A Highland group of bars and restaurants has scooped two prestigious awards at a top national award ceremony celebrating the best of the hospitality sector.
Cru Holdings, which operates seven venues in Inverness and Nairn, was named Best Hospitality Employer at the Scottish Entertainment & Hospitality Awards at a James Bond-themed award ceremony in Glasgow.
Its Inverness bar Scotch & Rye was also crowned Best Speciality Spirit Bar, recognising the venue’s commitment to bringing incredible whiskies and spirits to Highland locals and tourists visiting the area.
Ken Loades, operations director of Cru Holdings, said:
“We’re thrilled to have been named the Best Hospitality Employer in Scotland.
“The hard work of our amazing team is a huge factor in why our bars and restaurants are so well received, and we are thrilled to be able to support them through their careers.”
Judges praised Cru Holdings’ dedication to working closely with its team, naming the firm an “outstanding employer who very much values team members and staff across all levels.”
They were particularly impressed with Cru Holdings’ clear career progression, personal approach to staffing, and excellent staff benefits, which they said allow it to far exceed its status as a real living wage employer.
Mr Loades continued:
“Seeing Scotch & Rye also lift the Best Speciality Spirit Bar was incredible.
“We pride ourselves on Scotch & Rye’s selection of delicious whiskies – served alongside craft beers, cocktails and American comfort food.
“To hear that judges appreciate the warm, welcoming experience we are aiming for is fantastic.”
Judges for this category highlighted a “phenomenal list of [brewers] available” with staff displaying an “excellent knowledge” of the bar’s offering.
They also hailed the “creative” speciality cocktails.
Mr Loades concluded:
“The last couple of years have been difficult for everyone in the hospitality industry, and it’s by pulling together that we have been able to excel in our mission to provide unrivalled service to our customers across the Highlands.
“Our team has worked tirelessly to ensure that everyone leaves our venues with a smile on their face, and we couldn’t be more proud of everything they have achieved.”
Cru Holdings is the Highlands’ leading hospitality group, with a portfolio of seven bars and restaurants in Inverness and Nairn: Prime, Bar One, Scotch & Rye, The Classroom, The Wee Bar, The White House, and The Keg.
For more information, visit www.cruhq.com.