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Christmas party pickings likely to be leaner than 2008 – For more hospitality stories, see what the weekend papers say

23 November 2009 by
Christmas party pickings likely to be leaner than 2008 – For more hospitality stories, see what the weekend papers say

Christmas party pickings likely to be leaner than 2008
Read the full article in the Independent >>
Compass's Lloyds win from Aramark worth £100m
Compass will this week confirm that the lucrative contract with Lloyds Banking Group that it won from Aramark, as reported in Caterersearch earlier this month, is worth £100m. The five-year deal will see Compass's Eurest division catering at 78 Lloyds sites and incorporates a profit-share element. The announcement will be made alongside its annual results, which are expected to show a 35% boost in profits to £766m, up from £566m in 2008. The group's shares closed at just below 400p on Friday, valuing the company at £7.4b. - 22 November, Read the full article in the Sunday Times >>

Delia Smith awarded CBE by Prince of Wales TV celebrity chef and author Delia Smith described her CBE - which she collected from the Prince of Wales at Buckingham Palace - as a 'sort of a tribute to home cooks all over Britain'. Smith, 68, has sold 20 million books worldwide since her first recipe book was published in 1971, while her TV cooking shows, which began two years later, boosted the sale of many ingredients and gadgets featured. "The media of television is such a powerful way to teach people. It takes 800 words to tell someone how to make an omelette but takes one minute to show them," said Smith about the popularity of her TV shows, adding jokingly, "I've spent 40 years doing what I do and people are still afraid to cook - I've failed in many ways." Smith has made a one-hour Christmas special that will be broadcast later this year. - ­ 20 November, Read the full article in the Daily Telegraph >> Soho House delivers 19% boost to annual profits
Soho House, the boutique hotel and private members' club group owned by Nick Jones and clothing tycoon and restaurateur Richard Caring, has boosted underlying profits for 2009 by 19% to £6.7m on sales that advanced by 15% to £61m. Soho House opens the 39-bedroom Dean Street townhouse and brasserie in London this week and has three new venues planned for the USA next year - Soho West Hollywood in March, the 41-bedroom Soho House Berlin hotel, club and Cecconi's restaurant in April, and Soho House Miami in September. - 22 November, Read the full article in the Sunday Times >> Staff stay on to rebuild Mumbai hotel attacked by terrorists The manager of the Taj Mahal Palace hotel in Mumbai has stayed on to lead the hotel's renovation even though his wife and two sons were killed in the three-day terrorist siege of the hotel last November. Karambir Kang said the attack had brought together the hotel's 452 staff, who also stayed on after the attack that left 31 colleagues and guests dead. The actions of Kang and his staff, who remained at their posts during the assault, saved 700 lives and duty manager Warren Siqueira saved more than 200 by barricading guests in the banqueting room for nine hours. Kang said renovating the hotel had helped him start rebuilding his life. "I needed direction and purpose and right now that's to rebuild the Taj and make it the finest hotel in the world," he said. The hotel officially reopened last December but will fully reopen next summer. -22 November 22, Read the full article in the Sunday Times >> Pension deficit at M&B feared to have more than doubled
Industry sources report that pub operator Mitchells & Butlers' pension trustees have prepared a board report showing that its pension deficit has soared to £625m, up from around £250m in March 2007. M&B declined to comment, and insiders believe the new pension fund valuation will not be announced alongside the group's full-year results this Thursday. The next formal review of the pension fund will be on 31 March, 2010. - 21 November, Read the full article in the Daily Telegraph >>
ISS Mediclean managers arrested for blackmailing foreign workers
Three managers at ISS Mediclean have been arrested on suspicion of blackmailing foreign colleagues at Kingston Hospital in South-west London after police and immigration officials raided the company's office at the hospital to investigate alleged illegal labour. ISS Mediclean is part of the ISS group that supplies up to 400 staff to the NHS hospital to handle the catering, cleaning, car parking and security. It is alleged that the managers had threatened to report foreign workers to the UK Border Agency. A spokesman for ISS said the company was "co-operating fully" with the inquiries. - 20 November, Read the full article in The Times >> New rules on Scotch whisky labelling come into force
New whisky regulations that came into force today have been hailed as 'landmark legislation' by the Scottish Whisky Association, which claims it will protect its key industries. "We cannot allow others to trade off our good name and to pass off inferior whisky as being produced in Scotland. These regulations will help protect whisky customers across the globe," said a spokesman. Whiskies must now carry a category description - such as 'blended Scotch whisky' - to provide drinkers with clear and consistent information, while the term 'pure malt' will be banned to prevent it being used to imply blends are superior to single malts. Single malt whisky will have to be bottled in Scotland and there is new protection for regional names, clear rules on statements about age, and protection for Scotch from unfair competition. - 22 November, Read the full article in Scotland on Sunday >> By Angela Frewin

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