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GMB proposes beer-tie revolt among tenant landlords – For more hospitality stories, see what the weekend papers say

30 November 2009 by
GMB proposes beer-tie revolt among tenant landlords – For more hospitality stories, see what the weekend papers say

GMB proposes beer-tie revolt among tenant landlords


Premier Inn seeks legal advice over Travlelodge 'refund' campaign
Premier Inn is taking legal advice over a campaign launched by rival budget hotel operator Travelodge that claims Premier Inn has overcharged thousands of its customers who booked its promotional £29-a-night room on the internet. Travelodge has emailed Premier Inn customers urging them to sign a petition demanding a refund on a website set up by its PR company. Travelodge has also written to the Advertising Standards Agency to complain about Premier Inn's promotional campaign. Travelodge is claiming that customers using Quick Book had less than a 1% chance of finding a £29 room, compared with a 24% chance from clicking on a Premier Offer banner. A spokeswoman for Premier Inn owner Whibread dismissed Travelodge's claims as a 'PR stunt' based on 'a factually incorrect, misleading and unfair comparison'. - 29 November, Read the full article in the Observer >> M&B shareholder blocks appointment of new chairman The appointment of a new non-executive chairman at Mitchells & Butlers has been blocked by the pub operator's biggest shareholder, Bahamas-based billionaire Joe Lewis. Lewis, who acquired his 23% stake in M&B from Robert Tchenguiz, has used his influence to prevent the appointment of Archie Norman - who was this month named as chairman of ITV - as M&B chairman. Analysts fear that Lewis's growing influence - he recently voted against the company's remuneration scheme and a proposed issue of new shares - is creating friction on the board. - 29 November, Read the full article in the Sunday Times >> Toby Carvery wins 40,000 Facebook friends
Toby Carvery, the 133-strong pub group owned by Mitchells & Butlers, has won 40,000 Facebook 'friends' through its value-for-money offers. Chief executive Adam Fowler said the group was now conducting focus groups on the social networking site to get instant feedback on new ideas. Around 80% of Toby's Facebook friends have supplied personal details such as date of birth, e-mail address and mobile phone number and the company is now planning to launch a Toby app. Facebook has generated half a million Christmas enquiries for M&B brands. - 27 November, Read the full article in The Times >>
Michelin-starred chefs on menu at Edinburgh's Christmas food fair
Top Michelin-starred chefs will be running masterclasses at next weekend's Foodies Christmas food fair, which takes place at Edinburgh's Assembly Rooms. Festive tips will be passed on by cupcake bakers, chocolatiers and leading chefs such as Jeff Bland from the Balmoral, Paul Tamburrini from One Devonshire Gardens and Tony Borthwick from the Plumed Horse in Leith. Top Edinburgh mixologist Sam Kershaw will also hold cocktail lessons at the fair, which brings together more than 90 stall holders. - 29 November, Read the full article in the Sunday Times >>

Sacked dinner lady who exposed bullies to appeal to tribunal
A primary school dinner lady who was sacked after warning a pupil's parents that their seven-year old daughter had been seriously bullied at school is considering appealing to an industrial tribunal after school governors rejected her appeal for reinstatement. Carol Hill, 60, was sacked from Great Tey Primary School in Essex in September after she told parents her daughter had been tied to a fence and whipped with skipping ropes by four boys, leaving her with rope burns on her leg and wrist. Hill was dismissed for a "breach of confidentiality" by the school, which allegedly tried to gloss over the incident. It has also emerged that one of the alleged bullies is the son of a school governor. A spokeswoman for union Unison said Hill had a 'really strong case'. - 28 November, See the full articles in the Independent and the Daily Mail >>
Charge hotel guests for energy use, says climate change chairman
Hotel guests should pay for the electricity they use while restaurants should stop serving iced water to all their customers, says the chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Rajendra Pachauri who will make a keynote speech at the Copenhagen summit on climate change, said these were examples of the radical shifts in values towards 'sustainable consumption' that had to be made to avert global disaster. Measuring hotel guests' use of air conditioning or heating with an in-room meter and charging it to their accounts was the kind of change, he said, that would ensure people started to become accountable for their actions. Pachauri also condemned the enormous waste made by restaurants who served iced water to customers who had not ordered it. - 29 November 2009, Read the full article in the Observer >>

Japanese fugu chefs reject non-lethal breed of puffer fish Scientists in Japan believe they have ended the Russian roulette of eating 'torafugu' by breeding a non-lethal fugu (or puffer fish) - but many top fugu chefs say they prefer to take their chances with the potentially toxic wild fish. Puffer fish contain a toxin in their liver or ovaries that is 1,200 times more toxic than cyanide and kills within minutes by paralysing nerves and stopping the lungs. Fugu chefs see themselves as an elite group - they must undergo three years of training followed by a test that just 35% pass - and they are traditionally bound to commit ritual suicide with their fish knifes if a customer dies after eating one of their meals. Although an aquaculture company in Ehime has raised 50,000 non-poisonous fish, many fugu chefs remain unconvinced by their appeal. "It's obviously more than a little exciting to go to a restaurant knowing that it might be the last meal that you ever eat," said Shinichi Ueshima, chef at the Dote fugu restaurant in Yokohama. "Where is the enjoyment in eating something that has no risk in it?" - 28 November, Read the full article in the Daily Telegraph >>

By Angela Frewin

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