Tier three restaurant owner faces cancelling 300 bookings and losing thousands of pounds
- Credit: © Terry Harris
Ten metres separates restaurateur John McGinn from Tier 2 and Tier 3 and the prospect of cancelling 300 Christmas meals already booked.
Mr McGinn runs the Dog in a Doublet on the Thorney/Whittlesey border, which will have to close from Saturday because of the new Covid-19 tier restrictions.
However, in a social media video that has been viewed 2,700 times in 24 hours, he demonstrates how big a difference 10 metres currently makes.
In the clip, Mr McGinn - who launched a 24-hour McDoggals takeaway service during the first coronavirus lockdown - takes a walk across the road from his restaurant with his dog Rachel.
Shocked by the lack of clarity, he says: “Really unfortunate for us, but by 10 metres we’re in tier three.
“Good luck to everyone in tier two.”
The video has been met with mixed reactions on Facebook, with some people arguing that the tier system doesn't work while others have even accused Mr McGinn of "bringing Covid-19 to Whittlesey" simply by crossing the road.
His response is that “people can have their opinions, but they need to be sensible about this sort of thing.
“In these hard times, people need to have a bit of empathy and come together and be sensible.”
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While he understands "there's got to be boundaries", Mr McGinn says he and the Dog in a Doublet team are "just trying to keep our heads above water as a business - by finding a way of being safe and making a little bit of money".
He says that the restaurant will not be offering a takeaway service this time round, other than for Sunday roasts and Christmas dinners.
He will, however, be “heavily investing” in his street food van, Coco Loco, which is located in the car park of the Ivy Leaf Club in Whittlesey.
“We’re increasing our menu there, so all the stuff that we did here - and all the chefs - we’re going over there.”
The temporary closure will, however, mean that Mr McGinn can "have a bit of a Christmas" - though he and the team will still be working on December 25.
He said: "Yes, it's going to be tough on our business, but it'll be the first semi-normal Christmas in 13 years.
"What else can you do? You've just got to deal with it. I believe I've made the right decision in moving all of our food options to Loco Coco because there's only one member of staff in a box serving food out of a hatch. Plus, it's all set up for takeaways."
He argues that a postcode system might have been better but understands that, because the restaurant is classed under Peterborough City Council, it has been placed in tier three.