BUSINESS DIARY - what's on in the coming weeks

Putting hotel restaurants on the menu. Launching an online competition to showcase hotel restaurants are (from left) Richard Cassells, commercial director at Cater2; Ciaran Lowry, Rational; and Eddie McKeever, NIHF president
Putting hotel restaurants on the menu. Launching an online competition to showcase hotel restaurants are (from left) Richard Cassells, commercial director at Cater2; Ciaran Lowry, Rational; and Eddie McKeever, NIHF president


:: Harland & Wolff chief executive John Wood will share his insight on the innovative and technical advancements driving the future of shipbuilding in the UK and Ireland with maritime leaders at the 2023 National Maritime Ball, which takes place in Dublin's Shelbourne Hotel on Friday May 19.

The event will celebrate the significant contribution the maritime industry makes to Ireland’s economy, trade, connectivity, sustainability, and renewable wind energy, and members of the Irish and international seafaring community will be addressed by the Dail's Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Jack Chambers.

In his keynote address, Mr Wood will discuss his fascinating maritime background and story, including the rejuvenation of the shipbuilding industry in Belfast, where Harland & Wolff have formed a core part of the areas DNA throughout the decades.

The black-tie event is being hosted by Irish Chamber of Shipping president Giuseppe D’Oliveri in collaboration with the Marine Ireland Industry Network and the Atlantic Youth Trust charity, which will benefit from funds raised on the evening (


Despite significant investment restaurants in Northern Ireland, hotels often get overlooked as ‘go to’ locations for a culinary experience.

But to showcase the wealth of innovative culinary talent that exists within the north’s hotel sector the Northern Ireland Hotels Federation (NIHF), in partnership with Cater2 and Rational, is launching the ‘Signature Dish’ competition on Instagram, giving hotels the opportunity to promote a dish from their menu.

The competition (details at is open to all NIHF members, and the winner will be announced on June 1.

NIHF president Eddie McKeever: “The standard of food on offer in hotel restaurants makes them ‘destination’ worthy. Hotels are experts at catering for a diverse spectrum of tastes and needs, offering everything from brunches to banquets. Industry chefs have an extensive skillset and a desire to remain at the forefront of innovation.

“This competition, delivered in partnership with Cater2 and Rational, will give them the opportunity to promote a signature dish from their menu via our Instagram page, and the sharing and amplification of these posts will generate increased awareness of hidden culinary gems that exist within Northern Ireland’s hotel network.

“The public will then vote for their favourite dish, with the dish that receives the most likes being the winner. The competition prize is a trip to Oktoberfast 2023 in Germany and a tour of the state-of-the-art Rational factory.”


BUILDERS merchant Haldane Fisher has teamed up with Q Radio personality Jordan Arnold to deliver an event aimed at increasing the general public's confidence in home improvement and DIY.

'DIY and Donuts', which will be held between 10am and noon on June 10 at Haldane Fisher’s Bangor branch, will give attendees top tips for quick fixes, easy upgrades, and budget-friendly solutions for home improvement.

Richard Chambers, branch manager at Haldane Fisher Bangor, said: “With industry research showing that 2/3 of the general public don’t feel confident in carrying out home improvement themselves, we want to showcase how quick and straightforward undertaking these projects are.

“From hanging a picture to choosing the right type of paint, small changes can go a long way in making a house a home.

“Teaching someone to improve their home with DIY is not just about creating a better living space, it's about empowering them to feel confident and capable in their abilities. It's remarkable how a little knowledge and a few simple tools can give someone the courage to take on new challenges.”

The event, which is free of charge to attend, will be hosted by Jordan Arnold with demonstrations from professional handyman Colin McKnight.

Haldane Fisher - which serves both trade and the general public, supplying 13,000 products across 800 brands - will also be partnering with Taboo Donuts, which will be providing DIY donuts especially for the event.

For more information or to register your interest and attendance, visit