New Aberdeen group aims to ‘rebuild customer confidence’

Assurance scheme for venues is one of trade group’s first projects

A NEW hospitality trade group in Aberdeen is to create an assurance scheme for participating venues to reassure returning customers once venues in the city are allowed to reopen.

Aberdeen was placed back into lockdown on August 5 by first minister Nicola Sturgeon after a surge in COVID-19 cases in the city. The first minister is due to review the lockdown restrictions tomorrow (August 19).

In the meantime the lockdown has prompted the creation of new trade group Aberdeen Hospitality Together.

Consisting of more than 100 venues across the city, the group has been created with the objective of “working together positively with a unified voice”.

The first priority will be the creation of a new ten-step assurance scheme which members will pledge to follow in order to reassure consumers in the city once lockdown restrictions are lifted.

Stuart McPhee, director of Siberia Bar & Hotel and committee member of the group, 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 COVID-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.”