Scottish hospitality sector on ‘life support’ say industry campaign leaders

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.

Industry news
Published: 07/11/2022

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.

Paul Fraser, Owner of Ingliston Country Club & Hotel, Bishopton, Renfrewshire, said:

“The hospitality industry plays a key role in everyday life. The time spent together with family and friends are where the best memories are made.

“The world is full of bad news these days, so it’s great to be able to partner on such a positive campaign with support from all our loyal suppliers and collectively being able to give something back to our local community and attract potential first-time visitors.”

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."

Phil Scott, Managing Director of Links House at Royal Dornoch, Sutherland, said:

"We're delighted to be involved with The Full Range's initiative to 'Help Out Hospitality'. We have many synergies together, through associated business, and it's a very positive contribution to our sector, combining resources and promoting Scottish businesses collectively."

Hospitality supply chain firms already supporting the initiative include Arran Dairies, Taste of Arran, Mark Murphy and Dole Foodservice, Grahams Family Dairy, Campbell Prime Meats, Gilmours and George Campbell.

Alastair Dobson, Managing Director of Arran Dairies and Taste of Arran, said:

“The ‘Help out Hospitality’ initiative couldn’t have been launched at a better time. We’re all well aware of increased costs for Scotland’s hospitality businesses, who are always striving to provide a great experience.

“The cost-of-living crisis is meaning customers are ever more careful with their household budget. Creating a no commission platform which allows businesses to promote their offers and drive customers to direct book is excellent.

“Our region of Ayrshire and Arran is fighting hard to keep businesses open through what will be a very challenging winter, to retain staff, maintain our collective product and visitor experience and also offer value for money. The ‘Help out Hospitality’ initiative will help achieve this. The more people who sign up, the more benefit for our businesses, our visitors and our communities.”

Brian Breslin, General Manager, Mark Murphy and Dole Foodservice, Edinburgh, added:

“In Mark Murphy and Dole Foodservice, we recognise the imperative for the hospitality sector and indeed the entire supply chain that serves it to collaborate and support one another as we face up to the cost-of-living crisis confronting consumers and businesses.

“Collective challenges require a collective response from all stakeholders. We’re consequently proud to be playing our part in supporting a creative initiative like ‘Help Out Hospitality’, one dedicated to providing very practical support to drive extra bookings and generate increased customer footfall.”

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

For more information on The Full Range, visit

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