Hospitality businesses in the city are joining forces to form a new sector group following a second closure.

The Aberdeen Hospitality Together group has been set up by the industry, for the industry with the main objective of working together positively with a unified voice.

The forum will be driven by the local businesses in a bid to allow all premises, small and large, to collectively work together to share best practice and pledge commitment to the protection of the industry to make a major long lasting positive change.

In response to the CV-19 outbreak, the group will primarily focus on the operational procedures of our sector in line with government guidelines and work on aligning customer behaviours in order to overcome the challenges which threaten the hospitality industry.

The first action point of the group, which already includes more than 100 premises, will include the creation of a 10-step assurance scheme that all venues will pledge to follow in order to instil customer confidence and lead the way in creating a safe environment in Aberdeen.

Stuart McPhee, director of Siberia Bar & Hotel and committee member, said: “The hospitality industry in the city directly employs around 14,000 people and that does not involve anyone in the supply chain or contractors beyond. Although this group has been formed out of a negative situation, we are determined to use this to create a route forward for the thousands of hospitality settings across the city, enforcing a regime of positive representation.

“The second lockdown has prompted premises in the city to take action and create a positive unified voice that we feel was missing. Our first priority is the safety aspect in relation to CV-19 guidelines so we can ensure all venues in the city are compliant and secondly, working on rebuilding customer confidence. This has led to the creation of our new assurance scheme that all venues will adhere to but we also have plans in motion for a new customer behaviour system unique to Aberdeen and a city-wide app which will help to strengthen safety procedures. These steps will help to ensure that operators are ready to open but we need this to happen as soon as possible to ensure the sector survives.”

Councillor Marie Boulton, continued: “I am really encouraged at the swift action taken by the hospitality sector in Aberdeen in coming together with one voice and one mission, which is to restores Aberdeen’s reputation as a safe, welcoming City. The Trade have come together following a Summit which we held last week after the announcement of a second lockdown by the First Minister on August 5. The sector has a number of other businesses dependent on it, from food suppliers to taxis drivers to the shops in the city centre. We can come out of lockdown stronger and wiser if we do it together, the premises, their patrons and the public sector. Aberdeen can create the template for other Cities to follow.”

Aberdeen Hospitality Together will be working with local authorities on a number of initiatives including an assurance scheme, customer behaviour system and a city-wide app with a joined up approach to support the reopening of the sector. The group already has more than 100 venues signed up in the past 24 hours but all hospitality businesses in the area and affiliated parties are encouraged and invited to support the new group.

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