Tackling the food waste phenomenon by Glynn Davis

15th September 2017

Tackling the food waste phenomenon by Glynn Davis

Starbucks’ decision to sell leftover food at half-price in the final hour of trading at its UK stores sounds like a great idea to me. After initial trials at 16 outlets in Manchester, Starbucks is rolling the initiative out across its 350 company-owned stores and is looking to convince its franchise partners to follow suit.

 

All proceeds from the sale of these near-expiry-date items go to Action Against Hunger. Starbucks’ 11-week trial resulted in £1,500 being donated to the charity so the sums across the whole estate will be meaningful indeed. This is one of those rare occasions when it really is a “win-win situation” because as well as fighting hunger this initiative also helps to tackle the huge issue of food waste.

 

The reality is that as margins come under pressure from a raft of factors, including the continuing rise of the price of raw materials, being able to reduce waste becomes ever more important. Selling food that would otherwise be thrown away at a discounted rate surely makes sense to support your margins or, in the case of Starbucks, convert into a charitable contribution.

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10th Anniversary of Ban on Smoking – By Paul Chase

14th July 2017

We’ve just had the tenth anniversary of the ban on smoking in all enclosed public places, and much has been written about its effect on pubs. Also, in a couple of weeks’ time, the UK’s Supreme Court will consider the legality of the proposed introduction of minimum unit pricing (MUP) in Scotland. Here’s my take on both:

Firstly, as a lifelong non-smoker I personally much prefer smoke-free pubs. And if I were going to die in a ditch defending the right of individuals to make free choices, the right to set fire to a paper tube containing tobacco and inhale the smoke wouldn’t be my starting point. But it is nevertheless the case an awful lot of hypocrisy is attached to the reasons given for the smoking ban. This was never really about protecting people against second-hand smoke, and the statistical case for the ill-health effects of second-hand smoke was always pretty dubious in any event. This was about stopping people from smoking by criminalising their behaviour if they did so in certain circumstances. The alleged ill-health effects of second-hand smoke on the rest of us were never more than a fig leaf.

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Hung Parliament: What does it mean for Hospitality? By Neil Gerrard

9th June 2017

The hospitality industry was left scrambling to understand what a hung Parliament means for the sector after the Conservative party failed to win an overall majority.

Theresa May’s bid to create “stability and certainty” ahead of Brexit negotiations, which start in just 11 days’ time, by building a solid majority in the House of Commons, appear to have failed.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, whose party performed better than expected, winning 261 seats (a gain of 29 seats) called on the prime minister to resign.

However, May has refused calls to do so and will attempt to form a government.

Commenting on the result, Ufi Ibrahim, chief executive of the British Hospitality Association, said: “The general election result means that we will be faced with the reality of greater and continued political uncertainty in the short term and that is bad for the economy and business . This is the last thing the hospitality and tourism industry needs as we already face a ‘perfect storm’ of issues but the BHA will work with whatever government emerges to see a return to stability and certainty so that we can get on with creating jobs and growth in the economy.”

Meanwhile, EU commissioner Gunther Oettinger said that talks about Britain leaving the EU might not now start as planned.

Speaking to German radio, he said: “We need a government that can act. With a weak negotiating partner, there’s the danger than the negotiations will turn out badly for both sides… I expect more uncertainty now.”

Paul Hardy, Brexit director at law firm DLA Piper, said the result would pose significant challenges for business.

“Businesses may find it even more difficult to make big decisions on jobs and investment, given this result’s implications for Brexit negotiations, as well as on coherent policy making at home,” he said.

But not everyone shared that view. Simon French, chief economist at investment bank Panmure Gordon, added: “The result is good news for the UK growth outlook as it reduces the likelihood of Brexit taking place, and certainly diminishes the likelihood of a hard Brexit.”

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Mistletoe and Wine

28th November 2016

As the festive season approaches and 2016 comes to an end we’ve been collecting our thoughts and reflecting upon the year that’s past.

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Friday Opinion – Brexit Special – Hospitality/Retail

1st July 2016

Brexit special – Subjects: Here’s how I see it post-Brexit – from a slightly different standpoint, planning for uncertainty, so what would Warren Buffet think, and now for something completely different

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The Art of the Menu by Ann Elliott

26th February 2016

What do customers see when they look at a menu? What draws their eye: the prices, the specials, the cocktails? Designing a successful menu is much more than just listing what is on offer, and at Elliotts we have witnessed first-hand the difference a quality menu can make – both in terms of branding and potential earnings. Our latest menu project for a hotel chain delivered a 23% increase in profitability without amending any dish or altering any specification.

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