Scotland’s hospitality industry reopens on 26 April, but under strict rules. Rules, which according to Michelin-star chef Tom Kitchin, could be a nail in the coffin for the industry.
After a terrible year for restaurants in Scotland, which imposed a strict lockdown during the pandemic, the sector has been given the go-ahead to start trading again. However, the conditions under which business can commence - to serve six people from two households indoors under an 8 pm curfew, with a total ban on serving alcohol - has drawn harsh criticism from Kitchin.
The chef told Edinburgh Live, that he has "had enough of staying silent".
"I've stayed quiet until now, out of respect for how serious the virus is and the people who died, but now I've had enough, this is ridiculous,” he said.
"I see what this is doing to people, I know people who have committed suicide, it's absolutely tragic.
"All of my colleagues in England have been given a date so they can start planning their cash flow and take reservations, but of course Scotland has to do things differently.
"We are missing so many customers from the south of the border that are not going to bother to come here - why would they when they can't even have a glass of wine?"
"I am fed up, the debt that myself and this industry face now is insane."
Kitchin claims that he cannot make any money under the current restrictions, in fact he’ll most likely make a loss, but he feels a responsibility to his suppliers to carry on.
"I buy a lot of fish and a lot of meat and I know that these guys are hurting. I know how much they are hurting because I've seen the tears in their eyes."
"Everyone goes on about Scotland the Great, best lager in the world, best hospitality - there won't be any hospitality. All these little artisan producers, there will be none of them, it will all just be massive chains.
"The same when you walk down a High Street, it will all just be big chains, there will be no little independent Scottish restaurants that make the country so special.
"This is not about Tom Kitchin, this is about all of the little restaurants across Scotland that are going to have to close.
“We have sat quietly for long enough but for god sake just let us open."
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