Back to school

first_imgCast your mind back to when you were at school. Remember how you were taught the basics and encouraged to discover the rest. This is the perfect time of year for you to get back to basics by reviewing your bakery retail or coffee shop offer.Review each category in terms of sales and profitability: hot food and bakery; sandwiches and snacking; hot and cold beverages; and your all-important healthy range of food-on-the-go. Decide which are your best-selling products and look for ways to improve or support their sales. For instance, sausage rolls are always in the top three, so maybe try a twist: go for a product with provenance, high meat content, lower salt, Cumberland or Lincolnshire – your customers will always appreciate something different yet familiar.As with most businesses, we rely on the same customers returning again and again. Yet why should they if, when they visit, they find half-full displays and tired-looking products? In a recent him! survey Pret A Manger, Greggs and Subway scored well in terms of customer service. Why? The answer is simple: great products, served quickly with friendly service.Look to your local trading area and ask where your customers are coming from. If you are close to a school, you can easily identify one of your major customers as the ’school-run mums and dads’. In this case, your offer should be family-friendly, so why not offer a multi-bag with a sandwich, fruit, snack and a drink. And remember, school runs are twice a day! Other customer groups range from morning commuters, looking for a fresh coffee and breakfast snack, and builders and van drivers, looking for mid-morning top-ups.Cafés close to office buildings are a perfect destination for professionals looking for a place to hold their meeting outside the office and meeting room arena. A nice seating area, a small lunch menu, tea and coffee is all you need to accommodate these customers.So what’s next? Take a look at the calendar and decide which events you should support in order to maximise customer spend. We start with Halloween, closely followed by our beloved Bonfire night on the 5 November and, if you haven’t already planned your National Cupcake Week promotions, then now is the time to start.Finally, with your offer looking great, make sure your staff reflect your quality and standards by focusing on customer service training, food hygiene and safety, and up-selling. Your business is now perfectly prepared to satisfy customers and boost your sales in the weeks ahead.last_img read more

BT plans indexation cut to reduce £9bn deficit

first_imgUK telecoms giant BT plans to cut indexation for thousands of its pension scheme members as it seeks to address a funding shortfall of £8.8bn (€10bn).The company has agreed in principle with the trustees of the £50.8bn BT Pension Scheme (BTPS) to switch its inflation measure from the retail prices index (RPI) to the consumer prices index (CPI).However, BT has referred the case to the High Court to get clarification that it is able to make the change within the scheme’s rules.In the UK, CPI is generally lower than RPI, meaning inflation-linked benefit increases would be lower. Earlier this month, Dairy Crest said it had made a similar change to indexation rules for its £1.1bn scheme. Indexation changes have been proposed as one of a number of measures to ease the pressure on underfunded UK schemes, but some pension funds’ rules do not allow such a change.A spokesperson for the BT Group confirmed: “As part of the pensions review, we’re reviewing the use of RPI as the index for calculating increases to pensions in payment for Section C members in the BT Pension Scheme, and liaising with the BTPS trustees about this.“The scope of this review includes the future increases received on benefits already built up in the BTPS, including by Section C members who have left BT and those who are currently receiving a BTPS pension.“Having agreed the approach with the trustees, we are seeking clarity, through a court application, on whether it’s possible to change the index.”Section C has approximately 80,000 members. It was set up in 1984 when BT was privatised, and provides final salary-linked benefits for members who joined before 1 April 2009. Since that date the scheme switched to a career average basis. It was closed to new members on 31 March 2001.Section C members are entitled to an inflation-linked uplift every year subject to a 5% cap, according to workers’ union Prospect. Sections A and B of BTPS already use CPI as their inflation measure.According to BT’s annual report for the 12 months to 31 March 2017, the pension scheme had a shortfall of £8.8bn. However, a scheme funding update issued by the trustees earlier this year put the deficit at nearly £14bn as of 30 June 2016.In May this year BT announced it was investigating a potential contingent asset deal with scheme trustees as another option for reducing the deficit. BT has already set out a funding plan involving contributions of more than £2.8bn between 2018 and 2021, and a further £4.9bn by 2030.last_img read more

Wenger belief in Coquelin ability

first_img “Nobody would dispute that his performances have been convincing and that he is ready for a fight even if somebody comes in,” Wenger said. “He has shown he has the capacity to play for us and play a big part in the success of the team. “I extended his contract, that means I believe in him.” Arsenal have been linked with the likes of unsettled Liverpool forward Raheem Sterling as well Manchester City midfielder James Milner and Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech. Wenger, however, insists his squad does not need a major summer overhaul, just some key additions. “We have depth in the squad, and the rest will be decided in the summer. We need first to keep our players,” he said. “I respect everybody’s opinion, but at the end of the day its important we keep the core of the team together and if we can add we will add, but we work on it and the less we talk the better it is.” Manager Arsene Wenger expects to add to Arsenal’s “core” this summer, but believes if Francis Coquelin had cost £40million in January rather than coming back from loan at Charlton, there would be little criticism of his squad’s depth. Arsenal responded to last week’s disappointing home defeat against Swansea to earn a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford on Sunday, keeping them two points ahead of Manchester United and they can secure third place by beating Sunderland at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday night. Against the Red Devils, Wenger named an unchanged side for the sixth time in succession, which saw Coquelin retain his place as the Gunners’ defensive midfield enforcer. It is a role in which the 24-year-old Frenchman has excelled since returning from The Valley at the end of 2014, with Coquelin notably praised for his stand-out efforts in the victory at Manchester City. Coquelin came through the Arsenal youth ranks after being spotted as a raw teenager at Stade Lavallois in 2008, with loan spells away in Lorient and Freiburg before a brief stint at the Addicks was cut short following injuries within the Gunners’ squad. Wenger feels had Coquelin, who recently agreed a contract extension, come with a hefty price tag, then his subsequent impressive performances would have not taken so many by surprise. “The world has changed. The appreciation today of the quality of a player is just down with the money you spend,” said the Arsenal manager. “If we had bought Coquelin at Christmas for £40m, everyone would say ‘what a signing’. I am sorry he didn’t cost any money, he is still a good player.” Wenger added: “What is a player worth today? Nobody knows really. “I just wanted to say that if we had bought (Coquelin), nobody would complain that he was a good player.” Wenger believes Coquelin has the needed quality to become an Arsenal regular next season. Press Associationlast_img read more

Hootsuite to Add Delicious Blackberry Flavor

first_imgcurt hopkins Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Related Posts center_img Tags:#Microcontent#web 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Hootsuite Twitter client is launching a private beta of its Blackberry app. Blackberry may arguably not be as cool as other smart phones anymore, but the people who use them tend to do so in an enterprise context. Their concerns are more around efficiency, ease and profitability than cool. Hootsuite’s Blackberry client may offer them more than the device’s native Twitter app. The ability to manage multiple Twitter accounts and social networks, as well as multi-user accounts, blog integration and scheduling features, all from the handheld you’re already used to employing may prove a load off of die-hard Blackberry users. Their new social relationship and support tools indicate Hootsuite’s depth of commitment to enterprise, as IntoMobile reminds us. last_img read more

England keeper Matt Prior takes break from cricket due to fitness problems after his team loses to India at Lord’s

first_imgMatt Prior leaves the field after being dismissed during the first Test match against India at Trent Bridge cricket ground in Nottingham, England on July 11, 2014. Photo by Philip Brown(Reuters)England wicket-keeper Matt Prior on Monday announced that he is taking break from cricket due to fitness problems.According to reports, he will miss the remainder of the home series against India and also the entire season for Sussex which he represents in county cricket. Prior is likely to be replaced by Jos Butler. The 32-year-old cricketer’s decision comes hours after the hosts lost to India by 95 runs at Lord’s in London.This is India’s second Test win at Lord’s after a period of 28 years. At the same venue, India registered their lone win back in 1986.Resuming the second session at 173/5, England were bowled out for 223 while chasing a target of 319 runs.Pacer Ishant Sharma was the pick of the Indian bowlers with career best figures of 7/74. He was adjudged the Man of the Match.Prior did not have a good stint with his bat, scoring 23 and 12 in the match.The third Test between India and England is scheduled to be held at Southampton from July 27.last_img read more

Fred Willard Hosts International Myeloma Foundations Comedy Celebration

first_imgEarlier this week, the International Myeloma Foundation presented the 9th Annual Comedy Celebration at The Wilshire Ebell Theatre & Club in Los Angeles.Fred Willard and Jeff Garlin Credit/Copyright: Jesse Grant, Getty Images for International Myeloma FoundationHosted by Fred Willard, the comedy show featured hilarious sets by Jeff Garlin, Tig Notaro, Heather McDonald, Andy Kindler, and Tony Award-winning ventriloquist Jay Johnson. The evening concluded with a special musical performance by Late Show with David Letterman’s Paul Shaffer. The renowned band leader ended his set with the dance hit he co-wrote, “It’s Raining Men,” featuring Fred Willard, Tig Notaro and Heather McDonald as his background singers.Paul Shaffer at IMF 9th Comedy CelebrationCredit/Copyright: Kevin Winter, Getty Images for International Myeloma FoundationAttendees included Alex Meneses (NBC’s Hot & Bothered, Everybody Loves Raymond), Edie McClurg (Mike & Molly, Frozen), Howard Hesseman(Mike & Molly, Head of the Class), Izzy Diaz (NBC’s Hot & Bothered), Jadyn Douglas (NBC’s Hot & Bothered), Jay Huguley (Treme, True Detective), John Glover (The Good Wife), Lesley Nicol (Downton Abbey), Maggie Wheeler (Californication, Everybody Loves Raymond), Nikki Moore (Blue Line), Shalita Grant (NCIS: New Orleans), Event Chair Loraine Boyle, Dr. Brian Durie (IMF Chair), Susie Novis (IMF President), and more.Proceeds from the event benefit the Peter Boyle Research Fund and support the Black Swan Research Initiative (BSRI), IMF’s innovative approach to finding a cure for myeloma, the second most common blood cancer. Renowned actor Peter Boyle died in late 2006 after a four year battle with myeloma. Through laughter, this event honors Boyle and raises money for research to find a cure.last_img read more

Mississippi State Earned Every Bit Of That Upset Over UConn

Wow.I mean, wow.Mississippi State’s victory over UConn was a great game, and a great upset. Mississippi State will go down in history as the team that ended the longest win streak in basketball (and possibly college team sports) history, and they did it in style.First off, let’s be clear that this is not the most improbable upset of all time. The FiveThirtyEight March Madness predictions gave Mississippi State a 13 percent chance of winning, which — if accurate — wouldn’t even make the dais in the celebration of greatest upsets in history. It wasn’t even the Bulldogs’ biggest upset this week, as our model gave them only an 11 percent chance of beating Baylor, who they beat 94-85 in the Elite Eight. Yes, some people (like this idiot) thought 13 percent was crazy high given UConn’s history, not to mention the 98-38 beatdown the Huskies gave the same Bulldogs team in last year’s Sweet 16.But if I went into this game thinking the model was too optimistic for Mississippi State, by halftime it started looking like that 13 percent might have been low. Not only was UConn not dominating, they were getting outplayed.For me, this is what made this upset even more amazing. Sometimes the better team’s shot goes cold or the underdog’s heats up at the right time, and there isn’t much to do about it except try to do better next game. That was not this game.Shooting and shooting opportunitiesTo my eye, the UConn offense looked frustrated all night, yet they were easily still the better shooting team. UConn shot 42 percent on 2-point shots and 47 percent on 3-point shots, while Mississippi State shot 42 percent and 27 percent, respectively. All together, the Huskies scored 1.12 points per shot (counting 2-point shooting fouls) compared to 0.90 points per shot for the Bulldogs.That should be a recipe for a nice comfortable win. But the Huskies had only 57 shooting possessions (46 shots from the floor, plus 11 shooting fouls), while the Bulldogs had 73 (67 plus 6).How did Mississippi State get 16 more shooting opportunities? Like so:According to the play-by-play of the game on ESPN, the Bulldogs had 16 rebounds on offense to the Huskies’ six, creating ten more scoring opportunities.1You may notice the ESPN box score gives Mississippi State only 14 offensive rebounds. The reason for the discrepancy between the box score and the play-by-play data is unclear to me without knowing more about the nuances of NCAA scoring methodology, but those two extra scoring opportunities happened.The Bulldogs had 13 turnovers to the Huskies’ 17, which created four more opportunities for Mississippi State.2Note the box score records 14 Bulldogs turnovers, but one of those is referring to the flagrant-1 foul that gave Connecticut two shots and the ball, which did not lead to a change of possession.The Bulldogs had the last offensive possession in all five periods, and started with the ball in the second and third quarters, netting them two extra “fencepost” possessions.To recap: Mississippi State netted ten extra shot opportunities from rebounding, four from steals/ball protection, and two from clock management.UConn’s offensive failureThose possession stats are the “what” of “what happened” – the Bulldogs made up a sizeable shooting gap by edging the Huskies in the other aspects of the game. But why did it happen?The story of this game was the UConn offense continuously trying — and failing — to penetrate Mississippi State’s interior defense. This was reflected in a few ways:The Huskies made just 42 percent of their 2-point shots, compared to 58 percent in the regular season.Despite all those misses, they got only six of 29 possible offensive boards, for 21 percent. Compare that to 36 percent in the regular season.The Huskies turned the ball over 17 times (eight stolen). With just four steals themselves, they forced 13 fewer turnovers than they committed. In the regular season, they forced 1.7 fewer turnovers from steals than the total number of turnovers they committed per game, on average. Much of the deficit Friday night resulted from interior passes that the Bulldogs got their hands on.The irony is that UConn was shooting better than average from beyond the arc, making 47 percent of its threes, compared to their regular-season average of 40 percent. Despite being frustrated all night trying to get to the basket, they just kept trying and trying. As I saw it, it looked like the Huskies responded to their struggles by trying to get back to “fundamental” rim-attacking basketball, when they probably should have gone less fundamental and bombed away from the perimeter.Oh, and Connecticut also missed a couple of free throws that probably could have sealed the deal. This could have been nerves, but who knows. If the teams were who we thought they were, the game shouldn’t have been close enough for that to matter.After Mississippi State beat Baylor, a team we though had a real chance of beating UConn, my main thought was that Baylor probably wasn’t as good as I thought they were. But I should have been giving Mississippi State more credit. Against UConn, they earned it all, with full backpay.Correction (April 3, 4:06 p.m.): A previous version of this article incorrectly identified the sources of some of Mississippi State’s extra scoring opportunities. The article incorrectly said that six of those opportunities came from their three fewer turnovers, when three fewer turnovers would only account for three extra opportunities. Using the play-by-play data to account for the remaining discrepancy, we determined that Mississippi State netted four opportunities from turnovers instead of six, and 10 opportunities from rebounding instead of eight. read more