A popular Paisley restaurant has pulled down the shutters as the owners reveal the “absolute battering” the hospitality industry has absorbed in recent years.
The Little Steakhouse on Sma’ Shot Lane closed its doors for the last time this week despite the venue frequently being booked out weeks in advance.
The closure has sent shockwaves throughout the community – with one councillor describing the scale of the challenge facing Paisley businesses as “scary”.
The steakhouse owners said the business was still struggling to make ends meet despite its popularity.
In an emotional statement issued on social media, the Little Steakhouse management said: “Sadly, hospitality has taken an absolute battering over the last few years, starting with covid and now entering uncertain times with recession glooming, we have decided it is time to hang up our aprons.
“We were a very busy restaurant, most weekends were booked out weeks in advance, and we had lots of loyal regular customers and many new faces.
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“Unfortunately, it’s the rising costs of business that has forced us to close, suppliers, the food chain, rising cost of utilities, etc.
“There are so many rising costs and you can’t expect to pass them all to customers, nor can you run a small independent business on these rises.
“Unfortunately, many small business are now faced with these dilemmas.”
They added: “Thank you to everyone for your support and please continue to support all Paisley’s independent restaurants, there’s some lovely restaurants on your doorstep so stay local.”
More than 400 people took to social media to share their shock and sadness at the news, with dozens flabbergasted at how even one of the most successful eateries in the town couldn’t withstand the cost of living pressures.
But Councillor Carolann Davidson, who represents the Paisley East and Central ward, said businesses, across a range of sectors, are telling her they are barely getting by.
She told the Paisley Daily Express: “It’s scary that a business as popular as the Little Steakhouse has closed.
“It’s really sad, there have been over 400 comments on social media from customers, it was such a popular restaurant.
“It shows the scale of the challenge facing businesses in Paisley town centre and across Renfrewshire.
“They are having to put the prices up – by 50 to 100 per cent in some instances – and they don’t want to pass that on to their loyal customers.
“They really are stuck between a rock and a hard place.
“Every time I go into Paisley town centre I see another business has closed, usually in the hospitality industry.”
Business consortium Paisley First has said it is doing all it can to support town centre firms, hosting a number of events and campaigns to drive footfall.
Chair Colette Cardosi said: ”Many of our local businesses are still trying to recover from the pandemic, so the surge in energy bills and the cost of living crisis has hit them hard.
“We are calling on both the UK and Scottish Governments to do all they can to support these small independent businesses.
“Paisley First is continuing to provide support to our town centre businesses.
“We remain grateful to the local community who continue to support our local businesses who are the heartbeat of Paisley town centre.”
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