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US property manager close to deal with Maybourne Hotel Group – For more hospitality stories, see what the weekend papers say

02 August 2010 by

US property manager close to deal with Maybourne Hotel Group
Read the full article in the Daily Telegraph >> ](http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/retailandconsumer/7919821/Claridges-hotel-owner-looks-to-US-private-equity-for-help.html)Duncan Banatyne hits out at larcenous guests
Hotelier and Dragon's Den star Duncan Bannatyne has bemoaned how many items sticky-fingered guests have been stealing from his chain of hotels in Darlington, Durham, Hastings and Somerset, which he says is eating into his profits. "As well as dealing with guests who cancel at the last minute, leaving no opportunity to resell a room, we also have the problem of those guests who take everything they can from bedrooms, including the bathrobes," complained Bannatyne. Reasearch by an on-line travel firm suggests the theft of bathrobes and towels alone costs the hotel industry £5m a year. Slippers, hairdryers and Bibles are other popular targets for light-fingered hotel customers. More unusual souvenirs have included the sugar tongs, salt and pepper pots and sorbet spoons routinely taken from the Horseshoe Inn near Peebles (which now warns guests that they will be charged for taking items) and the ornamental ceramic ducks decorating the Ducks restaurant at the Kilspindie House Hotel at Aberlady, East Lothian. David Smith, executive housekeeper at London's Park Plaza County Hall, recalls a guest stealing the heated towel rail off the wall of a Park Lane hotel, along with the curtains. - 1 August, [Read the full article in Scotland on Sunday >> - ](http://scotlandonsunday.scotsman.com/uk/Dragon-Duncan-Bannatyne-blows-fire.6450691.jp)

Restaurateur sued by clamping firm for warning off its customers
A clamping firm has sued a restaurateur for warning his customers they faced being clamped and fined £150 for leaving their cars in the permit-only car park next to his Indian restaurant, the Chillies, in Andover, Hants. Zak Hussein said he put up the warning notice because the firm, White Car Park Solutions, was clamping his customers within 20 seconds of them parking and he was losing business as a result. The clamping firm accused Hussein of scaring away its own 'customers' and lodged a claim for £500 for "loss of earnings", a £35 court fee, and £150 a day until the court case. "The clamping is destroying my business because customers that have been fined do not return - they eat elsewhere," said Hussein. "They do not want to come and collect a £20 meal and leave with an additional £150 parking fine. Mr White does not like me warning people about his clamping because he says I am taking away his customers but he has no thought for mine. I have had to start a delivery service to try to make up for the lost business." The case against Hussein was dismissed at Southampton County Court. - July 31, [Read the full article in the Daily Express >> ](http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/190210/Clampers-sue-restaurant-for-warning-off-customers)Claudia Lawrence family pin hopes on documentary as police scale back search
The family of missing York University chef Claudia Lawrence - who disappeared without trace 16 months ago - is pinning its hopes on a new Channel 4 documentary to revive public interest in the case as police scale down the investigation. The search involved 100 officers at its height but the manpower dropped to 20 or 30 after a year. Now the remaining 16 detectives looking for the 35-year-old chef will be shaved back to just seven next month. The investigation has involved more than 1,000 witness statements, a £10,000 reward for information and a lead-seeking visit to Cyprus. Assistant chief constable Tim Madgwick said the investigation remained open and would be given more resources if new evidence emerged. There will be a dedicated response team and phone number ready to take any calls stemming from the documentary, Missing - The Claudia Lawrence Story, that will be screened on Channel 4 on Friday, 13 August. Although the police are treating the disappearance as suspected murder, the family believes Lawrence is still alive. - 30 July and 1 August, Read the full articles in the [Herald - ](http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/crime-courts/police-set-to-scale-down-the-search-for-missing-chef-claudia-lawrence-1.1044712)and the [Independent on Sunday](http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/family-vows-to-carry-on-looking-for-claudia-lawrence-2040605.html) >>

Cost of food predicted to rise by 10% for the new year The rocketing price of animal feed, a shortage of silage and poor harvests in the UK and Russia are predicted to lead to a 10% rise in food costs by the New Year, fuelling fears that the UK will be plunged into a double-dip recession. The price of meat, dairy and egg products will be hit by a 20% rise in the price of raw material for feed, which follows a 30% leap in the cost of wheat for animal feed. Meanwhile, dry weather has slashed yields of silage for winter feed by up to 50% and a drought affecting one-third of Russia's wheat fields is expected to halve exports from the country, which would have a significant impact on food inflation in the UK. Already, the cost of common ingredients such as palm oil, cocoa and soya oil has risen by 39%, 23% and 14% respectively since last year, according to figures from Mintec. - 31 July, Read the full article in the [Daily Telegraph](http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/foodanddrinknews/7919406/Food-inflation-could-go-beyond-10pc-before-next-year.html), [Scotland on Sunday](http://news.scotsman.com/uk/UK-facing-threat-of-big.6450022.jp), and the [Daily Mail](http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1299139/Food-prices-soar-10-time-New-Year.html) >>

By Angela Frewin

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