Ceasefire is needed in barrage of regulations

Gillian McKenzieBy Gillian McKenzie

IS there no let up?

Sadly, it would appear not.

A fresh barrage of regulation for the hospitality industry is looming on the horizon – and much of it is expected to come into force in the first few months of 2021.

From a tourist tax to the deposit return scheme and calorie content on menus, new legislation will bring with it a fresh set of operational challenges and costs for operators.

And that will have a serious impact on many businesses.

At a time when the trade continues to be buffeted from all angles – from punitive business rates to staff shortages as a result of Brexit – the last thing the industry needs is more costly red tape.

But it seems the powers that be fail to see the bigger picture – the crucial role that hospitality businesses play in the economy, as major employers, as vital hubs in communities, in providing training and career opportunities for so many.

As we have travelled the length and breadth of the country this summer judging for the SLTN Awards, we have been blown away by the passion, creativity and true entrepreneurial spirit that makes Scotland’s hospitality industry a cut above.

Heaping yet more cost and regulation on this sector puts all that at risk.

It’s high time the Scottish and UK governments and local authorities recognised the importance of businesses in this trade and gave them the support they deserve, rather than pulling the rug from under them time and again.

Enough is enough.