Campaign urges government to ‘save our jobs’

New initiative comes as another hundred hoteliers back petition to relax restrictions on hotels

A NEW campaign fronted by several prominent hospitality operators is aiming to raise awareness of the job losses expected when the UK-wide furlough scheme comes to an end later this month.

The Save Our Jobs campaign is backed by operators including Michelin Star chef Tom Kitchin, Signature Group owner Nic Wood, James Thomson of Prestonfield and The Witchery and restaurateur Carina Contini. It is calling for urgent action from the Scottish and UK governments to safeguard thousands of jobs across the country.

Hospitality workers across Scotland have been encouraged to share selfies on social media featuring the hashtags #SaveOurJobs and #ScottishHospitality to highlight the human faces behind the redundancies that are expected once the furlough scheme comes to an end.

(Clockwise from top left) Tom Kitchin, James Thomson, Nic Wood and Carina Contini.

Kitchin said: “We’re in really challenging times as an industry and now is the time to act. The impact this situation is having not just on Scottish hospitality but also on our supply chain is enormous.

“I was speaking to a supplier yesterday and he was in tears. Many producers and even members of our team are in great stress and I have serious concerns for their health and wellbeing if this carries on. Everyone linked to our industry is affected by the restrictions and curfews and hospitality and tourism being such important cornerstones of the economy cannot be wiped out.

“Our industry is in a real need of help, especially having only just partly recovered from the first lockdown. We have worked so hard to keep our guests and diners safe in hospitality settings, taking all safety precautions needed to remain safe while enjoying good food and drink.

“Eliminating the risks of the virus is obviously our greatest concern, but there needs to be a balance. For the hospitality future of Scotland.”

It comes as another hundred hoteliers added their signatures to a petition urging first minister Nicola Sturgeon to relax the trading restrictions for hotels.

The petition, started by Jill Chalmers of Glenapp Castle in Ayrshire, now has over 200 signatures.