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Decline In Leisure Spending As Brits Look Ahead To Christmas

British household leisure spend fell for the second consecutive month, the latest Greene King Leisure Spend Tracker reports. Total leisure spend fell 10% during October, compared to the same month last year, to £188, as Brits held back spending in the lead up to Christmas. This decline was driven by Other Leisure, the leisure category

Choice Hotels Survey Finds Optimism Among Hoteliers

Over than half (55%) of hoteliers in the Choice Hotels Europe franchise group believe the hotel sector will see a sustained upturn in 2015. This compares with just 28% who expressed a similar sentiment in 2012. Individual market comparisons reveal that for the second year running UK hoteliers are the most confident (86%) compared to

Punch Taverns Prepare Licensees For New Food Law

Punch Taverns has revealed it is offering support to its licensees who are all set to be affected by the introduction of new food regulations. On 13th December 2014, EU Food Information Regulation no. 1169/2011 (FIR) will come into effect and will have an impact on all foodservice operators. The aim of the legislation is to combine all existing

Provenance Inns Black Bull Wins Dining Pub of the Year

Yorkshire based Provenance Inns is celebrating after the Black Bull Inn in Moulton won the Dining Pub of the Year Award at the prestigious Flavours of Herriot Country Awards. The Flavours of Herriot Country Awards celebrates food and drink businesses across the districts of Hambleton and Richmondshire in North Yorkshire. The event held at James

Decline In Leisure Spending As Brits Look Ahead To Christmas

Greene King

Greene King

British household leisure spend fell for the second consecutive month, the latest Greene King Leisure Spend Tracker reports. Total leisure spend fell 10% during October, compared to the same month last year, to £188, as Brits held back spending in the lead up to Christmas.

This decline was driven by Other Leisure, the leisure category that includes live events, bowling and gym membership, which was down 22% year-on-year. All households across all regions have cut back on Other Leisure spend in an attempt to alleviate pressure on their finances.

Eating Out, on the other hand, was relatively stable as households appear reluctant to cut back on this spending. It was the only activity to see year-on-year growth, up £2 (2%). This was driven by family households and households outside London and the South East whose

Steve Jebson, Greene King’s commercial director, said: “It has been another tough month for leisure spend, falling 10% compared to October last year. With Christmas just around the corner, Brits yet again limited their leisure spend last month. And, with consumer confidence still fragile, it is not surprising that many are hesitant to loosen the purse strings.”

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Choice Hotels Survey Finds Optimism Among Hoteliers

Over than half (55%) of hoteliers in the Choice Hotels Europe franchise group believe the hotel sector will see a sustained upturn in 2015.

This compares with just 28% who expressed a similar sentiment in 2012.

Individual market comparisons reveal that for the second year running UK hoteliers are the most confident (86%) compared to only 33% of Italian hoteliers.

The confidence boost came in findings of the fourth annual study of hoteliers’ 2015 business imperatives and industry trends.

The study of 143 franchisees, operators and general managers from the UK, France, Germany and Italy, found that 68% believe room rates will continue to perform well next year and 79% plan refurbishments to their properties.

Stepping up sales and marketing to attract new custom emerged as the top business priority for 2015.

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Punch Taverns Prepare Licensees For New Food Law

Punch Taverns has revealed it is offering support to its licensees who are all set to be affected by the introduction of new food regulations.

On 13th December 2014, EU Food Information Regulation no. 1169/2011 (FIR) will come into effect and will have an impact on all foodservice operators. The aim of the legislation is to combine all existing rules on general food labelling and nutrition, and to enable customers to make an informed choice wherever they are buying food. This means that the pub must be able to provide any customer with the allergenic information of all the dishes that are served.

In response to the introduction of the new regulation, Punch Taverns have put together a Food Allergens Information Pack to send to its licensees to ensure they know everything they need to about the new law. The information pack includes a detailed guide on the law, an allergens sample data sheet and posters.

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Provenance Inns Black Bull Wins Dining Pub of the Year

Provenance-Inns-Black-BullYorkshire based Provenance Inns is celebrating after the Black Bull Inn in Moulton won the Dining Pub of the Year Award at the prestigious Flavours of Herriot Country Awards.

The Flavours of Herriot Country Awards celebrates food and drink businesses across the districts of Hambleton and Richmondshire in North Yorkshire.

The event held at James Herriot Hall at Thirsk Racecourse was attended by 190 guests including Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, who promoted the Yorkshire leg of the 2014 Tour de France.  Also in attendance were the son and daughter of Alf Wight OBE, who used the pen name James Herriot when he wrote the much-loved All Creatures Great and Small books that were later adapted for television.

This award comes fast on the heels of the Provenance Inns Group winning Pub Group of the Year in the Good Pub Guide 2015 National Awards held in September.

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Scientists Develop Drug To Reduce Side-Effects Of ‘Binge Drinking’

Side-Effects-Of-Binge-DrinkingHuddersfield scientists develop breakthrough compound reducing harmful side-effects of ‘binge drinking’ and offering potential new ways to treat Alzheimer’s and other neurological diseases that damage the brain

A DRUG that could reduce the harmful side-effects of ‘binge drinking’, especially by teenagers, has been successfully developed and tested by a team of European scientists, including the University of Huddersfield’s Professor Mike Page and Dr Karl Hemming. There is also the potential for new ways to treat Alzheimer’s and other neurological diseases that damage the brain.

The key to the breakthrough is a compound developed by Professor Page and colleagues at the University of Huddersfield which is named ethane-beta-sultam. This is a taurine ‘pro-drug’ – an effective form of medication that easily enters the blood stream before it is processed by the body into its active form. It is difficult for drugs to get into the brain because of the ‘blood-brain barrier’, the natural defence mechanism that protects the brain, but which also presents a formidable obstacle to the medicinal treatment of neurological illness.

Scientists based at universities in Louvain in Belgium, Florence in Italy and Huddersfield and London in the UK, have discovered that when ethane-beta-sultam is administered to rats on a ‘binge drinking’ regime, it reduces the brain cell loss and inflammation that normally result from bouts of heavy binge drinking, leading to symptoms such as decreased memory. These effects can cause long-term damage, particularly to teenagers, whose brains are still in the process of development.

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Spirits Rising For Pubs And Bars

Spirit-based drinks provide excellent sales opportunities for UK pubs and bars—but more can be done to convert consumers into the category.

Those are among the messages from new and exclusive research into the sector by market consultants CGA Strategy. It finds that spirit drinkers are mainstays of out-of-home drinking, with 86% of them going out more than once a month—compared to 67% of non-spirit drinkers. CGA’s survey also reveals more fascinating insights into the habits and mindsets of spirit fans, including that:

Post work spirits consumption is hampered. Only 19% say they drink spirits between 5pm and 7pm—compared to 60% who do so between 7pm and 9pm.

Restaurants are an area of growth and opportunity. Sales of spirits here have grown by 2.8% in the last year, and in dry-led pubs by 0.7%.

The opportunity for operators and suppliers that emerges from the research is therefore clear: create activation solutions in the post-work and early-evening trading periods, and continue to educate consumers on the role for spirits and cocktails alongside a meal.

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Torquay, Whitby And Llandudno Make List Of Best Value Destinations

TrivagoHotel search website trivago.co.uk has unveiled their best value destinations for 2015. Hotel price data was combined with reviews and ratings to produce the list of 100, which presents the traveller with lesser-known destinations off the beaten track. Each destination offers excellent value for money, with low prices and highly rated hotels.

Three UK destinations made the list of 100: Torquay (#54), Whitby (#61) and Llandudno (#76). Each is a seaside resort with a strong historical heritage popular in the summer months: Torquay became popular as a fashionable seaside destination in the early 19th century and was recently dubbed the “English Riviera”, Whitby is home to the ruins of Whitby Abbey and has a strong maritime heritage, while Llandudno is known as the “Queen of the Welsh Resorts”.

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Lightweight Lager? Europeans Embrace The Non-Alcoholic Beer Boom

Mintel-Non-Alcoholic-BeerA love of a cold pint of beer unites nationalities throughout the globe, however it seems European consumers are gaining a thirst for the non-alcoholic (NAB) variety. Indeed new research from Mintel looking at six key European consumer markets reveals that it is Spain with the biggest thirst to quench for NAB – as in 2013, three-fifths (60%) of Spanish beer-buyers purchased non-alcoholic beer, rising to 69% of consumers aged 45-54.

And it is not only in Spain where Mintel’s research highlights demand. Whilst German consumers are forecast to purchase 5.9 billion litres of all types of beer in 2014, half (47%) of consumers purchased non-alcoholic beer in 2013. Indeed, in Germany in 2013, non-alcoholic beer accounted for almost one in five (19%) beer launches, comparing to only one in 10 launches (11%) in 2012.

Furthermore, the demand is strong throughout Europe as one in three (29%) Italian, a quarter (26%) of Polish and 18% of French consumers bought NAB in 2013. In addition, despite having the notorious ‘lager lout’ status, one in seven (14%) British beer buyers purchased non-alcoholic beer in 2013, rising to a quarter (26%) of 18-34 year-olds among what is clearly a much more sensible generation.

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Cut Tourism VAT Gives Evidence At CMS Inquiry

The Cut Tourism VAT campaign chairman Graham Watson appeared in front of the Culture, Media and Sport committee inquiry on tourism to present the case for a VAT cut in hospitality.

The committee, chaired by John Whittingdale, Conservative MP for Malden, has promised to investigate the effect taxation, including VAT, has on limiting the potential of the industry.

The Cut Tourism VAT campaign was expected to set out how, using the Treasury’s own economic model, show reducing the tax on attractions and accommodation from 20% to 5% would create 120,000 jobs and add £4bn to the UK economy.

Chancellor George Osborne has so far refused to cut VAT for the tourism industry, even though it is allowed to under EU rules. As a result, Britain is currently one of the most expensive destinations to holiday in the world, ranked 138th out of 140 for price competitiveness by the Travel and Tourism Index.

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Success Continues For TCG’s Cask Ale Festival

martyn legg, assistant manager TCG George StaplesManaged pub and bar operator TCG is celebrating the success of its fourth annual Proud of Our Ale festival, held in 40 of its pubs for seven weeks, ending earlier this month. Over the four years since the first campaign in autumn 2011, TCG’s cask ale volumes during Proud of Our Ale have grown by more than 150%.

This year’s festival saw a new focus on social media, combined with proven elements from previous campaigns including a ‘buy six ales, get one free’ offer; a 20% discount for CAMRA members and a ‘taster pint’ comprising three third-pints, which proved a popular way of sampling the beers. Pubs were also tasked with offering a greater variety of ales, with more than 100 different brands being served over the seven weeks, supported by regional brewers including Brains, Adnams and Shepherd Neame. Across the participating pubs, cask sales increased by an average of 9% on last year, with several sites achieving far higher uplifts and 20 pubs in double-digit growth over 2013.

Chief operating officer Nigel Wright said, “Proud of Our Ale has delivered consistently impressive sales increases over four years. Just as importantly, it has changed perceptions of the participating pubs in their local markets, built relationships with local CAMRA members, and generated huge levels of enthusiasm and knowledge about cask ale within our pub management and teams.

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