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Newswire - 17 May


Property investor Queensgate sizes up £600m stay with Butlin's

A property investor behind a portfolio of five-star London hotels is among the suitors for Butlin's. Sky News reports that Queensgate Investments has joined a trio of rivals in the race to buy Butlin's from Bourne Leisure. Queensgate is vying with Bain Capital, Epiris and TDR Capital for the group of three sites, whose brand was created by its eponymous founder, Billy Butlin, in 1936. City sources say they expect the chain to fetch roughly £600m.

Hospitality spending rises despite falling confidence

Consumer confidence fell for the third consecutive quarter in Q1 2022 but the percentage of consumers spending more on restaurants rose by nine points quarter-on-quarter, according to data from the Deloitte Consumer Tracker. Adding to data from Barclaycard and the BRC, Deloitte announced its Consumer Confidence Index declined by "five percentage points to -17% compared to Q4 2022" and represented the Tracker's largest fall since Q1 2020. However, the percentage of consumers spending more on restaurants, going out, and holidays and hotels rose by nine, five, and 13 percentage points quarter-on-quarter, respectively. The increased spend is partly driven by inflation, advises MCA.

Late night levy could be scrapped for Nottingham city centre

The late-night levy charged to businesses in Nottingham city centre serving alcohol between midnight and 6am could be scrapped in the face of the financial pressures faced by the hospitality industry, reports The Caterer. The news follows a Nottingham City Council's licencing committee meeting to discuss removing the annual payment, which ranges between £299 and £4,440 depending on a venue's rateable venue. The levy was introduced by the council in 2014 with the purpose of offsetting the cost of policing the night-time economy.

Portman Group updates alcohol labelling guidelines

Alcohol watchdog the Portman Group has updated its Alcohol Labelling Guidelines to provide best practice guidance to UK alcohol producers. The guidance set the minimum recommended best practice elements for product labelling, which includes the provision of unit information and a direction to Drinkaware.This update now includes the recommendation to include the Chief Medical Officers' Low Risk Drinking Guidelines 2016 and builds on the commitment made by Portman Group members in 2019 to include the Chief Medical Officer guidance on its labelling, reports Morning Advertiser.

Foodservice price inflation hits another record high as supply issues mount

Year-on-year inflation in the foodservice sector hit 13.6% in March 2022, the latest CGA Prestige Foodservice Price Index shows. The figure is the highest in the history of the Index and continues a surge in prices since the start of the year. It is 3.4 percentage points higher than in February, when year-on-year inflation reached double digits for the first time, advises Big Hospitality. By comparison, inflation in March 2021 - when the UK was still under widespread Covid restrictions - was just 0.1%.

And Finally...

Condé Nast, the parent company of fashion magazine Vogue, has withdrawn its request for a Cornish pub to change its name following a cease-and-desist letter sent earlier this year, reports BBC.