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All secondary school children will be offered cookery lessons… For more hospitality stories, see what the weekend papers say

04 September 2006 by
All secondary school children will be offered cookery lessons… For more hospitality stories, see what the weekend papers say

All secondary school children will be offered cookery lessons
Sunday Times, 3 September.

Conran senior management bid to buy stake in the company
Senior management at Sir Terence Conran's restaurant group, which includes some of London's most popular eateries, are in negotiations to buy a significant stake of the business with private equity backing. The talks are close to being concluded and will give the management team, led by chief executive Des Gunewardena, just less than half the business. - Scotland on Sunday, 3 September.

Conran out to buy more London hotels
Sir Terence Conran is on the lookout for more London hotels to buy after receiving £29m from his company following the profitable sale of the capital's Great Eastern Hotel. Even after the payment to Conran, his private company has repaid its debt and has a cash balance of £13m that could be multiplied with new borrowing or by taking on a new partner. - Sunday Telegraph, 3 September.

Conran profits rise to £36.7m The £33.2m sale of a 50% stake in London's Great Eastern Hotel has lifted profits at Conran Holdings, the restaurant group chaired by Sir Terence Conran. Figures to be published at Companies House will show that Conran increased pre-tax profit from £2.6m in the 2004-5 financial year to £36.7m in 2005-6. - Sunday Times, 3 September.

Yo! Sushi to franchise in US
Yo! Sushi is close to striking a deal that will see it open its first outlet in America. The business, founded by Simon Woodroffe in 1997, currently has 24 outlets in the UK. But its chief executive, Robin Rowland, is planning a major push in which it will dramatically increase the number of its restaurants, both here and overseas. It plans to expand overseas through the use of franchises. - Independent on Sunday, 3 September.

Savoy to close for up to a year
The Savoy is close to shutting its doors for the first time in its 117-year history. The hotel was last year bought by Saudi Prince Al Waleed Bin Talal who now plans a £100m refit which could see the Savoy closed for up to a year. It is believed the Prince will model the refurbishment on the George V in Paris, which he bought and transformed in 1996. - Mail on Sunday, 3 September

Top Dublin hotel refurbishment cost doubles
The makeover of the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin is now likely to cost at least €80m - twice the original budget. While it had been hoped to reopen the iconic hotel this month, the new owners admit they are "moving heaven and earth" to get it open for the lucrative Christmas market. The spiralling costs and delays are said to be due to a radical rethink of the renovation by the hotel's new owners. - Irish Independent, 3 September.

Smoking ban in Scotland leads to compensation claim
Britain's bingo operators will this week demand a £10m tax rebate from Gordon Brown to make up for the devastating effect of the smoking ban, which has been blamed for hundreds of job losses since it was introduced in Scotland in April. - Scotland on Sunday, 3 September.

UK restaurants warned of bogus French mussels
Investigators in France fear that bogus mussels are on their way across the Channel, destined for British restaurant tables. Fraudsters are cashing in on the demand for mussels harvested in the bay of Mont St Michel, highly prized because of their plump, orange flesh. Every year, 10,000 tonnes are harvested, but an estimated 20,000 tons bearing the Mont St Michel name are now being served in restaurants. - Sunday Telegraph, 3 September.

Chips to carry "traffic light" health warning McCain is to put "traffic light" labels on its potato products as part of a £20m campaign aimed at restoring its image amid heightened concern about obesity levels. Its UK chief executive, Nick Vermont, said the British market had been affected by the growing debate about obesity and after a 30-year period of almost constant growth it had stopped growing. - Independent on Sunday, 3 September.

Fitness club merger will lead to flotation When Virgin Active and Holmes Place complete their merger, the countdown to the £1 billion flotation of one of Britain's biggest gym chains will begin. - The Times, 2 September.

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