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‘Devastating’ number of cancellations at Aberdeen restaurant as 400-500 covers disappear in a matter of days

210 Bistro has experienced huge amounts of cancellations.

An Aberdeen restaurant boss has spoken of the “devastating” number of cancellations her venue has experienced since the First Minister’s announcement last Friday.

Adele Callan, owner of 210 Bistro on Aberdeen’s Market Street, has seen around 400 to 500 covers cancel Christmas party bookings following Nicola Sturgeon urging companies to cancel their festive get-togethers.

The three floored restaurant was geared up to serve hundreds of diners this week and had already placed large food orders with suppliers in advance to accommodate bookings.

Now Adele says just a handful of reservations remain in the system this week.

“We’ve never had cancellations on this scale ever,” she added.

Adele Callan had expected a busy end to the festive period.

“A lot of our stock has been bought in already. Christmas parties tend to be large numbers so everything is done by pre-order. We’ve had them in since mid-November and our planning and ordering starts then.

“There’s certain things we have in like turkey that we can’t do anything about. There was a lot in the press about the shortages so you wanted to make sure you had it for your customers coming in. We now have 150 turkeys that we can’t do anything with – it is a bit devastating.

“We’re not a huge venue so 400 to 500 covers cancelling is enormous for us.”

Mass cancellations brews worry

December is one of the busiest times for hospitality with many venues dependent on successful trade during this period to see them through the start of the year.

On a busy day, 210 Bistro usually caters for around 300 people.

Adele Callan.

Adele added: “This Friday we were fully booked with parties for offices and we’ve lost every single one of them pretty much, minus a few that might still be going ahead.

“We’ve gone from three sittings across three floors to basically being empty. Since the First Minister’s speech on Friday, that’s when we have seen cancellations of big parties. We had a few on Friday last week that didn’t show up. I don’t blame them, companies have to act on the advice from the government and have to do the right thing.

“It is a really difficult situation.”

A dish served at 210 Bistro – venison loin with venison dumplings, carrot puree, potato croquettes and bramble jus.


Diversifying once again due to the pandemic, Adele and her team will relaunch their heat-at-home service which they started last year to help the business.

Customers will be able to order a variety of dishes including the full festive menu which will also be available as a hot takeaway option.

She said “It has been really successful for us in the past. We’re hoping that if we manage to pick up some smaller tables for the weekend that they will want to try some of the festive options. Hopefully some people come out over the course of the next few weeks, too. ”

210 Bistro should be fully booked this weekend.

Government help?

The First Minister announced yesterday that £100m has been identified by the Scottish Government and will be used to help businesses – mainly those in hospitality and food supply.

However, it is not yet clear when firms will see this money and how much each premises will receive, something Adele is eager to understand as a business owner who has been affected by Ms Sturgeon’s announcement late last week.

“It is difficult because we have fixed costs that we have to pay, our staff and bills to pay and bills for the food and drink we’ve ordered in for Christmas. Without knowing how much each business is going to get and when that will be, it just makes the next couple of weeks really difficult. It adds a level of worry you shouldn’t have at this time of year.

“December is our big month and that sees us through January to March when it is traditionally quieter. To have that worry already in December is a bit of a stress.

“We’ve had a few good weeks so in relation to last year, it is much better, but on the other hand we’ve had the rug pulled from under our feet as we’ve been planning for a really busy week and suddenly it has just collapsed.

“Last year we knew where we stood and we knew it would be rubbish and we didn’t put in the orders because of the restrictions. This year we expected to fulfil those orders.”

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