Some of the biggest names in Scottish hospitality have joined forces to help safeguard around 220,000 jobs as the industry faces its third and toughest winter since the start of the pandemic.
Edinburgh’s Brewhemia; McKays Hotel in Perthshire; Links House at Royal Dornoch in Sutherland; Ingliston Country Club & Hotel in Renfrewshire; Tyneside Tavern and Mazzoli Italian Kitchen in East Lothian; and Banchory Lodge in Aberdeenshire are amongst over 50 hospitality firms and organisations already backing a new Scotland-wide ‘Help Out Hospitality’ campaign to support firms battling for survival due to rapidly escalating costs.
Energy is the biggest reported cost hike on top of massive increases in food and labour bills this winter. Many business owners believe this could be a stretch too far without the vital support of initiatives like ‘Help Out Hospitality’, which is being led by The Full Range, one of the UK’s leading food and drink procurement firms.
Since last year, commercial energy bills are around 400% higher, food bills are up by around 20% and labour costs have increased by around 10%. The Bank of England’s biggest interest rate rise since 1989 (up by 0.75 percentage points to 3%), is also having an impact on consumers, who are already starting to tighten their belts further and cut spending on eating out.
Now, support has been drawn from across Scotland with hoteliers, restaurateurs and publicans, who are teaming up to highlight the scale of the crisis facing the industry and help drive footfall and bookings this winter.
The ‘Help Out Hospitality’ Initiative has been designed to incorporate every aspect of the hospitality supply chain, including food and drink producers, allowing businesses to create enticing consumer deals on both meals and overnight stays at a time which typically sees a drop in business.
The new commission-free ‘Help Out Hospitality’ online platform is now live for hospitality businesses to promote offers, attract direct bookings and allow customers to enjoy the best value over the quieter winter months.
Richard Drummond, owner of McKays Hotel in Pitlochry, Perthshire, said: “Help is precisely what the hospitality and tourism industry requires. After the past three years, the closures, the uncertainties, staffing issues, and now spiralling costs.
“The Full Range came up with the ‘Help Out hospitality’ initiative to support our industry, which the scheme sets out to achieve. However, it not only helps our industry, but it also helps everyone, our suppliers, and the end user, it allows us to pass the discount we receive, on to our customers.
“Hopefully, this will drive additional revenue to our businesses and offer our guests great savings, which is a win-win for all.”
The ‘Help Out Hospitality’ campaign was spearheaded by Barry Knight, Director of The Full Range. He said: “Scotland’s hospitality industry employs around 220,000 people, which makes up around 8.6% of the country’s total jobs. The current cost-of-living crisis is having a significant impact on each and every operator, regardless of business size.
“The sector really is on ‘life support’ if help is not provided to trade more efficiently through the winter trading period. We think our new ‘Help Out Hospitality’ will go some to supporting businesses where they need it most at this critical time.”
Barry added: “By leveraging our unique position in the marketplace, we’ve been able to negotiate a support package across a wide range of suppliers and manufacturers which allow our partner restaurants to run promotions throughout the month of November, in turn, encouraging diners to eat out and sustain footfall at a particularly vulnerable time for hospitality.
“By involving suppliers in the process, we can drive meaningful change – generating discounts at the beginning of the process while removing commission on the other end; a real win-win for the industry, at the same time satisfying consumer demand for great value deals.”
For more information about the ‘Help Out Hospitality’ campaign, to register and for a full list of participating businesses, visit www.helpouthospitality.com