'We are talking about trying to survive, not about profitability'

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 12th October 2020

The bosses of over 100 leading Scottish hotels say there will be thousands of job losses unless the First Minister amends new Covid rules for hotel guests.

The owners and senior managers of over 100 Scottish hotels have written to the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, urging immediate changes to new Covid-19 measures introduced last Friday.

The hotels, which include Glenapp Castle in Ayrshire and Prestonfield House In Edinburgh, say that the rules, which prohibit the sale of alcohol in public areas to hotel guests, will lead to thousands of job losses because of a damaging drop in revenues.

The stricter rules mean that all pubs and restaurants in the central belt of Scotland, including Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Lanarkshire, Ayrshire and Arran, Lothian and Forth Valley, have had to close both indoors and outdoors until 25 th October.

Licensed premises can still serve takeaways. Pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants in the rest of Scotland will not be allowed to serve alcohol indoors and can only be open between 6am and 6pm for food and non-alcoholic drinks.

Hotels can still serve evening meals to residents but not with alcohol. In a letter to the First Minister signed by over 100 hoteliers, Jill Chalmers, the Managing Director of Glenapp Castle in Ayrshire, who is spearheading the immediate call for change, says: “Not being able to sell alcohol in public areas to hotel residents in Scotland negatively impacts their stay and future guests are already starting to cancel their bookings. This measure in particular is threatening the small thread of revenue – a lifeline for many – which still exists for hotel businesses in Scotland at this difficult time.

“We urge you to reconsider this and allow hotel guests, staying a minimum of one night, to consume alcohol in all settings, not simply room service alone. In addition, we believe that we should be able to serve non-residents until 6pm, as a café is allowed to do.

“If there is no change, we have no doubt that we will suffer deeper losses. We are talking about trying to survive, not about profitability. Without this small change in your policy, there will be thousands more job losses in the coming month.”

Under the new rules, wedding parties already booked in at hotels are able to consume alcohol yet non-wedding guests nearby, staying under the same roof, are unable to.

Jill Chalmers continued: “You can imagine the pressure on hotel staff, and the potential threats they might face, having to negotiate with different guests over the measures. It is unreasonable to expect staff to deal with this especially if guests try and join the wedding groups in order to drink alcohol.”

In these challenging times…

The Staff Canteen team are taking a different approach to keeping our website independent and delivering content free from commercial influence. Our Editorial team have a critical role to play in informing and supporting our audience in a balanced way. We would never put up a paywall and restrict access – The Staff Canteen is open to all and we want to keep bringing you the content you want; more from younger chefs, more on mental health, more tips and industry knowledge, more recipes and more videos. We need your support right now, more than ever, to keep The Staff Canteen active. Without your financial contributions this would not be possible.

Over the last 12 years, The Staff Canteen has built what has become the go-to platform for chefs and hospitality professionals. As members and visitors, your daily support has made The Staff Canteen what it is today. Our features and videos from the world’s biggest name chefs are something we are proud of. We have over 500,000 followers across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and other social channels, each connecting with chefs across the world. Our editorial and social media team are creating and delivering engaging content every day, to support you and the whole sector - we want to do more for you.

A single coffee is more than £2, a beer is £4.50 and a large glass of wine can be £6 or more.

Support The Staff Canteen from as little as £1 today. Thank you.

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 12th October 2020

'We are talking about trying to survive, not about profitability'