The government is selling its Eurostar stake to raise up to £300m

Quotes of the Week

“Let’s hope they aren’t twisted enough to deploy Comic Sans!”
“Unleash the Helvetica!”
“Nice Arial view of the region”
“They have a new leader – Sans Serif”

An unfortunate grammatical error by CNN over the weekend resulted in no shortage of jokes and puns by eagle eye observers.



Video of the Week

Scotland lost 40 to 7 in their Pool C match of the IRB Sevens World Series on Saturday against Fiji. However, no one can accuse the Scots of not fighting for every point as Lee Jones proved when he comprehensively denied the first attempt at a try by the Fijian team!


Article of the Week

An evolution of experiences

KurtA consummate foodie and quietly ethical restaurateur, Kurt Zdesar has launched his latest fusion concept onto the London market in the form of ‘Chotto Matte’. Embracing all things Tokyo with a Peruvian twist, the concept has struck the right chord in London’s Soho with regulars and critics alike. Arlene McCaffrey reports on a meeting with the energetic founder and his plans for the future.

London’s Soho is unquestionably a hotbed of entrepreneurialism and healthy competition in the restaurant sector. Pop-ups compete with established coffee houses, and Michelin-star restaurants happily coexist alongside cafés and wine bars. Successfully introducing a new concept to the district is no mean feat. It requires experience, know-how, ingenuity and a certain je ne sais quoi to launch a profitable business model with longevity into the area. With Chotto Matte, Kurt Zdesar believes he has the winning formula

Read the full article here



Let EP enhance your agenda

  • October 21st – EP and Zolfo Cooper launch of “The Fastest Growing Independent Foodservice Companies in the UK Report” in a Central London venue from 8am to 10.30am, including the announcements of who the top 10 are and “market overviews” from industry leaders
  • October 28th – The emerging leaders combined with some sector stalwarts are being hosted at the Glion Campus in Roehampton from 5.30pm for a private tour of the new venue and also the know more about the course
  • October 29th – American Express will host the 2nd in a series of breakfast forums from 8am to 10am, looking at employee engagement & retention through means other than the ubiquitous pay rise or cash bonus. This will involve case studies from industries other than those in the hospitality sector and some expert analysis of trends affecting employment.
  • November 10th – EP and the Gordon Dadds Leisure and Hospitality Team would be delighted if you would join them for a drinks reception for industry leaders
  • November 12th – EP and partners are always looking at ways to help entrepreneurs be successful in their endeavours. As well as operations and strategic guidance and support, it’s also imperative that entrepreneurs get the best legal & financial advice. With this in mind, we are hosting a financial forum on the morning of Wednesday 12th November from 8am to 10am focusing on what financial decisions need to be made & implemented in a business to assure greatest returns in the event of a sale or buy-out. Featuring a presentation from our expert partners at WMT LLP, the forum will afford you the opportunity to find out more about how to plan your exit from the business and make the most of the available tax breaks, along with ample time for your questions throughout.


hospaceThe HOSPA Conference and IT Exhibition (HOSPACE 2014) is a one-day annual conference hosted by HOSPA, the Hospitality Professionals Association (formerly BAHA) which is the UK’s leading educational organisation for professionals involved in financial management, revenue management and IT within the hospitality industry. This year HOSPACE will be held on Thursday, 20 November 2014, at the Sofitel London Heathrow at Terminal 5

To attend any of these events or for more information on the initiatives outlined, please contact Arlene McCaffrey



Industry News in brief

The government is selling its Eurostar stake to raise up to £300m

  • George Osborne is announcing today that the government plans to sell its 40% stake in Eurostar. The government hopes to raise £300m from the sale, as part of its wider plan to raise £20bn from selling public assets by 2020, to reduce debt.
  • Osborne wants bids in by the end of the month, and hopes to have finalised the sale in the first three months of 2015: “I am determined that we go on making the decisions to reform the British economy and tackle our debts. So we will proceed with the potential sale of the UK’s shareholding in Eurostar today. Ensuring we can deliver the best quality infrastructure for Britain and the best value for money for the taxpayer are key parts of our long-term economic plan. “
  • “As part of our aim to achieve £20bn from asset sales by 2020, the sale proceeds would make an important contribution to the task of reducing the public sector debt.”
  • Eurostar is also 55% owned by SNCF, the French state-owned train company, and 5% owned by SNCB, Belgium’s state-owned railway company.

Read the full story here

City bosses now earn a phenomenal 120 times more than you

  • FTSE100 directors have seen a 21% increase in total pay in just a year, while the average employee is struggling to get pay rises at all.
  • The average earnings for a FTSE100 boss is now £2.4m, partly due to the large increase in share awards, according to research from Incomes Data Services (IDS). In the year to June 2014, increases in share awards for FTSE100 directors rose by 44%, and bonuses rose by 12%. Meanwhile, basic pay for full-time employees rose only 2.5% on average.
  • With inflation currently at 1.5% (but higher during some points of the year), workers will on average have had a 1% increase in their pay in real terms, but many will have seen a pay cut or no change at all.
  • The report also found average earnings for FTSE100 chief executives were £3.3m. That figure has increased by 278% since 2000. FTSE100 chief executives now earn 120 times what a full time employee earns, compared with 47 times in 2000, according to IDS.

Read the full article here

Bidders closing in on Prezzo

  • Offers of up to £316 million have been received for Italian food chain Prezzo, as confirmed by Prezzo itself.
  • Unsurprisingly, Prezzo’s share price jumped on the news, and now fully reflects the rumoured £316 million, leaving little room for further upside unless a serious bidding battle takes place. The preliminary proposals are said to have come from private equity investment firms Advent International and TPG Capital. And Prezzo is therefore now subject to an ‘offer period’ under the UK takeover code, with Advent and TPG allowed until 30 October to make a firm offer or walk away.
  • Earlier this week, Tragus Group announced that it was selling the Strada restaurant chain to Hugh Osmond’s Sun Capital Partners for £37m, the latest confirmed activity in the thriving UK restaurant sector.

Read the full article here

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