Gourmet Burger Kitchen to axe 362 jobs and 26 restaurants despite rescue sale

Gourmet Burger Kitchen (GBK) is to close 26 restaurants and axe 362 roles despite being saved from administration.

The chain has been bought in a rescue deal by Boparan Restaurant Group, which also snapped Carluccio’s out of insolvency earlier in the pandemic.



GBK said it had started to see improvements in trading last year after a major restructuring process in 2018, which saw it shut a raft of sites.

However, the company, which had been owned by South African group Famous Brands, said it slid into administration after the virus impacted upon its liquidity and potential to be sold as a solvent business.

The sale will secure the future of 35 GBK restaurants (Rick Findler/PA)
The sale will secure the future of 35 GBK restaurants (Rick Findler/PA)

The group has now been sold in a pre-pack administration deal after working with insolvency specialists at Deloitte.

It said the move will save 35 sites and 669 jobs from its original network of 61 restaurants and 1,031 employees.

Gavin Maher, joint administrator at Deloitte, said: “As with a number of dining businesses, the broader challenges facing ‘bricks and mortar’ operators, combined with the effect of the lockdown, resulted in a deterioration in financial performance and a material funding requirement.

“We have been working closely with the management team under very difficult market conditions to try and find a funding solution and I am glad to be able to announce the rescue of this well-loved brand together with a large proportion of the sites and workforce.

“However, it’s clearly disappointing that a number of sites have had to close resulting in today’s redundancies.

“We would like to thank all of those involved in the transaction, including our legal advisers, DLA Piper, and wish the management team, workforce and the new owners, Boparan Restaurant Group, every success in now taking the business forward.”

It is the latest expansion in dining for Boparan, which is owned by “Chicken King” Ranjit Boparan and also owns the chains Giraffe and Ed’s Easy Diner.

Source Article

Read more

White House prioritizes Supreme Court pick over economy, jobs

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin were scheduled to have an important meeting yesterday afternoon on a possible economic aid package. Before they could connect, however, Donald Trump rendered their meeting moot: the negotiations, the president, were over.

Americans with economic concerns, Trump added, will have to wait “until after the election.” In the meantime, the Republican demanded that his team and its allies “focus full time” on Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Not surprisingly, this has quickly become the official White House line.

White House National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow told CNBC on Wednesday that there was a “low probability” of approving additional legislation in time for the election … “We’ve only got four weeks to the election, and we have a justice of the Supreme Court to get passed. It’s too close to the election — not enough time to get stuff done at this stage in the game,” Kudlow said.

Right off the bat, we know this is politically unwise: polls show the American mainstream is far more concerned about the struggling economy than filling the vacancy on the high court. For Team Trump to ignore these attitudes during the election season is to take an unnecessary risk.

But more important is the fact that we know Kudlow’s wrong, and not just in the abstract. In the spring, when policymakers were focused on a hearty response to the coronavirus crisis, the CARES Act came together rather quickly. It didn’t take four weeks; it barely took one.

What’s more, it’s not like officials would need to start from scratch to craft a plan between now and Election Day: the House has already passed two ambitious aid packages, and bipartisan negotiations have been ongoing for weeks. A concerted effort to reach an agreement — led, for example, by a president who claims to be a world-class deal-makers — could seal a deal.

As for the Barrett confirmation process, there’s no reason lawmakers couldn’t walk and chew gum at the same time: D.C. is capable of focusing on more than one task at a time.

All it would take is a White House capable of prioritizing the economy and jobs. The president and Kudlow are effectively telling millions of unemployed Americans that their plight just isn’t that important to Team Trump: the Supreme Court needs yet another far-right jurist more than these struggling families need an economic lifeline.

I can think of smarter closing messages for an incumbent president already struggling in the polls.

Source Article

Read more

House Speaker Michael Madigan says it’s not ‘ethically improper’ to find government jobs for people. Here’s what he’s failing to mention.

For years, Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan has defended his aggressive push to land political allies and their friends and family on taxpayer-funded payrolls, but rarely has he waxed as philosophically about it as he did last week in a three-page letter.



Michael Madigan wearing a suit and tie: Speaker of the House Michael J. Madigan (D) 22nd District talks with House Republican Leader Jim Durkin (R) 82nd District before a debate at Illinois House to vote on a bill raising statewide minimum wage during session at the State Capitol in Springfield on Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019.


© Zbigniew Bzdak / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS
Speaker of the House Michael J. Madigan (D) 22nd District talks with House Republican Leader Jim Durkin (R) 82nd District before a debate at Illinois House to vote on a bill raising statewide minimum wage during session at the State Capitol in Springfield on Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019.



Michael Madigan standing in front of a door: Speaker of the House Michael J. Madigan (D) 22nd District watches as Illinois House votes on a bill raising statewide minimum wage during session at the State Capitol in Springfield on Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019.


© Zbigniew Bzdak / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS
Speaker of the House Michael J. Madigan (D) 22nd District watches as Illinois House votes on a bill raising statewide minimum wage during session at the State Capitol in Springfield on Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019.

Facing intense pressure from a federal investigation into ComEd’s bribes-for-favors scandal and an invitation from a House corruption committee to tell the public what he knows, Madigan’s missive broke two months of near silence. The powerful speaker loudly proclaimed his innocence and tried to reframe his penchant for patronage hiring as a virtue.

Not only is “helping people find jobs not a crime,” Madigan wrote, it’s not even “ethically improper” for politicians to make job recommendations.

“To the contrary, I believe that it is part of my duties as a community and political leader to help good people find work — from potential executives to college interns, and more,” wrote the 78-year-old Illinois Democratic Party chairman, alluding to some of the very jobs that prosecutors brought up in charging ComEd with crimes. “What an employer chooses to do with that recommendation rests solely with their discretion.”

What Madigan didn’t mention when discussing the numerous jobs he’s secured for people during more than 50 years in politics is how that practice has benefited him and what it’s cost taxpayers and electricity ratepayers.

The Tribune has spent the last decade chronicling how it works: Patronage jobs are the lifeblood of Madigan’s political organization. And the people Madigan recommends be hired often serve as foot soldiers on the campaigns for the very legislative seats that allow the speaker to stay in power. In turn, that control of the House is key to helping Madigan bring in clients at his law firm, which handles high-dollar property tax appeals on some of Chicago’s biggest buildings.

Starting in 2010, the Tribune published the “The Madigan Rules,” a first-of-its-kind, yearslong investigation that exposed how the speaker built his political empire and law practice, revealing how those two careers repeatedly intersected. The report found that in some cases Madigan took public actions that benefited his private clients, though the speaker said his “personal code of conduct” ensured he maintained “high ethical standards.”



Michael Madigan sitting at a table using a laptop: House Speaker Michael Madigan listens to a debate on the House floor in 2019.


© Zbigniew Bzdak / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS
House Speaker Michael Madigan listens to a debate on the House floor in 2019.

In 2013, the legislature’s watchdog investigated Madigan’s role in a Metra scandal after the commuter

Read more

White House liaisons being removed from jobs and replaced, according to Mark Meadows’ email

White House chief of staff Mark Meadows emailed government agencies informing them that many of the White House liaisons are being removed from their roles in anticipation of President Donald Trump winning a second term, CNN has learned.



a large clock tower on a cloudy day


© Olivier Douliery/Getty Images


The liaisons will be replaced with officials who will report directly to the White House instead of the agencies to which they’re assigned.

Previously the liaisons worked in conjunction with the White House’s Office of Presidential Personnel and the agencies they served, while ultimately reporting to the agencies’ heads. With this change, the liaisons will instead report directly to the White House. Liaisons can be responsible for assisting the White House in placing political appointees at agencies.

While the email, first reported by Axios, was sent by Meadows, the changes will be implemented by the head of the personnel office, Johnny McEntee.

Since returning to the White House after being fired for issues related to his security clearance, McEntee has been on what’s internally referred to as a “hunt” for staffers he believes are disloyal to the President. In February, McEntee told agency officials at a meeting to expect staffing changes and movement across the government, according to people familiar with the meeting.

“Not a good idea on his part,” a White House official told CNN at the time. “Going to get himself and a lot of people in trouble.”

But the following month, the presidential personnel office distributed a new questionnaire to candidates applying to join Trump’s administration that asks what part of his campaign message “most appealed” to them and why.

While it is not unusual for presidential administrations to vet political appointees for ideological or policy alignment, the questionnaire previously used by the Trump White House did not ask for applicants’ views about Trump or his campaign. Trump’s name does not appear once on the previous questionnaire. It now appears five times.

Since the coronavirus pandemic began, the personnel office has installed several political aides at agencies like the Department of Health and Human Services. One of those aides, Michael Caputo, recently announced he is taking a two-month leave of absence after apologizing for a Facebook video in which he went on a rant against government scientists.

Shortly before that, Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Stephen Hahn removed a spokesperson, Emily Miller, at his agency after only a matter of days. Miller was a political appointee, so she remained at the agency without a clear job.

Both Caputo and Miller were placed in their jobs by McEntee’s office.

Trump’s focus on the question of loyalty rose sharply in the wake of his impeachment acquittal earlier this year.

He told his aides at the time that he wanted fewer people working for him in the White House and only loyalists installed in key administration positions, several people familiar with the matter told CNN.

Trump’s allies have long provided him with lists — not always solicited — of people they’ve identified as disloyal and the names

Read more

25 fall garden jobs you need to do right now



Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.



Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.



Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.



Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.



Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.



Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if

Read more

Polls, jobs look good for Trump

This week’s White House Report Card finds President Trump with his highest approval rating since before the coronavirus closed down the nation and clawing back in the race against Democrat Joe Biden.

On the plus side, the economy and employment continue to recover, just in time for the election. However, Trump’s promise of a virus vaccine was questioned by a top official, and the president was forced to deny a story in the Atlantic that he doesn’t respect the war dead.

Conservative grader Jed Babbin graded a B-, citing Trump’s law and order efforts and his trip to riot-ravaged Kenosha, Wisconsin. Democratic grader and pollster John Zogby noted Trump’s improving polling but graded a D-, citing the Atlantic story.

Jed Babbin
Grade B-

Trump had a pretty good week thanks to a good jobs report, his appearance in riot-torn Kenosha, and a big political gift he received from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Trump’s appearance in Kenosha was a point of emphasis in his increasingly law-and-order oriented campaign. He promised federal bucks for help to damaged businesses and caught Biden off-guard (which is increasingly easy to do). Biden went to Kenosha a few days later, without making any headway.

About 1.4 million jobs were added in August, bringing unemployment down below 10% for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic hit. The economy is still accelerating despite Democratic governors’ efforts to slow it down.

Pelosi’s hairdo, redone illicitly at an otherwise-closed San Francisco beauty parlor, was an absolutely perfect example of the “rules for thee but not for me” approach that liberal elites take to governing. They believe they’re above the law and the rules they impose on the hoi polloi. Pelosi’s haircut hypocrisy fits well with Biden’s promise to close the economy down again if the “experts” tell him to. (One such expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, single-handedly brought about an 800-point dive in the stock market by speculating that a vaccine against the virus wouldn’t be ready before the election.) Biden evidently doesn’t care if America sinks into a depression because of unnecessary governmental action.

On the other hand, Trump again proved his own worst enemy. He suggested that people vote twice (once by mail and once in person) to ensure their votes count. But voting more than once is a serious crime. And the president ordered a cut in federal funding for “anarchist” cities such as Portland, Oregon, and Seattle. Come on, man. You can’t do that without congressional action, as the courts have already ruled against you.

Trump should know better, but he obviously doesn’t.

John Zogby
Grade D-

Trump did get a bump in the polls after the Republican National Convention. In a two-way race, he is losing to former Vice President Biden, 48%-42%, and in a four-way race, he is down 45%-42%.

Interestingly, he is showing some gains among voters over 65 and among black voters (20%). But he is still at 42%, which is well down from the percentage of votes he won in 2016.

Read more

5 Jobs That Deal With Floor Plans and Interior Design

When constructing a building, it takes a lot of floor plan analysis to come up with a safe structure and excellent interiors. There are several interrelated professions that share common task namely: engineer, architect, interior designer, carpenter, and foreman.

A floor plan is a diagram that reveals the interior of the proposed building including the appliances, fixtures, and all parts of the house. To make an extraordinary creation, it requires team effort from various fields of professions to come up with artistically challenged masterpiece. Here are the following jobs that require floor plan reading and interior decorating:

Engineer

There are kinds of engineers, but in general an engineer is somebody who is a versatile entity responsible for the entire project from planning, to execution, to maintenance. However, the one who makes use of a floor plan are usually the civil engineers. It is also part of their duty to take charge of the interior designing, unless a separate interior decorator is hired. He assesses the site where the structure will rise as well as creates the design of the building, which is called layout or blueprint. This will be used as a reference from the start of the construction up to the completion of the project.

Architect

A Greek term, which means chief builder; an architect is a licensed professional responsible for designing of the building. The outline must comply with the standard building specifications and regulations to ensure safety.

Interior Designer

With their innate creativity, an interior designer is well-versed when it comes to renovation of your home. Since they are experienced when it comes to analyzing floor plans, they are compatible with engineers and architects.

Carpenter

Carpenters have several tasks involved namely: constructing, measuring, repairing, and installing. These are skills that are acquired either through experience or formal training. Since their tasks entail precision especially when it comes to measurements, they need to follow a blueprint and be keen on every detail presented. A blueprint is a piece of design or outline of the structure to be built, which includes the floor plans, electrical connections, piping, and the likes. From there, they are able to formulate an idea on how to carry out their task. Although reading from floor plans is not always applicable especially to those who do not have formal schooling, they can receive instructions directly from the supervisor. Since many of the carpenters are also self-employed, it is not unusual for them to get hired on an on-call basis. They will get paid immediately after the completion of work, which are usually repairs, partitions, and installation of shelves. In some cases, they are given the responsibility to decide what design would perfectly match their interiors.

Foreman

A man who is an overall charged of the workers particularly in a construction setting. From the experienced gained and the skills he possess, he is knowledgeable in all areas of the project. He is said to be a master of all construction trades; Therefore, worthy to be equated …

Read more