Criminals steal data on eight million Best Western guests – For more hospitality stories, see what the weekend papers say

26 August 2008 by
Criminals steal data on eight million Best Western guests – For more hospitality stories, see what the weekend papers say

Criminals steal data on eight million Best Western guests
Hackers have stolen the personal data of up to eight million guests who have stayed at hotels belonging to the Best WesternDaily Telegraph]( and the Daily Mail >>

Fake restaurant wins listing in wine bible
A fake restaurant with a reputed wine cellar of 2,100 bottles was this month added to US wine bible the Wine Spectator's list of global restaurants worthy of its Award of Excellence. But the Osteria L'Intrepido in central Milan was created by wine writer Robin Goldstein to expose what he sees as a lack of rigour in the granting of many food and drink awards. Goldstein also invented a special "reserve wine list" for the restaurant made up of expensive bottles that had previously been panned by the magazine. He created a sham website for the restaurant and wrote a fictitious review on Chowhound, a dining website. Goldstein said the scam raised serious questions about whether food and drink awards were profit-making exercises or genuine attempts to scrutinise each query. This year, the magazine rejected just 319 of the 4,500 restaurants that applied for the award at cost of $250 (£133) per entry. The magazine, which has two million readers worldwide, said it had tried to verify the details by phone and internet. - 23 August 2008, Read the full articles in the [Independent]( and the Daily Telegraph >>

Masala World serves disclaimers to nut-allergy customers The Masala World group of Indian restaurants in London has started serving diners who suffer from nut allergies with 100-word cards warning them that they eat there at their own risk and that the owners cannot be held liable for adverse reactions to its food. The group - which serves more than 800,000 customers a year - says it cannot guarantee that its food is free of all traces of nuts without setting up a separate, sterile kitchen to prepare nut-free dishes. The move followed the threat of legal action from a customer who suffered a bad allergic reaction to a dish that did not use nuts in the recipe. The threat prompted the group to ban allergy sufferers for a week while it reviewed its policy. The cards will be introduced to its five mid-market Masala Zone restaurants this week and will follow shortly in its three up-market eateries Chutney Mary, Veeraswamy and Amaya. - 24 August, Read the full article in the [Mail on Sunday]( >>

Nearly half of NHS Trusts failing to address elderly malnutrition Almost a half of NHS trusts have snubbed steps to prevent elderly patients from becoming malnourished in hospitals. A survey of 110 Trusts found that one in three have not introduced a "red tray" system which alerts nurses to patients who cannot feed themselves; one half of nurses said they were not given enough time to help patients during mealtimes; and 43% of Trusts still allowed doctors to disrupt mealtimes. Up to 30,000 incidents relating to patient nutrition in the past year included patients not being able to reach their food and then having it taken away. The Government has not yet told Trusts that they must introduce protected mealtimes or red tray systems. Age Concern, which says missed meals can be as damaging as missed medication, believes the problem could be even greater as 56 Trusts did not respond to the survey. -25 August, Read the full article in the [Daily Express]( >>

Malmaison and Hotel du Vin may need to slash sale price
City analysts believe the owner of Malmaison and Hotel du Vin may need to lower its price to succeed in its third bid to sell the two boutique hotel chains. Marylebone Warwick Balfour (MWB) has set the sale price at £650m (£350m for Malmaison and at least £300m for Hotel du Vin) which represents a £50m discount on last year. The group tried to sell the underlying assets to REIT Vector Hospitality last year but the fears of a property slump forced Vector to scrap a £2b flotation. It then asked Bank of America to sell the business outright in a move that attracted interest and a rumoured £700m bid from Marriott International, but again the deal fell through. MWB is believed to have asked Bank of America to investigate interested buyers for this third round. In the meantime, Malmaison opens its 12 site in Aberdeen in November while Hotel du Vin will grow to 14 venues in the next four months with openings in Poole, Newcastle and Edinburgh. Chief executive Robert Cook is keen to expand overseas into Europe, the USA and the Middle East. - 24 August, Read the full article in [Scotland on Sunday]( >>

De Vere hotel criticised for basing kids' lunches on their weight
The restaurant at the five-star De Vere Oulton Hall hotel has come under fire for its plans to charge children's Sunday lunches according tothe youngsters' weights. The restaurant near Leeds in West Yorkshire wanted to weigh under-fifteens and charge £1 per stone for their meal. Criticising the plan, the National Obesity Forum said parents risked upsetting their offspring for the sake of a few pounds. Nigel Massey, a spokesman for De Vere, said the plan would be reconsidered. - 24 August, BBCi

Oliver insults Germans over Holocaust and Brits over diet Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver has managed to insult both Germans and Brits on two occasions just days apart. Oliver raised the spectre of the Holocaust when commenting on German objections to Jamie's Fowl Dinners. "We had a lot of complaints about the gassing of chicks from the Germans", Oliver said at the Edinburgh Internationa l Television Conference. "This has gone all round the world and the one country that had a problem with it … I thought f** hell!" Days later, Oliver described England as a nation of beer-guzzling cultural illiterates who had lost their gastronomic traditions. He said Brits now existed on a diet of bland, dreary food eaten in front of widescreen TVs. "I found the cooking of the inhabitants of the slum in Soweto in South Africa a lot more diverse than ours," Oliver told French magazine Paris Match. - 23 and 25 August, Read the full articles in the Independent and [The Times]( - >>

Hilton's return on F1 sponsorship grows by eight timesHilton expects to double its hotel revenue to $5m (£2.7m) this year on the back of the success of the McLaren Formula One team it sponsors, which was today leading the Grand Prix championship in Valencia. Robin Fenwick, Hilton's director of sports sponsorship, Robin Fenwick, said that the group's return on invested has soared eight-fold since the one-to-one return it experienced when the deal began in 2005. The deal, believed to cost Hilton $3m a year, allows the hotel company to monitor its return through reservations made by members of its racing club, which has quadrupled to 20,000 ABC1 members. The group, which is the only hotel company to sponsor Formula One, last week announced a deal based on the same model with the rugby union's Guinness Premiership. - 24 August, Read the full article in the [Independent on Sunday]( >>

By Angela Frewin

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