A BORDERS restaurant has closed its doors after 12 years of trading.
Herges on The Loch owners Sandy and Karen Craig made the decision to retire after struggling to find staff for their business.
The family-run Tweedbank restaurant served its ‘final orders’ on Sunday, August 1 – marking an end to 40 years in the hospitality industry for Karen (66) and 72-year-old Sandy.
Karen told the Border Telegraph: “It was a neverending saga, you can’t have a good restaurant without a good chef.”
She added that there was a “catalogue” of reasons why hiring staff became difficult.
“One is the [coronavirus] pandemic,” she said. “People discovered in lockdown that hospitality is great when you get to sit down but I think a lot of chefs came out of the business. I think they found they had a better family life away from it.
“And then Brexit, there’s a reliance on Euro staff in hospitality. A lot [of EU staff] went home [in lockdown] and couldn’t come back so the industry has relied on British chefs.
“Some magic overhaul [of the industry] is needed, especially if it’s not encouraging young people into cheffing.”
Since announcing the closure, Karen said Herges has received a lot of local support from customers wishing them the best in retirement.
“There have been lovely people posting their best wishes,” she said. “We’ve not had a bad word.
“We’ve been in the hospitality industry for 40 years, we like it but there comes a time.”
Looking to the future, Karen shared what she hopes to do after retiring.
She said: “I’d love to travel but who knows. I may have to be content with long walks.”
And to their customers, Karen said: “We’ve really treasured your company over the last 12 years and hope you understand our decision.”