Christmas question time | Scottish Licensed Trade News

Scottish Licensed Trade News

Christmas question time

We chat about all things festive with three industry insiders

Kenny Wilson – Juniper, Tillicoultry

Kenny (right) with wife Marie Claire and business partner Alex Mckie

• How do you expect Christmas 2017 trade to compare to last year?

We expect trading will be stronger than last year, especially for us as we now have three venues across central Scotland, having recently become the in-house bar and restaurant at The Golf Inn in St Andrews, which we are really excited about. It has a great reputation for whisky and cocktails.

Juniper at Old Churches House has a bar and terrace too, as well as the brasserie, so that is also good news. We are covering day and wedding events there too, so it’s all very vibrant for us and we are already well underway with our preparations for Christmas 2017.

• What do you expect to be the most popular drinks this Christmas?

Prosecco, Espresso Martinis, good malt whiskies, Bellinis, Baileys cocktails, cranberry cocktails.

• How many extra staff will you be bringing on for this festive season?

Teams of staff are already in place at The Golf Inn and Old Churches House so we are well-supported in the move but we will be reviewing this shortly to see if additional cover is needed.

• If you could give one piece of advice to help a member of staff cope with the busy festive season, what would it be?

Service with a smile. We still need to make customers feel valued and special at Christmas – so make it special, make it sparkle.

• What’s your personal favourite tipple at Christmas?

Wine or a gin and tonic.


Paul Tamburrini – Macdonald Holyrood Hotel, Edinburgh

How do you expect Christmas 2017 trade to compare to last year?

The restaurant market in Edinburgh is thriving and we’re confident Bistro Deluxe by Paul Tamburrini will be on the wish list of all foodies looking for a new high quality dining experience in the run up to Christmas.

What do you expect to be the most popular drinks this Christmas?

We expect cocktails will be popular and our drinks menu features a selection of contemporary cocktails with a twist, as well as timeless classics. Wine is also a popular choice for the festive season and our extensive wine list has been expertly curated by Maître d’, Peter Adshead. It features classic wines of the world as well as emerging greats such as Ridgeview Bloomsbury Rosé from Sussex and Weitgasse Gruner-Veltliner, Mantlerhof and a selection of clean, dry sherries and wonderfully aged Pedro Ximenez.

How many extra staff will you be bringing on for this festive season?

We recruited an excellent team of chefs and front of house staff for our launch in October and we are taking on a handful of additional short term staff to cover the peak Christmas trading period.

If you could give one piece of advice to help a member of staff cope with the busy festive season, what would it be?

Above all I would say to successfully survive the festive season staff have to be passionate with drive, energy and enthusiasm.

What’s your personal favourite tipple at Christmas?

I love a glass of red wine with my Christmas dinner, particularly a Grand Reserve (Rioja).


Drew Stephen – No.10 Bar & Restaurant, Aberdeen

• How do you expect Christmas 2017 trade to compare to last year?

The festive season is always a busy one and we expect this year to be no different. Considering the downturn in Aberdeen over the last couple of years we had an incredibly strong festive period last year, which really set the bar high for this year – but as it stands we are on track to be even busier.

• What do you expect to be the most popular drinks this Christmas?

Our wine list is well-suited to our festive menu with rich reds and popular whites but, of course, Prosecco is a long-term favourite with many of our customers. We launch a Christmas cocktail list in December which is always very popular and features many local gins which lend themselves well to creating lovely spiced flavours for the Christmas period.

• How many extra staff will you be bringing on for this festive season?

We are fortunate enough to have a reasonably low level of staff turnover so for many of our team this will be their third festive period with us and each year that goes by we get slicker with our service as we know what to expect.

• If you could give one piece of advice to help a member of staff cope with the busy festive season, what would it be?

Organisation is the key. Our whole method and style of working is redeveloped over Christmas and with so much footfall through the door it is vital that all the staff are able to communicate, work well as a team and focus on planning ahead. My piece of advice is to keep calm through the busy moments and communicate with your team as much as possible.

• What’s your personal favourite tipple at Christmas?

I really value any time I get to spend with my family and relax with a bottle of rich and spicy Australian Shiraz.

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