Businessman fears another Covid-19 wave
Restaurant boss says a second lockdown could close his Kirkcudbright restaurant
A Kirkcudbright restaurateur has warned his business faces ruin if a Covid-19 comeback prompts a second lockdown.
Will Gill plans to reopen the Auld Alliance on July 15 when pubs and restaurants can serve customers indoors for the first time in months.
He welcomed the further easing of restrictions – but reckons he’s out of options if the virus returns.
Will said: “If another wave of Covid cases comes there will not be any more money from the Government.
“And that would be the end of the restaurant if there was another lockdown in place.”
Physical distancing rules have forced Will to make drastic changes ahead of reopening.
Passing trade is off the menu while turnaround times beween bookings have been doubled.
Will said: “Things will be very different. We have had to take out three tables which has taken the restaurant down to 70 per cent capacity.
“That means we have had to cut back on other areas to make up for that 30 per cent loss.
“I’m not taking walk-ins so we can control the flow of people. And we have had to renegotiate with the landlady of the building but we have come to an amicable agreement.”
He added: “We are going for 1.5 metre spacing. All appropriate signage is in place to direct customers when they come in.
“We have also spread out times between bookings from 15 to 30 minutes. Theoretically that will mean customers won’t have to meet each other on the stairs.”
Other pre-opening problems include sourcing supplies for the the kitchen.
But despite all the changes Will is determined to survive and keep Covid away.
He said: “Our wine supplier in Glasgow has furloughed 90 per cent of its staff.
“They can’t guarantee whether they can deliver or not. But it’s great to be able to get people back in.
“We have put PPE in place that people can use if required.
“It’s as expensive as saffron or gold now but at least the government has covered the cost.
“We’ll be opening Wednesday to Sunday as before.
“After that we’ll see what happens.”
Last week Nicola Sturgeon said the Scottish Government “reserved the right” to re-impose twometre physical distancing if infection levels rose again.
However, the First Minister added; “Conversely, though, if we continue to make progress, we may be able to consider a more general relaxation in later phases.”
Business fears Will Gill of the Auld Alliance restaurant in Kirkcudbright