Storey calls on ministers to notice hospitality gem

Alan Biggar gets into gear for his Teenage Cancer Trust charity drive in his Morgan
Alan Biggar gets into gear for his Teenage Cancer Trust charity drive in his Morgan
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The Aberdeenshire-born head of fast-growing catering conglomerate Westbury Street Holdings (WSH) gave a speech at the Savoy in London last week after stealing Jamie Oliver’s crown as the most powerful mover in UK hospitality.

Alastair Storey, who is from Fyvie, addressed the great and the good of the food and drink industry with the opening words: “I love this business!”

He went on to talk about the 40-year career that has propelled him to the top of WSH, owner of businesses such as BaxterStorey and Benugo.

Clearly irked by the lack of recognition the catering and hospitality industry receives from government, despite being the fourth-largest employer in the UK, Storey also appealed to ministers to recognise the “gem” of an industry.

Charities toast SWA effort

Glasgow auctioneer McTear’s is backing the fundraising efforts of an intrepid group of Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) staff who last year cycled to all 107 distilleries in Scotland in aid of charity.

On 17 April, McTear’s will auction the extensive range of bottles that were donated to the cyclists by distilleries during the trip. The range includes many unusual bottles, including one signed by some of the Scotland rugby team.

Over the course of 2012, SWA staff covered almost 2,000 miles, taking in every distillery from Bladnoch in the south of Scotland to Scapa and Highland Park on Orkney in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support Scotland and WaterAid. The fundraising was part of the SWA’s centenary celebrations.

As well as welcoming the tired cyclists, whisky producers supported the impressive challenge by contributing money to the charities and donating bottles for the cause. Almost £7,500 has already been raised.

Vardy recruits motor ahead

Scottish car dealership chain Peter Vardy is opening its Rookie Academy to new recruits again after hundreds applied for 15 posts last year.

The scheme seeks out people with “fresh ideas and a genuine commitment to customer experience” but not necessarily experience, putting them through a programme run in conjunction with Edinburgh Napier University and turning them into the workforce of tomorrow. Nearly a third of the chain’s 100-strong sales force are graduates of the academy.

The rows of gleaming Beemers, Jags and Porsches could be a strong attraction for some wannabe sales execs, or petrolheads.

Biggar risks no roof drive

STAYING with cars and Alan Biggar will be hoping spring is finally on the way as he sets off on his third and final charity drive for Teenage Cancer Trust this week.

The former head of Brewin Dolphin’s office in Edinburgh is using his 1971 Morgan Plus Eight to tour the Six Nations’ rugby stadiums and will not be carrying any weather equipment – no sidescreens and no roof.