Five past five on March 20th will forever be etched on my memory. I was behind our main bar with my brother and the PM made the announcement that we were to close as soon as possible. Our last drink had been served and a little over an hour later our doors had closed.
Two days later we closed the doors on The Lane Hotel, we had added rooms to the business in 2017 and saw it climb to No.5 in Edinburgh on Tripadvisor. A team effort and something we were all immensely proud of.
Even now, after three months have gone by, putting pen to paper to describe the emotional pain of closing the two businesses is very difficult. Although it might sound strange to a lot of people I can only liken it to a bereavement.
The Canny Man’s has been run by my family for five generations. We had survived many difficult times and traded through two World Wars. Closing the doors was something I never could have envisaged in my lifetime.
The uncertainty for our future was a heavy burden but on 21st March we began our off sales delivery service which was incredibly well received and is something that we are hoping to keep as part of the business.
Two weeks later we had front line staff arrive at the hotel and although things were far from normal it was comforting to have guests under our roof again.
Over the last few weeks, we have branched out into food delivery… if someone had told me in February I would be transporting Yorkshire puddings in my car all over Edinburgh I don’t think I would have believed them!
I think it has been nothing short of miraculous the shift hospitality has made. From preparing at-home meals to take-away cocktails we have all been doing what we can to survive. I still find it difficult to comprehend that we have not received any industry-specific help. I think most would agree that the hospitality sector has been the worst-hit throughout this pandemic.
Today we received the announcement that all going well we will be able to reopen our doors for outdoor service on 6th July. The future is uncertain and will be for some time to come but our industry will endure. Seeing staff and customers for the first time in months will be a moment that I will savour. Service will undoubtedly be different for a period of time however I truly hope it does not change too radically as customer interaction is a big part of why people choose to work in this industry. http://cannymans.co.uk