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Credit munch hits sandwich shops and cafés – For more hospitality stories, see what the weekend papers say

10 November 2008 by

Credit munch hits sandwich shops and cafés
9 November, Read the full article in the Independent on Sunday >>

Credit crunch puts the squeeze on Christmas party plans The corporate events market is shrinking this Christmas as companies scale back their party plans in the wake of the economic gloom. Several banks are not paying for staff Christmas parties, while others are reining in their festive budgets. According to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, Christmas parties or lunches are planned by just 67% of manufacturers and 77% of private sector companies (compared with 84% in 2007). London's Grosvenor House hotel has experienced a couple of cancellations and more bookings for all-inclusive events that are easier to budget for, while the Natural History Museum said clients were booking just a month in advance (against six months in the past) and favouring cheaper catering packages. Exclusive party planner the Admirable Crichton has responded to the tighter climate with the launch of a DIY canapé kit, priced £10 for 12 canapés, which can be assembled or cooked in the office.
- 8 November, Read the full article in The Times >>

Travelodge launches £5m-round of price cuts Budget hotel chain Travelodge is cutting its room rates by an average 10% across 15 UK cities for the rest of 2008. The move is part of a £5m package of price cuts the company plans in response to the economic downturn. The group, which has 350 UK hotels and accommodated 6.5 million people in its rooms last year, is also selling some bedrooms for next spring at just £9. Managing director Guy Parsons also revealed that the growing number of hotels forced onto the market by the severe financial climate has aided expansion plans at Travelodge, which has bought out many struggling operators. Recent figures from PricewaterhouseCoopers revealed a 150% surge in hotel insolvencies between the end of 2006 and October 2008. - 9 November, Read the full article on the BBC website >>

Rentokil finance director to quit
Troubled catering and pest control firm Rentokil has surprised investors by announcing the departure of its financial director Andrew Macfarlane just seven months into the group's five-year turnaround plan. His departure next February was not mentioned last Friday when the group announced a 73% fall in third-quarter profits to £16.6m. Macfarlane will be the last of the Rentokil old guard to quit the company. The group recently allayed fears over its debt facilities through a restructure that bought it breathing space and raised £125m. Rentokil said it would pay a £250m bond that matures this month from existing credit facilities, giving it guarantees of more than £350m until January 2010. - 9 November, Read the full article in the Sunday Times >>

Armed robber holds up Essex McDonald's
Customers at a McDonald's in Waltham Abbey, Essex, fled when a masked robber entered the fast-food restaurant carrying a small handgun on Friday. The robber threatened staff before taking money from the till and running off, dropping some of the cash as he escaped. Essex Police, who are appealing for witnesses, said they were looking for a tall black man wearing a ski mask and hooded top. - 9 November, Read the full article on BBC News >>

By Angela Frewin

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