Food industry condemns EU plans to sell food by weight, not number – For more hospitality stories, see what the weekend papers say

28 June 2010 by
Food industry condemns EU plans to sell food by weight, not number – For more hospitality stories, see what the weekend papers say

Food industry condemns EU plans to sell food by weight, not numberMail on Sunday and the Sunday Telegraph>>
Public sector cuts likely to hit Greene King star Belhaven
Greene King's financial results this week will focus all eyes on Belhaven, the Scottish brewer and operator that has proved Greene King's star performer since its acquisition in 2005. Greene King chief executive Rooney Anand has warned that big cuts in public spending would hit Scotland disproportionately in the form of redundancies and reduced consumer spending. The Scottish business, which has more than 300 pubs, outperformed Greene King's English pubs in the 49 weeks to 11 April, boosting like-for-like sales by 5.6% against a general downturn of 3.6%. However, Belhaven's sales growth has slowed from 10% in the first half of the year to 1.7% in the second. Greene King is expected to announce pre-tax profits of £124m on Thursday, up from £118.5m in the previous year. - 27 June, Read the full article in Scotland on Sunday >> ](

KFC abandons halal-only menus at five sites
Fast-food chain KFC is to abandon a pilot of halal-only menus in five stores due to poor sales. The change also follows protests from thousands of customers about lack of choice. KFC launched the trial of halal-only menus at 100 of its 750 takeaways last April in a bid to attract more Muslim customers. Participating outlets sell only poultry killed by hand according to traditional Islamic rules and have removed pork from the menu, enraging many fans of the KFC Big Daddy chicken burger with bacon. The five takeaways reverting to standard menus on 19 July are in Accrington, Lancashire; Old Kent Road, London; Hyde Road, Manchester; Burton-on-Trent in Staffordshire; and Colne in Lancashire, where thousands of customers joined a Facebook group called No Halal at Colne KFC. "We introduced our trial in areas where we expected a large demand for halal restaurants, and as with any trial, we continually evaluate results, and adapt as necessary," said a KFC spokesman. "We are continuing our trial in other areas and are still offering halal in 96 restaurants, and will review the trial over the coming months.' - 26 June, [Read the full article in the Daily Mail >>](

Explosion at Brakes food depot injures 28
Twenty-eight people were injured in an explosion at a Brakes food depot in Tamworth, Staffordshire, after a small amount of ammonia leaked out during routine maintenance work on a freezer. The engineer carrying out the maintenance suffered 15% burns and was taken to hospital while another 21 people were treated on site and discharged. The accident at Brakes, a major supplier to the catering and hospitality sectors, took place just before noon on Friday. - 26 June, [Read the full article in the Guardian >>](

Fifi and Ally café bar owner goes into liquidation
ESB Scotland, the company behind stylish Glasgow café bar outlets Fifi and Ally, has gone into liquidation at the request of German property firm Internationales Immobilien Institut, with Glasgow accountant French Duncan appointed interim liquidator by the sheriff. Although the outlet in Wellington Street closed last month, the shop in Princes Square continues to trade. Fiona Hamilton, the entrepreneur behind Fify and Ally, also owns coffee chain Beanscene, which she bought out of administration last year. Last week Hamilton confirmed eight redundancies at Beanscene, although she said the coffee shop chain was trading well. The accounts for Beanscene are believed to be held by Fifi and Ally Baby and, while their accounts were not filed in April when they were due, the most recent figures point to a pre-tax loss of £248,000 on a £1.8m turnover. - 27 June, Read the full article in Scotland on Sunday >>

Public support for smoking ban is growing, finds survey Support for the smoking ban in public places, including restaurants and pubs, has grown since the legislation was introduced three years ago, according to the latest survey by YouGov on behalf of anti-smoking organization Ash. It found that the ban on lighting up in the workplace is backed by 80% of the public, up from 70% in 2007, and by half of all smokers, with just one in six smokers strongly opposing it. "England's smoke-free law has been a huge success and has attracted more support with each passing year since it was implemented," said Martin Dockrell, director of research and policy at Ash, which claimed there is no objective evidence that hospitality overall has suffered as a result of the regulations. But Simon Clark, director of smokers' lobby group Forest, dismissed the claim as "ridiculous". "The evidence is staring people in the face," he said. "Thousands of pubs have closed since the ban was introduced." The survey also found that a substantial majority of smokers and non-smokers would back extending the ban to children's play areas and cars containing children. - 27 June, Read the full article in the Observer >>Doctors to call for ban on alcohol on all public transport
Doctors will debate calls for a complete ban on alcohol on all public transport at the annual conference of the British Medical Association this week. They believe "a properly enforced ban on drunkenness on public transport and a properly enforced ban on the consumption of alcohol on public transport" is needed to prevent rowdy and rude drunks annoying fellow passengers. The proposed ban would include intercity trains and cross-Channel ferries and would roll out nationally London mayor Boris Johnson's move to outlaw drinking on public transport in the capital in 2008. Edinburgh anaesthetist Dr Christine Robison said removing the threat from drunks would encourage more people to use public transport but Alcohol Concern opposed measures it feared would force more drinkers behind the wheel. - 27 June 2010, Read the full article in the Observer >>

Battersea Power Station to float if redevelopment approved
Battersea Power Station is to be floated on the London Stock Exchange if its owner wins planning permission this September for a £4.5b redevelopment of the site. Real Estate Opportunities (REO) acquired the landmark site in 2006 for £400m and its proposals to turn it into a complex of offices, flats and leisure facilities are believed to have won support from central and local London authorities and English Heritage. REO made an underlying loss of £929m in the year to February due largely to an £811m fall in the value of its property. Director Rob Tincknell said the listing was needed to attract investors who were concerned about REO's exposure to the collapsed Irish property market. - 25 June, Read the full article in the Daily Express >>

By Angela Frewin

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