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Pubs and restaurants returning to growth

Some of the UK's leading pub

and restaurant operators have reported a return to growth during February after wintry weather affected trading in January, according to new research. The monthly Coffer Peach Business Tracker, which comprises a total of 15 companies, saw like-for-like sales and total sales increase by 1.3 per cent and 3 per cent respectively, compared with February 2009. Produced by Peach Factory in partnership with KPMG, UBS Investment Bank and the Coffer Group, the tracker revealed that trading in February had increased by 18 per cent, compared with January.

Lakeside hotels reopens after flood damage

The Lakeside Hotel at Newby

Bridge has re-opened its doors following a three-month clean-up and refurbishment programme forced by the flooding in November 2009. Located on the banks of Lake Windermere, Cumbria, the majority of the four-star hotel's ground floor rooms – including the reception, Oak Room, Lakeview Restaurant, John Ruskin's Brasserie, Lakeview Conservatory and the kitchens – were overwhelmed by flood water as the lake level rose by three metres after two days of torrential rain.

Premier Inn for Olympic site

Hotel operator Premier Inn,

part of the Whitbread Group, will open a 267-room budget hotel close to the Olympic Stadium in Stratford, East London. The company is investing £25m in the hotel, which will open in time for the Games in 2012. The opening is part of Premier Inn's larger, £160m expansion programme for London.


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£60m Cardiff hotel plans unveiled

Wyndham Hotel Group to operate 32-storey, 200-bedroom luxury hotel

By Pete Hayman

Wyndham Hotel Group and Cardiff-based developer Bayscape have unveiled plans for the construction of a new £60m waterfront hotel in Cardiff Bay. The two companies have

signed a 25-year management deal for the 32-storey Wyndham Cardiff, which will become the tallest building in Wales at 127m (417ft) high. Located on a site adjacent to

the International Sports Village and the new 350-berth Cardiff Marina, the property has been designed by Custard Architec- ture and will boast 200 bedrooms and 35 serviced apartments. The hotel is set to boast two restaurants and three bars, including a signature

Energy scheme comes into force

The Environment Agency is urging the hospitality sector to prepare for the introduction of the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme. The initiative came into

force on 1 April and is a government initiative aimed at cutting carbon emissions from large public and private sector organisations. Coming into force on 1

April, all organisations that had at least one half hourly electricity meter during 2008 must register for the scheme. Those that used at least 6000MWh of electricity per year through these meters (equivalent to about £500,000 worth) will need to buy and sell allowances to cover their emissions.

Facilities at the hotel will include two restaurants and a spa

restaurant and bar on the 24th and 25th floor to offer views across Cardiff Bay, as well as a health bar and café. Other facilities will include an

indoor swimming pool; a spa; a sauna; a whirlpool; a fitness centre and conference facilities, as well as 100 residential units,

shops and offices. Private river bus rides to the city centre will also be provided for guests. Malta-based operator CHI

Hotels will provide technical assistance in the design of Wyndham Cardiff, which will contribute to the ongoing regeneration of the Cardiff Bay.

Pub group eyes up food-led model

M&B operates the Harvester-branded chain of pub restaurants

By Pete Hayman

Pub operator Mitchells and Butlers (M&B) has unveiled plans to move to a food-led business model, following a review of the group's strategy. The company is eyeing a

move away from the "price sensitive" drinks-led model to boost its performance, while also aiming to improve returns on capital expenditure.

Read Leisure Opportunities online

Smaller-scale Harvester and Toby Carvery outlets could open in High Street locations under the proposals, along with leisure and retail park sites to facilitate the group's move to a food-led model. Around £10m savings have

been identified from purchas- ing goods not for resale, as well as overhauling the non-beer supply chain and service levels.

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