Catering: Millennium party bug lies in wait

Demand for waiting-staff and chefs to cater for parties for the millennium is predicted to be three times current New Year's Eve party levels according to the recruitment specialist Reed Catering Personnel.

Added to that, the British Tourist Authority expects an additional 30 million visitors to travel to the UK to celebrate the advent of 2000 - many attracted by huge parties planned for such venues as the Millennium Dome in London, the 75,000 seater Millennium Stadium in Cardiff and a four-day Hogmanay Festival in Edinburgh. The result threatens to become a new "millennium bug" with many staff wanting to celebrate 2000 themselves rather than go to work.

"The catering industry needs to address this problem now rather than wait for it to develop into a catastrophe," said Christine Bradley, manager of Reed Catering Personnel.

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