Time for an elbow bump...
There's no doubt coronavirus is a serious threat to the economy in general, and hospitality in particular, so what to do if people are cancelling events and wary of holding large gatherings? Why, hold a conference about it, of course. That's the approach the Meetings Industry Association (MIA) has taken, it's in their DNA after all.
It said that since nearly three-quarters of members had experienced cancellations, it would hold a half-day event to address the challenges posed and "ensure the sector is equipped to manage the potential reputational damage and address customer and staff concern". Let's hope not too many are MIA...
Meanwhile, Castle at Taunton owner Kit Chapman is considering rationing guest loo roll after 17 lots of toilet tissue were reported stolen by guests within 24 hours. With supermarkets selling out and even fisticuffs reported as people stock up in case of self-isolation, it seems the four-star establishment is the victim of the latest unexpected consequence of the coronavirus outbreak. Maybe Mr Chapman should consider a downgrade from the Andrex until the panic subsides.
Shut your pie hole
In lighter news, an email lands in the Rat's inbox declaring that the cottage pie is the nation's favourite. Now, apart from the fact that it's pie in name only, since there is no pastry present, it's hard to believe any poll of real pie lovers would have such an outcome. Could second place save the crust of this poll, based on BBC Good Food search data? Fortunately chicken pie has a strong showing and would have lent some credence to the table if it wasn't illustrated by a deep-fried drumstick. It has driven the Rat clucking mad.
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