OnTrade Scotland Magazine - April 2022

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Magazine April 2022

Official Partner

Welcome to the Aprils OnTrade Scotland Magazine Spring has sprung & as the lambs leap and the daffodils bloom we all hope our industry can flourish and bloom once again. Public confidence is still being hampered in my opinion by the negativity of Scottish Government towards hospitality and the continued confusing messaging. We heard that the Scottish Government in recent discussions had asked venues to “put up posters” to remind the public that Covid has not totally left us which I found bizarre when they have been spending in excess of £300k per week on above the line advertising with 5 major media outlets for the last 2 years discussing the messages, money in my opinion that could have been FAR better put to use. The chancellor’s Spring budget didn’t so much spring but rather flopped into existence and was not only confusing in its content but seemed to totally miss the mark in who it was supposed to support. He also in the opinion of many across the industry missed a huge opportunity to support the hospitality industry and the economy in not reducing VAT. Again it is down to those in the industry to support each other and move forward together with very little if any support from out with, however with the talent, entrepreneurial spirit, passion & determination we have across our industry from the people who make our industry what it is this is more than achievable. The sun is starting to shine beer gardens, roof terraces & outdoor areas will soon start to fill & we as an entire industry must push to provide the best possible experience to every single customer and drive public confidence like only we can as an industry. Amaze them with cocktails Stun them with mouthwatering food Blow them away with great beer Excite them with an experience Caress them with customer service No one is clearly going to do it for us so we have no choice but to do it for ourselves TOGETHER. Thank you again to all who are involved in the title and for all of the support for the title and for AT THE BAR we really do appreciate it none of what we do would be possible without your support. As always STAY SAFE STAY STRONG STAY POSITIVE 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


Time to get Bucked Up


Boom - Let Battle Commence


The Spiritualist Sunday Brunch


Pubs and Brewers show support for Ukraine 3

Industry News SCOTTISH BEER & PUB ASSOCIATION ANNOUNCES NEW PRESIDENT contributes £1.75bn to the national economy every year. The new data was released in company of MSPs at Kilderkin pub in Edinburgh. Commenting on his appointment, new President Andrew Lawrence said: “Having been part of the SBPA in previous roles I am pleased to now have been appointed as President and am looking forward to building on the brilliant work of previous Presidents to continue to champion the beer and pub industry and represent our members interests in Scotland. “Working together as a group and with other trade bodies will be critical to our recovery from the pandemic, and so I am looking forward to supporting SBPA members to achieve the very best for our sector.”

The Scottish Beer & Pub Association (SBPA) has today (Monday 21 March 2022) announced that Andrew Lawrence Strategy Director at Molson Coors will be its new President. Lawrence will take over from Edith Monfries of Hawthorn, the Community Pub Company, and join Vice President Paul Wishart of Greene King and Chief Executive Emma McClarkin in overseeing the continued success and growth of the Association. The appointment follows the release of a new report by Oxford Economics which revealed that Scotland’s beer and pub industry support almost 62,000 jobs and

Outgoing President Edith Monfries said: “As a relative newcomer to our industry I felt honoured to fulfil the role during a time of great challenge for our industry. . I wish Andrew every success as new President, and I am sure that he will be a fantastic figurehead for our energetic SBPA who make a real difference across the industry.” Emma McClarkin, SBPA Chief Executive added: “We’re delighted to welcome Andrew as our new President and are really looking forward to working with him to continue to champion our pubs and brewers in Scotland. “As our industry recovers from the pandemic we need industry expertise and passion for our cause more than ever and I am confident Andrew will provide just that.”

BBPA RESPOND TO THE APPBG’S REPORT Emma McClarkin responded to the APPBG’s business rates report.

The Chief Executive of the British Beer and Pub Association said: “The current business rates system places disproportionate burden on pubs and brewers which is stifling their recovery and return to sustainable growth. Reform is needed to create a fair system which accounts for how the economy functions in the modern day. “We welcome this timely report from the All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group following our submission to its inquiry, and hope its recommendations are seriously considered by the Chancellor ahead of this week’s Spring Statement. Pubs and brewers are at the heart of our 4

communities and will help to foster social cohesion as we reconnect and recover from the pandemic, and so now it is critical that our sector receives the support it needs so we can deliver jobs and additional economic value across the UK, to ensure the entire country is levelled up.” ontradescotland.co.uk

Brand News DIET COKE LAUNCHES NEW GLOBAL CAMPAIGN the cover of the timeless track, “It’s Oh So Quiet” plays in the background, the street empties of the hustle and bustle and her passion for roller skating takes her to new heights.

Diet Coke announces the launch of a new campaign, ‘Love What You Love’. The integrated marketing campaign celebrates individuals that embrace a positive, unapologetic attitude, by knowing who they are and what they love, staying true to doing things their own way. Hitting screens on 14 March, the ‘Love What You Love’ advert shines a light on one woman’s rush hour journey and her conviction to transform her hectic post-work commute with the pure joy of roller skating. The lead character puts on a pair of roller skates, takes a sip of Diet Coke for a refreshing break, and is then transported from a bustling street into a fantasy world. As

DIAGEO SET TO RECRUIT RECORD NUMBER OF APPRENTICES Global drinks giant Diageo has announced a record number of apprenticeships which include roles across eight of its Scottish sites as part of a UK wide recruitment campaign. 29 Modern Apprentice roles have been announced across a range of disciplines, from packaging to distilling, and engineering to cooperage. The full list of roles available are as follows: •

Cambus Cooperage – Cooper (4)

Cameronbridge and Leven - Spirit Supply Operator (3)

Blackgrange - Maturation Operator (4), Engineering (2)

Glendullan & Burghead - Engineering (2)

Sheildhall - Engineering (2), Packaging Operator (4)

Leven - Engineering (2), Packaging Operator (3)

Cameronbridge - Engineering (2)

Menstrie - Inventory and Supply Chain (1)

Diageo is also, for the first time, partnering with Glasgow Caledonian University to recruit four Graduate Apprenticeship roles in Data Science based in Glasgow. Demonstrating the businesses commitment to, and investment in, the development of early career talent.

The ‘Love What You Love’ out-of-home advertising - which will feature across GB - is a fun representation of a handful of loyal fans and their passion for self-expression. The simple, yet impactful concept, showcases the hands of style-enthusiasts holding an iconic Diet Coke can. From bedazzling nails and gold-accessories to vintage styling, it instantly tells a story of people who clearly, and unapologetically, love what they love. Martin Attock, VP Commercial Development at Coca-Cola Europacific Partners highlighted: “The Diet Coke ‘Love What You Love’ campaign is the first piece of activity which will help us celebrate 40 years of this iconic brand, helping to drive sales for our customers.” The global campaign will include TV & video-on-demand, out-of-home advertising, social, digital and PR. There will also be a Love What You Love content series and IG Live moment featuring five style icons.

HEINEKEN UK LAUNCH HEINEKEN® SILVER Rolling out across the on-trade from April, Heineken® Silver is poised to add over £100M in value to the lager category. HEINEKEN UK is set to shake-up the lager category with the launch of a premium lighter brew: Heineken® Silver. An extrarefreshing lager at 4% ABV, Heineken® Silver is brewed at -1°C for a crisp flavour and subtle finishiii, offering a lighter drinking profile. “Premiumisation is one of the most powerful drivers of market growth. With more and more consumers – particularly Generation Z and Yiv drinkers – looking to drink less but better-quality beverages, Heineken® Silver presents a real opportunity for our customers,” said HEINEKEN UK On-Trade Director Stephen Watt. “In fact, Heineken® Silver has the potential to add significant growth to the category and bolster light lager’s total ontrade market value.” Heineken® Silver taps into the growing demand for light lager, driven by next generation beer drinkers, as well as the premiumisation trend, allowing operators to trade customers up into a new price point worth over £100M to the market. 5



Time to get Bucked Up O

ver the last 2 years we have had thousands of comments & feedback from venues customers via social media with the overwhelming majority hugely positive with one of the most commented on being the fantastic Buck’s Bar venues.

Bringing their unique and massively popular mix of chicken, liquor & rock n roll is definitely hitting the right note with customers.

The brainchild of the inspirational couple Michael & Michelle Bergson and backed by a fantastic team the venues have taken the casual dining experience by storm.

Whether it is the Trongate site, the West Regent St venue or the newly open Buck’s Southside on 1021 Cathcart Rd in Glasgow you know you are going to be a warm welcome and value for money food.

The menu consisting of staples like buttermilk chicken burgers & fries to the more adventurous chicken and waffles with Mac n cheese there really is a offering for every taste. 7

The atmosphere that cover you as soon as you set foot in any of the venues is infectious, a warm neon glow, friendly approachable staff, great music and great food.

“The team are just total Rock Stars and working hard keeping all our loyal customers happy and delivering brilliant service day in day out.”

What’s not to like?

“We have many events to look forward to over the summer at Hampden and in the Southside in general so we can’t wait for this and to welcome customers who might never been before also.”

We spoke to Ashley O’Brien Head of Operations for Bucks Group Ltd on the opening of the Bucks 3 in the Southside. Ashley said, “The Southside venue has taken off really well. It’s nice to have a unit in a neighbourhood and really lovely getting to know the locals. Takeaway over the Southside has been brilliant with being our smallest unit it’s a key part of the business and keeps us very busy all day.” 8

Up in coming is Buck’s Bar 4 this is super exciting and will be our next big focus.” “The real key just now is looking after our teams and our customers delivering great food and great service” ontradescotland.co.uk

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BOOM - Let Battle Commence


his month we are very excited to sit down with the team behind the new Boom Battle Bar opening in St Enoch Centre in Glasgow to talk about the unique experience it’s going to offer as well as why they chose the site to invest substantially in becoming part of Glasgow’s hospitality & nightlife family.



Competitive socialising is taking the UK by storm and most major cities are seeing places pop up where you can go and play darts, axe throw or play mini golf amongst other things, however the main thing which attracted us to do a Boom: Battle Bar franchise was the opportunity to bring all of this under one roof. No where else in Glasgow gives you the option to walk in for an hour of axe throwing, and leave a few hours later having had a few cocktails, food, a round of NOLF and then a game of beer pong. Not only is the social offering really strong, but we have already seen a huge uptake in companies booking in for days to move away from traditional meetings and use the space to do a day of team building. We have a large projector area that can be utilised for company presentations before being able to try all the games, which is a totally new and unique way of bringing the

team together, especially after many teams haven’t been together properly for over two years. We honestly feel like there is no where else like Glasgow. The appetite for fun and the enthusiasm of the people has made the decision really easy to move here and open Boom. When the location first came available we travelled up for the weekend to see the site and get a general sense of whether it would work, and after trying and failing to get in 4 restaurants as they were full and then stumbling it at 3am after a night out in Merchant City we signed the lease and moved up here a month later. Coming to Glasgow at this point in time is also really exciting as there is so much going on. Companies are starting to realise the value Glasgow can bring with top class talent for jobs meaning the future looks really bright. The market for competitive socialising in Glasgow is really 13

untapped and it’s been a really rewarding journey watching people try games such as shuffleboard or axe throwing for the first time and leave having had a great night. Our Shuffleboard bookings have performed the worst in the opening week however have performed the best on walk ins, as people see the boards and want to have a go straight away. Naturally the location being in a shopping centre is a new one, and one that people are still trying to get their heads around. We have seen other sites in the UK perform really well as shopping centres try and diversify to bring a social offering on top of the shops. This has worked really well in places like Lakeside in Essex, Liverpool and Coventry to name a few, and we are really lucky that the support from the St Enoch team has been really focused on the opening with marketing and PR. We are located right next to the new VUE cinema, Cosmos’s second Glasgow world buffet, Nandos and Namaste Indian which is really starting to bring together the leisure side of the St Enoch and is already feeling like a destination to come and enjoy a whole evening with friends/families or colleagues. Recruitment was one of our biggest worries at the outset as we knew the market coming out of lockdown was 14

vibrant but it ended up being crazy to the point we ended up needing to turn off our ads after only 48 hours as we had had over 1000 applicants. We feel that the uniqueness of the venue has attracted a diverse team that genuinely are excited about what Boom is bringing to Glasgow and want to see the venue succeed. One of the strangest things we have had to get our head around coming from corporate backgrounds is the percentage of people not turning up to interviews.. we found about 50% of our time was wasted sat in coffee shops waiting for applicants to turn up but from speaking to people in the industry that’s really standard! All of our suppliers have been so welcoming, and have supported incredible amounts getting us over the line to opening whilst making us feel welcome in Glasgow. Our main build contractor was Hush Minoan who have years of experience in themed construction, so the design of the site from the overall feel to the specialised NOLF holes are amazing and we couldn’t be happier. Tennents is obviously an institution in Glasgow and their support especially from Jonny McSkimming has been second to none, not even just on the Tennents branded items but the general trends in Glasgow. ontradescotland.co.uk

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www.blackrobingin.co.nz Black Robin Rare Gin and Blue Duck Rare Vodka are two super premium spirits, handcrafted in small batches from a 100% whey base spirit, from our distillery in the hills high above Tauranga in NZ’s Bay of Plenty region. Named after some of NZ’s most endangered birds, we make a donation to our charity partners with every bottle sold, to help protect New Zealand’s native species and wild spaces.


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.


VEGAN? SORTED. as seen on









The Spiritualist bring Sunday Brunch with their unique twist T he Spiritualist situated in the heart of Merchant City, Glasgow has recently launched their brand new Boozy Brunch for a memorable Sunday afternoon on the tiles!

Available every Sunday from 12noon – 4pm. For only £35 per person, you are in for a treat! To begin your brunching adventure, you can enjoy a Beefeater Tom Collins cocktail or a Beefeater Gin & Tonic accompanied with morning pastries and a Katie Rodgers granola pot. The next step of your brunching adventure begins with the choice of your main brunch plate. The dishes include a range of classic brunch serves; Benedicts and pancakes. However, the team have also taken inspiration from across the globe, bringing you Huevos Rancheros, Breakfast Bahn Mi and a selection of Macmuffins! Enjoy up to 3 glasses of Prosecco or pints of Cold Town Beer brewed in Scotland with your main brunch plate. General Manager Christine O’Hagan has commented ‘our Boozy Brunch launched in February this year and has been a huge success. It really is a brilliant way to spend your Sunday afternoon lounging over tipples and some incredible brunch dishes delivered from our Head Chef David Sutherland.’ The venue does encourage booking your boozy brunching slot as spaces fill up quickly! Simply emailinfo@thespiritualistglasgow.com or book via the website; https://www.thespiritualistglasgow.com/#contact 20


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Since our humble beginnings nearly 70 years ago when the Company was founded by Bobby Lynas, Lynas Foodservice has been dedicated to one word, Service. The aim is simple, to serve our customer with the best product and the best service we can provide. We deliver to over 5,000 independant and chain customers every week throughout Ireland and Scotland. Our customers come from right across the catering spectrum so with our extensive range we will have the right product to suit your needs and your business. Contact us today to find out more and arrange a visit with one of our experienced team. We are here for you.

Business opportunities loom large for wholesalers and producers at first cross-sector event


ver 200 business meetings took place last week at the first cross-sector event between Scottish wholesalers and food and drink producers to help build stronger relationships between the sectors.

The event, which is part of the ‘Delivering Growth Through Wholesale’ programme facilitated by the Scottish Wholesale Association, Scotland Food & Drink, and Scottish Agricultural Society Scotland (SAOS) saw over 50 suppliers meet with over 30 wholesale buyers to showcase their products and spark new business opportunities. Wholesalers from across Scotland, including regional SMEs to large nationals, from foodservice to retail met with brands including Blackthorn Salt, Duncan Farms and Lussa Gin in person at Dunblane Hydro last week for the first time since the start of the pandemic. The Delivering Growth Through Wholesale programme is an ambitious programme designed to provide businesses with the tools and information they need to help them maximise opportunities within the wholesale industry which is currently worth £1.7 billion (GVA) to the Scottish economy and increase the amount of local sourcing amongst Scottish Wholesalers. The programme is being delivered through the Scotland Food & Drink Partnership’s Recovery Plan which is supported by Scottish Government. Colin Smith, Chief Executive at the Scottish Wholesale Association, said: “We have developed this programme with our partners to strengthen engagement with wholesalers and local producers and help them access new markets. Driving more Scottish products into the 5,000 convenience stores and 30,000 hospitality, tourism and leisure venues that our members supply. “This Meet The Wholesaler event has been the peak of the programme after a series of workshops designed to educate our wholesalers and suppliers on how to work more collaboratively together, by providing them with practical tips, solutions and support. We are delighted by the positive feedback received for the programme and event and look forward to building on this success in the future.” In a follow-up survey of the event, all respondents saw benefit in attending with the vast majority seeing it as “extremely useful”. Nearly 50% of the respondents made at least five new business contacts for driving their business forward, while 12% made nine, or more, potential new listing opportunities. John Davidson, Deputy Chief Executive and Strategy Director at Scotland Food & Drink, added: “Scotland has a fantastic reputation for producing quality products by 24

amazing people and, so it’s great to work with the Scottish Wholesale Association and SAOS to create more routes to market. “It’s a critical time for both wholesalers and suppliers, so this is when we need to be working together to identify and create opportunities to help grow the industry. We envisage that this event will be the catalyst for further programmes that will build future engagement and business opportunities. Federico Lubrani, Product Development Buyer at Dunns Food and Drinks, said: “We wanted to get involved in the programme to develop our portfolio of local products and help small and medium producers find another route to market. “This has been a great opportunity, and we are excited by the producers and the products that we’ve been introduced to. We hope to continue to build these relationships and work more with them on the back of this programme.” Claire Fletcher, Sales and Marketing at Lussa Gin, said: “Being based on the Isle of Jura, we rarely get the opportunity to network or meet wholesale buyers in person, so this programme and event has been extremely valuable for us. “I was looking to pick up one more wholesale customer for this year, and I think I’ve done that at this event. The support we’ve received through the programme has allowed us to better understand the wholesale channel and we look forward to working more with buyers in the sector in the future.” To find out more about how the Scottish Wholesale Association supports the wholesale sector visithttps://www. scottishwholesale.co.uk/ To find out more about opportunities available to Scottish food and drink businesses visitwww.foodanddrink.scot ontradescotland.co.uk






g Soon

UG 2022


Pubs and brewers show support for Ukraine


usinesses in the brewing and pub industry are responding to the crisis in Ukraine with donations, fundraising appeals and offers of employment and accommodation.

Organisations large and small are finding ways to help people affected by the war, which continues to have a devastating effect on the lives of Ukranians. Today (21 March) Hall & Woodhouse are hosting a fundraiser today to support the Red Cross Ukraine Crisis appeal and pledging to donate 50% of all sales throughout the day to the British Red Cross. Other member efforts include: ·

Brewhouse & Kitchen donating all revenue from a new seasonal cask beer sold across the weekend (19/20 March) to relief efforts


Brewdog selling a new beer United for Ukraine with all revenue to the Disaster Emergency Committee


Carlsberg donating €10million to various humanitarian relief organisations


Diageo donating £2m to the Red Cross and CARE International


Heineken donating €1million to local NGOs whilst Heineken UK have pledged an additional £50,000 to provide help to more Ukrainian refugees and will matchfund any donations made by their UK colleagues


McMullens are donating £1 for every £10 raised in their pubs with an additional top up of £1 for every £10


where the fundraising is for the HALO Trust, a landmine clearance charity based in Ukraine Arkells, Batemans, Fullers, Greene King, Hogsback, Hydes and Wadworth are also looking into providing homes and employment for Ukranian refugees, with some considering using recently closed premises as potential accommodation. The outpouring of support comes amidst concerns being raised about the impact on supply chain to the hospitality industry. Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association said: “The atrocities sparked by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine are front of mind for everyone in the sector and we are eager to support in whatever way we can. Our members are finding numerous different ways to help and it is incredibly heartening to see their efforts. “We are also closely monitoring the impact of supply chain disruption on brewers and pubs, which to date has been limited, but in some cases we are already seeing existing supply chain pressures such as energy and fuel pricing being exacerbated and will continue to work alongside our members and the Government to assess the impact.” For more information visit beerandpub.com ontradescotland.co.uk


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Is there light at the end of the tunnel – or is that just the train approaching? It is trite to say that the last two years have been tough on the hospitality sector. Indeed, it is difficult to imagine any other sector, perhaps with the exception of the aviation industry which has been as badly affected as the trade. The lifting of restrictions is welcome, but it is unlikely that will mean the end of all the effects of the pandemic. The landscape in respect Ken Glass - Legal Director of the hospitality industry has changed significantly. Consumer attitudes have changed to take account of the restrictions which have been imposed over the past two years. Some of these attitudes may not revert back to what they were prior to March 2020. Some businesses across all sectors have been very proactive and imaginative in combating the effects of the pandemic. Others may simply be hoping for a return to “normal”. The reality is that we are in a new normal and businesses have to accept that. Here are a number of issues which Ken Glass, licensing specialist, based at our Dundee office, believes the trade should be considering:EMPLOYMENT The employment market has become increasingly challenging. There is a shortage of skilled labour and in many respects, the market has been turned on its head. Particularly in areas such as chefs and kitchen staff, there is a demand and quite a merry go round of people changing jobs. Employers need to consider this. Many employers are paying a “golden hello”, a substantial introductory payment made by an employer to a keenly sought recruit, to attract staff. It is important if such a payment is made, that the contract of employment sets out the terms of the payment and any particular performance criteria to be met to justify if employers should also 30

consider whether the payment should be made in stages and making it, or a proportion of it, repayable in the event that employment is terminated within a certain period of time. Businesses should also ensure key members of staff are required to give appropriate periods of notice as these are historically ignored or not taken seriously in the licensed trade. The period of notice should allow sufficient time to resource a replacement. Businesses should make it plain that there will require to be adherence to the period of notice. An employee leaving without giving appropriate notice could, in certain extreme circumstances cause a business to either close down or limit service. It should be made plain that if that occurs, then the employee leaving without giving due notice may be found liable in any damages caused by that breach of contract. Employees who require to undergo particular training for aspects of their job may do so at the cost of their employer, so consider whether it is appropriate to require an employee to repay the cost of any such training in the event that they leave thereafter to take up employment with a competitor complete with their shiny new qualification that the business has just paid for. Employers may also wish to consider “Restrictive Covenants” which prevent senior employees (who may have access to customer databases and similar other confidential information) from leaving and using such information to benefit a competitor. They can also prevent former employees from working for a competitor within a restricted geographical area. PREMISES Businesses need to consider whether their premises are working hard enough for them. In the last edition, Jo Millar presented a helpful article in relation to external drinking areas. Whilst many businesses have adapted these over the period of the Pandemic, it is important to consider whether these will be in continued use after we revert to normal (whatever that is!) A number of Local Authorities have been operating relaxed policies in relation to outdoor drinking areas but there are indications that come the end of September 2022 that these relaxations will end. This may ontradescotland.co.uk

make a number of outdoor areas effectively unmanageable or so small that they are commercially unviable to operate. Restaurant premises have very successfully adapted businesses to serve or deliver meals on a carry out basis. Licensed trade businesses should consider whether or not to allow the purchase of beer or wine on a similar basis, where an Off-Sales provision in Premises Licences is required to do so. Businesses should also be aware of potential issues in relation to this across a number of Licensing Boards as regards the supervision of the sale of alcohol and particularly the Age 25 Requirement. If a carry out meal is being uplifted or delivered, the ability to add alcoholic to the order may increase profitability at very little additional cost. FINANCES As we move out of the pandemic, a number of the restrictions in relation to the recovery of debt and other obligations are beginning to spin off. Come the end of March, the limit of debt required to present a Creditor Petition for sequestration (personal bankruptcy) will be reduced from £10,000 to £5,000. For those businesses who have incurred debt over the period of the Pandemic, they should be alive to the fact that any creditor who has a decree for a sum in excess of £5,000 can now present a Petition for Sequestration. On a similar vein, informed discussion suggests that whilst HMRC over the period of the pandemic have been rather

easier to deal with in relation to tax debt, that situation will inevitably change over the course of the year. Businesses should budget on the basis that harder attitudes are likely to be seen from creditors across the board. Businesses who anticipate difficulty moving forward, it is important to take appropriate legal and accountancy advice now. If there are challenges moving forward, proactive steps require to be taken. Burying your head in the sand will not help the situation! One of the saddest situations encountered by professional advisers is the client who comes for advice too late in the day leaving insufficient time to pull the fat from the fire. In many circumstances, there is a solution to be found but only if there is time to allow for planning and the implementation of the plan. Creditors remain reluctant to press the “nuclear button” on the basis that robust debt collection tactics may just end up in irrecoverable loss. Most creditors are prepared to listen and enter into reasonable discussion. That becomes more difficult as time goes by, especially if a business in difficulty remains silent and unwilling to discuss. Whether or not the Scottish Government continues to insist on mask wearing moving forward is only one aspect of the ending of restrictions. The effect of the pandemic, for what has become very much a beleaguered hospitality industry, will be felt for some months and potentially years to come. Planning is essential. Same old, same old may not be good enough. The trade needs to entice clientele away from their garden beer sheds and back into their premises.

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


gilsongray.co.uk 31

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