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BHA and BII lock horns over tipping reform – For more hospitality stories, see what the weekend papers say

28 September 2009 by
BHA and BII lock horns over tipping reform – For more hospitality stories, see what the weekend papers say

BHA and BII lock horns over tipping reform
Read the full article in the Observer >>

McDonald's seeks greener spuds for its French fries McDonald's is seeking an eco-friendlier spud that requires fewer agrochemicals for its French fries at the prompting of a group of socially-conscious investors. The US fast-food giant still relies upon the 130-year old Russet Burbank variety as its mainstay in the US and the UK, where it buys 3.4 billion and 324 million pounds of potatoes each year respectively. However, Russet Burbanks are slow to mature, water-thirsty and prone to late blight and, increasingly, attack from the nematode worms that infest up to 65% of potato land in the UK. Mitch Smith, McDonald's agricultural products director, said: "If we can find a variety that requires less inputs, that's something we're looking for. To date, there are not a lot of varieties that perform consistently enough." It will take the company six to seven years to trial potato varieties and another three years to test. McDonald's serves up to two million meals each day in Britain, most with a portion of fries. - 27 September, Read the full article in Scotland on Sunday >>
Luminar profits eclipsed by youth unemployment and discounting
Shares in Luminar, Britain's biggest nightclub operator, tumbled by a third after the group warned that it was likely to fall short of full-year profit forecasts thanks to "high and rising levels of unemployment" among its core 18-24-year-old customers. Although the Ocean and Liquid owner managed to boost spend per head, admissions dropped sharply during August and September thanks to growing youth joblessness and heavy discounting from rivals. Like-for-like sales fell by 4.5% in the half-year to August, and by 10% in September. Shares tumbled by 43¼p to 86¾p, below the 95p offer price of the group's £37.5m share placing last month which had represented a deep discount on the prevailing 141p price. The City has cut it estimates of Luminar's pre-tax profits (due on 22 October) from £16.4m to £12m. Luminar hopes to reduce its reliance on youngsters from 80% to 60% over the next three years by wooing the "divorced, single and dumped" market. - 25 September, Read the full article in The Times >>
Domino's Pizza to report 25% boost in profits
Domino's Pizza will this week unveil a 25% rise in interim pre-tax profits to £13.6m driven by the effects of the recession in encouraging cash-strapped consumers to swap restaurants for takeaways. Domino's success has also been fuelled by its sponsorship of ITV's Britain's Got Talent programme featuring Scots singer Susan Boyle. Although like-for-like sales slowed down during hotter weather earlier in the summer, the decline was counteracted by the use of canny short-term deals. Domino's expects to beat market expectations for the full year. The group plans to expand its network of 576 by 2017. - 27 September, Read the full article in Scotland on Sunday >>

Government gives go-ahead to three-quarter pints
The government's announcement yesterday that bars will be able to serve beer and cider in new, three-quarter pint glasses has met a mixed response from the trade. Its proposal follows a consultation by the National Measurement Office on serving specified quantities of different drinks. The concept was welcomed by health campaigners and some trade bodies, who argued it would allow landlords to sell more potent brews in smaller measures and be more attractive to women. The British Beer and Pub Association, which represents around 80% of pubs in England, welcome the increased choice, saying it would make beer a more attractive accompaniment to meals. However, the Scottish Licensed Trade Association said there was "no call" for two-thirds pint measures, which would simply confuse customers. Ken Storrie, owner of Glasgow's Pot Still bar, was also unimpressed, saying the new size was just a mouthful smaller than a pint and would add an extra burden in terms of glassware. Meanwhile, - a study by Sheffield University has claimed that introducing a minimum price for alcohol of 40p per unit would prevent 70 deaths in the first year and 370 after ten years. It also estimates that a minimum price would prevent 30,000 sick days from work each year. - 27 September, Read the full article in Scotland On Sunday >> Christian hoteliers deny implying Muslim guest was a terrorist
Two Christian hoteliers who have been charged with a religiously-aggravated offence that has devastated their bookings have strongly denied claims from their Muslim guest that they all but accused her of being a terrorist. British-born Ericka Tazi, 60, who converted to Islam a year ago, claimed the hoteliers had turned 'nasty' and insulted her faith when she came to breakfast on her last day at the hotel wearing her hijab for the first time. She claimed Ben and Sharon Vogelenzang, who run the Bounty House hotel in Liverpool, had described Muslim prophet Mohammed as a warlord and Islamic garb as a form of bondage for women. The Vogelenzangs are being prosecuted under the Public Order Act 1986, originally designed to counter yobbish and abusive behaviour on the street. Independent lobby group, Christian Institute, which is backing the Vogelenzangs, commented, ‘In our view, this was a straightforward debate about religion, and we believe it is regrettable that the police have taken action over it.' - 27th September, Read the full article in the Mail on Sunday >>

Cadburys to shrink chocolate to fend off hostile bid from Kraft British confectionery supplier Cadbury is planning to shrink the size of its chocolate bars to keep price rises needed to absorb the soaring cost of cocoa below key levels that would put off buyers. The move - which has already happened in overseas markets such as Australia - will help boost projected profits that Cadbury will use to fight off an expected £11b hostile bid from Kraft Foods of the USA. Cocoa prices have more than doubled from £850 a pound in 2007 to more than £2,000. Cadbury has rejected an informal offer from Kraft of 745p per share. This wek the takeover panel will set Kraft a deadline by which to table a firm offer or walk away from any acquisition for six months. City sources believe Kraft could weigh in with a bid of 800p a share, rising to 850p over the 60-day limit set for takeovers. - 27 September, Read the full article in the Independent on Sunday and the Observer >>

By Angela Frewin

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