‘We’re facing the end of our industry as we know it - the battle is now on to save hospitality’

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 22nd October 2020

The Scottish Government is facing a legal challenge over the decision to shut down pubs and restaurants.

The Scottish Beer & Pub Association, The Scottish Licensed Trade Association, UKHospitality (Scotland), the Scottish Hospitality Group and the Night Time Industries Association Scotland say they ‘regret’ taking legal action but feel they have no choice.

According to the Daily Record, Paul Waterson, the group's spokesman, said: “It is with regret that we now commence with this first stage in the legal process.

"We understand and entirely support the goal of suppressing the virus, but our sector is at breaking-point.

“Despite having more mitigation measures than other sectors and the vast majority of operators going above-and-beyond in ensuring customer safety, our sector has been repeatedly targeted without consultation and without the evidence."

It follows yesterday’s announcement that pubs across Scotland are still barred from serving drink indoors for at least another week, while bars across the central belt must stay closed entirely.

The group continued: “The economic support offered to premises doesn’t come close to compensating the businesses and means jobs are being lost and livelihoods ruined.

"Any measures must be proportionate and be backed up by evidence, we do not believe that is the case here. “The industry simply cannot endure the extension of the current restriction, further restrictive measures expected from the November 2 or get into a stop start situation.

"We are now facing the end of our industry as we know it. The battle is now on to save the hospitality sector.”

Save Our jobs

Some of the top names in Scottish hospitality have also launched a new ‘Save Our Jobs’ campaign calling for urgent support from Westminster and Holyrood to safeguard up to 100,000 jobs before the nationwide furlough scheme comes to an end in just 10 days’ time on 31st October.

Michelin star chef Tom Kitchin, Nic Wood of pub and bar collection Signature Group, James Thomson of Prestonfield and The Witchery, Edinburgh’s Carina Contini and the Scotland-wide Crerar Hotels group are leading the campaign to appeal for urgent support from government before it’s too late.

People aged between 16 to 24 years old currently make up 50% of the hospitality workforce in Scotland, however, since February, youth unemployment has risen from 6.1% to 14.5% in Scotland.

Tom Kitchin said: “We’re in really challenging times as an industry and now is the time to act. The impact this situation is having not just on Scottish hospitality but also on our supply chain is enormous. I was speaking to a supplier yesterday and he was in tears. Many producers and even members of our team are in great stress and I have serious concerns for their health and well-being if this carries on. Everyone linked to our industry is affected by the restrictions and curfews and hospitality and tourism being such important corner stones of the economy cannot be wiped out.

“Our industry is in a real need of help, especially having only just partly recovered from the first lockdown. We have worked so hard to keep our guests and diners safe in hospitality settings, taking all safety precautions needed to remain safe while enjoying good food and drink. Eliminating the risks of the virus is obviously our greatest concern, but there need to be a balance. For the hospitality future of Scotland.”

To show your support for the ‘Save Our Jobs’ campaign, share your thoughts and photos on social media using the hashtag #SaveOurJobs and #ScottishHospitality.

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 22nd October 2020

‘We’re facing the end of our industry as we know it - the battle is now on to save hospitality’