A Stonehaven chef who found a man locked inside the restaurant’s outside cold room said he had a “lucky escape”.
Abdul Hamid, known as Raj, is head chef and owner of the Carron to Mumbai restaurant in Stonehaven.
He stayed behind late on Friday to prepare for a busy Saturday shift when he heard a noise coming from outside.
Although he went out to investigate he couldn’t see anything so went back to work – until the noise continued.
Eventually he went and stood outside until he heard the noise again, when he realised it was coming from the restaurant’s outdoor cold room.
When he opened the door, he found a man standing amongst the carnage of food strewn across the floor.
Mr Hamid took the man inside and gave him warm water while he waited for the police to arrive.
He said: “The cold room is about 3C, imagine normally the following day we come to work for a 3pm shift.
“Had he been in there all night he would have died, there was no hope of him surviving at 3C when he’s drunk and with a lack of oxygen.”
Damages are ‘very bad news’ for restaurant
The head chef said he has “no idea at all” how the male managed to gain access to their cold room, as the gate at the bottom of the alley is always locked.
Mr Hamid estimates that the man wasted around £1,500 worth of food, and claimed there was also damage to the door and compressor.
The restaurant is not using the cold room while they are waiting for engineers to assess the damage, with Mr Hamid guessing it might cost around £3,000 to repair.
“It’s bad news, it’s very bad news especially given what the hospitality industry is going through at the moment,” he said.
“We are getting cancellations every day, we are even scared to answer the phone now because we know they are going to say ‘can we cancel the booking?’.
“This is how bad it is, every day we receive five or 10 calls cancelling. This is the last thing we wanted.”
However, he has decided not to press any charges against the man involved.