Business Diary: Work Foundation has problems with tenant

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The Independent Online

The election is causing headaches at The Work Foundation. Having rented out meeting rooms to the Lib Dems' election team, the economic think-tank has been forced to issue a public statement making it clear it has no political allegiances at all and that the arrangement with the party is purely commercial.

Heston should expect a phone call soon

Happy news from Little Chef, which says a new phone network designed for it by Vodafone is saving £700,000 a year. It should also speed up communications between the group and Heston Blumenthal, star of a TV documentary last year which saw the chef transform one of its outlets. Some 19 months later, the concept has been rolled out to only three of Little Chef's 175 restaurants.

Chilling news for South African beer sales

Hats off to the analysts at Sanford Bernstein responsible for the detailed research published yesterday charting exactly what sort of rise in beer sales is seen in countries when they host the football World Cup. The boost averages exactly 1.8 per cent, says the team's analysis. Be warned, however: this year's tournament in South Africa may be less lucrative, Bernstein reckons, because it will be winter in the country and demand for a cool beer may therefore be more muted.

Time to get down to the best work of the day

If you're reading this at 11.30 in the morning, put the paper down and get ready to do some work. A survey from Arm & Hammer – we're not sure why the toothpaste folk are so interested either – reveals that Britons believe their most productive time of the day is 11.33am.

The MPs who can no longer be bothered

With the current parliament at its fag-end, many MPs are preoccupied. Still, the Digital Economy Bill, debated on Tuesday night, might have attracted a better turnout – even at the high point, only 40 MPs were in the House of Commons chamber. At the same time, more than 5,000 people were debating the rights and wrongs of the controversial legislation on Twitter.

Number of the day: 4 per cent

The increase in real ale sales reported by the brewer Marston's over the past 12 months.

businessdiary@independent.co.uk

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