Hospitality workers should get a medal

Not everybody gets time off work over the holidays. Picture: Getty
Not everybody gets time off work over the holidays. Picture: Getty
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It’s become something of a cliché to say Christmas is a busy time of year. But it’s busy for families gearing up for the big day.

It’s full on for businesses as they squeeze their work around the holiday period and the odd Christmas party. It’s frantic for food and drink producers and retailers at this critical time for income generation.

But as most of us take some time to wind down over Christmas and New Year, spare a thought for those who keep going over the holiday: those working in the hospitality industry.

There has recently been much publicised research about the health risks of working in antisocial hours. Working anti-social hours (not something that is restricted to those in hospitality) can prematurely age the brain and dull intellectual ability, scientists warn.

Yet night shifts are necessary in today’s society, particularly at this time of year. Perhaps it’s time we gave more recognition to those working so hard to help us enjoy our down time.

Their work certainly delivers for the economy. Scotland’s tourism spend is £4.6 billion and around 20 per cent of this is accounted for by eating and drinking.

Scotland has long prided itself on the warmth of its welcome and it’s those on the frontline of tourism who make this a reality.

In March 2015, ScotHot will bring together those working in the hospitality, tourism and catering industries as part of Scottish Tourism Week’s signature programme. At the show, they will be looking at bringing best practice into their own businesses to ensure the industry in Scotland is providing its customers with the very best service available.

But let’s take a moment to applaud them and to recognise their hard work at this exceptional time of the year.

• Soraya Gadelrab is event director of ScotHot