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Jamie Oliver scoops second US series and food deal – For more hospitality stories, see what the weekend papers say

06 September 2010
Jamie Oliver scoops second US series and food deal – For more hospitality stories, see what the weekend papers say

Jamie Oliver scoops second US series and food deal

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver signed a deal with ABC Studios to produce a second series of his US Food Revolution show just days after he won an Emmy for the first run of the series. Oliver's attempts to improve the diets of the residents of Huntington, West Virginia - said to be America's unhealthiest city - proved a surprise hit and was voted the Outstanding Reality Series in the Emmy awards. Filming on the new series - which will switch location to Los Angeles - will begin later this year, while the first series will get its UK airing on Channel 4 from 13 September under the new title, Jamie's American Food Revolution. Separately, Oliver has replaced Marco Pierre White as the face of TSC Food's microwave meals - 4 September

Read the full articles inThe Daily Telegraph,The ScotsmanandThe Daily Mail >>

High hopes for Wagamama auction

The recently agreed sales of Burger King (for £2.7b) and Carluccio's (for £90m) have raised expectations for the £250m auction of Wagamama, which kicks off this week. Owner Lion Capital rejected a £210m bid for the noodle chain three years ago as undervaluing the company. "If you take the Carluccio's price, the fact that the businesses are similar in brand and potential, and apply that to Wagamama, you get to £250m. There's a top-notch management team at Wagamama, too," said an industry source. Information memoranda will be sent to potential bidders this week, with first-round bids due by the end of the month - 5 September

Read the full article inThe Independent on Sunday >>

Wetherspoon to create 1,000 jobs for school leavers

Pub operator JD Wetherspoon has announced plans to recruit young people who are currently struggling to find jobs or university places. It has pledged to create 1,000 jobs for school leavers aged 16 and 17 over the next 12 months at above minimum wage levels. They will serve coffee and food, tidy tables and help in the kitchen but will not serve alcoholic drinks. "People don't think it is a viable option for pubs to employ under-18s] because of the strict legislation on alcohol," said Mandy Ferries, Wetherspoon's head of personnel and training. "But a third of Wetherspoon's business is in food - for instance, we are big now on breakfasts - and there are plenty of opportunities for people of this age to work for the company." The youngsters will be able to study for NVQs and will have the chance to complete a professional diploma and honours degree if they progress to a management role. Wetherspoon is expected to announce on Friday that it has broken the £1b sales barrier after achieving £955.1m last year. The City anticipates underlying pre-tax profits of between £69m and £73m, up from £66.2m in the previous year - 4 and 5 September

Read the full articles in The Independent,The Scotsman, and Scotland on Sunday >>

Payoff wrangle leaves VisitScotland "rudderless"

Politicians fear VisitScotland, the organisation that supports Scotland's £4b tourism industry, has been left with a leadership vacuum as lawyers continue to wrangle over the severance pay for ousted chief executive Philip Riddle, who is yet to be replaced. Riddle who was removed under controversial circumstances in May, earned a basic salary of £160,000 and is in line for a six-figure payoff. Labour tourism spokesman Lewis MacDonald likened the tourism body to a "rudderless ship" while Liberal Democrat finance spokesman Jeremy Purvis agreed that the distraction was "highly damaging". However, VisitScotland's head of communications, Barbara Clark, denied the agency lacked direction, saying that interim chief executive Malcolm Roughead, the former marketing director, was taking VisitScotland in a new direction while a successor to Riddle was sought - 5 September

Read the full article inScotland on Sunday >>

Diageo enrages brewers with "self-serving" alcohol tax plan

Guinness and leading spirits supplier Diageo has enraged brewers by calling for units of alcohol to be taxed at the same rate for all products, a move they fear would raise beer prices while reducing the relative cost of spirits. Brewers have called for Diageo to be kicked out of the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA), which is holding an urgent meeting with Diageo UK chief Simon Litherland this week. In its submission to the Treasury review on alcohol duty, Diageo suggested freezing duty on spirits (currently 22.3p a unit) and bringing wine (18.8p), beer and cider (21.3p) into line via the 2% tax escalator. The BBPA warned this would cost brewers an extra 17p per pint of beer (a 37% increase) and add even more to pub prices. Molson Coors branded the proposal as "self-serving" while JD Wetherspoon lambasted Diageo as a "bunch of morons" and threatened to boycott its products. Brewer SABMiller saw tax equalisation as a "ruse" for making stronger alcohol cheaper relative to weaker alternatives, saying the lower production costs of spirits allowed them to be sold at a lower price per unit unless they were taxed at a higher rate. Diageo insisted its proposals would ensure that alcohol was taxed according to strength, with stronger drinks attracting higher rates -

4 September

Read the full article inThe Daily Telegraph >>

By Angela Frewin

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