Category Archives: featured



The Landmark London has been named the Employer Of The Year in the Platinum category at The Investors In People Award during last night’s Las Vegas-theme ceremony at Old Billingsgate in the city of London.


‘Tis the season – not only to be jolly, but to tempt more customers through your doors and keep them staying longer.

Thanks to a warmer winter and changing festive habits, the on-trade experienced like-for-like sales growth of 4.1%[1] in 2018 versus 2017. And, in 2018, the last working Friday before Christmas – dubbed Mad Friday – had the highest rate of sale over the festive period. Sales even eclipsed New Year’s Eve[2], as consumers across the country celebrated in the lead up to Christmas Day.


-Nestor expands in to corporate markets-

AirAgents, previously a London Airbnb property management company, has rebranded as ‘Nestor’ to reflect its evolving and expanding business and services in the B2B short-stay sector.

Hotel, Restaurant & Catering (HRC) to run the UK’s largest hospitality salary survey

Hotel, Restaurant & Catering (HRC) are running a survey open to all UK based hospitality professionals that will be the UK’s largest hospitality salary survey to date and will provide key insights into the industry.

The aim of the survey is to give a detailed picture of what makes the industry tick. How do hospitality salaries compare, job satisfaction, what are the key factors that keep people working in hospitality, which benefits are most important to hospitality professionals and are employees working in the hospitality industry proud of the industry, they work in.


A new report published today reveals that 75% of UK shoppers want supermarkets to only stock food from sustainable and ethical sources. Adding even more pressure for retailers already on the frontline of heightened consumer demands, 72% of UK shoppers also expect their supermarket, shop or restaurant to know the precise ingredients of all food products sold despite complex supply chains that may span several countries of origin.

The report ‘UK Food Trends: A Snapshot in Time’ which has been launched by food safety certification experts Lloyds Register, highlights the increasing role of ethical and sustainable drivers in food purchasing decisions.

Kent company recognised at glittering awards ceremony in London

Kent based Steel fabricators, Leay has scooped the title Supply Chain People Award at a glittering awards ceremony in London.

Leay was one of three companies shortlisted for the prestigious accolade at Willmott Dixon’s annual awards, which recognises its industry partners.

The event entitled ‘Powered By The Best 2019’ was held at OXO Tower in London, and was attended by 150 people representing a vast number of Willmott Dixon’s industry suppliers.

Meetings Industry Association unveils miaList 2019

The Meetings Industry Association (mia) has revealed the names on its prestigious 2019 miaList roll of honour.

The association received an incredible number of nominations for the annual list, which is designed to celebrate outstanding and passionate members of the meetings, hospitality and events industry who go above and beyond the call of duty.

Hoteliers are maximising the benefits of flexible funding

  • Hotels in the top ten business categories taking up merchant cash advance products*
  • 365 Business Finance has witnessed a 36% year-on-year increase in hotelier customers

365 Business Finance, financier of small to medium sized companies, has revealed that hotels are among the top ten business categories applying for merchant cash advances in preparation for the festive season ahead.


Lemon Pepper Holdings, a brand partner of Wingstop (NASDAQ: WING), the award-winning concept with more than 1,300 locations worldwide, today confirmed it will be launching its third UK restaurant located in the Bluewater Shopping Centre, Kent featuring a “stay and play” gaming zone in partnership with Xbox.


It’s less than a month until Christmas and time to start thinking about those (sigh) family gatherings. I’m sure that you’ll agree that there’s no better way to kick off a Christmas celebration than sharing perfectly home basked mince pies. As a member of the newly-launched Cobra Collective, Monica’s Galetti has created a number of recipes to share with the public, the first being a warming fruit mince pie with pistachios and chestnuts recipe.  

How much would it cost to stay in Kevin McAllister’s family home?

A leading holiday rental marketplace has revealed how much it would cost to stay in homes featured in some of the most iconic Christmas films. Using its internal property data, the platform took into account location, size and facilities to calculate the per night price for each home. Unsurprisingly Amanda Hobb’s L.A mansion, featured in the hit Christmas film, The Holiday, tops the list as the costliest rental at £1,570 per night.

A leading holiday rental marketplace has used its internal price data to calculate the per night cost to let homes featured in some of the most iconic Christmas films.


Catherine Gannon, Founder of Gannons Solicitors reviews the option of share schemes as an employee incentive 

A recent UK Hospitality[2] briefing highlighted some of the consequences of the UK leaving the European Union.  There is a general expectation that net migration will shrink, particularly affecting those working in the hospitality sector.  The current low levels of unemployment allied to the large number of EU nationals working on short term contracts within this unstable economy is likely to create further gaps in the labour market.

Therefore, casual dining operators should already be aware of the growing importance of the domestic workforce and have plans to position themselves as an employer of choice, rewarding and recognising excellent customer service and providing a clear and fulfilling career path.

An appropriate remuneration package to achieve this can include a range of options, such as regular employee recognition, discounts, childcare vouchers, bonuses, leave incentives, health service provision and access to employee perks.  

But are these enough to make your business stand out in such a competitive environment for staff recruitment and retention? Bennett Hay is one of a growing number of companies that offers a colleague ownership programme, giving employees the opportunity to own shares, encouraging motivation and loyalty to drive long-term success. Is this an option you should consider?

Awarding shares to employees is a big step which requires some forethought and considerations including the right scheme.  There are several ways that private companies can provide shares for employees in the UK including a gift of shares or growth shares, options- including the popular Enterprise Management Incentive (EMI), Long term incentive plans and Phantom shares.

Before making any decision, the key facts to consider include:

  1. Extent of participation

The directors of the employer awarding shares must decide who they want to provide the benefit to? Many HMRC approved plans, e.g. EMI, can be granted on a selective basis

  1. How much equity to give away

Shareholders decide on how much to give away.  Share capital tables will show the dilution under the share scheme. If employees leave, they will usually lose entitlement and surrendered shares can be returned to the pool to provide for new awards

  1. Performance conditions (if any) that will apply to the employee share incentives

There is plenty of discretion on this point and no legislative requirements

  1. When options convert into shares

You need to decide what happens on:

  • Reaching milestones: e.g. years of service and financial targets
  • Sale of the business
  • Demerger or reconstruction of a business stream
  • Voluntary arrangement/administration order 
  1. What happens if an employee ceases to be employed?

Directors usually decide whether special provision should be made for death, injury, disability or redundancy.

  1. Are employees paying for the share award?

There are no fixed rules. Shares can be gifted for free but other considerations are whether employees should enjoy inherent value accumulated pre-award and whether you plan for a tax charge for your employees upon the award of shares?

  1. How will the shares be sourced for the employee share incentive?

Newly issued will dilute existing shareholders, or existing shares can be used if shareholders are prepared to allow for a transfer.

For new share issues, directors must have the requisite shareholder approvals to issue shares pursuant to the option/share awards.  If existing shares are used it is usually necessary to consider the tax position of the transferors. Some companies link equity awards to share buy backs under which existing shares are cancelled.

  1. Are existing articles and/or shareholders agreement adequate?

The articles and shareholders agreement should cater for employee shareholders as they may present different risks than that of the existing shareholder base.

  • For example, what will happen if an employee leaves? Do you need good/bad leaver provisions?
  • The employment contract is quite separate from any equity contract. Unless the shareholders agreement expressly covers the point, you could fire an employee but find they remain a shareholder.
  • How will shares be valued if a transfer of shares is forced on cessation of employment, valuation by accountants or appointment of an independent expert?
  • Will employee shareholders be treated the same as investors and founders? Setting up a new class of shares for employee shareholders is often an answer.

Risks when awarding shares to employees – poor design

A badly designed share award gives away more equity than intended and doesn’t enhance shareholder value.  You risk demotivating employees and driving them into to competitors if you fail to meet their expectations and directors can expect a backlash from investors.

Known disaster areas which can be avoided:

Poor documentation supporting the award of shares to employees

Common problems arise when the drafting of the terms of the award of shares is not clear; poorly drafted performance criteria and vesting schedule, for example can lead to unintended consequences.

Failing to issue the shares correctly

Employers sometimes fail to review the articles and shareholders’ agreement to obtain the requisite shareholder approvals.  They can also overlook the various requirements which have to be met under the Companies Act when an issue of shares is made.

Missing the commercial driver behind the award of shares to employees

With unclear objectives the bigger picture may be overlooked.  The usual end game is what benefit should the employees receive under the award of shares if the business is sold.

Tax on awards of shares for employees

There are various time limits for reporting and payment of tax on the award of shares to employees.  If these are missed so can the tax benefits be lost.  And, or, a charge to interest and penalties is imposed by HMRC for failure to report or failure to pay tax on time.

Managed correctly, issuing employee shares could help reward your team and futureproof your business. For further information and advice, please visit, or contact Catherine Gannon at [email protected] or call 0207 438 1060.




TUCO launches new food and beverage industry report

The University Caterers Organisation (TUCO) has launched its third quarter industry food and beverage report; TUCO INtelligence Q3

As the leading professional membership body for in-house caterers, the TUCO report rounds up the latest market intelligence with a focus on sustainability, the effects of the summer heatwave and Brexit.

Launched last year on behalf of its members, the report is designed to arm buyers with the latest intelligence on trends affecting caterers and anyone supplying them through a round-up of industry data and reports.