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All show, no substance with a clear lack of integrity

All show

Dear Lovely people

We get so much of a show for our money these days but where is the substance to back it up? Will Smith gave us all more of a show than anyone bargained for, particularly Chris Rock. There was substance in his slap but of the very wrong kind.

Our Chancellor loves a show. Filling up a tank of a borrowed Sainsbury’s employee car with petrol to show a fuel duty saving, left us all empty. How can he say to a parliamentary committee that he was “comfortable” with the choice to move 1.3m people including half a million children into absolute poverty? His wife’s Russian links are a poor quality drama that they may be comfortable with too but all of us wereleft feeling very fidgety. Interesting how some interpret integrity. As a millionaire/billionaire what’s the drive to be in politics? A man of his privilege has the ability to really make change but clearly lacks the desire to do so or the integrity to care.

Abramovich did have tea but clearly there was a hidden substance served at that table.

Here in Scotland our ferry fiasco is a show that’s on a run that’s not going anywhere. Another indicator that we’re really not good at managing public infrastructure projects.

Twenty fixed penalties notices have been issued for Partygate. There will probably be more fixed penalties for the Celtic Rangers Premiership game on 17 April. Surely they know who was at the party, or were they all off playing sardines and they still can’t find them?

The news has moved from Covid, the war in Ukraine, back to Covid with a bucket full of the cost of living crisis. Very few are immune from these costs. Our team will be some of the first to feel it.

The world has changed since March 2020 and few industries have been as affected as hospitality. Wellbeing and balance are words we used before the pandemic but they now have an even more pertinent meaning. In order to embrace these changes we are supporting our team in a different way. We wish to be an employer of choice for our team as well as a restaurant of choice for you our customers. Both are reflected in the prices that are shown on our menus. Our commitment to sourcing and using the best ingredients is one part of our menuprice but our promise to our team is the biggest part.

This month we’re making one of the biggest decisions that we have ever made. It’s a choice made partly due to necessity and party due to integrity.

The long hours, late nights, public interaction and pace make hospitality demanding and constant. We have lost our on-tap European workforce due to Brexit, the effects of this cannot be underestimated. Lockdown has also changed individuals’ expectations. In order to attract a committed workforce who see hospitality as a long term profession we have updated our Team Charter.

From our April payroll, we’re increasing our base entry rate for all our team to a minimum of £10 per hour.

The Real Living Wage (RLW) in Scotland is £9.90 per hour. The National Living Wage is £9.50 per hour and the Minimum Wage is £9.18 for 21 and 22 yo. This move is a step above all of these.

To be accredited as a RLW employer we need to pay for the accreditation. We’re giving the fee to the team instead.

We have calculated, not in the cynical sense but financially and there will be implications on our prices but it’s a safe gamble (is there even such a thing) that we feel we have no option but to take.

If I were the Chancellor I’d make many different choices. I would have got my spouse to fill up my Fiat 500 for a start. I would have reduced VAT to 5% not increased it to 20%. I would have charged a windfall tax to the oil and gas sector not passed on the increases to families. I would have reviewed the tax system and business rates. Brexit, I would have done my research and articulated the real impact on the economy. That would have been a start. A perfect storm. Storms are a natural phenomena. This is a government self-interest made storm. The Chancellor didn’t show up to the challenge on this one.

Looks like we’ll all be wearing masks in restaurants until 18th April. It’s one reason to start going back to church as they’re no longer needed there.

Something we’ve been working on for many months now is our Contini Training Academy. This will provide an industry accredited benchmark for the skills our colleagues need to feel confident, supported and be hospitality ambassadors. This sits alongside our Employee Assistance Programme with Hospitality Action.

Brexit and the Pandemic have removed millions of people from our workforce and we need to be able to attract career driven team to look after you.

We want to show you our commitment to our values.

As always I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

Thank you for supporting our choices. They will make a difference to our team, our suppliers and our long term sustainability.

Keep well and keep strong


PS. Our outside Terraces are now open. Just in time for the Spring snow


Our new season six course artisan Tasting Menu launched on Thursday and itis trulya journey across Scotland,sharing how wonderful our produce is.
It is a great way to get a sense of our natural larder, according to the seasons. Everything we serve at Cannonball has been grown, raised or caught in Scotland and we are incredibly proud of that.

“An incredible tasting menu. The staff were incredible – knowledgeable with the pairings and very attentive to the table. The chefs excelled way above expectations. The pairings were spot on and a very healthy measure in each. The views of the castle in the background add to the already excellent ambience in a quiet, romantic, perfectly balanced dining room which felt private.”
Tripadvisor Review March 2022



The Scottish Cafe & Restaurant launches it’s new season menu on Monday andis open for breakfast, all day brunch, lunch, Afternoon Tea
and coffee and cake 10am to 5pm Monday to Friday

“After being seated at a cosy table for two, we had great difficulty choosing what to have for lunch. This is because the clever, innovative menu is packed with tempting treats to cater for all tastes. Our server Lucia scores top marks for friendly, attentive service, she could not have been more helpful. All the dishes were top quality, and my eggs royale sported a pair of the most exquisitely prepared poached eggs I’ve ever tasted. The crumble with custard was beautifully prepared with just the right amount of custard lurking under the surface so that the crumble could show itself off. Highly recommended.”
Tripadvisor Review March 2022



Our food is perfect for sharing. A fun, informal and very special family restaurant open 7 days for breakfast, lunch, cocktails and dinner.

“What a time to have lunch at Contini. With the sun shinning bright and an amazing lamb on my plate! The Contini building itself makes you feel you’re having your meal like the royal aristocrats of the long old days! Staff and service were exceptional as Atilla the restaurant manager attended me with great professionalmanners. The Agnello (lamb) plate was of high quality as the puree and gremolata couldn’t match any better with the vegetables! I got to meet Nico on the pass who topped my visit at Contini with an exceptional Panna Cotta dessert and let me leave with a smile on my face! The overall experience was amazing and can’t wait to be back and spoil myself once again.”
Tripadvisor Review March 2022


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