By Scott Wright

ONE of Scotland’s biggest hospitality groups has frozen food and drink prizes across its portfolio to help customers amid the cost-of-living crisis deepens.

Manorview, which operates 11 venues across central Scotland, has also increased the pay of all employees who will all share 10 per cent of the net profits made by the company during its most recent finacial year in January. Staff who have been part of the team for 12 months will be eligible for a share of the profits, which will be calculated on average hours and not on the level of pay or seniority.

The company, a Living Wage employer, announced the moves after measures announced in last week’s Autumn Budget are expected to trigger a sharp rise in taxation and a fall in living standards as the UK braces itself for a recession forecast to last for the whole of 2023.

Manorview employs 560 people at hotels such as Boclair House in Bearsden, Brisbane House in Largs, The Redhurst in Giffnock, The Torrance in East Kilbride and bars and restaurants including The Lowland at Lynnhurst Hotel in Johnstone and The Commercial in Wishaw. The price freeze will apply to all nine of the restaurants and bars the group operates throughout central Scotland, with the firm noting it will be in place for as long as it is affordable. It last reviewed its prices in May.

Managing director David Tracey said: “Not only are our customers the lifeblood of our business, socialising is such a key part of people’s wellbeing. So, we wanted to play our part by freezing the prices so that we weren’t making it more expensive for customers to enjoy our restaurants and bars.”

Manorview said it will increase the pay of all members of staff to the new Living Wage rate of £10.90 by November 28 after it was raised by 10 per cent in September – the biggest uplift in the independently calculated wage, based on the cost of living, since its introduction in 2003/04. Employees who currently paid a higher rate or a salary will also receive a wage increase at the same time.

Operations director Carlton Graham said: “Our customers should know that when they eat and drink with us, they are contributing to something bigger. They are making it possible for us to pay the Living Wage and increase our team’s pay across the business. In this economy that’s no mean feat, and we are very grateful to our fantastic, loyal customers.”

The company noted that it was also exploring how to support colleagues in other ways, which could see it establish a pot of money that people could access at times of crisis. It plans to share financial well-being tips and is currently pay for every person to get free access to an employee assistance programme, which offers help, advice, and services such as online counselling.

Mr Tracey added: “In these situations, it can be challenging to identify the ways that you can make a difference. The reality is we can’t influence rising energy costs, and we can’t lower fuel costs, but what we can do is look after our team and ensure our customers can continue to enjoy our venues without costs rising there too.”