£40m in Music Licence Fee Refunds

Businesses that play recorded music to an audience on their premises are set to receive more than £40 million in refunds after winning a court battle over excessive licence fees. Firms are due to receive the refunds following the High Court’s decision to reject an appeal by Phonographic Performance Ltd (PPL), which represents record companies, to maintain the high licence fees that it imposed in 2005. Many businesses had to pay four times as much for their licence following the increase. Businesses in the retail, hospitality, office and manufacturing sectors will all be eligible for a refund. The British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) and British Hospitality Association (BHA) have predicted that pubs, hotels and restaurants will receive £20 million in refunds, while the ... »

Restaurants Urged to Adopt Staff Tipping Guidelines

Restaurants Urged to Adopt Staff Tipping Guidelines

Businesses in the hospitality industry are being urged to sign up to a code of practice which encourages them to inform customers about how staff tips are distributed. The British Hospitality Association’s (BHA) voluntary Code of Practice on Discretionary Tips and Service Charges (79k PDF) is aimed at securing a better deal for serving staff by obliging businesses to be transparent about what happens to tips. BHA spokesman, Miles Quest said: “We hope to encourage restaurants to be more transparent where service charges are concerned. There has been concern among consumers about where service charges are going and how they are distributed.” The code recommends that each restaurant should provide customers with information about how tips and service charges are distributed ... »

Consumer Services Hit Hard by Spending Slowdown, says CBI

Businesses in the consumer-services sector have been hit hard by the economic slowdown, with sales falling to their lowest level in seven years, according to the Confederation of British Industry (CBI). The CBI Services Sector survey identified the hospitality industry, leisure industry and personal services industry as having been particularly affected by the tough trading conditions. The research revealed that a slowdown in consumer spending has resulted in the sales volumes of consumer-services firms such as hotels, bars, restaurants and cinemas falling to levels not seen since 2001. Costs have also increased for firms in the sector, causing profitability to fall to the lowest level since the CBI survey began in 1998. “Service sector firms are concerned about their prospects,&rdqu... »