You may have heard of Best Bar None, the award scheme that aims to improve standards in Scotland’s night-time economy. But perhaps you may have thought it was a bar only scheme, but it actually has a Hotel’s Category and is keen to get more hotels involved.
Eleanor Lee, Operations Manager at Community Safety Glasgow, which manages Best Bar None in the city, explains, “We want Glasgow to be recognised for the quality of all its city venues, and that includes hotels.”
“Last year, The Blythswood was a joint Winner in the National awards in the Best Hotel Bar category and received a Gold in the Glasgow awards, but we would like to see more hotels get involved.”
So what is Best Bar None, and what are the benefits? Eleanor explains, “BBN is all about improving quality in licensing by focusing on the five licensing objectives. It is funded and supported by a broad partnership of organisations including Glasgow City Council, Police Scotland, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and more. Local authorities, such as ourselves, support it through community safety, which is where I come in, and we can also raise funds from sponsorships.”
She continues, “We can advise licensed trade businesses across the board on how best to implement safe practices in their venues. From ensuring they have the most up to date training, to advising them on issues around dealing with customers.”
Says Eleanor, “We want to encourage people to adopt these practices and we recognise the journey that businesses go on with our awards. Businesses don’t have to come in and aim for gold straight away, for some, getting to bronze level, shows commitment, especially if they are new to Best Bar None. It is all about adopting positive management practices in support of a safe night out.”
Members of Best Bar None are offered support and advice from the Community Safety Glasgow team, Police Scotland and Licensing Standards Officers to enhance and develop their policies and practices to BBN levels, and all the assessment in Glasgow is done by independent assessors.
So what are the assessors looking for? This includes evidence of good practices, and training such as good door and floor management and good alcohol management practices like Challenge 25.
Whereas with the like of public health they would look for the non-alcoholic options offered, the 125ml wine options and food options too. They also look at First Aid procedures and how premises deal with ensuring they have no underage drinkers. Eleanor explains, “We aim to have hotels and bars in Glasgow with a consistent approach which promotes good public health and has positive alcohol control measures in place. But we realise that it is a journey for some smaller venues, and we are happy to assist in any way we can.”
So how can Glasgow’s hoteliers get involved? Says Eleanor, “To join BBN Glasgow the cost is £48. It is very good value. For instance, we give five free training sessions for two people at a time at the Tennent’s Training Academy … that covers the cost itself. We also promote the businesses that get involved through social media and on our website http://www.bbnglasgow.com Two people can attend the gala awards dinner and every successful recipient gets a plaque.”
Eleanor concludes, “Best Bar None Glasgow recognises venues who are offering a quality experience focusing on safety and customer care. We are sure there are a lot of Glasgow hotels out there doing just that, but who haven’t realised that BBN is for them too. I hope we can change that.”
The 5 licensing objectives;
- Preventing crime and disorder
- Securing public safety
- Preventing public nuisance
- Protecting and improving public health
- Protecting children from harm