Glasgow Welcomes is a city-wide initiative designed to support the delivery of a world class visitor experience through customer service training and development opportunities for tourism and hospitality businesses. Over 9,000 city hospitality employees have participated in the Glasgow Welcomes programme, including thousands who took part in preparation for this year’s Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games – recognised as the ‘best games ever’. Over the next few years, Glasgow Welcomes will produce a lasting legacy from the Games by working with partners across Scotland to roll out this successful model to other key tourism locations.
James Rusk, who is the owner of the award-winning The Butchershop Bar & Grill steakhouse in the city’s west end and the recently launched three floor venue Hutchesons steak and seafood house on Glasgow’s Ingram Street, is also vice chairman of the Glasgow Restaurant Association. He has 15 years’ experience in the hospitality and catering industry, starting in the cloakroom in the city’s Rogano to working under New York restaurateur Keith McNally in his world famous Balthazar Restaurant, where he learned his craft and all about the marriage of quality food and outstanding service.
James will begin his new role with immediate effect and is set to chair his first Glasgow Welcomes Advisory Group meeting in November.
James said: “Delivering a high quality service is an essential part of running a successful hospitality business and it’s an area I’m very passionate about. I have worked on the frontline of customer service and I’m now in management, running two of my own restaurants, so I know the difference that great customer service can make.
“Investing in people is the key to delivering the personal touch in customer service. That’s why I was keen to take on this role. There are lots of fantastic restaurants, hotels and visitor experiences across Glasgow and I am proud to be part of an initiative that aims to further improve the standard of the visitor experience across the city.
“I’m looking forward to working with the Glasgow Welcomes team and advisory group to continue the great work already delivered by the programme.”
Gordon McIntyre, Glasgow Welcomes deputy chair and Head of Hospitality, City of Glasgow College said:
“We are delighted to have James on board as our new chair. James will bring to the role a wealth of experience at the cutting edge of hospitality here in Scotland and overseas, along with a passion for great service and for the city of Glasgow.
“James has demonstrated a real commitment to the Glasgow Welcomes programme and to promoting the importance of customer service excellence. He has been a member of our Advisory Board for over a year and teams at both of his restaurants have participated in the programme.
“James will bring a unique blend of leadership, experience and enthusiasm that will help us build on our work and get more of the city’s hospitality and tourism businesses on board with Glasgow Welcomes.”
The Glasgow Welcomes initiative is supported by the industry-led Glasgow Tourism & Events Leadership Group (which includes Glasgow City Council, Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, Scottish Enterprise and VisitScotland), and is managed by VisitScotland on behalf of industry and partners. Principal funders are Scottish Enterprise, with additional funding provided by Skills Development Scotland and the Glasgow city partners.