Edinburgh restaurant donates Christmas dinners to The Salvation Army after 'countless cancellations' prompted by Nicola Sturgeon's advice for public to postpone Christmas parties

An Edinburgh restaurant donated several Christmas dinners to the Salvation Army, after they received “countless cancellations” this afternoon.

The staff at The Garden Bistro, at Saughton Park in Edinburgh, were faced with an empty restaurant tonight after Public Health Scotland urged the public to postpone their Christmas parties.

A Facebook post on The Garden Bistro’s account said: "After countless cancellations today, we were left with an empty Bistro and lots of Christmas food ready and waiting. So to ensure no food goes to waste and we put a smile on someone's face today, all of our Christmas dinners are being delivered hot to The Salvation Army tonight”.

Carol Greer, the mother of Chris Davidson, who is a partner in The Garden Bistro, said that every Christmas dinner and lunch that had been booked at the restaurant was cancelled this afternoon, which she said has come “directly as a result of Nicola Sturgeon’s announcement at lunchtime today”.

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While Greer is glad that people are taking the government’s advice seriously, she is worried about the impact that the cancellations will have on her son’s business, and the hospitality sector at large.

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She said: “Hospitality has been given no warning at all.

"It's a complete blow to them because this was the one time they were going to make some money, and now they’re going to be at an absolute loss”.

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The Garden Bistro found a silver lining after a disappointing string of cancellations, which left their restaurant empty for the night. They donated the food that would have gone to waste to the Salvation Army.

While the festive season is traditionally a busy time for restaurants, Greer said that for her son’s business: "Christmas is going to be very quiet if not closed”.

He son had taken on extra staff for the expected rush, however, she said they will likely be out of a job.

Greer said: “It’s not just owners and managers, but all the people employed will be in such a tough situation.

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“The government really has to step in this time.

"They’ve stopped short of making it law, which means that hospitality is not covered by insurance.

"If it was a legal requirement, they would have some kind of fall-back but they have nothing.

"It’s an absolute body-blow, because the industry just cannot take this”.

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