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De Vere owner AHG in debt talks with bankers – For more hospitality stories, see what the weekend papers say

17 August 2009 by
De Vere owner AHG in debt talks with bankers – For more hospitality stories, see what the weekend papers say

De Vere owner AHG in debt talks with bankers
Read the full article in the Sunday Times >>

Hoteliers who flout fire safety rules to be named and shamed
Hoteliers who put their guests lives at risk by flouting fire safety laws are set to be publicly named and shamed. Last week, the Independent on Sunday revealed that fire authorities have issued thousands of prohibition and enforcement notices to hotels and guesthouses after inspections revealed potentially lethal failings, such as poorly-maintained smoke alarms, blocked fire exits and stairways and inadequate staff training. Now the Chief Fire Officers Association plans to create a national public database listing hotels that fail to act on warning notices that could be online by early next year. Experts warn that many hoteliers are ignorant of or flouting the regulations, with the problems most acute among small independent hotels and self-catering holiday homes. Fire leaders say the public is taking fire safety seriously, ringing fire stations to check the safety of hotels they plan to visit and increasingly taking their own smoke detectors on holiday with them. The British Hospitality Association welcomed the move. ¬- 16 August, Read the full article in the Independent on Sunday >>

Older workers boost profits at McDonald's restaurants Fast-food giant McDonald's has found that employing older staff improves its customer satisfaction levels and thus its profitability. A survey by Lancaster University Management School of 400 of its restaurants found that customer satisfaction levels were an average 20% higher in outlets that had staff aged 60 or more. "Having a 20% increase in customer satisfaction levels, that translates into sales and profits and that is significant," said David Fairhurst, McDonald's chief people officer in the UK. He attributed the improvement to older workers' additional experience, work ethic and skills in dealing with customers face-to-face as well as their positive effect on younger staff. McDonald's has started to place job application forms in restaurants to encourage older workers who are less familiar with Internet recruitment. However, workers aged 60 or more represent just 1-1.5% of the 140 people recruited by McDonald's each day and account for just 1,000 of its 75,000-strong workforce, of which 60% are 21 or younger. McDonald's oldest member of staff, an 83-year-old-woman, works in a Bournemouth restaurant. ¬- 13 August, Read the full article in the Daily Telegraph >>

Soaring liver disease renews calls for minimum alcohol pricing
New figures showing a sharp rise in alcohol-related disease in England over the past five years have revived calls for more stringent regulation of the drinks industry, including a ban on advertising and the imposition of minimum prices. Statistics released to the Liberal Democrats by the Department of Health reveal a 42% rise in liver cirrhosis since 2004 to almost 5,000 cases a year; a 17.2% increase in alcoholic-related liver disease (to 14,500 cases last year) and a 41% rise in alcoholic hepatic failure to 1,200 cases a year. Additionally, a quarter of English people aged 16 and over can now be classified as hazardous drinkers. Last week, Cancer Research also blamed heavy drinking for substantial rises in oral cancer among people aged 40 or more - of 28% among men and of 24% among women. Professor Ian Gilmore, a liver specialist and president of the Royal College of Physicians, said government efforts to encourage lighter drinking, such as awareness campaigns and more information on labels, were "failing" and that a minimum price regime was vital for the nation's health. Liberal Democrat shadow health secretary Norman Lamb said the figures showed the need for a "radical new approach to alcohol-related problems" after a "decade of government inaction". - 16 August, Read the full article in the Observer >>

By Angela Frewin

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