Hospitality could open from the 15th July – so how has business been? Some have found it quieter than normal, others have seen lift off. To kick off we have feedback from Michael Bergson in Glasgow and Stuart McPhee in Aberdeen and John Black from The Fort in Broughty Ferry. Let us know how you have found it by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Glasgow entrepreneur, Michael Bergson comments, “It has been quite mental since we opened particularly at Buck’s. Thundercat is packed too – I had wanted to do a soft launch there but we needed to get the money in. We have had to turn hundreds of people away. I am certainly relieved. It is encouraging that people want to come out and are excited to be back.”
He continues, “We put screens around booths in all venues, lots a couple of tables – and due to social distancing our capacity is down between 15% and 20%. We have been able to unfurlough all our staff although unfortunately, I have had to give The Variety Bar back.
He adds, “I just wish we had had more notice that we could open at 1-metre. Here’s hoping going forward that the Government can work more closely with the trade.”
Stuart Mcphee of Siberia in Aberdeen says, “It’s been ridiculously busy. Every day is different and we have had to adapt, but every day we have got busier. We have honed in on table service and we are absolutely flying. Before lockdown the average spend was just over £10 a head now it is around £18, so we have managed to get customers to up their spend.
“In the main our customers are quite happy. Our overall vibe has not changed. We have put our own twist on the guidance. It is pretty much the same but they have to stay at their table. We are also pretty strict – customers are welcome if they follow the rules and if they are not interested in being respectful we aren’t interested in having them.
“Today we have 400 covers booked in and I am comfortable with the way we are operating. We are making money and that is better than being closed.”
John Black of The Fort in Broughty Ferry said, “It has been really good. We opened inside yesterday but everybody wants to sit outside. So it will be interesting to see how that goes. I invested in my outside area at the back with my Bounce Back loan. and it has paid off. I increased the number of seats from 16 to 72 with 2-metre distancing outside. It looks great, and the customers really like it. Now I am going for full planning permission for the carpark.”
He continues, “It is very labour intensive doing table service. It’s more like a wedding service where you have lots of waiters and waitresses on. But we are back in business and people are being really nice and are spending more per head. We haven’t had too many issues, but we have kept to the 2.5 hours sittings which means we don’t have too many customers who have drunk too much. So fingers crossed it continues, this weekend will be the teller. ”