Minister calls for lunchtime lock-in for secondary pupils – For more hospitality stories, see what the weekend papers say

07 July 2008
Minister calls for lunchtime lock-in for secondary pupils – For more hospitality stories, see what the weekend papers say

Minister calls for lunchtime lock-in for secondary pupils
Read the full article in the Observer >>

Mittals check out luxury hotels group They already own some of Britain's most lavish private homes. Now members of one of the world's richest families, the Mittals, are considering investing in the company behind upmarket country hotels including Cliveden and The Royal Crescent in Bath. LK Advisers, one of the vehicles which advises the Mittal family office, is understood to be in talks with Von Essen Hotels, one of Britain's largest privately-owned collections of luxury hotels, about acquiring a stake in the business. Andrew Davis, the entrepreneur who owns Von Essen, is understood to be contemplating the sale of a stake in the group in a move that would allow him to crystallise some of his estimated £210m fortune. 6 July, Read the full article in the Sunday Telegraph >>

FishWorks founder Mitch Tonks steps down from board Mitch Tonks, the founder of restaurant-cum-fishmonger chain Fishworks, has stepped down from the board of the company he founded in 1994. Tonks, whose pay-off will be his 5% stake in the group, will retain an ambassadorial role with Fishworks. Tonks relinquished his role as chief executive last year, when recruitment entrepreneur Gary Ashworth and C4 chairman Luke Johnson rescued the struggling chain. FishWorks recently opened its 12 restaurant in Piccadilly and is looking at new sites in the capital, although it has returned the lease on its loss-making Notting Hill site and plans to pull out of two other London properties. The group announced a pre-tax loss of £2.6m for the six months to 31 January, compared with £700,000 a year ago. - 5 July, Read the full article in the Times >>

Las Vegas hotels feel the chill
The global slowdown, high food and petrol prices and the housing slump has taken the shine off the USA's hedonism magnet, Las Vegas. The gambling mecca, which houses 7% of US hotel bedrooms, has seen occupancy levels drop from 95% to 80% and average room rates fall from $130 (£66) last year to below $100 (£51), dropping as low as $80 (£41) for a double room at the Planet Hollywood resort. The 4% inflation rate on food has prompted a scale-back of the city's infamous "eat all you can" buffets and the Golden Gate hotel has doubled the cost of its signature 99-cent shrimp cocktail. The city has suffered a 3% fall in gambling revenues this month, along with a quadrupling of local bankruptcies and a 6.2% unemployment rate, the highest since 1994. Nevertheless, it is in the grip of a speculative building boom that will add more than 40,000 new bedrooms in four years, including a new $2.2b (£1.1b) hotel being built by Wynn Resorts. 5 July - Read the full article in the Independent >>

Heineken to downgrade S&N profits
Heineken is expected to downgrade profits for newly-acquired Scottish & Newcastle UK by up to 10% at its half-year results at the end of August after finding discrepancies in the Edinburgh-based company's accounts. There is no suggestion that S&N broke accounting regulations, only that it took a less stringent approach than Heineken, whose spokeswoman said the Continental brewer was "in general more conservative" in its accounting. S&N saw British operating profits fall by 8% to £213m in Britain on sales of £1.86b in 2007, with an overall 6% increase in operating profit. Heineken and Carlsberg seized control of S&N in January in a £7.8b deal. It is not yet known if Carlsbery has found any accounting disparities in its share of the S&N business, which includes the brewer's Russian operations. - 6 July, Read the full article in the Sunday Telegraph >>

By Angela Frewin

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