Influencers in the Scottish Licensed trade: Oli Norman

The term ‘influencer’ is used to describe people who have an impact on those around them. This month we highlight some of the people we have identified as among the biggest influencers in the Scottish licensed trade. We put a few questions to them.

OLI NORMAN
Great Glasgow Institutions and Taverns

Glasgow entrepreneur Oli Norman made the list because he’s been moving
and shaking and influencing for years. He is the man behind itison, and has led the way with innovative business ideas and practices throughout his career. Last year he brought the Glas Glow to the Botanic Gardens. Today he has full control of a seven-strong pub business. His portfolio includes Sloans, Brel, Maggie May’s and The Griffin, Epicures of Hyndland, Nick’s Italian Kitchen and Bar and Jacques in Finnieston.

Who is your biggest influence?

I’m inspired by lots of different people for different reasons but in a different life, I’d have loved to have been an astronaut and think the pioneers of the Apollo missions are really cool!

What motivates you to do what you do?

The genuine joy of seeing people smile from things that you’ve created and
worked hard on. Whether that’s a beautiful space, an amazing product or
an event that brings people together.

Is there anything new happening in your business?

Last month we launched our own charity initiative – itison us, giving those
who need it most a chance to enjoy the same incredible experiences we
offer our members. We continue to expand our portfolio of major events,
alongside growing the company throughout the UK and we have just completed a major refurbishment and re-launched Epicures in Hyndland,
creating a beautiful new space for the local community. So just a few things!

Have you noticed any trends in hospitality or the Scottish licensed trade?

One of the biggest challenges currently facing the industry is the home delivery market. Restaurants weren’t built or designed for home delivery but it’s the trend coming from across the pond that’s gaining real traction and momentum.

How do you stay ahead of the curve?

Create your own path, have your own ideas and look at the best in practice
across all other industries and learn from them – be a sponge!

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