Collaborative action

Just as many of our industry bodies are spearheading business cases with the heads of government, we have a duty to act in each other’s interest. Last week, I spoke about how we have been given the gift of time and the way that I have been using it is by working with others.

Some are competitors, some are friends, some I never even knew before the onset of this pandemic. What can be achieved from the comfort of my couch (once the kids are in bed) is really starting to set in. The new normal as it is has taken hold and we now find ourselves embracing our same old work ethics in a whole new setting.

The hospitality industry in particular will bear a long-standing scar from this lockdown. We were some of the first to be forced to close and we will indeed be some of the last allowed to open. But we are nothing but resilient.

Some of the innovation that we are seeing and the ways that we are emerging to work together really is there for all to be seen. At this stage we have locally all begun to band together, a real watershed moment for bars in Aberdeen to collectively for the greater good and for the wider business community.

What was once a self-serving, competitive and secretive industry has been refreshed and replaced by a WhatsApp group, collaborative action and something to all work towards.

In the absence of what is one of our most profitable days, May Day Bank Holiday Sunday, we are now volunteering together on a project that will see the day created in an online setting with donations being made to 2 local causes, Mental Health Aberdeen and NHS Grampian.

Our goal is to allow people to peruse some semblance of normality with the build-up bringing together all manner of businesses from hair and make-up studios to food and drink deliveries being facilitated by a local taxi firm on the day.

With lots of lessons being learned and connections being made for both the immediate and longer term, there is fresh hope that is going a little way towards healing that scar in a slightly less damaging fashion.

In house we are hoping to strike the innovative chord with a push on an app that we have been developing for quite some time. Our thoughts are that when we do get to the other side, we may still be subject to operation under some social distancing factors. It may allow us to operate in a safer fashion than we currently do and perhaps this may be a new normal post lockdown. Pip that against the backdrop of a negative oil price and everything around us as we know, it will be certain to be changing in one way or another very, very soon.

Are you thinking outside the goldfish bowl and engaging with others to see where you can help? What innovations are in the pipeline using the downtime to your advantage?

Stuart McPhee, director, Siberia Bar & Hotel

Stuart McPhee, director, Siberia Bar & Hotel