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Tom Aikens named as one of UK's top greens – for more hospitality stories, see what the weekend papers say

13 October 2008 by

Tom Aikens wins listing as one of UK's top 100 environmentalists
Read the full article in the Independent on Sunday >>

Proposed drink curbs could drive out casual bar staff
Casual bar staff could be banned under new Government proposals to curb public drunkenness. The proposed mandatory code would demand that all bar staff received accredited training in turning away underage customers, refusing to serve drunken customers and preventing drunken disorder. It would also require the display of health warnings and information in bars and restaurants, and restaurant wine would have to be served in glasses with measures marked on the side. The code also proposes limits on 'happy hour' offers and promotional free wine, whisky and beer tastings; a ban on drinking games and 'drink all you like' offers to entry-fee payers; and the scrapping of cocktails with sexually graphic names. The British Beer & Pub Association described the proposals as 'disproportionate' and 'daft'. - 12 October, Read the full article in the Sunday Times >>

Tchenguiz offloads stake in Whitbread
Property tycoon Robert Tchenguiz is believed to have sold his entire 3% holding in Whitbread, the owner of Premier Inn and Costa Coffee. He is thought to have broken even in the sale of his £50m stake in Whitbread after incurring losses of up to £1b from selling his stakes in pub group Mitchells & Butlers and supermarket group J Sainsbury last week. A large part of the investments were held as contracts for difference through collapsed Icelandic bank Kaupthing, but are thought to have been unwound before its UK arms was placed under administration on Wednesday. Whitbread is expected to report a 13% rise in interim operating profit to £132.2m this week. - 12 October, Read the full article in the Sunday Times >>

Credit crunch boosts profits at Premier Inn
The credit crunch will help budget hotel operator Premier Inn post a big increase in half-year profits this week as business travellers (which account for 60% of its trade) seek to cut costs. The Whitbread-owned chain has boosted like-for-like sales by 10.2% in the 24 weeks to 14 August. Although sales have slowed since the first quarter, the introduction of cheaper food has helped increase sales in its hotel restaurants by 4.4% in the second quarter, compared with 3.6% growth in the first three months. Whitbread, which also owns Costa Coffee and Beefeater, is forecast to report interim profits of £119m for the half-year to September, against £99.4m in the first half of 2007. -12 October, Read the full article in the Mail on Sunday >>

Chance failure saved Tiger Tiger from bomb attack
More than 556 customers at West End club Tiger Tiger escaped serious injury thanks to the chance imbalance in the amount of fuel and air in two car bombs parked outside in June 2007. A jury at Woolwich Crown Court in south-east London heard that emergency services failed to realise that they were dealing with a terrorist attack for at least five minutes until they pulled a gas canister from one of the abandoned Mercedes. The alleged terrorists - Iraqi NHS doctor Bilal Abdulla and his accomplice Kafeel Ahmed - escaped the scene by catching bicycle rickshaws at Piccadilly Circus. The two later tried to commit suicide by driving a jeep rigged to explode in a fireball into Glasgow Airport. Ahmed died from his injuries after the airport attack, while Abdulla and a second NHS doctor, Mohammed Asha, deny conspiracy to murder and conspiracy to cause explosions. - 11 October, Read the full article in the Independent >>
By Angela Frewin

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