Life’s a beach for The View

The View restaurant and bar in Tynemouth is fast becoming one of the coast’s most popular venues for eating, drinking and generally enjoying stunning sea views, come rain or shine. The company’s hard work was recognised when it won the Leisure and Tourism Award, 2017 at the North Tyneside Business Awards in November.

Owned and run by the Wilson family, The View is the second in a string of three businesses in the family’s empire. Crusoe’s in Tynemouth is the first, along with a soon-to-be-launched third restaurant at the Marina in North Shields.

We sat down over lunch with Jill Wilson, overlooking the town’s iconic Longsands beach, to talk about plans, investments and winning awards.

Tell us a little more about The View

We opened in July 2016, and employ some fabulous staff members here at The View. During the winter, we have 40 members of staff working on a rota basis. In the summer months that number goes up towards 70, when we welcome back our very loyal seasonal staff, year after year. They tend to be youngsters who are away at university and return to us during their holidays.

Our staff are like family to us and we’re very proud that they keep coming back to work here.

How did you come to be nominated for the Leisure and Tourism Award?

We were advised to enter the category by numerous people, and this was the first time we have put ourselves forwards for an award. We were absolutely delighted just to be shortlisted, so to have actually gone on to win our category was a moment we will never forget!

What does winning the Award mean to your business?

It means absolutely everything. It’s confirmation that all our hard work and effort, all the hours we’ve invested into the business, has been worth it. It’s an amazing feeling to be recognised as a leading business in the area.

We are traditionally a very grateful family, and don’t take for granted anything that we have achieved. To have won this award and the pride we felt, not just as a family, but a whole team at The View, was enormous. We just wanted to share it with all of our customers who made this possible. The positive feedback we received on social media was as good as the feeling of winning the award itself.

We never dreamed that we’d be successful on our first attempt at the awards but when our name was called as winners of the award we were totally thrilled.

What are you plans for the business?

As a family, we’re always looking for new ways to improve our businesses and we work hard to stand out as an ambassador for the community too. Alongside plans for growth, we make sure our existing businesses put as much back into the business and tourist community as possible.

For example, we work alongside a wonderfully charitable lady named Sue, who has provided us with state of the art wheelchairs. This allows wheelchair users and children in buggies to enjoy the beach in the same way anyone else can. The wheelchairs are offered free of charge for anyone wanting to take friends and loved ones onto the sand. We are also fully wheelchair accessible inside the restaurant too.

We’ve recently won plastic free approval from the local council, which is a big step in our environmental plans as a business. Ronnie Campbell, our local MP, came along to present us with our certificate and we’ve pledged to use only biodegradable products within the business. We also encourage beach walkers to pick up litter as they’re walking on the beach. We’ve placed some litter pickers outside the restaurant and if I see someone pick even one piece of litter up as they enjoy the beach, I offer them a drink on us – we take our environmental responsibilities very seriously so we want to reward members of the public who help us to do that.

In terms of growth for the business, our third restaurant is due to open within the next few weeks. This will be known as “The Lock” and will be situated on North Shields Marina. We’ll continue our responsible ethos down there too and enable even more people to enjoy excellent food and drinks in yet more wonderful surroundings.

What’s the best thing about running a business in North Tyneside?

Obviously, we couldn’t run The View and Crusoe’s without mentioning the stunning coastline we enjoy in North Tyneside. Without the beaches and a love of the seaside life, our businesses wouldn’t be the same.

We always feel that giving something back is essential when running a business, so on our Daily Dish of the Day, we donate 50p to the Cystic Fibrosis Trust from every dish sold. We also donate to the RNLI which we feel is fitting given the tremendous work they do for our coastline.

Finally, we couldn’t run our businesses without our customers. We have so many regulars who show up for breakfast, lunch or dinner on a regular basis, no matter the weather. But we are also lucky enough to welcome people from all over the UK who have heard about The View and make a special trip when they’re visiting the area, just to experience our restaurant – that makes us very proud.

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