Weekly update

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New Year’s Eve revellers are set to get an extra six hours of reduced VAT drinking. Treasury minister Stephen Timms announced that the rate which rises back to its normal 17.5% at midnight on 31 December will remain at 15% for pubs, restaurants and clubs until 6am on New Year’s Day. BBC News

Wagamama is to open six new sites in 2010. M&C Report

The former Punch Taverns head Deborah Kemp has been appointed as chief operating officer at the De Vere Group.

The Campaign for Real Ale has begun a campaign to re-open seven Bristol pubs. Operating with the motto ‘Love a Local Pub’, the Bristol and District branch of CAMRA has been contacting breweries, pub chains and operators in a bid to get the pubs re-opened. morningadvertiser.co.uk

Scottish & Newcastle UK has announced that it will print alcohol unit information on all its beer glasses with the aim of promoting responsible drinking. The initiative will start this month with the alcohol unit figures to be included on Foster’s branded glasses.

Speaking at the M&C Report’s Restaurant Conference 2009, Waitrose announced ambition to open 300 foodservice outlets within the next decade.

According to a report on caterersearch.com, the American Embassy in London is poised to become a new luxury hotel, following an agreement by a Qatari real estate investment company to buy the building. While Qatari Diar has not announced what it intends to do with the property in Grosvenor Square, it is thought that it will be turned into a hotel and apartments.

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