Long serving commitment recognised at top Edinburgh venue

Edinburgh hospitality organisation Surgeons Quarter has introduced a long service recognition programme to honour its dedicated employees.

The programme includes long service awards as well as increased annual leave entitlements for staff members reaching significant milestones.

26 full time employees have been with the organisation for over five years and have been commended for their hard work, resilience and passion which has helped shape the growth and success of the business over the years.


Starting as a Guest Service Manager in 2016, Richard Monese, has worked at Surgeons Quarter for eight years and now holds the role as Hospitality Manager.

He said: ” In my eyes, the benefits, and rewards of having a career in hospitality are not spoken enough about. Working in hospitality has provided be with a rewarding sense of belonging and achievement.

“For someone thinking of pursuing a career in the industry, my advice would be the more effort you put into the role, the more rewards you will get out of it. The only thing that holds you back is yourself.”

Justin Mackenzie joined the organisation as receptionist in 2014 and established the ‘Friends of Nicolson Square’ community group improving the local area and helping to create a new division of the business, SQ Travel.

Justin said: “Throughout my career at SQ, I’ve been fortunate to have the opportunity not only to contribute to the company’s growth but also to make a positive impact on the local community.

“One of the most rewarding aspects of the job has been establishing a connection between SQ and the homelessness charity Cyrenians, which is an ongoing relationship. It’s exciting to be able to support organisations that make a difference in the area.”

Marisa Perdigao joined Ten Hill Place in 2016 as a Room Attendant after moving to Edinburgh to start a new chapter in her life just three months prior. Marisa has progressed within the organisation, now taking on the role as Housekeeping Supervisor since 2023.

She said: “I was really welcomed into the team by everyone which was amazing for me as I was new to the city, I knew no one and my English was still pretty basic.

“Prior to this role, I never had experience working in hospitality and I have been given the support to progress in my career.”

Mhairi Robertson, Reservations and Admin Assistant for 16 years, highlighted the consistent support which helped her remain in the hospitality industry:

She said:” Surgeons Quarter has always strived to support their staff, whether it’s in everyday life or when you have big life changes.

“A memorable time for me was when I went on maternity leave, management fully supported my new requirements and new schedule when I returned to work. They ended up creating a new role for me and provided me with a path for future development. “

Scott Mitchell, Managing Director, commented: “Our team is one of our greatest assets. It’s encouraging their experiences reflect our commitment to ensuring a nurturing environment that supports career development.

“The hospitality industry is not renowned for its pay and conditions, and we strive to be at the forefront of changing that which can be seen in the number of long-serving employees we celebrate every year and proud to say our longest member of staff has been with us for over 16 years.”

As a people-focused organisation, Surgeons Quarter offers industry-leading pay comfortably above the £12.00 per hour LWF Living Wage. On top of this, staff benefit from a 50% discount at all Best Western Hotels, access to discounted travel and holidays through SQ Travel, long service awards, staff discount cards across all SQ outlets, death in service benefit of 3 times annual salary and many more.

The venue has also been recognised by the Living Wage Foundation (LWF) for ensuring that all members of staff contribute at least 12% of their salary towards their pension, with 7.5% of that coming from the employer – 4.5% more than the required minimum. The organization was also recognized as the first hospitality business to sign up as a Living Pensions Employer.

Profits from Surgeons Quarter support the charitable aims of the College which are education, assessment and advancement in surgical standards worldwide.