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Jamie Oliver's fruity language to be toned down – For more hospitality stories, see what the weekend papers say

15 December 2008 by

Jamie Oliver's fruity language to be toned down, says producers
Read the full article in the Mail on Sunday >>
The beeping Jamie Oliver>>

Starbucks puts UK coffee shops on the market as sales slide Starbucks, the biggest coffee bar operator across Europe, has put a number of its UK coffee shops on the market after the worsening economy dragged its sales down by 5%. The group - whose share price has slumped to $9.36 from a high of $30 two years ago - has already closed almost 700 outlets in the US and Australia. Although the chain's ability to ride out the last downturn in 2001 won it a recession-proof image, it now faces increased competition from rivals such as McDonald's, Dunkin' Donuts, Costa Coffee, Caffè Nero and Caffè Ritazza, which have begun producing freshly ground coffee. Starbucks, which two years ago announced plans to open 40,000 new stores worldwide, said it still saw the UK market as a long-term growth opportunity. - 14 December, Read the full article in Scotland on Sunday >>

Barclay brothers withdrew investments from Sark
The billionaire Barclay brothers have angered the residents of Sark and puzzled business analysts by closing down their hotels, restaurants and other businesses on the Channel Island after elections to modernise the last feudal society in Western Europe rejected their fast-track reforms. It emerged yesterday that the Ritz hotel owners do not plan to sell their hotels or restaurants but will mothball them until further notice. This decision prevents them reopening under new ownership and throws 140 people out of work on an island with just 600 residents and no welfare system. The move has baffled analysts when other parts of the Barclay's empire are contracting. They own the loss-making Telegraph Media Group, losses from their property empire almost trebled in 2007, and recent accounts from Ellerman Investments (which includes London's Ritz hotel) reveal losses of £25m in 2007 compared with £8.7million in 2006. The brothers had been investing £5m a year in Sark. - 14 December, Read the full article in the Sunday Express >>
Whitbread well-placed to ride out recession, says Parker Whitbread boss Alan Parker is confident his trimmed-down budget hotel and coffee shop business is well-placed to ride out the hard years ahead. In an interview with the Sunday Times Andrew Davidson, Parker predicted, "We are going to have a difficult couple of years, but long term we are going to double the size of Costa and increase Premier Inn by 50% and we can clearly see those market opportunities." Parker, who received a CBE on Friday, transformed the former brewer from a ragtag of brands by pulling out of the TGI Friday, Pizza Hut and Marriott hotel brands and selling the David Lloyd leisure clubs. Group sales grew by 13% in the 39 weeks to 27 November, and Parker says Premier Inn enjoys highest occupancy and the highest return on capital in the sector. Parker plans to make the group's remaining restaurant brands (Beefeater, Brewers Fayre, Table Table and the new Taybarns concept) as popular with customers as Premier Inn and Costa, which will expand further overseas. - 14 December, Read the full article in the Sunday Times>>

Mumbai hotel attacked by terrorists to reopen next Sunday
The luxury Taj Mahal Palace, one of two hotels attacked by Islamist terrorists, is to reopen next Sunday. The gunmen took guests hostages inside the 105-year-old hotel over a three-day siege and battled with commandos. "To reopen the Taj with such speed but with no loss of attention to details, shows our resolve to commemorate all the innocent and brave people who lost their lives during the terrorist attacks," said Raymond Bickson, managing director and chief executive of the Indian Hotels Company, part of Indian conglomerate Tata. - 14 December, Read the full article in Scotland on Sunday>>

Surinder Arora urges employees to remain vigilant in the wake of Mumbai bombs>>

Bank lenders buy stakes in Orchid pubs HBOS and Deutsche Bank, the two main lenders to the Orchid Group, have taken minority stakes in the pub operator in return for relaxed banking covenants. The move followed Orchid's appointment of accountant Price Waterhouse Coopers to work on its financial restructure. The deal will see Orchid handing 27 of its 287 pubs (which include the Bar Room Bar chain) back to their former tenants or landlords. Orchid was formed in 2006 when buyout firm GI Partners bought nearly 300 pubs from Punch for £570m in a transaction that included about £500m of debt. GI said the new deal would help it trade through the downturn and buy struggling pubs. - 14 December, Read the full article in the Sunday Times>>

By Angela Frewin

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