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Hospitality news round-up

25 | 09 | 13

We take a look at some of the news happening across the hospitality sector so far this week.

AA hosts Rosette awards

The AA held its annual Hospitality Awards on September 23rd, announcing a number of new rosette ratings.

This included two new entries into the shortlist of five rosette establishments - in total, only 11 locations have this achievement. Both Gidleigh Park in Devon and Midsummer House in Cambridge were awarded the rosettes and will feature in the 2014 AA guide to hotels, pubs and restaurants in the UK.

Rosettes are the AA's awards for locations that offer high quality dining and an international standard and as such they can represent the best of the country's catering. The more rosettes - to a maximum of five - the higher the service was judged.

Six locations received four rosettes. These were L'Ortolan in Shinfield, Launceston Place in London, Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester, London, The Hand and Flowers in Marlow, Murano in London and Cliff House in Ardmore.

The ceremony also saw individual awards given to restaurants and hotels across the country, including local awards for Wales, England and Scotland.

There were also individual trophies as Tom Kerridge - chef and patron of The Hand and Flowers - won chef of the year and Harry Murray - managing director for Wiltshire's Lucknam Park Hotel - was given the lifetime achievement award.

Itsu ready to open first site outside of London

The Asian-inspired Itsu chain is set to open the doors of its new restaurant in Oxford on September 27th - the company's first steps in dining outside London.

Its new location will cater for 104 people seated over two floors, offering both takeaway food and eat-in dining.

Chief executive Gerard Loughlan said: "Itsu has grown significantly from an independent sushi restaurant to a chain of Asian-inspired, healthy fast-food shops.

"We now have more than 40 restaurants and shops in the UK, and it's fantastic to see this expansion continuing with a new store in Oxford."

The company also announced plans for further expansion, including more locations in London as well as potential sites across the UK - something for local catering equipment suppliers to keep an eye out for. It has even expressed ambitions to reach the US in four years' time.

Mr Loughlan said that the company has funds to expand with more stores but it will need investors in the future - yet he would like to remain in control of the chain rather than reporting to a board, arguing this allows him to make changes when he needs to.

Glass-Safe Tray invented to help pubs collect drinks

Entrepreneur Chris Holloway has invented a tray designed to make collecting glasses and drinks easier and safer in pubs.

Called Glass-Safe, the design features a canvas strengthened with polystyrene which can hold bottles and glasses of various sizes, preventing glassware slipping from wet hands.

Mr Holloway said: "I have spent a lot of time observing the precarious manner in which glasses and bottles are transported on trays and other crude forms, from place to place, often in very crowded bars, and felt that there must be a better way of doing it."

Although its main application seems to be in pubs, there is little argument to suggest this cannot establish itself across restaurants and other eateries. It represents a practical innovation that, should it prove successful, other companies may want to feature in their catering equipment.ADNFCR-16001031-ID-801641769-ADNFCR

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