Company Profile: Scotland’s newest specialist commercial property agency

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Going in and out of lockdown in late 2020 was a particularly hard and unprecedented time for the hospitality sector. As it launched to market, Drysdale & Company had a unique proposition for this sector and was committed to helping find solutions.

Fast forward eighteen months, and the business, headed up by Stuart Drysdale, (MRICS), a Chartered Surveyor with twelve years of commercial valuation experience, followed by five years at an International Property firm as Director in their Hospitality Agency Department, has grown to become one of Scotland’s leading specialist commercial property agencies.

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Multiple instructions from Hotels to find fresh buyers for premium properties, including Poppies in Callander, have combined with acting for owners of Public Houses, Guest Houses, B&Bs, and self-catering holiday properties.

Referrals have also come from the agency’s extensive network of professional advisors and business owners. “Going on my own has proven the age old saying that people deal with people, and I love dealing with the many characters involved in the Licensed Trade in Scotland,” said Stuart. “I wanted to explore the new world that the pandemic has produced, working for myself and enjoying autonomy and ownership of an agency business backed by a strong network of hospitality operators and professional advisors that I have built over the years.”

“These include my Co-Director, Alex McKie, together with the well-known industry names of Brian Davidson, former Operations Director of Star Pubs & Bars, and Stephen Montgomery of The Scottish Hospitality Group (SHG), both of whom are Non-Executive Directors of our wider Group.”

“All three are directly connected to the real market, bringing to the table multiple contacts and straight-talking advice, which is certainly needed at the moment,” added Stuart.

“With the raft of challenges affecting the hospitality sector at present, our experienced faces in the sector provide a solid sounding board for the trade, if owners are looking for advice on what their options are, whether it is to sell their business and relocate, outsource, engage hotel management options, expand successful operations and or acquire a new licensed business, or retire and enjoy time with family and friends.”

“We are not simply a business sales agency. Our knowledge makes us well placed to provide advice on many aspects of the trade.” Stuart outlined that he believed hospitality-based businesses needed to market themselves for sale with an accurate and realistic asking price that will generate serious interest, and lead to a successful transaction.

“There will no doubt be more hospitality businesses coming to the market over the next few months and years to come, due to current trading difficulties, but the licensed trade in Scotland is resilient and forward-thinking,” said Stuart.

“Many robust businesses will continue to thrive by building on solid foundations of good quality service and product. There will be opportunities for groups to acquire independently owned licensed hospitality businesses across Scotland, from the Borders to the far north of Scotland and the Islands.”

Stuart pointed to the popularity of Scotland as a tourist destination, with a mix of increasing domestic spending through Staycations and foreign travel, to the new normal tourist routes taking in the major cities, the Central Belt, the Highlands, the West Coast, and the ever increasingly popular NC 500.

“A number of high profile hospitality acquisitions across Scotland during the past two years goes to prove that there are aspiring operators keen to expand their business offering across the country.”

Stuart finished by saying that, although still a young company, Drysdale & Company had enjoyed successful sales across Scotland. “This has included Sheddens Bar and Lounge in the east end of Glasgow, acquired by a multi-site operator, whilst the iconic Lake of Menteith Hotel was sold after a competitive bidding process and closing date to an international hotel operator keen to make their mark in Scotland,” he said.

“A new lease was sold to an ambitious licensed trade operator in Edinburgh who took on the former Jeanie Deans site in Edinburgh, whilst two premium guesthouse businesses were sold in central Edinburgh.”

New instructions from Drysdale & Company include the Station Hotel in Larbert, an institution in the town, and well known by every commuter on the busy central Scotland train line; Kinlochewe Hotel in Wester Ross, a perfect purchase for an owner-operator with a hugely successful restaurant serving the rural population and numerous tourists to the area, and The Robertson Arms in Carnwath, an opportunity for an ambitious chef/owner to take on and develop an established business with a strong catchment area.

To follow shortly will be a pub restaurant in the East Neuk of Fife, as well as confidential off-market Licensed opportunities in Inverness and the Borders. For further details, and to get in touch with Drysdale & Company check out

Category: Features, News
Tags: Drysdale & Company, Stuart Drysdale