The Glasgow Revolution

Glasgow - Butchers shop

A Bibendum Guide to Glasgow

Outside the doors of Glasgow Central station, a vibrant city awaits. It’s easy to get caught up in the culinary revolution of London, but in Scotland’s largest city there’s plenty to talk about. Tired stereotypes and old culinary gags have no place in today’s Glasgow. This jewel of the north isn’t so much a secret as a full blown destination.

Our Market Insight analysis show that restaurant spend in Glasgow is 2% above the national average, highlighting this city’s appetite for dining. A 2014 Rough Guide’s poll also named Glasgow as the “friendliest city in the world”. And it has the restaurants to prove this.

James Rusk, entrepreneur and director of The Rusk Company, which operates The Butchershop and Hutchesons in the city, says, “One of the many incredible things Glasgow has to offer is its people. It is true what they say, ‘people make Glasgow’. We make experiences, we have a desire to make visitors feel welcome and want to return.” He takes the notion of hospitality seriously and each member of staff is proud to represent the city.

But it’s not just the people that make the city so appealing. Phoebe Weller, manager of Valhalla’s Goat, a hybrid On Trade/Off Trade venue in Glasgow, says the city “has really taken off with loads of new restaurants”. It’s happening at breakneck speed, “you blink and there are 10 more openings,” she says. Though the established restaurants haven’t lost their appeal, she mentions that “Stravaigin is at the forefront of good food in Glasgow, while Ox and Finch does contemporary Scottish Tapas really well.”

When it comes to finding inspiration, James looks internationally. “We admire operators that create new timeless classics – the 'new old'. From Danny Meyer and Thomas Kellar, to Keith McNally – they all strive for greatness in their gourmet experiences; their level of consistency is amazing, with attention to detail in every aspect of the business.”

Similar to London, Glasgow can count wider global influences among its restaurant culture. James explains, “With the accessibility of travel, customer expectation levels are now greater than ever, which is a massive opportunity, setting the bar high and allowing for a greater diversity of cuisines and concepts
in the city.”

It’s not just quality food that Glaswegians are accustomed to; Phoebe has noticed a familiarity with good wine and beer. She makes sure to “avoid the usual wine spiel” with her customers. It’s one of their USPs at Valhalla’s Goat, to make their drinks accessible. Phoebe says, “With our diverse clientele we try and have our own vocabulary when it comes to wine and food matching.”

The language of service is something that also resonates with James. He explains, “Our restaurants are very much about delivering The Rusk Company experience – from excellent Scottish food and drink, to our outstanding service and atmosphere.”

It’s clear that the collective ambition to prove Glasgow is a serious player in the dining scene drives these operators. James says, “The next five years will be an incredibly exciting time for The Rusk Company, as we continue to develop our existing brands and grow our future vision. We are striving to become world leaders in the industry and to be part of the driving force of hospitality in the UK.”

The future certainly looks bright in this part of the country. Long may the revolution continue.

Operating in Glasgow? Contact your Account Manager to make sure you stay ahead of the game.

Date:
2nd February 2016


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