Lauren Houghton

I am currently working as a reporter at BigHospitality, an online trade publication concerning the hospitality industry and part of William Reed Business Media.

I graduated from PMA@ The Press Association's PTC accredited Multimedia Magazine Journalism Postgraduate Diploma course in March 2014.

How can social media help chefs?

Restaurants' use of social media was a key topic at Hotelympia 2014, with discussions circling around whether customer’s pictures of their meals help or hinder a business featuring alongside the announcement that Mars Foodservice UK is launching social media training workshops for chefs. BigHospitality recently reported on the controversial issue of customers taking food pictures from their smartphones in restaurants and using social media to send them to followers. Chefs are divided on whether

Michelin-starred chef Nathan Outlaw teams up with Sharp's Brewery to run Cornwall pub

Sharp's Brewery and chef Nathan Outlaw have become the new tenants of the Mariners pub in the village of Rock in Cornwall. The new venture is local to Sharp's Brewery and will be the company's first pub, as well as being situated a mere few minutes' walk away from Outlaw's own two Michelin starred restaurant in Rock. Outlaw and Sharp's have frequently worked together in their Cornwall operations and their aim with the pub is to match great beer with great food. Outlaw talked with BigHospitalit

Southampton City Council to implement late night levy

Southampton City Council has voted to implement a late night levy to pubs, bars and other venues in the city which serve alcohol past midnight. The levy, due to be introduced on 1 April 2015, will be used to cover the extra costs the night time economy presents to the city, including charges for policing crime and anti-social behaviour. It expected to raise around £100,000 a year, which will be split between the police and the council. Businesses subject to the levy will be charged between £29

Planning for Christmas 2014: Your Christmas menu

In this second part of our special feature on planning for Christmas we look at the latest trends that have cropped up in the festive food and drink world and gather some expert advice on what to consider when putting together the perfect Christmas menu. If there is one thing operators want to get right this Christmas, it is their food and drink offering. The festive season is the time for indulgence and whether customers are turning up for a work Christmas party or a family gathering, they exp

Friends’ Central Perk coffee shop set for UK expansion

The Central Perk franchise, based on the coffee shop featured on popular US sitcom Friends, has just opened its third site in the UK in Liverpool and has ambitious expansion plans, aiming to have 300 UK franchises in the next decade. The third site in the Central Park coffee shop franchise in the UK opened today (15 September) on Bold Street. This is the brand’s second Liverpool site, the first one having opened in Hatton Garden in 2012. There is also a Central Perk in Chester which opened in 2

ED2012 Theatre Review: Mr Carmen (AKHE – Russian Engineering Theatre / Russian Season 2012)

If watching two grown men roll around in a pool of strong smelling vinegar is your thing, you’ll probably love this production, but for the rest of you, I guarantee a coughing fit. A silent show with a rather interesting stage set up, the play consisted of the hero and his alter-ego moving around to strange music and competing with each other to find the most ludicrous way to write ‘Jose’ and ‘Carmen’ on the stage (in whipped cream, in wine, on their naked body parts…). For admirers of Merime’s

Scottish gardening firms raise concerns on Independence

Most horticulture businesses in Scotland spoken to by HW have expressed concern about how independence might hit their businesses. Scottish residents will vote on devolution on 18 September. Chief worries among growers and retailers are shipping, currency and general uncertainty. Pentland Plants co-owner Carolyn Spray said: "We would be crazy to sign up for something that has so many questions unanswered. Personally, I think it's quite possible to be Scottish and British at the same time." Gl

Interview with Glendola Leisure's Alexander Salussolia

Managing director of Glendola Leisure Alexander Salussolia joined the company in 1992 as an area manager, before becoming its managing director in 2000. The company is about to open its first venture in the City of London, restaurant and aged cocktail concept Silk & Grain. Can you tell us more about the work you did with your most recent venture Silk & Grain? Innovation has always been at the heart of all Glendola leisure's greatest success stories, from creating the first Irish Super Pub in L

Picture gallery: Six other Scottish football clubs that bit the dust

With Rangers having entered liquidation and facing an uncertain reincarnation, it’s worth remembering some other clubs that have gone to the wall. Sadly, not all of them came back. Gretna Football Club was founded in 1946. Their finest moment came when they reached  the 2006 Scottish Cup Final (where they only just lost out to Hearts on penalties). Their success was largely thanks to the support of their financial backer Brooks Mileson, with his aid the club was promoted from the Third Division