Scottish Government urged to shut down rogue operators by new hospitality trade group


A new body, the Scottish Hospitality Group, which represents many of Scotland’s most successful restaurant and bar owners has called on the Scottish Government to immediately shut down licensed premises which flout social distancing regulations.

The newly-formed Scottish Hospitality Group (SHG) has a combined turnover of over £275 million and collectively employs some 5,500 in the hospitality industry.

The group which includes The DRG Group, Buzzwork Holdings, Signature Pubs, Montpeliers, Manorview Group, Lisini Pub Co, Caledonia Inns, G1 Group, Siberia Bar & Hotel and Mor-Rioghain Group is demanding that ‘rogue licensees’ who fail to enforce social distancing regulations should be shut down immediately to safeguard the wider industry.

Award-winning hotelier Stephen Montgomery, spokesman for the SHG, who runs two hotels in Dumfries and Galloway, said, “We have been forced to act because our industry is facing an existential crisis.

“The vast majority of bars and restaurants in Scotland have been adhering religiously to every regulation that has been introduced because we realise the very future of our industry is at stake.

“The Scottish Government simply must not take a blanket approach if a few rogue licensees fail to do the right thing.

“All members of the SHA are united in calling on the Scottish Government to immediately shut down the operators of bars and restaurants who don’t adhere to the very highest standards of social distancing, PPE and other essential hygiene measures.

“Targeting the few bars and restaurants which are breaking the rules is the proper and proportionate way to proceed. Responsible bar and restaurant owners across Scotland are also essential to the effective use of the track and trace system. If you shut down restaurants and bars, you’re massively increasing the risk of more house parties and irresponsible gatherings, where track and trace is almost impossible.”