The campaign #bekindtohospitality launched last Monday by Radisson RED Glasgow is gaining momentum. It has received support from some of the biggest names in Scottish hospitality including Masterchef star Dean Banks, Chris Mears of Scran Glasgow, Stephen Montgomery of the Scottish Hospitality Group, Michael Woods, of St Luke’s and The Amsterdam as well as Ronnie Sommerville of 5pm and Gordon Macintyre of Hospitality Health.
The man behind the campaign Graham Chalmers, Curator of Radisson RED comments, “We are very pleased to see our #bekindtohospitality campaign growing across Scotland, with businesses and industry figures and bodies from Skye to St Andrews and of course in Glasgow, where it all started at Radisson RED, joining us.”
He referenced the recent episode at Finsbay which during its first week had a customer take to Tripadvisor to complain. Finsbay put it’s case forward. Says Graham, “We’re sorry to see what happened but it shows EXACTLY why we felt this campaign was necessary.
“Like everyone else, in hospitality businesses across Scotland, some people are feeling anxious and nervous about this new way of working – so we are asking people to be nice to the staff wherever you go, appreciate their feelings and give them a break.”
Chris Mears, Scran Glasgow, comments, “Here in Scran we have been more than fortunate enough to operate as a takeaway over these last few trying months, and we have been so overwhelmed by the love and support shown from our Scran fans. We genuinely wouldn’t have survived without them.
“We are genuinely excited to be putting food on real plates, coffee into real cups and serving customers again inside our new look Scran, but with this excitement comes real nerves and anxieties.
We are playing our part and keep our customers as safe as possible adhering to all the measures that have been asked of us.
So all we ask is be kind to the team and patient and your experience in Scran will be as good as ever
Ronnie Sommerville, CEO and Founder of 5pm.co.uk , comments, “It has been a super tough year for everyone. Here at 5pm.co.uk we have been dealing with tens of thousands of customer care emails and calls over the past year and we know that while most people are kind and understanding, a small minority are definitely not.
“It’s going to be even tougher for the frontline staff in hospitality when everyone will be struggling with new rules and ways of working.
“In Ancient Greece, hospitality was a right, with the host being expected to make sure the needs of the guest were met. Conversely, the guest was expected to abide by a set code of behaviour.
“So if you make a booking, show up. If you can’t show, let the restaurant know. It is basic good manners.
“And if you are in the restaurant or a hotel and things aren’t going to plan, chill. There are more important things in life than having to wait a few more minutes for a pizza or room service.
Let’s enjoy our taste of freedom and our freedom to taste the best of Scotland’s restaurants and hotels!
Gordon McIntyre, Founder of Hospitality Health explains, “What an exceedingly anxious time for staff, returning to work with many having not worked for months. It’s a bit like starting a new job and all the stresses that it brings, ensuring all the new guidelines are followed. #bekindtohospitality is a great initiative started by Graham at Radisson RED. I am hoping customers throughout Scotland get behind it.”
Stephen Montgomery, spokesperson for the Scottish Hospitality Group said, “As we welcome guests and customers back, we’re asking them to enjoy themselves and have a brilliant time, but also to think about the teams of people looking after you. Many have not worked for a full year and like our customers will also be anxious and may well even be nervous.
“They are working under extreme restrictions to make sure both themselves and customers are kept safe. As we go into a bank holiday weekend, and beyond, we would ask that everyone respects each other.
“Recruitment is going to become the next big issue as the industry opens back up. Businesses are operating with reduced capacities as they reopen, but when all of the industry is fully back in business there will be a real problem, thanks to COVID.
Dean Banks of Haar, Haar At Home, Waagyu, Haarbour, Shaaken, Lunun Gin is happy to support the campaign, saying, “I am delighted to get behind the #bekindtohospitality campaign because it is vital that people recognise the stress our staff members are under in this situation.
“It’s not their fault you can’t have a drink inside, or you can’t sit with your pals in one big group – these regulations are set by the government and we have to abide by them.
Please remember staff may also be feeling anxious about being out and surrounded by people after so long at home – so be patient, be nice and help them do their jobs.
“In other industries I’m sure people are being given a little grace period to readjust and get into their groove again, not being asked to do everything at 100 per cent in the first week, so if customers could please keep that in mind.
“Hospitality staff are professionally trained obviously but they’re only human so please do give them that same leeway – it’s looking like a busy sunny weekend and a lot of amazing staff are feeling anxious about coping, just like people in all walks of life right now.
“We all have to pull together to look after each other – and that includes staff and businesses. Just be nice, please.”
Gary and Deirdre Curley, Sligachan Hotel, Skye
Hospitality is all about looking after people and making people happy. There is a huge amount of skill, passion and commitment across multiple departments required to deliver the amazing Scottish hospitality we are famous for.
“It will take time for hospitality and tourism businesses to adjust and the implementation of the guidelines to keep everyone safe is a huge responsibility and requires massive concentration and team effort.
“So, if the rules mean that you can’t sit with your chosen friends, or service is taking slightly longer than usual, or you’re reminded to put your mask on when not seated – please be kind, remember we are in this together, remember that a lot of what we are being asked to do is outwith our control at the moment and instead of leaving mean-spirited reviews or being unfriendly to staff, just talk to us in a friendly and kind way and I guarantee that no matter where you go in Scotland, staff and businesses will do everything they can to make you happy.
So as you venture out to visit your favourite bar, hotel or restaurant – please remember to #bekindtohospitality and let’s get out of this situation by working together.
Michael Woods, St Luke’s, The Amsterdam, says, “Our staff have had a few issues this week, some of the girls have been upset and stuff, we even had people run away without paying their bill. We caught them and brought them back and the full bar booed.
“So most people ARE being nice and being supportive. Just try to be sound and not give the staff a hard time as we have been shut for so long, they’re only human and they’re trying hard to get back to the level they normally operate at.
“Please be considerate, make it easier on our staff – they are trying their best to make you happy and the rules are not set by them. We have to adhere so we can stay open and of course not cause Covid related incidents. This is for your benefit and everyone’s benefit – we don’t want our staff on furlough or out of work.
“Just please – #bekindtohospitality. In fact just be kind in general. It’s cool to be kind.”