By Rory Reynolds
A MADCAP pub boss has beaten the credit crunch and boosted his bookings by putting up a Christmas tree – four months early.
Christmas came early for David Kerr – who had no bookings in his restaurant or guest rooms for December at the Laird & Dog Inn – until he put up a tree eight days ago.
Now David has been bombarded with calls and emails from families and businesses trying to book lunches or lodgings at his Midlothian inn, for the festive holidays.
His restaurant is nearly fully booked and half of his rooms are taken over the Christmas period.And David reckons all that was missing was a bit of festive cheer.
He said: “This is the first time that the tree has gone up so early so it’s been quite a surprise for the customers.
“It has caused quite a stir and there’s been a mixed reaction.
“But it has made people realise that we are open on Christmas Day.
“You can see the tree as soon as you come in the main door but you can’t see it when you are sitting in the restaurant, so if you don’t want to see the tree you don’t have to.”
David believes that people panicked when they saw the tree – and made sure they had a table booked for Christmas.
“We’re booked out on 14 December as well – a business in Bonnyrigg booked the whole restaurant –the tree has definitely worked.
“Their staff saw the tree and thought they’d better book for Christmas.
“The tree has been very successful and has made people aware that they have to book early for Christmas lunch.
“People would never think of booking for Christmas day if the tree wasn’t up.
And putting up the Christmas tree has also boosted sales over the summer – making the Laird & Dog one of the busiest pub and hotels in the region.
David added: “At the moment you have to book on Wednesday to get a table for the weekend.
“Also it boosts people spirits and it’s certainly a talking point.
“And It’s a relief for us too knowing that we don’t have to worry about Christmas.”
Cara McCran, 20, Duty Manager at the Laird & Dog, admits was a bit puzzled when she first saw the tree.
She said: “I was a bit shocked at first – I wasn’t quite sure why there was a Christmas tree in the foyer.
“But it’s certainly kept us busy over the summer as well – so we can’t complain.”