There was a time when all commercial kitchens were situated behind closed doors and customers couldn’t see what was going on. However, there is now a growing trend for new restaurants to have an open plan layout, where the kitchen is visible from the dining area. What benefits can this bring for both the business and the customers? Continue reading Why are more restaurants choosing open plan?
Today, smartphones are not a luxury item – they are something that is so common that even a lot of schoolchildren own them. They are also rapidly becoming the preferred way of using the web for a lot of adults.
This means that every business owner should make an effort to cater to mobile users. In fact, comScore reports that we have reached the point where there are more mobile web users than there are desktop users, and as Smart Insights explains in their report, this means that having a good strategy for reaching and retaining mobile users is essential. The good news is that you don’t need to have different websites for desktop and mobile users if you take advantage of responsive designs.
One Site, Many Platforms
Neilsen offers some useful guidelines for “transmedia” websites. These guidelines cover the points that every website should hit – things like catering to slow download speeds, old software, weak hardware, touch interfaces and unusual screen resolutions. Responsive design covers most of these issues quite well, so if you use a good CMS and choose a theme that covers mobile and desktop devices then you are already ahead of the crowd.
Companies such as https://www.bugfinders.com offer software testing services that have those crucial cross-platform optimisations in mind. They understand that the days of there being a difference between a mobile and a desktop website are long gone. With the exception of perhaps serving up lower quality, smaller images for low resolution screens, websites should be fluid and have layouts that look good on any device.
If you are looking for a software testing company, make sure that they understand how to provide a good end-user experience for both desktop and mobile users, and make sure that they test their websites on as many different platforms as possible. Do not make assumptions about how your website will look – remember that while many smartphones have sophisticated browsers, when you get to the lower-end feature phones, things become far more unpredictable in terms of functionality and power.
Looking to The Future
The trend towards “Phablets” may change the design constraints that web designers face when it comes to accommodating mobile users, but right now there are a huge number of different screen sizes, and browser capabilities, for designers to consider. If you want your site to succeed, then you cannot afford to ignore any of your user-base.
Today, a “normal website” should be a flexible, powerful website that looks good whether it is viewed on an iPad with a retina display, a feature phone, a tablet PC or an old desktop using Internet Explorer (after all, you want to cater to people shopping at work!) if you cannot do this, you will lose customers. Given the power and flexibility of modern content management systems, and the fact that Google is pushing webmasters to be more mobile-friendly, it makes sense to invest in improving your site today.
With more requirements than ever before for safe and efficient refrigeration, pharmaceutical and food companies are feeling the heat when it comes to managing refrigerated freight. Both sectors are being pressurised to ensure that the cold chain is meeting quality standards in terms of temperature control, energy dependence and regulatory requirements.
As a result, more and more research is being ploughed in to the industry, leading to some key trends which look set to improve logistics and achieve efficiencies.
Current Trends in the Cold Chain
As consumer demands grow more complex, there has been a recent shift towards globalization. For example, with tastes for products such as Alaskan salmon becoming more mainstream, firms have had to swiftly amend their outlook to accommodate ways of sourcing and shipping foodstuffs and pharmaceuticals safely across extended distances. VersaCold report this demand is prompting innovation, with transit control a priority.
This shift in consumer expectations has also impacted cold chain commitment to maintaining refrigerated warehouses across up to five disparate temperature zones. To avoid the inevitable changes to taste and texture through fluctuations in temperature, firms are battling to maintain consistency as well as safety, speed and quality. There is also a move towards temperature-assured reefers and other containers to accommodate increased sensitivity for pharmaceuticals which need to be shipped at consistent levels.
Increasing Demands on Commercial Refrigeration
Directives issued by the European Union on distribution of medicinal products in 2013 called for manufacturer-established recommendations to be observed not just in storage, but across the entire transportation process. The coverage also applies to over-the-counter medicines. This mandate has greatly increased the demands for consistency across the entire shipping of products.
Strategically, firms are now considering positioning of suppliers across the flow of goods to ensure they are able to accommodate the new quality requirements. This means considering speed, consistency, location and capabilities in addition to cost-effectiveness. For example, Nestlé Canada has adopted Lean principles to ensure quality can be managed in addition to maintaining cost effectiveness, while https://www.fridgefreezerdirect.co.uk/ commercial refrigeration experts are seeing much more demand for high-quality, highly compliant solutions.
While industry regulation and increased quality is positive for consumers, these trends are placing increasing pressure upon the cold chain industry. Only those firms committed to considering innovative solutions will maintain compliance while remaining cost-effective.
Students have had it tough financially following the introduction of tuition fees, and an increasing move towards experience-based attributes over academic prowess.
A recent refusal by the government to honour a petition to axe a retrospective hike in student loan interest rates has added to the challenges faced by many young academics.
The petition, which was launched by Durham student Alex True, generated over 120,000 signatures over the course of just a few days. However, despite overwhelming support for the petition, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills turned down the request, suggesting that an alternative approach to repayment thresholds would undermine the equality of the student support system, whereby all students can access a university education, regardless of financial standing or ability to pay back loans. The statement suggests that the government are remaining firm in their decision to freeze the repayment threshold to maintain a unified student support system.
The BIS continued by confirming that applications for university admission by disadvantaged young people is at a record high, and taxpayers need some way of managing this increase.
Increasing the Need for IVA Debt Management
In 2010, the government stated a promise that as of April 2017, the repayment threshold for all student loans would rise each year, in line with average earning rates. Alex True’s petition focused on the fact that the government has now backtracked on this statement, by freezing the threshold at £21,000. This means that all graduates will now have to pay more for their student loans.
BIS stated that the petition was considered carefully prior to the decision being made to reject the request. The decision was made, they said, as a result of considering the wider socio-economic impact of a repayment threshold which rises to reflect national rates of inflation and average earnings.
The decision is increasing the difficulties many students face in repaying student loans, leading to a number of graduates turning to https://www.carringtondean.com/individual-voluntary-arrangement-iva/ Individual Voluntary Agreements to manage their debts, to ensure that they can repay loans.
‘Disappointed and Disheartened’
In response to the decision, campaigner True has stated that he feels disappointed and disheartened with the response, which did not address the issue that a retrospective change to the existing loan agreement without mutual consent from all parties was unethical.
Having multiple trusts with each below the IHT limit of £325,000 has been a popular trust planning strategy for some time. While there are no tax savings to be had initially, the effect is that you can reduce the tax charge every ten years when tax is due and also reduce the exit charge. Continue reading Do discretionary trusts have a role to play in tax mitigation?
Speed is not generally associated with building, but a tension fabric structure can be erected much more rapidly than a traditional edifice. Rather than taking years, construction of this type could take place in a matter of weeks, with the process more one of installation. Continue reading Fast fabric: understanding the rapid fabrication of tensile structures
Running your own netball centre is an exciting prospect. You may be setting up new teams within your district or feel you deserve better facilities than those presently on offer. You have a few choices when it comes to financing your new venture. You can buy outright, lease the ground or look into running a franchise.
The most important thing is to get the location right so that players can easily access the site. Then you can decide whether you want to buy the land or rent it. Owning outright is the best option if you can afford it because you’ll have more choice in terms of what to build. You also won’t face the prospect of your landlord giving you notice to quit.
Shop around for finance
It should be possible to borrow the money from a private investor or bank loan, but shop around for the best deal and talk to several different financial institutions. Rather than building new, you may find there are existing sports centres for sale that just need a little work instead of starting from scratch. This could be something your local authority could help you explore.
You may want to rent part of an existing sports complex or find a property owner with a spare plot of land who is willing to lease it to you. Make sure a proper contract is drawn up so you know who pays for the upkeep.
Start a franchise
There is a third option of running a franchise, which could be a quicker way to set up netball sessions and leagues in your area. The advantage is that you will have the franchisor’s proven business formula and marketing skills to fall back on, but you may have to pay a management fee, which could put it out of reach financially.
Once you have opened your netball centre and attracted players, you will need to make sure that enough of them return every time so you can set up a team and keep a decent cash flow. There are many netball drills you can incorporate into training to improve players’ skills in all areas. You can find examples at http://www.sportplan.net/drills/Netball/drills.jsp.
You could also perform an online search for other netball business owners to find out their financing experiences and long-term forecasts.
With population growth and climate change high on the global agenda, the issue of ensuring healthy and sustainable food supplies for all is paramount. How to address these crucial issues is the focus of the recently launched N8 Agrifood Research Programme launch.
Bringing together big players from the food industry, leading supermarkets, DEFRA and the National Farmer’s Union, N8 Agrifood aims to promote collaboration between government, farmers, researchers, industry and academia to address the pressing need for a sustainable food system. This unique forum will bring together experts in plant biology, nutrition, soil health and waste and resource management.
The critical issues under examination by N8 Agrifood will have an impact on all areas of food production, including food security, public health and innovations in agriculture.
Sustainable Food Production
Taking a systems based approach to sustainable food production, N8 Agrifood will look at the use of pesticides and fertilisers, the surveillance and treatment of crop and animal disease and genomics.
Two billion people rely on rice as their staple crop. N8 researchers are currently involved in the search for rice strains that are both drought and submersion tolerant, to cope with the droughts and floods predicted as a result of climate change.
Resilient Supply Chains
In a changing world, guaranteeing food security and sustainability is a huge challenge, and resilient supply lines are key. N8 will consider the impact on nutrition, the environment and fair trade.
Improving Consumption and Health
N8 will also focus on dietary needs and public health through the SATIN research project. With the obesity crisis reaching epic proportions, this research examines the ingredients and processing methods that promote a feeling of ‘fullness’, and will assess the suitability of SATIN as a weight management tool.
The Environment Factor
N8 Agrifood focuses on every area of food production from farm to fork, with a particular emphasis on environmental impact. We all recognise the need to reuse and recycle precious resources. For example, you might consider investing in used food machinery to reduce your company’s environmental footprint. Companies like used food machinery specialists Clarke Fussells will guide you through the process of purchasing recycled equipment.
By creating one network of key players in the food industry, N8 Agrifood is aiming to produce multiple solutions to the challenges facing the 21st century food supply chain.
Guildford has been gaining a growing reputation as a popular and vibrant town for great nights out. Recent developments linking the town to Woking have meant it’s now considered to be an outer area of London, but it retains the charm and appeal of its Saxon roots.
Whether you’re looking for a great meal out, a night visiting the local bars and pubs or something a little more adventurous, Guildford’s broad range of entertainment options makes it easy to find the ideal venues for bringing friends together, a romantic night out or stag or hen parties.
Best Pubs for Guildford Nights Out
For chilled-out friendly venues, Pews on Chapel street is a great option. Recently refurbished, the bar offers a combination of local food, drinks and entertainment. North Street’s All Bar One is popular for cocktails and has a lively atmosphere, while Epsom Road’s Rogues Bar offers live music and an up-beat atmosphere. It’s not hard to find the ideal pub for meeting up with friends, going out after work or just letting your hair down after a long week to kick off the weekend in style.
Hiring a party bus in Guildford is worth considering to get the atmosphere started before you even arrive at your chosen venue. Millbrook’s Kokomo, Milkhouse Gate’s Fahrenheit 55 and MKB on Alexandra Terrace are all popular venues for stag and hen parties, with options to use a party bus in Guildford to go on to clubs for more partying. A party bus is a great way of organising your evening based around safely transporting larger groups without having to pause celebrations to co-ordinate the transport.
For more venues in Guildford for stag and hen parties, check out http://www.getsurrey.co.uk/whats-on/food-drink-news/16-buzzing-bars-clubs-guildford-9992497 and https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Attractions-g186390-Activities-c20-Guildford_Surrey_England.html.
For people looking to party into the small hours, the university offers Rubix for student heaven, while Onslow Street’s Casino offers multiple floors of entertainment, themed evenings and cocktail booths. Popworld on Bridge Street is popular for disco-themed nights combined with a fusion of modern tracks, flashing lights and dancing. Cameo on North Street offers a traditional-style club night with contemporary music and drinks deals, while independently owned music venue Boileroom provides live music events from rock to pop, with an in-house noodle bar providing reasonably priced meals.
A growing company does not allow its employees to just sit and be given their job and work all day without assessing their outputs. They do not allow the regular employees to trust all the thinking to be done by the team managers and the back office, they require employees to put input and to prove what they have done and accomplished so far with presentations. Continue reading 4 Impacts That A Presentation Folder Make