A recent poll of 1,000 parents carried out by Best Western Hotels revealed that half of parents would discourage their children from entering the hospitality trade. They still want their kids to be doctors, dentists and engineers. Best Western Great Britain’s CEO, Rob Payne, said the research showed how much work the hospitality industry still has to do! However, the research also showed mind you more parents would prefer their children to be a builder (20%) than a journalist (14%) – how much work do journalists have to do?!
I’ve got half a story to tell here – you know the one where someone you know in the trade sends a pal of yours a naughty text message by mistake – and I happen to be sitting next to them when they get it! Now that is what I call BAD luck! Because we have been taking the mickey out of him endlessly ever since! But I am going to spare his blushes and not reveal the name of our mortified licensee!
Talking about mickey-taking – I enjoyed a long (overdue) lunch the other week with a few personalities in the trade – and two of the chaps turned up wearing identical outfits! It was a great day out and the conversation was wide-ranging… it was not so wide-ranging at 10pm that night. But hey! See if you can recognise our two twins?
Another very enjoyable evening was the recent British Airways Flying Start Annual Charity Ball, which the Glasgow Distillery Company supported. I was a guest of the charming and chatty David Brown and Liam Hughes and we were joined by the lovely Kirsten Meikle, wine expert Dougie Woods and restaurateur Kevin Campbell. It was a great table and the conversation and the wine flowed! Not to mention the Makar gin which was served with a slice of chilli. The event itself raised a mammoth amount of money – well done to all concerned.
When our judges were out judging they gave feedback that in many instances it took quite a while to get their bills. This perhaps suggests that staff are missing a trick or a tip! Because a survey from QikServe reveals that one in three of the people surveyed admitted to not tipping for “being ignored when trying to pay.” However, an amazing 12% said they had skipped out on a bill… entirely. Commenting on the survey, Daniel Rodgers, Chief Executive Officer, QikServe, said, “We were surprised to learn that so many people admitted to skipping out on a bill, but we believe this higher than expected number is a sign of the times. We live in an age of instant gratification, driven in part by the ubiquity of mobile devices and apps, where consumers are becoming increasingly less tolerant towards waiting.”
I am absolutely delighted to see that the Scottish Licensed Trade Association is finally taking a bit of my advice and putting out a positive message about the trade. Since Lucie Cooney started working her magic there she has brokered a deal with Forrest Media who have been running a digital billboard campaign for the SLTA to encourage consumers to support their local pubs and bars. Paul Waterson, of The Scottish Licensed Trade Association, said, “Highlighting all that’s good about the Scottish licensed trade is what this unique partnership with Forrest Group is all about.”
However, I can’t say I am impressed by the idea of an Old Firm match on Hogmanay. You have to be kidding. I’ve yet to meet anyone who thinks this is a good idea. And for the second time in this column, I agree with Paul Waterson who told the Herald, “I think really it is the wrong day to have that game.” But Assistant Chief Constable Bernard Higgins, Police Scotland’s strategic lead on football, said, “The time and date of the next Old Firm fixture was decided after discussions between ourselves, football authorities and broadcasters. We believe this is the best option in terms of the needs of the interested parties and minimising the wider community impact.”
Really! I just hope they don’t blame the licensed trade for any disorder. Because this is a recipe for trouble not just on the stands… I can just imagine all the wives and girlfriends out there having a view? Enough said!