Our publisher Susan doesn’t mince her words – and here they are…
Well, that’s it over for another year – the Scottish Bar & Pub Awards, aka the DRAM Awards. I really enjoyed the night and it was great seeing so many familiar faces and making new friends too. We had 1,000s of nominations and we visited hundreds of pubs over the last two months. Our
mystery shoppers and judges travelled the length and breadth of the country and I would like to give a big thanks to them all and thanks to the trade in general for getting behind the awards and getting their customers to nominate. It’s funny, sometimes the bars you expect to get behind it don’t and others come in from right out of the blue like The Millport Tavern. We had some lovely comments from customers about this wee gem and I visited myself to see how good and friendly the service was – from reminding customers it was time to get up the road for tea
to welcoming new faces. It received a Highly Commended Award and that is a great result. The Sunday Mail Pub of the Year mirror went to The George in Inveraray – and well deserved it was too. What really struck us was that the staff actually looked like they were enjoying themselves – big smiles, laughter, and conscientious service – they looked after both old and young. It is that sort of experience that makes me proud to have been part of this industry for so long.
What doesn’t make me proud is when folk use social media to air their grievances because there’s usually another side to the story. A manager was recently dismissed from a job, which they had been in for only seven months, due to poor performance. They unfortunately just weren’t up to the role. Despite being contractually bound to pay the employee a month’s severance only, the company, having heard that the person had rented a new flat, softened the blow with a goodwill offer of three months’ pay AND offered to pay the rent. They were basically trying to make it as easy as possible for them to move on. You would have thought that this would have been welcomed – three months to find a new job… rent paid…
but no, that wasn’t good enough. Blackmail ensued. Result – the company withdrew the goodwill offer. I’m not naming the person because any employer reading this would run a mile…but talk about burning your bridges!
Talk about Dog-Friendly. I’ve already got two nominations from myself for next year Caladh Inn in Stornoway. They couldn’t have been nicer – from the bartender making a fuss, to the receptionist. And number two is the Glenuig Inn – there was even a welcome note to the dog from their resident dog – Roxanne – and a bone… Tootsie was well chuffed!
Edinburgh has certainly been busy – and certainly, Edinburgh based Vittoria Group have seen sales at Bertie’s Restaurant soar. It has served a staggering 17,000 portions of Fish & Chips … it has obviously got off to a fryer!
I cannot see the sense in Glasgow City Council refurbishing Sauchiehall Street and not granting outdoor licences. Apparently, licences for outdoor seating areas will not be granted as this is against Glasgow City Council policy for allowing Public Houses to have external sitting areas when people live above the Pub. As a result, they have refused six applications in total along Sauchiehall Street for the outdoor sitting area. Licensees are “totally perplexed”. Said one, “We have five kebab shops next to us all open past 4 am. A giant taxi tank and a huge nightclub across the road. Total
shambles!” It also begs the question, why would they choose to spend fortunes causing months of business disruption in the first place if we can’t utilise the new pavements?” No doubt that is a question taxpayers will be asking too!”
So LA has closed in Glasgow – the venue opened by James and Louise Rusk just before Christmas was a concept the two have revealed didn’t work. What I admire is that they had the courage to do it in the first place, and to close it when it became apparent it wasn’t working. That takes courage. No doubt they will already be working on their next idea. Nothing ventured, nothing gained… but equally, you can learn a lot when something doesn’t go to plan. Onwards and Upwards..