Magazine December 2020
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So another month another lockdown but we have light at the end of what has seemed a very long tunnel. We have worked very hard this month to try our best to bring some much needed answers from the government to address the trade directly as we believe you all deserve them. We will continue to push and fight to get the engagement that the trade deserves but we also believe it is important to look at how the trade can adapt when it is possible for the brands , suppliers and the venues to work together, to support each other like never before for the benefit of all concerned. Yes it is important to champion the lack of fairness in the restrictions the trade and hospitality sectors have been subjected to over this challenging time however we would encourage everyone in the trade to come together and look at how we all can help each other and support everyone coming out the other side better and stronger. We at OnTrade Scotland & everyone at TopGun Media Ltd would like to thank all of our partners and advertisers for their support and input and to everyone that has contributed to this edition and the previous editions for the fantastic feedback and support. Lets make the best of what is left of a year to forget. Lets do what we mean to do moving forward.
LETS #COMETOGETHER & MAKE A DIFFERENCE We wish you & everyone in the trade a Merry Christmas & a Very Happy and Prosperous New Year
Justin Wingate Director at TopGunMedia For press enquires or advertising opportunists please call or email: Email: email@example.com Telephone: 0141 556 4111
The importance of the music industry in Scotland
We speak to the Scottish Government
Non Alcoholic But not as you know it!
Firewater All Fired Up
Industry News SCOTTISH HOSPITALITY GROUP TO CONTINUE LEGAL ACTION In a joint statement the groups’ spokesman, Paul Waterson, said there is a “serious issue of government reliance on introducing regulations, rushed through with the use of emergency powers and with no realistic opportunity for consultation or consideration”. “There also remains an absence of any substantive or qualitative evidence of the effect the operation of hospitality and licensed premises have on the spread of COVID-19 despite the sweeping and draconian restrictions which have been and are increasingly being imposed on our industry,” said Waterson.
HEINEKEN appoints new Chief Commercial Officer James Thompson in early 2021. James is currently Head of Categories, Brand, Innovation and Stores at Avon. He has extensive experience in the beverages sector from his prior 24-year career at Diageo PLC. Dolf van den Brink, Chairman of the Executive Board/CEO: “I am delighted by the appointment of James Thompson. He is a very experienced executive with an international perspective on consumer, customer and marketing trends, both in developed and emerging markets. James has an excellent track record and a wealth of experience in premium brand building, consumer centricity, innovation and leading multi-category development. Our Executive Team very much looks forward to working with James to further evolve our commercial strategy. I would also like to thank Jan Derck for his significant contribution to HEINEKEN. It has been a real pleasure working with Jan Derck over the years.”
“These restrictions put at risk the very survival of our industry.”
HARVIESTOUN BREWERY RESPONDS TO TIER 4 LOCKDOWN IN SCOTLAND Stuart Cook, Joint Managing Director at Harviestoun Brewery, based at Alva, near Stirling, said: “The Level 4 measures announced for significant parts of Scotland earlier this week are incredible damaging to an industry already on its knees. This just piles on the pressure on Scottish pubs and the supply chains that support them. “Not only is this a devastating blow to the trade, but with no insight to when the industry can open again, the sector will be unable to plan for the its busiest time of year. “Harviestoun Brewery, just like all other breweries need a schedule so we can plan in and return to brewing for the pubs. The Tier 4 announcement is of no help whatsoever in these almost terminal times for the Scottish On Trade.”
NEW PRESIDENT OF IWSC APPOINTED Scotch whisky stalwart Michael Urquhart appointed as 2021 president of the prestigious IWSC. Becoming president of the IWSC adds to the many accolades Michael has received as a result of his dedication to the Scotch whisky industry. In 1999 he was made a Keeper of the Quaich and in 2012 a Master of the Quaich in recognition of services to the promotion of Scotch whisky worldwide. At the end of 2013, The Whisky Advocate, one of North America’s leading drinks publications presented Michael with a Lifetime Achievement Award. He was also inducted to the Whisky Magazine Hall of Fame in 2014.
Brand News HEINEKEN UK DIALS UP SUSTAINABILITY CREDENTIALS, AS SOL BREWS ITS SUNSHINE LAGER EXCLUSIVELY WITH SOLAR ENERGY Heineken UK announces the latest step towards its target of 70% renewable energy in production by 2030 – choosing to brew Sol exclusively with solar energy, after installing 4,000 solar panels at its brewery in Tadcaster and 9,212 solar panels at its brewery in Zoeterwoude. Matt Saltzstein, Premium Beer Unit Brand Director at HEINEKEN UK said: “At HEINEKEN UK, we’ve challenged ourselves to innovate sustainably and, as a result, we’re proud to share that the Sol brand is now brewed by solar energy. As its name suggests, Sol is all about the sun and our new tagline, ‘Brewed with Solar Energy’, reinforces our authentic, longstanding connection to it, alongside our goal of becoming more carbon neutral. We know four in every five consumers want to make a difference in saving the planet for future generations, and Sol is proud to play its part.”
COCA-COLA & KATY PERRY ANNOUNCE NEW MUSIC PROJECT Katy Perry and Coca-Cola have come together to reimagine “Resilient” – a song from the global superstar’s new album, Smile. Partnering with critically acclaimed DJ/ producer Tiësto and introducing the vocal stylings of rising star Aitana, the remix is an uplifting, inclusive anthem for our times. The track launched last Friday, 13th November, with a first play on BBC Radio 1 ‘Best New Pop’ and is available to listen to “Resilient” feat. Aitana (Tiësto Remix) and can be viewed on OnTrade Scotland’s Youtube Channel.
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Music Matters Since 2004 RS100 has been working with and supplying leading bars and restaurants with their sound and entertainments systems, providing atmosphere and ambience with a passion truly unique. This passion comes from the many years spent by Roddy Stewart the companies owner in not only Glasgow’s music scene but music culture as a whole. Starting life as a club DJ in venues like Henry Africa’s & Tiffany’s to representing 21 DJs in his own agency in clubs all across Scotland to having his own record label and band Roddy has been at the heart of the music scene and is well placed to discuss the changes that have taken place not just recently but over the last 15 or so years and why Music really does matter. “Music creates an atmosphere in any venues whether its a bar, a club or a restaurant, it’s vital to he experience.” Roddy told us. “I really enjoy working with our clients and customers specing out a venue and listening to their vision of what kind of atmosphere they want to have for the customer, and being able to give them the right solution to make their vision a reality.” We initially worked with clubs with the original company RS Sound & Light supplying the sound and light equipment until the industry changed due to the licensing laws a number of years ago creating more of a hybrid club / pub experience we decided to adapt and be more tailored in the offering we supplied.
With people spending more time than before in bars and restaurants instead of the traditional club venues the importance of offering different solutions to these venues as well as value for money was key. “With a lot of the chains now being owned and run by the brewery’s based down south we find we can provide far better value for money as well a tailored solutions to the sites as part of refurbishments or redevelopment plans because they are not having to pay “London” prices with their potential existing suppliers down south helping them invest that saving in other areas of the business which can only be a good thing in the current climate.” We have worked with venues like Buck’s Bar Group, DiMaggio’s, Anchor Line, Chaakoo Bombay Cafe and Star Pubs & Bars to name a few and working with each clients specific needs to deliver what their vision is very important to us. Roddy explained what he impact of the current restrictions have meant to his business, “Just now, and after The First Minister announced there was to be a “Music Ban” it’s like someone has turned off the tap.” “Even venues that would be using the time to make upgrades or look at maintenance are sitting tight which has a knock on effect to businesses like ours. There seems no real reasoning behind it, which is the most frustrating part of this, removing music as background noise has had a massive impact on the venues ( when they are open) and on businesses like ours.” “Without music most venues have no soul, no atmosphere and feel hollow. Nobody just now is looking for music booming out while they eat a meal or have a drink, but the importance of at least background music is massive to provide that sense of escapism that people look for.” Since the music ban has been put in place venues, bars restaurants and clubs have been left confused and bewildered as to the reasoning behind why background music is not allowed and has effected so many people across the industry.
Other people from a cross the music industry have echoed Roddy’s feelings as to the importance of music and the impact it has had on their area of the industry here are what some of them had to say: JIM DUGUID – LITTLE DRUMMERBOY LTD AWARD-WINNING PRODUCER AND SONGWRITER Song writers and musicians across the world are feeling the financial pain of the pandemic as shops, cafes, bars, restaurants, clubs and venues are all forced to close for the covid restrictions. With these business closed, so ends the valuable income that musicians and composers make from their music being played in them. We stand shoulder to shoulder with these business owners in these unprecedented times. Government must support these massive industries to come back strong in 2021 In 2019 the music business contributed nearly 6 billion pounds to the UK economy with nearly 200,000 thousand employed in the industry. Scotland has provided some major musical exports, in the shape of its fantastic artists and composers, and the continued production and growth of this talent relies on the vibrant culture of music in our society. But Music brings much more to our lives, and much more than cash to the economy. Music is the sound track to our lives. We each have our individual playlist. A favourite first song, our favourite artist, a song that reminds us of all the incredible highs, a great night out, our high school disco, a summer holiday, our first gig, love won, love lost and those in our lives now passed. It amplifies the atmosphere in the cafe, the shop, the club, the pubs, the hair dressers, barbers and nail salons. It keeps toes tapping and smiles on faces. It provides proven relief and emotional expression to many who suffer with Illness. It’s great for our mental health. It takes us to incredible highs and comforts us at our lowest lows. We all need a pick me up in 2021 and that’s why We need our hospitality sector, our venues, our pubs, clubs and small venues back and playing some great music to help us all feel good!
SUZIE MCGUIRE IRVINE – DJ & HOST OF NATION RADIO “I feel for everyone effected, music has been such a big part of my career and life, I can’t imagine how the artists and venues must feel not being able to make a living. I hope they and all of us can get back to a bar or restaurant and a gig asap.” GINA MCKIE – RADIO PRESENTER AT GO RADIO & EVENTS HOST “Normally at this time of year I’m out and about with Santa switching on lights here there and everywhere NOT THIS YEAR!! It’s so tough. I genuinely love to support local businesses there are so many pop up shops/ stalls at many of these events too surrounding music. I’m a big fan of the Arches and SWG3 and miss the vibe, I’m ZOOMED out! All we can do is encourage and support each other as much as possible, I miss live events so much.” JOE DEACON – CLUB AND EVENT DJ The Pandemic has decimated the entertainments industry! Speaking on behalf of myself, I’ve had no DJ work since march 2020 and had over 30 gigs cancelled, I’m hoping to be able to honour 4 gigs that I have in February 2021 but realistically I feel it will be Easter or even the Summer of 2021 before normality is restored. Here’s hoping …. Stay safe and best of luck to everyone.” 9
Supporting Scotland’s on-trade like never before It’s been an incredibly challenging year for the hospitality sector, and we’re by no means out of the woods yet. But the generosity and support we’ve seen from operators and suppliers alike goes to show that hard times truly can bring out the best in people. SUPPLIER SUPPORT FOR LICENSEES We caught up with Rob Harris, vice-president for GB sales at major soft drinks supplier Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP), to find out about its four-phase support package for the on-trade this year – worth more than £20m. During the national lockdown in early summer, the first phase of the plan – ‘Respond’ – was put into action. The focus was on communication with customers, providing cashflow support wherever possible, and supporting industry associations to ensure the operators’ voices were being heard. Phase two of the plan – ‘Prepare’ – was all about getting outlets ready to reopen when lockdown restrictions were lifted: “Prior to outlets re-opening, our engineers attended to or advised 26,500 operators across the country – that equates to around 30,000 pieces of equipment,” Harris explained. “And to get bars restocked during the third phase of our plan – ‘Re-open’ – we supplied free bag-inbox products to almost 9,000 free trade/leased and tenanted outlets across GB, as well as adjusted our buy five get one free wholesale promotion, to buy two get one free.” In the fourth phase – ‘Recover’ – 20,000 free trade pubs (new and existing CCEP customers) were offered a free stock bundle equating to nearly £300 in sales per outlet, and menu and advertising support was made available to pubs, bars, hotels, restaurants and cafes across GB. RE-OPENING TOGETHER With the summer months offering some semblance of normality, Coca-Cola launched its landmark “Open Like Never Before” campaign, following a historic seven
month advertising pause, which saw $120m redirected towards global Covid-19 relief efforts. As part of the campaign, Coca-Cola shared its advertising resources with its out-of-home customers, to help them communicate that they were open again. Explaining how it all worked, Harris said: “We created and placed bespoke adverts for our hospitality customers across more than 600 locations in 15 different cities, letting more than 11 million local consumers know they were back open for business. One of these venues was an Italian restaurant in Edinburgh called Frizzante.” CELEBRATING OUR COMMUNITY LIFELINES Coca-Cola’s £20m support package also includes its £165k Community Pub Fund – which is recognising the incredible efforts of pubs that have gone above and beyond to support their local communities this year. Harris said: “From feeding the elderly and vulnerable and providing NHS workers with somewhere to stay, it’s been inspiring to learn of the amazing work carried out by publicans since the start of the pandemic – especially considering the hardship they’ve been facing themselves. The Fountain Bar in Aberfeldy is one of the pubs to benefit from the fund – thanks to its now-legendary ‘Feldy-Roo’ hot meals delivery service, which delivered nearly 40,000 meals to those in need during the early summer lockdown. So far, the team at The Fountain have been given a cheque for £1,000 to donate to a charity of their choice – and they’ve gone for Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance, which provides a vital service for remote communities like theirs. They have also just received a further £10,000 to invest in a community project or to make business upgrades. Harris concluded: “Our ambition with the Coca-Cola Community Pub Fund is to help pubs and bars continue their community work and build resilience and flexibility into their businesses, by strengthening relationships with their customers and enhancing the services and facilities they can offer.”
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Cabinet Secretary Fergus Ewing MSP Answers the trades questions For a number of months we have been working hard behind the scenes to have the Scottish government address the on trade and hospitality sector directly instead of hiding behind mainstream media. We approached Scottish government to give them the platform to explain the actions taken over the last few months that have for many in our industry seemed very unfair at best and at worst totally bias and carrying some form of agenda. We believed strongly the 3 most relevant people within government to address the wider hospitality sector based on their direct comments and position would be the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Prof Jason Leitch, due to his direct comments in relation to the hospitality sector and bars and restaurants interarticular, or the Cabinet Secretary Fergus Ewing MSP who is the minister directly responsible for the industry. We were surprised to say the least at the lack of urgent on the part of he government to address the trade directly especially given the large amount of frustration, confusion and at points anger the constant changing of measures and reasoning effecting he trade have caused with sound bites on mainstream media and TV eluding to hospitality venues being the source of the spread of infection with no recourse or ability for the trade to respond. We have, after a lot of hard work and effort, managed to secure an exclusive Q&A with Fergus Ewing MSP Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy & Tourism where our editor and director Justin Wingate put to Mr Ewing direct questions we at OnTrade Scotland and the wider trade believe need answered, some of which have been supplied by prominent owners and stakeholders across the trade. Q&A with Fergus Ewing MSP Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy & Tourism JUSTIN WINGATE: What evidence was and is in place to suggest that restricting or in the case of the central belt closing hospitality venues would provide a significant reduction in the infection rates when these venues have more restrictive measures in place than supermarkets & retail stores in the movement of customers and their interaction with other customers, stock and staff and have less volume of customer flow in the first place? MR EWING: “We fully understand the challenges facing the hospitality sector as we look to balance measures to suppress the virus and protect lives with keeping businesses open and trading viably.
“No-one wants the restrictions in place a moment longer than necessary but the evidence shows that the virus is transmitted between households, particularly in environments with close contact at less than 2 metres and where ventilation is poorer. It is therefore essential at present to reduce the amount of time people spend in these non-essential settings, including hospitality, while still allowing some economic activity. “We believe the current time restrictions for hospitality at levels 2 and 3 are the correct balance but we will continue to build on our constructive dialogue with the industry and listen to their concerns as we move into the new levels framework. The tiers progressively reduce the opportunity for spread of the virus, reducing contact between people in terms of frequency, volume and duration, and especially in circumstances that lead to the breakdown in the compliance with these. “We are doing everything we can with the powers we have to help businesses, offering support which now exceeds £2.3 billion, including 100% rates relief for pubs and restaurants for the year. We would like to have the flexibility to go further and are considering what could be done – but ultimately are constrained by the fact that most of the key financial powers are reserved to the UK Government. Along with other devolved administrations we continue to request fiscal flexibility from the UK Government to allow us to respond to industry needs. BACKGROUND NOTE: The Scottish Government published this evidence paper setting out why these restrictions are necessary. JUSTIN WINGATE: Mr Ewing what factual evidence was in place to suggest that banning background music in venues would have any impact on the spread of the virus in any way? Given the behavioural science evidence shows human nature when having a conversation in a quiet environment over a 2-meter distance is to lean in and speak more quietly to try and have a private conversation would surly be achieving the opposite effect of what was intended in the first place? MR EWING: “It has been necessary to take a cautious approach to reduce risk around virus transmission. We know loud music or other sound that causes the raising of voices and or people to lean-in to be heard presents an increased risk. The science around the role of aerosols and droplets in the transmission of virus is well understood. However, while the guidance remains that hospitality premises should have no, background sound the Scottish Government is working with industry experts, trade representatives and local authority partners through an expert advisory group to look at how guidance can be developed to safely managed low
level background sound in hospitality.” JUSTIN WINGATE: What factual evidence was in place to suggest the implantation of a 10 pm curfew on hospitality venues would lead to a reduction of infection rate given this would not only lead to the number of people descending on the streets at the same time seeking public transport etc instead of the normal staggered exiting over the course of the evening you would see but also given the reduced times of customers being able to potentially book a place in a venue actually encouraging people to have gatherings at home with arguably less social distancing and restrictive measures in place and also putting a potential burden on Police Scotland due to increased calls and having to attend house parties? MR EWING: “Reduced operating hours is about reducing the amount of time people spend in settings where social interaction raises the risk of virus transmission, whether through person to person contact, hard surface contact from droplets or aerosol in poorly ventilated environments. These are the risk factors that must be mitigated while balancing economic activity. Unfortunately, it is necessary to have these trading hour restrictions for the time being while we work our way through this extremely challenging time.” JUSTIN WINGATE: Can you clarify what support is in place specifically to hospitality businesses in detail that find it totally unviable to open without the sale of alcohol and with the vastly reduced opening hours and restrictions to pay staff and rent and rates and keep businesses afloat? MR EWING: “We are determined to support businesses during this period and we will continue to listen to and engage with business leaders about the strategic framework. We are making financial support available as levels are reviewed across the country and restrictions applied locally and we are continuing to work with local authorities to ensure grants are made available quickly and efficiently. Last month we announced the strategic framework business support fund which provides one-off grants of up to £3,000 to bars and other businesses required to close by regulations for every four weeks of restrictions. Applications for this scheme went live on local authority websites on Friday. In addition, up to £9 million of funding will help with the costs of re-furloughing staff by supporting the 20% salary contribution required by the UK Government. The full up-to-date arrangements are available through our ‘find business support’ web site.” JUSTIN WINGATE ASKING A QUESTION PUT FORWARD BY MICHAEL BERGSON MD OF BUCK’S BAR & THUNDERCAT: Mr Ewing, Small family pubs with all key safety measures in place and large sums invested to put them in place are being forced to shut down without adequate compensation. Giant crowded foodcourts with less measures in place and far higher chance of transmission are allowed to trade where is the fact based evidence to support this? MR EWING: “Mitigations are present in all of these areas, and are designed to appropriate to the types of use and behaviours seen in them. The length of
time spent in these types of areas is generally shorter than that spent in most hospitality venues, and when coupled with the other mitigations such as face masks and hand hygiene measures, the risks of spread from one individual to another is reduced. We appreciate there are some hard choices to be made and that not all the measures we have in place are welcome, but they are necessary and there to drive down the risk of virus transmission. The daily statistics of infections, hospitalisations and deaths are the grim reality of this. Even those premises permitted to trade must still follow and implement all the mitigating measures required for their sector and customer behaviours must also be compliant. Where this is not happening local authorities will take enforcement action.” JUSTIN WINGATE: Finally Cabinet Secretary what would you wish to say directly to the owners, groups, staff brands and other businesses who’s families and livelihoods depend on the on trade and the wider hospitality sector to survive that feel the First Ministers comments in 2014 where she stated the “she wanted to rid Scotland of its biggest ill being alcoholism “seems to be a leading factor in the what seems very unbalanced and unfair restrictions across the hospitality sector in comparison to others? MR EWING: “Scotland’s pubs bars restaurants and hotels offer marvellous hospitality to their customers and they form a vital part of our offer to our own citizens and tourists alike. Indeed over the past ten years or so my impression is that the quality overall has improved in the offering both in terms of food presentation and preparation for customers and guests - and in terms of the standards of the premises themselves. We are most certainly not a Government of killjoys! The enjoyment of a drink with friends in our pubs and hospitality venue is part of enjoyment of life in Scotland - part of our culture and brings us together as communities and as a country. The measures the Scottish Government are taking at this moment through our strategic framework are for one reason and one reason alone – to tackle coronavirus. We accept this has hit the hospitality sector hard, not only in Scotland but across the UK, Europe and the rest of the world. It is not a unique approach in Scotland to have to place these sorts of restrictions on hospitality, though we all wish it was not necessary. We are providing all the economic support we can with the current limited powers available to us and the UK furlough scheme, which we pressed the UK Government to extend, is also a crucial aid to those who are unable to work. The best thing we can do to help all of us is to work together, observe the rules and stay focused to beat this virus.” We would like to thank The Cabinet Secretary for at least engaging with the trade in some capacity and we appreciate his time. Do you feel the questions were answered? Do you feel there needs to be more questions answered by the First Minister herself directly addressing the trade?
Carina Contini, Owner of Edinburgh’s Contini George Street, The Scottish Cafe & Restaurant at the Scottish National Gallery and Cannonball Restaurant & Bar on Castlehill, said: During lockdown we took on board all the learnings from around the world and felt confident when we opened in July that we had put all best practice in place to ensure we were providing the best Covid-safe dining experience. “We’ve had to deal with many, many changes from July to November to comply with government regulations. All have had a significant impact on our ability to trade. The new Tier 4 restrictions are the final blow. Edinburgh is in Level 3 restrictions at present and we are finding the impossible to trade within. A feeling shared across our sector. “If alcohol is the issue, then ban alcohol. But to ban alcohol and restrict our trading hours is a double blow. The stay at home message has worked and people are adhering to the rules. Our lunchtime trade is dead in the cities as people are staying at home to work. People need a place to meet friends and family and the evenings are the only time they have to do so. They can’t meet in their homes, so we’re creating more emotional hardships for our communities. “We have yet to trade on Level 2 but we still don’t know if this idea would work. If we could extend our hours to at least 8pm, with no alcohol, we could spread our staff costs, rely less on furlough and be part of the solution to the Covid crisis. As it stands, more and more businesses are going to choose to close and many will not be able to reopen. This affects a huge supply chain and it’s heart-breaking.”
Stefano Pieraccini, Owner of The Seafood Ristorante in St Andrews and The Broughton in Edinburgh “I appreciate the government are doing all they can in difficult circumstances and I do whole-heartedly believe in putting lives first. The protection of the public is imperative. However, we are essentially being told you can operate under these restrictions but actually, ‘we don’t really want anyone to come and see you’. This is the opposite of protecting people and vital jobs and businesses which will help our country to rebuild long after this is all over. This narrative of the hospitality industry being the Bond villain to the Coronavirus pandemic efforts – when it’s clear as crystal that’s not the case – is so damaging. “Personally, I’m at a complete loss. I’m 25 years old and lucky enough to get to the position I’m in because of the people I work beside but there are others who are double, even triple my age feeling the exact same way. We are all struggling to remain positive. With the current restrictions, everything we have worked for is being ripped away and put in a tiered cage with little explanation to why you’re not allowed a shandy with your supper and it is through no fault of our own.”
Nic Wood, Owner of Signature Group following the new Tier 4 restrictions: “Although the raising of the tier level from 3 to 4 for the majority of the West and central Scotland came as no surprise, it remains a bitter and most unseasonal blow to our current commercial prospects. Tier 3 operations within hospitality are largely unviable with the vast majority of our sites closed. Forced closure within tier 4 means more reliance on the furlough scheme and more uncertainty as to when our businesses will fall into a viable tier. We need the Scottish Government to work with us and alter the tier definitions to make tier 3 more viable. Giving us an evening trade and permitting food service until 10pm would provide a chance of breaking even to GP level and covering a percentage of the furlough contribution costs.”
If you have any comments on the Q&A , feedback or suggestions please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org Fergus Ewing MSP can be contacted directly on the following: Twitter: @FergusEwingMSP Email: email@example.com Postal Address: Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy & Tourism, Scottish Government, St Andrews House, Regent Road, Edinburgh EH1 3DG 15
Is it beginning to feel a lot like Christmas? As this goes to press, the licensed trade is again closed or operating under restrictions. The constant change has been described in parliament as turning on and off a tap. The economy, in particular the licensed trade, cannot sustain this. The question of timing and whether the trade should be closed is a huge issue and one which a number of countries are facing at present. We could debate all week, in fact all year, as to whether the steps taken have been correct and the timing has been proper. That does not help the licensed and hospitality trade as it currently stands.
payment holiday. Inevitably the lender also wants to gain something from this but that is where we come in. There are a number of ways to achieve this and our lawyers can help with that.
At Gilson Gray, we speak to clients every day who are really concerned about the future of their business, not just for themselves but also for their staff. Operators have serious concerns that, despite grants and support, that is not enough to support businesses closed and restricted for so long. The lack of a proper Festive trade also has serious implications
Craig Darling, Head of Business Restructuring and Recovery, along with Jo Millar, can answer any queries on this and give constructive advice to achieve positive ways forward for your business.
There are some solutions. These may not be the first solution an operator may think about and it may not be a solution to the problem as a whole, but addressing small issues can take the pressure off and allow some breathing space to start again in January with a slightly lighter load. So how can you do this? 1. Restructuring The term “restructuring” is used to explain a changing things around in a business but people often switch off as their first reaction is that would be complicated and expensive. In fact, all it means is looking at your current business structure and identifying if there is a way make small changes to put your business in a better position. For example, that could be something as simple as introducing a trading company separate from your lease holding company and ring-fencing your licence into a non-trading entity to protect it. That can give a business a variety of options going forward and is not an expensive solution. 2. Refinancing Another term which makes it sound as though you have to completely renegotiate your borrowing and change banks. That is not the case at all. Small steps with your current lender can make a huge difference. That can allow a business being able to start back in January with some cash flow to allow it to plan and develop the business in what will be “new normal”. The path ahead is not clear and, albeit there is discussions of vaccines being available sooner than first thought, the licensed trade still has the hurdle of customer confidence to overcome. That is a serious issue which is often overlooked. Freeing up cash flow for a business facing a very uncertain new year could be the difference between that business succeeding and failing. An easing of pressure can be achieved by refinancing - simply put can be something as simple as renegotiating terms with the lender to reduce monthly payments or achieve a
3. Insolvency While the word can be seen as a bad news, insolvency does not always mean a business has to come to an end and everyone loses their jobs. There are a number of ways a business can trade out of difficulties, but that has to be done carefully and with the benefit of proper advice. Our Head of Insolvency, Steven Jansch has this advice: “Part of a business could be insolvent which starts dragging the rest down, but that need not be the nightmare that it sounds. In fact, it is possible to restructure a business to allow it to start again so long as that is carefully planned out and is on an agreed basis (sometimes called a ‘pre-pack’). That can give a business the fresh start that it desperately needs to allow jobs and the local economy to be preserved, both of which are hugely important in today’s challenging lockdown world.” 4. General Organisation This may sound like an obvious one, however, there is so much to think about for business operators. There is a huge level of stress and anxiety on operators who feel the weight, not only of their own responsibilities but also of the duty they feel to staff, suppliers and similar. That can lead to small things being missed which is where we come in. Minor things such as a staff change can lead to bigger issues. Were any of those staff the named manager on the licence? If so that needs to be changed and if the licensing board have not been told, it needs to be done immediately to avoid trading restrictions. If those staff were personal licence holders who were shift supervisors, it may be to meet the fit and proper test additional staff need to be trained. Many premises have made changes to layout to accommodate physical distancing. Were those changes permanent and have they been reflected in the licence documentation? Again, these issues can be resolved quickly to avoid issues going forward. While staff training and appointment of managers may seem costly at the moment, it is a small investment made now to ensure the business
can continue to trade or, if it is currently closed, that it will not remain closed because of non-compliance with licensing requirements as soon restrictions are lifted. Jo Millar, our head of Licensing, says “In these difficult times, missing something on the licence which seems small is easy to do for operators under pressure, but could be fatal to being able to trade. Seek advice as this could head off an issue and will put your mind at rest”. Jo is well placed to help on all of these matters providing practical support and advice. 5. Employment Unfortunately, many businesses will be looking now to reduce their workforce and that might mean redundancies. Gilson Gray’s Head of Employment, Stuart Robertson, says “Once the extended ‘furlough’ scheme comes to an end in March, it is predicted by employer organisations that the large majority of businesses will have to consider reducing staff numbers. There is a common misconception that small businesses do not have to consult when they make employees redundant.
Jo Millar – Head of Licensing firstname.lastname@example.org 0141 370 8116
That is not the case and, if the redundancy process is not completed properly, it can lead to expensive employment claims at a later date”. Our employment team advises a range of businesses not only on how to make people redundant but also, on the positive side, how to streamline their workforce to try to keep jobs by other means. If redundancy is the only option, we will advise you of that and support you through the process to reduce the risk of you facing a potentially expensive claim which could have been avoided. We can also give your business advice on how to restructure your staff and possibly save jobs in the process. Everyone is, quite rightly, looking to the future and making plans to reset and renew but the fact is we are still all in this together. Everybody is affected, not just in Scotland and the UK but globally. As a firm, we have seen clients of all types, sizes and locations affected by this pandemic and we are here to help. Please feel free to pick up the phone to Jo or any of her colleagues below.
Steven Jansch – Head of Insolvency email@example.com 0131 516 5361
Craig Darling – Head of Business Restructuring and Recovery firstname.lastname@example.org 0141 530 2044
Stuart Robertson – Head of Employment email@example.com 0141 433 7752
The right advice has never been more important. We’re honoured to have been chosen as the exclusive partner of OnTrade Magazine Scotland. As one of Scotland’s full-service law firms we’re able to offer specialist legal, property and financial services. We’re here to help in a time when support and clarity are needed most – offering valuable advice and insight on everything from licensing, business financing, employment and real estate. Different people. Different approach. Different results. To find out more please call Jo Millar on 0141 370 8116 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
EDINBURGH I GLASGOW I EAST LOTHIAN I DUNDEE
We are continuing to celebrate the great work you as venues are doing during this challenging time to adapt and still supply great food and drink to your customers over the Christmas period. We have received an overwhelming number of images and shares of the takeaway offering you have and we have loved sharing them with your potential customers through our social channels. KEEP THEM COMING.
Three Spirits – Non Alcoholic but not as you know it .. The company began trading in January 2019 and within their first six months are listed in some of the world’s best bars, including Black Rock, The Connaught, Nightjar, and Soho House, as well as in luxury retailers such as Harvey Nichols and Burford Garden Centre. Three Spirit were one of the first functional drinks to enter the alcohol alternative market when launched in 2019. Uniquely flavoured and created in partnership with plant scientists, world-class bartenders, hedonists and herbalists. The range features three drinks; Livener, Social Elixir and Nightcap, which all offer a different natural buzz through the use of adaptogens. Three Spirit bridges the gap between drinking and not drinking, offering consumers a third way to drink. Developed by co-founders Tatiana Mercer (co-founder of BarChick), Dash Lilley (co-founder of CocoFace and Champatea) and Meeta Gurney (CEO of Beyond Alcohol), Three Spirit was created in response to the growing trend of the semi-sober consumer who want to be social, and are looking for exciting functional alternatives that offer more than just flavour. Dash, Tatiana and Meeta worked with a team of some of the best bartenders, herbalists and plant scientists to create alcohol-free Three Spirit, which combines eleven herbs and plants with naturally blissful qualities. Three Spirit’s world class team of bartenders, including Robin Honhold (ex Mr Lyan), and award-winning Tristan Stephenson and Thomas Aske from Fluid Movement (Black Rock, Worship Street), alongside Michael Heinrich, Head of the Centre for Pharmacy at UCL School of Pharmacy, have created these two new drinks that bring great flavour, function and a unique drinking experience to the rapidly growing non-alcoholic drinks sector. Three Spirit drinks are designed to enhance your night from start to finish, stimulating the palette, mind and body - before,
during and after the party. Each variation of Three Spirit is versatile, from a simple serving on the rocks to working into non-alcoholic variations of fames cocktails such as Negronis, Espresso Martinis or Daiquiris. Awards: Three Spirit’s Livener, winner of Best No & Low New Wave Spirit Winner at the Imbibe No and Low Taste Awards 2020 Three Spirit’s The Starter Pack, winner of Innovative Better For You Product of The Year at the Food Matters Live Awards 2020 Information on variants: Social Elixir Dark, bittersweet and curious, Social Elixir is a herbal drink with a savoury bite. Combining lion’s mane mushrooms that promote cognitive function and improve mood, coconut vinegar packed full of prebiotics and nutrients for gut health, cacao which contains theobromine that is known for stimulating the mind and passionflower which studies have shown aids relaxation and promotes feelings of wellbeing. Livener A naturally invigorating and fiery elixir, Livener is powered by Amazonian guayusa that offers a big hit of energy without the jitters or dreaded crash, cayenne pepper to invigorate the body and the tastebuds, schisandra berries packed full of multidimensional flavour, stress easing properties, balancing L-theanine f and apple cider vinegar that supports natural gut microflora for mind and body benefits. Nightcap A naturally soothing elixir, Nightcap combines relaxing and distressing valerian root, melon hüll hops that are naturally mellowing and calm inducing and lemon balm that has been observed in studies to reduce anxiety and promotes calmness. This slow sipper features decadent flavours of wood, bright spices and citrus herbs.
Non-alc, but not as you know it.
Major Award Winner. Created by World-Class Bartenders. Delicious in cocktails and with classic mixers. Available direct or via nationwide wholesalers. email@example.com
Tonic water reinvented
Fired Up To Feed & Water The Hungry Whilst the government continue to provide confusing messages and very limited support to the trade many venues find themselves in limbo and scratching their heads on what to do on a day to day basis.
Some have closed entirely, some have remained open and operating within the very restrictive measures and having to look at how they can protect their businesses and staff and adapt to offering other products, and a few have gone the extra step and looked to provide a positive and inspiring light on a challenging situation. Lisa MacDonald GM of Firewater in Sauchiehall Street with the full support of the owner Pat and the staff are one such venue. The team had looked at the impact the pandemic & the measures put in place by Government had had on their staff and the wider community and wanted to do something, anything they could to help. On the 3rd of November, the venue opened its doors 23
to work on the “Help The Hungry” campaign, providing free pizza and a drink to anyone that is in need and struggling to feed themselves. Lisa told us why she and the team at Firewater felt this was important, “our midweek business is mostly from students and we have a really strong loyal customer base however with the way the pandemic and the subsequent government measure being put in place we have seen a lot of people struggle to even feed themselves. Our staff have experienced financial hardship like I’m sure many others have and we felt it important to try and do something in any way we could to help.” “We value our place in the community and whilst we as a venue are fighting to remain open and adapt to the measures we feel it is important to stand for something and help those in an even more difficult position, and if that is as simple as giving someone a pizza and a drink to give them one less thing to worry about hat day then we wanted to help.” Lisa has been with Firewater for 6 years and has been in the hospitality sector since she was 18.
She has seen many changes over the years in the culture of the city and in the area surrounding the venue and she explains the evolution of the venue itself, “Firewater started as a bar with a really diverse mix of customer and over the years it has evolved to a bar/ club and a late-night venue with live music a vibrant atmosphere and a place people come to meet and socialise with a real community and relaxed vibe. The staff are like a big family we all look out for each other and we get to know the regular customers and they become part of what makes the venue so special.” “The difference with a venue like Firewater and other venues in this end of the city is we are destination venues, somewhere you intend to go to meet friends, enjoy certain events, club nights or arrange a night out we don’t get the “passing trade “ that venues in main shopping areas do for example like on Buchanan Street or the Merchant city as Sauchiehall Street and certainly this end of Sauchiehall Street is not the shopping street it once was, which makes the challenge of operating any form of normal activity under the current restriction almost impossible.
Yes we can sell coffee or food during the day but when you don’t have the passing trade to take advantage of that and when most offices and surrounding businesses are closed it makes that prospect unviable, it doesn’t matter how cheap you make a coffee or what your offering is to adapt if the footfall isn’t there to sustain it and you can’t operate to you accommodate your customers in the way you normally would it makes staying open very challenging.” We have I’m sure like other, spent a lot of money in making sure our customers and staff are safe and complying with the guidelines, however, something needs to change to help venues like ours trade and provide a service to our customers. We have changed the layout to observe social distancing, we have installed screens, we have implemented very strict cleaning protocols and when we have been open we have policed the guidelines properly with table service and not allowing others from different groups or table to mingle however we are not seeing the fairness from the powers that be to allow venues like ours to operate and police these restrictions properly. The vast majority of our customers have been very
respectful of the measures and have followed the rules so we don’t see the evidence on the whole that when people go to a bar or venue that they don’t comply. “We think there could be more support from the government and more support from the council as to the licensing restrictions around the measures as the guidelines in our opinion are not clear, with things like the 10 pm curfew, the music ban as a blanket rule are just now fair in any way.” Lisa and the team at Firewater like others are very passionate about the trade and their customers and their community and had this to say on bringing the trade together. We would encourage as many venues, suppliers and brands to come together as possible to help our communities and each other as we are all stronger together, let’s try a little bit harder together. Other venues have provided similar support to the community like the Eat Out To Reach Out campaign by The Buck’s Bar Group and we at OnTrade Scotland would echo the message by these venues and others for as many brands and suppliers to get behind them and come together for the better of all concerned.
All photos taken provided by Helen Barrington.
Philip Wilson - The Inventor of SuperTuffMenus I have a degree in Hotel & Catering Management; I spent my first 11 years working in hospitality and foodservice. I loved it but strangely left it to run a print business.
In 2015 I was working on a project that gave us some specialist equipment and materials and had a eureka moment realising we could make a menu that would be like no other. My hospitality experience had shown me how hard it was to keep a menu looking as good as it needs to. The menu is the only piece of marketing the 99% of your customers handle. The menu is SO important. I sold 40 to the Yes Bar in Glasgow. A year later they came back for more having been delighted with the way the SuperTuffMenus® still looked great after year’s heavy use. We knew we were onto something. The SuperTuffMenus® has taken time to develop, the first iterations didn’t all work as well as we had hoped, but now we feel we have it cracked. SuperTuffMenus® are now guaranteed not ever to go soggy or peel apart. They will last a year, and we even have customers that have managed to make the last two. In March 2019, John Quigley invited me to help out with some menus for the filming of “Tricks of the Restaurant Trade” at Red Onion. The documentary was showcasing Menu Design Secret with the US’s MenuEngineer - the late Gregg Rapp. Gregg demonstrated the importance of menu design and how it can drive sales and profits if presented correctly. Many of Gregg’s teachings reinforced my knowledge and belief that menus are essential. During COVID, we have customers putting them through their pot wash after every contact with a customer…that’s 10-12 times a day. Yes, they are an investment, especially when you look at the unit cost of a laminated card or even disposable menus. But
they are also extraordinarily robust, so depending on your operation I would advise needing no more than the number of covers, and even if you are changing your menu as often as once a quarter these stack up. We have reduced one operations menu costs by more than 70% over the year; they were going through 500 booklet menus every 6-8 weeks. We provided 50 menus that lasted a year. Here’s some maths for you: Restaurant of 50 covers. Open seven days. On average, they turn their tables 2.5 times a day. They currently use a double-sided A3 that is a laminated card, folded to A4. They buy 250 at a time and, excluding any artwork, that costs them £275 exVAT. They update the menu twice a year but find themselves ordering 250 at least every quarter by which time the menus are looking quite grubby and tired. That adds up to £1100 per year without the artwork. During COVID they swapped to a disposable menu, a simple double-sided A3 that gets binned after every customer contact. It is 100gsm and printed both sides in colour. The bought 5000, to begin with for £315 then as things went on they bought 10,000 for £535. The first 5000 lasted six weeks (EOTHO boosted covers) the second batch looks like it will last four months. If they carry on with disposable all year, it will cost over £2000. So if you were buying 60 SuperTuffMenus, it would cost about £423. You’ll probably drop the size of your order after the first go, 50 at £352.50 Wash them numerous times a day - in the sink, glass wash, pot wash ( test it first!!!) Why not? You wash your plates and glasses, don’t you? They will still be looking great after 12 months you do the maths for yourself.
CO 2 VID- S ECUR E VENTIL ATION: En sur i ng v e nt ilat ion per f orma nce Buildi ng - ba ck cust om er t r ust
C A L L F O R P A R T I C I P A T I O N I N G O V E R N M E N T - F U N D E D P R OJ E C T
H O S P I TA L I T Y I S T H E S E C T O R M O S T I M P A C T E D BY COVID1 9. S O C I A L- D I S TA N C I N G A N D H YG I E N E C O N T R O L S A LO N E H AV E N OT B E E N S U F F I C I E N T TO A L LO W T H E C O N F I D E N T R E T U R N OF THE PUBLIC THE RISK FROM AIRBORNE “SECOND -HAND” AIR I S D I F F I C U LT TO MANAGE
How can managers in the . on-trade reassure customers? We have received Government funding to engage with the hospitality sector and fine-tune a practical and affordable ventilation management system that will allow the pub owner of manager to demonstrate and evidence in real-time that their indoor air quality meets Government guidance for the sector. Developed in Scotland, our system combines sensors, hardware and software to deliver a user-friendly means to automatically monitor and manage the risk (and equally importantly risk perception) from bio-aerosol arising from “second-hand” (exhaled) a ir. The system is intended to be practical, able to be physically installed in the premises in a matter of minutes by the nonspecialist. It will be unobtrusive, ab l e t o wor k alon gsid e, wit h ou t d isr u p t in g, existing HVAC systems. Uncertainty around “long-tail” recovery from the pandemic may mitigate against building managers investing in costly permanent systems. Our concept is for a level playing field: a portable, flexible system, which can readily scale up to any size of venue. The product will be “fit & forget”, requiring no ongoing attention
If required, the premises air quality data can be made available in real time in various smart ways to both passing trade and the connected customer. As such we envisage that this will assist in the return of confidence for customers of the hospitality sector as regards indoor air quality and a healthy leisure environment. This innovation will serve a genuine need - from pubs to restaurants to music venues and beyond.
We are looking to pilot the prototype immediately with a number of establishments in the hospitality trade – whether large chain or small proprietor. This just involves installing unobtrusive equipment in your premises for 3-4 weeks. There is no financial commitment required (wholly Government-funded). We are looking for the early adopters for this game-changing technology. To register your interest or for more information contact:
Dr Brian Gardner, Project Lead:
firstname.lastname@example.org SYSTEM D I AG RA M >
Skin may harbour potential sources of infection which can survive for several hours. • S145 is alcohol based and quickly kills residual bacteria left behind after washing. • 70% alcohol content complies with the requirements for sterilising hand gel for control of infections such as MRSA, Swine Flu and Covid 19 as recommended by The World Health Organisation.
• Simply rub onto the hands and work in well. • Quick drying in 15 – 20 seconds with no sticky residue left behind. • Reapply after each hand wash to maintain maximum protection. Syntec Manufacturing Limited 6b Mid Road, Blairlinn Industrial Estate Cumbernauld, Glasgow G67 2TT
Call 01236 739696 or email Sales@SyntecChemicals.com
www.bdpcontractfurniture.co.uk INDOOR - OUTDOOR
Suppliers of Bespoke Banquette and booth seating Manufactured in our Glasgow workshop to a very high standard Suppliers of quality contract indoor and outdoor furniture Recovery and polishing service
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37 Hepburn Road, Hillington Park, Glasgow G52 4RT Tel. 0141 883 0400 / www.bdpcontractfurniture.co.uk 30 ontradescotland.co.uk
THE HOME OF S C OT T I S H K N O C KO U T FO OT B A L L 28 LIVE GAMES THIS SEASON
In December we have an exclusive Q&A with Cabinet Secretary Fergus Ewing MSP directly answering questions from the trade, an interview with...
Published on Nov 27, 2020
In December we have an exclusive Q&A with Cabinet Secretary Fergus Ewing MSP directly answering questions from the trade, an interview with...