Sue Says

susan 2

Congrats to Colin Barr and the team at the Republic Bier Halle on reaching 20 years. I remember the launch party… just.
But what a great turn out from the good and great of the trade and the customers that have supported him over the years. Roll on the next 20!

Non-alcoholic drinks which taste like gin without the alcohol are becoming a new category in the drinks repertoire – notice they can’t be called a spirit or a gin (nae alcohol) and no doubt that is giving the marketing fraternity a few issues, but now I am getting press releases about alcoholic tea. Me, I’m a fan of non-alcoholic air – do you think that will catch on?

I feel really chuffed when I get great service – and I have to say I take my hat off to the staff at the BrewDog pub opposite Kelvingrove. I took my dad in recently with his siblings (average age 80) and they couldn’t have been nicer. Nothing was too much trouble and it wasn’t quiet. They were first class. I also had a bite of lunch at The Atlantic in Glasgow recently. Manager Kostas wasn’t in, despite that, the service was impeccable. Someone said to me that the mark of a really good restaurant manager is when he has the staff motivated to perform just as well when he is not there. He has nailed that.

I will hopefully have a meeting with Neil Bibby MSP coming up to talk about rates. He had to cancel recently because he was ill, but I am going to be putting the case for a debate in Parliament about the rates issues which is so adversely affecting the licensed trade in Scotland. He is a Labour MSP, and Labour’s manifesto suggests that the Labour Party would look to : List pubs as Assets of Community Value so community
groups could buy local pubs under threat of closure and replace Business Rates with a land value tax: Review the evidence on the effect of minimum unit pricing of alcohol amongst other things. I think any politician that would take up the issue of rates and help get a solution would get the support of the whole trade. He or she could be our white knight. Because something needs to be done.

Christmas is fast approaching and it is the busiest time of the year for the hospitality industry. It is also when lots of alcohol is drunk by folk
that may not usually imbibe, as you all know. According to research from commercial insurer, NFU Mutual four in five consumers (83%)
expect hospitality staff to have the necessary training to effectively manage a verbally or physically abusive customer. Usually, they do, but sometimes in a busy venue, at a very busy time of year, staff can be stretched to the limit. It’s not an excuse, but it is a fact. An encouraging stat suggests 74% of consumers would physically or verbally intervene if a member of staff was being attacked by another customer. While these good intentions are commendable, they also present a challenge for businesses as such situations could very easily get out of hand. So be safe. If you haven’t had any training ask for it, and if you get into strife, get help. And if you are an employer why not do some refresher training on how to deal with problematic  customers now.

We have just done our review of the decade … there was so much we missed out this issue – so we will do a follow-up next month too. Anyway – it’s been a quick year, here’s hoping the festive period is a good one. Here’s to 2020 and a new decade.

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