'Customers in tears over not being able to buy chips after 1am'

Perth and Kinross Council last week denied a Scott Street takeaway the chance to extend its catering licence.

Perth takeaway owner denied extension on late night catering licence by council iStock

A Perth takeaway owner has claimed he has had customers in tears because they cannot buy so much as a portion of chips after 1am.

Perth and Kinross Council last week denied a Scott Street takeaway the chance to extend its late night catering licence.

City centre catering units in Perth – unlike other cities such as Dundee, Edinburgh and Stirling – are not allowed to sell food beyond 1am, even at the weekend.

The takeaway owner told councillors people visiting the Fair City from these cities – particularly on a Saturday night – expect takeaways to be open after 1am.

Ayasofya Turkish Grill owner Erol Yazgan went before Perth and Kinross Council’s Licensing Committee on Thursday, October 27 applying to extend the catering licence of his takeaway from 1am to 3.30am between Thursdays and Sundays.

Mr Yazgan told the committee: “As you know after the pandemic everything is not the same and prices have gone up plus every Saturday night…

He paused: “I have applied for Thursday to Sunday but I’d be happy to have it [later] for even one night a week only on a Saturday night because it’s our busiest night.

“A lot of people are coming after 1am – especially from Edinburgh, Dundee and other cities that stay open later than Perth – and they think every city is the same – open until 3.30am.

“I wish I could record and show you their reaction. They are disappointed. Some people are even crying asking for even one portion of chips at the end of the night.”

Mr Yazgan told councillors he had looked closely at council policy and said: “I understand the council is trying to reduce noise and fighting on the streets.

“But what I see is most of the people are making noise after the pubs or clubs close, mostly they walk from town to the BP garage or they walk to McDonald’s.”

He added: “Business is very very quiet at the moment. That’s the main reason I have applied.”

Cllr Ahern questioned if neighbouring city centre businesses were selling food later, saying BP and McDonald’s were “well out of town”.

Mr Yazgan responded: “Recently we have noticed a lot of the pubs that were selling food until 11am are now selling food until 1am – until they close.”

Bailie Rhona Brock asked if there was a demand for his business to be open later.

Mr Yazgan replied: “Yes, especially on a Saturday night. They just want food after 1am before they go home. Some people are begging but I can’t give them it because I don’t have a licence.”

He told the committee: “They are hungry and angry and when we don’t give them food they think it’s our fault.”

After a period of deliberation convener Mike Williamson put forward a motion not to extend the licence.

Bailie Williamson said: “You haven’t demonstrated sufficient reason to depart from policy.”

It was seconded by Bailie Chris Ahern.

Bailie Rhona Brock tabled an amendment to extent the catering licence until 3.30am on a Saturday night (Sunday morning). This was seconded by Cllr Iain MacPherson.

Councillors voted by six votes to four not to extend the catering licence.

After the meeting both Dundee and Edinburgh’s councils confirmed to the Local Democracy Reporting Service they allow city centre takeaways to open later than they can in Perth.

A Dundee City Council spokesperson said late hours catering premises in the city centre “will generally be allowed to remain open until 0330hrs Mondays to Sundays”.

A spokesman for Edinburgh City Council also shared its policy with the LDRS and said: “In summary, under certain circumstances Edinburgh allows a premises with a late hours catering licence to operate until 5am.”

A Stirling City Council spokesperson confirmed it allows city centre premises to operate later at the weekend.

The spokesman told the LDRS: “In Stirling city centre, premises can operate:

  • Sunday to Wednesday from 11pm to 1am
  • Thursday from 11pm to 2am
  • Friday and Saturday from 11pm to 3am

“All other premises outside the city centre can operate until 1am. After this time, McDonald’s Drive Thru and Domino’s Delivery can operate until 5am.”

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