Fine Wine

HOPES FOR 2022: Hospitality industry across Harrogate hoping for success and no further interruptions as we head into the new year

David Straker, Co-Owner at William & Victoria and Simon Cotton, Managing Director at HRH Hotels have told the Harrogate Advertiser what they are looking forward to and hoping for in 2022, following a tough couple of years due to the ongoing battle against Covid-19.

David Straker – Co-Owner at William & Victoria

“As we enter into 2022 I am hoping for an uninterrupted year of trading.

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David Straker, Co-Owner at William & Victoria, is hoping for 2022 to be free from any lockdowns following a difficult last couple of years

“This may be wishful thinking but so long as the Government and local authorities continue to support the hospitality industry I remain hopeful.

“The past two years has been a rollercoaster and has reminded me not to take anything for granted.

“One huge benefit of owning your own business is being able to react quickly to a changing situation and unlike some larger operations we have been able to adapt quickly.

“This was especially evident in lockdowns when we remodelled our offering to takeaway and created a new outside space.

“Thankfully with the support of our loyal customers we rode through the eye of the storm.

“Like most in the industry, I hope for an increase in recruitment into the hospitality sector.

“This will be our main focus as we concentrate on retaining our current team, attract new talent and step up training to make sure we continue to provide the best service possible.

“We have seen a rise of visitors on short breaks and I hope the tourism trade will continue to be buoyant with an increase of visitors to Harrogate and surrounding area from which we all benefit.

“There is a renewed enthusiasm for fine wines. Knowing there is a demand gives me confidence to purchase more interesting and exclusive wines to enhance our wine list and in turn the customer experience.

“The demand for private dining has also risen with the backlog of wedding receptions and reignited enthusiasm for celebrating milestones and special occasions.

“This is another area we will be focusing on in 2022.

“As I enter into my 30th year as front of house at William & Victoria it has never been more evident that people and service is key to a successful business.

“I appreciate my team more than ever before.

“I am hopeful that our customers will continue to support us by dining out and enjoying delicious food and wine.

“I am eternally grateful to all our customers for their loyalty, the repeat bookings we receive year-in and year-out which have kept us going through the tough times.”

Simon Cotton – Managing Director at HRH Hotels

“With what has been the toughest of times for most of us for nearly two full years now, I don’t think any of us would have thought we’d be starting a third year with concerns of how things will pan out in the year ahead.

“Despite that uncertainty, I remain optimistic that 2022 will be a good year and one where, as a nation, we start putting this dreadful virus behind us and start to control Covid, and not let Covid control us.

“With that in mind, I have several hopes for 2022 that I’d like to see Harrogate make the most of.

“Firstly, with countries around the world running at different timelines with Covid, the year ahead looks set to be another one where international travel will continue to be interrupted and that provides great opportunity for another bumper staycation year and as we saw last summer, Harrogate is perfectly placed to take advantage of that.

“Hotels, guest houses, B&B’s and campsites for that matter, need to be gearing up for a busy summer season once again.

“My second hope is that we don’t waste the opportunity to grow our databases and use this time to secure business for the next few years.

“I know Visit Harrogate is undergoing some major changes and have been doing great work promoting Harrogate and my hope is that everyone in the town pulls together to make the most of what 2022 has to offer.

“If we want to see Harrogate thrive, we need to support our local shops and be creative in our offering – providing something the internet never can.

“This is where I see retail and hospitality working hand-in-hand to provide entertainment and a great social offering which sees ‘retail therapy’ really come to the fore in our town.

“My final hope is genuinely for kindness and respect across Harrogate.

“People and organisations will always have differences of opinion, different ideas, desires and overall goals; but let’s hope 2022 can be a year where we listen to one another, understand and contribute constructively to the ongoing success of our great town and be kinder to each other.

“In doing so, we make Harrogate an even better place to work and live.”

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