Corona Virus Update

We are certainly living in difficult times which must be causing everyone one of us a huge amount of stress, especially coping with all the new rules and laws which are being issued. I wanted to reach out to all past and future customers to say that I hope you are all keeping well and safe and also to offer some links to information which I hope you will find useful.

The link below, issued by the British Institute of Innkeeping, who accredit the SCPLH exams, is an informative document allowing you to reference key employment issues, whether a small business or self-employed.

BII INNFocus Corona Virus Update

The link below takes you to an update from the Scottish Tourism Alliance, who have been working hard on our behalf to press the Scottish Government for more support for Hospitality. An important note is that self-catering businesses will now be included in the package to assist hospitality businesses.

STA Update

For anyone who was hoping to complete an SCPLH or Refresher in the coming weeks, I understand that the BII are trying to make their exams workable on-line and I am happy to try this once it is available. I hope to be in a position to present via Zoom if this happens and I will keep you updated.

I am sure that once our isolation is over and the World slowly starts to return to normality, people will need a holiday. Hopefully they will prefer to stay within the UK and we will find ourselves in a much better position.

Keep your spirits up, keep strong and see you on the other side!

Measure your business performance in one easy step…


We are all curious about our business performance compared to the “Industry Norm” as it enables us to evaluate against a known benchmark.  However,  it is often difficult to find up-to-date and accurately researched figures or indeed, find a source for any figures published.


It was with a great whoop of delight therefore that I read an article reporting on a relatively recent survey from 2015, taken from some 3,000 Food & Beverage outlets in the UK.

Encouragingly, it seems that turnovers are increasing slightly with food-led bar and restaurant businesses reporting an average total of £18,000 in weekly sales in 2015, which represented a 2.7% rise on 2014, when it totalled £17,600.

The average food mix was up to 77.2% (vs drinks sales), from 76.2% from the previous year.

Overall, F&B businesses report that their Gross Margins are typically between 76% – 78%. Labour Costs for Food led Businesses average around 28.8% as a percentage of turnover (up 0.5% on 2014) although Pubs with higher wet sales and lower labour costs averaged a labour cost of around 26.7% as a percentage of turnover (up 0.5% on 2014).

Based on the same 3,000 F&B outlets, the average hourly pay in 2015 was shown to be £6.75, an increase of 2.2% on 2014. Figures for 2016 will likely rise as a result of the introduction in April 2016 of the National Living Wage of £7.20 per hour for people aged 25 years and over.

Interestingly, the average length of service recorded was just 392 days (employee turnover of 93%), repeating a similar pattern of previous years. The retention records were 210 days’ average service (worst) against the best rate of only 631 days (best).

A direct correlation was noticed between companies proactively seeking to engage/retain their teams, and those which do not, which reinforces the argument for a strong staff development programme.

It seems that all companies suffer from a high staff absence/illness rate with the average work days lost for these businesses was 16.8 days per month – slightly less than in 2014.

Using the above figures, we can compare our own business’ performance and gauge where we need to make adjustments to our business practice.

SOURCE:  The Caterer 14/7/15 (article written by Neil Gerrard based on a presentation by Mike Shipley, analytics & insight solutions director at Fourth Analytics, during a bars and restaurants forum held in July 2015 by Fourth, BDO and Barclays bank.  Statistics compiled from research carried out by Fourth Analytics which studied data collected from 3,000 F&B outlets around the UK in 2015.)