The heavy snowfall of the past weeks might have made the country look like a winter wonderland, but for operators the reality has been a broken national supply chain and loss of revenue as punters have opted to stay at home rather than risk the icy roads and pavements.
Of course, it hasn't all been bad news. Some businesses prospered from the adverse conditions. Witness the stories told on pages 10 and 11, such as the 20-room Hampshire Hog in Clanfield, just off the A3, which ended up going from 15% to 85% occupancy in a matter of hours as it helped stranded motorists.
Well done to all the hotels, restaurants, caterers and pubs that have helped the general public cope with the inclement weather. Our thoughts are with the businesses - some of which are still affected by the snow chaos.
Cateys 2010: who would you nominate?
Once again, the hunt is on for nominations for the Oscars of the hospitality industry, the Cateys. These awards enable us to recognise and reward industry exemplars and, by so doing, offer the industry yardsticks against which it can measure its own activity. Crucially, all of our judges appreciate this.
Simon Numphud, hotel services manager at the AA, appreciated it when he told us that 2009 Group Hotel of the Year winner, South Lodge, "sets a great example to the industry that improving standards takes time, significant planning and investment, both in the physical aspects and, most importantly, the team".
David Foskett, head of school at Thames Valley University, appreciated it when he said that Education and Training Award winner and chief executive of the Savoy Education Trust, Julia Sibley, "has helped so many people, changed their lives and created opportunities where none have existed".
And Matthew Rowland-Jones, business development manager at Envirowise, appreciated it when he said that Sustainable Business Award winner, BaxterStorey, "showed that they were addressing a range of environmental issues, from resource efficiency through energy saving to sourcing local food. It is this embracing of the whole environmental agenda that sets them apart from the other entrants".
Do you know of any individuals or businesses that set themselves apart through the work they do, and that set operational standards for others to aspire to? Then let us know, via www.cateys.com.
Mark Lewis, Editor, Caterer and Hotelkeeper