Monday, 30 January 2012

Marijuana to be banned in Dutch coffee shops

The Dutch are known for their relaxed attitude to life and Amsterdam is a tourist destination for many who seek to experience and sample the chilled vibe in the country.

However, there is a new move which is to be implemented shortly, which means that foreigners in the Netherlands will not be allowed to acquire marijuana in the coffee shops.

Quotes from the Justice Minister in the press set out the reasoning behind these new proposals. Apparently, there is concern that the country has become too attractive to foreign drug users. As such, they want to control the coffee shop outlets.
However there are also concerns that this will damage the tourist industry, especially in Amsterdam.

At present it is estimated that some 1 million tourists frequent the 223 coffee shops in Amsterdam. Under the new rules, the coffee shop owners can only sell marijuana to Dutch citizens and those foreigners who actually reside in the Netherlands. Each coffee shop can register up to 2,000 members who would be allowed to buy the drug, according to reports.

The Dutch government has expressed an intention to begin to introduce these new restrictions on the sale of the drug in coffee shops, starting from May 2012 in the south of the country and the rules will then spread and be implemented in the rest of the country in 2013.
Of course, the city of Amsterdam and the country in general have many other tourist attractions which will continue to attract visitors.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

New hotels to boost the catering industry

It is rather encouraging to read the industry news at the moment. Whereas many sectors of the economy are somewhat beleaguered by the gloomy financial forecasts, the hospitality industry is still seeing many examples of growth and opportunities for new employment and development.

Such examples can be found in the reported cases of new hotel openings, which are happening all over the country.

One significant development is taking place in Birmingham. At the City Park Gate redevelopment, there is to be a new £24 million hotel. The whole scheme is designed to help with the regeneration of the Eastside district and, hopefully, the new hotel will make a good contribution to this cause. It will have 174 bedrooms, according to reports, plus catering facilities, such as restaurant, bar and street cafĂ©. It is hoped that the new hotel and its facilities will make some 100 job opportunities available.

Further south, the beautiful Georgian city of Bath also has plans afoot for a new £10 million hotel. Again it is hoped that this could provide jobs for the local catering industry. The hotel is to be a Premier Inn, which is part of the Whitbread group and is said to have capacity for 107 rooms. As well as job-creation, it is hoped that the development will boost visits to this already tourist-friendly city. The Whitbread group has done well across the board recently – if reports are to be believed, it has had over 11% growth in total sales in the 13 weeks to December 2011

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

New year celebrations with free coffee

A nice way to start 2012, no? As reported in many headlines, there is one American company which chooses to reward its customers with a free coffee service. What is the deal? Cumberland Farms will start the new year by enticing in customers with a free drink of joe. The arrangement is scheduled to start at 5pm on the last day of December 2011 until the same time on the following day.

This is the fifth year on the trot that the company has celebrated in this coffee-friendly way. The President of the company has been reported as confirming that it loves tradition and rituals and also wants to give something back to the communities which support the business throughout the rest of the year.

This particular blend of coffee uses Arabica coffee beans and offers many different forms of coffee-based drinks. Iced coffee is on the menu or other hot types too. The company started, apparently, in 1939 and has grown since then to cover a series of convenience shops in eleven American states. This is a nation that loves its cup of coffee. However, the company still retains some of the elements of its beginnings – it is still a family business and also works to raise funds for the local community, not simply during the free New Year programme. For instance, Cumberland Farms also helps with local issues such as helping the hungry and disabled and other good causes in the local community.

Monday, 16 January 2012

Coffee expansion plans for bakery from the North east

It is strange, but you can find an encouraging number of news items these days to prove that the coffee business is doing very well, despite the economic gloom. It seems that there are certain things that people are willing to sacrifice when they make their financial cut-backs, but that coffee breaks and gatherings are treats that have not been axed.

One such good news story in the headlines at the moment is that of the baker from the North East of the country, Greggs. They are, it would appear, an all round success story. Not only did the bakery section of the company manage to shift over 7.5 MILLION mince pies over the festive period, but they also seem to be excelling in their coffee shop ventures.

What's the story? According to reports, the pilot scheme that Greggs has experimented with did very well thank you very much. 'Greggs Moment,' the coffee shop, opened in the autumn 2011 in Newcastle and it has inspired the company to expand and open more outlets (according to quotes from the chief executive).

Apparently, the coffee arm of the business is going for a whole new look from the bakery arm of the business. The word on the street is that the coffee outlet is filled with sofas and wooden tables, which compete with other coffee houses in the market.

News of potential growth in the company may create jobs. It is said that Greggs is looking to open some 90 new shops in 2012, which will hopefully make some 800 job opportunities.

Friday, 13 January 2012

Bath helps Macmillan Cancer Support with coffee funds

There was a gigantic coffee morning last year – aptly named the World's Biggest Coffee Morning campaign – which was run by the charity Macmillan Cancer Support and aimed to raise funds for the charity. Millions of pounds were raised (and still counting) under the campaign, as coffee mornings, big and small, were held along the length and breadth of Britain. Many did their bit.

The recent online news for the beautiful city of Bath, for instance, has revealed that they did a very good job of making money for the cancer charity. How much did they raise? In excess of £12,000 no less, which was raised in a series of events – more than 182 apparently in the Bath and North East Somerset area – to make money for this cause. And it is said that the money is still coming in from post-coffee event collections.

What sort of things were done in the area to raise money? Apparently, the biggest event in Bath was organised by Ms Samways. Unusually, Ms Samways won a competition which was run by Kenco (the coffee company), to 'win' a coffee morning of a value up to £5,000, which included costs such as the venue, catering and entertainment. The event was held in the Assembly Rooms and the entertainment which was provided was rather spectacular and unlike run-of-the-mill coffee morning entertainment. What was it? A six piece jazz band was on hand to entertain those at the event and also a man creating models out of balloons. Something for everyone, in fact.

Friday, 6 January 2012

Happy employment news for those in Grantham

Fed up of hearing about economic disasters? From the spectacular problems of countries such as Greece and Italy, to the local tales of woe and increasing job losses, spending cuts and personal debt issues, it's all rather a sorry state of affairs.

Cue: Brakes, the catering equipment supplier of food to many pubs, restaurants and others in the catering industry. This firm is bucking the gloomy trend by offering a ray of sunshine. Why? What is Brakes doing that is causing these statements to be made?

According to reports in the industry press, Brakes is constructing a new 5,200 square metre warehouse in Grantham. The knock on effect of this development, is that 50 jobs have been created at the depot.

This is an addition to the company's already significant workforce of 500 employees in the main site which is to be extended.

The marketing director at the company has been quoted in the press as describing the new facility as a 'single multi-temperature' facility. Of course, the company is putting its money where its mouth is in investing in the building, both in providing work in the area and also in increasing the handling of its food.

The company wants to supply high-quality products to its clients. It is also said that the company prides itself on using seasonal food products which are sourced locally – something that customers often value highly these days. Many restaurants, cafes and supermarkets are using this notion – of seasonal and locally sourced goods, to satisfy their customers too.