Operators asked to befriend The Ben

Graham Chalmers of Radisson Red Glasgow

Operators across Scotland are being asked to befriend Scottish licensed trade charity The Ben as part of a new fundraising drive.

The campaign is asking hospitality businesses which are able to to support The Ben by donating £25 a month to become a ‘Friend of The Ben’ and help the charity continue its work to support people across the industry with grants, ongoing financial aid and mental health support.

Operators including Graeme Cheevers of Michelin-starred restaurant Unalome in Glasgow, Dean Banks of Haar Restaurant in St Andrews and The Pompadour in Edinburgh, Peter McKenna of The Gannet in Glasgow – SLTN’s Fine Dining Restaurant of the Year for 2021, and Scotland’s three Radisson hotels: Radisson Red Glasgow, Radisson Blu Glasgow and Radisson Blu Edinburgh, have already signed up to back the campaign.

Graham Chalmers of Radisson Red Glasgow, founder of the #bekindtohospitality campaign and winner of the 2021 SLTN Hospitality Hero Award, urged others to pledge their support.

“This is such an important cause and one we in the industry really need to get behind,” he said.

“We have all suffered in the last couple of years so helping offer support for those in greatest need is vital. Whether you’re a trainee glass collector, a dish washer, a cleaner, a nightclub cloakroom attendant, a DJ, a mixologist, a chef, a porter, a manager or even a business owner, The Ben exists to act as a safety net for you.

“We appreciate how tough things have been for businesses with inflation, the staffing crisis, rising costs and so on impacting businesses and households. We aren’t asking everyone – we are asking those who feel they are in a position to do so.

“Small businesses or those which are not cash-rich may not be able to support staff and pay their wages if they’re off sick for months – that’s where The Ben can step in and help save the job, the person and the business.”

Chris Gardner of The Ben said: “We are asking businesses who can afford it to sign up to pledge £25 a month, to allow us to keep supporting your staff, and indeed staff across the whole industry.

“We step in when you can’t – whether someone is off long-term, or your business is struggling, or there’s a global pandemic – we are there.

“And if you yourself need help – we are there. But now we need you. So please, help us help you.”