The Value of the Night Time Economy

BLOG30th Aug 2018

In partnership with TLT LLP and iZettle, AAB hosted the first North East Alcohol Thinking (NEAT) event at the BrewDog Castlegate on Thursday 23 August 2018. The event was well attended by businesses from the North East’s night time economy and they were treated to a range of presentations which highlighted both the value that the hospitality sector brings to the region; as well as the value that can be added to their businesses through partnering with the right advisors.

Jointly chaired by TLT partner, Stephen McGowan, and AAB Head of Food and Drink, Derek Mair, the event was kicked off by Hilary Dyson from AAB. Hilary highlighted the benefits of cloud accounting and the availability of various apps; from stock control and rota management to financial reporting; that can support the hospitality trade. These technology tools give the business owner valuable insights into their business and free up time to focus on the day job rather than the housekeeping.

Wiz Jantarasorn and Simon Elliot from the mobile pay company iZettle linked well with Hilary, highlighting some of the trends in the hospitality sector – particularly from a technology standpoint. Having an “experience” is now what customers expect from the hospitality sector  Another “trend” was the subject of TLT licensing solicitor Niall Hassard’s presentation on pop-up bar’s and festivals.  Niall gave a brief run through the licensing perils and pitfalls to be avoided when organising these pop-up drink, food or music event.

The first session was closed with a candid look at Keith Brewery’s history by Andrew Chapman. From the challenges in the past to Keith’s very exciting future, Andrew’s presentation raised more than a few laughs.

The second session was launched by TLT Partner, Jonathan Rennie, who provided some stark lessons on personal bias; with discrimination and harassment in the hospitality sector high on the agenda.

Referring back to customer’s desire for an “experience, Alistair Duncan, VAT Director at AAB then shared a session with Craig Adams of Krakatoa looking at live cultural events. Alistair and Craig discussed the benefits of Community Interest Companies and, in particular, the significant savings that can be secured by operating the cultural exemption for VAT on live music and other cultural events.

Closing the seminar, Nicola Johnston, Aberdeen’s Evening and Night Time Economy Manager, shared some of the initiatives driven by Aberdeen Inspired to better harness the benefits of the night time economy.

The common theme of the NEAT event was value. Whether it is the value that the night time economy brings to the city and its residents; the value of embracing new technologies or the role that the night time economy can play in enhancing lives through the provision of world-class food, drink and cultural activities.

If you would like to find out more about NEAT, please contact Derek Mair, Head of Food & Drink.