GMs making their mark: Babs Steele, The Allison Arms, Glasgow
Ahead of International Women’s Day on Wednesday, 8 March, DRAM celebrates just a few of Scotland’s inspirational female general managers who are making their mark on the licensed trade.
Today, we speak to Babs Steele who has run The Allison Arms in Strathbungo in Glasgow’s southside for four years.
Name: Babs Steele
Role: General Manager,The Allison Arms
Location: Strathbungo, Glasgow
Babs Steele celebrated her fourth year as General Manager of The Allison Arms in Strathbungo two days after Valentine’s Day.
She started out at 18 at the Boswell Hotel in Langside and ran the Quarter Gill in Partick for 12 years – becoming General Manager at the age of 26 – before moving to The Allison Arms, where she now manages 12 staff.
Since taking on the role, she’s been instrumental in seeing the popular pub evolve by jumping on new drinks trends. Babs said, “I was confident I could improve on it but had no idea it would go through the roof.”
When craft beer started to gain in popularity, Babs asked for extra fridges to be placed across from the bar, which were filled with a wide selection of beers – now the pub’s USP.
“We expanded on the fridges and that really went well. Craft beer accounts for 25% sales but our draught beer drank by the old regulars has gone up too. It’s about trying to keep a balance, we have a huge mix of clientele now.”
The same goes for the craft gin craze: “About 18 months ago when gin started becoming a thing we jumped on it and now have about 70. I don’t know how the gantry hasn’t collapsed!”
Babs says the licensed trade is “her calling, I can’t see me doing anything else! There’s never two days the same.”
Drink of choice: Morgan’s and coke
Inspirational woman: Probably my mum! I’ve gained a lot from her.
Star sign: I’m a Virgo so I’m a pain when it comes to neatness and attention to detail.