Carla and John Lamont, owners of Ninth Wave Restaurant, Mull, winner of Best Restaurant Experience category at HITA 2015
Our success at HITA last year has brought our wee restaurant to a whole new set of customers and potential customers.
Since winning the award, we have seen a significant increase in national awareness. People that may not usually be in our advertising sphere have discovered us through the publicity generated from the win and the promotion of the event itself.
Our wonderful staff – an integral factor in winning Best Restaurant Experience – really felt a great sense of achievement from winning against such strong competition in an area where tourism is of such importance and I think the pride they take in their work has increased even further as a result.
The magical Isle of Mull relies heavily on tourism and Ninth Wave is proud to say that we are now a destination restaurant that brings more business to the lesser- frequented and known Ross of Mull. We also support the local B&Bs etc as they have supported us.
Like the restaurant, which is a celebration of Scotland’s quality produce, HITA celebrates the quality businesses and services provided to visitors in the Highlands and Islands. The awards are an excellent way to showcase the best in the business and promote ways to improve.
The awards process made us take a close-up look at our own business from a tourism and customer perspective, leading to many insights that may have been missed otherwise. For instance, the need for in-depth specialist wine and whisky training was highlighted by one of the application questions.
I also think it’s fantastic fun and an important forum to meet others in the industry, and an added bonus to pick the brains of others at the top of their games. We have forged many friendships over a glass of bubbly and a gorgeous meal that none of us had to prepare (for a change!)
Striving to win the awards makes us better businesses and better employers and this, in turn, benefits a multitude of people.