Sales buzzing as hospitality group invests in new venues

Kenny Blair, managing director of Buzzworks Holdings. Picture: Contributed
Kenny Blair, managing director of Buzzworks Holdings. Picture: Contributed
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Buzzworks Holdings, the Scottish hospitality group behind a string of venues including a new restaurant at the Port Edgar Marina in South Queensferry, has reported a healthy hike in sales.

The family business, which runs a dozen restaurants and bars across Ayrshire and into the east of Scotland, reported a 9 per cent increase in turnover over the past year to £16.2 million.

Pre-tax profits “continued to be positive”, the firm added, despite the business investing £1.8m during the financial year on new venues, its existing portfolio and staff development.

Buzzworks secured its second venue outside Ayrshire – Scotts Port Edgar Marina – and began work on its 220-cover restaurant and bar situated against the backdrop of the River Forth’s three iconic bridges.

In Bridge of Weir, the business transformed the former Archies lounge bar and kitchen to open its fifth House-branded restaurant and bar, The Coach House. The £1m development saw the firm create 40 jobs for the town.

The group invested a further £400,000 in refurbishment works on its flagship House venue, The Tree House in Ayr, alongside the purchase and renovation of the property next door, transforming it into a new venue – The T bar.

The annual results also revealed a 6 per cent increase in employee numbers last year to 466.

Kenny Blair, managing director of Buzzworks Holdings, said: “2018 has seen the business grow further, as we opened our first venue outside of Ayrshire, in Bridge of Weir.

“Now with two sites in the east and further negotiations on sites 13, 14 and 15, we are forging on with our planned growth strategy for the future and the focus is on making 2019 even more successful.

“Even with industry-wide challenges including rising supplier costs, alongside the uncertainty of Brexit, we have continued to not only increase our turnover, but invest heavily in both the portfolio and our people.”

He added: “Our staff are what define us and are integral in creating the foundations of a long-term, successful hospitality business. So much so, we have spent more than £100,000 in the last year alone to introduce industry leading work/life balance initiatives for our people, including decreasing the working week without decreasing pay and paying overtime for every hour worked or time in lieu.

“We have also increased our training initiatives to encourage personal growth and development for everyone within the company.”

Among the company’s venues are Elliots, Scotts in Troon, Largs and South Queensferry, Lido venues in Prestwick and Troon, The Tree House in Ayr and The Long House in Kilmarnock.