Budget could cost 10,000 brewing and pub jobs, warn bosses – For more hopsitaltiy stories, see what the weekend papers say

11 April 2011
Budget could cost 10,000 brewing and pub jobs, warn bosses – For more hopsitaltiy stories, see what the weekend papers say

Budget could cost 10,000 brewing and pub jobs, warn bosses The Budget's continued use of the beer duty escalator threatens 10,000 jobs over the next 12 months, the heads of 33 brewers and pub companies have warned in a three-page letter to Chancellor George Osborne. The letter from the British Beer & Pub Association - signed by the heads of companies such as Punch Taverns, Mitchells & Butlers, Marston's, Heineken and Shepherd Neame - calls for a "new and different approach" to the tax "onslaught" which it says amounts to a 7.2% tax rise and undermines the Budget's aim of promoting growth and creating new jobs. Company chiefs cited research by Oxford Economics showing that the beer and pub sector supports almost one million jobs and is one of the UK's last great domestic industries as 85% of beer consumed is made here. The report claimed that freezing the beer duty last month would have saved 10,000 jobs and generated an extra £40m for the Treasury from higher beer sales and employment taxes. - 10 April
Read thefull article in the Sunday Telegraph>>

Ticket resellers demanding $500 per head for Grant Achatz' new restaurant Ticket resellers on the internet are seeking vastly inflated prices for tickets to celebrity chef Grant Achatz' new Next restaurant in Chicago, which attracted requests from 20,000 people hoping to sample its opening menu. The restaurant, which opened on 6 April, sells tickets rather than reservations for seats which are non-refundable and so prevent losses from non-show bookings. While an average meal without wine and tip costs around $85 per person, one reseller was demanding $3,000 (or $500 a head) for six seats at the 16-course chef's table. The restaurant has warned that it will only honour tickets with an authentication number. Next builds its menus around key moments in culinary history, changing the menu every quarter, and has kicked off with Paris 1906 in honour of French chef Auguste Escoffier, with Thai street food to follow. - 9 April
Read thefull article in the Independent>>

Jamie Oliver's school meals shown to improve results and attendance Pupils fed celebrity chef Jamie Oliver's healthy school meals have continued to do better in tests than those who were not, while their absenteeism rates dropped by 14%, according to research by Oxford University. It comes a week after the Observer reported that at least 30 local authorities planned to raise prices for school meals after the Government abolished ring-fencing for the school lunch grant, which can now be diverted to other budgets. The university found that 11-year-olds from the 80 Greenwich schools where Oliver started his campaign achieved a 6% average improvement in English and an 8% improvement in science between 2004 and 2008 compared with neighbouring areas. The Local Authority Caterers Association intends to conduct its own research into school meal prices and lobby to keep costs down. The School Food Trust points to a direct link between a percentage point rise in prices and a reduction in the take-up of school meals. - 10 April
Read thefull article in the Observer>>

Strong sales at managed pubs to back Punch demerger plan Punch Taverns is expected to point to strong trading figures for its food-led managed pubs to back controversial plans to demerge the business from its struggling tenanted division when it announces its interims results this Tuesday. Bondholders were angered when chief executive Ian Dyson announced plans to split the business in two by the end of the summer, alongside a drive to sell more than 2,200 sites. Like-for-like sales at the Spirit-managed estate grew by 8.6% in the second quarter but dropped by 6% among tenanted pubs. Analysts forecast a drop in annual profits from £131m to £120m for the group, which has a £3.5b debt. - 10 April
Read thefull article in Scotland on Sunday>>

All First Choice holidays to become all-inclusive
Leading tour operator First Choice is to make all of its holidays "all-inclusive" from next summer, so all hotel meals, drinks and in-resort transfers will be included in the upfront price. The company says the all-inclusive deals - which will not increase prices - will save a family of four up to £511 a week compared with a bed-and-breakfast package. All-inclusive holidays account for 65% of the company's sales at present and the group says the market has grown by 32% between 2004 and 2009. "People can leave their wallets at home and relax: they won't have to worry about spending money when they're abroad," said Johan Lundgren, the UK and Ireland managing director of First Choice's parent company, TUI. - 9 April
Read thefull article in the Daily Mail>>

By Angela Frewin

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