Little Chef restaurant chain facing bankruptcy
Food safety reports for every restaurant to go on the internet
Every restaurant in the country is to be graded with a cleanliness rating, in an offensive by the Food Standards Agency. Customers will be able to check on everything from mice droppings to cookers caked in grease as hygiene levels in the kitchens of all restaurants are detailed on the internet. Restaurant owners will also be asked to display their hygiene record on the premises. - The Times, 26 December.
TV's Simon Cowell and Man Utd boss buy into Principal hotel chain
The property fund backed by Sir Alex Ferguson and Simon Cowell, the music impresario, has wrapped up its biggest deal just days before Christmas, lifting the value of its portfolio above £1b. The fund, known as the Alternative Asset Investment Management, has struck a deal with Permira, the private-equity firm, to buy six four-star hotels in the Principal chain for £290m. The portfolio comprises the Russell in London, the George in Edinburgh, the Royal York in York, the Met in Leeds, the Palace in Manchester and Selsdon Park in Croydon. - Sunday Times, 24 December.
UK Krispy Crème doughnut chain looking for new owner
Krispy Kreme UK, the company that owns the UK and Ireland master franchise for the iconic North Carolina doughnut brand, is looking for new private equity owners. Krispy Kreme opened its first store at Harrods in October 2003 and now employs 550 staff in its 27 outlets and has increased sales steadily from £5.2m in 2004 to about £19m this year, when it moves into profit. - Daily Telegraph, 26 December.
Burger King profits warning over ads ban
Burger King estimates that the ban on children's advertising could cost it up to £100m in lost UK sales next year. The prediction came as the company' vowed to fight regulatory interference and a declining fast-food market. Giorgio Minardi, the company's head of north west Europe, said: "Advertising is a key part of our drive to get kids and families into our restaurants. It will have a major impact on our top line." - Daily Telegraph, 27 December.