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One in three mothers with young children turned away by restaurants – For more hospitality stories, see what the weekend papers say

14 February 2011 by
One in three mothers with young children turned away by restaurants – For more hospitality stories, see what the weekend papers say

One in three mothers with young children turned away by restaurants
More than nine out of 10 mothers have struggled to find a child-friendly restaurant in the high street, and one in three have been turned away because they have a toddler, according to a new report by Plum Foods, parenting website Gurgle.com and Harden's restaurant guides. It said restaurants feared that crying babies or playing toddlers would upset adult customers. Mothers faced other hurdles eating out, according to the report: "Major problems regularly encountered included restaurants with nothing to keep babies and toddlers entertained, no baby changing facilities and no high chairs." Harden's is publishing the first national guide to child-friendly restaurants, Eating Out with Babies & Toddlers
Read the full article in theMail on Sunday >>

De Vere and Malmaison owner in sale talks
Alternative Hotels Group (AHG) - which owns De Vere hotels, the Malmaison and Hotel du Vin boutique chains, Village Hotels and Greens Health & Fitness - has started talks with real estate advisers DTZ and Gerard Nolan & Partners about a possible sale of all or part of the group. A source told The Mail on Sunday: "Discussions are taking place to sell the group for about £800 million or to cherrypick some of the portfolio for disposal." AHG is a joint venture between HBOS (now part of Lloyds Banking Group) and eight investors headed by chief executive Richard Balfour-Lynn, who insisted the group was not for sale. Lloyds swapped £65m of debt for preference shares in AHG last March, reducing its debt from £1.7b to just in excess of £1b. - 12 February
Read the full article in theMail on Sunday >>

Simon Burke to succeed John Lovering as M&B chairman
Simon Burke, deputy chairman at pub operator Mitchells & Butlers (M&B), has been promoted to replace outgoing chairman John Lovering. Burke joined the M&B board in January 2010 following a boardroom coup staged by majority shareholders in the group. He is also chairman of HobbyCraft and a non-executive director of the BBC. - 12 February
Read the full article in theIndependent on Sunday >>

Jamie Oliver - British kids ‘wet' compared with East Europeans
Jamie Oliver has found British teenagers to be "wet" and workshy compared with their East European counterparts, following his efforts to motivate 20 failing pupils with the help of celebrity teachers in his new Channel Four series, Jamie's Dream School. "I am an employer of 350 chefs, and when it comes to the 16- to 20-year-olds we see at the moment, I've never experienced such a wet generation. I'm embarrassed to look at British kids. You get their mummies phoning up and saying: ‘He's too tired, you're working him too hard' - even the butch ones," complained Oliver. "Meanwhile, I've got bulletproof, rock-solid Polish and Lithuanians who are tough and work hard. Physical graft and grunt is something this generation is struggling with." Oliver said he was considering opening a free school in the future. - 13 February
Read the full article in theObserverand theSunday Telegraph >>

Subway franchisee fined £4,000 over mouse infestation A Subway franchisee in Edinburgh has been fined £4,000 after mouse droppings were found throughout the sandwich shop, including on food and food packaging. Environmental health officers inspected the premises on Forrest Road on 21 January following a tip-off from a customer. SS North pleaded guilty to two charges related to exposing food and packaging to the risk of contamination from an uncontrolled mouse problem. The outlet is now run by a different operator. - 12 February
Read the full article inScotland on Sunday >>

Hotelier's ‘poofters welcome' sign splits New Forest village
A Hampshire hotelier has split a New Forest village after putting up a sign outside his Penny Farthing hotel saying "Poofters welcome here". Some residents and councillors feared accusations of bigotry and involved the police but others backed hotelier Mike Saqui's assertion that it was a lighthearted reference to the Christian B&B owners who turned away a gay couple. Saqui said he had been writing "fun, comical messages" on his A-board for the past 10 years. "This is the political correctness culture gone mad. The latest message is not homophobic; we welcome gays, lesbians or whoever," he commented. "After we did receive a complaint and I took the board in - and then I received complaints from people saying ‘don't let the naysayers win'." - 12 February
Read the full article in theMail on Sunday >>

Ronald McDonald ‘executed' by Finnish food campaigners
Finnish food campaigners beheaded a home-made model of Ronald McDonald in a Helsinki art gallery today after threatening the ‘execution' a week earlier in an al-Qaeda-style spoof video featuring a hooded mannequin of the McDonald's mascot they had stolen from a restaurant. The campaigners had challenged the fast-food giant to make public details of its manufacturing process, additives and unrecycled waste, claiming they were great fans of the food but felt it was being "destroyed" and rendered "nearly inedible" by the company's "greed and indifference". McDonald's described the stunt as being "in very poor taste and not a responsible approach to meaningful dialogue". - 12 February
Read the full article in theMail on Sunday >>

By Angela Frewin

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