Sue Says – September 2017

September 8th, 2017 | Posted in: Sue Says

have to say the run up to our awards are exciting, exhausting and exhilarating all at the same time. Exciting because we never know what we are going to see, exhausting because there are a lot of pubs, bars, restaurants and hotels to check out, and exhilarating because when you get to a venue and it exceeds your expectations – it makes you proud to be part of this enterprising trade. And that was certainly the case this year. So well done everyone.

The feedback from the awards ceremony itself has been very good. But what struck me was the number of people who said there was a lovely warm feeling in the room. This brings me back to our mystery shoppers because this year they kept talking about ‘the whole experience’. It wasn’t just about the service, or the food, cocktails or welcome – it was all about how they felt when the entered compared to to how they felt when they left. I hope that everyone that came to the awards had a great experience, because our mystery shoppers certainly did.

Sometimes my social life collides with my business life – such was the case on a recent holiday to Mallorca. I was over for a friend’s 50th, who had flown in from Dubai… and James Mortimer and Lord Haughey were also guests as was Lisa Wishart from Lisini. So we all had an entertaining evening, great chat and good cocktails and James decided to take us a tour of the area the next day, which I’m happy to report we survived! We popped into Nikki Beach for a wee noisy, but we nearly choked at the €1,100 Euro’s price tag on a 5l bottle of Rose! Maguluf really is a resort of two halves – the very cheap and very cheerful, and the very expensive and the ‘look at me’ brigade. Great to experience at least once in a lifetime!

Sue Says September

As many of you will know I firmly believe in reporting on positive initiatives in the trade – whether that be new places opening, investment in venues, or pro-active people. I won’t and don’t carry stories that are quite clearly a dig at another company or that present the trade in a poor light. That’s not my job, and if we can’t say positive things about the trade…who will? I think the job of the DRAM is to promote the industry and support it. That does not mean to say that I wouldn’t campaign and do editorial on real issues …such as rates. But I am too long in the tooth to get caught up in company politics.

I popped into The Citizen, Mario Gizzi and Tony Conetta’s new place in Glasgow, just ahead of its opening. It pays homage to a newspaper that my father worked on back in 1959! I can’t wait to take him for a bite of lunch there when he is back from America. As you can imagine it looks great. Meanwhile they have got their Aparthotel on the go, a new development in St Andrews Square, Edinburgh, and there are another couple of other initiatives happening too. I don’t know where they get the energy!

Glenfiddich are hosting a special Festival at their Distillery the weekend on the 10th and 11th September. They are transforming the “valley of the deer” into their very own festival with Twin Atlantic headlining on Sunday 10th and the Fratellis on Monday 11thSeptember. They are doing it to say a big thanks to the Scottish hospitality industry for the continued support of Glenfiddich and William Grant & Sons. So if you are one of the lucky ones to get an invite… enjoy! More next month.

Talking of Wm Grant & Sons… they have just announced that UK Director of Prestige and Great-Great Granddaughter of William Grant, Kirsten Grant Meikle, has just relocated to the USA to take on the role of US Commercial Strategy Director. She will play a critical role in continuing to build the US’s Commercial Excellence platform, beginning with a focus in the Prestige arena. For the last few years she has been instrument in implementing transformational change within the UK business, leading several initiatives, including the development of its on-trade sales team, the implementation of a Customer Relationship Management system, and most recently, the creation of our UK Prestige Team. I wish Kirsten all the very best. I at least I now have someone, other than my brother to have a drink with when I’m in New York!

My last word is on the awards (of course) just to say I hope everyone likes their new trophies. We had them specially crafted from acrylic… which I am hoping will solve the issue of them getting damaged!


Mitchells & Butlers’ shares surge on higher sales

Thu 23rd May 2019

Shares in Mitchells & Butlers have jumped more than 9% after the company reported higher comparable sales and profit for the first-half ... Read more.

The Macallan Distillery picks up another major industry award

Thu 23rd May 2019

The Macallan Distillery has received a recognition from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Scotland. ... Read more.

Wagamama acquisition helps surge in sales at the start of 2019 for owners The Restaurant Group

Thu 23rd May 2019

The Restaurant Group, which owns Frankie & Benny's and Chiquito, has reported a surge in sales at the start of 2019, helped by its acquisit... Read more.

Hello Bo & Birdy

Wed 22nd May 2019

Bo & Birdy. That’s the name of The Blythswood Hotel’s new £1m 146-cover bar and restaurant that re-opens this month after being closed... Read more.

Single-Use Cutlery and Straws made from the humble avocado stone are a reality

Wed 22nd May 2019

As the UK government announces new controls on plastic items to come into force in England by April 2020, with Scotland also taking steps to... Read more.

Trade body calls for action to tackle mental health issues

Wed 22nd May 2019

Fresh on the back of UK mental health awareness week ( 13-19 May 2019), more needs to be done to tackle mental health issues in the sector, ... Read more.

Borthwick Castle’s head chef to champion Scotland in National Chef of the Year

Tue 21st May 2019

Derek Johnstone, Head Chef at Borthwick Castle in Midlothian, is the only Scottish chef to have reached the semi-finals of this year's Natio... Read more.

DOUNE CASTLE IN STIRLING RENAMED TO CELEBRATE LEGACY OF GAME OF THRONES

Tue 21st May 2019

Pubs in Stirlingshire may get a boost from an influx of Game of Thrones fans making pilgrimages to the area.... Read more.

Plans submitted to re-open Glasgow’s Cabin restaurant

Tue 21st May 2019

Plans have been submitted with Glasgow City Council to re-open the Cabin restaurant on Dumbarton Road in the Whiteinch area of the city. It ... Read more.

Bloc+ pops up on former Nonya site

Mon 20th May 2019

Bloc pop-ups on former Nonya site John Burns, owner of Bloc+ on Bath Street in Glasgow has opened a Bloc pop-up on the site of the former N... Read more.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon officially opens new McQueen Gin distillery

Mon 20th May 2019

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has officially opened McQueen Gin's brand-new 6,200²ft distillery in Callander. ... Read more.

WINE AND TEA BAR OPENS

Mon 20th May 2019

The Chaumer is a recently opened teahouse and wine bar for Edinburgh’s Queen Street – with a very interesting back story. ... Read more.

New owners at Braeval Hotel

Thu 16th May 2019

Paul and Lyndy Geddes have taken over the Braeval Hotel and Bandstand Bar and Restaurant in Nairn. Lyndy was previously a director in an omb... Read more.

Max McFarlane joins the Ardgowan Distillery team

Thu 16th May 2019

Whisky maker Max McFarlane has joined the Ardgowan Distillery team – with a plan to create and release a new series of whiskies later thi... Read more.

McEwan’s Lager relaunches

Wed 15th May 2019

The new look McEwan’s Lager launches in on-trade this month.... Read more.

Today’s your last chance to enter the Glenfarclas Highland Single Malt 105’ Cask Strength Cocktail Competition!

Wed 15th May 2019

Today’s the cut-off for entering the Glenfarclas Highland Single Malt ‘105’ Cask Strength Cocktail Competition – so get your... Read more.

Brand News: Avva Scottish Gin

Wed 15th May 2019

CASK FINISH GIN FROM AVVA SCOTTISH GIN AVAILABLE TO TRADE CUSTOMERS FOR THE FIRST TIME The latest release of Cask Finish Gin from the brand ... Read more.

Brand News: Loch Lomond Whiskies

Wed 15th May 2019

Loch Lomond Whiskies’ Loch Lomond 12 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky has triumphed at the Bartenders’ Brand Awards, including the to... Read more.

Mixologists causing a stir

Tue 14th May 2019

Today we profile DANIEL ELPHINSTONE of Orchid in Aberdeen and DAVID GODDARD of Bar One, Inverness.... Read more.

Mixologists causing a stir

Mon 13th May 2019

Today it's the turn of DIMI SAVVAIDIS The King of Islington Dundee and DANNY MCMANUS Kelvingrove Cafe Glasgow .... Read more.