End of the line for food outlet

Jen and Simon White are facing an uncertain future
Jen and Simon White are facing an uncertain future

A Banchory couple face having to give up their fast food business in the town.

Simon and Jen White have run the popular Adriana’s Grill at the entrance to Tesco’s store for the past three years.

But they will vacate the site on August 11 following a wrangle with the superstore’s head office over a change in conditions for their van.

Mrs White told the Piper: “This is our livelihood. It’s the way they have done it that is a real kick in the teeth. We have always had a great relationship with the store - they bring us business, we bring them business.

“This situation has not been a pleasant experience at all.”

She stressed the issue was not with the local store but the company’s head office and marketing company.

The couple had been contacted by them to provide details of the van and their operation.

Mrs White explained: “We did all that and they said they wanted to regulate activities in the car park and then a couple of days later we got an email back saying our van did not fit the way forward. They were looking to provide something different for the customers and they were looking to go down the sort of artisan street food-type feel.”

The couple admitted the annoucement from Tesco came completely out of the blue. Mrs White added: “We have been here for three years and have built up a huge community spirit around the van.

“We have people of all ages and all walks of life coming to us and I told them they are going to ruin a complete community feel.”

Mrs and Mrs White maintain that to change their van to meet the new requirements would cost around £15,000 for equipment and a generator and they were only being offered a three-month contract.

She said: “It was either comply with that or go. Four weeks’ notice is not enough.

“The store here is gutted. They don’t want us to go.”

Mr White: “It’s the way they have gone about it that’s so disappointing.

“If they had given us much more warning, we could’ve had time to find and get planning permission for somewhere else It only makes sense to sell up.

“It will affect between 800 and 1000 people who visit us every week, It will affect Banchory in a big way.”

Long-term grill customer Muriel Campbell, from Banchory, said: “They are going to be missed by so many people.

“I come here every Thursday and I don’t know what I’ll do now.”

Tesco has been reviewing car park based operators across the UK which it says will help it to make an improvement for customers by introducing greater consistency across stores.

A Tesco spokesman said: “In recent weeks we have had numerous discussions with Adrianna’s Grill about how they can continue to operate from our Banchory store car park, unfortunately we have been unable to reach agreement.”