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Christmas party cancelled? 5 ways you can help support local bars and restaurants in your area

You can still support hospitality despite Christmas party cancellations.

Last week First Minister Nicola Sturgeon urged companies who had booked Christmas parties to cancel them due to the rise in Omicron cases.

Initially Public Health Scotland released the advice on Thursday evening and in her briefing on Friday Ms Sturgeon said that she agreed with it.

As a result, hundreds of hospitality venues across the country have seen thousands of cancellations, with little to no time to cancel food and drink orders that were ordered weeks in advance.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon delivers a Covid-19 update statement in the main chamber at the Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh.

With reports of a turkey shortage this Christmas, many venues were forced to order well in advance to ensure they had the favoured festive bird on their menus to keep customers happy.

However, after last weeks announcement, cancellations have been flooding in at unprecedented levels with many firms still unsure if the advice from the government and Public Health Scotland is guidance or law.

The pandemic has been an extremely challenging time for the hospitality industry, with restaurants, bars, hotels and nightclubs some of the worst affected by changing restrictions and rules.

Concerns were raised by supply chain issues which could make it challenging to get turkeys to Christmas dinner tables.

While you may now not be able to attend your Christmas party for a second year in a row, you can of course still continue to support venues across the region who are in need of help.

Here are a few ways you can do so…

1. Make a last minute weekend reservation

Your company might have had to cancel your function with lots of people but a smaller, intimate dinner or night out with your partner would be one way you can help support the industry.

Try and limit the amount of households to a maximum of three, as suggested by Nicola Sturgeon in her briefing yesterday.

2. Order a takeaway

Instead of the glitzy night out, why not have a glitzy night in?

Arrange with your colleagues to order food from the same restaurant or venue you were meant to be boogieing at and opt for an online party.

You can still have just as much fun and also support the local business at the same time.

Many of the firms who have had a multitude of cancellations are now offering takeaway so this is a great way to celebrate while staying safe.

You can also order drinks and cocktails from various pubs and bars, too, with some even delivering cocktails UK-wide.

You can still meet up virtually and enjoy a takeaway together.

3. Buy a gift voucher

You may not use it right this minute, but by purchasing a gift card you are injecting much-needed funds into local businesses right now.

These funds could be used to help pay for stock which has already been ordered for festive parties or could even help with staff wages due to the government not confirming exactly how their support grants will be divided between businesses yet.

A gift voucher also allows you to enjoy some of your favourite venues at a later date in 2022, and is also a great Christmas present idea.

4. Book in for 2022

January is one of the toughest months for hospitality as it tends to be much quieter than any other month of the year due to individuals overspending at the festive period.

This might be the perfect time to get out and support hospitality venues.

Treat yourself to a breakfast, lunch or dinner out and help support those independent restaurants and bars who are more reliant on Christmas and New Year sales.

Or why not book a table for later in the year in 2022 and have something to look forward to?

Think about booking into the venue some time in 2022 instead.

5. Ask if your deposit can be deferred

If you are likely to be heading back to the same venue for another event throughout the year then why not ask if you can defer the deposit and use it for a future event?

If your company or group have supported the venue in the past, it might be worth checking if they can hold onto your deposit and bank it for your next event/outing there.

This cash has most likely already been spent so asking for a refund will further deplete funds that the business will probably need to pay off suppliers for food they will have not been able to sell.

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