likely to follow. One victim of "malicious" and "false" reviews on TripAdvisor is Louis Nardi of the Royal Sportsman hotel in north Wales, a former Caterer Best for Business company. "When they get a complaint they should have the courtesy to investigate and respond accordingly," he said - 11 and 12 September

Read the full article inthe Independentand theMail on Sunday >>

Join the debate today on Table Talk.

Top 100 restaurants downgrade dress codes

While the Ritz hotel still bans male diners without jackets and ties, the top 100 restaurants are adopting increasingly casual dress codes, according to a report by lastminute.com, which found few now uphold these requirements. Heston Blumenthal's three-Michelin-starred restaurant in Bray topped the list for being most relaxed about customer attire. A spokesman said: "If you want to turn up in a shellsuit and feel comfortable, fine." Equally informal is the Walnut Tree in Monmouthshire, which said it has never had a dress code. Restaurant Gordon Ramsay in Chelsea and Raymond Blanc's Le Manoir Aux Quat'Saisons restaurant in Oxfordshire do not demand jackets or ties but do ban jeans, trainers and sportswear. Le Gavroche in Mayfair, however, does require jackets for men and bans trainers, but not denim. Lucknam Park in Wiltshire is the only top 100 restaurant that prefers (but does not demand) that male diners wear ties - 12 September

Read the full article in the Mail on Sunday >>

Copenhagen hotel blast a suspected terrorist attack

A small explosion at a Danish hotel on Friday may have been an unsuccessful terror attack ahead of the ninth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, say police. The suspected bomber was the only casualty of the blast in the cellar toilet in the Hotel Jorgenson in central Copenhagen. He was taken to Copenhagen University with burns to his face and arms after his arrest in Orsted Park near the hotel after the blast. Officers, who evacuated the hotel and sealed off the park, found a gun in the hotel and remote-controlled cutting pliers on the suspect. The culprit appears to be European or North African, is around 40 years old, and speaks excellent English - 12 September, Read the full article in the Mail on Sunday >>

Real ales sales rise for first time in 50 years

Real ale sales have grown for the first time in half a century, according to the new edition of The Good Beer Guide, which adds that there are now 800 real ale brewers in the UK, the highest number since World War II. Figures from the British Beer and Pub Association show that real ale's share of the £17b beer market rose to 20.6% in 2009, up from 20.4% in 2008, while its slice of the draught beer market rose from 5.8% to 6.1%. Conversely, lager's share of the beer market fell from 74.5% to 74.3%. Real ale has benefited from its increasing use as an accompaniment to food; growing demand for low-strength alcohol and green, locally-sourced products; and the 50% tax relief introduced for smaller brewers in 2002. More sophisticated marketing has also extended its appeal to women and younger people. In 2010, 32% of women and 50% of 25-to-34-year-olds have tried real ale, compared with 16% and 28% respectively in 2008 - 12 October

Read the full article in the Observer >>

Surrey diners gobble up damaging American invader

An American invader that is threatening entire river eco-systems has proved a huge hit with diners in a Surrey village. The American crayfish has spread nationwide since its introduction to Britain in 1963 and is eating up everything in its wake, while its tunneling is damaging canals and dams. But villagers in the village of Shere, on the River Tillingbourne, are fighting back by tucking into a speciality dish, Chilled Tillingbourne Crayfish Bisque with Bloody Mary Ice Cubes and Cucumber Spaghetti, that was added to the menu of the William Bray restaurant six weeks ago. Head chef Mark Routledge said his speciality dish was nearly always sold out. He is supplied by ecologist Jim Storrar, who originally trapped the crayfish for ecological reasons and is now selling them for just £5 per kilo against the usual £14. The alien invaders have wiped out nearly 95% of the smaller native white-clawed crayfish in the past 20 years and Storrar says their appetite will leave animals at the top of the food chain, such as herons and trout, with nothing to eat - 12 September

Read the full article in the Independent on Sunday >>

Coffee prices set to soar within months

Growing global demand, crop shortages in key producing areas and speculators in the futures market are likely to force up the price of a cup of coffee in the coming months, warns The Grocer magazine. Research published in the trade paper said that the price of Arabica beans - favoured by fresh coffee roasters - has soared by 35% over the past year while the Robusta bean popular in instant coffees hit a high of more than $1,800 on the London futures exchange in July as concerns mounted over bad weather in Vietnam, a key producer. Supplier Cafedirect said that, while it had not yet moved its prices, "as input costs continue to rise there's an inevitability of price inflation coming through" while Taylors of Harrogate confirmed that it was already having to pay "much higher prices" for better-quality Arabica coffee - 12 September

Read the full article in the Mail on Sunday >>

Armenian factory makes record-beating chocolate bar

The Grand Candy factory in Armenia has won a place in the Guinness Book of Records after making the world's biggest bar of chocolate to mark its 10th anniversary. The factory unveiled the 9,702lb chocolate bar, containing 70% cocoa mass from Ghana, in the capital city of Yerevan on Saturday. The bar, which is 224 inches long, 110 inches wide and 10 inches thick, beats the previous world record set in Italy. It will be divided up and handed out to members of the public on 16 October - 11 and 12 September

Read the full article in theDaily Expressand theMail on Sunday >>

<span class="Á"noindexÁ"">By Angela Frewin

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