OnTrade Scotland Magazine - March 2022

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FREE AT LAST (WELL ALMOST)

Magazine March 2022 Official Partner



Welcome to the March edition of OnTrade Scotland WE ARE FREE AT LAST …..Well almost As we finally look to end restriction which have crippled our industry, some would say needlessly we must look forward as a collective as to how we can be better as an industry and how we can move forward together Venues, operators, independents, suppliers and brands alike AS ONE for the better of ALL. Not just talk a good game ACTUALLY DO IT Competition is good, COLLABORATION is even better. Imagine an industry where likeminded operators work together with brand & suppliers to provide the customer with more of an experience, an industry where the trade bodies work together on key issues to advise government on what is best for the industry in Scotland, where ego is not the driving force, where small brands and operators have a voice too. This is not a dream, this is very close to reality but we ALL have to work a little better to make it really work for all. We have an amazing industry in Scotland, with world class venues, world class products and truly inspiring, entrepreneurial forward thinking people we need to celebrate that and not forget who and what make us what we are. There are real struggles in the world and we have all had to make sacrifices and deal with challenges as we move forward together let’s not forget where we have been and what we have been able to achieve together. We would like to thank everyone who supports us for their help and engagement over the last 18 months it will never be forgotten and means more than you know. Thank you to all of our commercial partners without who’s help we would not have been able to produce the title or AT THE BAR your trust and support has been phenomenal. I think I only have one thing left to say …. In the words of a famous Scotsman …… FREEEEEEEEEEEDOM! BE KIND BE SAFE BE HAPPY STICK TOGETHER Justin Wingate Director at TopGunMedia For press enquires or advertising opportunists please call or email: Email: info@topgunmedia.co.uk Telephone: 0141 556 4111

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The Don...ald

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Vega - An experience with a view

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The end of Covid Passports

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Kiwi Cocktails 3


Industry News BEER & PUB INDUSTRY WELCOME UPDATED STRATEGIC FRAMEWORK Commenting on the First Minister’s statement to the Scottish Parliament this afternoon and the release of the updated Strategic Framework, a spokesperson for the Scottish Beer & Pub Association (SBPA) said: “This announcement from the First Minister marks an important milestone in the road to recovery for pubs. Removing the remaining mitigations will give a real boost to the sector, however it is disappointing that it will be another month before we see the total removal of all these legal restrictions.

“As we move to living with covid as an endemic virus it is important the pub and brewing sector receive the necessary support and guidance to ensure a strong and sustainable recovery. The industry faces a perfect storm of rising inflation, increased costs, supply chain difficulties, labour shortages, with a backdrop of record levels of debt. “We’re urging Governments in Holyrood and Westminster to support the sector’s recovery by continuing to reduce the punitive tax burden on our sector to ensure the sustainability of brewing and pubs, and help us regenerate our cities, towns and villages up and down the country.”

BBPA CALLS FOR PERMANENT BUSINESS RATES REFORM 0.5% of total rateable turnover, an overpayment of £570 million. The submission by the BBPA highlights these statistics and states that as one of the highest taxed sectors per pound of turnover, they do not believe the current system is fit for purpose, nor does it reflect a fair and equitable model for taxing business. Within the response the BBPA makes numerous recommendations to tackle the unfair system, including: Introducing an Online Sales Tax explicitly used to reduce the burden of rates from physical properties. The creation of a permanent relief or unique propertybased multiplier that is exempt from current Subsidy Control limits. The British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) has responded to the All-party Parliamentary Beer Group (APPBG) Business Rates Inquiry, calling for long overdue reform that reduces the disproportionate burden paid by pubs and brewers. The brewing and pub industry in the UK makes a major contribution to the local and national economy. The sector generates £23 billion of economic value and supports 900,000 jobs, and 85% of pubs in the UK are run as SMEs. However, the sector has also long suffered from overtaxation on business rates. Pubs pay more in business, per pound of turnover, than any other business sector. The business rates bill for the sector accounts for 2.5% of total business rates paid despite only representing

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Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer and Pub Association said: “It is clear the current business rates system places disproportionate burden on pubs and brewers which is stifling their recovery and ability to return to sustainable growth. Reform is needed to create a system which accounts for how the economy functions in the modern day. “Pubs and brewers are at the heart of communities fostering social cohesion as we reconnect and recover from the pandemic. With the required support our sector can deliver jobs and additional economic value in every part of the UK, supporting levelling up and the regeneration of high streets and town and city centres up and down the country.”

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Brand News JAMESON INVITES UK CONSUMERS TO ‘WIDEN THE CIRCLE’ THIS ST. PATRICK’S DAY Jameson, Ginger Ale & Lime or Jameson Orange & Lemonade serves on the house. The digitally focused activity will support the On-Trade through a simple game mechanic designed to drive footfall back into venues, and POS kits including branded bunting, tent cards and coasters will also be available. The Irish Whiskey brand will also be partnering with the London Eye to create a Jameson Pub Pod takeover, allowing up to 12 guests to enjoy two free Jameson serves during their ride from 25th February.

Jameson, the UK’s no.1 Irish Whiskey, is inviting everyone to ‘Widen the Circle’ this St. Patrick’s Day as part of a £multi-million campaign to generate mass awareness around the brand. Launching on 23rd February for six weeks, Jameson will be significantly investing in On- and Off-Trade activity, experiential and PR, supported by TV, Cinema, BVOD and social media, following the launch of the brand’s latest global campaign. The fully integrated campaign is set to engage with consumers across a broad range of platforms and drive preference amongst existing and new brand fans. The new campaign features Irish actor, writer and comedian Aisling Bea, the creator and star of BAFTA award-winning show ‘This Way Up’ and Netflix’s ‘Living With Yourself’. Built on Jameson’s long held belief that life is better shared by inviting others in for those moments of authentic human connection, the advert brings to life witty awkward social situations where people just click. The 30 second hero advert will dominate the March period and beyond, reaching over 71% of UK ABC1 25-44 year olds. Jameson will also be partnering with key customers to offer consumers the chance to claim one of 20,000

To further drive trial, the brand will be hosting a ‘Jameson Open House Party’ at The Bike Shed in London’s Hackney from 11th - 19th March to surprise and delight consumers with spontaneous fun and invite them to widen the circle. The experiential activity will feature bands and DJs performing in the living room, kitchen comedy sessions, a foosball club in the games room, as well as Jameson Black Barrel Old Fashioned masterclasses. Tickets for the experience cost £15 and include two drinks and a masterclass. Leanne Banks, Marketing Director at Pernod Ricard UK, comments: “The world celebrates Irishness each St. Patrick’s Day and, as the icon of Irish Whiskey, it’s an occasion that consumers and our customers expect to see and hear from Jameson. The brand has a rich heritage of bringing people together for shared moments of true connection and its smooth taste has always invited more people into our circle. We want to encourage consumers to spark conversation over a glass of Jameson and ‘Widen the Circle’ is our inclusive invitation to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with friends old and new. We have consistently invested in the occasion and this year will be going even bigger. Our new campaign will move away from the heavy broadcast campaigns of previous years to a more integrated multi-touchpoint approach, that will allow us to engage in a two-way dialogue with consumers in a relevant way. We look forward to delivering fun and engaging experiences that will inspire consumers to connect with others.”

HEINEKEN UK’S BUYING CLUB OFFERS PUBS £1M OF SAVINGS IN 2022 HEINEKEN UK has ramped up the number of money-saving opportunities for on-trade venues through Buying Club, featuring new and exclusive deals designed to help save the on-trade over £1M this year. As talk of inflation, increasing utility prices and other cost rises continues, HEINEKEN UK is determined to help operators who choose them as a supplier to make considerable savings and earn more profit with the Buying Club. HEINEKEN Buying Club hosts savings from a variety of on-trade essential businesses, including big discounts with Brakes, Biffa and Nisbets to name a few, helping the average pub save £5,000 a year. 5


The DON...ALD W

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e sit down with hospitality industry legend & one of the biggest personalities that has inspired many over the years to get into, music, entertainment and the industry in general the one and only Donald Macleod MBE. ontradescotland.co.uk


Justin puts some important questions to a man with a huge wealth of experience across the industry to hopefully inspire others across the trade that they have and are not alone in the challenges and that we can and must move forward together. What do you believe is the key to gig venues / night time industry moving forward positively? Well, obviously no more lockdowns or restrictions, or even the threat of them would greatly help in restoring confidence to the market place and with the consumer. This of course needs the Scottish Government and Public Health Scotland to be less in thrall of Covid, less panicked and more positive and proactive in enabling Scotland’s road to recovery. They have to be more probusiness, more supportive and less interfering. Sadly, their narrative and actions are still insular, cautious, and fearful rather than bold, aspirational, and supportive. We are the last country of the 4 nations to remove all Covid restrictions, and this cautious approach bordering on paranoia is continuing to paralyse our economy, particularly hospitality and tourism and its ability to fully recover. The signs though are hopeful that the final restrictions will soon be lifted, but the politicking from government has got to stop and their emergency powers binned before normality returns. But it will still take a lot longer than at first hoped for these battered sectors to recover. You have been very active and vocal during the last 2 years campaigning for better engagement through the various bodies you represent , can you tell those who may not be aware of the work you have been doing with NTIA / SLTA / SCMIT Scotland.

I was a member pre pandemic of the NTIA, but the Covid crisis accelerated my involvement as I and others were becoming very frustrated that Scotland’s Night Time Economy (NTE), a £5 billion sector and major employer was at that time underrepresented within the media, the trade and being contemptuously ignored by the insurance industry and the Scottish Government. Our voices needed to be heard and the NTIA was the best vehicle for doing that; It still is, and since it started speaking out has seen its membership grow leaps and bounds. Very quickly we became involved in challenging the robbers from the insurance industry who were welshing on client’s business interruption and pandemic cover policies and stubbornly refusing to pay out. An unsavoury battle that went all the way to the supreme court and resulted in a partial victory for many of its members. The NTIA were also pivotal in securing nightclub emergency funding, closure funds and hospitality grants, and in recent weeks successfully negotiating the appeals for many members, as were the Scottish Licence Trade Association (SLTA), of which I am also a very vocal member and the Scottish Commercial Music Industry Task Force (SCMIT) which I am very pleased to say helped secure Cultural Funding (CORV) and more recently Cancellation Funding from Creative Scotland for struggling live music venues, promoters, artists, freelancers, and the live industry supply chain. You are responsible for a number of venues and a large amount of staff, what has your venues experienced in challenges and how you & your staff have coped. The challenges have been wide and many, and are

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already well documented, but being shut for so long, over 500 days, was one of the most depressing and debilitating experiences I have ever gone through and has played havoc everyone’s mental health, not least my own. I was worried sick that my clubs might never get open again and that my 150 staff would lose their jobs. Thankfully that hasn’t come to pass and instead of wallowing in self-pity and depression, with help and support from my wonderful family, friends, and fantastic team, I became more focused and determined to see it through and succeed. Channelling my rage, frustrations, and energies into fighting the many injustices and crazy Covid obstacles and restrictions that were, and to lesser degree still are being dropped on Hospitality, NTE, Live music industry and indeed society in general. I still to this day shake my head in disbelief at the nonsensical, embarrassing but business crippling Background Music Ban, which was brought in by the Scottish Government to limit the spread of infection, the only country in the world to do so, not even North Korea tried that one. Absolute crackers! Next they will be thinking of taking the bottom off of fire doors to increase air flow? ..Oh wait a minute! 8

Seriously though, notwithstanding the length of closure and the ban on background music, the NTE / live music industry has faced a barrage of challenges over what has been a tortuous two years. The latest closures over the Festive Period were particularly hard to take, especially when it was clear that the Omicron variant presented no more of a public health threat than that of flu and that the government was not following the data but had instead bottled it. How are your venues handling the staffing shortages? Pretty well, because we looked after our staff throughout the pandemic and as such managed to retain the vast majority of them, helped of course by CJRS and by plundering our reserves. We are a good company to work for and take our staff and of course our customers duty of care very seriously. The main problem at the moment we have, is with a stewarding shortage and retaining those we have. How have you suppliers been over this time ? We were in a fortunate position not to be tied in with one supplier, so any shortages we had we could in the main be made up from one of our other suppliers. All were very helpful in adapting payments, allowing service suspension, and adjusting their delivery slots. Heineken ontradescotland.co.uk


were great and credited any overpayments we had to pay on their products if we had to order elsewhere. We have to remember that it was also a very challenging time for the suppliers, many hampered by staff and driver shortages, but they all tried their very best to make sure we supplied. Mortons gets a gold star as does Dunns who also helped keep the Macleod wine cellar adequately stocked during lockdown and a very special mention goes to Lothian supply company who worked tirelessly to ensure a steady supply of CO2 during the shortages. Is there anything you would like to share with your fellow operators and the wider hospitality sector that you believe is key to moving forward? Yes remember to treat your staff well, as human beings, not lackeys or robots. Take your duty of care to them seriously and look after them as best as you can. Not just when the goings good but more importantly when the going gets tough and brutal, and you will as we found out be rewarded and respected by them for doing that. Donald C Macleod MBE, MD Holdfast Entertainment and CPL Convenor Glasgow Licensing Forum NTIA, SLTA, SCMIT 9


HAS YOUR BUSINESS INTERRUPTION CLAIM BEEN REJECTED? WE CAN HELP! WE OFFER A NO WIN NO FEE SERVICE WHEN ASSESSING A BUSINESS’S PROSPECTS OF PURSUING A CLAIM FOR “BUSINESS INTERRUPTION” AS A RESULT OF THE PANDEMIC. Frank Irvine Solicitors Carlton Buildings, 63 Carlton Place, Glasgow G5 9TW T: 0141 375 9000 | mail@frankirvine.com | www.frankirvine.com


AS WE APPROACH THE SECOND ANNIVERSARY OF THE START OF COVID THE DAMAGE WHICH HAS BEEN WROUGHT ON THE LICENSED TRADE AS A DIRECT RESULT OF THE RESTRICTIONS PLACED UPON IT CANNOT BE OVERSTATED. Notwithstanding the various government schemes, such as furlough, many parts of the industry remain in a highly vulnerable position. Your business may be sitting on a claim for Business Interruption as a result of having to close down due to Covid restrictions. In January 2021 the Supreme Court made a ruling relating to various contracts of insurance, which had been impacted by and the coronavirus restrictions. The judgement is recognised as extremely complex and is not an easy read. The reality is that most lawyers would look at it and run a mile. We at Frank Irvine Solicitors have managed to secure several six-figure pay-outs for licensed premises who had previously had their Business Interruption claims rejected by their insurers. We offer a completely free review of your documents and an honest declaration as to whether you have a valid claim or not. Then, if we are of the view that you have a potential claim we will enter into a No Win No Fee agreement with you. Our fee would be a percentage of any pay-out.

“I’ve already had my claim rejected and my insurance broker has told me that I don’t have a claim” I suspect a lot of people reading this article will read the above statement and say that has been said to me. With respect, your insurance brokers are not lawyers. When I speak to licensed trade owners I am struck by how so many of them are mentally exhausted after the last two years. That can manifest as people feeling disempowered and feeling that they are not up to the challenges facing them in the future. You have to guard against that. You have nothing to lose by contacting us.

www.frankirvine.com PLEASE DON’T FEEL INTIMIDATED OR NERVOUS ABOUT CONTACTING US. WE ARE A PROFESSIONAL AND VERY APPROACHABLE BUSINESS AND ARE HERE TO HELP. WE HAVE BEEN HELPING PEOPLE & BUSINESSES SINCE 1999.


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VEGA - An Experience With A View W

hen you combine amazing views of the Glasgow skyline, with creative cocktails, mouthwatering food, neon lights and a 4 lane bowling alley you know you are going to have night to remember. We take a look at the fantastic Vega situated on the 7th floor of Yotel in Glasgow. We speak to the people who make the venue what it is and what they have on offer. YOTEL exists to challenge the status quo, appealing to those who find traditional hotels uninspiring and who want more than a great sleep. We deliver a unique hotel experience through our awesome people, smart design and creative use of technology – all with a touch of fun and tons of passion. There’s nothing else quite like us in the city, especially as we also have VEGA – our unique top floor destination bar, restaurant and bowling alley. Combining panoramic views of the city with an ever-evolving food and drink offering from breakfast and brunch through to dinner and late night cocktails, the venue is always full of energy and offers in your face fun.

a big focus for YOTEL’s development and in the past few years the brand has opened six hotels in Europe – Edinburgh, Amsterdam, London City, Glasgow, Porto and Manchester with London Shoreditch due to open in April. We do feel that we have brought something quite unique to Scotland - offering more than just a great night’s sleep, and an alternative option to the traditional hotels who currently dominate the markets in both Edinburgh and Glasgow.

YOTEL is proud to be British and is fast creating a portfolio across the country. The UK and Europe has always been

2022 has been no different so far- we ran a series of sunrise yoga sessions to help beat those January blues and have

Since opening, we’ve had a calendar packed full of exciting happenings. From our epic VEGA launch events, our official hotel opening party with a headline DJ set from Shapeshifters to our first ever New Year’s Eve party.

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just launched a new weekend brunch menu alongside a series of elevated monthly events; The VEGA Disco Brunch. We know our guests are looking for unique shared experiences and these events definitely cater to that need. We think it’s really important to have an exciting calendar of events and experiences to keep giving our guests a reason to return, especially as we get back to normal life and people are heading out more than ever. This doesn’t necessarily just refer to big events though, we also have an ever- changing roster of weekend DJs, regular menu refreshes and unique partnerships with likeminded brands to offer menu specials. It is no secret that it has been a challenging couple of years for the industry. Navigating incredible uncertainty, constantly changing restrictions and reopening in a vastly different employment market. As a new venue that opened in line with relaxation of restrictions last year our recruitment certainly benefited from the excitement around the venue but even that wasn’t enough to keep us free from recruitment and retention challenges. We took these shortages as an opportunity to challenge what our recruitment and team packages should look like. We reviewed, and ultimately increased, all staff pay to above current Real Living Wage, we looked at our team structures and development opportunities and ultimately we took a long look at how we could become the best environment for our staff that we could be. As a company creativity is at the heart of what we do and the last couple of years certainly required a creative approach to looking after our crew. Venues are obviously not the only businesses that have 14

faced a myriad of issues through the last 2 years. We know very well that it has not been an easy time for suppliers. As a hotel operation we deal with all kinds of suppliers and we know they have all been working hard to service their customers while dealing with the uncertainty of restrictions, supply and staffing. I would particularly like to highlight Papercup, a Glasgow based roaster, who have been incredible since we opened. They have remained attentive to our needs and have been able to provide top quality products in the face of huge industry pressures and kept the personal touch that makes for a great business relationship. Something that has really hit home for us as a business is that you can no longer purely focus on either experience or product. Consumers are being considered with their money and are looking for more out of a visit to a venue than ever before. For VEGA that means amazing cocktails, fantastic food and a bowling experience like no other. As an industry we need to be constantly moving forward to keep exciting and inspiring our guests. I would also add that if we are proud of what we do then we need to not be afraid to shout about it! For the launch of VEGA, we created a breathtaking 40 second one-take drone video capturing what was set to be on offer. We’d not seen anyone else in the city do something like this so we invested in the project to allow us to stand out and showcase how unique our venue was going to be. The content was used across many different channels and created a real buzz ahead of us opening. As operators we need never be afraid of trying something new or looking to stand out from the crowd. ontradescotland.co.uk


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Take your hospitality business to the next level with hungrrr What does hungrrr technology enable me to do? Hungrrr technology allows you to introduce a feature-rich mobile app and website for your business. Our white-label ordering solutions will enable you to online orders, streamline operations and increase staff efficiency at the touch of a button, taking your business to the next level. Which businesses is the technology suitable for? Our technology is designed especially for the hospitality industry. Whether you own a pub, bar, restaurant or takeaway, or manage a hotel, stadium or conference venue, we can provide you with a mobile app or web solution tailored to the specific needs of your business. How much does it cost? For the majority of our customers, the service is free, forever. That’s right – you’ll pay no setup fee and no commission, ever. All we ask is that you cover the cost of your hardware and merchant fees. This allows you to retain 100% of your well-deserved earnings. If you’re setting up a hotel, stadium or conference website, the cost will be slightly different, however we’re committed to ensuring that there are no hidden costs at any stage of the build process. How long does it take to get started? This will be different depending on each business. If you’re looking for a simple app for a single restaurant or takeaway unit, our team can get this up and running in 1 – 2

weeks. For more complex app designs, e.g. hotels looking for separate booking systems for leisure activities, dining venues and more, the process will take a little longer. Our team can help clarify timescales at the initial enquiry stage, to ensure you’re happy with the timescales. Can I host multiple businesses on the app? Yes, you can. Hungrrr technology already powers mobile apps and websites for thousands of businesses throughout the hospitality industry, from single unit restaurants, to larger chains such as Subway and Di Maggio’s. Whatever the shape or size of your business, we can tailor an app with our feature-rich technology to suit. How does hungrrr’s technology help my business? By introducing your own website and mobile app, you can reduce reliance on big marketplaces such as Deliveroo and Uber Eats, while driving up revenue and supporting your staff. By enabling guests to place orders, request the bill and book tables on your own app, you will leave front of house staff free to handle other priorities, especially useful over the busy festive period. Moreover, by hosting your menu on the app, you will have more opportunities to upsell with add size pricing, allowing you to drive up average order value. Even better, you can market directly to your customers who have downloaded the app with push notifications advertising special offers, themed nights, new menu additions and more.

Call 0330 900 2273 to request a free demo or email sales@hungrrr.co.uk. 16

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Colin Wilkinson, SLTA Managing Director

SLTA hails end to Covid passports as 'common sense' but says Scottish Government's messaging needs to be more 'positive'

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oday’s announcement by the First Minister that the Covid passport scheme will end on Monday has been hailed as “common sense” by the SLTA (Scottish Licensed Trade Association).

While welcoming the news, however, the trade association expressed disappointment that the legal requirement to wear a face covering in indoor settings must continue until March 21. Similarly, the requirement for businesses to retain customer contact details must also continue for another month. Colin Wilkinson, SLTA managing director, commented: “Calling a halt to Covid passports is common sense and fantastic news for hospitality businesses, particularly the late-night sector where restrictions over the last two years have had such a severe impact. “However, the legal requirement to wear a face covering in indoor hospitality and other settings for another month is not the news we wanted to hear today from the First Minister at a time when our sector needs more positivity and confidence – confidence that will encourage customers to start getting out and about again. “We are also way behind the rest of the UK in the process

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and that throws out confusing messaging to visitors to Scotland from south of the Border – visitors who will support our hospitality businesses.” Mr Wilkinson also expressed concern for the viability of some town and city centres over the Scottish Government’s advice to adopt “hybrid” working patterns. “We need to see more people in our town and city centres – if they’re working from home there are no office lunches or after-work drinks,” he said. “It is encouraging for Scotland’s licensed hospitality venues to see more people returning to their offices and workplaces in recent months as this will breathe life back into our city and town centres – but let’s be more positive about the messaging. “There is still a very, very long and uphill struggle ahead for many hospitality businesses with ongoing issues to overcome and an onus on the Scottish Government to support our industry which is key to the economy and jobs.” ontradescotland.co.uk




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THE GINTERMISSION Black Robin Rare Gin Grapefruit bitters Vanilla Tonic Lemon juice

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KIWI COCKTAILS STRAWBERRY SHENANIGANS Blue Duck Vodka Strawberry purée Basil Gomme Lemon juice Lemonade

TROPICAL TWIST Blue Duck Vodka Passion fruit purée Lemonade Orange juice Lime juice

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Black Robin Rare Gin, distilled over 5 distillations uses 11 botanicals including citrus from the distillery gardens and a locally grown NZ native horopito, the world’s most ancient flowering plant.

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Table for 1 please! By Jade Birkin, Dating Consultant and Coach

the train and being introverted and single for so long, I am happy in my own company and I have created the mind-set that if I want a wine and a plate of food brought to me, I can do it alone. Over the last few years, and especially after lockdown, I have found that I have taken myself on dates quite regularly. It might be for a coffee and walk around a museum, glass of wine in a pub while I write in a journal or people watch, and my newest “date myself” activity is a luxe cinema trip with a little wine, babybels and apple slices. After I did it once, I realised it was revolutionary. Despite how ‘normal’ it feels for me to go to the cinema alone or ask for a table for one, many people still think this is brave. “I’d be worried that everyone thought look at that sad woman alone.” This is because of socially constructed fear and single shame put on us, especially women. However, being alone and having time to yourself, if single or in a relationship, is very important as it give us time to decompress and process our thoughts on our own terms. Go and get a cocktail that you love, sit back, reflect and relax. If you are craving a meal that a restaurant near you has, try going alone. I know a meal alone might be a big jump for a self- date so here are other activities you can do alone, while people watching and supporting local businesses and give yourself some chill out time: • Cinema • A long walk – bonus if it’s somewhere you haven’t been before “Whatever, I’ll date myself” I thought as I sat at a table outside a wine bar. I sat alone and sipped a wine in my little black dress after being cancelled on while on my way to a first date. I was congratulated when I posted the photo on my socials for sitting in a bar having a glass of wine alone. Of course, I had been cancelled on but I really enjoyed people watching while having a drink in the sun. After university, I took on a job in the make-up industry and travelled a lot so I often had a meal and glass of wine alone at hotel restaurants or on 26

• Coffee and cake in a café • Museum or Art Gallery • Sit by the water with a bag of chips • Sit on a bench in a park with a coffee and sandwich • Theatre –A play, A Pie and A pint is most relaxed And if you are single and have read my article in the OnTrade ‘No Hangover’ issue, you might make eye contact and start a conversation with someone while out on your own! My next treat, is to take myself on a city break early summer so I’ll let you all know how I get on! ontradescotland.co.uk


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Cafe Culture after Covid Post lockdown, outdoor areas remain important to Scotland’s licensed trade. Over the last two years, licensed trade operators were very restricted and have been affected so badly, they need every assistance possible to move forward and retain trade and develop their businesses.

At certain times in the last two years, outdoor areas were the only place alcohol could be served. This resulted in visible changes in some of our towns, cities and rural areas. In Edinburgh and Perth there were larger outdoor areas allowed on pedestrian areas. In Glasgow, the area around Jo Millar Head of Licensing George Square saw an increase in pedestrian only areas and large outdoor areas were in use there and along St Vincent Street. Councils made various changes to their policies and we hope some of these will remain in place to assist licensed trade operators going forward. In keeping with that, Glasgow announced on 25th February that it would extend its current policy in relation to roads consent and outdoor areas until 30th September 2022. In addition the 2022/23 street café fee is restricted to 50% of the normal fee. New and existing operators should think about whether they had occasional licences in operation and whether they need to take any action to take advantage of this further period until 22nd September. There are 32 Council areas in Scotland, two of which are divided 4 sub areas. Each Licensing Board must have its 28

own Statement of Licensing Policy, which covers a range of matters including street café permissions, outdoor areas such as beer gardens, and occasional licences. Needs can be different not only between urban and rural premises but also between different Council areas. Each Council has its own focus and its own festivals, events and holidays to think about, which means there can be a significant difference in the policies for outdoor areas and street cafes and it is important to consider this. Practical things to think about for occasional licences, beer gardens and street café areas are: •

a street cafe area (on the pavement or similar public area) you will need roads consent as well as an occasional licence. Some boards may insist that you lodges a major variation through time rather than rely indefinitely on occasional licences.

for a new pavement consent, operators need to think about the clearance requirements between their property and any obstructions or pavement edges. This is not as complicated as it sounds and generally it is easy to identify with some assistance from one of our licensing team

the type of furniture to be used, whether that includes parasols or pagodas, and where the furniture can be stored need to be considered carefully. For example, some Councils’ roads departments, who look at the type and number of seats and tables when considering a street café/pavement consent application, require that metal furniture has added pads on the feet to minimise noise. It is also worth bearing in mind Licensing Boards often require that street cafe furniture is cleared away at the end of each day, which can cause issues if premises have nowhere to store the furniture. Some Councils may allow this to be stacked outside until closing time but others required it to be removed ontradescotland.co.uk


at the end of the period of use of the outdoor area (which is often 9 pm or 10 pm). If there is a lack of available storage there may be solutions operators have not thought about - speak to one of our team •

additions such as heating and enclosed areas may require planning or building control consent

if an enclosure is to be used, this has an impact on smoking in public restrictions which allow a partially enclosed area – our licensing team can give operators details on the restrictions and how much cover can be put in place

planning consent is needed for street cafes and new beer gardens. There can also be potential planning issues if a beer garden has been added after the main premises and has never been granted planning permission, or if operators are extending an existing beer garden, for example into previously unused ground or a car park. Genuine “occasional” one off use, such as a beer or music festival, would not generally require planning. Many people post Covid remain concerned about being inside in smaller spaces, particularly as restrictions for Scotland stop on 21st March 2022 and masks and similar will no longer be required. Beer gardens may therefore see an increase in popularity, even in our often chilly weather! Neighbours can check

what planning is in place and if this has not been obtained, operators can find themselves been served with enforcement or prohibition notices, forcing them to stop using the area until planning is resolved (which can take many months) •

If operators are using beer gardens more frequently and for perhaps more people, capacity needs to be considered in terms of the premises licence. While it is great to have a larger area, the capacity of the beer garden is linked to that of the whole premises. It is calculated by looking at a number of things, but sanitary facilities form a large part of that calculation. If there is a lack of toilets, the beer garden capacity may have to be restricted. Speak to our team before extending beer gardens so we can advise you on the capacity and steps need for planning and any building control considerations.

Sorting out your outdoor area now will avoid any delay or inability to use that area at Easter, the additional bank holiday weekend over the Queen’s Jubilee at the beginning of June and throughout summer. To ask Jo Millar at Gilson Gray licensing anything about beer gardens, outdoor areas or the consents needed to operate them, and occasional licences, email her on jmillar@gilsongray.co.uk or on 0141 370 8116.

If you have any questions on this or any other legal matters you would like us to address in future please get in touch by email at ontrade@gilsongray.co.uk

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 jmillar@gilsongray.co.uk

EDINBURGH I GLASGOW I EAST LOTHIAN I DUNDEE

gilsongray.co.uk 29


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