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Hospitality News Roundup – W/c 6/3/17

Hospitality NewsMonday 6/3/17 – Stocking rights clarification for MRO tenants

By Liam Coleman, 06-Mar-2017

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has confirmed that stocking rights can be imposed on tenants by pubcos, even if the tenant has taken on the market-rent-only (MRO) option. Read More

Tuesday 7/3/16 – Tamburlaine Hotel to open in Cambridge with former Waterside Inn chef

By Hannah Thompson, 07-Mar-2017

The Tamburlaine Hotel – from the Dublin-based O’Callaghan Hotel Group ‒ has confirmed it is to open in Cambridge on April 1, with a former Waterside Inn chef across its three dining spaces.

Read More – How to tackle food and drink fraud in pubs

By Nikkie Sutton, 07-Mar-2017

Consumer confidence and health can be seriously hit if a pub is the victim of food and drink fraud, according to an audit, tax and advisory firm which has published a report outlining the seven steps to avoid the issue.

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Wednesday 8/3/17 – More than 250,000 business rates appeals still unsettled from 2010: Companies have been warned they face “chaos” when new business rates are introduced next month after it emerged more than 250,000 appeals against the last revaluation in 2010 have yet to be settled. A new wave of appeals is expected to be unleashed on a creaking system still working through challenges lodged by businesses seven or more years ago. In addition, almost 800 appeals against the valuations from 2005 remain unresolved, the government’s Valuation Office Agency (VOA) revealed. VOA figures show there were more than one million appeals against the 2010 valuation list, of which a quarter are unresolved. More than seven out of ten were rejected. There were 936,000 appeals against the 2005 valuation list, of which 780 are outstanding. Ufi Ibrahim, chief executive of the British Hospitality Association, said: “An already chaotic situation is about to get a whole lot worse. It is clear that, through no fault of its own, the valuation office is underfunded and overrun. With next month’s increases and the lack of clarity concerning the new appeals process, thousands of small businesses are facing huge increases and an uncertain future.” However, a government spokesman added: “The figures clearly show how the appeals process is being clogged up by spurious claims, with over 70% of appeals leading to no change to a business’s rateable value.” – Faucet Inn gets Babel go-ahead in Norwich: Faucet Inn has been given the go-ahead for a new Babel bar and restaurant on The Terrace in Norwich – it already operates a Babel venue in Clapham Junction, London. The company sought permission for an alcohol licence from 10am until 1am each day and opening hours from 7am to 1.30am. But ahead of a meeting of Norwich City Council’s licensing committee, the hours being sought were changed, with closing time at 12.30am and the premises licence until midnight. Norfolk police did not object to the proposal but proposed that, after 11pm, the consumption of alcohol and soft drinks would not be allowed outside the main seating area of the building. Tim Shield, solicitor for Faucett Inn, said of the new venue: “It’s a very-much food-led concept. Food will be a very important part of the offer. Alcohol will be an important part of the offer and music will be a part of the offer. It is certainly not a pub. We are ready and we are looking to open later on this year.”

Thursday 9/3/17 – ALMR – government must not restrict managers’ access to accommodation: The Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) has urged the government to retain the tax-free status of accommodation provided by pub employers, which the trade body negotiated in 2007. The government has said it will publish a consultation to bring the tax treatment of employer-provided accommodation and board and lodgings up to date. This will include proposals for when accommodation should be exempt, including accommodation for pub and bar operators. ALMR chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “For many pub, bar and restaurant operators the ability to live above the shop is an essential part of the job. Without this convenient accommodation, many licensees would be unable to work long hours and keep their businesses open. The tax-free status of pub accommodation must not be removed. The needs and concerns of operators across the sector must be reflected in the review and existing exemptions retained and expanded to reflect a changing hospitality sector. More businesses, including restaurants, are open into the night and represent a continually evolving eating and drinking-out market. These businesses must also be recognised for the contribution they make. The ALMR will respond to the consultation to make this point and push hard to ensure accommodation for landlords and managers remain tax free.” – Top food pub slapped with one-star food hygiene rating

By Daniel Woolfson, 09-Mar-2017

A Michelin-starred gastropub has been given one of the lowest possible ratings for food hygiene. Read More – OPINION: Budget reaction as BHA remains ‘extremely worried’ about small hospitality businesses: The British Hospitality Association has reacted to yesterday’s budget announcement, with chief executive Ufi Ibrahim revealing the group is still ‘extremely worried’ about small industry businesses. The BHA represents 46,000 businesses, and says the hospitality and tourism industry, which employs 4.5 million people and is the UK’s fourth largest sector, is facing an average 23 per cent increase in business rates, meaning small businesses will struggle to survive. The reaction comes as the Chancellor Phlip Hammond delivered his first budget yesterday, announcing a £300m boost across local authorities in England. Ibrahim described this as doing ‘little to soften the blow of the massive increases in business rates’ and as a ‘tiny drop in the ocean’. She said: “We remain extremely worried that some small hospitality businesses, facing an average 23 per cent rates increase, will be forced out of business. The Chancellor’s move will do nothing to stop the Valuation office being swamped with appeals – and there are still a massive 250,000 businesses waiting for a verdict on appeals made up to seven years ago.In addition the hike in alcohol duty will cancel out any headline grabbing relief on business rates with the Chancellor effectively robbing ‘Peter to pay Paul’.” – Spring Budget: duty rises for beer, cider, wine and spirits

By Liam Coleman, 08-Mar-2017

Alcohol duty will rise for beer, cider, wine and spirits, the chancellor has announced in the budget.

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Friday 10/3/17 – JD Wetherspoon faces £20m post-Budget cost hikes

By Daniel Woolfson, 10-Mar-2017

JD Wetherspoon (JDW) chairman Tim Martin has blasted Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond’s spring Budget, claiming it will “weigh heavily” on already pressured pubs.

Read More – Pubs Code Adjudicator makes five awards after completing first arbitration cases: Pubs Code Adjudicator (PCA) Paul Newby has made five awards after completing the first cases referred for arbitration. He said more than half the accepted cases were at a stage where parties were agreeing procedure between themselves before the process reached the final stages. He added that this indicated the new framework was “working to achieve fairness and choice for tenants”. Newby said: “As part of arbitration, parties are encouraged to continue to negotiate and I am pleased to see this process is bringing pub-owning businesses and tenants to the negotiating table. In many cases this is leading to the narrowing of issues, a stronger negotiation position for tenants and swifter settlement. It shows arbitration is fulfilling its purpose – tenants and pub-owning businesses are talking and coming to agreement between themselves. As more cases reach award stage, I will see where we can identify general principles and make information and advice available to tenants and pub-owning businesses to guide their future relationships. Some big issues such as what a Market Rent Only compliant tenancy looks like are in the arbitration process. All cases will be considered on an individual basis. My team and I are working very hard to progress all referrals. However, the parties in any dispute have significant control on timing because at each stage of arbitration tenants and pub-owning businesses both have to respond with information or views or take action independently of the PCA to allow the process to move forward. The code is also new and, inevitably, many of the issues raised are the first of a kind and take some time to resolve.” Newby said he was continuing to gather information about the code and urged any “individual or organisation with information about potential code breaches to bring that information to me” to be treated in the “fullest confidence”. Brigid Simmonds, chief executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, added: “While the details of cases are confidential, it is important for everyone to understand the general principles being established by the cases so many similar issues can be resolved at the earliest stage. We continue to work with the adjudicator and our members to ensure there is clarity for everyone.”




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