Women in Tourism Award
I was absolutely delighted to receive some super news this week – the results of a public campaign to find the Top 100 Women In Tourism were published and I’m thrilled to share that along with another 99 lassies I am one of the 2020 award winners including SFG members Carina Contini and Emma Clark
It is fantastic how we women are holding our own and indeed leading the way in many aspects of hospitality, supporting our Good Food Nation and contributing to Scotland’s tourism. I think it fair to say that although we may be in the 21st century many women still multitask whether it is juggling family commitments, elderly parents or a variety of ‘hats’ whilst achieving in their career. My son and daughter are adult now but I have been there and bought the t-shirt too! It is heart-warming to receive such recognition and my thanks and best wishes to you all.
Re-Launched Scottish Food Guide
This week we re-launch Scottish Food Guide website! There has been much activity behind the scenes ensuring that it is in the best shape for you as members, readers, diners, shoppers and cooks. In the words of Carlo Petrini we are all co-producers and as such have responsibilities whether it be supporting our producers who play an active role in maintaining the foodscape we cherish or supporting our chefs and front of house staff, fundamental to Scotland’s hospitality and going that extra mile to protect you in these challenging times.
Here at Scottish Food Guide I want to do all we can to support you and to that end have been reworking every page to ensure they are optimised and clear, engaging and informative, professional and transparent. These are all qualities I have strived for since day one in 2002 however it is important to constantly review, tweak and, in this case, upgrade various widgets that are a bit over my head so Reservoir Digital has been terrific, guiding me through the technical minefield and empowering me along the way! No doubt there will be the odd wrinkle there are so many changes but bear with me and just get in touch.
Among the multitude of upgrades, here are some of the modifications and features you many notice:
- Much of the website has been refreshed with new images and edited text ongoing
- It is now simpler to return to the previous page and indeed to view your most recent visits
- Seasonal Offers provides a place to highlight latest news from members, updated weekly
- Those wishing to apply for membership can easily access the form, read the criteria and membership benefits
- Many more new recipes regularly added
- Monthly newsletter posted on website and sent out to mailing list
- Additional direct links to social media and dedicated YouTube channel
These are just a few of the developments and I humbly thank those of you whose testimonials I value and appreciate most sincerely.
I survey Scottish Food Guide with its associated Farm Shops and Cheese Trail – something I created from scratch without a public bean as is my way – and it is fantastic to see so much activity, increased viewing stats and newsletter subscribers. I see a network of Business-2-Business collaborations and business to consumer bookings that bode well for 2021. But sadly I also see stressed souls just trying to do their best whilst diktats from on high chop and change causing havoc and distress, food waste and meltdown. Many in hospitality have every right to feel enraged, hurt and unjustly treated. And NOT ONE OF SFG MEMBERS DESERVES TO BE CLOSED – THEY ARE EXEMPLARS OF SAFETY. I would rather dine or shop at any one of them than many other activities!!
Too many are struggling financially while those with secure salaries can have no concept of life for the rest. It is illuminating to hear some definitions of ‘hardship’ whilst others are reaching the end of their tether whilst smiling bravely. Those who haven’t run their own business cannot know. There are winners and losers: poverty staring some in the face with inadequate financial assistance on offer whilst others are planning a luxury holiday with the money saved from their commute whilst furloughed!
Granted I am not a doctor nor psychologist however I have friends and family who are both and it is time for more psychology as too many are paying too high a price. Morale and mental health are sinking fast and becoming the new pandemic, a malaise that may be even harder to cure.
I fear hospitality is being unfairly punished for the antisocial behaviour of the few. Penalise the latter by all means. Beaches, pubs, conventions, rallies and parks have been linked to outbreaks but not careful diligent bistros and restaurants. The economy needs to get back on its feet but citizens also need to take more responsibility. Use common sense and be vigilant. Be trusted and be worthy of that trust bestowed upon us. Meanwhile a significant number in seats of authority flout the rules we mere mortals try so hard to obey. C’mon… no wonder our patience is being severely tried!!