I hope you have enjoyed the first issue of Hotel Scotland. It is is YOUR magazine so let us know what you would like to read, and fill us in on all your news. Certainly there are plenty of positive things to write about.
Not so positive is the ongoing rates issue. As we went to press, the first of the updated Rateable Values (RAV’s) were being opened by hoteliers. The one year rating cap of 12.5% may alleviate issues in the short term, but analysis conducted by Ryden’s Business Rates experts shows rate payers within the hospitality sector are amongst the hardest hit businesses in Scotland. David Hart, Chief Financial Officer of Glasgow-based Redefine|BDL Hotels (RBH) believes keeping calm and focusing on the job at hand whilst lobbying for change should be top of the agenda for hospitality businesses in the wake of the increasing business rates. His company is seeing increases for individual hotels of up to 142%! The Scottish Tourism Alliance (STA) is already working with other trade bodies – but the battle has only just begun. The more appeals made, the more pressure there will be on the government to step in and re-think the flaws in the rating system when it comes to hospitality. Experts are on hand, utilise them.
Eastwood MSP Jackson Carlaw (pictured above) visited The Busby Hotel last month as part of National Apprenticeships Week and met with Robi Giovino, from the Manorview Group’s Training Division to hear how the hotel group supports and encourages apprenticeships in the hospitality industry – currently it has 42 apprenticeships in place. He took the time to present front of house team member, Loren MacGregor her Modern Apprenticeships SVQ Level 2 Award in hospitality. Well done Loren.
Congratulations to Maroulla Nicholas and her team at the Glynhill Hotel for a great Sportsman’s Dinner held in aid of Erskine and The Beatson. Some of the best food I’ve ever had at a banquet. Well done Chef Pascal Eck.
Lanarkshire now has The Dogchester. As the name suggests this Lesmahagow hotel is for four-legged guests! It has been opened by dog-loving husband-and-wife team, Brian and Margaret Straub, who are charging their guests (owners) £25 a night.
The hotel has eight individual suites, which can each accommodate up to four pets from the same family and each suite has thermostatically-controlled heating, wall-mounted TV, comfortable bedding, and all have individual private outdoor runs. Of course there are doggy public areas too – acres of land for walks, and a large indoor activity centre for when the weather is bad! Certainly paws for thought!
I found the recent STA conference very interesting, not least the talk by the gentleman from Uber who told the delegates that one of the key elements around the cab company success is the fact that drivers rate their passengers too. Apparently this practice is also being used by some hotel groups in the USA who are rating their guests and doing guest incentives for those who get rated well. This could be a game-changer for reviewers, if the hospitality industry gets to review them!