Busi­ness­man fears an­other Covid-19 wave

Restau­rant boss says a sec­ond lock­down could close his Kirkcud­bright restau­rant

The Galloway News - - Voice Of The People - STEPHEN NOR­RIS

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

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